November 2020 NCAE News Bulletin

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NCAE North Carolina Association of Educators

News Bulletin Nov. 2020

Vol. 51, No. 4

In All That You Do, Give Thanks!

NCAE News Bulletin


When We Continue to Stand Strong for Our Students, Schools, and Communities, We Win! power is a major victory. It’s important that we celebrate Election 2020 this. Now, we wait as all of the North Carolina ballots are is certainly one counted and processed, to see what occurs leading up to the for the history selection of the U.S. Senate and presidential posts. books. The Despite the uncertainties, know that the work we do and journey to this the fight for public education continues. Through this point in time has election, we were able to increase our visibility as an been long and organization, we grew our membership, and we let quite interesting, everyone know that NCAE is, and will be, a force in North but without each Tamika Walker Kelly Carolina for public school students and educators for many of you, it would President years to come. For so long in this state, when educators not have been would share what they did for a living, many would say, possible. Thank ‘Oh, you teach in North Carolina? That’s so terrible!’ But I you for doing an want you to know it’s okay to be proud to be an educator in incredible job supporting our slate of pro-public North Carolina! And it’s okay education candidates, from the to be proud of the work top of the ballot to the bottom. we’ve done to ensure every Your turnout contributions “Whether you voted by absentee ballot, via child receives a quality to this election are to be Early Voting, or on Election Day, those education through our commended. We know that 80 remarkable numbers [80 percent of NCAE partnerships with the percent of you, our NCAE members and more than 2 million NEA governor’s office, our members, voted and more members] show the power of educators friends in the General than 2 million NEA members participating in the Democratic process.” Assembly, and those who did the same. Whether you support our cause. voted by absentee ballot, via Like many of you, when I Early Voting, or on Election woke up on November 4, it was a little difficult to put on Day, those remarkable numbers show the power of red attire. I missed seeing a sea of red and your smiling educators participating in the Democratic process. faces on social media, but I definitely understand. Now as Since September, you have been texting, phone we focus our efforts and energy on the narrative of our banking, working candidate campaigns, and distributing future, let’s look at our disappointments with new insight. Apple Cards to ensure that voters knew which candidates Let’s turn our losses into wins in our locals, in our state, support public education. Some of you even worked at and across the nation. When we continue to stand strong polling locations outside of your communities because for our students, our schools, and our communities, we you knew how important this election was for our win! Together let’s continue to proudly wear red each and students and the profession that we love so much! every Wednesday and fight like never before for North Although some of the races we supported did not turn Carolina’s children! out the way we anticipated, the re-election of Governor Roy Cooper and the fact that he maintained his veto

Interested in National Board Certification? NCAE is offering several National Board Certification Support Seminars this fall. Click here for more information.

NCAE News Bulletin


2020 Election: Members Showed Up and Showed Out In Support of Pro-Public Education Candidates Phone banking, voter registration drives, distribution of Apple Cards at the polls, Early Voting events…whatever it took, members across the state were engaged and determined to make a difference for public education during the weeks and days leading up to Election Day 2020! “NCAE made the decision to be ‘All In’ for our students this November and we never looked back,” said President Tamika Walker Kelly. “Members from every county put in the work to elect leaders who value them and our students’ safety and futures.” Here are photos from some of those activities.

NCAE News Bulletin

Saluting an Education Icon … Dr. John Harding Lucas Sr. Turns 100! Many state and national education leaders have hailed from Durham, North Carolina. One such educator is our own John Harding Lucas Sr., Ph.D., who celebrated his 100th birthday on November 7, 2020. Dr. Lucas is a native of Rocky Mount. He is a graduate of Shaw University. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was deployed in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater. While earning master’s degrees from what was then North Carolina College at Durham (North Carolina Central University) and New York University, Lucas taught chemistry and coached at Adkins High School in Kinston before becoming a principal at Orange Street School and Mary Potter High School in Oxford, N.C. In 1962, Lucas, his wife, Blondola, and their children, Cheryl and John Jr., moved to Durham and he became principal of Hillside High School. He held that post for 24 years. Today, the school’s John H. Lucas Sr. Wellness Center is named in his honor. The Lucas Middle School in Durham is jointly named for John Lucas and for Senator Jeanne Lucas. Jeanne Lucas and Dr. John Lucas were not related, but they were school system colleagues. While working at Hillside, Dr. Lucas became a leader in the merger of the predominately white North Carolina Education Association (NCEA) and the predominately black North Carolina Teachers Association (NCTA) to form the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) in 1970. He served as NCAE president from 1974-75 and remains an honorary member of the NCAE Board of Directors as well as the NEA Board of Directors. Dr. Lucas has received multiple honors for his work on behalf of education and equal opportunity. In 1982, Shaw University awarded him an honorary doctorate in humane letters. He was named a lifetime honorary board member of the National Education Association in 1972. In 2009, aided by a nomination process initiated by Durham’s Minnie Forte-Brown, Dr. Lucas received the Lifetime Achievement Award for the National School Board Association. In 2013, he received the North Carolina Award for Public Service from the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and Governor Pat McCrory.



