MESSAGES 2014 :: JANUARY 13, 2014

JANUARY 13, 2014

Weekly Message for Superintendents: Monday, Jan. 13, 2014

NOTE :: Various file formats are used on this page that may require download. If larger than 1mb, it will take longer to download. For instructions or more information, please visit our download page.

I look forward to seeing all of you in the regional meetings later this month. (See the list of dates and locations in the second item, below.) These small setting meetings allow for you to bring concerns forward and for us to get your feedback about the following issues: proficiency levels 1-4 versus levels 1-5; GPA calculation legislation; the supplemental budget request; and Read to Achieve. These meetings are set as follows:

  • Jan. 23 - Northeast and Southeast RESAs (Districts 1 and 2), 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Beaufort County Community College, Building 10, 5337 Hwy. 264 East, Washington
  • Jan. 24 - Sandhills and Southwest RESAs (Districts 4 and 6), 12-3 p.m., Union County Public Schools Staff Development Center, 721 Brewer Drive, Monroe
  • Jan. 27 - Central and Piedmont RESAs (Districts 3 and 5), 1-4 p.m., Durham Public Schools Staff Development Center, 2107 Hillandale Road, Durham,
  • Jan. 28 - Northwest and Western RESAs (Districts 7 and 8), 10 a.m.-2 p.m., AB Tech Enka Campus, Haynes Building, 1459 Sand Hill Road, Candler

June Atkinson
State Superintendent

HB Weekly Update
(pdf, 365kb)

Web Highlights Jan 10
(pdf, 80kb)

FirstNet Regional Workshops
(doc, 1.2mb)

In this Weekly Superintendents' Message:

  1. State Board of Education Meeting Highlights
  2. RFP Deadline Extended for SROs
  3. Decision Date Moved for Home Base Options
  4. Evaluation Resources Reminder for the New Year
  5. Principal Council Meetings for Spring 2014
  6. FirstNet Regional Workshops
  7. Regional Teachers of the Year Announced
  8. Finance Officers' Newsletter Online
  9. National School Bus Safety Week Poster Contest
  10. Nominations Open for Jay Robinson Leadership Awards

State Board of Education Meeting Highlights

At the State Board of Education meeting last week, members approved staff recommendations for program approval requests under the Innovative Education Initiatives Act, 26 charter schools for opening in August, Career and Technical Education revisions to Essential Standards, districts and charter school requests for Standard Six flexibility, a plan for digital learning in public schools and an allotment formula for the Summer Reading Camps. Among the Board’s discussion items were renewal recommendations for charter schools with charters expiring in 2014, recommendations for enrollment and grade expansion requests for charter schools, grading scales, and the Board’s fiscal year 2014-15 supplemental budget. For a complete list of Board actions, visit

RFP Deadline Extended for SROs

The Request for Proposals for State Matching Grants for elementary and middle school Resource Officers (SROs) has again been modified with an extended deadline. This Final Supplemental RFP, posted at, details how additional funds can be requested to support salary and benefits of SROs requested in the initial RFP. LEAs also can request additional SROs.The number of SROs is no longer subject to specified ADM limits. In addition, the RFP allows any LEA, charter school, or regional school that did not submit an initial request to apply.Applications are due to the NCDPI by Feb. 13. Questions may be directed to Ken Gattis at

Decision Date Moved for Home Base Options

With the roll-out of Home Base in the fall of 2013, we know that local educators have been so busy dealing with PowerSchool and other "must-use" elements that it has been challenging to get to the optional parts of the system that can be so helpful and powerful for classroom teachers.

Those opt-in pieces include Schoolnet, OpenClass, the Professional Development system and its PD courses and transcript features for educators, and more. That's why the NCDPI has extended the window for local school districts to make a final “opt-in” decision for the non-required parts of the Home Base system to July 15.

By opting in, local districts agree to pay $4 per student based on average daily membership and will be able to fully use all parts of Home Base - not just PowerSchool, the NC Educator Evaluation System and state-required online assessments. More details about options to show your opt-in decision are still to come, so stay tuned.

