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The Friday Report

March 23, 2018

This Week on Education Matters: Racial Disparity in School Discipline

Black students are being suspended at rates three to four times higher than other students in school districts across North Carolina. Why is this happening and what can be done to address it?

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Guests:

  • Dr. Keisha Bentley-Edwards, Samuel D. Cook Center on Social Equity, Duke University (pictured above)
  • Keith Sutton, Wake County Board of Education (pictured below)

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When and Where to Watch Education Matters

Saturday at 7:30 PM,

WRAL-TV (Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville)

Sunday at 8:00 AM,

FOX 50

(Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville)

Sunday at 6:30 AM and Wednesday at 9:30 AM, UNC-TV’s North Carolina Channel (Statewide)

The North Carolina Channel can be found on Time Warner Cable/Spectrum Channel 1277 or check your local listing and other providers here.

Online at https://www.ncforum.org/.

Education Matters is also available as a podcast on iTunesSoundCloudStitcherPodBeanOvercast, and Google Play Music.

Countering the Effects of Childhood Trauma

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Photo Credit: Pxhere/ Creative Commons.

The growing knowledge of ACEs-based medicine showed up in a project started this year by the Public School Forum in three low-income schools, Stocks Elementary and Pattillo Middle in Edgecombe County and Koontz Elementary in Salisbury.

As previously reported in NC Health News, the goal is for schools to encourage professionals in the schools to ask “What happened to you?” instead of seeing a negative behavior and jumping to “What is wrong with you?” Through the program, students are asked to be open with their feelings and fears, a process that has led to more learning and fewer suspensions in places where the technique has been used.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Goldsmith, T. “Countering the Effects of Childhood Trauma.” North Carolina Health News. 3/19/18.

State News

Improve Mental Health Services to Make Schools Safer, Speakers Tell NC Lawmakers

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Rep. Tim Moore, speaker of the NC House, is seen here on March 30, 2017. Photo Credit: Chris Seward, The News & Observer.

State lawmakers heard impassioned pleas Wednesday to improve mental health services to help make North Carolina schools safer following the mass school shooting in Florida.

The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead has sparked nationwide protests from students calling on lawmakers to end school gun violence. Multiple speakers on Wednesday told a newly formed committee on improving school safety that additional resources are needed to identify and treat students with mental health issues, some of whom are at risk of acting out violently.

“We have, I don’t think anybody would disagree, significant mental health issues in schools,” said Jim Deni, immediate past president of the N.C. School Psychology Association.

Deni said 20 percent of students have mental health or substance use issues, and most of them never get treated. In a high school of 750 students, he said it’s likely that more than 100 students have mental health needs.

National ratios recommend a school psychologist for every 700 students. Deni said the North Carolina ratio of one psychologist for every 2,100 students makes it impossible to meet psychological needs, which include doing threat assessments.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, T. “Improve mental health services to make schools safer, speakers tell NC lawmakers.” The News & Observer. 3/21/18.

In This Issue

This Week on Education Matters: Racial Disparity in School Discipline

Countering the Effects of Childhood Trauma

Improve Mental Health Services to Make Schools Safer, Speakers Tell NC Lawmakers

How Do Southeastern NC Schools Deal with Mental Health?

Company Tied to Rich Donor Recommended to Take Over Low-Performing NC School

In NC, Some Low-Performing Schools Get Flexibility to Help Struggling Students

Matthews Schools for Matthews Kids: Town Pride or Race Prejudice?

Can Wake County Find a Way to Stop Suspending So Many Elementary School Students?

2018 Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award Gala

Synergy Conference 2018

Join the Conversation About Education and Economic Opportunity in Your Community

Attention NC Educators: North Carolina Wants to Hear From You

Why Are Black Students Punished So Often? Minnesota Confronts a National Quandary

This Map Shows How Much Is Stacked Against Students in Your State

NCSSM Seeking Applications for an Outreach and Summer Programs Coordinator 

Burroughs Wellcome Fund Accepting Applications for

Student STEM Enrichment Program

Public School Forum Programs

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Nominate a Leader for Children in Your Community

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Do you know a leader in your community supporting our schools and making a difference in the lives of children both in and out of school? The Public School Forum is seeking nominations for individuals to be highlighted on our weekly statewide TV show, Education Matters. Click here for an example of a recent spotlight.

Nominees could be principals, superintendents, teachers, teacher assistants, guidance counselors, parents, students, business leaders, community volunteers, afterschool providers, and the list goes on!

To nominate someone, please fill out the form here.

How Do Southeastern NC Schools Deal with Mental Health?

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Seventh-grade counselor Kristen Guthrie works in her office at Williston Middle School. Besides Guthrie, the Wilmington school has two more counselors, two social workers, and an interventionist to support student mental health.

Photo Credit: Cammie Bellamy, Star News.

By age 16, children are weighing decisions that affect the rest of their lives. How they perform in school, where they’ll go to college, if they’ll get a job, what kind of person they want to be — these questions put major stress on the mind. What if that stressed child is also bullied? What if she feels alone? What if he struggles with an undiagnosed mental health condition? 

