MESSAGES 2014 :: JUNE 2, 2014

JUNE 2, 2014

Weekly Message for Superintendents: Monday, June 2, 2014

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As we all continue to recognize the impact of the budget approved by the Senate early on Saturday, I hope you will discuss your concerns and needs with your House members as they deliberate their priorities. That is the next step in the development of a final North Carolina budget for 2014-15. It is important that public school teachers receive a pay increase but it also is important that the infrastructure to support teachers and schools remains in place. I am concerned about deep cuts to the NCDPI and central offices and about the way principal and assistant principal salaries are being handled. I also am very concerned that textbook funding is not being improved. Students and teachers are hurt when we cannot even purchase textbooks - whether digital or paper - for every student. There are other concerns, but these are my top ones. I encourage you to voice your opinions about our state's budget – whether they are the same as mine or different. It is important that practitioners' voices be heard during this critical time. Also, Chairman Cobey and I will appear before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education tomorrow to discuss the Senate's and Governor's education budgets.

June Atkinson
State Superintendent

May 30, 2014 NCDPI highlights

In this Weekly Superintendents' Message:

  1. State Board of Education Meets this Week
  2. State Board of Education Special Committee on Global Education to Meet
  3. Legislative Update Webinar Reminder
  4. 2014-15 Superintendents' Quarterly Meeting Dates Set
  5. NC Educator Evaluation System: Summer Update
  6. Governor's Teacher Network (GTN) Initiative
  7. Professional Development System District Pilot
  8. 2014 Summer Institutes
  9. NC School Districts Committing Early for Home Base Optional Tools to Support Instruction
  10. Finance Officers' Newsletter Online
  11. Parthenon Survey

State Board of Education Meets this Week

The State Board of Education will meet this Wednesday and Thursday, June 4-5, in the 7th Floor Board Room, Education Building, Raleigh. Early Wednesday morning, Board members will host a breakfast for legislators and demo Home Base. Under the Board's Special Issues Session, members will hear presentations on the GEAR (Government Efficiency and Reform) Initiative, the Department's implementation plan for the NC State Board of Education's Strategic Plan and the standards review process. Action items on the Board's agenda include Charter Schools Advisory Board recommendations on the application process, timeline and content, Healthy Active Children Policy revisions, and a number of grants including McKinney-Vento Homeless Children Assistance Grant and Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Program. Discussion items include new licensure areas for Institutions of Higher Education programs, Dropout Policy revision and Digital Learning grant funding formula. The complete agenda as well as supporting executive summaries are available online at The meeting is audio streamed for those who cannot attend. To listen, please visit the above link and click on the live audio streams link to the right.

State Board of Education Special Committee on Global Education to Meet

The State Board of Education Special Committee on Global Education will meet on Thursday, June 5, from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m., in the 7th Floor Board Lounge, Education Building, 301 N. Wilmington Street, Raleigh. Agenda items include a discussion on global education digital badging for teachers and criteria for global education professional development providers. Associated proposed State Board policies regarding digital teacher badging also will be discussed. For additional information, please contact Audrey Martin-McCoy at or 919.807.3402.

Legislative Update Webinar Reminder

Superintendents are reminded that the next Legislative Update Webinar will be held Friday, June 6, from 11 a.m.-noon. To register, please visit

2014-15 Superintendents' Quarterly Meeting Dates Set

Superintendents may want to grab your calendars and note the following dates, times and locations for the 2014-15 Superintendents' Quarterly meetings:

  • Thursday, July 24, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., Sheraton Imperial Hotel, RTP
  • Friday, Dec. 5, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Grandover Resort, Greensboro
  • Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 12 - 4 p.m., Raleigh Convention Center
  • Monday, June 29, 2015, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., Grove Park Inn, Asheville

NC Educator Evaluation System: Summer Update

Enhancements to the NC Educator Evaluation System, based on LEA feedback, will launch shortly after the system closes June 30. The system will reopen on July 14. We appreciate the time district leaders have taken to work with us on changes to make the system more intuitive. It is very important for all required evaluation processes to be captured in the online tool. During the initial implementation of the tool this year, some districts and charters experienced early data issues, which impacted their ability to complete all activities within the system in a timely manner. Some of these users still have paper-based records of evaluation activities that must be recorded in the online tool. To support the ability of these districts and schools to complete all required evaluation processes online, workflow will be disabled from June 1-30. Staff suggest districts work backwards from summative to observations, as the state must have summary data in order to create a standard 6 rating for each teacher. Please contact Lynne Johnson, Educator Effectiveness director, at should you have questions.

