JANUARY 10, 2013 - Teachers' Biweekly Messages
On Dec. 31, North Carolina took a major step forward to delivering the instructional improvement system for teachers and other educators. On that day, we signed a contract with Pearson to develop most components of the instructional improvement system for North Carolina. The IIS, along with PowerSchool, compose Home Base, North Carolina's new technology support for teaching and learning. It has taken more than a year of administrative and legal work and planning to get us to this point on such a major project, and we look forward to moving toward delivery of this important toolkit for teachers and administrators, students and parents. While I know that some school districts have purchased specific technology tools that provide some of the features that will be in Home Base, it only makes sense to leverage the state's economy of scale to provide robust technology support for all of our districts and schools. I predict that you will be very pleased with the outcome.
On Jan. 31, there will be a Home Base Introductory Webinar for Teachers from 3:30-5 p.m. To register, go to https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register /864552585. During the webinar, participants will receive an overview of Home Base and a short demo of some of the instructional improvement functionality that will be available. Home Base Introductory Webinars are held monthly and announced in the Race to the Top Teacher Calendar emailed each month to teachers, principals and superintendents. Information will be provided about piloting and training in the coming months.
- State Board of Education Meeting Highlights
- Dropout Rate, School Crime and Violence, Suspensions and Expulsions All Decrease in 2011-12
- Student Ownership of Learning Module Pilot
- PowerSchool FAQ Available Online
- New Professional Development Modules for 2012-13
- NC Reading Association's Annual Conference Scheduled for March
- Nominations Open for Jay Robinson Leadership Awards
- Nominations Open for the NC Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
- LOVE THE BUS 2013 is Feb. 11-15
Among the items approved by State Board of Education members at their January meeting were the High School Accreditation Framework, Recommendations Considering the Implementation of Virtual Charter Schools and reports to members of the General Assembly regarding Implementation of the ABCs and the Statewide Consolidated Assistance Program, Disadvantaged Student Supplemental Funding, the School Connectivity Initiative and School Performance Grades. Board members also approved requests for enrollment and/or grade expansion and charter amendments from 11 public charter schools. A summary of Board action items will be available online at http://stateboard.ncpublicschools.gov/highlights/2012 .
To read the following press releases in their entirety as well as access the full 2011-12 Consolidated Data Report, please visit www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate links under "News."
Dropout Rate Trends to Another Record Low. Last school year, 3.01 percent of high school students dropped out of school, according to the 2011-12 Consolidated Data Report today presented to State Board of Education members. This rate represents a .42 percentage point decrease from the previous year's rate of 3.43 percent and another record low. A total of 13,488 high school students dropped out in 2011-12 as compared to 15,342 students in 2010-11 (12.1 percent decrease).
School Crime and Violence, Suspensions and Expulsions Down in Public Schools in 2011-12. The total number of reportable acts of school crime and violence, short- and long-term student suspensions, and expulsions all decreased in 2011-12 according to the 2011-12 Consolidated Data Report today presented to State Board of Education members. The total number of acts of school crime and violence was the lowest reported number since 2008-09.
Teachers, are you using formative assessment in your classroom? Are students engaged in the process? The Student Ownership of Learning Module is a resource developed to help students gain an understanding of their role in formative assessment. If you have implemented formative assessment in your classroom or are going to start and you are looking for a way to help students learn more about the process, you may want to consider piloting the student module. Interested teachers should:
- communicate interest with the NC FALCON Coordinator in your district (a list of coordinators is available in NC FALCON)
- Use this link to complete the volunteer form no later than Jan. 22: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dHBvRGZyZFM5N25rNC02N1ZFOHZlY3c6MQ
- Plan to pilot the module between January and March.
Teachers who complete the volunteer form will receive an email with additional information. Please consider this great opportunity for students. For more information, contact Carmella Fair at Carmella.Fair@dpi.nc.gov or 919.807.3840.
NC public schools are making the transition in 2013 from the NC WISE student information system to PowerSchool, a more modern and easy-to-use tool. New frequently asked questions have been posted about the transition. Please check them out at www.ncwise.org/documents/power_school/NC_WISE_PwrSchool_FAQ.pdf
The NCDPI has released new online modules to provide teachers, administrators and support personnel with flexible, on-demand professional development. Please take time to review the contents of the modules. Individuals, schools or districts are encouraged to implement the new modules in ways that best suit their resources, calendars and local professional development plans. Modules are available through NC Education at http://center.ncsu.edu/nc/ . The most recently released modules include: Connecting with Our 21st Century Learners; Digital Literacies in the K-12 Classroom; Introduction to Data Literacy; Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects; North Carolina School Executive Standards and Evaluation Process; and Understanding Young Student Behavior in the Classroom. For more information on the modules and suggestions for school- or district-wide implementation, including best practices and facilitation strategies, please see the 2012-13 Implementation Guide at http://rt3nc.org/pubs/impguide2012 . If you have questions, please contact Lynne Johnson at email@example.com.
The NC Reading Association's Annual Conference, "Investigate That Story: Dig to the Core," will be held March 10-12 at the Raleigh Convention Center. This year's conference focuses heavily on Common Core State Standards and strategies for teachers of all grades. Teachers earn up to 1.5 reading CEUs. Discounted early bird registration is available before Feb. 15. Online registration and program/speaker information are available at www.ncreading2.dreamhosters.com .
Nominations for the Jay Robinson Leadership Awards are now being accepted. The original award was established by the Public School Forum Board of Directors and the NC School Boards Association in honor of Dr. Jay Robinson, former superintendent Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, UNC vice president and chair of the State Board of Education. In 2011, the award was expanded to two awards: Exemplary Educator with statewide impact in K-12 education and Exemplary Leadership in Public Service with statewide impact in K-12 education. The awards may be given to anyone who has displayed innovative, creative and effective leadership for the public schools of North Carolina. The nominations MUST be postmarked by March 1. The honor includes a cash award sponsored by BB&T. To obtain a nomination form, contact Debra Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominations Being Accepted for the NC Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
The 2013 Awards Cycle for Secondary Teachers (grades 7-12) for the North Carolina Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is now open. One mathematics teacher and one science teacher will be selected. Each will receive a $10,000 award and a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend the National Awards Recognition Program. Nominations will be accepted through April 1. The application deadline is May 1. Nomination details are available online at www.paemst.org .
Celebrate your school bus drivers and the importance of school bus transportation at your schools through LOVE THE BUS 2013. Without the school bus, some students would find it impossible to be in class every day. Traveling by school bus also is the safest way for students to get to and from school. Feb. 11-15 is School Bus Driver Appreciation Week in North Carolina and LOVE THE BUS celebrations. Resources and downloads are available for your use at www.ncbussafety.org/LoveTheBusNC . You also can register your school's event(s) at this location. For more information, contact NCDPI Transportation Services Section Chief Derek Graham at email@example.com.