SUPERINTENDENTS' MESSAGES 2015

MESSAGES 2015 :: APRIL 16, 2015

APRIL 16, 2015 - Principals' Biweekly Message

Many of you have requested information that you can share with students and parents regarding the new 10-point grading scale scheduled to be implemented statewide in high schools this fall. The new scale is a local option for students in grades K-8. A memo from me to high school parents for the fall of 2015 was sent to you yesterday afternoon. Although this change was prompted by significant levels of requests from parents and others in the state, it is always important to make sure that high school students and parents understand how students are graded and what the performance expectations include. Thank you for sharing my memo with parents of students who will attend high school this fall.

Regards,
June Atkinson


In this Biweekly Principals' Message:

  1. What the Best North Carolina Teachers Do: A Video Series
  2. Ashe County High School Teacher is 2015 Burroughs Wellcome Fund NC Teacher of the Year
  3. 2014 NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey Research Brief Available; Student Achievement and Teacher Attrition Analyses
  4. The Professional Educator: An Ethics Guide for North Carolina Teachers
  5. New Resource for Parents on 21st Century Learning and Citizenship
  6. Videos Enhance Student Understanding of Mathematics
  7. Save the Date: STEM Conference Scheduled for October


What the Best North Carolina Teachers Do: A Video Series

Want insight into the strategies and techniques that award-winning North Carolina teachers use in their classrooms? The video series, “What the Best North Carolina Teachers Do,” provides you with these insights, straight from the teachers themselves. District, regional and state Teachers of the Year were asked about what makes them successful and their students soar. Among the topics addressed in the series are:

  • differentiation;
  • classroom organization;
  • “hooking” reluctant learners; and
  • advice for new teachers.

To find out more about the project and view the interviews, just participate in the mini-module through Home Base or visit the project website at http://rt3nc.org/ncvideo. If you are interested in sharing your best practices, please contact Educator Effectiveness Web Manager Andrew Horne at andrew.horne@dpi.nc.gov.


Ashe County High School Teacher is 2015 Burroughs Wellcome Fund NC Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Ashe County High School (Ashe County Schools) English teacher Keana Triplett who last week was named the 2015 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year.

In announcing this year’s recipient, State Superintendent June Atkinson said Triplett finds her teaching rewards in the success of her students. “Keana wants to be the catalyst for her students’ success in life. By getting to know her students individually, she is able to meet them where they are and lead them to where they want to go.”

In accepting the award, Triplett said she wants her greatest contribution as an educator to be “showing students they are loved, valued and worthy.” She said, “Outstanding teachers know their students. They understand how each student learns and responds appropriately. They set high expectations then provide challenging, rigorous and relevant learning activities so students are engaged learners – not apathetic learners.”

Congratulations also to the other regional finalists:

  • Region 1: Jami Dickerson, Eastern Elementary (Pitt County Schools);
  • Region 2: Joshua Gaskill, Pamlico County High (Pamlico County Schools);
  • Region 3: Jeremy Tucker, James B. Hunt High (Wilson County Schools);
  • Region 4: Mariel Barker Sellars, East Columbus High (Columbus County Schools);
  • Region 5: JoAnna Massoth, Chatham Middle (Chatham County Schools);
  • Region 6: Jennifer Whitley, Forest Hills High (Union County Schools);
  • Region 8: Randy Pressley, Tuscola High (Haywood County Schools); and
  • Charter Schools: Elizabeth Padgett, Lake Norman Charter (Mecklenburg County).


2014 NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey Research Brief Available; Student Achievement and Teacher Attrition Analyses

Teaching conditions do matter in NC! A copy of the final briefing compiled by the New Teacher Center is now available for download at http://www.ncteachingconditions.org/research. The purpose of this report is to help stakeholders better understand the connections between teaching conditions and outcomes of interest in North Carolina. The research brief:

  • links teaching conditions, as measured by the survey, to student achievement and teacher retention outcomes;
  • provides information on response rates to the 2014 survey;
  • tests the relationship between 2014 survey data, and student and teacher outcomes; and
  • summarizes school-level descriptive information.

For more information, contact Yvette Stewart at yvette.stewart@dpi.nc.gov, or Dawn Shephard at dshephard@newteachercenter.org.


The Professional Educator: An Ethics Guide for North Carolina Teachers

State Board policy TCP-C-014 defines the code of ethics for all North Carolina educators to set standards of professional conduct. This new online module reviews these standards for all teachers and serves as an essential tool for all teachers, especially beginning teachers’ and lateral entry teachers’ growth and development. This module, which is available in Home Base, should take approximately 10 hours to complete and is worth 1 CEU on completion. Please contact Geetanjali Soni at geetanjali.soni@dpi.nc.gov for more information.


New Resource for Parents on 21st Century Learning and Citizenship

P21 has created a free digital toolkit to help parents support their learners in becoming 21st century leaders and citizens. The three-part toolkit was developed with National PTA as a family engagement advisor, and provides an overview of 21st century learning and how citizenship has changed in a digitally and globally connected world, tips and strategies for families, and real world examples of 21st century learning in action. Find out more at www.P21.org/Parents


Videos Enhance Student Understanding of Mathematics

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and The Hunt Institute have produced a series of videos to enhance understanding of the mathematics that students need to succeed in college, life and careers. Beginning in the primary grades, the videos address the importance of developing a solid foundation for algebra, as well as laying the groundwork for calculus and other postsecondary mathematics coursework. The series also covers the Standards for Mathematical Practice elaborated in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and examines why developing conceptual understanding requires a different approach to teaching and learning. You will find a link to the videos here.


Save the Date: STEM Conference Scheduled for October

The Fourth Annual Bridging the Gap Conference will be held Oct. 27-28 at the McKimmon Center, Raleigh. This K-16 STEM Education Conference will enable participants to share ideas, resources, and innovative strategies with educators, business leaders, government officials and others who play a role in STEM education. Presenter and poster application process is now open. Applications details are online at bridgingthegapnc.com/presenters.