Aug. 7, 2015 Principals' Biweekly Message 0 Re

Aug. 7, 2015 Principals' Biweekly Message
8/7/15 12:32 PM
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Aug. 7, 2015 Principals' Biweekly Message
North Carolina Public Schools sent this bulletin at 08/07/2015 12:27 PM EDT
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Aug. 7, 2015
During the next few weeks, many of you who are not leading a
year-round school will be putting the finishing touches on getting
your schools ready for the nearly 1.6 million public school students
who will come through your doors needing a quality education.
The Department of Public Instruction continues to work hard to
provide you with the leadership and services that will help you with
your important and complex work. Some of our work will be
focused on the following initiatives:
- Extensive use of Home Base and learning management systems.
To date, 114 out of 115 school districts have chosen to have
access to Home Base content and assessments. At least 96
school districts have chosen subscriptions to the learning
management system — Canvas. We will continue to work with
teachers and you in expanding the use of this system to help
teachers save time in finding excellent resources, some of which have been developed by their peers.
- Professional development around the educator evaluation system.
- Implementation of the statewide digital plan.
- Proof of Concept pilot that would change the way we assess student learning and the time involved.
The information we get from this pilot will help determine the next generation of testing that may be
different from the annual end-of-grade tests.
- Global Education badging for schools.
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- Improved system of communication with you through GovDelivery, our new email delivery system.
Best wishes for a successful school year!
Do you like your newsletter’s new look? The Department is now
using the GovDelivery system to send our biweekly message to
you along with other important department communications.
Today’s biweekly message is the second communication to be
sent through GovDelivery. Other divisions currently using our old system will transition to this new
service over the next six to nine months.
One GovDelivery benefit is that it enables subscribers to manage their individual subscriptions and
select the public school communications that best meet their needs and interests. We will be sending
you more information about how to personalize your subscription in the next few weeks. In addition,
the new system also provides us with a more visually appealing platform in which we can send
communications and will offer users the opportunity to receive information via text message and/or
through an RSS feed.
It’s an exciting day and we’re glad you’re part of the first group to experience this with us!
State Board of Education Meeting
At yesterday’s State Board of Education meeting, members
approved updates to course for credit and graduation
requirements, Compliance Commission recommendations for Field
Testing and Special Studies Appeals for the 2015-16 school year,
and NC Charter Schools Advisory Board’s recommendations.
Board members also welcomed new principal advisor, Steve
Lassiter (Pactolus School, Pitt County Schools), and heard a report on the use of the Formative
Diagnostic Assessment System, Reading 3D. The complete list of Board actions will be available
Monday on the State Board of Education website.
Global-Ready Designations Update
The 2015-16 application and guidance for the Global-Ready
School designation will be available early September. In the
meantime, schools are encouraged to review the 2014-15
application and guidance along with the designation criteria to get
ready for this year’s application cycle. The school level applications are due by April 2016.
The Global Educator Digital Badge for Teachers is now available. Once teachers have completed
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Aug. 7, 2015 Principals' Biweekly Message
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their global education focused annual professional development plan, they can officially notify NCDPI
and begin the process. For more information on the badge (SBE Policy, FAQs, Implementation Guide
and archived webinars for teachers and principals), visit the Global Education website.
Please contact Special Assistant for Global Education Helga Fasciano at [email protected]
for more information.
NC Virtual Public School to Pilot Online
PE This Fall; Redesigns Website
In the digital age, you can find almost anything online, and education is no exception. But what about
something like a gym class? Most would think the course name “physical education” implies it can’t be
offered virtually. However, the North Carolina Virtual Public School, an online school funded by the
N.C. General Assembly, is pushing the boundaries of online education by offering a new virtual high
school PE course. Macon and New Hanover counties will pilot the program this fall, and the course
could potentially expand statewide in spring 2016. To read more, visit and
select the appropriate link under “News.”
The North Carolina Virtual Public School also is excited to announce that it has redesigned its
website! To better serve your school, the website features user-friendly navigation, print-friendly pages,
and a wealth of information and resources. And, although the look has changed, the location remains
the same: For more details, please visit
Action Research Projects Available to
On Friday, July 17, over 900 educators from across the state
participated in “Teachers Leading from the Classroom with Action Research.” The Governor’s Teacher
Network facilitated this networking opportunity. Classroom action research findings were presented as
teachers shared their problem of practice, intervention, findings, strategies utilized, and resources to
conduct an action research project in their classroom. A searchable index of all 218-action research
projects is available on the North Carolina Teacher Action Research Portal. More information about the
Governor’s Teacher Network can be found online at
NC State Advisory Council on Indian Education Announces New
Instructional Resources
The North Carolina State Advisory Council on Indian Education is pleased to announce its new online
Culturally Responsive Instructional Resources. Use of these resources by classroom teachers was the
Council’s sole recommendation in its Annual Report this year to the State Board of Education. The goal
of the recommendation is to increase graduation and achievement rates among the state’s American
Indian students and to educate all students and teachers with accurate information about American
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As this map shows, every county in North Carolina has an
American Indian population. The figures on this map are “Indian
alone” and do not take into account Indians self-reporting as multiracial.
These new webpages include a wide variety of accurate and
appropriate resources for teaching to and about America's first
people. K-16 teachers will find many useful resources including
lesson plans and teaching suggestions, research, text lists,
information on all eight state-recognized North Carolina tribes, and
contemporary background information on Indian country today.
Teachers will particularly want to note:
- Text Resources page with lists of recommended books for
elementary, middle and high schools as well as a useful guide for
evaluating books;
- Teaching About Thanksgiving page with recommended books
and thought-provoking teaching points;
- Teachers/Administrators page with resources listed
alphabetically, including an American Indians in Children's
Literature blog link with great book reviews and information, and LearnNC's Curriculum Guide aligned
to CCSS and Essential Standards with information on all eight state-recognized North Carolina tribes;
- Montana Office of Public Instruction Indian Education for All Companion Guides - Connections With
Common Core Standards with detailed ELA lessons aligned with the CCSS using wonderful Nativebased texts.
Please make sure your classroom teachers and social studies departments are aware of these
Use District Courier Number When Sending Mail
Staff with the Department of Administration’s (DOA) Mail Service Center are seeing a lot of courier mail
going between schools with incorrect courier numbers.
For example, several pieces of mail going to schools in Kannapolis were addressed to courier number
130-325 along with a street address. Neither of these pieces of information will get the mail to the
school. The courier number for Kannapolis City Schools is 05-08-01. It is CRITICAL that mail be
addressed to the District Courier #, rather than the internal courier # assigned to each school.
Courier numbers are available on DOA’s website. Just enter the word “school” in the Agency box and
search. The listings for all state school districts that participate in the Courier Service will come up. The
district has an internal system to deliver the items to each school.
Schools are fighting budget battles every day. Using the Courier Service is fiscally responsible, and can
save districts 30 percent off USPS costs.
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