MESSAGES 2014 :: APRIL 21, 2014

APRIL 21, 2014

Weekly Message for Superintendents: Monday, Apr. 21, 2014

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This week, I have a couple of detail items as reminders for you. Some LEAs are using Enrollment Summary Reports in PowerSchool as a means to verify accuracy of student headcount. Please do not rely on Enrollment Summary Reports for headcount. The criteria used to pull Enrollment Summary Reports versus Principal Monthly Reports (PMRs) are very different and will produce different results. Also, as a reminder for those of you watching your student counts closely, please note that enrollment is NOT average daily membership (ADM) (defined online at The ADM figure is a more accurate count of the number of students being served in a school and is preferred over enrollment numbers for that reason.

June Atkinson
State Superintendent

April 17, 2014
(doc, 62kb)

In this Weekly Superintendents' Message:

  1. Summer Institute 2014: LEA District Leadership Teams
  2. 5/10 Testing Days Exception Reminder
  3. Webinar Opportunity: Opting In to Home Base: Review of Opt-in Components
  4. SRO Contact Information Needed
  5. Web-Based Tools to Support Safer Schools
  6. Panic Alarm Grants: Round 2
  7. Home Base Project Update Webinar Reminder
  8. The BB&T Principal Leadership Institute
  9. Energy Saving Performance Contracting Workshops
  10. NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey Concludes
  11. New Teacher Preparation Survey Now Open
  12. Finance Officers' Newsletter Online

Summer Institute 2014: LEA District Leadership Teams

Please take some time to meet with your LEA Leadership team to review and discuss your LEA Professional Development plans for building teacher leadership in your district. For the past four years, your teams have convened to discuss instruction and professional learning. Starting with the "What," "How," and "Implementation Strategies," we now move to cross-district sharing and capacity building using local leaders. It is very important to have your master teacher leaders involved in these processes. We look forward to meeting with your teams this summer. The collaborative work during the summer professional development launch forms the yearly RESA professional development training calendar events during the year.

5/10 Testing Days Exception Reminder

Per General Statute 115C-174.12(a) (4), When scheduling assessments as required during the last five/ten days of the school year, exceptions may be permitted to accommodate a student's individualized education program and section 504 plans. For example, such exceptions may be necessary to accommodate extended time or multiple testing sessions, particularly with the NCEXTEND1 assessment. For more information, please contact Tammy Howard at

Webinar Opportunity: Opting In to Home Base: Review of Opt-in Components

To learn more about the optional components of Home Base (Schoolnet, OpenClass, Instructional Resources and Assessment Items, and the Professional Development System for Local PD), please join us for either of the two upcoming webinars. Staff will review these components and address any questions you might have.

- Thursday, April 24; 3:30-5 p.m.,
- Thursday, May 1, 3:30-5 p.m.,

SRO Contact Information Needed

In a letter sent March 7 from Ben Matthews, director of NCDPI Safe and Healthy Schools Support Division, and Kym Martin, director of the NC Center for Safer Schools, superintendents were asked to provide LEA School Resource Officer contact information online at The information will be used to determine where resources and training are needed to improve the state's SRO program. To date, only 10 percent of LEAs have provided contact information. If you have not completed your district's information, please do so by April 30.

Web-Based Tools to Support Safer Schools

The NCDPI is partnering with North Carolina Emergency Management (NCEM) and the NC Center for Safer Schools to construct and deploy two new web-based tools that will support safer schools. The first tool will facilitate and support hazard preparedness by enabling each school to digitally construct a site specific School Risk Management Plan. The plan, and the digital process used to construct the plan, will help school administrators establish safeguards, protocols, and procedures to be taken by school staff during different natural and man-made hazard events. The second tool will support hazard response by providing site specific school data and maps to first responders, law enforcement, emergency managers and EMS as they respond to hazardous events at schools. Through this tool, responders will securely be able to view floor plans, utility closets, hazardous materials, gathering points, access and egress points, etc.

Critical to both of these tools is site-specific school facility data. As noted above, floor plans, locations of utility closets, fire extinguishers, hazards materials, gas shutoff valves, and gathering points, are just a few examples of facility data that will need to be leveraged, collected and accessed in the tools. Toward this end, the NCEM - Geospatial and Technology Management, working in close coordination with the NCDPI and local school districts, will be overseeing and managing the efficient collection of site specific facility data for all 2,700 school facilities.

