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PRINCIPALS' MESSAGES 2013

MESSAGES 2013 :: FEBRUARY 7, 2013

FEBRUARY 7, 2013 - Principals' Biweekly Message

Last week, North Carolina was recognized for being ahead of the pack at the halfway point for the Race to the Top grant. The US Department of Education gave our state praise for accomplishments in the following areas, in particular:

  • Transitioning to College and Career-Ready Standards through professional development and diagnostic assessments for teachers.
  • Supporting Great Teachers and School Leaders by adopting a statewide growth model for tested subjects and online evaluation across all districts; engaging educators in developing statewide growth measures; training teachers through the new Teacher Corps program; and completing training for principals in Leadership Academies.
  • Turning Around Low-Performing Schools. Since the beginning of the grant, 84 percent of NC's low-performing schools have increased their performance; 39 are performing above the target of 60 percent proficiency; and five of seven that had graduation rates below 60 percent are now above that mark. This has been accomplished in part by 72 coaches dispatched to these schools.
  • Building Better Data Systems through the design and shared services via the NC Education Cloud, and through the development of Home Base, the state's new technology-based tool to manage all professional resources and student data.
  • Enhancing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education through serving students in three anchor and 12 affinity STEM schools across the state, along with the development of new, virtual STEM courses.

Our progress has been a collaborative effort with you and your colleagues. Thank you for your dedication and focus over the past two years, in particular. I look forward to continuing the momentum in the second half of the grant. For a copy of the full report, please visit ncpublicschools.org/rttt, and scroll down to Second Annual NC Report from USED.

Regards,
June Atkinson


In this Biweekly Principals' Message:

  1. State Board Meeting Highlights
  2. Gov. McCrory Proclaims Feb. 11-15 "School Bus Driver Appreciation Week"
  3. Comment Period Extended for Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities, Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, Part B
  4. Reminder: Online Module for Scoring the Performance Items on the Measures of Student Learning - NC's Common Exams - Now Available
  5. Online Professional Development Modules: Information Page
  6. Phase 2 Professional Development Online Modules: Exploring the Possibilities
  7. Mathematics Common Core State Standards Webinar
  8. NCVPS Teacher Finalist for National Online Teacher of the Year
  9. Students Selected for US Senate Youth Program
  10. Burke County Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children Benefit from Grant
  11. Step up to STEM
  12. Jay Robinson Leadership Award Nomination Reminder
  13. The National WWII Museum Essay Contest


State Board Meeting Highlights

Among the items today approved by State Board of Education members were the Driver Education Strategic Plan as outlined in the Driver Education Reform Report, various charter school renewal and amendment requests, and recommendations from the Public Charter Schools Advisory Council. Members also received a report on the ACT's 2011-12 pilot year administration and approved resolutions opposing corporal punishment and recognizing the service of outgoing State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison and Board member Jean Woolard. A summary of Board action items is available online at http://stateboard.ncpublicschools.gov/highlights/2013 .


Gov. McCrory Proclaims Feb. 11-15 "School Bus Driver Appreciation Week"

Gov. Pat McCrory has proclaimed Feb. 11-15 School Bus Driver Appreciation Week in North Carolina and urges schools and citizens to "Love the Bus" and recognize the excellence of our state's school bus drivers and their record of safety. Every day across North Carolina over 13,000 school buses carry more than 790,000 students to and from school.


Comment Period Extended for Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities, Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, Part B

The NCDPI Exceptional Children Division is providing additional time for receiving comments from interested persons regarding the Department's proposed amendments to specific sections of Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities (Policies) pursuant to Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA).

The amendments to the North Carolina Policies are available for public review and comment through Feb. 28. The amendments may be reviewed at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Exceptional Children Division office (Education Building, 301 N. Wilmington Street, Raleigh) and on the web at http://ec.ncpublicschools.gov.

Interested citizens are invited to comment on the proposed amendments to the Policies. In making comments, please give the citation for the Section(s) on which you are commenting (e.g., NC 1504-2.9); and provide comments in the form of statements. Comments may be submitted via e-mail to Policies2013@dpi.nc.gov or mailed to: North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Exceptional Children Division, ATTN: Valerie Herndon or Ira Wolfe, 6356 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6356.


Reminder: Online Module for Scoring the Performance Items on the Measures of Student Learning - NC's Common Exams - Now Available

The online module on scoring the performance items on the Measures of Student Learning: NC's Common Exams is now live in NC Education at https://center.ncsu.edu/nc/course/view.php?id=167311. Clicking on that link will take the user to NC Education, but he or she will need to sign in to access the course. Another way to access the module is to log into NC Education, then search using the title "MSL Grades 9-12."

The module includes a general section that all teachers should complete and then a specific section for each content area: English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. A teacher can print a certificate of completion after each section. Prior to the release of the module, the NCDPI recommends that districts consider how teachers should complete the module. Some districts may want teachers to complete all of the sections, while others may only require them to complete the section on their own content area. Please email educatoreffectiveness@dpi.nc.gov with questions.


