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May 2016


Trusted Learning Environment Seal
Today, CoSN launched the Trusted Learning Environment (TLE) Seal Program website The website will serve as a student data privacy tool for school districts, educators, parents, and the community, as well as the starting point for school districts to apply for the Seal. Developed for K-12 schools nationwide, the TLE Seal was formed through input from 28 school system leaders, as well as CoSN and lead partners AASA, The School Superintendents Association, the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) and ASCD. Learn more about the new TLE Seal at

To earn the TLE Seal, school systems are required to demonstrate their practices in each of the following areas:
  • Leadership
  • Classroom
  • Data Security
  • Business
  • Professional Development
Apply for the Seal If you have any questions, please email


Study: One-to-One Laptop Programs Improve Student Learning
Newly published, peer-reviewed research finds that one-to-one laptop programs improve student academic achievement in K-12 classrooms. Given the top line finding, I suspect the study will garner much attention and – at the same time – be subject to much spin. Here is my summary of the study, with accompanying analysis of what I believe we can reasonably conclude from the findings.

April 2016

Collection Development Grant
Does your collection management plan data show gaps in your collection where it is not meeting the instructional and/or personal reading needs of your students? If so, you may be interested in soliciting funding from this grant opportunity. It was shared w/me to disseminate to the library media field. Notice that it's time sensitive, geared toward prek-8, and schools that serve a student population with 65% or more qualifying for free or reduced lunch. See funding eligibility section for additional details/stipulations.

Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) Program Application Available
The application for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) Program is now available. The IAL program supports high-quality programs designed to develop and improve literacy skills for children and students from birth through 12th grade in high-need local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools. Additional information can also be found here:

Trusted Learning Environment Seal Launched
Student data privacy and security is a growing concern for NC leaders. A new tool was recently released by CoSN. The Trusted Learning Environment (TLE) Seal, which offers district leaders an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to addressing this challenge. This tool was developed in collaboration with a diverse set of 28 school systems and several well established professional organizations. The TLE Seal is a comprehensive program that focuses on constructing a culture of trust and transparency as data privacy and security are addressed. The seal is earned by demonstrating effective practice in leadership, classrooms, data security, business services and professional development. Learn more by reading here and also register for an upcoming webinar on April 28 at 1:00 pm.

Digital Equity Toolkit and Customizable Infographic
Access to digital tools and resources is crucial to student’s success as 21st century learners and citizens. Despite this, many students, mostly economically disadvantaged, have limited access to these tools and resources both at home and school. Student’s access to robust digital tools is key to their success as 21st century learners and citizens. Those students with limited access both at school and at home across our state and nation are left at a disadvantage unable to harness the power of digital learning creating the so-called “homework gap”. To address this challenge, CoSN launched the Digital Equity Action Agenda initiative which highlights school districts making strides in achieving digital equity while also offering a toolkit and customizable infographic for educational leaders to utilize as they get started with their digital equity discussions. The kit also includes survey templates that will help give context to the “homework gap” in your local community.

external image ncwiseowl-transparent_crop.png

NCWiseOwl Update
NCWiseOwl had a facelift! Check out the new website: Just a reminder that the following EBSCO resources are being discontinued and have been replaced by Explora: ​Student Research Center, Kids Search, Searchasaurus. Please share this information with school staff who use NCWiseOwl resources.

Digital Citizenship Needs Survey
UNC Charlotte Education faculty are interested in collaborating with K-12 districts on creating a Digital Citizenship curriculum for teachers and students. This 15 item Digital Citizenship Needs Survey will help the team understand the needs of the various school districts regarding digital citizenship. This survey should not take more than 10 minutes of your time. Thank you for participating.

Coming Soon: IAM Service Security Compliance Changes
Starting in April, employees who use the IAM Service for access to Home Base will need to change their password every 90 days. The NCEdCloud IAM Service has been upgraded to enforce the expiration of employee passwords for improved security.The new password policy will be piloted with a single district beginning March 29, then introduced incrementally -- based on the alphabetic order of employees' last names -- beginning April 4 and continuing through May 18. Once the password expiration policy is turned on according to the schedule, users will be prompted to change their passwords when logging in if they have not changed them in the last 90 days. Otherwise, users will begin seeing a notice 80 days from their last password change, that their password will expire. LEAs and charter schools can also opt-in to implement a student password expiration policy. The IAM Service password rules and FAQ can be found at

Give Five Read Five
Give Five Read Five

Give Five - Read Five
The NCDPI first launched the statewide Give Five - Read Five campaign in 2013 to address summer learning loss. As a part of this annual campaign, parents, business leaders and community members donate five or more new or gently used books to local elementary schools so that students have books to take home at the end of the school year because research from Harvard shows that reading five books helps students to better retain literacy skills over the summer. In 2016, we are taking the Give Five – Read Five campaign one step further. As a part of a new partnership with myON, a division of Capstone, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction is offering every student in the state access to the personalized literacy tool myON Reader. Students at every grade level will be able to use this tool during the summer months to select from thousands of titles and download free books well-matched to their reading levels and personal interests. As an added bonus, parents can use the tool to track how many pages and hours students spend reading and even measure their literacy growth while they are away from the classroom. Visit to learn more.
Also in 2016, the top four schools that collect the most books receive a free one-year schoolwide license to online literacy tools provided by campaign partners Achieve3000, Reading Horizons and myON. Teachers, principals and others should report book collection totals to by June 17 to be eligible for a prize. Other Give Five – Read Five partners and supporters include MetaMetrics, the North Carolina Campus Compact, Book Harvest and Communities In Schools of North Carolina. Thanks to all the schools, districts, churches, nonprofits, businesses and other community partners who will support the 2016 Give Five – Read Five campaign! Your efforts will help thousands of students enter school this fall better prepared to learn.

Home Base
Home Base

Home Base 2016-17
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is pleased to announce that the full suite of Home Base tools will be provided to all districts and charter schools in the 2016-17 school year for $1/ADM. This pricing includes access to content across multiple subject areas within Home Base. Please remember, unlike last year, Canvas licenses ($3.74 per user) will not be paid directly from the State, but rather is an expense covered by the district or charter school due to the end of Race to the Top funding.
Additional information was sent to superintendents, charter school directors, finance officers, and technology directors.

SETDA applauds the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Lifeline Order - Broadband Subsidy for Low Income Families
Another Step to Ensuring Digital Equality for All Students =March 31, 2016 (Washington D.C.) Earlier today, the FCC voted to modernize the Lifeline program to permit low-income Americans to use this subsidy for broadband services instead of limiting the program to telephone access. Lifeline was established by the FCC in 1985 to help ensure that telephone services were accessible by poor households. This update, along with the FCC’s E-rate modernization and the White House’s ConnectAll and ConnectHome initiatives, aims to address the “Homework Gap” for students across the United States.
The Lifeline update includes:
  • Allows Lifeline support for stand-alone mobile or fixed broadband Internet access service
  • Bundles including fixed or mobile voice and broadbandPhases in mobile broadband requirement over five years
  • Helps close the homework gap by promoting the offering of mobile devices with Wi-Fi and hotspot functionality
Dr. Tracy Weeks, Executive Director, SETDA notes, “If we truly want students to leverage digital resources so that educators can personalize learning for each child, then all students must be able to access broadband at meaningful connection speeds from home. Lifeline and E-rate are steps in the right direction to make quality broadband accessible to all households and to close the 'Homework Gap'. Greater funding will ultimately be needed to make sure all families have access to high-speed broadband, therefore SETDA urges Congress to use every tool at its disposal to support both the Lifeline order and the continuation of E-rate.”

March 2016

CEDARS Data Warehouse - CDW Training Webinar
The CEDARS Data Warehouse (CDW) is NCDPI’s Longitudinal Data Store (LDS) that contains the LEA authoritative data submitted to the state. The CDW is designed to support data use among NCDPI staff, school principals and local administrators. This system can be used for analytical and reporting purposes by both the SEA and LEAs. One example of the state’s use of CEDARS data is to meet Federal reporting requirements. The CDW has been operational and open to state, LEA and school level staff since September 2011. To date, the CDW contains six years of data; the 2009-10 school year through the 2015-16 school year. Data sources include, among others: PowerSchool, Exceptional Children, Limited English Proficient (LEP), Accountability, Migrant and Finance.

To learn more about the CDW, register and join us for upcoming webinar events, Please contact Terra Dominguez with any questions at:

EXPLORA replacing EBSCO Resources
Please share the following information with school staff that use NCWiseOwl resources. Just a reminder that the following EBSCO resources are being discontinued and have been replaced by Explora:
  • Student Research Center
  • Kids Search
  • Searchasaurus
Explora is now available from the left side navigation in each of the zones.

February 2016

NC LIVE Streaming Video Available Through NCEdCloud IAM Service
nclive.pngAs you may know, PBS videos have been accessible through an NCWiseOwl partnership with NC LIVE. This collection includes videos from PBS including Ken Burns’ documentaries, Masterpiece Theater, Scientific American, American Experience, and more. This content has been accessible for districts and charter schools from the site by clicking on the link for "PBS Videos". We are pleased to announce that there is now an additional way to access this content. On March 8, 2016 students and teachers will be able to access the NC LIVE streaming video collection using an application within the NCEdCloud IAM Service. LEA and charter school users will also now be able to access this content using the icon below that will be made available on their applications page.We are excited to provide you with additional ways to access this content. Provided that your district has registered external IPs with NCWiseOwl, you will still be able to automatically authenticate and access the streamingvideo content through the NCWiseOwl site. Please choose the best access option that works to meet the needs of your students. See below for answers to commonly asked questions about the NC LIVE streaming video service.
Q: Are there technical requirements for my network to allow access to the Media Collection?
A: Yes, your network firewall will need to allow traffic through the following ports: : port 80 : port 1935
In addition, all computers on the network need to accept cookies from the domain.
Q: What hardware, software, and other technology do I need to watch the NC LIVE Video Collection?
A: Videos can be viewed on any device with an Internet connection and Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or higher) software. Your device must have an Internet connection speed of at least 175 Kbps.
NC LIVE Media Collection videos are available in three streaming formats: a lower bandwidth option (175 Kbps), a standard bandwidth option (400 Kbps), and a high bandwidth option (1MB). Videos cannot be downloaded or saved to a device.
Q: Do libraries and schools have public performance rights for Films on Demand and NC LIVE Videos Collection?
A: Yes! Public performance rights are provided to NC LIVE member libraries, provided the library or any other exhibitor does not charge an admission fee or derive monetary gain.
If you have additional questions, please contact me. If your questions pertain to access to the application, please contact your local LEA/Charter IAM service helpdesk.

Teacher Working Conditions Survey
Teacher Working Conditions Survey

NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey Opens Tomorrow

School-based licensed educators in all 115 North Carolina school districts and charter schools will have an opportunity to answer a variety of questions on the 8th biennial statewide NC Teacher Working Conditions (TWC) Survey, which is open March 1-25. The NC TWC Survey gathers feedback from teachers, counselors, principals and other administrators about the adequacy of school facilities and resources, time, empowerment, school leadership, community support, student conduct, professional development, mentoring and induction services, and student learning. The web-based survey is voluntary, anonymous and confidential. As in past years, educators will receive unique access codes from their designated school-based representative (Teacher of the Year, NCAE Representative, Teacher Leader) that enable them to take the survey at the NC TWC website.

NCDPI Joins National #GoOpen Initiative
North Carolina – #GoOpenNC – will join an inaugural cohort of more than a dozen states that are committed to supporting school districts and educators by promoting the use of high quality, openly licensed educational resources. North Carolina is being recognized for its leadership by the U.S. Department of Education at the #GoOpen Exchange, a gathering of state and district leaders, innovative education technology platform providers, and non-profit organizations working together to share knowledge and experiences to help educators transition to using openly licensed educational resources.

