SUPERINTENDENTS' MESSAGES 2015

MESSAGES 2015 :: JANUARY 8, 2015

JANUARY 8, 2015 - Principals' Biweekly Message

As the holiday season moves into full-swing and you prepare to dismiss students for their break, I hope you too have a break from the daily routine and an opportunity to spend time with family and friends. Many of us will exchange gifts with friends and family, and as we do, I hope we can think of the many gifts that we all give and receive throughout the year, not just at the holidays. One gift that students and teachers have throughout the year is the gift of your leadership. Thank you for the many hours you spend guiding teachers, setting an example for students, welcoming parents, attending extracurricular activities and being the leader of your school. I appreciate this, and I’m sure your community does too. I hope your holidays are merry and bright.

Regards,
June Atkinson


In this Biweekly Principals' Message:

  1. State Board of Education Meeting Highlights
  2. Gov. McCrory Appoints New State Board Member
  3. 2015 NC STEM Recognition Program Application
  4. Textbook Evaluation Advisors Needed for Science
  5. Spring 2015: Instructor-facilitated Online Courses
  6. PD MOOClet: Effective Digital Strategies for Teaching and Learning in the K-12 Classroom
  7. Home Base Weekly Webinar Series
  8. North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) Professional Development Opportunities


State Board of Education Meeting Highlights

Among the items passed by State Board of Education members at their meeting this morning were changing the course name for Civics and Economics to American History: The Founding Principles, Civics, and Economics, requests for waivers from Analysis of Student Work and North Carolina Final Exams, and charter schools set to open in 2015. Board members also endorsed the working definition for what it means for a student to graduate college and career ready. A complete list of Board actions will be posted online tomorrow morning at http://stateboard.ncpublicschools.gov/minutes-actions/sbe-actions/2015-actions.


Gov. McCrory Appoints New State Board Member

Gov. Pat McCrory in December appointed Eric Davis to serve on the State Board of Education. Davis is a senior vice president with Wells Fargo Corporate Real Estate Group and a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. He replaces Marcella Savage of Union County. His term expires March 31, 2021.


2015 NC STEM Recognition Program Application

The North Carolina State Board of Education in November recognized 12 schools for their exemplary leadership and instruction in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. These schools were the first set of schools to be recognized under the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s (NCDPI) STEM Recognition Program. The STEM Recognition Program provides elementary, middle and high schools an opportunity to submit an application for review describing their schools distinguished approaches to leading and learning by applying the 11 essential STEM Attributes as defined in the STEM Attribute Implementation Rubric. The 2015 Application will be available on NCDPI’s STEM webpage at www.ncpublicschools.org/stem mid-January. The application deadline is April 1. Contact Tina Marcus (tina.marcus@dpi.nc.gov) with a memo of intent before Feb. 13 if your school plans to submit an application, and to ensure you are on the STEM Application Listserv to receive information about applying and links to Webinar resources to assist you through the process. Questions also may be directed to Tina Marcus at the above email address or by calling 919.807.3423.


Textbook Evaluation Advisors Needed for Science

The 2015 calendar year is the year for adopting textbooks and instructional materials for science. Highly motivated, experienced teachers and instructional leaders are needed to work with the Textbook Commission to review and evaluate books and materials to ensure that they align with the NC Standard Course of Study for Science. Advisors are needed on the evening of March 17 and all day on March 18-21. The advisors will be trained to review textbooks and instructional materials using criteria developed by the NCDPI. Advisors must be certified in science and the grade level/course for which they are assigned to evaluate: Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Earth/Environmental. For more information about the role of advisors, visit http://www.ncpublicschools.org/textbook/advisors/. Interested teachers and instructional leaders are invited go to http://tinyurl.com/textbookadvisors and complete an interest form and submit a letter of endorsement. An Advisors Webinar for those interested in being considered for evaluation advisors will be held Jan. 15 from 4-5 p.m. You may register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/ojoin/170806880. Questions may be directed to Carmella Fair at carmella.fair@dpi.nc.gov.


