MESSAGES 2015 :: MARCH 9, 2015

MARCH 9, 2015

Weekly Message for Superintendents: Monday, Mar. 9, 2015

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By now, I'm sure you have had an opportunity to review Governor McCrory's budget and to see the summary document prepared for us by the Financial and Business service area here at NCDPI. Copies of the summary and the link to the full budget proposal were emailed to you Friday after we had the webinar.

I look forward to seeing all of you at next week's Superintendents' Quarterly meeting and also at the celebration marking North Carolina's 175th anniversary of public schools in our state. Items for the Quarterly meeting include kindergarten entry assessment, new generation of testing and the wireless implementation plan.

The history of public education has been one of individuals striving to improve opportunities for youngsters in each generation. Times change and so do requirements for success. That's why we keep changing public education to keep up with what today's young people need for success. Regards,

June Atkinson
State Superintendent

March 5, 2015
(doc, 85kb)

Home Base RttT Biweekly Update
(pdf, 518kb)

Module Access Directions for Community Partners
(doc, 63kb)

Module Access Directions from Home Base
(doc, 137kb)

In this Weekly Superintendents' Message:

  1. State Board of Education Meeting Highlights
  2. NC Digital Learning Plan Rubric
  3. Reviewers Needed for K-12 OER Collaborative Prototype for Mathematics and English Language Arts
  4. Superintendent Vacancy Announced: Tyrrell County Schools
  5. Finance Officers' Newsletter Online
  6. Understanding the School's Role in Suicide Prevention

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 at

NC Digital Learning Plan Rubric

In preparation for the state's conversion to digital learning, the State Board of Education is sponsoring the development of a Digital Learning Plan for North Carolina. To ensure that the Digital Learning Plan includes the supports necessary for all schools, educators and communities to make this transition, every LEA and charter school are asked to complete the North Carolina Digital Learning Implementation Rubric available online at by May 15. Completion of the rubric will provide a current snapshot of each LEA's and charter school's readiness for the transition to digital learning. The Digital Learning Implementation Rubric is designed to help LEAs and charter schools not only reflect on their current progress toward transitioning to digital learning environments but also track their progress moving forward. It is critical that LEA and charter staff provide an honest assessment so that staff have an accurate picture of the statewide needs for digital learning to better leverage assets and prioritize resources. The North Carolina Digital Learning Plan team at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University will be available to work directly with you and regional support networks to provide guidance and technical assistance to LEAs and charters as you complete the rubric. Friday Institute staff also will be sending detailed instructions and hosting webinars to help with this process. For additional assistance, please contact Jeni Corn with the Friday Institute at or 919.513.8527.

Reviewers Needed for K-12 OER Collaborative Prototype for Mathematics and English Language Arts

North Carolina is one of 11 states leading an exciting initiative to create comprehensive, high-quality, open educational resources (OER) supporting mathematics and English language arts that are aligned with state standards. The goal is to make the resources available in Home Base once they are developed. To help meet that goal, teachers, coaches, and curriculum leaders are needed to review prototypes of the materials. For qualifications, visit Tentative Timeline

  • NCDPI will nominate educators based on the qualifications to participate in mid-March.
  • The K-12 OER Collaborative Steering Committee will select representatives from nominations from the 11 participating states in late March.
  • An in-person review of prototypes of the resources is tentatively set for June 22- 24 in an out-of-state location. Travel will be covered by the K-12 OER Collaborative.

NCDPI has reached out to teachers who have received training on the EQuIP rubric to determine if they are interested in being considered for this opportunity. Curriculum directors also may send names of educators who meet the qualifications. The following must be submitted by the educator no later than noon March 16:

  • a cover letter from the educator expressing interest and explaining why he/she is qualified to serve as a reviewer for the K-12 OER Collaborative;
  • a letter of recommendation on official letterhead from a principal, curriculum leader, or department head to endorse the educator's qualifications to serve as a reviewer for this project; and
  • a resume which includes the educator's education and teaching experiences, as well as areas of certification.

Send the cover letter, letter of recommendation, and resume to Carmella Fair at with K-12 OER Collaborative in the subject line. Please contact Carmella Fair if you have any questions.

Superintendent Vacancy Announced: Tyrrell County Schools

The Tyrrell County Board of Education is seeking a superintendent to lead the school system in its continuing pursuit of excellence. Candidates must have or be qualified to hold a North Carolina superintendent license. Central office and building-level experience are preferred. A doctorate degree or progress toward a doctorate degree is preferred but not required. The individual chosen will be required to live in the Tyrrell County School District. The application deadline is April 28. An electronic version of the application is available by going to the N.C. School Board Association's website at and clicking on the appropriate link. Inquiries and requests for applications also can be directed to Allison Schafer, Legal Counsel/Director of Policy, North Carolina School Boards Association, PO Box 97877, Raleigh NC 27624-7877, telephone 919.841.4040, fax 919.841.4020, e-mail All inquiries will be kept confidential.

Finance Officers' Newsletter Online

The March 6 edition of the Finance Officers' newsletter is online and contains the following items: Governor's Recommended Budget 2015-17 and Transportation Refunds and Inventory Management. To read more, please go to the NCDPI's Financial and Business Services Web site at and click on Resources, then Newsletters.

Understanding the School's Role in Suicide Prevention

The NCDPI in collaboration with the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services' Division of Public Healthy, Injury and Violence Prevention Branch with funding (in part) from a grant from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration recently released a new online professional development module "Understanding the School's Role in Suicide Prevention." The goal of the module is to provide teachers and school staff with an evidenced informed tool that enhances their knowledge for prevention, intervention, resources for assistance and recovery support for the students, school staff and families. The directions for accessing the module from Home Base and outside of Home Base are attached.‚Äč