SUPERINTENDENTS' MESSAGES 2014

MESSAGES 2014 :: NOVEMBER 10, 2014

NOVEMBER 10, 2014

Weekly Message for Superintendents: Monday, Nov. 10, 2014

I attended a Virginia church service Sunday where veterans were recognized and honored for their service. It was a walk down memory lane because so many of the veterans who were recognized are relatives, former classmates and former neighbors.

During the service, my mind wandered to memories of my dad, a World War II veteran. Although he was a man of few words, I thought about what guidance he would give me today if he were still alive. Growing up, many people told me how much I looked like him so today I am going to pretend that he has channeled these words of wisdom to me:

  • As Americans, look for commonalities, not differences, to help move our nation to a better place. We are one nation and must work together toward a better life for all.
  • Respect your heritage and others', and recognize that just because someone is different does not mean they are inferior or superior.
  • Keep working to ensure that all children have an opportunity for a quality education. It is the backbone of our democracy.
  • Buy a veteran a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, and tell them how much his or her service means to you!

June Atkinson
State Superintendent


In this Weekly Superintendents' Message:

  1. State Board of Education Meeting Highlights
  2. Panic Alarm Grants
  3. Winter Weather Awareness Week
  4. NC Charter Schools Advisory Board and Its Policy and Performance Subcommittees to Meet
  5. Textbook Commission Sets Meeting to Discuss 2015 Science Adoption
  6. Driver Education Advisory Committee to Meet
  7. Speak Up North Carolina! Survey Reminder


State Board of Education Meeting Highlights

At last week's State Board of Education meeting, members approved local options for measuring student growth for Career and Technical Education, requests for waivers from NC Final Exams, LEA-wide weather-related calendar waiver requests and the Board's 2015-17 Biennial Budget Expansion request. They also heard a presentation on the impact of the school calendar (year-round versus traditional/block schedule versus traditional) on student achievement. A complete list of Board actions is posted online at goo.gl/QZnv80.


Panic Alarm Grants

The next round of requests for Panic Alarm Grants for Dec. 1 is coming up quickly. As noted in legislation, every school is required to have a panic alarm system by July 1, 2015. Visit schoolclearinghouse.org or contact Jonathan Jones with NCDPI School Planning at jonathan.jones@dpi.nc.gov or 919.807.3556 for additional information.


Winter Weather Awareness Week

North Carolina winters can be unpredictable, and in recognition of this Gov. Pat McCrory has proclaimed Nov. 30-Dec. 6 as Winter Weather Awareness Week. Earlier this year, the state experienced back-to-back snow or ice weather events that caused school delays or cancellations. North Carolina Emergency Management urges school leaders, staff, teachers and parents to take the following simple steps to be ready for a little sleet or 2+ inches of ice or snow: make an emergency preparedness plan, build an emergency supplies kit, keep a winter kit in your car, and know real-time traffic and weather conditions. For details, visit www.ReadyNC.org, or you can download the free ReadyNC app for iPhones and Droid devices.


NC Charter Schools Advisory Board and Its Policy and Performance Subcommittees to Meet

The North Carolina Charter Schools Advisory Board and its Policy and Performance Subcommittees will meet Thursday, Nov. 13, in the 7th Floor Board Room, Education Building, 301 N. Wilmington Street, Raleigh. The full Board will meet beginning at 10 a.m. to receive an overview of charter application completeness and review subcommittee rules. At 10:15 a.m., the Policy and Performance Subcommittees will meet to address application completeness. At 10:45 a.m., the Board will meet in full and receive the subcommittee reports as well as discuss the 2015 Charter School renewals, receive a preliminary planning year update and discuss the recommendations for replication. The Board meeting concludes at 2:30 p.m. The full Board meeting will be audio streamed; however, subcommittee breakout discussions will not. To listen, use the Live Audio Stream link at stateboard.ncpublicschools.gov.


Textbook Commission Sets Meeting to Discuss 2015 Science Adoption

The Textbook Commission will meet on Monday, Nov. 17, from 1-4:30 p.m., for its initial planning meeting for the 2015 science adoption process. The meeting will be held in the 7th Floor Board Room, Education Building, Raleigh. The Commission will review some proposed updates to State Board of Education policies to facilitate the process, and the draft invitation to publishers to submit textbooks for evaluation and adoption. Following the Commission meeting, the proposed updated policies and draft invitation will be presented to the State Board of Education for discussion at its December meeting and approval at its January meeting. Once approved, publishers on the NC Publishers Registry will be invited to present their textbooks for evaluation for science and teachers will be recruited to participate as advisors in the evaluation process. The meeting will be audio streamed for those who cannot attend. To listen, please visit stateboard.ncpublicschools.gov and click on the live audio stream link. Questions regarding the meeting may be directed to Sarah McManus at sarah.mcmanus@dpi.nc.gov or 919.807.3776.


Driver Education Advisory Committee to Meet

The Driver Education Advisory Committee will meet on Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 11 a.m., in the 7th Floor Board Room, Education Building, Raleigh. Agenda items include 2015-16 funding and program concerns, the 2014 North Carolina Strategic Highway Safety Plan and the State Driver Education Assessment and Peer Review. The meeting will be audio streamed for those who cannot attend. To listen, please visit stateboard.ncpublicschools.gov and click on the live audio stream link. For more information, please contact Reggie Flythe and reginald.flythe@dpi.nc.gov or 919/807-3485.


Speak Up North Carolina! Survey Reminder

Superintendents are reminded that the deadline to participate in the Speak up North Carolina! survey is Dec. 19. By participating in Speak Up 2014, you can share your ideas about education and technology as well as gather information from your students, teachers, school leaders and parents about other key educational topics, including 21st century skills and schools of the future. Schools and districts that participate in Speak Up also receive a free online report with all of their locally collected data and the national data findings to use for benchmark comparison. Individual participation and responses provided in the survey are confidential and completing the online survey takes only 20 minutes. To participate, please visit www.tomorrow.org/speakup/NorthCarolina.html.