Media and Technology Tidbits Webcast Available
February's Library Media and Technology Tidbits webcast is now posted. It focuses on the SLMC evaluation instrument highlighting changes in the process which are reflected in the updated NC School Library Media Coordinator Evaluation Process user's guide posted to NCEES in November. Please share with school library media coordinators and administrators.

Professional Learning Opportunity for SLMCs and ITFs Spring 2016
We are working out final details, but wanted to make sure you have this date out to your ITFs and SLMCs!
Please see this flyer for details including dates, locations and program.

January 2016

Partnerships with Pubic Libraries
This upcoming webinar from the State Library about Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s ONE Access program may support your library media coordinators’ efforts to lead in forming partnerships with public libraries. Please share. Thanks.

Digital Learning Day 2016 - Get Ready!
Digital Learning Day 2016 is less than a month away! Join this nationwide celebration on February 17 and promote effective digital teaching and learning in NC schools! As you plan events at your school and in your district, be sure to visit our NCDLDay wiki for ideas and resources. On this wiki, you will find:

Here are some things you can do to celebrate NC Digital Learning Day!
  • Get the word out about Digital Learning Day! Share info about DLDay with teachers and leaders in your school / district. Visit the outreach page of the NCDLDay wiki for resources.
  • Add your DLDay events to the national map.
  • Share ideas for DLDay activities with your teachers and school / district leaders.
  • Encourage your teachers to add their events to the national map.
  • Every day between now and Feb, 17th, at least one DLDay-related post will be shared on the wiki and via the NCDPI DTL Facebook / Twitter pages. Are YOU interested in writing a post? Email me!
  • Participate in NCDLDay Twitter chats (see wiki for dates and times); encourage teachers to join the chats, too!
  • Do you have a webpage with professional development presentations and resources? On the professional learning wiki page, there is a form (and responses spreadsheet) where you can share your resources with all of NC! I’ve added my PD link to the spreadsheet as an example.
  • Use the hashtag #NCDLDay in your social media posts.
  • Visit the NCDLDay wiki often for updates.

PowerSchool Upgrades - Hosting and Application Feb. 19-21
Hosting: Due to the recent DDoS attacks executed against PowerSchool and other factors, PowerSchool, LLC is moving its hosting operations from the CenturyLink data center in New Jersey to Rackspace in Virginia. This move will provide our customers increased protection from DDoS and other attacks as well as increased bandwidth and system performance.
Application: We will also execute an upgrade of the PowerSchool application from version 8.3 to version 9.2. This new version includes several updates that will benefit our customers and NCDPI. These updates include a new visualizations component for attendance and grades that will help schools identify students based on academic performance and attendance. Also included are updates to the scheduling module, course availability by year and enhanced security controls. Due to the concurrent move and compressed timeline, the need for thorough testing is greater than ever. The PowerSchool team will be calling on many sources for testing and validation of functionality beyond the traditional resources. We appreciate the willingness of your area to participate in this effort. Your assistance ensures that the field feels minimal disruption during these two critical moves. Please let your direct reports know that they may be called upon, as business owners, for assistance during this critical period to test those portions of PowerSchool used by their operational areas.

Schoolnet Upgrade Planned for Feb. 5
schoolet.pngThe Home Base Instructional Improvement System (Schoolnet) will be upgraded to version 17.1 on Friday, Feb. 5 beginning at 6 p.m. The system will be down for at least 24 hours to complete this upgrade. This new version of Schoolnet includes several valuable features, including a function to rate instructional materials and additional options for submitting and approving materials. To help educators use the new features, Pearson is offering the last of three webinars Thursday, Jan. 21 from noon to 1 p.m. when they will demo the new features. Note that the webinar is conducted by Pearson so it will not be North Carolina-specific but will provide a general overview of the new features and how to use them in our system.

Home Base Symposium Feb. 10-12
The early registration deadline for the Home Base Symposium, Feb. 10-12, is Jan. 22. We are expanding the focus to include course offerings across the Home Base suite. This year's symposium will be packed with new content, the latest and upcoming updates, presenters from the Home Base applications as well as across the field, and much more. All-day strands for PowerSchool, Schoolnet, Truenorthlogic and Canvas will be offered by field experts. The latest updates and sneak-peaks will be showcased throughout the sessions. To name just a few, other sessions will include Google Apps for Education integration, a BloomBoard & OCT overview, and what is to come with NCEdCloud and IAM.

 You don't want to miss this opportunity. Plan on attending and bring a well-rounded team to cull the information offered and return to your district bursting with fresh, new ways to utilize Home Base!

December 2015

PowerSchool Migration and Upgrade Information
The NC DPI is pleased to inform you that the migration of PowerSchool customers to the new hosting environment (Rackspace) is underway. Moving to the new environment as quickly as possible is a top priority due to the reliability issues caused by distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS). Rackspace provides:
· More robust defense against DDoS attacks
· Increased internal and external bandwidth
· Improved performance
· Enhanced security features
In addition, the PowerSchool Application upgrade to version 9.2 is scheduled for February 19-21, 2016. This upgrade contains many new features and several functionality updates that our users have requested an
· Attendance and grade visualizationsd will benefit our customers greatly. Key updates include:
· PowerScheduler updates
· Course Availability updates
· Updated Mobile and Parent access settings
· Grade Scale Enhancements & Reporting
· Enhanced grade pass-back functionality needed for Canvas and other LMS’s
In order to limit downtime, the Maintenance Weekend scheduled for February 6-8 is being postponed until February 19-21, 2016 to accommodate both the migration to Rackspace as well as the upgrade to PowerSchool v.9.2. NCDPI will provide periodic updates.

Carolina Canvas Weekly Webcast Announced
Announcing the Carolina Canvas Webcast beginning this Friday December 11th at 3:30 p.m. Eastern. It's the first in a series of weekly webinars just for Canvas users in North Carolina … most of whom are new to Canvas! Our first topic will be the Rich Content Editor … a tool you will want to get to know well if you'll be teaching or working with Canvas. We'll quickly cover the basics, and show you some cool tricks you probably don't know. Join the webinar live to ask your questions and participate. (We'll have a Kahoot game for Canvas prizes at the end of the Webinar!) Then stay for ‘Ask Canvas,’ your chance to discuss anything Canvas related with the Canvas team and your colleagues elsewhere in the state. Can't make it? A recording will be made available following the Webcast.
For information, see the event listing on the event feed and the calendar on the North Carolina Users Community Web site (

Important Integration Opportunity - NCWiseOwl Integration with Destiny
I am attaching directions on how to add NCWiseOwl resources to Follett Destiny. Please be aware that not all resources are able to be integrated with Destiny. Additionally, usernames and passwords are needed in order to successfully add these to Destiny. I will be your contact to receive usernames and passwords (Jennifer Northrup -

November 2015

SpeakUp Survey
We want everyone to have a voice in the future of how technology is used in our schools - please share the Speak Up survey with your students, teachers, parents, administrators, community organizers, friends, and anyone who has a passion for improving education:

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction invites you to submit presentation proposals for the 2016 Home Base Symposium: Connections Count! This event will be held February 10 – 12, 2016 at the Sheraton Four Seasons, Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, NC.
This year’s conference marks the 30th Annual Symposium. In these three decades, the evolution of how we manage student information, digital resources, assessments and data, educator evaluation, and professional development has enabled North Carolina educators to build connections to better serve our school communities. Our Symposium theme for 2016 is Connections Count! Join us as we continue to share innovative practices and lessons learned using the Home Base suite of tools. Connect with your colleagues as we look forward to the next decade of meeting the needs of North Carolina students and educators in the digital age! Request for Proposals: We are seeking experienced Home Base users to serve as session presenters for the 2016 Home Base Symposium.
· All session proposals must be related to sharing lessons learned and effective strategies as you implement the various Home Base suite of tools:
·Educator Evaluation/Truenorthlogic
·Professional Development System/Truenorthlogic
·Identity and Access Management
·Learning Object Repository
· Feel free to submit more than one proposal.One presenter for each session will have their conference registration fee waived.
· Complete the Request for Proposals Form by Friday, December 18, 2015.

October 2015

Project Tomorrow | Speak Up - North Carolina Challenge
external image SpeakUpLogo.png

ensuring that today’s students are well prepared to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders and engaged citizens of the world. The Speak Up data represents the largest .

More than 500,000 students, parents and teachers will share their views on technology and learning to inform policy at the local, state and national levels as part of the 13th annual Speak Up National Research Project. Between now and December 18th, all K-12 students, parents, teachers, administrators and community members in North Carolina have the opportunity to participate in the online surveys. To manage your school or district information and obtain free, online access to your school or district’s aggregated results, your registration must be activated with a primary contact by registering on the Speak Up website. The district/school timeline is a great tool to help you prepare for the Speak Up survey period.
North Carolina had two districts listed in the Top 5 Districts across the nation for total participation last year. Our challenge is to have more NC districts recognized as Leading School Districts for 2015! Speak Up data is a data source to inform their district technology planning and budgets, assess professional development needs, plan school reform efforts, measure the effectiveness of Digital Teaching & Learning initiatives or substantiate grant applications. Check out our Speak Up Wiki. Follow Speak Up on Twitter @SpeakUpEd.

55,000 More Assessment Items in Schoolnet!
Instructional Improvement System (Schoolnet) you may notice there are more assessment items available in Math and English Language Arts (ELA). We recently purchased an additional 55,000 assessment items for classroom level use in grades K-12. The new items include multiple choice and open response items for both ELA and Math. You can find these items under the publisher name “FAIB from Certica Solutions, Inc.” when doing an advanced search in Item Central.

School Library Media Coordinator (SLMC) Evaluation Instrument Webinar
When: October 6th, 3-4pm
Where: This is an online event.
This webinar will provide school administrators with an opportunity to consider features of the School Library Media Coordinator Evaluation Instrument such as the evaluation process, implementation of rubric performance indicators, and artifacts.
Register here:

Instructional Technology Facilitator (ITF) Evaluation Instrument Webinar
When: Tuesday, Oct. 20th, 3-4pm
Where: This is an online event.
This webinar will provide school administrators / ITF evaluators with an opportunity to consider features of the Instructional Technology Facilitator Evaluation Instrument such as the evaluation process, implementation of rubric performance indicators, and artifacts. Target Audience: This webinar is for school administrators / ITF evaluators.
Registration Link:

NCVPS Reviews Assistive Technologies

The North Carolina Virtual Public School staff have researched and reviewed a substantial list of assistive technologies. These technologies can help students with disabilities who are enrolled in NCVPS online courses. These resources also are great for special needs students in the traditional classroom as well as the general student population. You can view the list of assistive technologies here.

September 2015
Office 365 and MOS 2013 Exams
URGENT! Below is an important message for all testing centers that subscribe to Office 365. If you currently offer exams through Office 365 software, please read the message below! If your school is not a subscriber of Office 365, you may ignore. If you have any questions, please call 1-888-999-9830.
For Testing Centers who subscribe to Office 365 and deliver MOS 2013 exams -
We are excited that Microsoft Office 2016 is expected to release September 22, 2015! Development of MOS 2016 certification exams is underway and exams in English will start to release in the first half of 2016. Important information for continued testing of MOS 2013 certification exams -after Microsoft Office 2016 releases on September 22, testing center machines using Office 365 may be prompted to update to Office 2016. Please be advised you cannot continue delivering MOS 2013 exams if you update to Office 2016 on your testing center machines. This is because Microsoft Office does not allow two versions to run simultaneously on one machine. In addition, MOS 2013 certification exams require the Office 2013 applications to be installed locally on the testing machine in order to launch and run the exams. Please work with your local IT department to ensure uninterrupted MOS 2013 certification testing.

