MESSAGES 2014 :: SEPTEMBER 15, 2014

SEPTEMBER 15, 2014

Weekly Message for Superintendents: Monday, Sept. 15, 2014

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One part of the 2014 budget bill that hasn't received widespread publicity will be a welcome change for parents and many high school students. In SL2013-360 section 8.27 lawmakers modified 115C.83.4A to enhance access and encourage participation in Advanced Placement and Internal Baccalaureate courses by appropriating funds to pay for all AP and IB exams for public school or charter students beginning in 2014-15. In order to facilitate the billing and funding process, the NCDPI has requested that The College Board and the International Baccalaureate Organization bill the NC Department of Public Instruction directly for all AP and IB exams. For students who have been discouraged by the exam fees from participating in these challenging and rewarding courses, I hope this will encourage them to consider taking AP or IB courses and exams. Research shows us that high school students who take these courses are more likely to be successful in higher education. Details on the financial procedures will be sent to LEA finance officers and Charter School executive directors. Please contact Sneha Shah-Coltrane, director of Gifted Education and Advanced Programs, at with any related issues.

June Atkinson
State Superintendent

Sept. 11. 2014
(doc, 79kb)

(doc, 31kb)

In this Weekly Superintendents' Message:

  1. Differentiated Pay for Highly Effective Teachers
  2. Observation Calibration Training Pilot Reminder
  3. School Resource Officer Survey
  4. NCVPS Enrollment Options Still Available
  5. NC Federal Surplus Schedules Open House
  6. Finance Officers' Newsletter Online
  7. Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement Set for March
  8. Middle School STEM Experience: Future City

Differentiated Pay for Highly Effective Teachers

General Assembly staff asked that the following be distributed to local superintendents and finance officers. Section 8.41 of the 2014 Budget allows LEAs to submit proposals establishing local differentiated pay programs for highly effective classroom teachers. The Senate Appropriations/Base Budget Committee, the House Committee on Appropriations and the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee will assess the proposals. The General Assembly may appropriate funds from the North Carolina Education Endowment Fund to assist LEAs establishing local differentiated pay programs. Proposals and questions may be sent to the General Assembly at Please refer to the Appropriations Bill Section 8.41 at for details on this special provision. In addition, Jack Hoke recently sent to all superintendents some research about differentiated pay plans compiled as a result of DPI's RttT grant. We will send you other research as it becomes available.

Observation Calibration Training Pilot Reminder

Superintendents are reminded that the Department is looking for LEAs interested in participating in a pilot using Observation Engine to access the Observation Calibration Training (OCT) tool. Observation Engine is an online tool that uses classroom videos as a context for increasing the consistency and accuracy of an evaluator's ratings. Through this tool, principals and assistant principals watch classroom videos, observe instruction, and rate teachers using the North Carolina Educator Evaluation System (NCEES) rubric. Each video has a predetermined master score based on the NCEES rubric so that participants can receive immediate feedback to help the rater understand the evidences that support the most appropriate rating so that the participant can develop skills in applying the rubric and rating consistently. School leaders who participate in the pilot will access observer calibration resources and events to practice rating in order to increase rater agreement and promote consistent application of the North Carolina Educator Evaluation System (NCEES). The OCT pilot kicks-off the first week of November. If your LEA is interested in participating in the pilot, please email Kimberly Simmons at by Wednesday, Oct. 15.

School Resource Officer Survey

NCDPI's Safe and Healthy Schools Support Division and the NC Center for Safer Schools are committed to ensuring public school children are provided a safe learning environment. Staff are trying to determine how many North Carolina middle and high schools DO NOT have a school resource officer (SRO) assigned to them. Additionally, we wish to determine your perceived need for SROs should the General Assembly be supportive of funding new positions. We also are attempting to determine a suitable contact within you agency or a local law enforcement agency to send future information, notifications or SRO census questions. Lastly, we seek any school safety suggestions that we can look into providing local or statewide initiatives. To submit your responses online, please visit Please respond by Friday Sept. 19. Thank you for your assistance with this important survey.

NCVPS Enrollment Options Still Available

The NCVPS has a number of enrollment options still available.

  • Occupational Course of Study. We cannot create new OCS sections, but schools may add students to their already established NCVPS OCS sections throughout the semester.
  • Credit Recovery. Schools may enroll students in credit recovery until the midway point of the semester if there are seats available in the course.
  • Transfer Students. NCVPS is now accepting transfer students. Transfer students must already be enrolled in the face-2-face version of the course, have seat time in front of an instructor, and have a grade to transfer in with. Students new to the course cannot transfer in.
  • Health. Enrollment for the 2nd nine-weeks health courses is still open.
  • Spring 2015. Registration for Spring 2015 is still open.

Please send questions to the Virtual Support Center at

NC Federal Surplus Schedules Open House

The NC Federal Surplus Property Agency located at 1950 Garner Road, Raleigh, will be having its first Open House on Friday, Oct. 17, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. In addition to the hot dogs and drinks, there will discounts on all of the Agency's excess and surplus property for that day. Please visit to see a list of the property on hand. All districts should already have an account with the Agency and be familiar with the federal program.

Finance Officers' Newsletter Online

The Sept. 12 edition of the Finance Officers' newsletter is online and contains the following items: Voluntary Shared Leave Submission Due Sept. 12, July Salary Vouchers, Object 129 Payline Gross, Differentiated Pay for Highly Effective Teachers, PRC 045 - Compensation Bonus (Legislated) (LEAs only), and Conversion of Teaching Positions to Dollars for International Faculty Exchange Programs. To read more, please go to the NCDPI's Financial and Business Services Web site at and click on Resources, then Newsletters.

Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement Set for March

The NCDPI will sponsor its fifth annual Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement (CCSA), "Champions Engaging North Carolina in 21st Century Teaching and Learning," on March 30-April 1, 2015 at the Sheraton Four Seasons/Koury Convention Center, Greensboro. The CCSA reflects the agency's efforts to accommodate some of the economic challenges experienced by schools and communities by providing a multi-faceted professional development opportunity for educators and education stakeholders. This conference is designed to consolidate several conferences into one by merging the Accountability, Safe Schools and Raising Achievement and Closing Gaps conferences. Visit periodically for updates on speakers and sessions.

Middle School STEM Experience: Future City

Looking for an exciting STEM curriculum/project for your school, STEM after-school program, elective class, honors science or global studies class? Then you will want to check out Future City at The registration fee is waived if you register by Oct. 15. When registering, make sure you say "bill me later" when it asks about the $25 fee. Participating schools receive access to the free SimCity software and the winning team gets a free trip to Washington DC to compete at nationals. Contact North Carolina Regional Future City Coordinator Lindsey Genut at for more information.