How do those factors affect a child’s capacity to hurt himself or others?

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Bellamy, C. “How do Southeastern NC schools deal with mental health?’ ” Star News. 3/17/18.

Company Tied to Rich Donor Recommended to Take Over Low-Performing NC School

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Mike Lee, Chair of Durham’s Board of Education, spoke at an Oct. 3, 2017, event against a proposal to include Durham schools in the new Innovative School District. Photo Credit: Casey Toth, The Herald Sun.

A company tied to a wealthy libertarian donor who helped pass a state law allowing the takeover of low-performing North Carolina schools is now being recommended to run one of those schools.

Eric Hall, superintendent of the Innovative School District, told the State Board of Education on Monday that Achievement For All Children was the better choice among two groups that want to run Southside Ashpole Elementary School in Robeson County. Achievement For All Children is heavily connected to Oregon resident John Bryan, a generous contributor to political campaigns and school-choice causes in North Carolina.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “Company tied to rich donor recommended to take over low-performing NC school.” The News & Observer. 3/19/18.

In NC, Some Low-Performing Schools Get Flexibility to Help Struggling Students

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 Photo Credit: WRAL.

For the past two years, some North Carolina schools have embarked on an experiment that could herald a new era in the state’s public school system. In a state where the education system typically operates from the top down, some school districts have implemented a bottom-up solution that gives more flexibility and control to local schools.

The program is called Restart, and it allows recurring low-performing schools to adopt charter school-like flexibilities. The relaxed regulations permit schools to extend the school day, use funds in ways not designated by the state, hire teachers for positions other than those for which they are licensed and more.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hinchcliffe, K. and Granados, A. “In NC, some low-performing schools get flexibility to help struggling students.” WRAL. 3/19/18.

Matthews Schools for Matthews Kids: Town Pride or Race Prejudice?

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CMS board member Ericka Ellis-Stewart, Matthews Mayor Pro Tem John Higdon, Mayor Paul Bailey, CMS board chair Mary McCray and CMS vice chair Rhonda Cheek (left-right) at Tuesday’s joint meeting of the two boards.

Photo Credit: Ann Doss Helms, The Charlotte Observer.

Despite talk of a nuclear option and holding guns to each other’s heads, leaders of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the town of Matthews said a Tuesday night meeting started building trust between the two bodies.

The meeting was a bit like a counseling session for a couple on the brink of divorce. The force pushing them to talk is a bill introduced by state Rep. Bill Brawley, a Matthews Republican, that would allow suburban Matthews and Mint Hill to create their own charter schools.

CMS leaders say that bill, which would let the town boards govern schools, use tax money to support them and give residents priority for admission, could create “huge, earth-shaking change in North Carolina,” in the words of board member Elyse Dashew. They’ve spent months trying to persuade state lawmakers and Charlotte business and civic leaders that Brawley’s bill could undermine public education for hundreds of thousands of students.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Doss Helms, A. “Matthews schools for Matthews kids: Town pride or race prejudice?” The Charlotte Observer. 3/21/18.

Can Wake County Find a Way to Stop Suspending So Many Elementary School Students?

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Students move between classes at Mills Park Elementary School in Cary NC on Nov. 22, 2016.

Photo Credit: Chris Seward, The News & Observer.

Student suspensions in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade rose in Wake County schools for the third straight year, according to a new report. In response, school board members are pushing for more local funding to hire counselors and other support staff.

Wake handed out 2,395 suspensions to elementary school students during the 2016-17 school year. That was up from 2,381 in 2015-16 and 1,967 the year before that. But the rate of growth in suspensions slowed dramatically. After jumping 21 percent from 2014-15 to 2015-16, suspensions climbed just 0.5 percent this past year.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Bolejack, S. “Can Wake County find a way to stop suspending so many elementary school students?” The News & Observer. 3/20/18.

2018 Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award Gala

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Ann Goodnight has been named as the recipient of the 2018 Public School Forum of North Carolina Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award. The Forum established the award in 2000 to recognize leaders who have demonstrated innovative, creative, effective leadership for public education in North Carolina. Mrs. Goodnight will be honored at a gala event on Monday, May 21, at the Raleigh Convention Center.

“Ann Goodnight’s commitment to North Carolina’s children and to serving our state in so many meaningful ways made her an ideal choice for this honor,” said Michael Priddy, Chairman of the Public School Forum of North Carolina. “Her deep commitment to the entire education continuum, from early childhood to K-12 to higher education, really sets her apart – a commitment she backs up with both her time and investments. She’s a model for what giving back and servant leadership looks like.”

Information about this year’s event, as well as previous award recipients, can be found at ncforum.org/events/jay-robinson-education-leadership-award.

Event tickets can be purchased here:

https://2018jayrobinsonawardgala.eventbrite.com.

If you are interested in discussing a sponsorship, contact Lizzy Mottern at 

lmottern@ncforum.org.

Synergy Conference 2018

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Building Tomorrow’s Workforce Today Through Expanded Learning

When: April 25 – 27, 2018

Where: The Greenville Convention Center in Greenville, NC

Today is the last day to register for the 2018 Synergy Conference. The  Synergy Conference convenes hundreds of out-of-school time providers to share insight on research-based practices, effective programs, and public policies that impact students and their overall success in school and life.

