MESSAGES 2013 :: OCTOBER 24, 2013

OCTOBER 24, 2013 - Teachers' Biweekly Messages

In two weeks, North Carolina's 2012-13 assessment results will be available for the first time, and we anticipate that the scores will be lower than in the past because the content standards are more rigorous and the assessments are more challenging. We have seen this pattern before in years when content and performance standards changed. For the 2012-13 school year, because the standards were new, these assessment and accountability data are presented for information without any direct impact to students or schools. As you speak with parents about their children's assessment information, I encourage you to remind them that these scores reflect a much higher bar than students have had to clear in the past. The reason is that the world in which these young people will compete and contribute requires more skill and knowledge. We want to make sure we set our standards accordingly.

June Atkinson

In this Biweekly Teachers' Message:

  1. Excess Professional Liability Insurance
  2. K-3 NC Assessment Think Tank Presents Report and Recommendations
  3. Elementary Mathematics Update Webinar Scheduled
  4. Join #NCed Chat and Connect with Educators Statewide
  5. Registration Deadline for NCDOT Model Bridge Building Competition Nears
  6. NCTIES Call for Proposals
  7. Registration Open for Exceptional Children Conference
  8. Apply Now for PRISM Award

Excess Professional Liability Insurance

Legislative funding has again provided for excess professional liability insurance for NCDPI and public school employees. Coverage is excess over any commercial general liability, errors and omissions, employment practices liability, and any other valid and collectible insurance resulting from a claim. In some cases, coverage may become primary. Coverage highlights include:

$1,000,000 Educators Professional Liability

$10,000 Personal Identity Coverage

$10,000 Accident Insurance

$2,500 Attorney Reimbursement (Employment Related Claims)

There is no enrollment process necessary to be covered. Coverage is automatically provided to employees of North Carolina public schools, North Carolina charter schools and the Department of Public Instruction in accordance with The North Carolina General Assembly's 2011-12 Appropriations Act. Details of coverage and how to file a claim are available online at www.professionalliabilitync.com. Please contact Eileen Townsend, NCDPI Insurance section chief, at eileen.townsend@dpi.nc.gov or 919.807.3522 with any questions.

K-3 NC Assessment Think Tank Presents Report and Recommendations

Teachers need better tools to observe student strengths and support learning right from the start of kindergarten. This was one of a number of goals presented in the final report from the K-3 North Carolina Assessment Think Tank which recently presented its recommendations to State Superintendent June Atkinson at Duke University's Center for Child and Family Policy. To learn more and to read the full report, visit www.ncpublicschools.org and select the appropriate link under "News."

Elementary Mathematics Update Webinar Scheduled

NCDPI staff will host an elementary mathematics update webinar on Thursday, Nov. 7, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. The webinar will address computational fluency, algorithms and mathematical proficiency. To register, please visit https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/724745569. Once you register, you will receive an email message with participation instructions.

Join #NCed Chat and Connect with Educators Statewide

#NCed Chat serves as a forum for NC educators to meet virtually once a week in a public Twitter conversation around specific current topics such as literacy at all levels, inquiry-based learning and blended learning. Participants also include educators from other states, New Zealand and Canada. NCDPI staff, LEA staff and members of our Institutes of Higher Learning (IHEs) serve as moderators. This blog will archive resources and chats for future reference if you cannot attend. You also may use the #NCed app to view schedules, topics and provide feedback. Download the app by visiting myapp.is/NCed on your mobile device. Also, you can reference the two attachments for upcoming dates and session topics. Join this Professional Learning Network today! For more information, please contact Lynne Johnson at lynne.johnson@dpi.nc.gov.

Registration Deadline for NCDOT Model Bridge Building Competition Nears

Just a quick reminder that the deadline to register for the NC Department of Transportation's 15th Annual NCDOT Statewide Model Bridge Building Competition is Nov. 15. The competition is designed to create a greater awareness among middle and high school students of careers in transportation, construction, engineering and the services provided by the NCDOT. The competition also gives students an opportunity to work in groups to learn problem-solving strategies and utilize critical thinking skills, while making the connection between what is taught in the classroom and real world applications. Regional competitions will be held March 7 with the state final competition scheduled for April 11. To register, please visit www.ncdot.org/about/kids/BridgeComp.

NCTIES Call for Proposals

The Call for Proposals for the 2014 NCTIES Conference, "Connect & Engage," will be open until Oct. 31. Please visit the conference website at http://www.ncties.org/conference/present/index.html to submit your proposal. NCTIES will be accepting Student Showcase sessions as well. The Call for Proposals for those sessions will be opening soon.

Registration Open for Exceptional Children Conference

Don't forget that registration is now open for the 63rd Conference on Exceptional Children, Believing is Achieving, to be held Nov. 20-22 at the Koury Convention Center/Sheraton Greensboro Hotel at Four Seasons, Greensboro. Conference offerings include more than 90 informative instructional sessions, the annual Teachers of Excellence reception, a poster display of innovative programs and practices, the school-based Enterprise Bazaar showcasing products being created and marketed by North Carolina public school students with disabilities, and an exhibitor/vendor area. For conference details, including registration, please visit http://ec.ncpublicschools.gov/conferences-profdev/annual-conference.

Apply Now for PRISM Award

Burroughs Wellcome Fund is now accepting applications for the PRISM Award to promote innovation in science and mathematics. The PRISM award program provides grants up to $3,000 to cover the costs of equipment, materials and supplies to implement hands-on, minds-on science and mathematics curriculum in the classroom. An addition $1,500 may be requested for professional development related to the implementation of the new equipment or use of the materials. All K-12 teachers are eligible to apply. For application details, please visit http://www.bwfund.org/grant-programs/science-education/promoting-innovation-science-and-mathematics/eligibility. The deadline to apply is Dec. 5.