DPI Teachers Biweekly Message for 8/24/07

From DPI:

TO:        NC Public School Teachers
FROM:  State Superintendent June Atkinson
DATE:   Aug. 24, 2007

     As you begin a new school year, I would you encourage you to consider
setting as one of your goals preparing students to know what to do when
things go wrong. I am indebted to Rafe Esquith, a nationally acclaimed 5th
grade teacher from Hobart Elementary School in Los Angeles, for that goal.
When I heard him describe it, I thought it involved all of the things we
should embrace as teachers:  to teach young people how to think, to solve
problems for themselves, to make the right choices, to be resilient in the
face of disappointment, and to live meaningful lives. It is hard to test
these things, or to always measure them, but at the end of the day, these
are the things that matter throughout our students¹ lives.
     On another note, this year’s state budget moves us forward in providing
all students with a better framework of support for their learning, from
pre-K through college. With additional spaces for pre-kindergarten students
in More at 4 programs, the expansion of Learn and Earn, the advent of Learn
and Earn Online (
www.ncpublicschools.org/learnandearnonline), the
opportunities of the NC Virtual Public School, and the other efforts
underway in various school districts across the state to improve high
schools and expand college scholarships, students have more support for
college than ever. College is in reach for any family in North Carolina, if
their students meet the academic requirements. This is a cause for
celebration and diligence to ensure that we help young people understand the
opportunities awaiting them.
                                             Regards,
                                             June Atkinson

In this Biweekly Teachers’ Message:
1. State Board Meeting Highlights
2.  Upcoming Performance Data Releases
3.  Tobacco Free Schools
4.  Gov. Easley Expands Water Restrictions for State Agencies
5. Additional Course Offerings through the NCVPS
6.  Learn and Earn Online Reminder
7.  LEARN NC Offers Teachers Professional Development Opportunity
8. Calling All Kindergarten Educators
9.  Mathematics Conference is Oct. 11-12 in Greensboro
10.  School Bus Safety Poster Contest Winners Announced

1. State Board Meeting Highlights – The State Board of Education met earlier
this month and approved interim academic achievement cut scores for the
NCEXTEND2 OCS assessments in English and mathematics effective with the
2006-07 school year, a request from several school systems for the flexible
use of mentor funds, and proposed standards for the approval of pilot
programs for the licensing of lateral entry teachers. Board members also
discussed job descriptions and salary upgrades for occupational therapist
assistants and physical therapist assistants and recognized seven teachers
with 50 years of teaching service. Complete Board highlights are available
online at
www.ncpublicschools.org/sbe_meetings by clicking on the
appropriate link.

2.  Upcoming Performance Data Releases – It’s that time of year when a
variety of academic performance data releases are scheduled. Most school
system administrators have released their district/schools preliminary AYP
results. The NCDPI has posted local AYP Web sites at
http://www.ncpublicschools.org/nclb/abcayp/ayp in case you want to access
your district/school scores and others across the state. The state and
national ACT results for the graduating class of 2007 were released Aug. 15..
Individual school scores are not available. To read the release, please go
to the NCDPI Web site at
http://www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the
appropriate link under ‘News.’ The College Board will release 2007 SAT
scores on Aug. 28. This release also will be posted on NCDPI’s Web site
under the ‘News’ link. The 2007 ABCs/AYP results and graduation cohort rates
will be presented to the State Board of Education on Sept. 6 at its regular
meeting. This information will be available online that morning at
http://abcs.ncpublicschools.org/abcs/.

3.  Tobacco Free Schools – Session Law 2007-238: Tobacco Free Schools
requires all local boards of education to adopt, implement, and enforce a
written policy that prohibits use of all tobacco products by any person in
public school buildings, on public school campuses, and in or on any other
school property owned or operated by the district. The policy also prohibits
use of all tobacco products by persons attending school-sponsored events at
other locations when students or school personnel are present. The North
Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund Commission has been directed to
provide assistance to local boards of education in implementing this policy
that must be in place no later than August 1, 2008.

