"The will to win, the desire to succeed,
the urge to reach your full potential...these
are the keys that will unlock your 
personal excellence."




September 5, 2014 E-News


In This Issue...

  1. Welcome Back to School!
  2. Graduation Rates, School Growth & Performance on the Rise
  3. PENC Scholarships and Grants - Accepting Applications!
  4. Events and Workshops
  5. Exciting Opportunities
  6. Read to Achieve News

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to your colleagues!

Welcome Back to School!

PENC thanks you for being a champion for your students!
View TED Talk - Rita Pierson: Every Kid Needs a Champion.

We hope your school year is off to a great start! Please make sure you've renewed your PENC membership to ensure coverage in your classroom this year. Click here to renew online or fill out a printable Membership Form.

Graduation Rates, School Growth & Performance on the Rise

2014 NC High School Graduation Rate Highest in State History

North Carolina’s 2014 graduation rate of 83.8 percent, released September 4, 2014, is the highest recorded in the state’s history. Since 2006, the first year the state reported a four-year cohort graduation rate, the percentage of students graduating from high school in four years or less has risen 15.5 percentage points – from 68.3 percent to 83.8 percent. Also released were the five-year cohort graduation rate and subgroup graduation rates.

Student Academic Growth Increases in 2013-14; Proficiency Now Reported Under Five Achievement Levels 

Almost 75 percent of North Carolina public school schools (74.7 percent) met or exceeded their academic growth goals in 2013-14 according to the 2013-14 Performance and Growth of North Carolina Public Schools report presented to State Board of Education members. This is an increase of 3.4 percentage points from 2012-13. In addition to academic growth, state, district and school results also were provided for the end-of-grade and end-of-course tests against the five achievement levels, as well as The ACT, ACT WorkKeys, four- and five-year cohort graduation rates, and the percentage of graduates passing Math III, Integrated Mathematics III or Algebra II (North Carolina’s measure of math rigor in high school).‚Äč

View the Press Release and the 2013-2014 Performance & Growth Summary.

PENC Scholarships and Grants - Accepting Applications!

We are now accepting applications for scholarships and grants. Please see below for available opportunities and deadlines:

  • Professional Development Scholarships - October 1, 2014 deadline
  • New Teacher Grants - December 13, 2014 deadline
  • Continuing Education Scholarships - January 9, 2015 deadline
  • Children of PENC Members Scholarships - January 30, 2015 deadline
  • National Board Scholarships - January 30, 2015 deadline

Please visit our website at www.pencweb.org/scholarships-and-grants for more information and to apply.

Events and Workshops

Helps Education Fund Back to School BBQ Event:

The Back to School BBQ is a fun way to support the Helps Education Fund and enjoy good food with your friends! The Back to School BBQ will be held at the beautiful Montague Lake Pavilion. Attendees will be able to enjoy great food and drinks, relax at the park and lake, play lawn games, listen to music, and more.

100% of the money raised at the BBQs will be dedicated to launching Project SPARK, the Helps Education Fund’s newest program. Project SPARK empowers families to effectively improve their children’s literacy skills with fun, research-supported, and easy-to-use activities that can be used in the comfort of their own homes. Learn more about Project SPARK here: http://helpseducationfund.org/spark.php

When: September 7th, 2-6:00 p.m.
Where: Montague Lake, 10301 Penny Rd., Raleigh, NC 27606
General ticket price: $25
Discount price for K-12 educators/K-University students: $15

Register here: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/helps-ed-fund-back-to-school-bbq-tickets-12156306841

*Helps Education Fund will also be offering literacy workshops for PENC members. Please check the website in late September for more details.

PENC National Board Certification Workshops

PENC is happy to offer National Board Certification Workshops again this year beginning in the fal. A list of dates for these workshops will be available on our website at www.pencweb.org/workshops later this month.

Free SAS e-Courses available

For anyone wishing to learn STEM skills that are in high demand in today’s economy, two beginner SAS e-Courses, Programming 1 and Statistics 1, are now being offered to the world for free. This coincides with the free release of SAS University Edition, and it complements a number of video tutorials that are already free. Taken together, these free releases can provide skills that lead to success in a vast number of varied careers.

EC Highlights Free Training Opportunities for NC Deaf-Blind Project

The NC Deaf-Blind Project is sponsoring a number of free workshops, webinars and institutes during the summer through early fall. These training opportunities are open to parents and families, teachers and other educational professionals. To learn more about these events, visit http://ec.ncpublicschools.gov/disability-resources/deaf-blind/training.