Home Base User Groups Registration
Please review the attached document about the upcoming Home Base User Group meetings. Please designate a representative for PowerSchool, Schoolnet, and TNL (3 representatives for each district/charter school). Note this email is going out to SIS, HR and Technology Directors, please make sure there is local coordination to send the appropriate representatives. Please use the following link to register:

August 2015
NCWiseOwl-transparent.pngNCWiseOwl Toolkit Now Available!
As you know, NCWiseOwl is a great resource for our students and teachers. It has a wide variety of resources across multiple subject areas. In order to support teachers in using these resources we created a NCWiseOwl Toolkit. This toolkit provides promotional materials and tutorials to help support and encourage the use of the content available from NCWiseOwl. Also, you will find information about WiseOwl Wednesdays in the toolkit. These Wednesday features include webinars and tweets to help NC teachers learn more about the use of NCWiseOwl. We will even use a special hashtag (#NCWOWed) on Wednesdays to share tips and tricks to better leverage NCWiseOwl resources.
In case you missed it, we have also had a password change for off campus use of NCWiseOwl. The password for the 15-16 school year is wiseowl15. The password can be shared with parents and students, but should not be placed on public facing webpages. Please share this information with others in your district!

MCNC Webinar - DDoS Attacks


Did you know that more than 50% of the volume of DDoS traffic seen on NCREN is targeted at the K-12 community?
A graphical representation of this statistic is shown below. Attend MCNC’s upcoming webinar on DDoS attacks
to learn how they work, what MCNC is doing to protect its customers, and what you can do to protect your institution.The webinar
is scheduled for August 11, 10:00 - 11:00 AM. Click here to read more about this session and get details on how to participate via
Adobe Connect.

E-Rate Productivity Center Info

The E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) is the account and application management portal for the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program. Applicants, consultants, and service providers participating in the E-rate Program will use this tool to manage program processes and to submit questions. This summer, applicants will be able to file the FCC Form 470 in EPC.
Over the course of the next year, the remaining E-rate Program forms for applicants and service providers will be available in EPC. EPC will allow users to get information about the status of their applications, reminders about important dates, and correspondence from Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) and other review teams. Letters and other correspondence will be stored in EPC so that users can easily access them at any time. To learn how to use EPC to successfully maintain your account with USAC, watch our video tutorials and read our online user guides.
Applicant User Guides
Service Provider User Guides

EPC Video Tutorials

NC Digital Learning Progress Rubric Feedback for Version 2.0
The Friday Institute at NC State University would like to invite you, a leader in digital learning, to provide feedback on the “NC Digital Learning Progress Rubric.” You may recall that this past spring, for the NC Digital Learning Plan, the NC State Board of Education requested that every school district complete a rubric describing the state of digital teaching and learning across their schools. The findings from those submissions were summarized in recent presentations. Many of you took the time to submit questions and feedback as you were completing the rubric for your district - we have all those emails and recommendations saved. Those messages helped us realize that we needed to request feedback and then revise the tool in a more systematic way. Your input is crucial in the revising of that rubric into an improved VERSION 2. Attached is Microsoft Word copy of the NC Digital Learning Progress Rubric VERSION 1. If you would, please read it and tell us how it should be improved. Any feedback is welcome – direct edits to wording; comments that a descriptor is “too high” or “too low;” recommendations for clarity; suggestions that something be deleted or added; general questions/comments/concerns; etc. You can: type your feedback into the blank spaces; make edits and leave comments through Microsoft Word’s “Track Changes;” or use highlighted text or some other way of showing your edits and/or comments.We estimate that a review may take anywhere from 15-45 minutes. Please email your edits, as well as any questions you may have, to Malinda Faber, Research Associate at The Friday Institute: .We would appreciate receiving your edits by August 21. We will send you a copy of the VERSION 2 rubric in the next few months, once it has been completed. Thank you for your consideration and for all that you do to support innovations in NC schools!

July 2015
Summer 2015 Institute for Network Administrators
NCDPI and MCNC are pleased to announce the final plans for the 2015 Summer Institute for Network Administrators. The focus of this year’s summer institute will be Microsoft Active Directory with an emphasis on management, usage, and troubleshooting the Active Directory environment. This will be primarily a lab-based training session aimed at the intermediate-level server administrator. This training is being paid for by NCDPI and offered at no cost to LEAs and charter schools. Lunch will be provided, but participants will be responsible for their individual travel expenses.
July 28-31: Burke County Schools, 509 West Concord, Morganton NC 28655
(NOTE: Due to instructor availability we had to move Western NC class to Tuesday - Friday; we regret any inconvenience caused by scheduling class on Friday.)
August 10-13: MCNC, 3021 E. Cornwallis Road, Research Triangle Park NC 27709
Registration will be limited to twenty participants per session, with an initial limit of one attendee per LEA/Charter, Individuals that register but do not show may be billed a $300 cancellation fee.
Registration and additional information can be found here:

Summer 2015 Technologist Webinar Series
NCDPI and MCNC are pleased to announce plans for the Summer 2015 Technologist Webinar Series. Through short, one-hour webinars, technologist can pick and choose the topics of interest to them, including network troubleshooting, Google and Chrome, and intermediate level monitoring and tools. The Webinars will start Wednesday, July 8th and will continue each Wednesday through August 12.
The full schedule and participation instructions can be found at: (webinars will be archived)
All of the sessions will be presented by the Client Network Engineering (CNE) team and archived for viewing at later times. Question or comments? Please contact John Warf, Senior Client Network Engineer at or to Dave Furiness, Director Client Network Engineering at

FAQ Microsoft Statewide Agreement Proposal
Please find attached an FAQ on the Microsoft Office statewide agreement proposal which was shared this week at the Superintendents’ quarterly meeting.
This answers the questions that we have received here at DPI. f you have any additional questions please let me know.

Technical Specifications for NCTest 2015-16
Updated Technical Specification and NCTest Support pages for the 2015-16 are currently available at
The NCTest Secure Browser is no longer supported and will be blocked from accessing NCTest beginning July 1, 2015.
  1. The link above will direct you to the Technical Specification page. The blue link on the Technical Specification page that says NCTest Support will direct you to additional important information about each device.
  2. The blue links located in the iPad section in the NCTest Support page will give additional information for iPad use.
  3. The Chrome browser with the NCTest Chrome App is now required for desktop computers and will update when it is launched. If you already have the Chrome App on machines, no new install or download is needed.
  4. The NCTest iPad App will require an update later in the summer. An announcement will be made when the updated App is available for download. Please continue using the current version until that time.
NCTest HELP: or 919-515-1320

homebase.gifHome Base Opt-In 2015-16
Please open the attached memorandum from NCDPI Chief Academic and Digital Learning Officer Tracy Weeks and Chief Financial Officer Philip Price regarding Home Base Opt-In and Payment for FY 2015-16. If you have any questions, please contact Eric Moore at

June 2015

Summer Institute for Network Administrators
NCDPI and MCNC are pleased to announce the preliminary plans for the 2015 Summer institute for Network Administrators. The focus of this year’s summer institute will be Microsoft Active Directory with an emphasis on management, usage, and troubleshooting the Active Directory environment. This will be primarily a lab-based training session aimed at the intermediate-level server administrator.
Tentative Schedule:
July 27-30: Western NC
August 10-13: MCNC, 3021 E. Cornwallis Road, Research Triangle Park NC 27709
Registration will be limited to twenty participants per session, with an initial limit of one attendee per LEA/Charter. Given the limited class size, LEAs and charter schools that register but do not show may be billed a $300 cancellation fee. This training is being paid for by NCDPI and offered at no cost to LEAs and charter schools. Lunch will be provided, but participants will be responsible for their individual travel expenses. More information will be made available in the coming days, including the process for registering online. Please direct questions and comments to John Warf, Senior Client Network Engineer at or to Dave Furiness, Director Client Network Engineering at

State Digital Learning Exemplars – North Carolina in Top 5 States!!
SETDA and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University College of Education co-released the national report, State Digital Learning Exemplars: Highlights from states leading change through policies and funding. States are striving to support the expansion of technology tools and resources in K12 education through state policies, programs and funding in order to provide digital learning opportunities for all students. This paper highlights examples of states with policies in support of 5 key areas: innovative funding streams and policy, digital content, human capacity, network infrastructure and data management and privacy. While there has been progress toward digital learning nationwide, several states have emerged as leaders in embracing digital learning via state policies and practices in all five areas mentioned above: Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Utah. This report also highlights other states with significant progress in at least one of the specific five areas. Full Report

NCEdCloud – IAM Services User Forums/Online Office Hours Update
Just sending a reminder on today's NCEdCloud IAM User Forum / Office Hour: Today at 1:30 PM and every Wednesday through September 30. Connection coordinates are below and please feel free to share this message with your colleagues. The NCEdCloud IAM Service team is continuously looking for ways to provide LEAs and Charter Schools guidance for adopting the new service. On some but not necessarily all of the office hour / user forum calls, the IAM team may lead off with a short number of slides to provide updates. But in general there is no set agenda, as one of the main goals is for the IAM team to hear from the user community. Feel free to drop into the User Forum / Office Hours with your questions or with any challenges you have and we will do everything we can to assist you. Log on to the NCEdCloud IAM service at General information on the NCEdCloud IAM service can be found at:
Connection Info:
We use a teleconferencing / screen sharing service from You will be able to join using your computer and / or your phone,
To join audio by phone: +1.860.970.0010 Access Code 664-116-397# To join by computer to see the screen share (and optionally hear the audio), point your Flash-enabled browser at: Once you’re into the meeting, if you wish to use your computer for the audio then click the phone icon (see image below) and click the “Call via internet” link and download and run the app:

Microsoft Office ProPlus for All Teachers, Staff and Students in NC
Microsoft, DPI and the Office of State Budget Management (OSBM), are currently exploring options to provide Office ProPlus to all teachers, staff and students in NC for use at school and at home. This initiative will save a significant amount of money as the proposed cost is less than the total amount currently spend annually by LEAs and Charter Schools in purchasing Microsoft Office products. OSBM has requested historical sales records from Microsoft. In order to help OSBM conduct their due diligence, Microsoft intends to provide OSBM a three year record that will include LEA and Charter School estimated amount they have spent on Microsoft Office products. No personal information will be shared and the information will not be distributed beyond OSBM. However, before we sent this information to OSMB, we want to allow you to opt out of this disclosure for any reason. If you do not want your district data to be included in this disclosure, please send an email to Michael Nicolaides ( within two business days and your data will be removed from the record. If you have any other questions, feel free to email Michael or Eric Robertson of Microsoft ( / 612.419.1733).

May 2015
Personalized Learning for Educators
July 13 - Pisgah High School, Canton, NCSession Dates and Locations
July 14 - West Wilkes Middle School, Wilkesboro, NC
July 15 - Cox Mill High School, Concord, NC
July 16 - North Guilford High School, Greensboro, NC
July 20 - Gray's Creek High School, Hope Mills, NC
July 21 - Croatan High School, Newport, NC
July 22 - John A. Holmes High School, Edenton, NC
July 23 - Rocky Mount High School, Rocky Mount, NC
Registration links:
School Administrators:

Training Resources for School/District Data Component for Schoolnet on the Web
Guides to assist school and districts leaders with the School and Data component of Schoolnet are available under Training and Information on the Home Base website.
  • Custom Report: Standards Mastery – District
This document guides district leaders through the process of finding and using standards mastery data for Benchmark assessments by comparing schools and performance groups within the reporting functions of Schoolnet.
  • Custom Report: Benchmark Performance
This document guides school and district leaders through the process of finding and using benchmark performance data for Benchmark assessments by comparing teachers and standards within the reporting functions of Schoolnet.