4. Gov. Easley Expands Water Restrictions for State Agencies – Gov. Mike
Easley has expanded his directive to state agencies to stop non-essential
use of water to include 74 counties as the latest federal drought map shows
the severe lack of rain has spread east as far as Interstate 95.  Almost
three-fourths of North Carolina, including the coastal plain and Piedmont,
are in either severe or extreme drought. He also continued to call on
citizens to voluntarily reduce their water consumption by at least 10
percent. State agencies that need guidance on water conservation measures
should go to
www.sustainablenc.org/neguidance.

5.  Additional Course Offerings Through the NCVPS  – Additional course
offerings including AP, Honors English, French, and German from outside
providers are now available through the NCVPS. Additional sections to
courses offered by NCVPS also are being added daily. Please continue to
check the course catalog and registration system for the latest information..
For more information, please contact Jim Barber, Interim Director, NCVPS, at
barberj@email.unc.edu.

6.  Learn and Earn Online Reminder – The Learn and Earn Online Web site
(
www.ncpublicschools.org/learnandearnonline) provides the information that
high school students and guidance counselors need in order to take advantage
of this no-cost college opportunity for students. As high school students
return for the 2007-08 school year, please encourage qualified students to
consider taking a Learn and Earn Online course. Plenty of spaces are still
available at both UNC-Gi and the participating community colleges.

7. LEARN NC Offers Teachers Professional Development Opportunity – Sorry for
the late notice on this but wanted to pass along just in case you¹d like to
try and take advantage of this professional development opportunity.
Teachers can explore the future of history with free online professional
development classes from LEARN NC. “American Indians in North Carolina” and
“African American History to 1950” are enrolling now, with courses beginning
Aug. 27. Teachers will analyze primary sources through engaging activities
and create lesson plans for their classroom, all with the flexibility of an
online course. For more information, please visit
www.learnnc.org/courses or
contact Bill Ferris at bferris@learnnc.org.

8. Calling all Kindergarten Educators – NCDPI’s Elementary Division/Primary
Team is collaborating with the North Carolina Association for the Education
of Young Children Organization to offer a special track, ‘The Power of K,’
at their upcoming annual conference at the Koury Convention Center in
Greensboro on Saturday, Sept. 15. This day will be especially geared to
kindergarten teachers, kindergarten assistants, curriculum supervisors, and
others who work with some of our youngest students. Please encourage your
kindergarten educators to attend this special session. You will find
detailed information on the organization’s Web site at
www.ncaeyc.org. If
you have additional questions, please contact Eva C. Phillips, NCDPI,
919/807-3850 or by email, ephillip@dpi.state.nc.us.

9. Mathematics Conference is Oct. 11-12 in Greensboro – The North Carolina
Council of Teachers of Mathematics will hold its 2007 State Conference on
Thursday, Oct. 11, and Friday, Oct. 12, at the Joseph S. Koury Convention
Center in Greensboro. This annual event is for educators in
elementary­university instruction who want to advance teaching strategies
through sessions and workshops taught by master teachers. Commercial
exhibits will feature current mathematics education products.
Pre-registration is $55 for NCCTM members, $65 for non-members and $5 for
full-time students. Registration onsite is $75 for members, $85 for
non-members and $5 for full-time students. The conference program and
registration materials will be online approximately one month prior to the
conference at
www.ncctm.org. Contact Cyndy Davis at cdavis45@triad.rr.com
for more information.

10. School Bus Safety Poster Contest Winners Announced – Congratulations to
Parker Greene, a student at Cleveland Elementary (Rowan County); Estela
Garcia, a student at Spring Creek Elementary (Wayne County Schools);
Christopher Smith, a student at Eastern Wayne Middle (Wayne County Schools);
and Zoe Silvey, a student at Ira B. Jones Elementary (Asheville City) for
winning top honors in North Carolina’s 2007 National School Bus Safety Week
Poster Contest, ‘Stop on Red, Kids Ahead.’ As first place winners, each
received a $50 savings bond sponsored by the Governor¹s Highway Safety
Program and had their posters featured, along with other category winners,
on the School Bus Safety Web site at
http://www.ncbussafety.org.

******************

E.C. 🙂

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