Governor's Teacher Network (GTN) Initiative

Governor Pat McCrory, in partnership with the NCDPI, established the Governor's Teacher Network to recognize and reward teachers who can help advance Race to the Top funded educational remodeling efforts across the state. Approximately 450 outstanding teachers from across North Carolina were selected through an application process to serve for one year as content experts and professional development creators and facilitators. Network teachers will develop projects designed to spread understanding and use of new resources and practices in their schools and districts. Network teachers will participate in specialized training related to their projects June 30 and July 1, will receive coaching and support from the NCDPI staff and will receive $10,000 for the Home Base instructional resources and online learning module components produced during the 2014-15 year. Applicants were notified by close of business, May 30, regarding their selection. Please contact Theresa Perry, executive director of GTN, at for more information.

Professional Development System District Pilot

The Home Base Professional Development System pilot launched May 22 and will continue through July 18. This process will inform future system improvements for districts choosing to opt in for local functionality. The 12 districts participating in the pilot (Beaufort, Carteret, Wilson, Northampton, Columbus, Moore, Montgomery, Asheville City, Elizabeth City-Pasquotank, Stokes, Union and Newton-Conover) will provide feedback regarding the following processes:

  1. creating and managing district-level instructor-led and self-paced courses in their local catalog;
  2. leveraging Moodle integration;
  3. targeting courses to specific participants;
  4. creating aggregate and individual reports;
  5. producing course completion certificates and surveys; and
  6. managing enrollment and participant processes including wait lists, courses & sections, rosters, attendance, completion, etc.

Each week the Educator Effectiveness team, 12 pilot members, and the system vendor will meet to discuss successes and address questions and challenges using the system. This weekly collaboration with all stakeholders is productive and already informs resources produced to assist LEAs and future enhancements of the system. Please contact Robert Sox, Professional Development coordinator, at for additional information.

2014 Summer Institutes

Summer Institutes 2014 will take place in all eight regions across the state. Regions 1, 2, 5 and 7 will participate simultaneously on July 7-8, while Regions 3, 4, 6 and 8 will participate simultaneously on July 9-10. Each institute will feature sessions created and presented by LEAs and charters. These "Implementation Innovation" sessions include authentic practices from the field that have proven to be successful in moving the district or charter forward in building local leadership capacity. The overarching goal of the institutes is to connect educators across the state with meaningful professional development around best practices. Implementation topics include curriculum content, instructional practices for student differentiation, Home Base resources for classroom instruction, and local professional development planning time for the year. This institute series launches the yearly professional development calendar in partnership with our eight Regional Service Alliances (RESAs). Please contact Cynthia Martin, Educator Effectiveness PD lead, at should you have questions.

NC School Districts Committing Early for Home Base Optional Tools to Support Instruction

Although the deadline for opting in is July 15, many North Carolina school districts have begun committing $4 per student to purchase the optional, or "opt-in," portions of the statewide suite of technology tools known as Home Base. This statewide project is nearing the end of its year-long rollout to provide digital tools and learning resources for local educators and students, on top of the resources in the free, required portion of Home Base, such as PowerSchool. To read more, as well as access a list of districts and charter schools that have decided to opt in, please visit and select the appropriate link under "News."

Finance Officers' Newsletter Online

The May 30 edition of the Finance Officers' newsletter is online and contains the following items: State PRC 008 – Dollar Allotments for K-3 Teachers, Days Missed for Inclement Weather Survey, EDDIE Update for 2014-15, School Allotments FY 2013-14 Year-End Reminders, and Legislative Update Webinar Reminder. To read more, please go to the NCDPI's Financial and Business Services Web site at and click on Resources, then Newsletters.

Parthenon Survey

The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) is working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and with the Parthenon Group to better understand how school districts across the 16 states in the SREB region are approaching implementation of two key reform areas (College and Career Readiness Standards and teacher effectiveness), what district priorities and needs are in these areas, and how districts view the availability and quality of technical assistance partners. Local districts and the NCDPI have worked hard the past three years to implement these reforms, but we recognize that achieving lasting shifts in practice requires ongoing effort and supports. To help us understand your perspective better, we ask that you complete an online survey available at . It shouldn't take more than 20 minutes to complete the survey. All survey responses will be anonymous. Responses will be aggregated at the state level for each participating state and the aggregate results will be shared with states in the form of a brief report. The responses will assist the NCDPI, the RESAs, and other partners in designing approaches and resources to better meet district needs.