SUPERINTENDENTS' MESSAGES 2015

MESSAGES 2015 :: MARCH 26, 2015

MARCH 26, 2015 - Teachers' Biweekly Messages

North Carolina recently received credit for taking a tough step forward and setting high standards for English language arts and mathematics. The Education Next report gives North Carolina credit for stepping up and raising standards in mathematics and reading. Our state’s standards moved from a C- to an A by this group’s measures from 2011 to 2013. This aligns North Carolina nicely with the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) standards, which are considered to be quite rigorous. See more about how each state set its standards at http://educationnext.org/states-raise-proficiency-standards-math-reading/.

Doing the right thing is not always rewarded, as all of us know, and raising North Carolina’s proficiency standards was a difficult step to take especially at a time when the first school proficiency grades were scheduled to begin in 2013-14. Thank you for all the work you have done to teach to higher standards. I know that, in the long run, our students will be better for it.

Regards,
June Atkinson


In this Biweekly Teachers' Message:

  1. State Board of Education Meets Next Week
  2. Public Notice for Participation and Comments on the North Carolina Application for Grant Award Under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act as Amended in 2004 for Federal Fiscal Year 2014
  3. Governor’s Teacher Network: Teacher Leaders Share Research Across NC
  4. NC ABC Commission Launches Underage Drinking Prevention Initiative
  5. NCDPI Sponsors Second Annual ELL Support Conference
  6. NCCAT Summer Registration Open
  7. NC Strawberry Association Offers K-5 Curriculum Options


State Board of Education Meets Next Week

The State Board of Education will meet next Wednesday and Thursday, April 1-2, in the 7th Floor Board Room, Education Building, Raleigh. Board action items include approval of Race to the Top Wireless Infrastructure Initiative allocations, Healthy Responsible Students’ policy regarding athletic injury prevention and management of athletic practices and games, State Board Appeal Panel recommendations regarding charter revocation for three schools: Children’s Village Academy, Dynamic Community and SEGS Academy, and Charter School Advisory Board recommendations regarding PACE Academy. The Board also will receive presentations on options for differentiated pay, a Governor’s Teacher Network Update on Changing Instructional Practice and Master Literacy training sessions. The Board’s full agenda and supporting executive summaries are available online at https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/Index.aspx?S=10399 by clicking on the Meetings tab.


Public Notice for Participation and Comments on the North Carolina Application for Grant Award Under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act as Amended in 2004 for Federal Fiscal Year 2014

The NCDPI is making available its annual state application for receiving grant award under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as amended in 2004. The proposed application is available for public review through May 6. Comments will be accepted through April 24. A copy of the state application is available on the NCDPI Exceptional Children website at http://ec.ncpublicschools.gov under Hot Topics. Also, each local school district received a copy of the state application for public review. In making comments, please give the citation for the section(s) on which you are commenting; and provide comments in the form of statements. Interested citizens may submit comments via email to IDEAGrant2015@dpi.nc.gov or by U.S. mail to: NCDPI, Exceptional Children Division, ATTN: Tracy Riddle/Carol Ann Hudgens, 6356 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6356.


Governor’s Teacher Network: Teacher Leaders Share Research Across NC

The 425 outstanding North Carolina public school teachers in the Governor’s Teacher Network (GTN) are deep in curriculum study, writing and implementing action research at their school sites. These teachers are creating exceptional instructional unit sequences, which will be hosted in Schoolnet. Additionally, GTN teachers are presenting action research projects regionally and nationally. Action research projects will live in the professional development system of Home Base as online modules. Districts are hosting GTN showcases in regional meetings and several teachers are sharing their project work at the Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement in Greensboro March 29 – April 2. Teachers also have an exciting opportunity to present their action research findings to educational leaders at NCCAT in Cullowhee for the GTN Research Symposium scheduled for May 1 – 3. This is a great opportunity for educators across the state to learn from our teacher leaders in the field, sharing their cutting edge research findings. For more information, contact Angela Jackson, angela.jackson@dpi.nc.gov, director of the Governor’s Teacher Network.


NC ABC Commission Launches Underage Drinking Prevention Initiative

The NC Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission has officially launched its “Talk It Out” campaign, a statewide initiative to raise awareness about the problem of underage drinking. Spearheaded by Gov. Pat McCrory, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, and ABC Commission Chairman Jim Gardner, the campaign is designed to reduce underage drinking by encouraging open, honest and frequent conversations between parents and their children. The Department of Public Instruction has partnered with the Initiative to help spread this important message across the state. To learn more about the “Talk It Out” program and how you can get involved, please visit www.TalkItOutNC.org.


NCDPI Sponsors Second Annual ELL Support Conference

NCDPI’s Second Annual ELL (English Language Learners) Support Conference, “Growing Success for ELLs,” will be held Aug. 3-5 at the Embassy Suites Airport, Greensboro. The conference offers concurrent three-day training events. Participants will choose one event for the full three days of training. Beginner, intermediate and advanced sessions are offered. Session information is available online at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/curriculum/esl/invitation.pdf. There is an $80 registration fee and you may register online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ELLConference2015. Hotel reservations may be made by visiting http://tinyurl.com/2015ELLConference or by calling 336.668.4535 (Please reference the NCDPI-ELL Group Event). Space is limited.


NCCAT Summer Registration Open

Registration for summer professional development programs through the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) is now open. A variety of programs will be offered, including Digital Learning, Early Grades Literacy, Beginning Teachers, and Research and Development Teams. To view the calendar of programs, please visit www.nccat.org/programs/calendar-seminars. Lodging and meals are provided. Participants are responsible for travel cost and substitute teaching fees. For more information on how to apply, visit www.nccat.org/programs/application-instructions.


NC Strawberry Association Offers K-5 Curriculum Options

The NC Strawberry Association has created a set of NC Strawberry Investigations lesson plans for grades K-5 with suggestions for the classroom, school garden, and farm tours. Visit www.ncstrawberry.com/docs/NCSI-Introduction.htm for more information. The Association also is offering an “Educational Innovation Contest” for teachers working with strawberries with the potential for a $150 prize. Learn more at http://www.ncstrawberry.com/docs/NCSIContestInfoandEntryForm.pdf. The contest deadline is May 1.