APRIL 25, 2013 - Teachers' Biweekly Messages
Children whom go home at the end of the school year to an environment with few books or other reading materials are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to maintaining their reading skills. While there are many programs that could be leveraged to help, I decided this year to try something simple to help fill in the gap. On Tuesday, I kicked off the Give Five - Read Five initiative and asked North Carolinians including business and industry leaders to donate new or gently used elementary school-age appropriate books to the elementary schools in their communities. It is my goal that every child who may not have reading materials at home would be able to take five books home with them for the summer to keep their reading practice going until the new school year begins. I know that this is a small step, but I believe it will be meaningful to put books into children's hands. I hope that faith communities, PTAs and PTOs and other civic groups will join the movement. I want to say a special thank you to MetaMetrics, our partner with the Lexile Reading Scale, for giving us a jumpstart and donating 300 books to Hilburn Academy in Wake County. I hope we will hear of many more donations! More information about Give Five - Read Five, including sample letters, logos and other promotional material, are available online at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/give5read5/resources.
The North Carolina State Board of Education will meet next Wednesday and Thursday, May 1-2, in the 7th Floor Board Room, Education Building, Raleigh. Actions items on the Board's agenda include Criteria for Endorsements to High School, Race to the Top Career Readiness and College Course Completion Performance Measures, and Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program applicants accepted for 2013-14. Discussion items include Proposed Standards, Rubrics and Users Guides for the Evaluation of Allied Health Service Professionals, Career and Technical Education Licensure Requirements, and Educator Effectiveness: Resources/Inter-Rater Reliability Training. Under the Board's Information Agenda is an item on Strategies for Compensating North Carolina's Teachers - Report from Duke University's Terry Sanford School of Public Policy Semester Project. The complete agenda as well as supporting executive summaries are available online at http://stateboard.ncpublicschools.gov/ (click on SBE Meetings then Meetings). The meeting is audio streamed for those who cannot attend. To listen in, please visit the above link and click on the live audio streams link to the right.
Text exemplars for English language arts have been updated and are available on the Accountability and Curriculum Reform Effort (ACRE) website at www.ncpublicschools.org/acre/standards/common-core-tools/#exemplar . Text exemplars are sample texts for grades K-12 that educators can use as an instruction tool for teaching the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards.
Registration for the NCDPI Summer Institutes 2013 ends on Tuesday, April 30. This year's Summer Institutes will be held between July 8 and 24 in Charlotte, Greenville, Durham, Greensboro, Henderson County and Cumberland County. Please make sure that your school or district is well represented. The registration links and more information have been posted to www.ncpublicschools.org/profdev/summerinstitutes/registration . You also can check out the Summer Institutes 2013 video at www.ncpublicschools.org/read/events . If you have any questions, please contact Michael Yarbrough at Michael.Yarbrough@dpi.nc.gov.
In her latest blog entry, Common Core - It's About Reading and Math, State Superintendent June Atkinson addresses the origin of the Common Core State Standards and in the process debunks a number of myths that are currently circulating. Read about how these standards got started by visiting www.ncpublicschools.org/statesuperintendent/blog .
On Friday, April 12, more than 140 North Carolina Regional and State Teachers of the Year representing more than 90 school districts attended the first Teacher of the Year Summit. The theme, "This is What We Believe," gave teachers an opportunity to share their thoughts and beliefs about public education. Their remarks have been gathered and will be reproduced in a variety of creative formats. Teachers also attended three different breakout sessions, as well as heard about Teacher Effectiveness and Common Exams. In addition, 2008-09 North Carolina Teacher of the Year Cindi Rigsbee entertained everyone during lunch with a keynote address that was thoughtprovoking and stimulating. State Superintendent June Atkinson, who provided welcoming remarks, hopes the Summit will become an annual event.
The NCDPI's ELA Section announces a wonderful opportunity for classroom teachers to deeply explore the ELA Common Core State Standards. Teachers will participate in professional development and work with DPI Consultants in creating lessons aligned with the ELA Common Core. There will be two regional sessions: one held in the west June 17-18, and one held in the east June 20-21. For all the details, including expectations and how to apply, download the flyer at http://elaccss.ncdpi.wikispaces.net/home .