SUPERINTENDENTS' MESSAGES 2015

MESSAGES 2015 :: MARCH 12, 2015

MARCH 12, 2015 - Teachers' Biweekly Messages

North Carolina public schools have some recent accomplishments worth noting this year. According to data reported by your schools and districts, our annual high school dropout rate is at an all-time low - 2.28 percent or 10,404 students - in 2013-14. This represents a 6.9 percent decrease from the previous year’s record low of 2.45 percent. Also, crime and violence numbers and student suspensions were down and only five local school boards still allow corporal punishment. These trends don’t happen by accident. These positive trends happen because of specific actions that all of us have taken together. NC Department of Public Instruction staff have worked diligently with local districts on Positive Behavior Intervention and Support and other efforts to help students be productive in school. Thank you for your work in this area. All of us whether we teach 5-year-olds or 15-year-olds are working to help these young people stay on track to graduate and be responsible adults.

Regards,
June Atkinson


In this Biweekly Teachers' 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. Global Educator Digital Badge Archived Webinars
  5. Cross-district Strategic Solutions
  6. Educator Effectiveness Facilitated Online Courses: Spring 2015
  7. PD MOOClet: Effective Digital Strategies for Teaching and Learning in the K-12 Classroom
  8. Understanding the School’s Role in Suicide Prevention


State Board of Education Meeting Highlights

At last week’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 is available online 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. 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. 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.”


Global Educator Digital Badge Archived Webinars

The 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.


Cross-district Strategic Solutions

Looking for feedback from peers from other districts? Teams or individuals may now participate in Cross-district Strategic Solutions statewide topic-based forums. The purpose of Cross-district Strategic Solutions sessions is to build a problem-solving, solution-generating Professional Learning Network of educators that is open to district leaders, administrators, teachers, and coaches across the state. Educator Effectiveness Professional Development Leads will assist you with facilitating the process. During the forum sessions, teams or individuals introduce a challenging issue and receive feedback from other participants across the state. Each forum session is held in the late afternoon. See the schedule below and join the conversation!

March 16 - Bullying: The Whole School Participates in Preventing Bullying, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/118744906

March 26 - Getting Excited About Data, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/118744770

April 15 - Transitioning to Digital Texts, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/118745449

April 16 - Differentiated Instruction Based on Data Analysis, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/118743764

April 20 - Preparing for Math I While also Remediating Middle School Students, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/118743629

April 28 - Recruitment and Retention, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/118744654

April 29 - Vertical Transition from 5th to 6th Grade, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/118744242

View an example of a Cross-district Strategic Solutions forum online at http://bit.ly/virtualmodeling1030. To download the protocol, please visit http://bit.ly/cdssprotocol. For more information, please contact Heather Stewart at heather.stewart@dpi.nc.gov.


Educator Effectiveness Facilitated Online Courses: Spring 2015

Looking for high-quality professional development and the opportunity to interact with peers? If the answer is yes, you may want to consider registering for one of the following courses:

  • Digital Literacies in the Classroom (7 weeks)
  • Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects: Part 1 (5 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)
  • Responsibilities of the 21st Century Educator (7 weeks)

Registration is open for these courses that begin March 30. For a description of the courses and associated CEUs visit https://rt3nc.org/. These courses are available at no cost to North Carolina educators and are 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 for these courses. Registration is limited to 35 participants per section.

Follow the instructions below to log into Home Base to self-register for a course.

  • Log in to the NCEES system using your usual PowerSchool log in or the alternate log in https://ncees.homebase.ncpublicschools.gov/alternateLogin.html
  • Click the Professional Development tab.
  • You can search for the course, or list all opportunities to find your course.
  • Click on the course title and section.
  • Click on the register button.

Directions on how to register also are available at https://ncees.homebase.ncpublicschools.gov/content/Searching%20and%20Registering%20for%20Courses.mp4. Contact Educator Effectiveness Online Developer 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

The NCDPI Educator Effectiveness team announces another session of Effective Digital Strategies for Teaching and Learning in the K-12 Classroom: A PD MOOClet, starting March 30. This course 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, we will look at the 4Cs - Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication and Collaboration, which are 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.

Registration is open for this free course that starts Monday March 30. The course lasts 6 weeks (20 hours) offers 2 CEUs and has a maximum registration of 300. To register, follow the instructions shared in the item above to log into the Professional Development system of Home Base. Contact Educator Effectiveness Online Developer at Geetanjali Soni at geetanjali.soni@dpi.nc.gov if you have any questions.


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.