April 12, 2007 Teachers’ Biweekly Message: DPI

TO:        NC Public School Teachers
FROM:  State Superintendent June Atkinson
DATE:   April 12, 2007

     You spoke, and we are listening. That is the major message behind
action by the State Board of Education last week to consider some potential
changes to the Future Ready Core for high schools. The Core has been sent to
the Globally Competitive Students committee of the Board, which will next
meet on May 1. This committee has been tasked with considering four issues:
the appropriate effective date for the Core, how the mathematics requirement
should be handled, how second language requirements could be best met and
whether arts and Career Technical Education credits should become
requirements of the Core. After this committee finishes its work, the Core
will go back to the full Board for discussion and action. I believe that all
of us want to help students reach their best potential – even if we disagree
sometimes about the details.
                                          Regards,
                                         June Atkinson

In this Biweekly Teachers¹ Message:
1. State Board Extends Appreciation to Those Who Attended Regional Meetings
2. State Board Meeting Highlights
3.  AYP Graduation Rate Data Added to NC School Report Cards
4. Exceptional Children Division Schedules Public Hearings
5. Focus Groups Scheduled on Proposed Standards for North Carolina Teachers
6.  Annual Elementary School Conference to be Held in October
7.  Five Middle Schools Receive IMPACT II Grant
8. Two Students Named Outstanding Young Scientific Leaders
9.  Litter Sweep Roadside Cleanup Scheduled
10. Asia Society and Goldman Sachs Sponsors International Education Award

1.  State Board Extends Appreciation to Those Who Attended Regional Meetings
– The State Board of Education wishes to express its appreciation to all the
educators across the state who were able to participate in the Regional
Meetings on the Proposed Future-Ready Core for high school graduation. They
also want to again thank the school systems that served as hosts. The board
has listened to your concerns and comments and will be deliberating the
policy during upcoming Board meetings. Once a policy recommendation is
developed, the proposal will be vetted again regionally, with some
face-to-face meetings and videoconferencing. You will be receiving further
information in the very near future.

2.  State Board Meeting Highlights – At this month¹s Board meeting, members
approved a Reading Literacy Strategic Plan and an extension for educational
interpreters and transliterators to meet employment requirements. Board
members discussed revising the North Carolina Mathematics Standard Course of
Study, supplemental education service providers for 2007-08, a new AYP
threshold for 4-year cohort graduation rates, and personal financial
literacy as part of the state¹s curriculum. Board members also received an
update on the regional meetings on the Future-Ready High School Core
Curriculum Framework and the Annual Study of Suspensions and Expulsions for
2005-06 (available online at
http://www.ncpublicschools.org/research/discipline/reports). Board
Highlights will be posted online by Tuesday afternoon at
http://www.ncpublicschools.org/sbehighlights.

3. AYP Graduation Rate Data Added to NC School Report Cards – When the NC
School Report Cards were released in January, one indicator, the AYP
Graduation Rate (found under the High Student Performance tab), was held for
release until early spring. This information has now been added to the
Report Cards. In order to fulfill federal trend requirements, AYP On-Time
data also are included. This will be the last year that On-Time data will be
reported as part of the School Report Cards. Replacing this will be the
Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate, which will be reported for future
releases.  

4. Exceptional Children Division Schedules Public Hearings – The NCDPI¹s
Exceptional Children Division will hold three public hearings to receive
comments on the Department¹s ³Policies and Procedures Governing Programs and
Services for Children with Disabilities² pursuant to Part B of the
Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA). The dates,
times and locations are as follows: April 12: 6:30-8:30 p.m., Auditorium,
Catawba Valley Community College, Hickory; April 17: 6:30-8:30 p.m., Leslie
Bldg., Room 143, Pitt Community College, Winterville; and April 30:
5:30-7:30 p.m., Education Building, Room 150, Raleigh. Meeting locations are
accessible to individuals with disabilities. If auxiliary aid or service is
required, please contact the NCDPI at 919/807-3976 or 919/807-3996 at least
two weeks prior to the scheduled meeting date. The ³Policies and Procedures
Governing Programs and Services for Children with Disabilities² is available
online at www.ncpublicschools.org/ec or by contacting the Exceptional
Children Division at 919/807-3969. Comments on the proposed state policies
and procedures will be accepted through May 1. Written comments should be
sent to: Public Schools of North Carolina, Exceptional Children Division,
ATTN: Brenda Gilchrest or Ira Wolfe, 6356 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC
27699-6356 or by email ECPolicy@dpi.state.nc.us.