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Featured speakers and events this year include:

  • The First Lady of North Carolina, Kristin Cooper (pictured above, left)
  • Girls on the Run International Founder, Molly Barker (pictured above, middle)
  • Graig Meyer (D-Durham, Orange) (pictured above, right) 
  • An awards ceremony recognizing afterschool champions in NC
  • Screening of “Resilience,” a film about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

You can register here at the rate of $225.

For more information and to make hotel reservations, please visit

https://ncafterschool.org/synergyconference2018/

Join the Conversation About Education and Economic Opportunity in Your Community

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Image Credit: EducationNC.

The myFutureNC Commission—comprised of state leaders in education, business, philanthropy, government, and faith‐based and nonprofit communities—is reimagining the ways our communities, our regions, and our state support an individual’s attainment journey, from pre-Kindergarten through postsecondary and into the workforce.

To help them in this task, the myFutureNC Listening Tour is collecting ideas and feedback from people all over the state. We want to hear from everyone: educators, parents, service providers, faith leaders, employees, employers, government representatives, and students.

Please join our team at one of our Listening Sessions this spring and summer to share your thoughts and ideas about strengthening educational and economic opportunities for your community. Drop in at any time: We will share information on our work at 2:30 pm, meet in small groups for discussion at 3:00 pm and host community conversations with local education thought leaders at 4:15 pm.

To learn more & RSVP for a Tour stop, click here.

Attention NC Educators: North Carolina Wants to Hear From You

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North Carolina wants to hear from 100% of its educators through the North Carolina Teacher Working Condition survey.

The North Carolina Teacher Working Conditions Survey is a tool that gauges NC Educators’ perspectives about teaching and learning conditions while providing education stakeholders and policymakers insights on how to improve school and classroom practices. 

Take the survey March 1-31. Once you have your code you can access the survey. Learn more about the TWC survey at http://www.ncteachingconditions.org.  

National News

Why Are Black Students Punished So Often? Minnesota Confronts a National Quandary

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Fourth graders at Lyndale Community School in Minneapolis. Photo Credit: Tim Gruber, The New York Times.

When Erin Rathke, the principal at Justice Page Middle School, is called to extract a student from class, she hears the same plea over and over again, most often, she has to admit, from black children: “The teacher only sees me.”

The plea weighs heavily at Justice Page, where African-American students are 338 percent more likely to be suspended than their white peers. “It’s painful sometimes, but I have to say, ‘Yes, that’s probably true,’” Ms. Rathke said.

It is a reality that district leaders here have been grappling with for years: The Minneapolis school district suspends an inordinate number of black students compared with white ones, and it is struggling to figure out why. Last year, districtwide, black students were 41 percent of the overall student population but made up 76 percent of the suspensions.

This Map Shows How Much Is Stacked Against Students in Your State

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Image Credit: Child Trends.

Research suggests young people who experience three or more “adverse childhood experiences,” such as abuse, severe economic instability, or the death or imprisonment of a parent, are at significantly greater risk of academic and health problems later in life.

Based on federal data, the nonprofit Child Trends documented the share of children under 18 who have experienced three to eight such traumas. In the map, hover over your state to see the percentage of children with three or more traumatic experiences.

To continue reading the complete article and interact with the map, click here.

Excerpt from:

Sparks, S. “This Map Shows How Much Is Stacked Against Students in Your State.” Education Week. 3/15/18.

Opportunities

NCSSM Accepting Applications for an Outreach and Summer Programs Coordinator 

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The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) invites applications for the Outreach and Summer Programs Coordinator position. Inclusiveness and diversity are integral to NCSSM’s commitment to excellence in teaching, engagement, and education. We are particularly interested in candidates who have demonstrated experience engaging with diversity through activities such as fostering an inclusive environment, working with students from diverse backgrounds, or incorporating diverse perspectives in teaching.

The Outreach and Summer Programs Coordinator is responsible for the coordination of on-site and remote summer programs and targeted outreach activities and reports to the Director of Distance Education and Extended Programs.

For more information and to apply:
https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/northcarolina/jobs/2012953/outreach-and-summer-programs-coordinator

Burroughs Wellcome Fund Accepting Applications for 

Student STEM Enrichment Program

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The Burroughs Wellcome Fund has opened its application for the 2018 Student STEM Enrichment Program (SSEP) grant awards. SSEP supports diverse programs with a common goal: to enable primary and secondary students to participate in creative, hands-on STEM activities for K-12 students and pursue inquiry-based exploration in BWF’s home state of North Carolina. These awards provide up to $60,000 per year for three years. The application deadline is April 18, 2018.

For more information or to access the application, visit http://www.bwfund.org/grant-programs/science-education/student-science-enrichment-program.

The Friday Report is published weekly by the Public School Forum of NC and is distributed to Forum members, policymakers, donors, media, and Forum subscribers. Archived editions can be found at www.ncforum.org.

©2018 Public School Forum of North Carolina. All Rights Reserved.

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