MESSAGES 2012 :: SEPTEMBER 14, 2012

SEPTEMBER 14, 2012 - Teachers' Biweekly Messages

Welcome to the 2012-13 school year! As State Superintendent, I have the privilege of visiting classrooms across our state. What I see happening in classrooms deepens my respect for teachers. I know of a teacher who helped a homeless child become state president of a student organization. I have heard of a high school calculus teacher who comes to school around 6 a.m. to tutor students before class. I have observed a teacher instill respect and develop problem-solving skills with her students. For more about why I respect and value teachers, please read my latest blog entry at www.ncpublicschools.org/statesuperintendent/blog/.

I'm sure your district has had special activities to kick off the school year, and I have provided a short video clip to several of these describing my view of this unique time in our history. You can view my back-to-school message at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/ready/teachers/.

Best wishes for a successful and fulfilling school year.

June Atkinson

In this Biweekly Teachers' Message:

  1. Teachers' Biweekly Message Helps Keep Educators in the Know
  2. Liability Insurance for Public School Employees
  3. PowerSchool to Replace NC WISE
  4. NCDPI Curriculum and Instruction Updates
  5. Instructional Improvement System (IIS) Update
  6. America's Legislators Back to School Program
  7. North Carolina Educators Receive PAEMST
  8. 2012 NC PAEMST Finalists Announced
  9. NC Teacher Standards and Evaluation Process: Facilitated Course for Teachers
  10. NCVPS Online Professional Development
  11. LEARN NC Fall Professional Development Courses Open for Enrollment
  12. PENC Offers Workshops
  13. World View Symposium Focuses on Global Issues and Solutions
  14. Annual Mathematics Conference Set for October
  15. "Building America Through Core Democratic Values"
  16. Coastal Carolina Indian Center Offers Outreach Program to Fourth and Eighth Graders
  17. "Stop Bullying" Video Challenge
  18. Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest

Teachers' Biweekly Message Helps Keep Educators in the Know

If you are new to our teachers' e-mail list, welcome to this informational community! Every fall, we retrieve teacher e-mail addresses from NC WISE to create our new school year e-mail list so that we can communicate directly with teachers on issues of importance to your profession. Expect to receive a message from me on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month throughout the school year. Other information about North Carolina's READY initiative will come to you as stand alone distributions. If you ever have any questions regarding the items included in the message (that don't already contain contact information), please reply to this email and we will ensure you get a timely response. Also, please don't hesitate to let us know if you have any issues you would like addressed in this message.

Liability Insurance for Public School Employees

Teachers were recently sent information on Excess Professional Liability Coverage that is being provided to all employees. Employees are encouraged to visit www.professionalliabilitync.com for information about this state-funded program. This website includes information on how to file a claim. For a copy of the contract, please visit www.ncpublicschools.org/work4ncschools/salary/ (click on Professional Liability Policy) for a copy of the insurance contract. Liability Insurance for Public School Employees is provided to all employees, including volunteers of public and charter schools. There is no fee or premium charge to employees. For additional information or questions, please contact Eileen Townsend, chief of Insurance, Department of Public Instruction, at Eileen.Townsend@dpi.nc.gov or 919.807.3522.

PowerSchool to Replace NC WISE

During the summer, the NCDPI received permission from State Information Technology Services to move forward with sole-sourcing procurement of PowerSchool, a student information system developed by Pearson. This move was made in large part because NC WISE is 14 years old and due for an upgrade to ensure that it works well with current technology and eventually the new Instructional Improvement System currently under development.

PowerSchool brings a number of significant advantages to North Carolina:

  • Offers more local control regarding the modules districts and charters use. These modules include parent and student portals.
  • Designed to give users flexibility of access through mobile devices and includes specialized applications created with mobile devices in mind.
  • Designed with the convenience of users in mind and extensive training will be provided with the software.

The Department's goal is to move from NC WISE to PowerSchool over the next 18 months. The aggressive timeline is reasonable given that Pearson already owns the aal software that currently powers NC WISE. Also, the transition to PowerSchool will not fundamentally change the roles that teachers and others currently have under NC WISE. As such, the transition to PowerSchool should be fairly smooth and require less change management than staff encountered in moving to NC WISE.

