MESSAGES 2014 :: FEBRUARY 3, 2014

FEBRUARY 3, 2014

Weekly Message for Superintendents: Monday, Feb. 3, 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.

As we enter the homestretch of the Race to the Top (RttT) grant, NCDPI leadership and I invite you and your key leadership to a fourth round of READY Regional Outreach Meetings in March and April 2014. The purpose of these gatherings is to provide updates on the priority activities of the READY initiative work and look toward the future after the RttT grant is over.

Key topics for these meetings are:

  • Home Base – where we are to date, what it means to opt-in to the non-required parts, and more;
  • educator effectiveness; and
  • the General Assembly's A-F Accountability Model, which will be reported out for the first time in fall 2014.

I encourage you to invite the people in the following positions (or an appropriate designee) in your central office to attend the READY meeting in your region with you if at all possible:

  • Curriculum and Instruction Director
  • Human Resources Director
  • Technology Director
  • Finance Director
  • Data Manager
  • Parent Representative, such as a PTA President

Below are the meeting dates, times and locations for each region. Please take a look and RSVP to JOYCE MYERS,, by the RSVP dates listed below. We have appreciated the partnership of each RESA in organizing these meeting dates and locations

  • Regions 1 and 2 – Friday, March 21, 12:30-3:30 p.m. - Washington Civic Center (RSVP deadline, Friday, Feb. 28)
  • Region 3 – Wednesday, March 26, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. - Durham Public Schools Staff Development Center (RSVP deadline, Wednesday, March 5)
  • Region 4 – Tuesday, March 11, 1:30-4:30 p.m. - Cumberland County Education Resource Center (RSVP deadline, Tuesday, Feb. 18)
  • Region 5 – Wednesday, April 9, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. - The Event Center at Summit Square, Winston-Salem (RSVP deadline, Wednesday, March 19)
  • Region 6 – Thursday, March 20, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. - North Carolina Research Center, Kannapolis (RSVP deadline, Thursday, Feb. 27)
  • Regions 7 and 8 - Thursday, April 10, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. - DoubleTree Asheville (RSVP deadline, Thursday, March 20)

June Atkinson
State Superintendent

HB Weekly Update
(pdf, 349kb)

In this Weekly Superintendents' Message:

  1. State Board of Education Meets This Week
  2. Read to Achieve Recommendations for Improvement
  3. Home Base Symposium, Special Superintendents' Session
  4. Stop Arm Violation Cameras
  5. Spring READY Regional Principal Trainings Reminder
  6. Regional Wells Fargo Principals of the Year Named

State Board of Education Meets This Week

The State Board of Education will meet this Wednesday and Thursday in the 7th Floor Board Room, Education Building, Raleigh. Action items include renewal information for charter schools with charters expiring 2014, testing for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years, North Carolina General Assembly’s Read to Achieve alternative tests proposals, and the Board’s 2014-15 supplemental budget. Discussion items include academic achievement levels and descriptors, amendments to the Career and Technical Education State Plan, and LEA and charter schools’ requests for Standard Six Flexibility. The complete agenda as well as supporting executive summaries are available online at (click on SBE Meetings then Meetings). The meeting is audio streamed for those who cannot attend. To listen in, please visit the above link and click on the live audio streams link to the right.

Read to Achieve Recommendations for Improvement

A Read to Achieve Advisory Group convened by State Superintendent June Atkinson met on Friday, Jan. 31, and received information about the law and its requirements, discussed concerns about the impact of the law on the classroom and agreed to several recommendations to the General Assembly to improve the law. Among the recommendations: reduce the number of required passages in the portfolio option, provide flexibility to local school districts regarding details of the summer reading camps, allow school districts to have balanced school calendars to avoid summer reading losses, treat charter schools and non-charter public schools equitably, and count the 2013-14 school year as a trial run year only for Read to Achieve.

Home Base Symposium, Special Superintendents' Session

The 2014 Home Base Symposium is Feb. 17-19 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro. This year, there is a special session for local school superintendents on Wednesday, Feb. 19, from 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. The Superintendents' Session will offer you an opportunity to join Pearson and the NCDPI staff for a roundtable discussion. Feel free to bring your questions as we talk about PowerSchool for North Carolina. If you plan to attend this session only  – and not the entire Symposium – there is no registration fee, but we do need you to register for the session at  In the Job Field, please type Wednesday Registration.  

Stop Arm Violation Cameras

Information about receiving state funds for purchasing stop arm cameras may be found online at For more information, contact NCDPI Transportation Services Section Chief Derek Graham at

Spring READY Regional Principal Trainings Reminder

- As a reminder, the registration deadline to attend the Spring READY Regional Principal training sessions is quickly approaching. The spring trainings, which help support principals with their use of the NC Educator Evaluation System, will address NC Professional Teacher Standards 1 and 5, coaching conversations for teacher growth and educator evaluation data analysis. Principals can register to attend at The registration deadline is Feb. 15. For more information, please contact Kim Simmons at  

Regional Wells Fargo Principals of the Year Named

Congratulations to the following eight outstanding public school principals who were recently selected as regional Wells Fargo North Carolina Principals of the Year:

  • Northeast Region: Billie Berry, Camden County High (Camden County Schools);
  • Southeast Region: Frances Herring, Contentnea-Savannah K-8 School (Lenoir County Schools);
  • North Central Region: Larry Webb, Eaton-Johnson Middle (Vance County Schools);
  • Sandhills/South Central Region: Robin Calcutt, New Century Middle, (Moore County Schools);
  • Piedmont-Triad/Central Region: Amy Rickard, Morris Grove Elementary (Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools);
  • Southwest Region: Brad Breedlove, Monroe High (Union County Schools);
  • Northwest Region: Carrie Tulbert, Mooresville Middle (Mooresville Graded School District); and
  • West Region: Brad Richardson, Forest City-Dunbar Elementary (Rutherford County Schools)

The regional winners will receive $1,000 for personal use and $1,000 for their schools. The Wells Fargo Principal of the Year will be announced on May 1. He or she will succeed the 2013 recipient, Dale Cole, principal of Chocowinity Middle (Beaufort County Schools).