MESSAGES 2015 :: MAY 22, 2015

MAY 22, 2015 - Principals' Biweekly Message

The House budget released earlier this week demonstrates a commitment to improving educational opportunities for the state’s public school students and educators. I was pleased to see that eight of the State Board of Education’s 12 primary requests were included in the House budget. In addition, the House budget contained much-needed pay raises. This will help improve our competitiveness. The process is far from over however, and it is difficult to say what the final outcome will be. I hope that you will keep in touch with your legislators and ensure that they have a good understanding of your school’s priorities and needs.

June Atkinson

In this Biweekly Principals' Message:

  1. Changes Coming to mClass:Reading 3D Written Response
  2. Tracking and Reporting the Global Languages Endorsement
  3. Greetings from 2015 NC Principal of the Year
  4. EVAAS Meetings for Inquiring Teachers
  5. Summer Opportunities 2015: Facilitated Online Courses
  6. NCVPS Offers Peer Tutoring Program
  7. Free Personalized Learning Workshops for Educators: Using Digital Tools to improve Instruction in your Classroom and Beyond
  8. BB&T Leadership Institute
  9. Register Now for NCPAPA Summer Symposium

Changes Coming to mClass:Reading 3D Written Response

As a result of collaborative conversations held with teachers statewide and the state’s periodic review process, DPI staff have made adjustments to refine the alignment of the mClass:Reading 3D™ Written Response to Text with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. These materials include continued alignment to our state standards, updated questions anchored in the standards, refined scoring rubrics, and enhanced exemplars for teachers to use as a guide. Announcements will be sent to central office contacts and elementary principals this week including instructions on the disposal of the current written response materials. The new materials, including a video introducing teachers to these materials, will be available to all schools by mid-June for implementation in the 2015-16 school year. Questions may be directed to Carolyn Guthrie at

Tracking and Reporting the Global Languages Endorsement

The 2014-15 interim solution for tracking and reporting the High School Diploma Global Languages Endorsement (GLE) has been completed and is available in Power School at

Greetings from 2015 NC Principal of the Year

Greetings, colleagues! I am honored to serve as the Wells Fargo 2015 North Carolina Principal of the Year. It is very humbling to speak on behalf of all principals across our great state. Over the next year we will share in this experience together. I am most excited about visiting schools across all eight regions and learning from exemplary school leaders. While on these visits, I look forward to hearing about your school’s successes, challenges, and the impact of educational policy and decision making relevant to your region. This will aid me in speaking candidly and intelligently while serving as Principal Advisor to the State Board of Education and as a member of the State Superintendent's Principals' Advisory Council. I look forward to this exciting journey that we will take together over the next year. Best wishes to your students as they take end-of-grade/course assessments. Have a great summer! Steve Lassiter, principal, Pactolus School and 2015 Wells Fargo NC Principal of the Year

EVAAS Meetings for Inquiring Teachers

Many LEAs asked Department staff to host some regional sessions where teachers may attend to receive information and ask questions about EVAAS. Below are the session dates; and we ask that you help us make sure your teachers are aware of this opportunity. The sessions begin at 9 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. Lunch is provided. Your teachers may register for the session that best fits his or her schedule. Registration is limited so early sign-up is encouraged.

Monday, June 15
Greenville Hilton Hotel
207 Greenville Blvd SW, Greenville

Wednesday, June 17
Durham Hilton Hotel
3800 Hillsborough Rd., Durham

Friday, June 19
Crowne Plaza Hotel
1385 Lenoir Rhyne Blvd SE, Hickory, NC 28602

To register, please visit

Summer Opportunities 2015: Facilitated Online Courses

Looking for high-quality professional development and the opportunity to interact with peers? Summer is a great time to take online courses at your own pace. Below is a list of facilitated online courses offered this summer. Registration opens June 1. Courses start June 22. For a full description of the courses and associated CEUs visit

