FEBRUARY 9, 2012 - Teachers' Biweekly Messages
Our dropout rate has decreased for four consecutive years to an all-time low. Suspensions are down. Last year, you and your colleagues helped more students stay in school than ever before, provided schools that were safer than before, and provided additional support to help students who struggle with learning and behavior issues. This good news was reported to the State Board of Education last week in the annual Consolidated Data Report: Crime and Violence, Suspensions and Expulsions, Corporal Punishment, and Dropout Rates and Counts. I know that accomplishing these things is not easy and requires a careful and commonsense approach to help struggling students and to balance the primary need for a safe school environment with the need to include all students in public schools. Students arrive at school with many different experiences and a big variety of family expectations and support. You do an amazing job of educating and supporting so many different students. Thank you.
- State Board Meeting Highlights
- Dropout Rate, High School Crime and Violence Decrease in 2010-11
- NC Students Continue to Improve Advanced Placement Participation and Scores
- Governor Proclaims February Black History Month
- Feb. 6-10 National School Counseling Week
- Feb. 13-17 is School Bus Driver Appreciation Week
- NC Teacher is National Finalist for Online K-12 Teacher of the Year
- Regional Wells Fargo NC Principals of the Year Announced
- Burroughs Wellcome Fund Afterschool Grants Available
- Speakers Needed for the 2012 State Mathematics Conference
- World View Announces March Seminars
At last week's State Board of Education meeting, members approved re-visioned teacher education programs, revisions to Career and Technical Education Licensure, and recommendations of Qualifying Praxis II Test Scores for Music (0114) and Teaching Students with Visual Impairments (0282). Board members also received the annual "Consolidated Data Report: Crime and Violence, Suspensions and Expulsions, Corporal Punishment, and Dropout Rates and Counts" and heard presentations on "Maximizing Success for Exceptional Children Through Blended Learning." A summary of Board action items in addition to the full agenda and executive materials are available online at www.ncpublicschools.org/stateboard/meetings .
Fewer students dropped out of North Carolina public schools in 2010-11 than ever before while the number of acts of crime and violence reported among high school students and suspensions and expulsions among all students also decreased according to the "2010-11 Consolidated Data Report" presented yesterday to State Board members. To read more, as well as access the full report, please visit www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News."
A total of 18.4 percent of North Carolina's high school Class of 2011 earned a score of 3 or better on at least one Advanced Placement (AP) exam, according to the annual Report to the Nation just released by The College Board. The report showed that 18.1 percent of the nation's students reached the same achievement. Over the past five years, North Carolina students have increased both their participation in the AP program and also the percentage of graduates earning a score of 3 or better. To read more, as well as access a link to North Carolina's AP report, please visit www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News."
Gov. Bev Perdue has proclaimed the month of February as Black History Month in recognition of the numerous outstanding accomplishments, past and present, that African Americans make to our state, nation and world. The national theme this year is "Black Women in American Culture and History."
State Superintendent June Atkinson has proclaimed Feb. 6-10 as National School Counseling Week in recognition of school counselors' efforts to help:
- students explore their abilities, strengths, interests and talents;
- teachers and other educators to help students explore their potential and set realistic goals for themselves; and
- parents focus on ways to further the educational, personal and social growth of their children.
Gov. Bev Perdue has proclaimed Feb. 13-17 as School Bus Driver Appreciation Week (SBDAW) in North Carolina. The proclamation is available online at www.ncbussafety.org . This is a change from the traditional SBDAW the first week in May to coincide with the national LOVE THE BUS campaign. LEAs and schools can register their LOVE THE BUS events at www.ncbussafety.org/LovethebusNC/index.html . For more information, please contact Derek Graham, NCDPI Transportation Services, at email@example.com or 919.807.3570.
Congratulations to North Carolina Virtual Public School teacher Leslie Fetzer, who is one of three finalists for the 2012 National Online Teacher of the Year Award. Fetzer, a nine-year teaching veteran, has taught online biology to grades 10-12 at NCVPS for the past three years. She is both a credit-recovery biology teacher and an Occupational Course of Study blended learning biology teacher. The winner will be named March 1 during the Southern Regional Education Board Education (SREB) Technology Cooperative's Symposium on Virtual Teaching and Learning. The winner will receive a crystal Flame of Excellence and a trip to the Virtual School Symposium in October in New Orleans. The award is sponsored by the SREB and the International Association for K-12 Online Learning.
Congratulations to the following eight principals who were recently named 2012 Regional Wells Fargo North Carolina Principals of the Year:
- North Central Region: Drew Cook, Garner High (Wake County Schools);
- Northeast Region: Clay Wagner, Riverside High (Martin County Schools);
- Northwest Region: Kelly Withers, Jesse Carson High (Rowan-Salisbury Schools);
- Southeast Region: Glenn Reed, Blue Creek Elementary (Onslow County Schools);
- Southwest Region: Hilda Batts, AT Allen Elementary (Cabarrus County Schools);
- Sandhills/South Central Region: Sara Bigley, Pinehurst Elementary, (Moore County Schools);
- Piedmont-Triad/Central Region: Patrice Faison, Oak Hill Elementary (Guilford County Schools); and
- West Region: Brad Teague, East Rutherford Middle (Rutherford County Schools).
Each recipient will receive $1,000 for personal use and $1,000 for their schools. The 2012 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year will be announced this spring during a luncheon ceremony in Raleigh. The winner will succeed 2011 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year Rob Jackson who is principal of Cutherbertson High (Union County Schools).
The Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF)'s Student Science Enrichment Program (SSEP) supports out-of-school time programs with a common goal: to enable primary and secondary students to participate in hands-on scientific activities and pursue inquiry-based exploration. Since 1996, BWF has awarded 150 grants totaling $22 million to 70 organizations that reach nearly 35,000 North Carolina students. Programs range from afterschool programs, year round science experiences, Saturday academies or summer camps. These awards provide up to $60,000 per year for three years. For grant information, please visit BWF's website at www.bwfund.org/pages/155/Student-Science-Enrichment-Program/ . April 16 is the deadline to apply.
The 2012 State Mathematics Conference, scheduled for Oct. 25-26 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro is a wonderful opportunity to share research, classroom strategies, activities, and resources with your colleagues that make mathematics come alive for your students. Take time to be a part of this annual professional development opportunity by becoming a speaker. To present at the 2012 Conference, fill out the online speaker proposal form available online at www.ncctm.org/conference_info.cfm . If you have questions, please contact Shelia Brookshire at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kelly Delong at email@example.com.
World View will host two seminars during March at the Friday Center for Continuing Education, Chapel Hill. "Latin America and North Carolina" will be held March 27-28 and will offer insights into Latin America and the critical issues facing Latino students including new teaching strategies to support students and their families. "The Complexity and Vibrancy of Africa" will be held March 28-29 and will explore global issues related to this continent and strategies for integrating African themes into teaching. There is a $175 registration fee per person per seminar or $325 for both seminars. There also is a group fee. Educators who complete the seminar will receive 1.5 CEUs or 15 professional development contact hours. Program, registration and hotel information is available online at www.worldview.unc.edu/programs/spring-seminars .