Education
UNC System Launches New Initiative to Improve Literacy Instruction PDF Print E-mail
Education
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 21 October 2020 09:08
The University of North Carolina System has appointed eight Literacy Fellows as part of the UNC System Literacy Framework Development Initiative. The UNC System Literacy Framework Development Initiative is a result of the Board of Governors’ Resolution on Teacher Preparation. The resolution calls for the UNC System Office to develop a common framework for literacy instruction in teacher preparation, to be adopted by all educator preparation programs in the System. 
 
The Literacy Fellows will work together to develop a detailed framework for what graduates of UNC System educator preparation programs should know and be able to do when they begin teaching elementary school students to read. The framework will be based on the latest scientific research into the essential components of reading and will align with statutory requirements and other statewide literacy initiatives.
 
The new framework will ensure that graduates of elementary and special education general curriculum programs in the UNC System have an in-depth understanding of reading as a process involving the ability to hear and create sounds, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. 
 
The Fellows are drawn from across the UNC System’s educator preparation programs. The following individuals were selected from a robust pool of applicants and represent a wealth of experience, research, and knowledge of evidence-based literacy practice:
Kimberly L. Anderson, East Carolina University, Associate Professor of Reading Education
Christie Cavanaugh, University of North Carolina Greensboro, Clinical Associate Professor
Dennis S. Davis, North Carolina State University, Associate Professor of Literacy Education
Rebecca Lee Payne Jordan, Appalachian State University, Assistant Professor of Reading Education
Kim Doggett Pemberton, Winston-Salem State University Associate Professor of Elementary Education
Paola Pilonieta, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Associate Professor, Director of the Reading Education Minor
Roya Qualls Scales, Western Carolina University, Professor of Literacy Education
Kellee D. Watkins, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Assistant Professor and MAT Coordinator for Elementary Education
 
Expanded Biographical Information is available at: https://www.northcarolina.edu/offices-and-services/division-of-strategy-and-policy/literacy-framework-development-initiative/
 
These Fellows began developing the framework for teaching literacy in educator preparation programs within the UNC System in August 2020. Once this framework is finalized, the Fellows will support the System-wide implementation of this new tool to help North Carolina’s newest educators teach their future students how to read and write. The Fellows will also develop a self-assessment tool, which educator preparation programs can use to evaluate their implementation of the new framework.
 
Research shows that students who are able to read on grade-level by the end of 3rd grade are more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in postsecondary education, earn a college degree or credential, and experience economic success in adulthood. Currently, only 36 percent of North Carolina’s fourth graders scored proficient in reading in 2019, with just over 20 percent of low-income fourth-graders reading on grade level, according to the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). 
 
“All children need knowledgeable and skilled teachers if they are going to learn to read during early elementary grades and receive appropriate support when it’s not so easy for them. We can help make this happen, and I am honored and committed to playing a meaningful role,” explained Dr. Christie Cavanaugh, a Fellow from UNC Greensboro.
 
 
Appalachian State Chancellor Reveals Student COVID-19 Death PDF Print E-mail
Education
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 29 September 2020 16:32

Dear Faculty, Staff, Students, Parents, and Families,

It is with the deepest sadness that I share with you that one of our students, Chad Dorrill, has died.

The hearts of the entire Appalachian Community are with Chad’s family and loved ones during this profoundly difficult and painful time. Tributes shared by friends and loved ones show the positive impact Chad had on the communities he loved and called home, which included App State and Boone.

Chad’s family has shared he had been diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier this month and suffered from later complications. Chad lived off-campus in Boone and all of his classes were online. When he began feeling unwell earlier this month, his mother encouraged him to come home, quarantine, and be tested for COVID-19.

After testing positive for COVID-19 in his home county, he followed isolation procedures and was cleared by his doctor to return to Boone. It was after his return to Boone that he had additional complications, was picked up by his family and hospitalized. His family’s wishes are for the university to share a common call to action so our entire campus community recognizes the importance of following COVID-19 safety protocols and guidelines.

Despite generally being at lower risk for severe illness, college-age adults can become seriously ill from COVID-19. As we approach the halfway mark to the last day of classes for the Fall semester, we are seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases in students. We have stringent cleaning and safety protocols in place on campus, and our students, faculty and staff are following the 3Ws by wearing face coverings, maintaining 6 feet of distance from one another and washing and sanitizing their hands and work stations. All of us must remain vigilant with our safety behaviors wherever we are in our community. We can flatten the curve, but to do so, we must persevere. From the smallest acts to the most important personal relationships, we must actively work each day to reduce the spread of this highly communicable disease.

Remember that gatherings are limited to 25 people indoors and 50 outdoors, and that in those settings, it is still critically important to maintain distance and wear face coverings. The university and the Town of Boone are enforcing these restrictions, and each of us must take seriously our personal responsibility as well. With grace and with kindness, let’s help one another to follow these important safety precautions. Information about prevention and testing options is available on the university’s coronavirus website, where we also post the weekly campus email updates.

Please know there are many resources to help you cope with grief and stress as well as to provide you with support in a confidential setting. If you or someone you know needs assistance, please reach out.