The Department remains committed to creating as little disruption to districts and schools as possible while moving to a modern student information system that works with current technology and devices.

NCDPI Curriculum & Instruction Updates

The following updates are from NCDPI's K-12 Curriculum and Instruction Division.

Student Achievement Partners' Modules on the Common Core State Standards. Student Achievement Partners, a nonprofit founded by three of the contributing authors to the Common Core that develops tools for effective standards implementation, released four professional development modules designed to support educators in their transition to the Common Core. The four modules cover the Common Core Shifts in Math, the Common Core Shifts in ELA/Literacy, Creating Text Dependent Questions in ELA/Literacy, and Instructional Leadership in the context of the Common Core. The modules are available online at www.achievethecore.org/steal-these-tools/professionaldevelopment- modules .

Common Core Resources from America Achieves the Core. America Achieves the Core has a number of social studies, English language arts, and mathematics lessons that illustrate the Common Core shifts. Users have to set up an account to view the lessons but they are free and available online at http://commoncore.americaachieves.org .

NC Common Core Mathematics K-8 Week-by-Week Essentials and Strategies Coming Soon. The NCDPI has begun the process of selecting high cognitively demanding tasks from the K-8 Week-by-Week Essentials and Strategies to create a new support document that aligns with the Common Core State Standards. With the support of North Carolina educators and other public school partners, we anticipate the release of this new document in late fall. Updates regarding this new document will be posted on the K-8 NCDPI math e-mail lists and NCDPI Math Wiki at http://maccss.ncdpi.wikispaces.net/ .

Reading Foundations Crosswalk Linking to the Common Core State Standards & Foundations of Math Crosswalks Linking to the Common Core State Standards. These documents are available online at www.ncsip.org/mathematics/resources-and-materials.php and www.ncsip.org/reading/documents/RFandCommonCoreCrosswalk.pdf

Possible Scenarios for Compacting the CCSS-M in Middle School. Possible scenarios for compacting the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics in middle school are available online at http://maccss.ncdpi.wikispaces.net/Middle+School+Mathematics . Two models are available: a 3:2 model, which begins compacting in the 7th grade, and a 4:3 model, which begins compacting in the 6th grade. With each model is a 6-8 overview of the standards (this document was previously posted; however, revisions have been made), a possible grouping of standards by units for each grade level, and a document with all grade levels together. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Robin Barbour at robin.barbour@dpi.nc.gov.

North Carolina Essential Standards Assessment Examples Available for Review - What is the purpose of this tool? Assessment is a vital component of the teaching and learning process. These assessment examples are aligned to new content standards and reinforce teaching the standards to their intended level of deep mastery. The purpose of providing examples is to illustrate ways in which the standards or part(s) of the standards might be assessed in the classroom. These are not examples of Measures of Student Learning (MSLs). These examples can be found on the NC Essential Standards Content Specific Wiki Spaces at http://www.ncdpi.wikispaces.net/

K-5 Unpacking Documents. All K-5 Unpacking Documents have been updated with the latest information provided by the Common Core State Standards Writing Team. These may be accessed on the Mathematics Wiki at http://maccss.ncdpi.wikispaces.net/ .

K-2 Assessment. Two K-2 Assessment Instructional videos have been added to assist with implementation of the K-2 Formative Instructional and Assessment Tasks for the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics. In addition, all assessment tasks are provided as Word documents for your convenience. You may access these resources on the K-2 Assessment Wiki at http://commoncoretasks.wikispaces.com/ .

K-2 Mid-Year Benchmark Assessments. The NCDPI is currently developing the K-2 Mid-Year Benchmark Assessments and will release these assessments to district leaders by late fall.

Instructional Improvement System (IIS) Update

The Instructional Improvement System (IIS) will facilitate the teaching process by providing all North Carolina districts and schools with increased access to high quality resources, and timely and relevant information and data to improve instruction. The IIS will provide specific information for teachers, administrators and parents to pinpoint student progress during any segment of time. We expect to announce the name of the vendor chosen to provide the technology solution for the new IIS in early fall.