5.  Focus Groups Scheduled on Proposed Standards for North Carolina Teachers
– The North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards Commission invites
educators to attend focus group meetings being held around the state to
provide input into ³Standards for North Carolina Teachers.² The proposed
Standards are aligned with the 2006 mission and goals of the NC State Board
of Education and focus on 21st century skills and knowledge. What students
need to know and be able to do is changing. How does this affect what
teachers need to know and be able to do? Join members of the Commission as
they discuss this topic. For session locations, please go online to
http://www.ncptsc.org. If you cannot attend any of the sessions, the
standards are available online at the above Web address and comments can be
submitted via email to Carolyn McKinney, Executive Director of the NC
Professional Teaching Standards Commission, at cmckinney@dpi.state.nc.us.
All comments need to be received by April 24.

6. Annual Elementary School Conference to be Held in October – The North
Carolina Association of Elementary Educators is sponsoring its Fourth Annual
Elementary School Conference, ³Leading the Way: Preparing Lifelong
Learners,² on Oct. 8-9, at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Conference
Center, Research Triangle Park. Call for Proposals and registration forms
can be accessed at www.ncelementary.org. Registration is limited to 800
participants. For more information, please contact Michelle Palmer Weaver at
conferencechair@ncelementary.org.

7. Five Middle Schools Receive IMPACT II Grant – Canton Middle School,
Haywood County Schools; Walkertown Middle School, Winston-Salem/Forsyth
County Schools; Pembroke Middle School, Public Schools of Robeson County;
Union Middle School, Sampson County Schools; and Swain Middle School, Swain
County Schools will be able to enhance their technology programs thanks to
their recent receipt of the IMPACT II Model School Grant awards. Grant
monies, which range from $240,000 – $318,000, will be used to provide the
necessary personnel, resources, technology access, professional development,
and student instruction to develop technologically literate students by the
eighth grade. To read more, please go to the NCDPI Web site at
http://www.ncpublicschools.org and click on More beside ³News.²

8. Two Students Named Outstanding Young Scientific Leaders – Hae Rhee Chung,
a senior at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (Durham;
Leslie Brinson, advisor), and Diane Caitlin Saunders, a senior at Riverside
High School (Durham Public Schools; Elizabeth Christenbury, advisor), were
recently selected as two of the most promising scientific leaders in North
Carolina¹s 2007 high school graduating class. They will represent North
Carolina as delegates in the 44th session of the National Youth Science
Camp® held near the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank, West
Virginia, to be held June 27-July 23. To read more, please go to the NCDPI
Web site at http://www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link
under ³News.²

9.  Litter Sweep Roadside Cleanup Scheduled – The Department of
Transportation¹s (NCDOT) Office of Beautification Programs is sponsoring a
spring Litter Sweep roadside cleanup on April 14-28; and Gov. Easley has
proclaimed this week as Litter Sweep time in North Carolina. Cleanup
supplies can be picked up from your local NCDOT maintenance yard. Schools
are encouraged to participate if possible and teachers may want to use this
time to discuss the importance of environmental protection and recycling.
For more information, please contact Helen Landi, director of Office of
Beautification Programs at 919/715-3188.

10.  Asia Society and Goldman Sachs Sponsors International Education Award –
Asia Society and The Goldman Sachs Foundation are pleased to announce the
2007 Goldman Sachs Foundation Youth Prize for Excellence in International
Education. The 2007 competition asks students to select a problem or
challenge that affects their local community as well as a community outside
the United States. They are to then create an in-depth written, audio,
video, or animated feature that compares and contrasts how these two
communities have addressed the issue and explain why these approaches
reflect the different cultural backgrounds of those involved and what
lessons the different communities could learn from each other. Five winners
will be selected and will receive up to $10,000 each as well as an
all-expense paid trip to New York City in early November 2007 where they
will be recognized at Asia Society’s Gala Annual Dinner. Please visit
http://askasia.org/students/gsfprizes.html for the contest question,
guidelines, rules, and online application. The deadline for applications is
June 11.

If you’d like to review past Teachers’ Biweekly Messages sent to the
listserv group, just go online to
http://www.ncpublicschools.org/teachersarchive/

E.C. 🙂

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