  • Digital Literacies in the Classroom (seven weeks) 1.5 CEUs
  • Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects: Part 1 (five weeks) 0.5 CEU
  • Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects: Part 2 (seven weeks) 1.5 CEUs
  • Introduction to Data Literacy (five weeks) 1 CEU
  • Data Literacy in Action (six weeks) 1.5 CEU
  • Introduction to Universal Design for Learning (four weeks) 1 CEU
  • Universal Design for Learning: Part 2 (four weeks) 1 CEU
  • Connecting with our 21st Century Learners (five weeks) 1 CEU
  • North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards (six weeks) 2 CEUs
  • Building and sustaining PD (six weeks) 1 CEU
  • Responsibilities of the 21st Century Educator (seven weeks) 1 CEU

These courses are available at no cost to North Carolina educators and will be 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. Registration is limited to 35 participants per course. To register, follow the instructions below to log into Home Base to self-register for a course.

Contact Geetanjali Soni at if you have any questions.

NCVPS Offers Peer Tutoring Program

Did you know that NCVPS has a nationally recognized peer tutoring program? The NCVPS Peer Tutoring Center is staffed by student volunteers who have proven themselves in the online classroom. Peer tutoring teacher mentors match student tutors with students who are under performing or are new to online learning.

The Peer Tutoring Center offers three levels of support:

  • Peer Tutoring - Peer tutors provide tutoring in specific content areas.
  • Virtual Buddy - Virtual Buddies are student volunteers who have agreed to work with NCVPS students who need more than content help in their online classes.
  • Quick Questions - Services are available to all students at the start of the semester to help them get started.

Peer tutors go through an extensive application and interview process before they are selected as tutors. Tutoring takes place in a secure online environment that is monitored by NCVPS teachers.

How can a school get involved? Have your school’s advisor request peer tutoring help with the student’s NCVPS teacher. The teacher will connect the student to the Peer Tutoring Center. Students can ask their teachers directly, and NCVPS teachers will recommend it to the student and advisor, as well.

Free Personalized Learning Workshops for Educators: Using Digital Tools to Improve Instruction in your Classroom and Beyond

Beginning in July, the NCDPI will be able to utilize remaining RttT funds to provide principals and teachers with a series of free, day-long professional learning sessions featuring digital tools to improve instruction in the classroom.

As you continue to make your district summer plans, please consider this free, optional learning experience. These sessions will be offered multiple times at various locations across the state. We anticipate hosting these one-day sessions during the weeks of July 13 - 17 and July 20 - 24. Exact locations and dates are forthcoming. Registration will be on a first come-first serve basis. Stipends for participants will be available. For more information, please contact Susan McKinney at or 919.807.3828.

BB&T Leadership Institute

BB&T is offering a tuition-free Leadership Development Institute for North Carolina public school principals and central office leaders.

Over 100 North Carolina principals have completed Mastering Leadership Dynamics for Educational Leaders - a highly experiential program where participants engage in learning how beliefs drive behaviors, and ultimately create results. Each has walked away equipped to make a significant difference in their leadership – and in their schools. Several sessions of the workshop are scheduled this summer and throughout the 2015-16 school year. This program is a perfect complement to your existing professional and leadership development initiatives, and also stands on its own as an effective way to focus on the one constant in every leadership interaction – YOU!

For additional information or to register, please contact Ros Guerrie at or visit the BB&T website at

A special invitation for those who have already attended: don’t forget to register for Leading Change with Purpose, the first in a series of summer leadership development workshops at The BB&T Leadership Institute. The BB&T Leadership Institute is honored to support your contribution to developing and shaping the future of our children by providing these leadership development experiences tuition-free!

Register Now for NCPAPA Summer Symposium

The NCPAPA Summer Symposium, High Impact Strategies for Improving Teacher Quality, will be held July 20-22 at The New Hanover Executive Development Center, Wilmington. This conference will identify and explore the 23 themes of skillful teaching. School leaders will learn to use the “Artisan Themes” to enhance observation, feedback and coaching of teachers. Teachers will benefit through gaining insights for instructional improvement. Each participant will receive a copy of The Artisan Teacher: A Field Guide to Skillful Teaching. There is a registration fee for NCPAPA members and non-members. To register, please visit