Claiming Your NCEdCloud Account for the New IAM Service
Have you claimed your IAM Service account yet? Beginning July 6, logins to Home Base applications will be using the NCEdCloud IAM Service accounts. If your LEA or Charter School has communicated plans to have teachers and staff members begin claiming their accounts, the recently redesigned IAM Website has instructions on how to do it, as well as a Claim Account Video. When you go to the website, click on the Claim My Account button. You can access a Claiming Issues button and a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page with more information. The new NCEdCloud Identity and Access Management (IAM) Service accounts will provide teachers, students and staff one login to the Home Base applications they currently use (e.g. PowerSchool, SchoolNet, OpenClass and NCEES (TNL), plus the new LMS - Instructure Canvas, and the Learning Object Repository), fulfilling the initial promise of one Home Base login. Home Base users have logged in through PowerSchool while awaiting the IAM Service’s implementation. That will no longer be necessary once the IAM Service is integrated. Between now and July 6, the date the new single sign-on goes live, please follow the latest IAM Service updates in the Biweekly Update. This will help you prepare for the login transition.
Here’s the Rollout Order and Key Points to Remember:
  1. While users may claim their accounts any time between now and July 6, we urge the designated technology leaders (Tech Directors, Data Managers, etc.) to first Claim their accounts and then request privileged roles through the Workflow process (like LEA Administrator, LEA Data Auditor or LEA Help Desk). This gives technical and instructional management time to organize account claiming for their faculty and staff on a timeline best suited to each district’s or school’s calendar.
  2. Once the technology leadership notifies the school’s staff and faculty to proceed, teachers may claim their own accounts. A Claim Account Video and a detailed description of the process are provided on the Claim My Account page of the IAM Service website. Teachers will be notified by their LEA or Charter School leadership when to distribute Usernames and Passwords to their students. Teachers are automatically granted permission to assist students with logins and password changes (see: Teachers on the IAM Website).
  3. LEAs and Charter Schools may decide at their own discretion, to allow grades 6-12 students to self-claim accounts, or have teachers distribute accounts directly to these students the same as grades K-5.
  4. Starting July 6, students will access PowerSchool using a different URL — /student rather than /public — therefore, they will need to be provided with a new link, icon, "button", etc., to access PowerSchool (this will be LEA or Charter School determined).
  5. The /public URL will continue to be used by Parents to access the Parent Portal. Parent logins to PowerSchool will remain unchanged, as they will not be using the NCEdCloud IAM Service.
  6. NOTE: Teachers that access NCEES for PD over the summer will use their IAM Service Account to access this resource. Users can login to the IAM Service at (after claiming their account) and click on the NCEES Icon which will be available starting July 6, or they can go directly to the NCEES URL (link) which will be published prior to July 6.

The EVAAS Meetings for Inquiring Teachers
Education Value-Added Assessment System sessions, “EVAAS—What You Need to Know,” are being offered in June for NC teachers. Schools can invite teachers to attend informative summer sessions where they can grow in knowledge about EVAAS. A Q & A is offered during every session. One teacher per LEA is allowed to attend, and seating is limited, so register early here.

Monday, June 15
Greenville Hilton Hotel
207 Greenville Blvd SW
Greenville, NC 27834

Wednesday, June 17
Durham Hilton Hotel
3800 Hillsborough Rd.
Durham, NC 27705

Friday, June 19
Crowne Plaza Hotel-Hickory, NC
1385 Lenoir Rhyne Blvd SE
Hickory, NC 28602

PowerSchool Q & A Open Forum Webinars
The Open Forum webinars are facilitated forums, not formal presentations. The attendees can ask their scheduling questions to a panel of the NCDPI staff members. Included are the dates and registration links for June.
Dates and Registration here:
Friday, June 12, 1 p.m.
Wednesday, June 17, 1 p.m.
Wednesday, June 24, 1 p.m.
Register here:
Please note all registration information is subject to NC Public Records Law.
For more information about NC SIS training and documentation, please visit our website at

Schoolnet Spotlight Features Southern Nash High and Edgecombe County Educators
Schools and districts share the spotlight with teachers in our weekly video feature on Schoolnet.
  • This week’s Teacher Spotlight features Southern Nash High School teacher Scott Hendricks. Highlighting the resources available in Schoolnet, Henricks talks about his work with Governor’s Teacher Network. To view this and earlier Teacher Spotlights, please visit
  • This week's School and District Spotlight features Yanisha Mann, Home Base director for Edgecombe County Schools. Mann discusses how Schoolnet has helped prepare staff and students to be “Focused, Connected and Ready.” To view this and earlier School and District Spotlight features, please visit

NCTest Planning Information for Fall 2015 - Many Changes!!
  • NCTest will not be accessible on devices with the following operating systems beginning July 1, 2015:The Secure Browser will no longer work beginning July 1, 2015.
    • o Apple OS X 10.6
    • o Microsoft Windows XP
    • o Microsoft Windows Vista
  • The secure browser will no longer work beginning July 1, 2015.
  • Users of supported versions of OS X and Microsoft Windows will be required to have the Chrome Browser installed along with the NCTest Chrome App.
  • iPad users will continue to use the NCTest iPad App.
  • Chromebooks will NOT be able to directly access NCTest -- they will be required to use the NCTest Chrome App.

NCREN Update (presented at May 1 meeting)
Hint - use the full screen feature to view.

NCEdCloud/IAM – Useful Links
If you have an NCEdCloud IAM related question your first sources for information can be the training videos at and to visit the the IAM info site at In particular you may wish to visit some of these useful links:
Getting Started

MCNC Security Awareness, Management, and Protection Series
MCNC has developed a series of presentations to bring awareness of issues regarding personal and business network security. The need to secure one’s digital life and an organization’s networking infrastructure requires employees and institutions alike to proactively manage and protect personal and organizational assets. Our series will address these topics. The first session will held on Thursday, May 28, 1:30 - 2:30 PM. MCNC's very own Chris Beal will lead these sessions. We hope you will participate. Read more about all three sessions and to also remain on the mailing list to receive updates including additional details on joining the sessions. The direct link to registration is located here.

PRC 160 – RttT Wireless Infrastructure
The School Allotments Section has provided allotments for the RttT Wireless Infrastructure funding. The funding should be available Monday May 18, 2015. The list of participating districts and the allotments were based upon the USAC E-rate applications that used the Department of Public Instruction’s 470. A reminder the Race to the Top portion of these projects must be expended by 08/15/2015. If you have questions concerning RttT contact Sam Fuller at or Eric Thanos at If you have questions concerning E-Rate contact Jeannene Hurley at or Alford McKenzie at or Mike Ramsey at

Certiport Update
As part of an important security update, Certiport Authorized Training Centers (CATCs), will need to add an additional IP address to their proxy address list. It is recommended that this is completed as soon as possible to avoid future problems with access to The new IP address is If this address is not added, customers may not be able to access certain areas of the Certiport website and the ability to provide exams may be limited. The old IP address should NOT be removed. Please provide this information to your network technician to make the necessary changes if you are not able to make them yourself. If you have any questions, please contact Customer Support at 1-888-999-9830 or email us at Please note that Certiport has disabled any waiting periods for any candidate who may have had an interruption in their testing experience in the last couple of days.

As Race to the Top (RttT) comes to a close, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is committed to move North Carolina public schools as far as possible towards personalized learning for every student. To that end, we are excited to be able to utilize RttT funds to provide all districts and charter schools with access to both the full suite of Home Base tools (including SchoolNet, the Learning Object Repository, and the Local Professional Development option in TNL) and the newly integrated Learning Management System, Canvas, for only
$1/ADM. In order to take advantage of this pricing plan, districts and charter schools need simply to do the following by July 31:
  • Establish a contract directly with Instructure (the Canvas vendor). After each district or charter school executes a contract, Instructure will invoice DPI for the student and teacher accounts agreed to in that contract; DPI will pay Instructure for the student and teacher accounts purchased by the district or charter. Note that districts and charters are welcome to purchase additional services related to Canvas, but DPI will only reimburse for the accounts established for students and teachers. Note also that after 2015-16, districts and charters will be responsible for the $3.74 per account cost.
  • Use the online form ( to let DPI know which funding source you would like to use to pay the $1 per ADM cost for the Home Base/Canvas Package.
It is critical that districts and charters schools meet both July 31 deadlines so that we can apply the RttT funds to these efforts. Note that you can complete both tasks prior to the deadline; DPI is committed to paying for the Canvas accounts on a rolling basis after a district or charter has completed these tasks and Instructure remits the invoice. If you have questions about pricing, please contact Philip Price at As a reminder, the local sales representative for Canvas is Melissa Gomez (; 801.678.3021). We are excited that RttT will enable us to offer this opportunity for districts and charter schools to continue to explore powerful, statewide, integrated digital learning tools and how they can be used to improve learning opportunities for all students.

April 2015

Give 5 Read 5 Summer Reading Campaign
Spring has officially arrived and the end of the school year will be here before we know it. When I think about summer, I worry about the literacy skills too many students lose during their time
away from the classroom. Two years ago, the Department of Public Instruction launched the first-ever statewide Give Five –Read Five campaign to address this issue. In 2013, 74 elementary schools collected 123,152 books to send home with students at the end of the school year to encourage summer reading. Last year, we more than doubled our success as 150 schools collected 257,334 books. You can see the 2014 book collection totals by school here. Read more here.

Canvas Information Site and Demo Webinars
Canvas and NCDPI personnel have prepared an informational site that may help you as you make decisions for the upcoming year.
NC LEAs already using the LMS solution are listed as well as other helpful info from those LEAs.
Upcoming Canvas Demo Webinars:

Home Base Continuation Information - Due by July 31, 2015
As you plan for the next school and fiscal year, the Department of Public Instruction needs to hear from you regarding your plans for continuing with Home Base. Specifically, we need to know your source of funding for continuing with the optional components of the Home Base suite or if you do not intend to continue with the entire Home Base suite. The state’s Student Information System (PowerSchool) and Educator Effectiveness System (Truenorthlogic) will continue to be provided at no cost to you. While we continue to negotiate for the best price for the Instructional Improvement System (Schoolnet) and the instructional resources that it provides to your classroom teachers, we anticipate the cost will be $3 or less per student in average daily membership. The form for you to complete is online at Please complete this form by July 31. Please remember, the anticipated cost for Home Base is separate from the cost for the new learning management system (LMS). The LMS cost is per subscription (rather than per student) and is priced at $3.74 per user account per year. As a reminder, that memo with those details is online at In an effort to provide districts with as much information as possible, webinars are planned that will outline the features that are available with the LMS.

Digital Leadership Workshop Opportunity
District and School Transformation (DST) in partnership with N.C. State University would like to invite you to a professional development opportunity made possible through our Northeast Leadership Academy - District and School Transformation (NELA-DST) Grant Initiative. Eric Sheninger, Senior Fellow and Thought Leader on Digital Leadership with the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE) and Scholastic Achievement Partners (SAP) will be coming to North Carolina to deliver a full day of professional development on Digital Leadership. We think it is especially important for superintendents and technology directors to participate and benefit from what we expect to be a day filled with great discussions on the most effective K-12 practices for successful instructional technology implementations and maximizing student learning.
DATE: Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
TIME: Registration @ 8:30am; 9:00am START
LOCATION: Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown; 3415 Wake Forest Rd, Raleigh, NC 27609
Register HERE If you have any follow-up questions, please direct them to

Celebrate National Library Week, April 12-18, 2015.
Today's libraries are more than just books. Increasingly, they are places of creativity where people can meet to share a hobby, use a 3D printer, edit a video, or use software to record their own music. Libraries offer access to the tools and technology essential to the economic and cultural lives of their communities.
Head to your library during National Library Week to see what's new and take part in the celebration. Libraries across the country are participating. Use the hashtag #NLW15 to follow the celebration on social media. More Here

Webinar/Presentation for RttT Closeout Activities now Online
A webinar and presentation highlighting program closeout activities and timelines for the Race to the Top (RttT) grant are available online at The webinar and presentation apply to school districts and charter schools approved for the No-Cost Extension to their RttT grant.

