SUPERINTENDENTS' MESSAGES 2015

MESSAGES 2015 :: MARCH 5, 2015

MARCH 5, 2015 - Principals' Biweekly Message

The Task Force on Summative Assessments, appointed by State Board of Education Chair Bill Cobey, has been meeting to make recommendations about the next generation of North Carolina’s testing program and the types of tests to be used. During the next two months, we will be sharing with you as well as other educators some options to get your feedback. The guiding principle for this work is to identify the best path to improve student learning in our state. Information will be coming to you shortly regarding opportunities to share your thoughts.

Regards,
June Atkinson


In this Biweekly Principals' Message:

  1. State Board of Education Meeting Highlights
  2. State Dropout Rate Continues Record Low Trend; Two Districts Report Zero Dropouts
  3. Public School Crime and Violence, Suspensions and Corporal Punishment Down; Expulsions Hold Steady in 2013-14
  4. March 1-7 is School Social Workers Week
  5. This Week is Severe Weather Preparedness Week
  6. Global Ready Schools Designation
  7. Global Educator Digital Badge Archived Webinars
  8. NCDPI to Develop an Educator Equity Plan
  9. Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement Update
  10. CDC Offers STEM Professional Development
  11. America’s Farmers Grown Rural Education Grant


State Board of Education Meeting Highlights

At today’s State Board of Education meeting, members voted to approve waivers from the Analysis of Student Work from three districts and waivers from the North Carolina Final Exams for one school as well as the application for a Cooperative and Innovative High School from the Northeastern Regional School for Biotechnology and Agriscience. Board members approved motions to grant final approval and a planning year to Northeast Academy of Aerospace and Advanced Technologies and to initiate revocation or the assumption of the charters for Entrepreneur High School, SEGS Academy, Dynamic Community and Children’s Village Academy. Board members also heard the 2013-14 Consolidated Data report that features state-, district- and school-level data on school crime, violence, suspensions, expulsions, dropout rates and corporal punishment (see items below). A complete list of Board actions will be available online by Friday afternoon at http://stateboard.ncpublicschools.gov/minutes-actions/sbe-actions/2015-actions.


State Dropout Rate Continues Record Low Trend; Two Districts Report Zero Dropouts

Once again, the dropout rate for North Carolina public schools hit a record low; and for the first time, two school districts – Hyde and Tyrrell – reported zero dropouts according to the 2013-14 Consolidated Data Report today presented to State Board of Education members. Last school year, 2.28 percent of high school students dropped out of school, which represents a 6.9 percent decrease from the previous year’s record low of 2.45 percent. The full report containing state, district and charter school dropout counts and rates for 2013-14 is online at www.ncpublicschools.org/research/dropout/reports/. The full press release is available on the home page of our website www.ncpublicschools.org under “News.”


Public School Crime and Violence, Suspensions and Corporal Punishment Down; Expulsions Hold Steady in 2013-14

The total number of reportable acts of school crime and violence, short- and long-term suspensions and the use of corporal punishment decreased for the third year in a row although the number of expulsions remained the same according to the 2013-14 Consolidated Data Report today presented to State Board of Education members. The total number of acts of school crime and violence was the lowest reported since 2008-09 while the number of students in North Carolina public schools was at an all-time high of 1,509,985. The full report detailing state, district and charter school data is online at www.ncpublicschools.org/research/discipline/reports/. The full press release is available on the home page of our website www.ncpublicschools.org under “News.”


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.


This Week is Severe Weather Preparedness Week

This week is Severe Weather Preparedness Week, and many of you held drills yesterday or will on another day that works best for your school. I know it can be disruptive to your campus on the day of the drill, and we hope that none of us needs the skills that we practice during drill day. Nonetheless, in the event of a tornado during school hours, it is good for everyone to know exactly what to do and where to be in order to stay as safe as possible. Thank you for keeping student and staff safety at the top of your priorities.


Global Ready Schools Designation

The State Board of Education approved the Global-Ready Schools Designation Rubric at its January meeting. This designation fulfills one of the action items from the SBE Task Force on Global Education final report, and provides the measure for the SBE strategic plan objective to track the number of schools designated as global ready. The application process for schools wishing to attain this designation will be available March 2015. For a copy of the Global Ready Schools Designation Rubric, please visit http://www.ncpublicschools.org/globaled/actions/item4-2.


Global Educator Digital Badge Archived Webinars

The principal and teacher archived webinars presented in January on the Global Educator Digital Badge for Teachers are now posted. One can access the webinars along with the Implementation Guide and FAQS on the process at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/globaled/actions/item1-2.


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 http://www2.ed.gov/programs/titleiparta/resources.html (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 http://www.ncpublicschools.org/program-monitoring/titleIA/equity-plan/. 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 lou.fabrizio@dpi.nc.gov 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.


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, TextProject & 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 www.ncpublicschools.org/academicservices/conference/.


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 http://www.cdc.gov/scienceambassador/


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 www.americasfarmers.com/recognition-programs/grow-rural-education/.