MESSAGES 2014 :: NOVEMBER 17, 2014

NOVEMBER 17, 2014

Weekly Message for Superintendents: Monday, Nov. 17, 2014

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During my small group conversations with you, some of you asked if you could be a part of developing North Carolina's Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility (waiver) Request. Will you please send me an email ( to let me know if you want to be a part of this work? The U.S. Department of Education has just released its guidance and application with a deadline of spring 2015 and with the waivers for a three-year renewal to the 2017-18 school year (please see attached documents). North Carolina is one of the states that was identified for an early submission with a deadline of Jan. 30, 2015, and the waivers could be for four years. While I am optimistic about ESEA being reauthorized by Congress, the timing for any action is uncertain. We will discuss this item further at the December quarterly meeting, including the advantages and disadvantages of submitting a waiver.

On another note, the State Board of Education will take up science textbook adoption at its December meeting. There have been some questions about textbooks vs. digital materials. Please be aware that G.S. 115C-85 defines textbooks as "systematically organized material comprehensive enough to cover the primary objectives outlined in the standard course of study for a grade or course. Formats for textbooks may be print or nonprint, including hardbound books, softbound books, activity-oriented programs, classroom kits, and technology-based programs that require the use of electronic equipment in order to be used in the learning process." As such, textbook funds may be used for digital materials.

June Atkinson
State Superintendent

HB-RttT Biweekly Update
(pdf, 210kb)

Nov. 6, 2014
(doc, 82kb)

Nov. 13, 2014
(doc, 82kb)

ESEA Flex Renewal Form
(doc, 173kb)

ESEA Flex Renewal Guidance
(doc, 79kb)

Delisle re ESEA Flex Renewal
(doc, 33kb)

In this Weekly Superintendents' Message:

  1. Grade 3 Portfolio Sample Set Available for Parents and Teachers
  2. Global Education in NC Spotlighted During International Education Week
  3. State Superintendent Named President of Chief State School Officers
  4. Hickory Public Schools' Superintendent Invited to White House
  5. Southeast ShakeOut Experiences Dramatic Participation Increase
  6. Finance Officers' Newsletter Online
  7. 2015-16 Kenan Fellow Program Open for Applications

Grade 3 Portfolio Sample Set Available for Parents and Teachers

NCDPI's Test Development Section has created a set of sample grade 3 reading portfolio selections that consist of 14 passages that teachers can use with students and parents can use at home to reinforce the understanding of the standards. The entire sample portfolio was posted on Oct. 29 to the Read to Achieve Livebinder under 3rd Grade Portfolio: ( and in the Parent Livebinder ( under Read to Achieve Overview. Teachers may want to assign the passages for homework after a standard has been taught in class. For more information on North Carolina Read to Achieve, visit the NC Read to Achieve Livebinder at Please contact your Regional K-3 Literacy Consultant for any questions. Contact information is available on the Livebinder webpage by clicking on the K-3 Literacy Division tab and then the Contact Information sub-tab.

Global Education in NC Spotlighted During International Education Week

North Carolina teachers and students are joining others across the country to celebrate International Education Week, Nov. 17-21. This annual event, coordinated by the U.S. departments of State and Education, recognizes the benefits of international education and exchange. North Carolina public schools will offer students and teachers many opportunities to expand their horizons and learn about other nations and cultures this week, as well as throughout the school year. The North Carolina State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) increased the focus on global education to prepare the state's workforce to compete better and win in the international economy. In 2011 the Board formed a Task Force on Global Education to assess the state's effort to produce "globally competitive" graduates. Its report outlined a number of actions to strengthen global education in the state.

State Superintendent Named President of Chief State School Officers

Congratulations to State Superintendent June Atkinson for recently being named president of the Council of Chief State School Officers. Atkinson said that throughout her career she has valued the leadership and support the Council provides to the nation's public school leaders. She said she is honored to serve as president and looks forward to contributing at such an important time in the history of public schools. Atkinson served as the Council's president-elect over the past year.

Hickory Public Schools' Superintendent Invited to White House

Congratulations to Hickory Public Schools' Superintendent Walter Hart for being one of 150 superintendents nationwide selected to attend the Connected Superintendents' Summit at the White House later this month. The Summit, which is hosted by the White House and the US Dept. of Education (USED), will be the largest gathering of district leaders committed to technological integration and represents the most extensive federal–district dialogue regarding digital strategies to date. The USED commended Hart for what he has accomplished at Hickory Public Schools in "providing valuable and inspiring learning opportunities for all students."

Southeast ShakeOut Experiences Dramatic Participation Increase

North Carolina Emergency Management would like to thank district and school personnel for helping the state achieve national recognition for its participation in the Southeast ShakeOut. The drill was scheduled for Oct. 16 but districts/schools could hold the event on another date as long as it's before Dec. 31. During the drill, participants practiced "Drop, Cover and Hold On," the recommended procedure for what to do during an earthquake. Last year, North Carolina had 66,861 participants. While that is a lot, other states in the southeast had tremendously more. This year, North Carolina has already topped 255,000! The state has been acknowledged because of its 300-percent participation increase. Of that amount, 233,656 participants were K-12 schools and districts. It's not unheard of for North Carolina to experience an earthquake and your commitment to ensuring staff and students know what to do in the event of one is crucial to the safety of all North Carolina residents. If you haven't had an opportunity to participate, directions for doing so are available online at

Finance Officers' Newsletter Online

The Nov. 14 edition of the Finance Officers' newsletter is online and contains the following items: Charter School 2nd Allotment Posted, MSA & Cash Management Training (LEAs only), Salary Reminders, SS200 Full-Time Personnel Report Due Nov. 21 reminder, SS300 Local Salary Supplements Report Due Nov. 21 Reminder, LEA-Based Calendar Waivers for Weather Related Causes Approved Nov. 6. To read more, please go to the NCDPI's Financial and Business Services Web site at and click on Resources, then Newsletters.

2015-16 Kenan Fellow Program Open for Applications

he Kenan Fellows Program is now recruiting a new cohort of K-12 teachers for its 2015-16 fellowship year. The program was established in 2000 as the signature K-12 STEM education initiative of the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology, and Science. Fellows experience networking, professional growth and leadership development opportunities. More than 30 fellowships will be offered to public and charter teachers. Program details, including the online application, are available online at The application period ends Jan. 19.