New Instructional Video on the Web for NC School Report Card
Check out the latest addition to our collection of instructional resources for the NC School Report Card - How do I Find and Compare Data? - The short video shows you how to find and compare data in the NC School Report Card for schools, districts and the state. Resources to help you acclimate and navigate the redesigned NC School Report Cards website are added regularly. Check back often to see what’s new.

Barnes Elementary School Teacher Featured in Home Base “Teacher Spotlight”
The latest Teacher Spotlight features Monica Thompson from Barnes Elementary School in Wilson County. Barnes shares how she uses the assessment items from Schoolnet to conduct pretests that help her identify focus areas for instruction. To view this and other Teacher Spotlight videos, please visit If you’re a classroom teacher with an innovative SchoolNet instructional strategy that you would like to share, send an email to

Session Handouts from 2015 CCSA now Online
Are you looking for session handouts from the 2015 Collaborative Conference on Student Achievement? The conference website at has been updated with documents from almost every session. If you have questions about any of the resources, or are looking for a particular session handout and can’t find it, please contact, or call 919.807.3630.

March 2015

New Learning Management System Convenience Contract - ACTION REQUIRED for Participation!
The NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is pleased to announce a statewide contract with Instructure, Inc. for its Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) service. The contract provides a vehicle for Local Education Agencies (LEA) and Charter Schools to take advantage of the state’s negotiated pricing to purchase Instructure’s Canvas LMS service. For any LEA or Charter School choosing to use this contract, the negotiated terms include:
  • per subscription pricing of $3.74 per user account per year;
  • basic implementation (remote set up help - online/teleconference);
  • standard online training modules;
  • 24x7 support for one designated local LMS administrator;
  • course migration assistance from supported export formats;
  • integration with the NC Identity and Access Management (IAM) service;
  • integration with the NC Learning Object Repository (NCLOR);
  • integration with PowerSchool.
The contract covers any LEA or Charter School in North Carolina that would like to purchase the service any time over the next three years (from original contract date). Current Canvas subscribers can take advantage of the statewide pricing at their contract renewal date. Onsite implementation assistance, additional training services, and expanded support options are available, if desired, from the vendor at an additional cost. A rate sheet from the vendor will be made available. LEAs and Charter Schools who wish to take advantage of this statewide pricing should work directly with Instructure to begin a contract for the Canvas LMS. The local sales representative is Melissa Gomez - - 801.678.3021. As Race to the Top comes to a close, there may be remaining funds that we can distribute to assist with first year subscriber fees for LEAs and Charter Schools that wish to purchase the Canvas service for the first time. Until we come closer to the end of the grant, however, we cannot guarantee the amount (if any) of this assistance. If this assistance is available, only those LEAs and Charter Schools who have committed to enter a contract by July 15, 2015, will be eligible; to be considered, LEAs and Charters must notify us of this commitment by completing this form by May 1, 2015. If you have questions about this process, please contact James Robinson ( at the NCSU Friday Institute.

NCEdCloud IAM Service Office Hours Update
General plan for office hours 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, also at 1:30 PM. We've tentatively scheduled for 1:30 PM on the following dates:
Thu Mar 26Wed Apr 8Wed Apr 22Wed May 13

Wed May 27
Wed Jun 10
Wed Jun 24
Wed Jul 8

Wed Jul 22
Wed Aug 12
Wed Aug 26
Wed Sep 9
Wed Sep 23

The NCEdCloud IAM Service team is continuously looking for ways to provide LEAs and Charter Schools guidance for adopting the new service. On some but not necessarily all of these calls, the IAM team may lead off with a short number of slides to provide updates. But in general there is no set agenda, as one of the main goals is for the IAM team to hear from the user community. Feel free to drop into these User Forum / Office Hours with your questions or with any challenges you have and we will do everything we can to assist you. The connection details are below and please feel free to share this message with your colleagues. We use a teleconferencing / screen sharing service from You will be able to join using your computer and / or your phone,
To join audio by phone: +1.860.970.0010 Access Code 664-116-397#
To join by computer to see the screen share (and optionally hear the audio), point your Flash-enabled browser at:

NCWise Owl Forum
During NCTies a forum was held to gather feedback for upcoming updates to NCWise Owl. We need your feedback! Please send this link - NCWise Owl Forum to stakeholders that might offer feedback. The page includes an embedded Google form for providing answers to our questions as well as adding additional comments.

Digital Learning Day Countdown! Please add video to your site!
The Digital Learning Day momentum is building with well over 1,000 activities on the map​! NC, WI, MI CA, AR and TX are coming on strong with enthusiasm points, with more very close behind (RI and several others!) Below is the embed code for Friday's webinar. Many states are embedding the video into their site and encouraging their schools and districts to watch in lunch rooms, etc. This a great opportunity for one more push to encourage educators in your districts to 1) Plan an event and add it to the map, and 2) watch the live stream on Friday, March 13th at 1:00 PM. This should be a very easy request of your web designer. Begin the cut HERE...
<iframe width="640" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> The countdown is on...

Sharing Links to NCTies Session Materials....
NCTies sessions for Online Assessment, PD System and NCWise Owl Forum.

North Carolina Digital Learning Progress Rubric Requirement Passed by SBE - Due May 15, 2015
At the March meeting of the State Board of Education, the Board asked all districts and charters to complete the new North Carolina Digital Learning Progress Rubric as a part of the ongoing development work for the NC Digital Learning Plan. The Digital Learning Progress Rubric is an update to the original NCLTI rubric, and is aligned with the work of the DL Plan. We are asking for this data to help the state prioritize and take action on the recommendations in the DL plan. It will not be used to evaluate districts or charters in any way. Districts will receive a copy of their responses, but all other uses will be aggregated or deidentified. It’s essential that you’re both honest and accurate when completing this rubric, we need to get the most realistic picture possible. The rubric is designed to be highly aspirational - few, if any districts will achieve the “Target” rating by design. The recommended way to prepare your responses is to give each member of your district/charter leadership team a copy of the rubric and ask them to complete individually. After this is complete, meet as a group, discuss your answers, and come to consensus. Only o​ne submission is required per district/charter. Submission instructions will follow. The MS Word version of the rubric is available at An implementation guide is being developed with additional resources to help you use the data collected from the rubric in your district/charter planning process. It will be posted here when completed. Additionally, two webinars are scheduled to provide an overview of the rubric and answer any questions:
To join the webinars:
Go to
Or call (919) 513-9329
Wednesday, March 18 at 4:00 PM
Meeting number: 991 807 83
Tuesday, March 24 at 10:00 AM
Meeting number: 995 813 852
If you have any questions about this process, please contact Jeni Corn at The due date is May 15th.

RSVP for Digital Learning Day Live!
School leaders and teachers from four innovative school districts will join thousands of teachers in Washington, DC, for the fourth annual Digital Learning Day on Friday, March 13. From 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. (EDT) on March 13, the Alliance for Excellent Education will host Digital Learning Day Live!, a live broadcast from Teaching & Learning 2015. Digital Learning Day Live! will highlight some of the nation’s most promising digital learning initiatives and examine what it takes to integrate technology effectively, strategically, and meaningfully in schools.Viewers will be also able to join the conversation via live chat and Twitter, and will have exclusive access to videos and other virtual Digital Learning Day events hosted by partners.
RSVP to watch Digital Learning Day Live! Concurrently, tens of thousands of teachers, librarians, and administrators in all fifty states and the District of Columbia will celebrate and showcase their best uses of technology for learning through hundreds of local events in their own schools and classrooms. If you’re planning a local Digital Learning Day event for your school district, school, or classroom, add it to the map of local events.
Additional Upcoming Alliance Events
March 10, 2015: Transforming Schools Using Project-Based Learning, Performance Assessment, and Common Core State Standards
March 11, 2015: Innovations in High School Reform

February 2015

NCWise Owl Focus Group at NCTIES
Please consider attending the NCWise Owl Focus Group at NCTIES. We want your input as NCWise Owl is updated and integrated.
We are super excited about the upcoming improvements. Thursday, March 5, 2015, 1:15 pm Room 302C

Online Assessment History and Update Session NCTIES
Please consider attending the Online Assessment History and Update Session at NCTIES. Upcoming changes and improvements will be shared and we hope to have a great discussion.
Thursday, March 5, 2015, 2:15 pm Room 302C

Powerschool and Schoolnet User Groups
Through the RTTT iniative, the CCRESA is offering opportunites for Powerschool and Schoolnet users to come together to hear updates, learn new topics but most importantly a chance to network with each other.
Schoolnet User Groups: March 10, 2015
Powerschool User Groups: May 26, 2015 (You do not need to be a member of the RESA to attend.)
Good news! Plans are to expand the user groups next year to include the other components of Home Base and if you have other topics appropriate for a users group - please suggest!

Digital Teaching and Learning Offerings (RESA II and RESA III) Schedule Change
Due to inclement weather the Feb. 17th session has been moved to April 22 in the morning. This moves the third session to the afternoon. We are hoping the "sold out" session will again have as many registrants for both sessions!
April 22, 2015, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Moving Forward with Teaching and Learningin a Digital Environmentand
April 22, 2015, 1:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Sustaining Teaching and Learning in a Digital Environment
Lunch will be provided. Registration

Digital Learning Day
Once again, at the state level we have partnered with NCSLMA and NCTies to offer a statewide contest to highlight innovative digital learning in schools across North Carolina. This year we are doing something a little different. Please review the attached announcement and rubric for details. Also, we have additional information about this contest and other national events you may be interested in on our Digital Learning Day wiki page. We can't wait to see what innovative digital learning looks like for students across NC.

RTTT Wifi Project Update February 12, 2015
Schools List

NCEdCloud IAM Service User Forum
Just sending along a reminder that the NCEdCloud IAM Service User Forum / Office Hours call is scheduled for 1:30 PM tomorrow, Wednesday February 11. After that our general plan is for 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, also at 1:30 PM, with the exception of the 4th week in February when the call will be held on Thursday February 26. We've tentatively scheduled for 1:30 PM on the following dates:

  • Wed Feb 11
  • Thu Feb 26
  • Wed Mar 11
  • Wed Mar 25

  • Wed Apr 8
  • Wed Apr 22
  • Wed May 13
  • Wed May 27

  • Wed Jun 10
  • Wed Jun 24
  • Wed Jul 8
  • Wed Jul 22

  • Wed Aug 12
  • Wed Aug 25
  • Wed Sep 9
  • Wed Sep 23

The NCEdCloud IAM Service team is continuously looking for ways to provide LEAs and Charter Schools guidance for adopting the new service. On some but not necessarily all of these calls, the IAM team may lead off with a short number of slides to provide updates. But in general there is no set agenda, as one of the main goals is for the IAM team to hear from the user community. Feel free to drop into these User Forum / Office Hours with your questions or with any challenges you have and we will do everything we can to assist you. For future meetings we will use a teleconferencing / screen sharing service from The service has been working well and it has the added bonus of being much cheaper. You will be able to join using your computer and / or your phone:
To join audio by phone: +1.860.970.0010 Access Code 664-116-397#
Alternatively, if you want to join audio by Computer, point your Flash-enabled browser at:
Once you’re into the meeting click the phone icon (see image below) and click the “Call via internet” link and download and run the app:
To join a meeting from an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad (running iOS v4.3 or later) or from an Android Device: Launch the app ( and enter meeting code: ncedcloud

NCSLMA Snapshot Day 2015!
During National Library Week, April 12-18, 2015, school librarians across North Carolina are encouraged to choose one day to collect data, photographs, stories, and comments to show what takes place in their school libraries on a typical day. NCSLMA will collect, combine, and share information from all participating school libraries. The results will be available for school librarians to share with their school communities and state legislators and for NCSLMA to share through our Association's advocacy efforts.
We need YOUR participation to make this a success. The larger the numbers, the greater the impact. Participating in Snapshot Day is simple. Visit the NCSLMA Snapshot Day website to register and find information and resources to make your Snapshot Day event a success! ( For more information, visit the website and/or contact Becky Palgi, NCSLMA Advocacy & Governance Section

Introducing “Federal Flash,” A Weekly Update on Education Developments from Washington, DC in Five Minutes or Less
Today, the Alliance for Excellent Education introduces “Federal Flash,” a brand-new weekly video series that will keep you in the loop on important developments in education policy in Washington, DC. In less than five minutes, the Alliance will review the latest federal activity while previewing what to expect in the week ahead. Watch this week's video at . If you have a question you’d like us to answer on Federal Flash, reply to or tweet us @all4ed and use the hashtag #FederalFlash.

