CCS Staff In the Know
TECHNOLOGY UPDATES



The Speak Up Survey is coming to CCS

Have your voice heard! Share your thoughts on technology and learning and be part of the conversation (at the local and national level) through Speak Up! 

Speak Up provides an easy way for students, parents and educators to participate in your local decisions about technology, as well as contribute to the state and national dialogue about digital learning through a free data collection process for your school or district. Since 2003, Speak Up has helped education leaders include the voices of their stakeholders in annual and long-term planning.  

More than 5.7 million participants have made Speak Up the largest collection of authentic, unfiltered stakeholder input on education, technology, schools of the future, science and math instruction, professional development and career exploration. By participating, you are ensuring your voice is heard not only by your school and district but at the state and national level as findings are summarized and shared with national and state policy makers every year.

The Speak Up survey takes about 20 minutes to complete and will be opening in late February. All schools are encouraged to participate. Additional information will be coming to you soon. To learn more visit  https://tomorrow.org/speakup/ .  
DropBox Update
Beginning in March 2020 access to Dropbox will change for staff and students. On March 2, staff and students will no longer be able to access DropBox while connected to the Craven County Schools network.  Dropbox provides unsecure file sharing between students and can not be safely monitored by CCS. Staff and students have secure access to Microsoft OneDrive (Office365) and Google Drive (both are provisioned by CCS) where files should be stored and backed up regularly.   

Between now and March please communicate with your school technician if you need assistance using Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, or moving your files from Dropbox.  We are sorry for the inconvenience but we feel this will make you, our students, and our network even safer
Phishing Alerts!
We have seen several new instances of staff members receiving strange emails from their principals. Please keep up the great work of questioning these messages.  
To help identify these phishing attempts you will notice that the email signature line may contain your principal’s name and school location but the actual email address is NOT their CCS email (@ cravenk12.org ). These phishing attempts are difficult to stop completely and our tech team will do what we can. While the Tech Department is working on additional features to help spot potential phishing attempts, the best defense is an informed user knowing how to identify, question, and block/delete the messages.  

Remember, if a suspicious email is not from your principal’s Craven County Schools email address, do not respond, just delete the message.

IT Help Desk is Ready!
We are excited to launch our IT Help Desk. The IT Help Desk is open from 7am to 4pm every day and is run by Antuan Wallace. When you call the Tech Center at 514-6393 wait for the prompt and press #1 to reach Antuan. If he doesn't answer, he may be helping another customer. You can leave him a message and he will get in touch with you as soon as he can. The IT Help Desk is designed to provide quick solutions for basic troubleshooting, help with Mosyle, Google (Admin Center and Email Groups), Office365, and Rapid Identity, (If you haven't downloaded the Microsoft Teams application, please do so. Soon we will be using Microsoft Teams to chat and screen share to better support you.) 
Are you Up to Date?
As of 01/21/2020, here are the Operating System's your devices should be running: 
iPad:  iPadOS 13.3
MacBook:  macOS Catalina 10.15.2 (If you have not upgraded to Catalina yet, we recommend that you don't update just yet).
AppleTV:  tvOS 13.3

Please contact your school level Tech if you need help checking or updating your devices.
Updated IRS Form W-4 Information from Finance - 

The Internal Revenue Service has redesigned the W-4 form effective January 1, 2020. This is the form that employees complete to withhold federal taxes from their paychecks. Existing employees do not need to change anything, but all new employees who begin employment after January 1, 2020 will be required to complete the new redesigned form. The new W-4 form does look quite different from the old one, so we are including below a link to the new W-4 form as well as a Frequently Asked Questions link from the IRS that should help answer any questions that employees may have.



***Please note FAQ #2 that references withholding allowances. You will no longer select how many withholding allowances you want to claim on the new W-4. Per the IRS FAQ explanation: “ Allowances are no longer used for the redesigned Form W-4. This change is meant to increase transparency, simplicity, and accuracy of the form. In the past, the value of a withholding allowance was tied to the amount of the personal exemption. Due to changes in law, currently you cannot claim personal exemptions or dependency exemptions.”
TUITION REIMBURSEMENT FOR EC TEACHERS

Limited tuition awards are available from the Department of Public Instruction for special education teachers that hold current provisional or lateral entry EC licenses. As long as funds remain available, qualified candidates may receive reimbursements at a rate of $110.00 per semester hour for up to 1 course in the Fall, 1 course in the Spring, and 1 course each session in the Summer.

Limited spring tuition awards are available. Under this program, employed bachelor level special education K-12 teachers holding a current and verifiable residency, provisional or lateral entry license may apply for tuition reimbursement. The reimbursement is for the cost of one approved Spring course per semester. Each approved applicant will receive up to $110.00 per semester hour with a final grade of “B” or higher. The reimbursement is made from the Exceptional Children Division directly to the applicant after approval and upon receipt of all required documentation by the deadline (receipt and grade report). If the tuition is above the $110.00 per semester hour rate, it will be the responsibility of the recipient to assume the difference. These awards are made on a "first come, first serve " basis until the federal grant funds are exhausted. Submission of an application does not guarantee approval for reimbursement.

