MESSAGES 2014 :: JANUARY 28, 2014

JANUARY 28, 2014

Weekly Message for Superintendents: Monday, Jan. 28, 2014

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Thanks to everyone who has participated so far in regional superintendents’ meetings. So far, we have had some very productive conversations, and I appreciate the time you spend to meet together. Based on my e-mail traffic lately, I anticipate that data security issues will become a hot topic for public schools, especially in light of the recent security breaches that have been in the news. We are preparing materials for you that will describe in more detail the measures that we take to ensure appropriate student data security and will share those with you. In brief, the Uniform Education Reporting Statute (UERS) authorizes the Department of Public Instruction to collect key data but there are significant legal safeguards for confidentiality. Disaggregated data at the student or employee level are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and also by state laws governing public records. PowerSchool and other elements of Home Base adhere to these laws, and we take student confidentiality very seriously. 

Also, today marks the launch of the annual NC School Report Cards. Your principals and others have been working with NCDPI staff on data preview for the past few weeks, and I appreciate their partnership. The report cards offer a snapshot that should be provided to parents and additional detailed information about school performance, climate and staff. This continues to be an important tool for parents and others in our communities to see how schools are doing. As we look toward the 2014 School Report Card, we anticipate changes that will reflect the new accountability model more fully and data displays that will be more parent-friendly. 

June Atkinson
State Superintendent

Educator Effectiveness Overview
(pdf, 69kb)

ESPC Workshop Flyer
(pdf, 400kb)

HB Weekly Update
(pdf, 257kb)

Jan. 24 Web Highlights
(pdf, 74kb)

Jan. 23, 2014
(doc, 77kb)

In this Weekly Superintendents' Message:

  1. SBE's 21st Century Systems Committee to Meet Via Conference Call
  2. Read to Achieve Advisory Committee to Hold First Meeting
  3. High-Level Overview of Educator Effectiveness: 2013-14 School Year
  4. Home Base Communications Base Practices Guide
  5. Policies Updated on State Board of Education Website
  6. NC DPI MOOClet Launches in February; Course Focuses on Effective Digital Strategies for Teaching and Learning in the K-12 Classroom
  7. Energy Savings Workshop Scheduled

SBE's 21st Century Systems Committee to Meet Via Conference Call

The State Board of Education’s 21st Century Systems committee will meet via conference call tomorrow morning, Jan. 29, at 9:30 a.m. to discuss the Board’s 2014-15 supplemental budget request. The public may participate in the meeting in a listening capacity only. To hear the meeting, please dial 1-866.590.5055 and use the access code 9462099#.

Read to Achieve Advisory Committee to Hold First Meeting

- The Read to Achieve Advisory Committee will hold its first meeting on Friday, Jan. 31, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., at the NC School Boards Association, Raleigh. Members will review the General Assembly’s Read to Achieve legislation, receive a presentation by NCDPI staff regarding activities to date to meet the legislation’s requirements and discuss items to improve the initiative. Questions may be directed to Lou Fabrizio at or 919.807.3770.  

High-Level Overview of Educator Effectiveness: 2013-14 School Year

The NCDPI has prepared an overview of the educator effectiveness model in operation during the 2013-14 school year. The attached document outlines which teachers will have individual student growth data for the 2013-14 school year, as well as the sources of those data. If you, or your staff, have any questions, please contact the Educator Effectiveness Team at

Home Base Communications Base Practices Guide

Home Base implementation is in the second half of the roll-out year, and we want to thank you for your support of this very large project and your patience as we have weathered a number of storms. We want to thank many of you who contributed ideas and took our best practices survey, which has resulted in the new Home Base Communications Best Practices Guide now available on the Home Base Toolkit web page. Look for the Guide icon bottom right corner at Or, download it directly at On this page are local communication strategies and tips from your colleagues statewide.

Policies Updated on State Board of Education Website

The State Board of Education’s website has been updated to reflect policies that were adopted or amended by members at their January Board meeting. Following are the two recently updated policies, which can be viewed online at by clicking on NCSBE Policy Manual Table of Contents.

Under Globally Competitive Students - GCS-F-005 (GCS 1) – Career and Technical Education Revisions to Essential Standards

Under Twenty-First Century Professionals - TCP-A-021 (TCP 1) – Procedure for Seeking Extensions for Licensure Requirements

NC DPI MOOClet Launches in February; Course Focuses on Effective Digital Strategies for Teaching and Learning in the K-12 Classroom

In February, the NCDPI will introduce a new online learning option called the MOOClet for K-12 classroom teachers and instructional personnel. While educators may be familiar with a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), the MOOClet will foster a broader community of learners across the state who interact online during the course and develop relationships and spaces that allow interaction to continue after the course is over. While preserving some of the advantages of facilitated courses such as instructor involvement and feedback, this MOOClet allows a larger number of participants to share ideas and learn from one another. The six-week (20 hours) course, which has already reached capacity, begins Feb. 5. Teachers and principals were informed of this opportunity. For more information, contact Geetanjali Soni at or Lynne Johnson at

Energy Savings Workshop Scheduled

The NC Chapter of the Energy Services Coalition and the NC Utility Savings Initiative are hosting a free half-day workshop in Wilmington on Friday, Feb. 28. The workshop is being funded through a grant from the DOE. It is a guaranteed energy savings performance contracting workshop setup to review what an ESPC is, how it works, the pros and cons, the process and the new rules and regulations that have made the process easier for smaller organizations. There will be several more workshops offered across the state at later dates. Complete workshop information is attached. Questions may be directed to Kathy Walters at