State Superintendent Highlights Curriculum Changes

header-magnifyA message from June Atkinson, State Superintendent, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

In our workplaces and in technology, we all adapt to change on a regular basis. In education, this means that we are constantly looking ahead to make sure that what we teach and how we teach are aligned to help students prepare and thrive.

In your children’s schools this year, teachers and principals have been making some big changes to help us make sure we are preparing students with the skills they will need when they graduate. That’s why our curriculum is different this year.

The new Common Core state standards and revised Essential Standards provide more in-depth learning and set new expectations for achievement. At the end of the school year or end of semester, students are taking new tests that match up to the new curriculum. And, next fall, a new school accountability model will be in place to give you up-to-date information about how your child’s school is doing.

All of these changes are supported by North Carolina’s federal Race to the Top grant. Our goal is to remodel the way we educate our students and ensure that students are better prepared for college and the workplace. This is the essence of what we do.

How are these resources helping?
Thanks to these funds, North Carolina provided deep-level professional development for more than 2,800 teachers and leaders across the state during the last two summers, and we will do it again this summer. This professional development followed a train-the-trainer model, so it will continue across districts and schools as principals and teacher-leaders craft meaningful professional development for their colleagues.

Technology also plays a key role in our remodeling efforts.
Imagine a technology tool that will allow teachers, parents and students to collaborate and have at their fingertips the tools they need.  Home Base will make this possible. Home Base will include a new student information system – PowerSchool – to handle tasks such as scheduling, grades, transcripts and more. PowerSchool replaces the current NC WISE and will be in place by start of school in 2013. Also, an instructional improvement system is being developed to provide teachers with curriculum tools, lesson plans, assessment items, instructional resources and more. These materials will be evaluated beforehand so teachers will know they align with the curriculum in North Carolina.  The instructional improvement side will be in place by the fall of 2014. Together, PowerSchool and the instructional improvement system comprise Home Base.

Home Base will organize information to help teachers and parents pinpoint where students need help the most. Our goal is customized teaching and learning for students.

Please visit the READY website, www.ncpublicschools.org/READY for more information and resources around our remodeling efforts.  For specific information about Home Base, please visit www.ncpublicschools.org/homebase.

Source: NCPTA.org

 

STEM – The Choice is Yours

At our next PTSA  meeting, Ms. Thompson will speak about what STEM means to your child’s education. So please come and join us. Our next PTSA meeting is Monday, Feb. 25th at 6pm in the Media Center.

In the mean time, enjoy this video put together by SAS employees.

More STEM graduates are needed in every industry. SAS employees talk about the role STEM plays in their jobs and the products used by SAS customers.

To learn more about SAS, please visit http://www.sas.com

2013 June Graduation Details

gradsGraduation is almost here and we have posted some key information such as place of the event as well as how many tickets each graduate will receive. Hopefully this early information will help families plan better for the upcoming event.

The June graduation will be at the Memorial Auditorium (Progress Energy Center), Raleigh, NC. Each graduate will receive 4 tickets. The graduation will also be live streamed on MCHS’ webpage. A Senior Parent Letter (with more information) will be mailed home by February 15th.

DATES:  Thursday, April 11, 2013—————- Delivery of caps, gowns and announcements

              Thursday, April 25, 2013—————- Senior Group Photo

              Wednesday, May 22, 2013————–Senior Awards Night

              Thursday, May 23, 2013—————–Senior Picnic

              Sunday, June 2, 2013———————Baccalaureate Service

              Monday, June 10, 2013—————–Graduation Rehearsal at 8:30 A.M.-10:30 A.M.

              Tuesday, June 11, 2013—————–Graduation Ceremony at 2:00 P.M.

NCSU Study Shows Strong Impact of Parent Engagement on Student Success

New research from North Carolina State University, Brigham Young University and the University of California, Irvine finds that parental involvement is a more significant factor in a child’s academic performance than the qualities of the school itself.

“Our study shows that parents need to be aware of how important they are, and invest time in their children – checking homework, attending school events and letting  kids know school is important,” says Dr. Toby Parcel, a professor of sociology at NC State and co-author of a paper on the work. “That’s where the payoff is.”

The researchers evaluated data from a national representative study that collected information from more than 10,000 students, as well as their parents, teachers and school administrators.

Learn more by reading the NCSU news release about the study.

Free Practice ACT and SAT Test

On February 16th, March 16th, & April 20th, College Tutors of Cary is offering for free, their most popular practice ACT & SAT Tests.

We welcome all 11th or 12th grade students to participate in the practice tests, which assist in measuring their progress thus far and areas still in need of improvement, as well as gain comfort and familiarity with the timing and pacing of the full-length test.

Our practice ACT or SAT test – the student chooses when registering – is a previously released version of each test, and is administered following the same format that students will experience on the real test day. Your students should be at the testing site at 8:30 a.m. and testing begin at 8:45 a.m. Both tests conclude between 12:45 – 1:00 p.m.

The test will be held at Hope Community Church, 821 Buck Jones Road in Raleigh. Students should bring a photo ID, sharpened pencils, calculator (we will not be able to provide them), watch, a snack, and a water bottle. Upon completion, we will lead your student through scoring of the multiple choice portions of his or her own test, ending at approximately at 1:00 p.m. Note that the SAT and ACT Writing Test evaluation will be done by our tutors subsequent to the practice test and we will provide those results to you at a later time.

When testing has concluded, students leave with their preliminary scores and ideas about how they can improve their scores before the real test. Information about our test prep services will also be available for interested parents. There is no obligation to pursue our test prep services upon taking advantage of our free practice test.

Registrations are accepted until 5:00 pm on the Wednesday prior to the practice tests (February 13th, March 13th, & April 17th). Space is limited and we sometimes have to turn late registrations away, don’t delay. To register a student, or if you have questions about this test or our test preparation tutoring, please e-mail Jenn Temple at jtemple@collegetutors.com or phone at (919) 896-7227.