If a new home is in your future, mark your calendar for one of the dates below. First Citizens Bank and NC Housing are partnering to bring you some information about homeownership programs that require little to no money for down payment for eligible school employees. Information sessions will be held from 4:00 to 5:00 on the following dates:

Thursday, January 30 (West Craven High Media Center)
Monday, February 3 (New Bern High Media Center)
Tuesday, February 4 (Havelock High Media Center)

For more information, see the attached flyer. ( Flyer 2)
Apply Now! At Water's Edge Teacher Institute

At Water’s Edge | Current Watershed Science for the Classroom
July 6-9, 2020
Trinity Center, Salter Path, NC
A FREE Professional Development Experience for Educators
 
During this four-day teacher institute, 8th -12th grade science teachers will explore and compare several unique coastal ecosystems through inquiry-based, hands-on activities, evaluating human impacts on these systems alongside scientists and expert environmental educators. Teachers will gain updated content knowledge and instructional resources designed to foster student learning of watershed science and stimulate awareness of actions that promote watershed stewardship. Content and activities are aligned with the NC Essential Standards for 8th Grade Science, Earth/Environmental Science and AP Environmental Science.
Hands-on, real world, and STEM-based experiences will be emphasized – be prepared to get wet, sandy and re-energized!
“This is the best workshop I have ever attended. I am forever grateful for the resources to fill my entire hydrosphere unit.” – 2019 Participant
Participants will:
          Actively participate in hands-on and STEM-based experiences in North Carolina's coastal aquatic ecosystems
          Engage with a variety of outstanding environmental educators, researchers and scientists
·      Gain knowledge about current watershed science, human impacts to coastal watersheds and strategies to protect watersheds
Participants will receive:
          A wealth of new ideas and instructional resources including curriculum-related materials
          An opportunity to network with colleagues in a relaxed professional development setting
          Excellent food and lodging at beautiful Trinity Center in Salter Path, NC  
          CEU and Environmental Education Certification Credits
 
Participants will be expected to:
          Commit to the entire institute
          Incorporate learned skills and experiences into your lesson plans and teaching 
          Share their experiences and mentor other teachers in your school or system
          Participate in evaluation of the program.
          Be in good physical condition. Activities will include hiking, walking, wading, etc., in potentially hot, humid conditions. 
 
The institute will begin at 11AM on Monday, July 6, 2019 and end by 2PM on Thursday, July 9. Lodging provided Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. Meals provided from Monday lunch through Thursday lunch.
“I would highly recommend this PD to any educator interested in these topics, along with the location!” – 2019 Participant
Eligibility: The Institute is open to 8 th – 12 th grade science teachers. 

To apply: please complete the Online Application by Friday, March 13, 2020.

Please note: There are a limited number of seats available for this Institute. All applicants will be notified of their acceptance status on or before April 1, 2020. If you are accepted, a $100 refundable deposit will be required to reserve your spot. Your spot will be forfeited if your deposit is not received in a timely manner. Your check will not be deposited and will be returned to you upon check-in at the institute on July 6. Cancellations made after June 22, 2019 will result in the forfeiture of the deposit; your check will be cashed and considered a tax-deductible donation to the UNC Institute for the Environment.
The institute is presented by the UNC Chapel Hill Institute for the Environment’s Center for Public Engagement with Science, with funding provided by the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership (APNEP).
 
Program Contacts
Megan Rodgers
At Water’s Edge Program Coordinator
merodgers@unc.edu
(919) 966-7238
 
Sarah Yelton
Environmental Education & Citizen Science Program Manager
sarah.yelton@unc.edu
(919) 966-0895

The following staff members are being recognized for their continuous initiative and dedication to improve their knowledge and others within education. These leaders continuously step up to the challenge to grow professionally and assist in the needs of others’ professional growth. They demonstrate leadership skills that make them stand out as a reflective practitioner who strive to make a difference in the world of education... and here at WCMS. These individuals work tirelessly in and out of the classroom to organize unique learning opportunities not only for their students but their fellow co-workers. 