NCAE News Bulletin

NCAE News Bulletin


Know of a Child In Need? Help Is Only a Click Away!

Julie was a wonderful person, said Stan Andrews, as he described his sister Julie Davis, who passed away last month from complications due to COVID-19. “She always gave, and gave, and gave. And the best thing about her was that she never judged. It didn’t matter what the problem was or what you had to tell her. You were never judged for it.” Davis was a member of NCAE and a third-grade teacher at Norwood Elementary School in Stanly County, where school had resumed in-person instruction in August. Andrews believes that is where she was exposed to the virus. She is the second member to die of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. “When she first started teaching, sometimes she would still be at school at 8 or 9 at night. I would say, ‘Julie, school was over hours ago. And she would respond, ‘yes, but I have to get this work done.’” Andrews said Julie loved her students and she was always doing extra things and doing everything she could for them. “She was worried during times off whether or not they [students] would have food to eat. I just don’t know how this happened.” In a message to members, NCAE President Tamika Walker Kelly said, “I know the feelings of grief, sadness, and anger this news will cause for many of you – it certainly has for me. It is absolutely clear that this was a completely preventable death. Julie did not have to die in order for her to teach her students, nor should any of our educators have to make the decision between doing the jobs they love and risking their lives.”

As temperatures begin to drop, thoughts will turn to sweaters, coats, and all of the essentials that help keep us warm during the cold winter months. However, for some children in our state, warm clothing is out of reach. That’s where the North Carolina Foundation for Public School Children (NCFPSC) comes in. Two sisters (their names are withheld to protect their privacy) were in desperate need of warm clothing. After the sudden passing of their mother, finances for winter clothing and shoes were not feasible. The school’s social worker purchased winter sweaters, leggings, dresses, hats, gloves, snow boots, and sneakers with financial assistance of the N.C. Foundation for Public School Children. This winter will be especially hard for many families who have been affected by the pandemic. You can make a difference in a child’s life by donating to the Children’s Fund, a resource provided through the Foundation for public school employees seeking assistance on behalf of public school students for items and services that directly relate to a student’s academic experience and when no other resource is available. The goal is to help the student receive what is needed as quickly as possible. Funds are used for items such as clothing, eyeglasses, medication, school supplies, hearing aids, and much more. Click here for more information about the Children’s Fund. To make a donation to the Foundation, click here.

NCAE News Bulletin


New Ed Mega Conference Focuses on “Equipping Educators for Excellence” The setting for this year’s New Educator Conference was quite different, held virtually October 23-24, but it offered a wealth of powerful information for the more than 100 members who participated. The conference kicked off on Friday with an Adventure Board made up of three fun activities: DJ Spinoff Quest, My Rice is Nice Cook-off Quest, and QuaranZine Quest. It was a way for participants to connect, build, and imagine new ways to embed ideas of justice, equality, and collective learning into their work. The schedule on Saturday included breakout sessions led by renowned education and social justice experts, including New York Times bestselling author Alexs Pate, educational expert and author Jeremy Anderson, and award-winning educator and consultant James Ford. Sessions were also led by NCAE’s own Dr. Michele Hicks and NEA Director Turquoise Parker, both of Durham. N.C. Teacher of the Year Maureen Stover also made a special appearance. Some of the sessions offered were The Innocent Classroom: A Relationship-Based Approach to Dismantling Racial Bias in Our Schools; Trauma-Informed Classroom Strategies; How to Celebrate Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion; and Strategies for Building Resilience.

Keynote speaker Jeremy Anderson

Learning while having fun!