In the meantime, learn more about the IIS vision from a student's perspective in a video available online at www.ncpublicschools.org/movies/acre/improvement/resources/iis-student-video.mov . Additional information on the IIS is available online at www.ncpublicschools.org/acre/improvement/ . Send all questions or comments about the IIS to IIS_READY@dpi.nc.gov or contact Sarah McManus at sarah.mcmanus@dpi.nc.gov.

America's Legislators Back to School Program

America's Legislators Back to School Program, sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures, will kick off Sept. 17 and run throughout the school year. Educators are encouraged to extend invitations to their local representatives to visit and talk with students about the legislative process and what it's like to be a state legislator: the processes, the pressures, and the debate - the negotiation and compromise that are the fabric of representative democracy. Classroom discussions are being encouraged over school-wide assemblies. North Carolina has actively participated in the America's Legislators Back to School program since its inception in 1999. For the 2011-12 school year, 38 North Carolina legislators spoke to over 9,000 students throughout the state.

NC Educators Receive PAEMST

Congratulations to Nancy Trollinger (mathematics), West McDowell Junior High (McDowell County Schools), and Eric Grunden (science), Raleigh Charter High (Wake County) for receiving the 2011 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The PAEMST is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers. Each year the award alternates between K-6 and 7-12 grade teachers. The 2011 awardees are 7-12 grade teachers. Winners receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion, and an all expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for an awards ceremony and several days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and the Administration.

2012 NC PAEMST Finalists Announced

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching are the nation's highest honor for mathematics and science teachers. Administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation, this national award allows outstanding mathematics and science teachers to be recognized for their subject area content knowledge and their ability to motivate students. The 2012 awards are for K-6 teachers. Congratulations to the following North Carolina public school teachers for being named 2012 PAEMST finalists: Mathematics Finalists: Tonya Kepley, Enochville Elementary (Rowan- Salisbury Schools), Kayonna Pitchford, Stoney Point Elementary (Cumberland County Schools), and Meredith Stanley, Haw Creek Elementary (Buncombe County Schools); Science Finalists: Kristin Bedell, Efland Cheeks Elementary (Orange County Schools), Teresa Cowan, Charles D. Owen Middle (Buncombe County Schools) and Georgina Ray, Joe P. Eblen Intermediate (Buncombe County Schools).

NC Teacher Standards and Evaluation Process: Facilitated Course for Teachers

The North Carolina Teacher Standards and Evaluation Process is a six-week, facilitator-led module designed specifically for teachers. This module will be offered four times with the first section beginning Sept. 17. The course offers an in-depth look at the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards and will help teachers deepen their understanding of the six professional teaching standards and their role in the new evaluation process. The module is available at no cost to North Carolina teachers and will be facilitated by the NCDPI Professional Development Leads. The course will take approximately 20 hours to complete, and teachers will earn 2 CEUs upon completion. Learn NC will host the course. Teachers can register at https://ncelearning.org/sectionsopen. Registration is now open for the September and October sections. There is a limit of 23 participants per section so early registration is strongly encouraged. Course start dates are Sept. 17, Oct. 8, Jan. 14, 2013 and Feb. 4, 2013. For additional information, please contact Lynne Johnson at lynne.johnson@dpi.nc.gov. ·

NCVPS Online Professional Development

NCVPS offers online professional development for central office and school-based personnel in order to better prepare them to integrate NCVPS courses into the curriculum and to assist in the development of student support processes. Weekly webinars are offered on various topics ranging from registration processes to budget planning. Sessions are live and also are recorded for later viewing. For more information, visit www.ncvps.org/index.php/online-training .

LEARN NC Fall Professional Development Courses Open for Enrollment

LEARN NC fall professional development courses are open for enrollment. Course offerings include the Carolina On-line Teacher (COLT) program as well as Moodle training, content-area courses, and courses designed to help teachers work with special populations. All courses are aligned to the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards. Visit http://blogs.learnnc.org/blog/2012/08/07/fallprofessional- development-courses-open-for-enrollment-3/ for details and registration. In addition, LEARN NC's August blog welcomes you to the start of a new year with resources you need to sustain your new-year excitement all year long! Visit http://blogs.learnnc.org/blog/2012/08/20 /learn-ncs-august-update/ to read LEARN NC's latest blog.

