TO: NC Public... FROM: State Superintendent June Atkinson

NC Public School Principals
FROM: State Superintendent June Atkinson
DATE: June 6, 2013
North Carolina’s Standard Course of Study includes the Common Core State Standards
for English language arts and mathematics. The State Board of Education adopted
these standards in 2010; and your team and you have been implementing them since
last fall. Nonetheless, there continue to be questions about the Common Core, what
these standards are and are not, and why North Carolina chose to use these multistate-developed standards as its own. To help your team and you in communicating
about the Common Core State Standards, we've launched a new Common Core
webpage that gathers in one location many of the information resources that were
already on the NCDPI web site and some new resources. The URL to the Common
Core webpage is; and a direct link also
is available under the “Highlights” heading on I'd like to draw
your attention to two new items there –13 Things to Know about Common Core in North
Carolina and Frequently Asked Questions. Each of these documents is available as a
printable PDF that you can use with parents or others. These documents are available
in the left side navigation bar on the page.
June Atkinson
In this Biweekly Principals’ Message:
1. State Board Meeting Highlights
2. Evaluation Training: Materials for HR Directors and Principals Online
3. Transitioning Evaluation Data into Home Base
4. More than Half of NC Early College High Schools’ Graduates Earn Associates
Degrees or Two Years of College Credit
5. Cleveland County Schools’ Teacher Receives National Award
6. NCAEA Permanent Display of Student Artwork at the NCDPI
1. State Board Meeting Highlights - At this morning’s State Board of Education
meeting, members approved new teacher licensure areas to be offered at Elon, Guilford
College, UNC-Wilmington and UNC-Charlotte and new lateral entry licensure programs
to be offered by Guilford County Schools’ Alternative Certification Track (GCS-ACT) and
TEACH Charlotte. Board members also approved proposed standards, rubrics and
users guides for evaluating allied health service professionals and slight changes to
Career and Technical Education licensure requirements. In addition, members
discussed the EVAAS model and its use in Educator Effectiveness and school-level
accountability reports and recognized six outgoing Board members and advisors. Visit for a complete
list of Board actions.
2. Evaluation Training: Materials For HR Directors and Principals Online Resources for evaluation training are available for HR directors and principals. These
include videos, scenarios, sample scripts and observations to engage evaluators in
conversations around ratings alignment and continuous improvement. Visit for an overview of these resources. Also,
please share this with your HR Directors. Kim Simmons and the PD Leads have created
these materials with input from principal focus groups. They are ready to assist with
your district training plans.
3. Transitioning Evaluation Data into Home Base - As we prepare to move the
online North Carolina Educator Evaluation System (NCEES) into Home Base, we would
like to make you aware of initial transition steps. We are working hard to keep the same
process you have used for several years, but we are replacing the current online
technology tool with a new delivery platform powered by Truenorthlogic software. As in
prior years, all evaluation processes, forms and records must be completed in the
current online tool prior to June 30. The June 30 lockdown date applies to both the
teacher and AP/Principal tools, and this deadline cannot be extended. This is especially
important this year, as beginning July 1, the current technology platform will no longer
be available, and we will be engaged in moving the evaluations to the new platform.
Following are some key points about the transition process. We will create a PDF
image of each evaluation that has been recorded in the current online tool. We will load
the PDF images for all three years of evaluations (2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13) onto
a secure site on the new NCEES software platform, and districts will have ongoing
access to their local evaluations (aforementioned PDF images) on this secure
site. Districts will have access to these historical evaluation files beginning mid to late
August, and will continue to have access to these files for the foreseeable future, so
there should be no need for local archiving. Since we are archiving all of the evaluations
on the secure site at a statewide level, McREL will not accept district batch file requests
from individual districts since addressing those requests would significantly slow down
the statewide archiving process.
The new Truenorthlogic software will not be available for the Principal and Assistant
Principal Evaluation processes until October, but these processes should still follow the
standard timelines for the 2013-14 school year. Districts should continue to use the
processes and forms found in the Principal Evaluation Process Manual available online
at Districts may begin putting principal
and assistant principal evaluation data into the new NCEES online tool (through Home
Base) when the principal and assistant principal forms become available in the new
system in October.
4. More than Half of NC Early College High Schools’ Graduates Earn Associates
Degrees or Two Years of College Credit - North Carolina’s growing number of early
college high schools reached a new milestone this spring, with more than half the
2,000-plus graduates in the class of 2013 earning an associate degree or two years of
college credit in addition to a high school diploma. At a time of intensifying focus on the
readiness of high school students for college and the workforce, North Carolina’s early
colleges are proving an effective model for helping students gain the kinds of skills
needed for success in the increasingly competitive economy. Preliminary data show the
schools had a combined graduation rate of more than 95 percent, with more than eight
of every 10 graduates earning at least a year of college credit. North Carolina’s early
colleges account for about a third of the hybrid schools nationwide. To read more,
please visit and look for the link under “News.”
5. Cleveland County Schools’ Teacher Receives National Award - Congratulations
to Brian Soash, an eighth grade math and science teacher at Crest Middle School
(Cleveland County Schools) for receiving the 2012-13 LifeChanger of the Year Award
from the National Life Group. This program recognizes and rewards K-12 school district
educators and employees who make a positive difference in the lives of students by
exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership. Soash was one of 10
recipients and received a $3,000 cash prize (the award is split between the recipient
and the school). For more information on the award, please visit
6. NCAEA Permanent Display of Student Artwork at the NCDPI - Beginning this
October, the North Carolina Art Education Association is planning to showcase student
artwork from all LEAs in a permanent display at the NC Department of Public
Instruction. K-12 art teachers are asked to select a student’s artwork for consideration.
To ensure statewide representation, each NCAEA region coordinator will chair a team
to select works from those submitted from their region. Visit to access the letter
of invitation and guidelines for NC art educators, which includes a link to the student
submission form. This link also will take you to the parent information and permission
form required for submission. The deadline for the digital submission is June 30.
All NCAEA art educators will have an opportunity to view the exhibit at a special
viewing during the NCAEA Professional Development Conference on Friday night Oct.
3. A special reception for students, their parents and educators will be planned after the
initial viewing during the month of October. Please consider submitting a work for
consideration of this great honor for your student, community, and you to have in the
NC Department of Education Building on permanent display.
Previous Principals’ Biweekly Messages are posted online at