Our teacher leaders range from veteran teachers to student teachers hired on at WCMS. They have organized multiple field trips and unique learning opportunities off campus for both teachers and students. They continue to promote and support the structures of the school and takes the initiative to implement school and district initiatives. Our teacher leaders orchestrate professional book clubs, continuously raise funds and apply for competitions and grants. These grants have gone to assist the school and band students with equipment, technology, and competition pieces. WCMS has three teachers invited to partake in the second level of Continuous Classroom Improvement. The staff members being recognized are strong professional leaders for their continuous support in implementing, promoting, and leading professional development initiatives and trainings within our school. Our Wildcat leaders are some of the first individuals to step up when needed and do not hesitate to make personal sacrifices for West Craven Middle School students and staff. They define what it means to be a strong leader and a continuous learner.
Congratulations to the following educators:
Kim Avolis
Nannette Walston-Moore, 
Monica Lundy, 
Candice Stokes
Job Armenta
Ashely Etheredge
Christopher Langdon
Josh McGhee
Melanie Mullaney
Professional Learning Community

The grade level professional learning communities at Bangert are ones that are always growing and evolving. The 4 th grade PLC this year has established itself as a new team and one with high expectations. The members of this PLC have learned to build trust in each other as they respect each other’s opinions and points of view and strive to do what is best for their students. To make this new team, teachers had to move from different grade levels and bring their unique abilities. Each teacher plays an important part in this PLC. The teachers in this PLC work together to develop high quality CFAs that lead to decisions that are made for reteaching, regrouping and interventions as needed. This PLC has set up a way to collect data from their common formative assessments, and they use the data to guide their discussions and ultimately steer their instruction They look at all of their lessons as ways to meet the academic needs of their students and help the students grow. This PLC meets together every day and produces things such as book clubs and poetry cafés for their students. Just as we celebrate our students and the amazing work they do; we celebrate our teachers in the 4 th grade PLC and the incredible impact that they make on their students. Members of the 4 th grade PLC are Molly Strawbridge, Jessica Swenson, and Sara Wilkinson.


Professional Learning Community

The Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) Goal Team has worked hard this year as a PLC to address areas of opportunity for Bangert. They spend countless hours examining student data and using that data to support the grade level PLCs academically through regrouping and interventions as needed. Beyond academics, the MTSS Goal Team identified areas at Bangert where a positive behavior system of support was lacking. Using discipline data and setting goals to improve the school’s short-term suspension numbers, the team devised many different incentives to excite our students and drive them to excel behaviorally. Classes look forward to earning paw prints and at the magic number, being able to spin the Positive Behavior Reward Wheel where they can earn a popcorn party, a fine-dining experience, lunch with admin, PJ day, hat day, or a hot cocoa party. Each class also has the opportunity to have Albert the Bear spend the month in their classroom. Through the MTSS Goal Team we are looking at behavior a little differently at Bangert Elementary School. Members of the MTSS Goal Team are Nicole Ashenfelder, Sara Foster, Kimberly Lassiter, and Martha Ann Patterson.
Safe Schools Healthy Kids NC is dedicated to making information available to Schools, Students, and Parents through a variety of means. This website Safe Schools Healthy Kids NC is an Information & Resource Clearinghouse—a one-stop-shop—for health and safety issues that affect the school environment where kids spend most of their days throughout their formative years.
 
At the heart of Safe Schools Healthy Kids NC, we focus on these essential elements:
Awareness and Recognition
Prevention
Intervening Early
Evidence-Based Practices
Access to Mental Health Services
 
We invite you to explore this site, download materials, engage in the training, and share the information here. Materials and training will continue to be added on an ongoing basis. Please come back as often as you like or need to. You’ll find current, evidence-based resources, up-to-date items to download, and links to helpful training modules. 

Art, Science, and Writing and Poetry Contest
  On behalf of Green Saves Green
 
As part of Love Your River, you are invited to participate in an elementary school art contest , middle school science challenge , and high school writing and poetry contest . Winners will be selected for all grade levels. The linked fliers explain the details of the contests and challenges for the students. Green Saves Green appreciates your help in encouraging your students to participate in this exciting opportunity where the beautiful waterways important to the area are celebrated. For more information, please contact Marlene Greer at 252-330-2122 or Julie Robinson, 252-339-1437.
 
Nominations for the 2020 Community Fabric Awards through the Craven Community College Foundation are now open. The Foundation will be accepting nominations for all three of the awards through the nomination deadline of Thursday, February 20, 2020, at 5 p.m. 
Nominations are open for all 3 Categories:
Deadline for Margaret Stancil Award applications is January 31, 2020.
 
In 2012, the Alpha Psi chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International established the Margaret Stancil Individual Professional Development Award to benefit teachers in Craven and Pamlico counties.

The purpose of this award is to provide funding for professional development
opportunities. Past recipients have used this financial assistance to attend state and national conferences to enhance their instruction and further their professional growth.

For additional information regarding this award, please visit the Alpha Psi Chapter website (direct link: https://sites.google.com/site/alphapsinc/home), then click on "Margaret Stancil Individual Professional Development Award" on the left side.
The criteria, rubric, and application are found on that page.
 
The next deadline for this award is Friday, January 31, 2020, so please take this opportunity to apply.  
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