PENC Offers Workshops

The Professional Educators of North Carolina is offering Praxis I, II and National Board Certification workshops to North Carolina educators. The workshops are free to all educators no matter their association affiliation. For more information, including registration, please visit www.pencweb.org or contact Bill Medlin, PENC, at bill@penc.web.org or 919.788.9299.

World View Symposium Focuses on Global Issues and Solutions

World View's 2012 Global Education Symposium for K-12 educators, "Global Issues and Solutions," will be held Oct. 24-25 at the Friday Center for Continuing Education, UNC-Chapel Hill. The symposium offers general and concurrent sessions examining the world's most pressing challenges and resources for integrating global themes across the curriculum. CEU credits are offered. The registration fee is $175 per person. A team of four is $600. For more information, including registration, please visit worldview.unc.edu or call 919.962.9264.

Annual Mathematics Conference Set for October

The 42nd Annual State Mathematics Conference, "Common Core: The Journey Begins," will be held Oct. 25-26 at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center, Greensboro. For information regarding sessions, workshops, accommodations, registration instructions, registration fees and other information please visit www.NCCTM.org . The pre-registration deadline is Oct. 12 by mail and Oct. 19 online. ·

"Building America Through Core Democratic Values"

The International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro is sponsoring an educational exhibit targeted at fourth, eighth and 11th grade social studies students. "Building America through Core Democratic Values" will engage students in "a dynamic exploration of core democratic values that were operative in the creation of our cities, the evolution of this state and the building of our nation." Such values will be expressed through important documents such as the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, patriotic songs, vital speeches and themed works of art. A centerpiece of the exhibit is "The Battlegrounds," which spans 16 galleries and explores the African American experience, specifically the struggle to end a racially based caste system, through audio/video narratives, pictorials, artifacts, vintage newsreel footage, video re-enactments, and other interactive components. The educational exhibit will run through the 2014-15 school year. For more information on the museum and exhibits, please visit www.sitinmovement.org . For information regarding tours, please contact April Sharpe at asharpe@sitinmovement.org.

Coastal Carolina Indian Center Offers Outreach Program to Fourth and Eighth Graders

The Coastal Carolina Indian Center is looking forward to presenting its brand new 2012-13 Great Salt Water Educational Outreach Enrichment Program as an in-house field trip to both fourth and eighth grade students. This is a very popular and unique educational outreach program that will enrich your curriculum studies about the living history of O-neh-weh-yuh-ka (North Carolina) as it relates to various Native American Tribes associated with North Carolina including the Indians of eastern and coastal NC. Teachers are encouraged to contact Coastal Carolina Indian Center at indiancenter@gmail.com or 252.354.4187 to schedule a Great Salt Water Educational Outreach enrichment program. Additional information is available online at www.coastalcarolinaindians.com .

"Stop Bullying" Video Challenge

The Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention invite youth ages 13 to 18 to create 30- to 60-second public service announcements as part of the Stop Bullying Video Challenge. Video submissions should showcase ways the youth are taking action against bullying and promoting kindness and respect within their communities. The grand prize is $2,000 and two runner-ups will each receive $500. The three winning videos will be featured on the Stop Bullying website at stopbullying.gov . Entries must be received by 11 p.m., Oct. 14. View complete contest details at http://stopbullying.challenge.gov/ .

Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest

The N.C. Arts Council, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation and the Greensboro Public Library, invites high school students to participate in the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation contest to gain a deeper appreciation of great poetry through memorization and recitation. The contest begins in the classroom. Winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to a district and/or state competition, and ultimately to the national finals in Washington, DC. The state winner's school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the national finals. Contest registration forms must be completed and submitted by teachers by Oct. 19. For registration and additional information, including a timeline, please visit www.ncarts.org/freeform_scrn_template.cfm?ffscrn_id=247& or contact Banu Valladares, Arts In Education director at the North Carolina Arts Council, at banu.valladares@ncdcr.gov or 919.807.6502.