The August North Carolina Civic Education Consortium newsletter features seminars and information about travel grants to the NC Museum of History.

Exctiting Opportunities

Creative Classroom Contest

Creative and stimulating projects can go a long way in helping students understand material. Our State invites you to submit a classroom project idea to be completed by May 31, 2015 (during the 2014-2015 school year). One project will be selected by the judges to receive up to $500 to bring the project to life. Click here to find more information about rules and submissions.

Awards for Science and Mathematics Teachers

The Career Award for Science and Mathematics Teachers is a five-year $175,000 award available to outstanding science or mathematics teachers in the North Carolina public primary and secondary schools.

The purpose of this award is to recognize teachers who have demonstrated solid knowledge of science or mathematics content and have outstanding performance records in educating children. This five-year award presents opportunities for professional development and collaboration with other master science or mathematics teachers who will help to ensure their success as teachers and their satisfaction with the field of teaching.

Teachers may self-nominate, but be sure to read over the guidelines for more details.

Application Deadline: September 15, 2014
Complete Eligibility Requirements

2015 Emerging Issues High School Prize for Innovation

The Institute for Emerging Issues is proud to sponsor a contest that awards North Carolina's youth for investing in their communities and taking intiative to solve local problems.

The 2015 Emerging Issues High School Prize for Innovation challenges teams of N.C. high school students to reflect upon the past in order to help improve a community's future. Teams will investigate the historical roots of a local challenge a community has wrestled with, develop an innovative solution to the challenge, and engage community members in tackling the issue. 

Perhaps a team will launch a media campaign, create a working group, start a nonprofit, perfect a new technology- or maybe they will create an entirely new approach!

The grand prize winner will receive $5,000 for project implementation and up to five finalists will win $1,000 each!

Applications for the high school prize competition will be accepted until November 10, 2014

Encourage all of N.C.'s youth to take action and engage in making our state better! For more information about the prize, click here.  

iPadagogy: Teaching and learning with iPads

LEARN NC recently published a set of enhanced digital textbooks created by UNC School of Education professor Janice Anderson and a team of graduate students. These books are part of a research project investigating the potential impact of iPads in the classroom. The books, available in iBook or PDF format, can be downloaded at the LEARN NC site.

Back to School Discounts

Below are 8 clothing stores that offer discounts (15-20%) online or in-store for teachers. Just mention that you're a teacher to the sales representatives online or in the store and show them an ID.

1) Ann Taylor LOFT (www.loft.com)
2) The Limited (www.thelimited.com)
3) Banana Republic (www.bananarepublic.com)
4) New York & Company (www.nyandcompany.com)
5) J.Crew (www.jcrew.com)
6) J. Jill (In store only) (www.jjill.com)
7) Talbots (www.talbots.com)
8) Aerosoles (www.aerosoles.com)

Read to Achieve News

House Bill 230 allows LEAs to submit proposals to the State Board of Education (SBE) for a local alternative portfolio process for Read to Achieve (RTA). The completion of a student reading portfolio is one of the Good Cause Exemptions listed in the RTA law. For each benchmark, there shall be three examples of student work demonstrating mastery by a grade of seventy (70%) or above. The SBE approved DPI’s RTA portfolio process in October 2013 and addendums in February 2014. 

Over the summer, DPI staff met with representatives of each State Board district. The Portfolio Advisory Committee discussed what LEA local alternative proposals should include before being presented to the SBE. The following proposal process was developed from the work of that committee: LEA Alternative Student Reading Portfolio Requirements & Review Process <https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/Attachment.aspx?S=10399&AID=27802&MID=1436. At its September meeting, the SBE approved this proposal.  

On a related note, the SBE will vote next month on a policy requiring their annual report of the SBE-approved alternative assessments submitted by LEAs. The performance standard for each approved alternative assessment will be included in the list of SBE-approved alternative assessments. This policy proposal is in response to the law, G.S. 115C-83.3(2), requiring the SBE to provide several valid and reliable alternative assessments, to approve such assessments and establish an achievement level range for each approved alternative assessment. It also requires the SBE to annually review all alternative assessment to ensure ongoing relevance, validity and reliability. 

Connect with us on:
Professional Educators of North Carolina (PENC)
P.O. Box 17129 Raleigh, NC 27619