NC Rural Innovative Schools

October 2015 Newsletter

General Reminders and Updates

In an effort to effectively communicate with the NC Rural Innovative Schools (RIS) team, welcome to the first NC RIS newsletter.


Please make sure that you are tracking your time on the project plan here. This project plan also leads to the informational google sheets for the scale up NC and National work.


There is an emphasis within all of the RIS high schools to increase the number of students eligible for and taking advantage of CCP. ECU and UNCG iSchool who have been great partners in the validation grant may not be partners in scale up, so the community college relationship will be essential.

Demonstration Site Development

Surry County

The 2015-16 school year has had a great start as five schools (North, East and Surry Central High Schools, Surry Early College and Meadowview Middle School) move from the i3 RIS year of planning to implementation. Two of the five schools (N. and E. Surry) will continue with the validation grant until December 2016 at which time all five schools will be in the RIS (scale up) grant.


In an effort to accelerate powerful teaching and learning throughout Surry County, district leadership is interested in a cohort model. There may be a move towards instructional coaching with small cohorts of teachers in each of the five schools and then a strategy to scale throughout the building.


This week the superintendent was informed of the matching requirement for Surry County. The program of service for Surry County Schools outlined by NC New Schools/Breakthrough Learning is valued at $2,430,516 over the five-year grant period (January 1, 2015 thru December 31, 2019). As outlined in the MOU, there is a local match requirement for the district at 10% of the service value of $ 2,430,516 which is $243,052.

Rutherford County

DISTRICT INNOVATION: RUTHERFORD COUNTY SCHOOLS - All Means All


The 2015-16 school year has also had a great start as the three high schools (RS Central, Chase and East Rutherford) move from the i3 RIS year of planning to implementation. All three high schools will continue with both the validation and scale up grants until December 2016 at which time they will move into only the RIS (scale up) grant.


Last week three district/school leaders attended the pilot study visit at Wake Early College of Health and Science. The leaders experienced a study visit that was very similar to the future study visits all three high schools will eventually be hosting.


This week the superintendent was informed of the matching requirement for Rutherford County. The program of service for Rutherford County Schools outlined by NC New Schools/Breakthrough Learning is valued at $1,345,135 over the five-year grant period (January 1, 2015 thru December 31, 2019). As outlined in the MOU, there is a local match requirement for the district at 10% of the service value of $1,345,135 which is $134,514.

Hertford County

It is true that the 2015-16 school year has had a super start. Hertford County High School is moving from the i3 RIS year of planning to implementation. The high school will continue with both the validation and scale up grant until December 2016 at which time it will also move into only the RIS (scale up) grant.


Two high school leaders were able to attend the pilot study visit at Johnston County High School. The leaders experienced a study visit that was very thought provoking and included this gem of a quote from one student:


If you want to try to turn a comprehensive high school into an early college, you must first change how the teachers teach.


They may be releasing the name of the new superintendent very soon. This week the interim superintendent was informed of the matching requirement for Hertford County. The program of service for Hertford County Schools outlined by NC New Schools/Breakthrough Learning is valued at $1,092,122 over the five-year grant period (January 1, 2015 thru December 31, 2019). As outlined in the MOU, there is a local match requirement for the district at 10% of the service value of $1,092,122 which is $109,212.

District Reach

Duplin County

The district wide early college effort in Duplin County is continuing to progress. This model is very attractive to superintendents and completely aligns with out all means all vision. Next month seven district/school leaders will travel to Pharr-San Juan-Alamo school district (another district wide early college model) for a study visit and participate in their College For All conference.


The program of service for Duplin County Schools outlined by NC New Schools/Breakthrough Learning is valued at $2,329,297 over the five-year grant period (January 1, 2015 thru December 31, 2019). As outlined in the MOU, there is a local match requirement for the district at 10% of the service value of $2,329,297 which is $232,930.

Schools with Early College Strategies

Scotland County

Scotland High School has just started with i3 RIS and is very excited that they are now a partner. Our own Jason Kessler will be addressing the board of education this month. The total number of students in the high school (1507) is a new challenge for our work.


The program of service for Scotland County Schools outlined by NC New Schools/Breakthrough Learning is valued at $980,385 over the five-year grant period (January 1, 2015 thru December 31, 2019). As outlined in the MOU, there is a local match requirement for the district at 10% of the service value of $980,385 which is $98,039.

Harnett County

Harnett County will move from planning year to a capacity building year to an implementation year. The school year 2015-16 will focus on district and school leadership development and capacity building efforts (Coach U and master coaching).


Harnett principals have now engaged in LEAD and Innovative Leaders. A district team also attended Innovative Leaders and are becoming more knowledgeable with our organization. The district is looking for opportunities to use protocols in district meetings and thinking how best to support the principals and instructional coaches in each high school.


The program of service for Rutherford County Schools outlined by NC New Schools/Breakthrough Learning is valued at $957,236 over the five-year grant period (January 1, 2015 thru December 31, 2019). As outlined in the MOU, there is a local match requirement for the district at 10% of the service value of $957,236 which is $95,723.


There is a desire to increase the number of students eligible for CCP. Also, there is a desire to promote CCP opportunities throughout the high schools.

Inspirational Corner

You have talent, are original, and have something important to say.

It is good to work. Work with love and like it when you do it.

It is a privilege to get to do this.

Be Bold, Be Free, Be Truthful.

Brenda Ueland

If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit

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