The Rice Cook-off Quest yielded creative dishes Participants mixed and blended their DJ skills to make soundtracks

All sessions were well attended

NCAE News Bulletin

Superintendent Member Receives Prestigious Award La’Ronda Whiteside, superintendent of Hickory Public Schools, was recently awarded the Dr. Samuel Houston Leadership Award by the N.C. School Superintendents’ Association and the N.C. Alliance for School Leadership Development. The annual award is presented to a graduate of the North Carolina School Superintendents’ Association Aspiring Superintendent Program, a program designed to empower transformational education leaders for North Carolina’s


public schools. It is named in honor of Samuel Houston, president and chief executive officer of the N.C. Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center, who also served as superintendent of the Mooresville Graded School District for 10 years, where he opened the first year-round school in North Carolina. Whiteside is described as a passionate and compassionate educator with more than 30 years of experience. She has been a mathematics teacher, assistant principal, principal, director, coach, and mentor in Rutherford County. She was named Rutherford County Principal of the Year in 2014. Blue Ribbon Schools Three North Carolina public schools have been named National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2020. The three schools are among 367 schools nationwide recognized this year for their overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps. The schools receiving this prestigious recognition are: •Piedmont IB Middle School in Mecklenburg County •Cross Creek Early College High School in Cumberland County •PSRC Early College at RCC in Robeson County

The National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Durham School Builds Community Despite Pandemic Lakewood Elementary School is keeping in contact with students and their families weekly during the pandemic. Staff members and volunteers call families to ensure they have what they need, whether it be updated information, technology assistance, or a hot meal. The school serves mostly Black and brown students. A little more than half come from Spanish-speaking homes. A fund-raiser was started by the school, who called on local organizations and family and friends to donate to help Lakewood families. More than $40,000 was raised last spring, which allowed the school to provide each family that needed financial assistance with $500. Lakewood Elementary employs the community schools model, promoted by NEA.

Registration for the 2021 NEA Education Support Professionals National Conference opens in December. The conference is the premier professional development opportunity for Education Support Professionals across the nation. More than 60 interactive workshops are available from which members can choose, giving participants a chance to enhance their knowledge and skills to build community relationships, organize members, advocate for educators, and sustain stronger local associations, helping members excel in their careers and positively impact student success. Registration fees and logistical information will be announced in the coming months. Questions can be directed to

NCAE News Bulletin


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Legal FAQ for Educators Educator Rights Under Plan A Reopening On September 17, 2020, Governor Cooper announced that beginning October 5, 2020, North Carolina public school districts may elect to implement Plan A, in-person instruction with minimal Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) safety protocols, for elementary schools (grades K-5). The reopening plans for middle and high schools (grades 6-12) remain limited to implementation of Plans B and C. As a result of the announcement, educators contacted the Advocacy Center and inquired about their rights as schools reopen under Plan A. Below are the most frequently asked questions and concerns. 1. What are my rights if my district decides to reopen schools under Plan A? You have the right to a place of employment free from recognized hazards that are causing, or are likely to cause death, serious injury, or serious physical harm. You also have the right to notify administrators about hazards without fear of retaliation. If your workplace is unsafe and you have notified the district of your concerns, without significant changes, you may contact the Advocacy Center about reporting these violations to the N.C. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Division. 2. Is reporting to school under Plan A, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a “recognized hazard?” Generally, no. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services have provided guidance to safely conduct in-person instruction and learning. However, if there are cases of COVID-19 in your building, or widespread exposure to COVID-19, and/or an outbreak in your district that is not handled appropriately by administrators, the district may have failed to provide a place of employment free from a recognized hazard causing death or serious injury, in violation of the law. 3. My district has decided to reopen K-5 schools under Plan A, and I am afraid to return to work. Can I be fired if I refuse to return to work? It depends on your reason for refusal to return to work. If you have a valid health or family concern, it is unlikely that you will be dismissed. To maintain your employment, you will need to request leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and if applicable, request a reasonable accommodation pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). You may also be eligible for leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, see question #7 below for more details. If you have general fear of contracting COVID-19 and refuse to return to work in person, your employment may be at risk. 4. I am fearful of exposure to COVID-19, do I have to return to the school building to provide instruction or services if students are at home under Plan B? It depends on your reason for refusal to return to the building. If you have a valid health or family concern, you may request a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, to allow you to perform your duties from home, if possible, and students are not reporting to the building. For further details, see below response in question #5. If you have general fear of contracting COVID-19, you will likely have to return to the school building. 5. My request for a reasonable accommodation to work from home has been denied. What are my rights? Your rights depend on the circumstances. If an essential part of your duties requires you to supervise students, or can only be performed at the employer’s place of business or specified location(s), it is likely that your request to work from home will be (Continued on page 10)