Spring 2015: Instructor-facilitated Online Courses

Are your teachers looking for high-quality professional development and an opportunity to interact with peers? Please refer them to the below list of online instructor–facilitated courses that are being offered for Session 1: Spring 2015. These courses start Monday, Feb. 9. Registration opens Monday, Jan. 26. For a description of the courses and associated CEUs visit https://rt3nc.org/.

  • Digital Literacies in the Classroom (6 weeks)
  • Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects: Part 1 (5 weeks)
  • Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects: Part 2 (6 weeks)
  • Introduction to Data Literacy (5 weeks)
  • Data Literacy in Action (6 weeks)
  • Introduction to Universal Design for Learning (4 weeks)
  • Universal Design for Learning: Part 2 (4 weeks)
  • Connecting with our 21 Century Learners (6 weeks)
  • North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards (6 weeks)
  • Building and Sustaining PD (6 weeks)

These courses are available at no cost to North Carolina educators and will be facilitated by DPI professionals. The courses are completed entirely online. Participants are expected to meet all weekly deadlines in order to receive CEUs. Partial credit will not be given. Registration is limited to 35 participants per section. To register follow the instructions below to log into Home Base to self-register for a course.

To register, follow the instructions below to log into Home Base to self-register for a course.

Contact Geetanjali Soni at Geetanjali.soni@dpi.nc.gov if you have any questions.


PD MOOClet: Effective Digital Strategies for Teaching and Learning in the K-12 Classroom

Due to this course’s continued popularity, the NCDPI’s Educator Effectiveness Division will offer another session of Effective Digital Strategies for Teaching and Learning in the K-12 Classroom: A PD MOOClet, starting Feb. 9. This six-week course (20 hours) is intended for K-12 classroom teachers and other instructional personnel. It focuses on using digital tools and strategies to support teaching and learning and enriching individuals’ knowledge through developing communities of practice across the state. In this course, participants will look at the 4Cs - Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication and Collaboration; keystones for the 21st century classroom. This MOOClet:

  • is learner-centered, focusing on participants’ professional needs in different disciplines and grade levels;
  • focuses on participants as creators of content as much as they are “consumers” of content;
  • involves extensive peer-to-peer communication; and
  • includes a larger number of students than a typical facilitator-led course

This course is available at no cost to North Carolina educators and will be facilitated by DPI professionals. Registration opens Monday, Jan. 26. Successful participants will receive 2 CEUs. The maximum registration is 300.

To register, follow the instructions below to log into Home Base to self-register for a course:

Contact Geetanjali Soni at Geetanjali.soni@dpi.nc.gov if you have any questions.


Home Base Weekly Webinar Series

NCDPI staff invite administrators to take advantage of our weekly Home Base Webinar Series, which invites system users to discuss timely topics. Webinars are designed to assist users with PowerSchool, Educator Evaluation/Professional Development System, and Schoolnet/OpenClass on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays respectively. These webinars are always free and offer attendees the opportunity to hear best practices, tips for success or simply learn more about a new aspect of the system. Participants also are given a chance to ask questions and connect with experts, access that may not otherwise be available. Upcoming topics include: Mid-Year Graduates in PowerSchool; North Carolina Educator Evaluation System; What Does Quality Online PD Look Like; Creating Classroom Assessments; KPI’s and Pre-Formatted Reports; etc. For a full list of upcoming topics, webinar start times, and registration links, please visit http://www.ncpublicschools.org/calendar/ and click webinars on the left navigation bar. The calendar is being updated daily with new opportunities so check back often.


North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) Professional Development Opportunities

The NCCAT, a nationally recognized leader in professional development programming for teachers, has opened its spring registration for courses scheduled January - June. Course descriptions (which focus on Early Grades Literacy and Digital Learning) and dates are available online at www.nccat.org under Programs. NCCAT covers lodging, meals and programming. Participants are responsible for travel costs and substitute teaching fees. Questions may be directed to NCCAT Teacher Services at 800.922.0482 or 828.293.5202.