MESSAGES 2012 :: MARCH 22, 2012

MARCH 22, 2012 - Teachers' Biweekly Messages

Tomorrow, I will join several hundred teacher leaders and principals from the western region of North Carolina for the final READY regional outreach meeting. Throughout the past month, we have met with nearly 5,000 teacher leaders, principals, superintendents, communication directors and other educators to discuss how all the changes underway in our schools fit together to help our students be READY for careers, college and success in life. If you have not had the opportunity to participate in one of these meetings, please consider checking out the meeting toolkits at www.ncpublicschools.org/ready . Good information about the new Standard Course of Study (Common Core and Essential Standards), the educator evaluation model and the new accountability model is there to help you see how North Carolina is remodeling public education for the 21st century.

June Atkinson

In this Biweekly Teachers' Message:

  1. Next Generation Assessments: Benefits of Online Assessments
  2. Telephone Town Hall Addresses 403(b) Plan
  3. Teachers Showcased in NC FALCON Session
  4. 2012 Governor's School Selections Announced
  5. Register Now for 2012 Summer Biotechnology Workshops

Next Generation Assessments: Benefits of Online Assessments

There are several benefits to administering assessments online versus paper and pencil. By moving to online assessments, we can offer assessments that are increasingly multi-part, media-enhanced, performance-based, and better representative of the depth intended in the new standards. Another benefit is the availability of Computer Reads Test Aloud - Student Controlled accommodation for eligible students. The online assessments also offer several universal design features such as larger font sizes, and adjustable background colors. Additional benefits include: universal design, virtual highlighter and calculator, flexible scheduling/staffing, storage space, test security, reporting and cost effectiveness. To learn more about the benefits and timeline for transitioning to online assessments, please visit www.ncpublicschools.org/acre/assessment/online or contact Kayla Siler at Kayla.Siler@dpi.nc.gov.

Telephone Town Hall Addresses 403(b) Plan

NC State Treasurer Janet Cowell and NCAE President Sheri Strickland invite teachers to participate with them in a 403(b) Telephone Town Hall on March 26 from 7-8 p.m. The Telephone Town Hall will provide teachers an opportunity to hear the facts, ask questions and respond to a poll about the 403(b) plan. Questions to be addressed include why the state is creating a centralized 403(b) plan, how will the NC 403(b) plan help teachers save more for retirement, and the benefits of a centralized 403(b) plan. To register for the event, please visit http://bit.ly/Ahqblf by March 23.

Teachers Showcased in NC FALCON Session

Classroom teachers who are implementing the formative assessment process will showcase their work during an NC FALCON showcase session at the Collaborative Conference on Student Achievement in Greensboro on March 20. During the session, presenters will share implementation ideas, artifacts collected during their implementation, and formative assessment plans they have developed and used in classes. Join the following teachers to learn more about their implementation of formative assessment:

  • Amanda Horne - Gray's Creek Elementary School, Cumberland County
  • Miranda Bring - Tyro Elementary School, Davidson County
  • Kenzie Cheek - Silver Valley Elementary School, Davidson County
  • Loryn Morrison - District Lead Teacher, Davidson County
  • Leslie Carriker - Dudley High School, Guilford County
  • Kerry Stewart - Instructional Coach, Henderson County
  • Lynne Fender - School Improvement Specialist, Henderson County
  • Donna Hall - Hickory High School, Catawba County
  • Pat Widdowson - Assistant Superintendent, Surry County
  • Jennifer Scott - Director of Professional Development and Communication, Surry County
  • Brenda Whitaker - Director of Federal Programs, Surry County
  • Jan Varney - Principal, Dobson Elementary School, Surry County
  • Nicole Hazlewood - Dobson Elementary School, Surry County
  • Lori Beasley - Dobson Elementary School, Surry County
  • Ashley Eggleston - East Millbrook Magnet Middle, Wake County
  • Jessica Palmer-Gwaltney - East Millbrook Magnet Middle, Wake County
  • Daniel Sluder - North Wilkes High School, Wilkes County
  • Michael Greene - North Wilkes High School, Wilkes County

2012 Governor's School Selections Announced

This summer, 550 of the most distinguished North Carolina rising high school juniors and seniors will attend the 2012 Governor's School. This year's attendees are particularly fortunate as the program's future was in question after Governor's School funding was eliminated in the NC General Assembly's 2011-13 biennial budget. To read more, as well as access the lists of selected students, please visit www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under "News."

Register Now for 2012 Summer Biotechnology Workshops

Registration is now open for the 2012 Summer Biotechnology Workshops for Educators. The Biotech Center is offering three Introductory Workshops for high school teachers as well as four special topic/special audience workshops. Early registration is recommended to ensure the best chance of acceptance. A non-refundable $75 registration fee is required. Workshops participants receive free workshop tuition, free room and board (double-occupancy; two meals/day) and a $50 per day stipend. In addition, applications are still being accepted for the "Agricultural Biotechnology: Building a Sustainable Future" workshop for middle school teachers. To register for the Summer Biotechnology Workshops or the Building a Sustainable Future workshop, please visit www.ncbiotech.org/summerworkshops/ or www.ncbiotech.org/agbiotech_workshop .