Archive for July, 2009


Where do state End of Grade tests come from?

The WCPSS Evaluation & Research Department has published an informational report helping to explain the development of state End of Grade tests and state End of Course tests.

The state establishes the NC Standard Course of Study, what students are to learn at each grade level. The tests are developed to measure success in learning this course of study. As the standard course of study is changed over time so is the testing.

This report summarizes basic information about the state’s test development process. The report provides information on the quality control process that the state uses to decide which items make it onto their tests, how the difficulty of test items is measured, and how the test items are linked to the curriculum standards. Links to additional resources on the state’s testing program are also provided.

You can find the report online here.

Green Project Helps Students Learn Math

Students in Algebra classes taught by Danial Rowe at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High are comparing light weight materials for automobile production and the impact materials have on fuel savings.

Rowe is using project based learning to teach his students algebra. In this case, he’s presented them a letter from the National Highway Transporation Safety Administration outlining a project, assigned students to teams and given them guidelines for August 10 presentations. The students are confronted with a real world issue and are working in teams as they develop the equations and build the graphs they are required to learn under the NC Standard Course of Study and must complete for their class presentation on fuel efficient materials.

Click here to listen to Green Project Helps Students Learn Math

This is a 16 minute mp3 file.

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ParentVision: Understanding the EOG and EOC

Dr. Burns discussed in his last Superintendent’s Journal the “modest, steady” improvements in last year’s End-of-Grade and End-of-Course tests. For a further explanation of what the EOGs and EOCs are, and how they’re used, we turn in this week’s ParentVision video podcast to Brad McMillen, our senior director for school accountability.

Sanderson Cheerleading Coach Named NC Cheerleading Coach of the Year

Sanderson High Cheerleading Coach Jocelyn Bradford has been named the 2009 Cheerleading Coach of the Year by the North Carolina Cheerleading Coaches Association (NCCCA).

Bradford was honored at the NCCCA luncheon in Greensboro last week.

Bradford is a leader among cheerleading coaching in our area and has been instrumental in promoting cheerleading safety.

WCPSS Athletic Director Bobby Guthrie praised Bradford for her accomplishments. Guthrie says Sanderson High School cheerleading does a tremendous job of supporting all of their sports and has been very successful in cheerleading competitions, having won several state championships.

Timeline for Filling the Vacated Board Seat for District 4

The deadline for submitting an application to be considered for the District 4 vacancy on the Board of Education was Monday, July 20. Board members received nine applications from candidates interested in position. The vacancy on the board was created when Rosa Gill resigned after being selected to serve in the North Carolina House of Representatives.

The candidates are:

  • Lynette Aytch
  • Doris Burke
  • Johnnie Darden Sr.
  • Alice Garrett
  • Samuel Greene
  • Lillian Lee
  • Venita Peyton
  • Jonica Rowland
  • Keith Sutton

Copies of the application packets were submitted to each board member during their Committee of the Whole meeting on July 21.

The board is planning to interview all nine candidates on Wednesday, Aug. 5. Candidates will be notified of the time for their interview on Wednesday, July 29. Interviews with the candidates will be scheduled for 30 minutes with 15 minutes between interviews

The Board will meet at 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 5 prior to the interviews to determine five questions for each candidate. Each interview will consist of an optional two- to three-minute opening statement by the candidate, followed by the five interview questions from the board members and ending with a one- to two-minute concluding statement from the candidate. All candidates will be asked the same five questions.

The Board will meet from 9 a.m. until noon on Thursday, Aug. 6 to make their final selection and will then announce the name of the new board member for District 4. The new board member will join the Wake County Board of Education on Aug. 18 beginning with a swearing-in ceremony and reception.

Board Names Principals and Administrator

At its July 21 meeting, the Board of Education named David Newkirk principal at Hunter Elementary, Katherine Faison principal at Carver Elementary, Lisa Cruz principal at Jeffreys Grove Elementary, Lewis Ware principal at Root Elementary and Frank Clark Senior Director of Maintenance and Operations.

Newkirk has been assistant principal at Fuller Elementary since 2005. Prior to that, he was an assistant principal at Fox Road Elementary and an assistant principal intern and teacher at Washington Elementary.

Faison has been assistant principal at Lockhart Elementary since 2004. Prior to that, she was an assistant principal intern at Lockhart Elementary and a teacher at Hodge Road Elementary and Conn Elementary.

Cruz has been assistant principal at Brier Creek Elementary since 2006. Prior to that, she was assistant principal at Lincoln Heights Elementary and a teacher at the Bridges program and Baucom Elementary.

Ware has served as an assistant principal at Vance Elementary since 2007 and was a teacher at Underwood Elementary.

Clark has served as director of WCPSS General Services since 2001. Prior to that, he was a project manager in the WCPSS Construction Management Department, a supervisor in WCPSS Construction and a foreman in the WCPSS Masonry Department.

The board named assistant principals including Paul Walker to Sanderson High, Lisa Reid to Wake Early College of Health and Sciences, Dana Dougherty-Primiano at Rolesville Elementary, Lacey Peckham at Sanderson High, Marla Mondora at Moore Square Middle, Elizabeth MacWilliams at Davis Drive Elementary, Helen Lovett at West Lake Middle, Anne Marie Johnson at Wildwood Forest Elementary, Carl Patrick Grant at Holly Springs Elementary, Gregory Butler at Southeast Raleigh High and James Crook at Sanderson High.

First Early Release Day for Year-round Schools

School dismisses 2.5 hours early today for all Wake County Public School System year-round schools. This is the first of the common early release days for this school year. Each student will have six early release days. All on Wednesdays.

Early Releases will provide teachers with time for Professional Learning team (PLT) collaboration which will directly benefit your child’s academic success.

You can find more information online at Early Dismissal & Early Release Wednesdays, including a reminder calendar that can be downloaded, printed and put on the refrigerator.

Dr. Burns Reports: July 21, 2009

In speaking to the Board of Education, Superintendent Burns congratulated six students from the Class of 2009 who earned National Merit College-sponsored scholarships and recognized students who have served as pages in the state General Assembly.

Click here to listen to Dr. Burns Reports.

This is an 10-minute MP3 file.

ParentVision: Our First Early Dismissal Wednesday

WCPSS schools will dismiss one hour early each Wednesday to allow teachers the time to meet in Professional Learning Teams to collaborate on improving student achievement. In the latest ParentVision video podcast, we visited Jones Dairy Elementary to learn how well the first early dismissal Wednesday of the year went.

Principal Mike Chappell also provided notes from their first round of PLT meetings on the school website; here’s a direct link to them.

Wednesday Teacher Meetings Help Student Learning


Dr. Donna Hargens, WCPSS Chief Academic Officer, says the professional learning team meetings held on early release Wednesdays will have an impact on student learning.

Dr. Hargens visited Brassfield Elementary on the first Wednesday where she found eight different professional learning team meetings underway. Principal Pamela Kinsey-Barker talked with Hargens and her teachers about the importance of the weekly meetings.

Click here to listen to Wednesday Teacher Meetings Help Student Learning

This is a 10 minute mp3 file.