Digital Learning Plan Town Hall Meeting at NCTIES
With your help, North Carolina is poised to be a national leader in digital learning. The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University is developing the North Carolina Digital Learning Plan to accelerate the State’s progress in providing the personalized, digital-age education that K-12 students need to be successful in college, in careers, and as engaged citizens. We need your feedback on preliminary findings from data and input gathered from ma​ny stakeholders across the state, which includes deep dive visits to selected districts to gather information about their current status, goals, assets, and needs around digital learning. Please join the Friday Institute Team for a (free) NC Digital Learning Town Hall Meeting on March 5 from 5:00-6:30pm at the Raleigh Convention Center. Light hors d’oeuvres will be provided. Space is limited to the first 250 people who register. Click here to register.
  • What: NC Digital Learning Town Hall Meeting hosted by the Friday Institute for Education Innovation at NC State University
  • Who: NCTIES attendees with an interest in guiding the future of digital learning in the State
  • When: March 5, 2015 from 5:00-6:30pm
  • Where: Raleigh Convention Center Ballroom
  • Why: We need your feedback on preliminary findings from data and input gathered by the Friday Institute from many stakeholders across the state.
Questions: Suzanne Branon at

World View Library Media and ITF Workshops (various dates)
World View’s upcoming seminars and Library Media Workshop may support SLMCs’ efforts to meet this performance indicator. Please disseminate this information if you feel it will benefit your school library media coordinators.
See attached fliers and/or World View’s website for more information.

NCTIES Media & Tech Leaders Preconference Meeting - Room Change Stateroom C
We will have a pre-conference meeting before the NCTIES General Conference this year. We have an exciting agenda planned, with both informative and collaborative topics and activities. Our meeting will begin at 3:00pm on Wednesday, March 4, and we will conclude at 5:30pm. The meeting will be held in the State room A/B in the Marriott. Given that space is limited, we ask that you pre-register, and limit the number of registrants from your LEA or charter school to two attendees. Use this link to register. Registration will close Monday, February 16th.

NCET 34th Annual Conference March 25 – 27, 2015 -
Are you looking for training for your technical staff at the most reasonable price? The North Carolina Educational Technicians association is hosting their 34th annual conference in March. The yearly conference is hosted and sponsored by school technical staff, for school technical staff, from all across NC. The conference is centrally located in Clemmons, North Carolina just outside of Winston-Salem. Tentative Class List includes - Security Cameras, Wireshark Basics, SAFARI Montage, Firewalls, District Case Studies, Securing VPNs, Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365, Google Scripting, NCEdCloud, Wireless Basics, Multiple OS, Single Solution, iPad Repair, SCCM, Microsoft Deployment Kit, Powershell Scripting, Apple DEP with Casper, Basic Troubleshooting, Wireless Security, iPad Apps, Windows 10 Intro, SMART Troubleshooting, Active Directory, Important On-Hand Tools, and more.

January 2015

NCEdCloud Wifi Project Update - January 28, 2015
The NCEdCloud team will be providing a Wifi Project update this coming Wednesday, January 28 at 10:00am. T
he update will include potential eligibility for complete wireless install in your schools, purchasing from the statewide contract and recent additional funding.
Registration information:
NCEdCloud Wifi Project Update
Jan 28, 2015 10:00 AM EST

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. The webinar will be recorded and posted to the NCEdCloud website. Email questions to Lee Sartain

Registration Opens for Twelve #FutureReady Regional Summits (Friday Institute Feb.11-12)

The US Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology (OET) in partnership with the Alliance for Excellent Education and with support from the Leading Education by Advancing Digital (LEAD) Commission and a coalition of more than 36 content partners will host a series of 12 Future Ready Regional Summits to help school district leaders improve teaching and student learning outcomes through the effective use of technology. President Obama announced the regional summits at the “ConnectED to the Future” convening hosted at the White House on November 19. To register visit The summits offer school district leaders expert support to create a digital learning plan that aligns with instructional best practices, is implemented by highly trained teachers, and leads to personalized learning experiences for all students, particularly those from traditionally under-served communities.“Future Ready highlights the critical role of district leaders in setting a vision and creating the environment where educators and students access the tools, content, and expertise necessary to thrive in a connected world,” said Richard Culatta, director of the Department’s Office of Educational Technology. The summits are hosted by local school districts. They are open to district leadership teams on a first-come basis from districts where the superintendent has signed the Future Ready District Pledge—a promise to develop the human and technological capacity needed to transform teaching and personalize learning using digital tools. Already, more than 1,300 district superintendents nationwide have taken the pledge. “School districts across the country are helping teachers harness the power of technology to create personal learning environments for all students,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “We want to make sure every child – whether he or she is in the inner-city, in a rural community or on a Native American reservation – has access to knowledge and the chance to learn 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” The Future Ready Regional Summits are an important step to realizing the goals of the ConnectED Initiative announced by President Obama in 2013 to connect 99% of students to high speed internet and empower teachers with the technology they need to transform teaching and learning. The Regional Summits are expected to engage more than 1,300 district leaders nationwide. For more information on the regional summits please visit

Device Management Solutions Survey
DPI released an RFP for device management solutions with the intent to establish a Device Management Cooperative Purchasing Agreement which will be available to NC LEAs and charter schools. The RFP included a comprehensive list of technical requirements to support Windows-based PCs, Apple Macs, iOS-based devices, and Android devices. We are currently evaluating vendor responses, which includes assessing the extent to which the Vendor offers a comprehensive suite of device management services that are relevant, beneficial, and cost effective for NC public K-12; experience with NC LEAs and charter school is also an important consideration. We are soliciting your help with the Vendor evaluation. More specifically, we’d like to know what device management solutions your LEA or charter school is currently using and what features and functionality are most important to you. We would greatly appreciate it if you or a network administrator on your staff could complete the following brief survey at your earliest convenience:

NCTest Client Error and Information Message 2014-15
This information was made available to local testing coordinators through the Testing News Network (TNN) this week and may be of use to you as you support online assessment in your LEA/Charter: An NCTest Client Error and Information Messages, Causes and Possible Solutions chart is attached to this post and will be available on TNN under the NC Education and NCTest Guidance Heading. This document is intended to offer possible solutions for messages that may appear during the use of NCTest for the administration of NC summative assessments. Please contact the NCEducation helpdesk at with questions.

Home Base Symposium 2015
Register now for the 2015 Home Base Symposium scheduled for February 23 – 25, 2015 at the Sheraton/Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, NC. Online registration is available at Please make every effort to register online and print your registration form from the site for sending along with your check to NCDPI Cash Collections, 6336 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6336. If you experience any problems while registering, you may contact Yolanda Wilson at Sneak peeks into new tools, upcoming functionality and resources for all Home Base products, including PowerSchool, Schoolnet, Open Class and Professional Development will be offered. Yes, this symposium encompasses more than just PowerSchool training; so hurry and save by getting your registration payment and form postmarked prior to the normal registration deadline! The fee for normal registrations postmarked by January 31, 2015 is $ 115. Fees for late registrations postmarked on or after February 1, 2015 and onsite registrations are $ 250. Please note that we can only accept checks – credit cards and cash are not acceptable. A block of rooms for symposium guests have been reserved at the Sheraton Hotel. Reservations must be booked by January 22, 2015 to capitalize on the special rate of $ 154.46 (taxes included). Hotel forms may be retrieved from the NC SIS website’s Symposium page: Complete and send the form to the Sheraton Greensboro Hotel at Four Seasons, 3121 High Point Rd., Greensboro, NC 27407 or fax to 336-323-4876.

December 2014

December 17, 2014 (Washington, D.C.) SETDA- Guide to Implementing Digital Learning
SETDA, the principal membership association of U.S. state and territorial educational technology leaders, today announced the launch of The Guide to Implementing Digital Learning (GIDL), a free web-based resource to support school and district leaders as they work to ensure that investments in digital learning spark positive results. “Digital learning is more important today than ever before. Our students are digital natives and when students utilize technology in the classroom, they are true 21st century learners," stated Tom Luna, Idaho’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. The Guide to Implementing Digital Learning is free to access at:

The 10-Point Scale and Its Integration in Blended Classes
Earlier this year, the State Board of Education approved the move to a new 10-point grading scale for high school students, beginning with students entering ninth grade for the first time in the fall of 2015. With the phase-in of the new scale, that means high school teachers are likely to have students on the new scale and students on the old scale in the same class. It’s important to know that PowerSchool can handle more than one type of grading scale within a course. This functionality is not customized for North Carolina, but exists in the software already. As an example, if 9th graders enrolled in a math course are blended with 10th graders who are on the prior grading scale, PowerSchool can track both sets of students’ grade scales. This is based on how teachers set up students in PowerSchool. More “how-tos” on this topic are being produced and will be shared well in advance of the 2015-16 school year.

High Quality Online PD Modules: Available Now!
Please take advantage of our self-paced, facilitated modules and mini-modules available to teachers and principals at no charge! You may click here to access a printable version of current modules: All modules may be accessed through the Educator Effectiveness PD System through Home Base. In addition, you may get ideas for staff and PLCs using the implementation guide, found here: Over 50 professional development opportunities are listed here for your educators. Please contact Dr. Geetanjali Soni, or any member of the Educator Effectiveness Division with any questions.

Schoolnet Update on Latest Improvements
In preparation for upcoming benchmarks, the NCDPI and Pearson teams have applied a number of improvements to Schoolnet Version 16.0 to enhance and optimize the software. Additionally, there are three “major” improvements that have been made to distribute and balance the load on Schoolnet. They are as follows:
  • Assessments - Created a dedicated database instance to serve the assessment administration activities
  • Assessment Reporting – Created a read-only database instance to serve selected reporting activities
  • Static Content - Added a Content Delivery Network (CDN), which will place static content closer to the requester without placing additional burden on the application servers
This helps to ensure that, on heavy user days (such as benchmark assessments), the system has been improved to handle higher volumes of users. To stay informed about improvements, maintenance schedules and more, please follow our Home Base Alerts on Twitter.

PowerSchool Scheduler Training and Preparation
The NCDPI’s PowerSchool Team is inviting each LEA to coordinate a team to assist each school with producing the 2015-2016 schedule. Assistance with the Scheduling Component of PowerSchool will begin in late January and early February through scheduled webinars. Condensed Build and Load Workshops will then be offered throughout the state in face-to-face workshops in March and April. The training will culminate in June with support workshops held at the NCDPI in Raleigh. District coordinators, with the support of the PowerSchool team, will lead the preparation, building and loading process for the schools in their respective districts. More information about the first training event can be found in the January Biweekly Report.

Additional December Schoolnet and OpenClass Webinar Series
The Schoolnet and OpenClass webinar series continues throughout the school year, including the month of December. The last session will be held Thursday at 3:30 p.m. on each of the components within Schoolnet (Classrooms, Assessment Admin, and School and District Data) and on OpenClass. Information about the webinars is posted on the NCDPI calendar ( or included in these archived Biweekly newsletters or at
The last December webinar is listed below:
  • Schoolnet - School and District Data Component - KPIs and Pre-Formatted Reports - Thursday, Dec 18, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
This webinar will focus on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), accessing/running, saving and publishing pre-formatted reports, and best practices or scenarios discussed by local testing directors. Register here or copy and paste this url: into your browser.