Evaluation Resources Reminder for the New Year

Resources for supporting all educator evaluation processes including upcoming webinars, archived presentations, and evaluation process manuals are available online at Please visit often and contact the professional development leads (also listed on this site) if you have questions. Questions also may be directed to NCDPI’s Educator Evaluation Consultant Kimberly Simmons at

Principal Council Meetings for Spring 2014

The Principals’ Council is a group of superintendent-selected principals who meet periodically over a school year. The meeting provides a job-alike forum to share information, concerns, resources, and ideas with colleagues from the same region. Specific support for the North Carolina Educator Evaluation System is emphasized. Principals also provide feedback to the NCDPI on state initiatives and ideas for continued support.

Spring meetings taking place over the next several months will include information and feedback regarding the READY Principal meetings that occurred this past fall and the upcoming READY Principal meetings scheduled for the spring. Homebase information, including OpenClass and the online evaluation system, will be on the agenda, along with additional information to support professional development virtually and face to face.

Kimberly Simmons from the NCDPI Educator Effectiveness Division serves as the department’s liaison. She works closely with RESA directors to ensure an agenda that is relevant to each district. For more information, contact Kimberly Simmons at

FirstNet Regional Workshops

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is working on a system for integrating radio communication between emergency users during time of crisis. This new system will enable users to communicate with appropriate personnel who may have different radio capabilities. DPS is hosting workshops to explain this process. Schools systems may want to send a representative to be sure your needs will be addressed. Attached is more information about the workshops including dates and locations. Questions also may be directed to Ben Matthews at or 919/807-3501.

Regional Teachers of the Year Announced

Congratulations to the following nine teachers who were selected to represent their regions and charter schools as the state's regional Teachers of the Year:

  • North Central Region: Rhonda Holmes, Conway Middle (Northampton County Schools);
  • Northeast Region: Charlene Evans, Plymouth High (Washington County Schools);
  • Northwest Region: Alex Reynolds, Jesse Carson High (Rowan-Salisbury Schools);
  • Southeast Region: Melissa Gillespie, Laney High (New Hanover County Schools);
  • Southwest Region: James Ford, Garinger High (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools);
  • Sandhills/South Central Region: Everlene Davis, South Columbus High (Columbus County Schools);
  • Piedmont-Triad/Central Region: Kathy Saunders, Asheboro High (Asheboro City Schools);
  • West Region: Melissa Faetz, South Macon Elementary (Macon County Schools); and
  • Charter Schools: Chris Weaver, Evergreen Charter (Buncombe County).

Finance Officers' Newsletter Online

The Jan. 10 edition of the Finance Officers’ newsletter is online and contains the following items: Summer Camp Allotment Information, Unspent Driver Training Funds on June 30, 2014, Request Additional Driver’s Training Funds for FY 2014, New Web-Based ABC Transfer Form, RFP for State Matching Grants for SROs and 2014 Public School Building Capital Fund Schedule. To read more, please go to the NCDPI's Financial and Business Services Web site at and click on Resources, then Newsletters.

National School Bus Safety Week Poster Contest

Rules for the 2014 National School Bus Safety Week Poster Contest have been posted on the School Bus Safety Web site at contest is open to students in grades K-8. The deadline for submission to the state (through your transportation department) is May 23.

Nominations Open for Jay Robinson Leadership Awards

Nominations for the Jay Robinson Leadership Awards are now being accepted. The original award was established by the Public School Forum Board of Directors and the NC School Boards Association in honor of Dr. Jay Robinson, former superintendent Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, UNC vice president and chair of the State Board of Education. In 2011, the award was expanded to two awards: Exemplary Educator with statewide impact in K-12 education and Exemplary Leadership in Public Service with statewide impact in K-12 education. The awards may be given to anyone who has displayed innovative, creative and effective leadership for the public schools of North Carolina. The nominations MUST be postmarked by March 3. The honor includes a cash award sponsored by BB&T. To obtain a nomination form, contact Debra Jordan at