MESSAGES 2015 :: MARCH 2, 2015

MARCH 2, 2015

Weekly Message for Superintendents: Monday, Mar. 2, 2015

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The 2015 Home Base Symposium was a very positive experience and good opportunity for learning and sharing information, from all accounts I have heard. Thank you for your support of this event each year as we have transitioned over the years from SIMS to NC WISE and now to Home Base. One topic of conversation at the Symposium was around the anticipated cost for local education agencies that are opting in to the Home Base suite for 2015-16. The good news is that we anticipate the cost will not exceed $3 per student in average daily membership, so our best guidance is to include this amount in your budget planning process for 2015-16. Our process for selecting and purchasing a Learner Management System (LMS) is not yet complete, and we anticipate that will be an additional fee. As soon as we have this figure available, we will share this with you. We also anticipate that initiative will save school districts money.

We have heard from some districts that are uncertain about the effects of a State of Emergency as proclaimed by the Governor. As a reminder, when the state is under a State of Emergency, this does not directly affect school closure decisions and does not waive the minimum instruction days or hours requirement per 115C-84.2. Any waiver of the minimum requirements for days or hours takes legislative action.

June Atkinson
State Superintendent

Feb. 26, 2015
(doc, 86kb)

In this Weekly Superintendents' Message:

  1. Instructional Day Make Up Clarification
  2. State Board of Education Meets This Week
  3. March 1-7 is School Social Workers Week
  4. NCDPI to Develop an Educator Equity Plan
  5. NCVPS Offers Intervention Strategies for At-Risk Students
  6. Legislative Webinar Reminder
  7. Finance Officers' Newsletter Online
  8. Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement Update
  9. CDC Offers STEM Professional Development
  10. America's Farmers Grown Rural Education Grant

Instructional Day Make Up Clarification

Related to the requirement to make up instructional days, the question has come up that if a school meets the 1,025 instructional hours without having 185 instructional days can the workday be waived for the employee. The answer is no. Ten-month employees are employed on a 215-day contract and each of these days must be accounted for. The LEA cannot waive the requirement to account for the day as a workday or an employee leave day.

State Board of Education Meets This Week

The State Board of Education will meet next Wednesday and Thursday, March 4-5, in the 7th Floor Board Room, Education Building, Raleigh. Board action items include requests for waivers from Analysis of Student Work and North Carolina Final Exams, Charter School Advisory Board recommendation to initiate revocation or assumption of various charter school charters, and the cohort graduation rate. Board members also will discuss options for differentiated pay and receive the annual Consolidated Data Report containing the annual crime and violence and dropout numbers for 2013-14. The meeting is audio streamed for those who cannot attend. To listen, use the Live Audio Stream link at The complete agenda including supporting executive summaries also are available at that link.

March 1-7 is School Social Workers Week

Governor Pat McCrory has proclaimed March 1-7 as School Social Workers Week. School Social Workers serve as liaisons between the home, school and community. Please take a moment and recognize the importance of social work in our schools and the critical role that school social workers play in helping to mold and educate students.

NCDPI to Develop an Educator Equity Plan

The NCDPI will be developing a 2015 Educator Equity Plan in response to the US Department of Education (USED) letter dated Nov. 10, 2014. As part of the development process, North Carolina will be reviewing the Educator Equity Profile developed by the USED using data from the 2011-12 school year. A copy of this Profile and additional information are on the USED website (select the North Carolina link).

In accordance with the USED guidance, the NCDPI is asking for comments regarding potential root causes for the gaps presented in the Educator Equity Profile and possible strategies for closing those gaps. Additional analyses using more recent data will be posted after completion.

The public is invited to comment on the development of the 2015 Educator Equity Plan by April 15. A copy of the current Educator Equity Plan for NC (dated December 2011) and additional information about this process are online at The NCDPI intends to submit its 2015 Educator Equity Plan to the USED by June 1, 2015.

Interested persons may submit their written comments via email to Lou Fabrizio at or U.S. mail to Lou Fabrizio, Director of Data, Research & Federal Policy, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 6367 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6367.

NCVPS Offers Intervention Strategies for At-Risk Students

NCVPS has developed a number of intervention strategies for low-performing, under-performing, and at-risk students. Start by having your district e-learning coordinator or school e-learning advisors download the latest NCVPS progress report from our registration system. Next, have the school e-learning advisor review our list of intervention strategies at There are 14 different strategies to support students. One of the strategies is likely just what your struggling student needs. For additional information, please contact Connie Joyner at

Legislative Webinar Reminder

As a reminder, the next Legislative Update webinar will be held this Friday, March 6, beginning at 11 a.m. To register, please visit Once registered, you will receive an email with participation instructions.

Finance Officers' Newsletter Online

The Feb. 23 edition of the Finance Officers' newsletter is online and contains the following items: RttT Closeout, State Public School Fund Allotment Overdraft Reports (LEAs), and PRC 143 ARRA – School Improvement 1003 (G) - Closed PRC (LEAs). 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 Update

The 2015 Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement (CCSA), scheduled for March 30 - April 1 at the Sheraton Four Seasons/Joseph S. Koury Convention Center, Greensboro is quickly approaching! You won't want to miss these extremely relevant and exciting sessions:

  • Sparking Hope: Teaching as a Catalyst to Launching Great Learning by Sean McComb, 2014 National Teacher of the Year
  • Your School's BRAND Determines Student Outcomes and Effective Vice Principal LEADERSHIP by Baruti Kafele, School Leadership and Development
  • The Resilience Revolution by Brooks Gibbs, Featured Presenter
  • The Literacy Solution: More Reading, More Knowledge by Elfrieda Hiebert, Text Project & University of California, Santa Cruz

Transforming 21st Century Teaching and Learning: Demographically Speaking by James H. Johnson, University of North Carolina, Kenan–Flager School of Business In addition, hear directly from our biggest stakeholders – our students:

  • Do You Know Me? Hoke County Middle School Students
  • Words as Weapons for Positive Change, Poetry Project, Guilford County Schools
  • Student Six, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

Don't delay - learn more and register for the conference today at

CDC Offers STEM Professional Development

Middle and high school teachers may want to take advantage of professional development being offered by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) at its headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. From July 20-24, educators will focus on current/relevant public health topics that illustrate math and science principles and concepts for classroom use and collaborate with CDC scientists to develop lesson plans. Teachers can earn 4.0 CEUs while working with teacher leaders around the nation. The registration deadline is April 15. For more information, visit or email

America's Farmers Grown Rural Education Grant

America's Farmers Grow Rural Education is back for a fourth year of partnering with farmers to nominate their local public school district to compete for a grant of $10,000 or $25,000 to enhance math and science education. Last year, schools in Union, Washington, Rowan/Salisbury Counties were awarded $10,000 and Lenoir County received $25,000. This year, the Monsanto Fund is committed to granting a total of $2.3 million. Farmers who live in the school district must nominate the school district before schools can apply. The deadline to apply for the grant is April 15. To learn more, please visit