FEBRUARY 14, 2013 - Teachers' Biweekly Messages
The NCDPI and local school districts continue working together with Pearson to transition from NC WISE to PowerSchool. This transition reached a positive milestone on Feb. 1 with the first set of data being transferred from the old NC WISE system into PowerSchool. The move to this new student information system will be completed and operational by July, in time for the 2013-14 school year. For teachers, PowerSchool should be easier to use and should provide better access to the PowerSchool tools since it will run on multiple kinds of devices. PowerSchool is the first major deliverable in the Home Base project designed to better support teachers, parents and students with strong and modern technology tools.
- State Board of Education Meeting Highlights
- Comment Period Extended for Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities, Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, Part B
- Like READY on Facebook; Follow Us on Twitter
- Online Professional Development Modules: Information Page
- North Carolina Teacher Standards and Evaluation Process: Facilitated Course for Teachers
- Mathematics Common Core State Standards Webinar
- Elementary Mathematics Add-On License Webinar
- Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement Scheduled for March
- NCVPS Teacher Finalist for National Online Teacher of the Year
- NC ECHO Project Makes Local History Searchable, Accessible Online
- The National WWII Museum Essay Contest
Among the items approved by State Board of Education members at their meeting last week 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 .
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.
There are three easy ways to obtain the latest information on North Carolina's READY initiative: Facebook, Twitter and the NCDPI website!
READY is taking public education to a whole new level with new curriculum, new assessments, a new accountability model, and a new Educator Evaluation system. Home Base will provide a suite of technology tools for teachers, students and parents all in one place. All these changes will result in more students graduating well prepared for college and careers.
So… like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NCReadyInitiative, follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com /ncpublicschools, or visit us on the web at www.ncpublicschools.org/ready for more information about what our state is doing to support teachers and improve education for all students.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to multiple requests, two sections of the six week, facilitator-led online course designed for teachers, The North Carolina Teacher Standards and Evaluation Process, are now open for registration. This course provides an in-depth look at the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards and helps teachers understand their role in the evaluation process as well as deepen their understanding of the six professional teaching standards.
The course is available at no cost to North Carolina teachers and is facilitated by Educator Recruitment and Development staff. It takes approximately 20 hours to complete over a period of six weeks, and teachers will earn two CEUs upon completion. The course is completely online, with participants having the ability to work flexibly, though there will be weekly deadlines and the course will start and end on scheduled dates. LearnNC is hosting the course.
Teachers can go to www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/7698 to register for the course. There is a limit of 35 participants per section. Next start dates: Feb 18 and April 8. Contact Lynne Johnson at email@example.com for additional information.
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
Learn what the Elementary Mathematics Add-On License Program has to offer elementary teachers, where this program is being offered, and how to get involved in the program. The webinar will be held Feb. 19 from 3:30-4:40 p.m. You may register by visiting www1.gotomeeting.com/register/694131809 . After registering, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing information about joining the webinar.
The third annual Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement, "Engaging NC in Transforming 21st Century Teaching & Learning," will be held March 25-27 at the Koury Convention Center/Sheraton Four Seasons, Greensboro. This conference consolidates the former Accountability, Safe Schools, and Raising Achievement and Closing Gaps conferences. For conference information, including featured presenters, topics and registration, please visit www.ncpublicschools.org/academicservices/conference .
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, educators and researchers may now search and access primary source materials from local history collections across North Carolina with a single search box thanks to a collaborative project led by the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, NC LIVE, and the State Library of North Carolina.
NC ECHO, a new website available at http://ncecho.org, was created in order to expand access to unique local heritage collections previously scattered across a multitude of websites and North Carolina institutions. NC ECHO enables users to search across thousands of digitized and "born-digital" historic materials, including a wide variety of books, photographs, maps, family histories, state documents, newspapers and other materials from cultural heritage institutions around North Carolina. The collections available through NC ECHO include a diverse array of materials by and about the people, places and history of North Carolina.
A previous program by the same name was run out of the State Library of North Carolina from 1999-2012, with the intent to identify and digitize local cultural heritage collections. The newly revived NC ECHO program continues with the same spirit, to build connections and improve access to these collections of historic materials. Over the coming year, the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center will continue to work with cultural institutions across North Carolina to add new materials to this statewide search.
All of the collections available through the NC ECHO search are freely available online to all users, regardless of their location.
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 .