Document 10916056

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North Carolina, September 2012
Race to the Top Progress Update
Sub-criterion D3
Part B: In preparation for monthly calls, States must submit written responses to the following questions
for two application sub-criteria (e.g. (A)(2) and (D)(4)). 1 All responses in this section should be tailored
to the goals and projects associated with this sub-criterion.
Application sub-criterion: D3 Ensuring equitable distribution of effective teachers and principals
(Virtual Courses)
STATE’s goals for this sub-criterion:
• Increase the number of highly-qualified teachers in low-income rural areas and low-performing
urban schools.
Relevant projects: ( tasks)
• Launch three pilot STEM courses.
• Identify low achieving schools for target deployment of services.
• Collaboratively determine the new virtual delivery model's teaching and learning approach, and
the support, and coaching needs for all identified schools and staff.
• Identify, hire, prepare, and strategically place face-to-face and virtual teachers and contractors to
serve at risk populations through the new virtual course delivery model.
• Develop, design, and modify 3 virtual STEM core math and science courses that provide access
and targeted instruction to at-risk student populations for the purposes of credit attainment
towards graduation.
• Identify and procure and deploy blended resources and devices, and provide appropriate training
and support.
• Collaboratively determine support and coaching needs for all staff and contractors regarding
professional development, device deployment, and related needs.
1. What is the extent of the State’s progress toward meeting the goals and performance
measures and implementing the activities that are included in its approved scope of work
for this sub-criterion?
NCVPS has met all goals associated with Phase I of the blended pilot. The three new pilot
districts are New Hanover, Greene, and Person. The three districts selected their implementation
teams consisting of a central office contact, school administrators, content teachers, and district
and/or school coaches. Each team submitted their implementation plan to the NCVPS liaison for
review. Each of the three districts has signed the Memorandum of Understanding as it relates to
the project.
Pilot school districts have been critical in conversations on best practices in implementing the
blended courses. Greene County Schools has been instrumental in providing feedback on one-toone implementation. Greene County has one of the longest running one-to-one laptop initiatives
in North Carolina. Feedback has also been gleaned from public Institutions of Higher Education
on the usefulness of portfolios in STEM courses. The initial survey was sent to faculty in the
1
On each monthly call, program officers and states should work together to select two sub-criteria for the following month.
OMB Control Number: 1894-0011
Expiration Date: October 31, 2011 North Carolina, September 2012
fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math across North Carolina in June 2012. With
a low return rate, the surveys will be resent in October 2012 to collect a significant amount of
data. The survey yielded several faculty members at different institutions willing to review the
STEM courses and assist with professional development or classroom support both virtually or
face to face. In preparation for pilot implementation, school teams were invited for a two day
workshop on courses, devices, professional development instructions, professional learning
network development, and blended model briefing held at North Carolina State University June
14 and 15, 2012. The two day workshop had 100% attendance from all school districts. Only
one teacher was unable to attend the workshop.
On August 27, 2012 all three pilot courses were launched in pilot districts on mobile devices.
STEM course enrollments are comprised of at-risk students from low socio-economic groups and
minorities (Hispanic, African-American, and Women). Each LEA is working to develop
sustainable STEM practices to continue the pilot efforts. Each LEA has taken a positive approach
sustaining the STEM movement. Here are three examples: one school district is a partner in the
NC GEAR UP grant, a district has now funded a STEM position to teach a course and work on
building the district’s capacity, and a final district is working with their Chamber of Commerce
and local businesses to support their STEM efforts through fiscal support.
The search for implementation specialist and blended model teacher support staff will be
completed in October 2012. There will be three new course development teams consisting of the
following: content developers, multimedia content developer, virtual content teachers, RDI, and
course reviewers for Integrated Math II, Integrated Math III, and Biotechnology and Agriscience
I. The teams will develop from October 2012 until June 2013. We project no significant delays
in the hiring process due to collaboration with Human Resources specialist assigned to Race to
the Top. In the Phase II course development; there is an expected increased opportunity for
stakeholders (teachers, IHEs, non-profit, businesses) to support in the course development.
Biotechnology and Agriscience I is being explored to offer college credit to students who
complete the course sequence.
NCVPS staff identified resources to support the virtual courses and continue to revise the
business and technical requirements with feedback from NC Education Cloud staff. The
procurement process is ever improving.
2. What methods, tools, and processes is the State using to determine the progress toward the
goals and performance measures and the quality of implementation of the activities
described for this application sub-criterion?
NCDPI utilizes frequent RttT Project meetings to check progress against the detailed scope of
work and provide direction. North Carolina uses the standard work plan progress monitoring
process initiated through NCDPI’s Project Management Office (PMO) as well as project
management techniques employed by the NCVPS PMO project manager. The Human Resources
office of NCDPI manages positions and contracts. North Carolina also manages all Information
Technology projects under the oversight of the North Carolina Enterprise Project Management
Office (EPMO) and submits both weekly and monthly status reports. NCSU Friday Institute staff
work with NCVPS on evaluation of the project.
OMB Control Number: 1894-0011
Expiration Date: October 31, 2011 North Carolina, September 2012
3. What is the State’s assessment of its quality of implementation to date?
Project implementation of Phase I courses are well underway. The courses started August 27,
2012 with participation in the mobile courses. The school districts have provided insight into
making one of the courses an honors course (Earth and Environmental Science) to aid the at-risk
students (similar to AVID model). All districts are using a cohort model for Integrated Math I
and Earth and Environmental Science with 9th grade students. There has been great interest from
other school districts throughout the state on when the courses will become available state-wide.
Professional Development participation decreased in the summer months (June-early August).
There is confidence that there will be an increase as teachers return to school. The Virtual STEM
Project team has suggested common professional development time for participating educators
with LEAs. Each LEA has selected to work in a team approach to taking the professional
development. This conversation continues when educators meet with NC VPS Liaison in the
Professional Learning Network (PLN) virtual meetings. The integration of the professional
development website to the learning management system has allowed for participants to have one
location for information.
4. If the State is not on track to meet the goals, performance measures, timelines and quality of
implementation related to this sub-criterion as outlined in its approved scope of work, why
not, and what strategies is the State employing in order to meet goals and performance
measures?
At the present time, all tasks for Phase I implementation is either completed or on-track to being
completed.
5. What are the obstacles and/or risks that could impact the State’s ability to meet its goals
and performance measures related to this sub-criterion?
The major risk is the North Carolina Information Technology procurement process is a very
involved and very slow process.
A low-risk is the mobile device limitations. The mobile devices are limited to their productivity
in the virtual environment at the present time. The lack of flash support hinders visual aspects of
the courses. There is also concern about the submission of assignments in the learning
management system with the mobile devices. While these issues are current, solutions are
coming in weekly to solve many of these initial concerns. As Apple IOS is updating and new
applications are created, we feel that many of these limitations will be removed.
Evaluation: Based on the responses to the previous question, evaluate the State’s performance and
progress to date for this sub-criterion (choose one)
Red (1)
Orange (2)
Yellow (3)
Green (4)2 2
Red – requires urgent and decisive action; Orange – requires substantial attention, some aspects need urgent attention; Yellow –
aspect(s) require substantial attention, some aspects good; Green – good, requires refinement and systematic implementation. OMB Control Number: 1894-0011
Expiration Date: October 31, 2011 North Carolina, September 2012
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OMB Control Number: 1894-0011
Expiration Date: October 31, 2011 
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