NCAE News Bulletin


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Legal FAQ for Educators Educator Rights Under Plan A Reopening denied. The denial is not a violation of the law if you cannot perform the essential functions of your job from home. You have a right to request another accommodation that does not prevent you from performing the essential functions of your job, or you may request leave under FMLA, if you meet the requirements. 6. If my doctor has recommended that I not report to work, can the district require that I report to work because I am an essential worker? No. The district may not mandate that you report to work if your doctor has recommended otherwise. You may request a reasonable accommodation to work from home if applicable. If your request is denied or you are unable to work due to your illness, you may request sick and FMLA leave. In your request, provide the district with documentation from your doctor, containing sufficient information about your condition and the recommendation that you work from home. This information will allow the district to make an informed decision about your request. Failure to do so may result in a denial or delay, as the district may request additional information from your doctor. 7. Do I have a right to paid leave if I am unable to work because I was exposed to or contracted COVID-19 at work, or I am considered at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19? Yes. Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) employees may be eligible for paid emergency sick leave for up to 80 hours through December 31, 2020. This leave is available for use in the event that an employee cannot work due to a number of COVID-19 related reasons including them or a family member is experiencing virus-related symptoms or is under quarantine. The emergency paid leave is also available for use if the employee’s daycare or school is closed. An employee is entitled to use paid emergency leave prior to using any accrued benefit leave that may be applicable. You may find further information about leave under the FFCRA on the NCAE website at: You may contact the Advocacy Center with questions, concerns, or if you believe your rights have been violated by the district. (Updated October 15, 2020)

In North Carolina, students in grades K-5 have returned to school buildings and are required to wear masks. If you are having difficulties with elementary students keeping on their masks, click here for strategies to help them adjust.

NCAE News Bulletin


Friday Institute Professional Development Courses The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation's free highquality online professional learning courses for educators are now open for registration for the fall. More than 71,000 educators have participated in these courses so far, which have helped improve their professional practice, discover new resources, and learn new skills. In one of their new courses, Teaching Math to Young Children, participants will develop a deeper understanding of developmental progressions in early math, investigate common methods of progress monitoring and how monitoring intertwines with progressions to inform instruction, and use classroom activities and teaching structures to support young children to view and describe their worlds mathematically. Learn more and see how you could also be eligible to earn professional development hours for those skills you've learned on their course page here. local/catalog/course.php?id=31&ref=1 Questions can be directed to Heather Bronson at (919) 513-8512 or Ready, Set, App! Cycle 2 is Live! The Ready, Set, App! challenge is an Android mobile app development competition for North Carolina students. Student groups will develop a functional and original mobile app using a mobile app development platform, such as MIT App Inventor, to solve a problem in their community or school. The top teams will get the opportunity to pitch their app at the Virtual Ready, Set, App! Competition in April to win Lenovo-branded prizes. All final teams will receive an appointed intern to serve as peer support and a project workbook to assist with the app development process. •Participants must be in 9-12th grade. •This competition is for public or public charter high schools in N.C. •Teams of 3-5. •Each team must have an educator to serve as their advisor.

Horace Mann offers auto insurance with benefits and features designed with educators in mind. As a North Carolina educator, you could get: •up to a 10 percent educator discount •up to a 17 percent mulP-line discount •up to a 35 percent mulP-car discount These discounts could add up to big savings! Feel free to contact your local representaPve to learn more. Horace Mann Insurance Company and its affiliates underwrite Horace Mann auto insurance. The benefits and discounts listed: are only general descrip>ons of coverage; do not cons>tute a statement of contract; are subject to terms, limits and condi>ons of the policy contract; and may vary by state.

YOU DESERVE MORE Like a car with A/C that you didn’t inherit from your aunt

Use the link HERE to register for the program. Visit for more information. Good luck NC Students!

You deserve savings on coverage for a new ride. Before you head out to a dealership, reroute to savings at NEA Member Benefits. It’s the first stop for educators to get insurance discounts, tips to SCAN & GO

buy and sell a car, and more. In other words, members can find auto-related savings at every turn.

Find the resources you deserve at



In the market for a new car or car insurance? Check out NEA Member Benefits for all of your auto-related savings options! Visit for more information.

