MESSAGES 2015 :: JANUARY 12, 2015

JANUARY 12, 2015

Weekly Message for Superintendents: Monday, Jan. 12, 2015

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I'm sure you have already heard the news that the State Board of Education revisited its earlier decision regarding the transition plan for the high school grading scale. In the fall of 2015, all students in high school will transition to a 10-point grading scale at the same time. This should address concerns expressed by you, your educators and parents regarding equity within classrooms and athletic eligibility. Please assist us in communicating this change so that parents and students understand the standards for grades beginning in 2015-16. We will not alter grades earned prior to this time. Changes to quality points or course weights will be phased in beginning with ninth graders as planned.

June Atkinson
State Superintendent

Jan. 8, 2015
(doc, 83kb)

HB Biweekly Udpate
(pdf, 388kb)

In this Weekly Superintendents' Message:

  1. State Board of Education Meeting Highlights
  2. State Board Modifies Transition Plan for New GPA Process
  3. Legislative Update Webinar Scheduled
  4. READY Regional Principal Training: Spring 2015
  5. NCVPS Offers Resources to Assist with Closure and Opening of Semesters
  6. The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) Nominations Open
  7. Finance Offices' Newsletter Online

State Board of Education Meeting Highlights

At least week's State Board of Education meeting members approved 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, recommendations for approval of Superintendent Licensure Programs, Career and Technical Education credential allotment 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 and heard presentations from representatives of two virtual charter school pilots set to open next year. A complete list of Board actions is posted online at

State Board Modifies Transition Plan for New GPA Process

The State Board of Education modified the transition plan for the new grade point averaging process effective in 2015. Freshmen in 2015 will be using a ten-point scale as well as a new weighting system that will allow one extra quality point for all college level courses, including AP and IB courses for a maximum of five quality points for a course. Honors classes will carry .5 additional weight for a maximum of 4.5 quality points for a course. Beginning in 2015 all upperclassmen, including grades 10-12, will use the current weighting system, but will transition to a 10-point grading scale. Final grades should be recorded numerically rather than by letter effective in 2015.

Legislative Update Webinar Scheduled

The first Legislative Update webinar for the 2015 long session of the General Assembly will be held this Friday, Jan. 16, beginning at 11 a.m. To register, please visit After registering, you will receive an email with participation instructions.

READY Regional Principal Training: Spring 2015

Principal READY meetings for the spring of 2015 will continue to focus on instructional leadership, strategic and cultural leadership. Participants will engage in a tiered analysis of data and practice to address performance of their school, PLCs and individual teachers. Sessions will focus on EVAAS, Teachers Working Conditions (TWC), and Universal Design for Learning (UDL). These meetings and supporting resources are part of the state's READY work, with Principal READY providing a unique opportunity for administrators to work in groups, discussing the standards and classroom observations. Principals will collaborate with colleagues and DPI staff to support instructional capacity through a strong, consistent implementation of the North Carolina Educator Evaluation System. Meeting dates by region are as follows:

Region 1, April 22
Region 2, April 21
Region 3, March 12
Region 4, March 10
Region 5, April 14
Region 6, April 13
Region 7, March 24
Region 8, March 25

To register, please visit Register for the date and location most convenient for you.

NCVPS Offers Resources to Assist with Closure and Opening of Semesters

The North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) is closing out its fall 2014 semester and opening its spring 2015 semester. Staff have identified a number of procedures and tips that will help districts and school with this transition:

If schools should have any questions or need additional help, please visit the NCVPS virtual support center at

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) Nominations Open

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is the highest recognition that a U.S. math or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education. Nominations are now open for the 2014-15 award year. To submit a nomination for an exceptional grades 7-12 teacher, please complete the nomination form available on the PAEMST website, and submit the teacher's name, email address and school contact information. If you know more than one teacher deserving of this award, you may submit multiple nominations. The 2014-15 nomination deadline is April 1, and the application deadline is May 1.Teachers also may apply directly at If you have additional questions please contact Kitty Rutherford

Finance Offices' Newsletter Online

The Jan. 9 edition of the Finance Officers' newsletter is online and contains the following items: 2014-15 Salary Manual, NBPTS for Instructional Coaches in Title I Schools – Form to be Completed, Final Per Pupil Expenditure (PPE) Information, Transportation Funding and Web News. To read more, please go to the NCDPI's Financial and Business Services Web site at and click on Resources, then Newsletters.