New Website Keeps Stakeholders Connected to the Latest NCDPI News
The Stay Connected website helps educators, parents and community members stay up-to-date on the most current information about public schools in North Carolina. The Stay Connected website instructs users how to register for email newsletters and directs them to a variety of social media channels related to the NCDPI. Check out this new website and see how you can stay connected at

NCTest Chrome App v. 3.7 and Online Assessments
There have been reports of an older version of the NCTest Chrome App being used for online tutorials and assessments. The use of the older app may result in a reduced screen height of approximately 2 inches. This reduced screen display will also occur on tutorial and released forms if the incorrect version is being used. If an LEA/charter school is planning to use the NCTest Chrome App for online summative assessments, please verify that the app has been updated to v 3.7. This verification can be accomplished by right clicking on the App and selecting App info. Questions, please contact the NCTest Help Desk at

ECU’s Librarian to Librarian Networking Summit
If you would like to serve as a facilitator for the 2015 summit, please complete the online Facilitator Proposal Form. Proposals received by Monday, December 15, 2014, will receive full consideration. If your proposal is selected, the registration fee for you and your co-facilitator will be waived. Please share this email with individuals who may be interested in serving as facilitators, and feel free to contact me if you have questions or need additional information.

November 2014

Prosperity Zones Legislation
Our region will change next school year (2015-2016). This legislation prompted the change. The map below shows upcoming changes for our region as well as others.
Our name will most likely change from Region 3 to North Central Region.
(Click map to go to larger version.)

E-Rate: Urban/Rural Determination Information
The Friday Institute has been diligently working in the background on the Urban/Rural determination for North Carolina schools. Please see files at link below to begin your work in determining U/R status for your schools and districts.

Digital Learning Plan Update Webinar November 4
The Digital Learning Plan team invites you to a Q&A session regarding the Wireless Initiative Plan onTuesday November 4, 2014 from 10a-11a. The team will be on hand to answer your questions regarding the fund and the plan.
Webinar registration:
Wireless Initiative Update - Q & A
The Digital Learning Plan team invites you to a Q&A session regarding the Wireless Initiative on Tuesday November 4, 2014 from 10a-11a. The team will be on hand to answer your questions regarding the fund and the plan.

October 2014

Weekly Webinars on Schoolnet and OpenClass Beginning in November
We will be offering the Schoolnet and OpenClass webinar series again this school year. Beginning in November, we will offer weekly sessions on each of the components within Schoolnet (Classrooms, Assessment Admin, and School and District Data) and on OpenClass. We will host these webinars on Thursdays. You can find information about the webinars posted on the NCDPI calendar by clicking here, or in the Biweekly newsletters, archived here.
The November webinars are listed below.
Schoolnet - Classrooms Component -Instructional Resources Thursday, Nov 6th 3:30-4:30
This webinar will focus on creating and searching for instructional resources. We'll discuss where the instructional materials come from and what the different resource “tabs” include. We'll show how to create materials and lesson plans and how to schedule to the lesson planner. This webinar is intended as a refresher or for beginning users of Schoolnet.
Register Here!
Schoolnet - Assessment Admin Component – Assessment Items Thursday, Nov 13th 3:30-4:30
This webinar will focus on assessment items in Schoolnet. We'll discuss where the items come from and help you identify the different categories of items. We'll show how to create items, rubrics and passages. We’ll also talk about how to find and use former-ClassScape items. This webinar is intended as a refresher or for beginning users of Schoolnet.
Register Here!
Schoolnet - School and District Data Component -Student and Section Level Data Thursday, Nov 20th 3:30-4:30
This webinar will focus on data in Schoolnet. We’ll discuss the data and preformatted reports available to teachers. We’ll review data and how to analyze it from the student profile.
Register Here!
Home Base User Group Session Description (fall and spring) WHAT ARE DATES??
This session will be designed to meet the specific needs of the region. Topics will cover PowerSchool, Schoolnet, Educator Evaluation, OpenClass, and the PD system. Participants will have the opportunity to work with trainers to get specific questions answered. In addition, time will be given for participants to network and problem solve concerning their experiences with the different components of Home Base. These sessions are occurring now. Please check our DPI calendar (homepage) and/or our RESA Partnership calendar by clicking here.

NOW TWEETING: Twitter ALERTS for Home Base Systems Users
The NCDPI is continuing to seek solutions for communicating more efficiently. We are especially attentive to your suggestions, one being that some users have requested fewer emails filling up their email boxes. Because social media is an accessible and popular outlet for spreading news, we now offer you the opportunity to receive Twitter tweets directly to your phone or e-reader that will alert you to any current issues affecting Home Base. These tweets will serve one purpose--to alert you to any urgent issues affecting Home Base end users, and especially, teachers and students. Once you receive the alert, you may then visit the Home Base website and review the latest alerts affecting usage. We invite you to sign up for these tweets by visiting this link and joining our Twitter feed. You may help by spreading the word to fellow users. The more users who join the Home Base Alert, the fewer emails we’ll need to send out. Please join here.
Learn about Tweets, Retweets, Hashtags and more information that will help you become a tweeting expert by clicking here.

5th Annual Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement
The NC Department of Public Instruction will sponsor the fifth annual Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement (CCSA) on March 30-April 1, 2015 in Greensboro.
Registration and Proposal Submission Sites Now Open!
“Champions Engaging North Carolina in 21st Century Teaching and Learning”
A Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement
March 30 - April 1, 2015
Sheraton Four Seasons/Koury Convention Center, Greensboro, NC
Proposal descriptions and more information may be found on the conference website by clicking here.
Please watch our website for exciting updates on speakers and sessions!

Upcoming NCEdCloud IAM Service Changes and Dates
In the coming months, the NCEdCloud IAM Service will undergo a username change (to the eScholar UID number for both students and staff) and be integrated with the Home Base applications. We wanted to let everyone know of these impending changes and associated timelines. Below we share a summary of what to expect and we will continue to share updates via email, web site postings (, presentations, etc.
  • Username Format Conversion Coming In Late November 2014
    Starting late next month, K-12 staff and students currently accessing NCEdCloud IAM Service target applications will login using their eScholar UID number instead of the current 4 letter + 4 number ID. Passwords will not change for these current users. The conversion will begin at 5:00 PM ET, Friday November 21, and will conclude by Monday morning November 24 when all users will be able to logon to and other adopted non-Home Base IAM applications, using their eScholar UID. During the November 21-24 conversion and validation window, individuals may experience difficulties logging in with either their previous or new username.
  • For LEAs Using a Central Directory Local Replica (CDLR)
    Starting at 5:00 PM Friday November 21, central directory data updates to the CDLR will be temporarily disabled. Manual CDLR username conversions will be done individually in cooperation with each LEA between Monday November 24 and Wednesday November 26th (the day before Thanksgiving). Please note: If an LEA that has adopted a CDLR cannot accommodate these dates, there is no direct impact since the CDLR synchronization will be turned off until it has been manually converted, as coordinated between the IdAuto team and the LEA.
  • Home Base Integration with the IAM Service Coming in July 2015
    After End of Year processes are complete in early July 2015, Home Base applications will integrate with the IAM Service. Planned IAM Service integrations include PowerSchool, Schoolnet, Educator Effectiveness System (TNL) and OpenClass. As additional Home Base applications come online, they will be integrated with the IAM Service based on priority of importance to users. From now until July 2015, K-12 users will continue to access Home Base applications with their current Home Base logins.
  • How To Prepare for the July 2015 Home Base Integration with the IAM Service
    The period from November 24-June 30, 2015 provides an ideal window for all of North Carolina’s K-12 staff and students to access their NCEdCloud IAM Service accounts and familiarize themselves with the service. In order to maximize efficiencies and minimize disruptions come July, it will be ideal if the majority of teachers and students login to the service prior to July 2015. Please check for further information.For technical teams, this period presents an ideal time to create and communicate new navigation paths to Home Base applications (e.g. links, bookmarks, icons, etc.). The IAM team will be sharing further information on this process during the coming months.
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Please contact the NCEdCloud IAM Service Help Desk.

NCEdCloud IAM Service Demonstration
Identity Automation has agreed to provide an NCEdCloud IAM Service demonstration via an online webinar. It is scheduled for 10 AM Friday October 31 and the webinar will provide an opportunity to learn more about the end-user experience as well as a chance for open Q&A. Connection details are below :
10 AM Friday October 31
For these meetings we use a teleconferencing / screen sharing service from You will be able to join using your computer and / or your phone: To join audio by phone: +1.860.970.0010 Access Code 664-116-397# To join by Computer, point your Flash-enabled browser at:

Cross-District Strategic Solutions Sessions
Beginning in November, educators will have the opportunity to participate in an exciting networking opportunity facilitated by NCDPI Professional Development Leads. Cross-district Strategic Solutions (CDSS) is a statewide problem-solving, solution-generating Professional Learning Network (PLN) of educators. This PLN will provide an opportunity for professionals across the state to generate solutions to challenging issues faced by many schools and districts. An initial full-day launch session will be held in each region during November and December at the Regional Education Service Alliance Centers. This session will prepare participants for upcoming spring cross-district forums that will be one hour in length and attended via GoTo webinars. To learn more about this networking opportunity, click the following Dropbox link: for a brief overview or go to TeacherTube at: Sixteen Cross-district Strategic Solutions Forums will be open to anyone in the state interested in any of the topics. This Call for Topics form is our tool for identifying challenges and problems of practice that could be addressed during virtual forum sessions. The responses we receive will be used to generate a menu of topics. Please complete the Call for Topics form by Oct. 30 to share challenges and problems of practice of interest to you.
Follow these links to register for the first session in your region and share with educators in your district:
Region 1: Dec. 9, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.,
Region 2: Nov. 5, 9 a.m. - 4p.m.,
Region 3: Dec. 10, 9 a.m. - 3p.m.,
Region 4: Dec. 2, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.,
Region 5: Dec. 11, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.,
Region 6: Dec. 4, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.,
Region 7: Nov. 18, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.,
Region 8: Nov. 5, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.,

Letter from Pearson Concerning Recent Issues - October 27
NCDPI CIO Michael Nicolaides and Chief Academic and Digital Learning Officer Tracy Weeks received the attached letter yesterday from Pearson. It describes the issues of concern over the past few days concerning PowerSchool and Schoolnet. Please take a look at this letter to learn more about how this situation has been addressed by Pearson.

2014-15 Education Directory Now Online
The Education Directory for 2014-15 is available online at The NCDPI no longer prints or sells print copies of the directory. In addition to the full version, the directory also is available in three sections:

Letter from Pearson Concerning Recent Issues - October 23
This email is a follow-up to other messages you have received this week regarding Home Base (PowerSchool, Schoolnet, NCEES).
Please take a look at this letter which Dr. Tracy Weeks, NCDPI’s Chief Academic and Digital Learning Officer, received today from Pearson regarding the issues you have experienced this week. Also, in the meantime, Dr. Weeks asks that you please postpone student benchmark testing until Monday, Oct. 27.

Wireless Networking Initiative Webinars UPDATE- Makeup Time!!
We sincerely apologize for the technical issues during today's webinar. We have rescheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday 10/21) at 11:00am. The link to join: We will try to pick up where we left off, focus on the survey, and keep the call as quick as we can. Please email Lee Sartain if you have questions about the survey in the meantime.