In an effort to limit the overall cost of the endeavor, NCEM, NCDPI and the Center for Safer Schools hopes to leverage all existing school facility data generated and stored at the district level. Your assistance in transmitting digital CAD drawings for each public school facility in your county would be greatly appreciated. It is our hope that we can receive digital schematics/drawings of each building showing entrances, exits, windows, locations of rooms, and possibly locations of fire extinguishers, electrical, and hazardous materials. A point of contact that NCEM-GTM can work with directly to efficiently receive the digital school drawings also is needed. Please provide the name, email and telephone number for your designated point of contact to Ben Matthews at


Panic Alarm Grants: Round 2

The second round of Panic Alarm Grants was received on April 1 and will be shortly awarded. Per Session Law 2013-360 Section 8.37(c) "Effective July 1, 2015, every public school shall have a panic alarm system that connects with the nearest local law enforcement agency in the local board of education's emergency response plan." The next grant deadline for the 2014-15 fiscal year will be Sept. 10 (assuming funding will be renewed). For additional information please contact Jonathan Jones at or 919.807.3566.

Home Base Project Update Webinar Reminder

Superintendents are reminded that the next Home Base Project Update Webinar will be held tomorrow, April 22, from 11 a.m.-noon. To register, please visit Also, the new weekly Technical Webinar to review implementation items will be held for the first time on Tuesday, noon-1. To register for this webinar, please visit

The BB&T Principal Leadership Institute

Please consider supporting your principals in attending the Mastering Leadership Dynamics for Educational Leaders seminar sponsored by BB&T. Principals will participate in a three day, transformational leadership development experience with a peer group of educational leaders. This free opportunity (a $6,950 value) includes three (face-to-face) days at the BB&T Leadership Institute in High Point and three virtual follow-up webinars. Superintendent endorsement is recommended, as principals will need to "power down" for the three face-to-face sessions. Two separate pilot sessions are scheduled for this summer: July 16-18 or Aug. 6-8. Once the pilot is complete, there will be ongoing opportunities throughout the 2014-15 school year. The year-long schedule is in development and will be communicated within the next few weeks. For more information, please contact Lynne Johnson at or Pat Ashley at

Energy Saving Performance Contracting Workshops

The NC Chapter of the Energy Services Coalition and the NC Utility Savings Initiative are presenting free half-day workshops across the state this May and June on "Energy Saving Performance Contracting" (ESPC) (see attached flyer for details). ESPC are a unique procurement tool that public agencies can utilize to upgrade their facilities through projects that also save energy. The workshops will provide valuable insight about ESPC, how it works, the pros and cons, case studies, the process, and the new rules and regulations that have made the process easier for smaller organizations. The target audience is decision-makers from community colleges, local governments, and K-12 schools. Attendance requires electronic registration at For more information, please contact Kathy Walters at

NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey Concludes

The 2014 NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey has concluded and 89 percent of North Carolina teachers participated. The 2014 NC TWCS website has school improvement tools, historical data and research briefs that are helpful for leaders and educators. Check out the resources for ongoing school and district planning for collaborative school improvement planning at Data from the 2014 survey will be available on the website mid-May and a full report will be shared with the State Board of Education in June. For more information, please contact Yvette Stewart at

New Teacher Preparation Survey Now Open

The 2014 New Teacher Preparation Survey is now being administered statewide. The online survey focuses on the views of first year teachers concerning their professional preparation and experiences as novice teachers. Results from the survey will be used to help formulate evidenced-based recommendations to improve the quality of both alternative entry and traditional teacher preparation programs across the state. Results also will be included in the annual IHE Performance Reports and Educator Preparation Program Report Cards in compliance with ยง115C 296 (b). District HR staff, beginning teacher coordinators, and principals are asked to encourage first year teachers to complete the survey using the individualized survey links sent via email from with a subject line of The New Teacher Preparation Survey. If you have any questions, please contact Rachel McBroom at

Finance Officers' Newsletter Online

The April 17 edition of the Finance Officers' newsletter is online and contains the following items: Timeline for the 2013-14 SAR Collection: May 1-May 15; Panic Alarm Grants, The Five "Ws" of Foreign National Tax Compliance - April 29 Webinar; Web News; and School District Personnel Support Now District Human Resources. To read more, please go to the NCDPI's Financial and Business Services Web site at and click on Resources, then Newsletters.