In condolences to his family, many have shared their memories of Chad and said, “I wear my mask for Chad.” Please let us all honor Chad and his contributions by taking care of ourselves and our community.


Sheri Everts, Chancellor

 
UNC System President Mourns COVID-19 Death Of Appalachian State University Student PDF Print E-mail
Education
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 29 September 2020 16:29

  University of North Carolina System President Peter Hans issued a statement following the death of Appalachian State University student, Chad Dorrill:

 
“Any loss of life is a tragedy, but the grief cuts especially deep as we mourn a young man who had so much life ahead. I ache for the profound sadness that Chad Dorrill’s family is enduring right now. My heart goes out to the entire Appalachian State community.
 
Our country is grappling with this continuing crisis on a scale that is difficult to comprehend. That does not diminish the acute pain we feel alongside Chad's parents, family, and friends, the people whose loss is personal and irreplaceable. 
 
Chad's family asked that this moment stand as a stark reminder of how Covid-19 is deadly serious for all of us, even for otherwise healthy young adults. We have a heightened duty to one another in these extraordinarily trying times, and we all need to remain vigilant. I join his family and Chancellor Everts in urging everyone to follow public health guidance by wearing a mask, washing hands, maintaining physical distance, and limiting gatherings.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 September 2020 16:32
 
Governor Cooper Allows Districts To Open Elementary Schools PDF Print E-mail
Education
By Administrator   
Friday, 18 September 2020 17:20
After several weeks of stable COVID-19 trends and continued low virus spread in school settings, Governor Roy Cooper today announced that beginning on October 5, North Carolina public school districts and charter schools can choose to implement Plan A for elementary schools (grades K-5). Plan A continues to include important safety measures like face coverings for all students, teachers and staff, social distancing, and symptom screening, but does not require schools to reduce the number of children in the classroom. 
 
“We are able to open this option because most North Carolinians have doubled down on our safety and prevention measures and stabilized our numbers,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “North Carolinians are doing the hard work to improve our numbers and trends. Many people are wearing masks, keeping social distance and being careful to protect others as well as themselves. We have shown that listening to the science works. And I’m proud of our resolve.”
 
As the Governor announced in July, every district will continue to have flexibility to select Plan A, B or C based on their unique needs. In addition, districts should still provide an option for families to select all remote learning for their students. Read the Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit to learn more about the requirements under each plan. 
 
Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services shared an update on North Carolina’s data trends. Dr. Cohen explained that North Carolina has seen a sustained leveling or decrease of key metrics. 
 
“Our trends show that we are on the right track. It’s up to all of us to protect our progress. Our individual actions like those 3 Ws will help keep our school doors open.,” said Secretary Cohen.
 
Dr. Cohen also explained that as schools have opened, the current science shows that younger children are less likely to become infected, have symptoms, experience severe disease or spread the virus. 
 
“It’s great news today that we are a step closer to providing the option of in-person learning to families who want their children to return to school,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson. “While the Governor, the State Board of Education, and I have our differences, I join with them today to encourage local school board members to take advantage of this change and open all schools safely. I thank the many parents and teachers across North Carolina who have been vocal advocates on this important issue.”
 
“For the past 6 months, superintendents, principals, teachers and local BOE have worked diligently to care for the safety of our students and staff while educating our children. While we are anxious to return all students, we know that teachers, principals, and students need a gradual transition over the next 3 months. I ask our parents to remain patient, knowing that we are moving as quickly as is safely possible. And I ask our teachers to continue to assist our students by supporting this deliberate, thoughtful transition," said  Eric Davis, Chairman of the State Board of Education.  
 
Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days
 
North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is declining.
Trajectory of Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days
 
North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases is declining.
Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days
 
North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive is declining.
Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days
 
North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations is declining.
In addition to these metrics, the state continues building capacity to be able to adequately respond to an increase in virus spread. These areas include:
 
Laboratory Testing 
 
Access to testing has expanded. No-cost testing events are being deployed across the state and testing turnaround times have improved.
Tracing Capability
 
Contact tracers continue to be hired to bolster the efforts of local health departments. A new exposure notification app will be launched soon. 
Personal Protective Equipment 
 
Personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies are stable
North Carolina education leaders gave statements in support of Governor Cooper’s announcement.
 
Mark Johnson, Superintendent of NC Department of Public Instruction: “It’s great news today that we are a step closer to providing the option of in-person learning to families who want their children to return to school. While the Governor, the State Board of Education, and I have our differences, I join with them today to encourage local school board members to take advantage of this change and open all schools safely. I thank the many parents and teachers across North Carolina who have been vocal advocates on this important issue.”
 
Eric Davis, Chair of NC State Board of Education: “For the past 6 months, superintendents, principals, teachers and local BOE have worked diligently to care for the safety of our students and staff while educating our children. While we are anxious to return all students, we know that teachers, principals, and students need a gradual transition over the next 3 months. I ask our parents to remain patient, knowing that we are moving as quickly as is safely possible. And I ask our teachers to continue to assist our students by supporting this deliberate, thoughtful transition."
 
 


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