NCAE News Bulletin


Attention! The Deadline for NCAE Election Forms Is January 7 If you are interested in running for an NCAE office in 2021, now is the time to begin thinking about the process and getting your information in order. The following state and regional positions are open: Regional Directors, NEA delegate positions – Categories 1 and 2, positions within the Principal/Administrators Division, positions within the Education Support Professionals Division, and positions within the Student Services Division. Forms for all positions are available by clicking here. Forms for candidates running for Regional Directors, and division positions MUST be accompanied by an official NCAE biographical form, personal statement, and a professional-quality photograph. This form is available by clicking here. All materials should be sent to

Should you have questions, please send an e-mail to the above e-mail address or contact Derevana Leach at (919) 755-5565 or 1-800-662-7924, ext. 203. You may print a copy of your form, which must be submitted via certified mail and postmarked on or before January 7, 2021. Information submitted after the January 7 deadline, or without all the proper documentation, will not be published in the NCAE News Bulletin. NOTE: March 27, 2021 – April 9, 2021 are the days the NCAE Board of Directors has allocated for voting on the above 2021 election of officers. Local elections must be held at the same time as this election. The deadline for submitting local nominations for election is Monday, February 15, 2021.

Remaining Safe In a Technology-Driven World Cybersecurity and Online Learning

Beware! Scams…If It Seems Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is!

The pandemic has forced all of us into a new way of working, learning, and communicating, especially for educators and students. With so much time being spent online comes cybersecurity risks – everything from cyberbullying to cybertheft. It’s important to seek strategies that will help us be our own best protection online. The North Carolina Department of Information Technology (NCDIT), has launched CyberSecureNC, an initiative which is the leading IT provider for state agencies, local governments, and schools across the state. NCDIT helps keep North Carolinians safe from cyberattacks by providing cybersecurity education and resources. They include how to learn safely online, how to protect children online, how to teach safely online, how to avoid e-mail Phishing attacks, and cybersecurity words to add to your vocabulary, as well as videos on protecting your privacy and keeping your data secure. For more information, click here.

They pop up in the form of phone calls and e-mails, and even on social media. Scams are everywhere and those who are looking to swindle innocent victims are always searching for a new angle. Seniors are the most vulnerable population, but anyone can fall prey to a scam, especially when it seems to be coming from a legitimate source. NEA Member Benefits has tips on ways you can protect yourself from the mishaps of identity theft, student loan scams, and fraudulent schemes that target the elderly when it comes to things like investments, homeowner/reverse mortgage plans, and funeral arrangements. You can find more information by clicking the following: •Tips to Avoid Scams That Target Seniors •Four Student Loan Scam Red Flags You Need to Know •How to Protect Yourself from the Latest ID Theft Scams

NCAE News Bulletin




for NEA Members Gifts from the 1800FLOWERS Family of Brands Choose from Harry & David, Cheryl’s Cookies, Simply Chocolate and more! NEA members get 20 percent off their purchase. For more information visit and look for Flowers & Gourmet Gifts under the “Everyday Savings” heading. GE Appliances Store Black Friday Sales Event! Offer valid 11/4/20 – 12/3/20. Already registered? Visit the GE Appliances Store at for offer details. Need to register? Visit the Home and Auto Discounts category at and click the Start Shopping button. NEA Magazine Service Select from a wide variety of magazines titles, some at $5 off! More than 800 titles available at up to 85 percent off newsstand prices. Visit to learn more! NEA Auto Buying Program If you’re in the market for a new or used car, the NEA Auto Buying Program through TrueCar is the first place you should look! Visit Costco Offers Savings on Your Holiday Needs Costco’s got everything you need to make the holiday season bright: from home décor and furnishings to prepared foods! NEA members obtaining a new Costco membership will receive a $30 Costco Shop Card! Visit AT&T—Your Path to Speed and Savings Thinking of buying a new mobile phone for yourself or someone else? Then consider using AT&T as your service provider. Get all the details at https://



Dates to Remember November 8th 9th 10th 11th 14th 16th 18th 19th 20th 26th 27th

National S.T.E.M./S.T.E.A.M. Day National Child Safety Council Day National Young Readers Day: Veteran's Day (NCAE Offices Closed) International Girls Day International Day for Tolerance National Education Support Professionals Day ESP Webinar: Fighting Privatization in a Time of Crisis, 7 p.m. Click here to register. Universal Children's Day Thanksgiving Day (NCAE Offices Closed) Black Friday (NCAE Offices Closed) Random Acts of Kindness Friday

National Inspirational Role Models Month National Family Literacy Month Family Stories Month MADD's Tie One on For Safety Holiday Campaign (11/1-12/31) American Education Week: Nov. 16-20

“The United States prides itself on being the richest country in the world. Yet we can't balance the budget, pay for education, or take care of the aged and infirm.” --Paul Hawken

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Positions stated in this publication do not necessarily reflect the official position of NCAE unless so identified. The NCAE News Bulletin, a journal of the Association, is published by the North Carolina Association of Educators, 700 S.Salisbury St., Raleigh, NC 27601, 1-800-662-7924. Linda Powell-Jones, Editor/Designer

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