MESSAGES 2014 :: JULY 28, 2014

JULY 28, 2014

Weekly Message for Superintendents: Monday, July 28, 2014

For those of you who were able to attend the Superintendents' Quarterly meeting last week, you know this already, but to be sure all superintendents have this information, please note, that NCDPI leaders and Pearson have continued negotiations about the cost of content for Home Base. Here is the good news announced Thursday, July 24, by Chief Finance Officer Philip Price: Pearson has agreed to waive the costs of content for the 2014-15 school year, bringing the $4 per student in ADM to $0 for the 2014-15 school year. The cost is anticipated to be $4 for each of the subsequent two years, 2015-16 and 2016-17. That brings the total cost for the three-year contract down by a third of the anticipated costs. While we are excited that 108 LEAs and 49 charters committed to spend $4 per ADM to have access to all of Home Base in FY 2014-15, we are even more excited that we will not be processing their opt-in submissions and that they will get the entire suite of Home Base tools at no charge for FY 2014-15. Now, as we look forward to the 2015 long session of the General Assembly, it would be incredibly powerful to be able to take an opt-in map to lawmakers showing that all districts are on board with Home Base. This will help us make the case for dedicated state funding to support digital learning resources in the 2015-17 biennial budget. We look forward to receiving a positive call from those school districts that have yet to respond.

June Atkinson
State Superintendent

July 25 HB Biweekly Update
(pdf, 306kb)

MTSS Application Memo
(doc, 30kb)

MTSS Project Application
(doc, 106kb)

Web Highlights ­ July 25
(doc, 33kb)

In this Weekly Superintendents' Message:

  1. Trends in Population Document
  2. Multi-Tiered System to Support (MTSS) Secondary Implementation Project
  3. 2014-15 Cooperative Innovative High School Application Coming this Friday
  4. The 2014-15 Standards Spreadsheet Available Online
  5. 2014 Summer Institute Leadership Team Update
  6. Two Additional Superintendent Shout Outs
  7. EDDIE Update Reminder
  8. Some NCVPS Courses Available At No Cost to Enhance Blended Learning Opportunities
  9. New Videos Online Show Home Base, RttT Impact
  10. Finance Officers' Newsletter Online

Trends in Population Document

One item that was in your packet at last week's Superintendents' Quarterly meeting was the Trends in Population: Teachers, ADM, State-Funded Positions document produced by the Division of School Business here at the NCDPI. While we did not highlight this document during the meeting, I hope you will take a close look at it. There is rich information in there to show the declines in classroom teachers since 2008-09, the growth in LEA and charter school ADM, and the impact of the recession, home schools and other private schools and charter schools on local school districts. This document – as well as all the documents handed out at your meeting – are available online at

Multi-Tiered System to Support (MTSS) Secondary Implementation Project

The NCDPI has been awarded a second three-year Oak Foundation Grant to fund additional MTSS Secondary Implementation Projects. We will provide professional development for selected secondary schools in several implementation sites. This grant will allow us to continue to build and expand strong secondary-level MTSS models to support other districts in the implementation of effective practices.
You are invited to submit an application to participate in the NCDPI MTSS Secondary Implementation Project as an MTSS Secondary Implementation site (see attached document). This project is intended for implementation in one middle school and one high school. In order to apply, MTSS (or RtI) must be currently implemented in all elementary schools that feed into the applying middle school. The selected high school must be in the same feeder pattern as these elementary schools and selected middle school. One application per LEA may be submitted for this project.
Professional development in the critical components of MTSS including, but not limited to, instructional strategies, assessment, and interventions, including literacy, math and behavior will be the primary focus of staff development, along with the tools to implement a problem-solving model of MTSS. A primary focus will be to provide teachers with tools necessary to increase student proficiency in all academic areas. The ultimate goal is to assist schools in building a strong system of support in both academics and behavior for all students.
Please contact Lynne Loeser at or Amy Jablonski at, co-directors of the MTSS Secondary Grant, if you have any questions.

2014-15 Cooperative Innovative High School Application Coming this Friday

The application for new Cooperative Innovative High Schools will be released this Friday, Aug. 1. Applications will be due Oct. 1. Please email if you have any questions about the application and approval process.

The 2014-15 Standards Spreadsheet Available Online

For districts interested in having teachers implement standards-based grading, the 2014-15 Standards Spreadsheet is now available at This spreadsheet will provide districts the ability to upload standards into the PowerTeacher Gradebook and use the new Standards Based Report Card Template once it is available in August. To assist districts in understanding how to use the spreadsheet, there will be a webinar on Aug. 1 from 1-2:30 p.m. To register, visit Prior to the webinar, district personnel may want to visit the following websites for some useful information:
- For information on how to prepare for standards-based grading, visit
- For information on how to load the standards spreadsheet, visit
- Please also refer to the Standards-Based Grading and Report Card Webinar found at
For questions, please contact Dr. Sarah McManus at

2014 Summer Institute Leadership Team Update

Thanks to all superintendents who attended the Summer Institutes with their leadership teams. Several of you led facilitated team time and presented for neighboring districts and it was much appreciated! The feedback from participants is excellent. Please review your leadership team's professional development plans for your teachers as a lot of hard work went into the planning this summer. We believe the LEA-driven sessions were successful and we look forward to expanding how districts collaborate across regions this school year both face-to-face and virtually. If you have additional ideas for statewide networking, please contact Lynne Johnson at

Two Additional Superintendent Shout Outs

wo other superintendents have eight or more years with their current school districts and we definitely don't want to leave them out of this recognition: Elie Bracy came to Weldon City Schools Dec. 15, 2005, and Dennis Sawyer just completed his eighth year with Roanoke Rapids Graded School District having come on board July 1, 2006.

EDDIE Update Reminder

Local school districts have just completed (or soon will be) updating staff and school information in EDDIE for the upcoming school year. Having current information is critical for a number of reporting functions at the NCDPI. Please work with your district/school staff responsible for ensuring the accuracy of information in EDDIE to make sure they have a process in place to check this information at least once a month. Frustrations at your end and ours will be greatly reduced as a result.

Some NCVPS Courses Available At No Cost to Enhance Blended Learning Opportunities

Are you interested in creating blended learning courses for your students? Are you interested in offering online courses locally? The NC Virtual Public School shares some courses at no cost to districts. The courses and content shared, developed under Creative Commons Licensing, were created either through federal grants or with state funds. Therefore, North Carolina teachers should have access to these resources to use in their classrooms to enhance instruction. Visit to see which courses are available. For more information, please contact NCVPS Curriculum Director Jennifer Nobles at jennifer.nobles@ncpublicschools.

New Videos Online Show Home Base, RttT Impact

There is great teaching and learning going on all across North Carolina. To help showcase how local school districts are using Race to the Top (RttT) funding to support school improvements and elevate instruction, the NCDPI Communications team is compiling a series of short video clips from the field on new Home Base and READY playlists on the NC Department of Public Instruction's YouTube Channel. Take a moment and check out what some of your colleagues are up to with Home Base and RttT by visiting

Finance Officers' Newsletter Online

The July 25 edition of the Finance Officers' newsletter is online and contains the following items: FY 2014 - 13th Month MFR File – Reminder (LEAs), Uniform Chart of Accounts and Federal Overspent Programs (LEAs). To read more, please go to the NCDPI's Financial and Business Services Web site at and click on Resources, then Newsletters.