Online Professional Development Modules: Information Page

There's now a single source for information about online professional development modules created by the NCDPI. Go to http://rt3nc.org for an overview of options for administrators and teachers, descriptions and links to modules, and instructions on registration. You'll also find an implementation guide with detailed suggestions for using these modules in LEAs, with or without a professional learning community, online or face-to-face. For more information, please contact Lynne Johnson at lynne.johnson@dpi.nc.gov.


Phase 2 Professional Development Online Modules: Exploring the Possibilities

This webinar will give you an overview of the Phase 2 online professional development modules that were released by the NCDPI on June 30, 2012. We will discuss various ways these modules may be implemented to best serve your needs, at an individual, school or district level. The webinar will provide an opportunity to learn about the current modules, explore flexible implementation methods, review strategies to facilitate blended learning, and ask questions and provide feedback. The webinar will be offered - Feb. 12, 1:30-2:30 pm. - Reserve your webinar seat now at: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/191274280- Feb. 20, 10-11 a.m. - Reserve your webinar seat now at: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/807763673For more information, please contact Lynne Johnson at lynne.johnson@dpi.nc.gov.


Mathematics Common Core State Standards Webinar

The next webinar in the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics Common Core State Standards Mathematics series will be on Using Functions to Build Models. In this session, participants will explore a hands-on problem that is accessible to students in a variety of math courses from Math I to Calculus. Participants will use a physical problem to explore creating a mathematical model and then consider the domain and range of the model in the real-world context. The task will engage students and help them make important connections across mathematical subject areas. The webinar will be held, Wednesday, Feb. 27, from 3:15- 4:15 p.m. To register please visit http://tinyurl.com/UsingFunctionsToBuildModels


NCVPS Teacher Finalist for National Online Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to NCVPS English teacher Jennifer (Jen) Currin for recently being named one of three finalists for the 2013 National Online Teacher of the Year Award. The award recognizes exceptional quality in online K-12 education. This is the third year in a row that North Carolina has had a finalist for National Online Teacher of the Year. Last year's finalist, Leslie Fetzer, was named the 2012 National Online Teacher of the Year. Emily Parrish was named a finalist in 2011. The winner will be announced March 7 during the Southern Regional Education Board's Education Technology Cooperative's Symposium on Virtual Teaching and Learning in Atlanta. Ga.


Students Selected for US Senate Youth Program

Congratulations to Aditya Garg (Early College at Guilford, Guilford County Schools) and Noah Ponton (Isaac Bear Early College High, New Hanover County Schools) for recently being selected as delegates to the 51st Annual United State Senate Youth Program that will be held March 9-16 in Washington, D.C. The USSYP was created to "increase young Americans' understanding of the interrelationships of the three branches of government, the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials, and the vital importance of democratic decision making not only for America but for people around the world." Chosen as alternates to the 2013 program were Alexander Werden (Chapel Hill High, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools) and Elizabeth Grady (Western Guilford High, Guilford County Schools). While in Washington, the student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with Senators and Congressional staff, the President, a Justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, an Ambassador to the United States and top members of the national media.


Burke County Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children Benefit from Grant

Children in Burke County who are deaf or hard of hearing soon will have access to resources to increase literacy thanks to a grant from the American Library Association and Candlewood Press. Receipt of the $5,000 grant is the result of a partnership between the Burke County Public Library, the Burke County Public Schools, and the North Carolina School for the Deaf at Morganton. Staff with the Burke County Public Library will use the funds to organize weekly story times at the Morganton and Valdese Public Libraries and facilitate the checking out of books and other materials. The funds also will be used to help the adult deaf and hard of hearing population and caregivers of deaf and hard of hearing individuals by providing information on academic achievement, social development, read-aloud strategies and literature selections for their children. Programs will be offered monthly and interpreters will be in attendance.


Step up to STEM

The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) will offer a new and exciting summer program for rising ninth grade African American, Hispanic and Native American students (current eighth graders) called Step Up to STEM. This free statewide residential program, which will be held July 7-19 at NCSSM's campus in Durham, takes an innovative interdisciplinary approach that uses exciting real-world subjects to challenge students and build their skills in science, math and communications. Students can find more information, including an application, at www.ncssm.edu/stepup . If you have questions, please e-mail stepup@ncssm.edu.


Jay Robinson Leadership Award Nomination Reminder

Just a quick reminder that the Jay Robinson Leadership Award nomination period ends at midnight Saturday, March 1. Contact Debra Jordan (djordan@ncforum.org) or Pat Franklin (pfranklin@ncforum.org) for more information and a nomination form.


The National WWII Museum Essay Contest

The National WWII Museum is sponsoring its annual essay contest for middle and high school students. This year's essay asks students to answer the question, "How can people who disagree work together for victory?" In order to fight - and ultimately win - WWII, the United States allied itself with countries it had political, economic and strategic disagreements with - both small and large. This contest gives students an opportunity to express themselves creatively while focusing on the meaning and legacy of the WWII years. One middle school student will win $250; high school students can win as much as $1,000. The entry deadline is March 29. Complete contest information is available online at www.nationalww2museum.org/essaycontests .