Wireless Networking Initiative Webinars
North Carolina is beginning a wireless network initiative designed to ensure that every classroom statewide has high density WiFi. We need your help in preparing to access an unprecedented level of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) funding to make this initiative feasible. Specifically, by Friday, November 7th, we need you to provide detailed information about your current wireless assets, and join a consortium of your fellow districts and charter schools. Further details are explained below.
The E-Rate modernization order issued by the FCC this past July emphasizes providing sustainable support for in-school networks, most notably WiFi networks, through the newly defined Category Two funding model. Additionally, the FCC order encourages and rewards consortium filings. If fully realized, the new E-Rate Category Two model would bring at least $168M in Category Two internal connections funding to NC every five years, and would ensure that all schools benefit from that funding. By way of comparison, over the last thirteen years the FCC has disbursed a total of $169M to select Category Two eligible NC schools.
The FCC order aligns well with the NC transition to digital learning and with the NC School Connectivity Initiative. Based on conversations with FCC leadership, we have found that NC is well positioned to receive substantial Category Two funding in the 2015 funding cycle with a coordinated procurement plan. To that end, the State has reached an agreement with US Department of Education to apply unencumbered NC Education Cloud Race to the Top funds to school wireless network infrastructure. These funds will be used to build out new wireless networks in schools, to expand the density of networks to support digital learning, and to enhance sustainability and manageability for schools and districts that already have digital learning ready wireless infrastructures.
This fall the State will release a consortium request for proposals for wireless infrastructure and installation services. To optimize our RFP and E-Rate filing, we are collecting detailed data about your school level networks – including, details about the type and age of equipment, controller technologies employed, twisted pair wiring standards in use,and so on.
In order to be eligible for RttT funding, please complete this survey: Also, once you complete the survey, we will send you a Letter of Agency that you will need to sign and return. Your responses will enable us to understand needs, group and prioritize projects, and plan for how to maximize the effect of RttT funds. The Friday Institute team will hold two webinars regarding this effort to provide more details and to answer questions:
Both of these sessions will be recorded if you are not available to view them live. If you have any questions, please reach out to at the Friday Institute.

It’s Time for Speak Up in North Carolina!
From Oct. 6-Dec. 19, educators, parents, students and community members will have the opportunity to complete the Speak Up
2014 online survey and share their ideas about education and technology. Individual participation
Why participate in the Speak Up survey? FYI - responses provided in the Speak Up survey are completely confidential and completing the online survey takes only 20 minutes.
- Speak Up provides the opportunity to gather information from school leaders, teachers, students and parents about key educational topics, including: educational technology, 21st century skills, and schools of the future.
- Schools and districts that participate in Speak Up receive a free online report with all of their locally collected data – and the national data findings to use for benchmark comparison by February 2015.
- Speak Up data can be used to engage stakeholders in your strategic planning, budgeting or decision-making processes.
- Speak Up data is shared with national, state and regional policy makers. Participating in Speak Up ensures that your voice is included in the dialogue about K-12 science, technology and math education. To participate, please visit National data findings will be released during two Congressional Briefings in spring 2015.

Submit Your Success Stories to the Celebrate NC Schools Website
Please see the attached letter from State Superintendent June Atkinson for more information about submitting innovative school and district programs to be highlighted on the Celebrate NC Schools webpage at The Celebrate NC Schools page was created in 2011 to showcase successful and unique programs being implemented in public schools across the state. Visit the URL above to learn more and to share your own inspiring stories.

Desktops, Laptops and Tablets Available!
The North Carolina Farm Service Agency has about 300 HP computers that are available for donation to public schools. The computers are approximately 5 years old and most of them can run Windows 7(32bit) and a few of them can also run Windows 7 (64bit)
They include the following models.
Desktops: HP DC7700. HP DC7100, HP 800
Laptops: HP 6910, HP 6930
Tablets: HP 2730
If you are interested to receive any of them please contact Agnes Wong in the Department of Public Instruction at or 919-807-4061.

Register Now for OpenClass Training!
OpenClass, the Collaboration and Course Management Tool in Home Base, offers an online space in which students and teachers can have 24-hour access to their courses. It’s a place for delivering multi-media assignments, creating collaborative spaces, uploading and downloading documents and giving descriptive feedback on student work. Each “campus” is set up at the LEA level, with all schools in a district being a part of that campus. One big benefit of this addition of OpenClass into the Home Base suite is the automatic roster sync between PowerSchool and OpenClass, while benefiting from the single sign on capability of Home Base. Since we are supporting set up at a district level based on interest, registration for training is limited to superintendents or their designees. Your Superintendent or designee can register for an upcoming training session at For more information about OpenClass, you can find a recent webinar archived at

Webinar – Preparing for Online Testing with NCTest
On October 13, 2014, a webinar will be presented to review processes and tools within NCEducation and NCTest v5. LEAs and charter schools contemplating administering online end-of-course, grade 7 end-of-grade or NC Final Exams assessments during the 2014-15 school year should participate in this webinar. This webinar will walk participants through the steps that must be completed before, on and after test day. Several new features have been added based on feedback provided through the end-of-year survey (spring 2014). This webinar is intended to assist Test Coordinators new to online test administrations through NCTest, but is also important for Test Coordinators who are not new to online testing due to the changes that have been made for the 2014-15 school year.
The first 10 minutes of the webinar will focus on the variety of NCTest secure platforms available and on how to determine which platform is right for your district/school. Therefore, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction recommends that a representative from your technology team should attend the first portion of the webinar. Please click the link below to register for the webinar. Please e-mail your questions to
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

September 2014

It’s Time for Speak Up in North Carolina!
Participate in SpeakUp and learn what K-12 students, educators, and parents have to say about educational uses of technology in your schools and home! This site will give you more info including a detailed participation guide.

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED: Google Apps for Ed LEAs - Integrate OpenClass with Google Applications
If your district or charter school uses Google Apps for Education and you intend to use OpenClass as a part of the Home Base suite of instructional tools in the 2014-15 school year but haven’t already set up your OpenClass “campus”, you will need to do so by September 30 in order to easily access the Google integrations. The entire process for this step will only take approximately five minutes of your time.
The urgency to complete the OpenClass set up by September 30is due to a change by Google, making OpenClass temporarily unavailable in the Apps Marketplace. While it will still be possible to set up a Non-Google campus, the OpenClass / Google integration functionality will be unavailable, including seamless navigation between OpenClass and Google Apps, as well as the Collaboration capabilities, such as easily accessing gmail, calendar, and Google Drive from OpenClass. The NCDPI and Pearson teams are working to determine the timeline for OpenClass support of the new Google authentication mechanism, which will allow OpenClass to become available again within the Google Marketplace.
To set up your OpenClass campus from Google Apps for Education, you will need to complete the following steps:
Sign-on to Google Apps as an administrator
Navigate to this URL.
Add OpenClass to your Google Apps Domain
Notes on Application Set-up:
Institution Name: Enter your district name
Complete the Friendly URL for your District: This can be anything, e.g., “stanly” for Stanly County School or “hertfordcounty” for Hertford County Schools. The only restrictions are that the friendly URL must be more than four characters and less than 20, with no spaces or special characters.
Please reference the attached document for more details.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. If you have any questions, please contact the Home Base Support Center at

Accessing Additional 2013-14 Student Performance Data
Accountability directors have been sent additional data regarding student performance on end-of-grade and end-of-course tests and other indicators from 2013-14. This information should provide you and your leadership team with details you need to make important policy and instructional decisions for your schools and district. Access to this information has been provided through the password-protected Testing News Network (TNN) portal that your accountability/testing director can access. If you have additional questions, please contact the NCDPI Accountability division at 919/807-3769.

NCVPS Provides Solutions for Student Scheduling Needs
Let NCVPS be part of your HR plan. Scheduling for individual student needs can be complicated. The NCVPS provides out-of-the-box solutions for homebound students, hospitalized students, alternative environments, drop-out prevention and mobile/traveling students. In addition, we can help with the unexpected loss of a teacher. The NCVPS often has the capacity to assume instruction of all of the teacher’s courses, even in the middle of the semester. One of our instructional leaders will work with the school’s leadership team during this kind of transition, and our tech team will help the school meet the necessary technology requirements. The NCVPS assists schools that are in these situations a number of times each year. Let the NCVPS know how they can help by emailing

2014-15 Professional Development Opportunities
NCDPI’s face-to-face professional development calendar has been differentiated based on stakeholders’ input to meet each region’s needs. In partnership with the Regional Education Service Alliances (RESAs), NCDPI has over 250 offerings spanning Educator Effectiveness, Curriculum & Instruction, Home Base and Data Literacy. All sessions can be viewed at Please register today. For more information, contact Cynthia Martin at To access all online professional development in Home Base, please visit For more information, contact Geetanjali Soni at

NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey Data, Resources, and Training Available
In addition to survey data, there are a variety of tools and resources available on the NC Teacher Working Conditions website at The resources include activity guides, presentations and facilitator notes to support discussions among school district leaders and staff on whether certain teaching conditions are present in their district (or school) and to ensure data is used in district (or school) improvement planning. The materials suggest specific strategies to help address and improve identified teaching conditions. The New Teacher Center is available to provide regional trainings on using survey results to support school improvement planning at the regional, district, and/or school level. These trainings (one hour to full day sessions) can be arranged through NCDPI staff. Training feedback has been positive and the data shared has proven to be beneficial. For more information, please contact Yvette Stewart at or your corresponding Regional Education Facilitator

Google Timble SketchUp Pro License – Get Yours Free!
As with previous years, we have been granted our Trimble SketchUp Pro license codes for use in all K-12 schools in North Carolina. SketchUp Pro 2014 has been released. If you are already using SketchUp Pro 2013 as a grantee under the Statewide License Grant Program, you should continue to use the 2013 version until your current codes expire which will be in 2016 for most.
For those of you who do not have access to SketchUp Pro and would like it, below are details on how to access your LEA or Charter's license code information.Please note: these licenses are provided free of charge by Trimble and you are NOT PERMITTED to charge any fee whatsoever to anyone receiving them. We will be gathering your requests for licenses via a Google spreadsheet form and will be sharing this information with the vendor. They have asked for data specifically on how many seats are being requested/installed in labs, as well as how many students will have access to SketchUp throughout the school year. This information is part of the form linked below.We've been asked to be sure to keep these codes within the North Carolina Department of Education and the public schools of North Carolina. They are not to be shared with schools of higher education, facilities personnel, or other government staff.
Please also note that the NCDPI is unable to provide technical or instructional support for the use of the product. However, feel free to review the Sketchup Website and Knowledge Center​ for downloading instructions, and authorization instructions, training materials, getting started guides, video tutorials, and much more. If you are interested in obtaining the FREE codes, please complete the google form below in its entirety:NC Sketchup Pro License Request Form While there is a demand for the information, we will be sending out codes via email on a weekly basis. Please make sure your contact information is entered correctly and that only ONE contact is provided for each LEA or Charter.

Instructional Technology Facilitator and School Library Media Coordinator Instrument Update
Evaluation for both are now within the Educator Evaluation System - TNL. A tutorial for the ITF instrument is located here.
A tutorial for the SLMC instrument is located here. See important update/change information for the system below.

Upgrade to Schoolnet Version 16.1 Coming Soon and Benchmark Assessment Notes
Version 16.1 in Schoolnet resolves both of the current outstanding issues, and it adds a lot of new functionality. We are finalizing testing and hope to be able to upgrade Schoolnet soon. Look for a communication as soon as that date is determined. Read more about upgrade and benchmark assessment tips.

Changes in Truenorthlogic System - Effective as of September 13, 2014
If you have any questions, please contact Ben Comer or Tad Piner for more information.
EE / PDP Changes
1. NC DPI Person Import Update - allow district admins to distinguish between import-created and manually-created accounts.
2. Evaluations: Dashboard enhancement to allow some activities to report status but not be required for overall Evaluation completion.
3. Observations: Allow Re-open Admin to re-open both activities and observations.
4. Professional Development: Section Date/Time Should Not Default to current time.
5. Evaluations: Configuration Option to hide Activity Rating Total Column.
6. Observations: Standards to display within observations when marking elements.
7. Professional Development: Video display in Moodle correction to allow play/FF/pause functionality visibility.
8. Staff List: In-actives should not show on the administrative side.
ASW Changes
9. NCDPI ASW - Prevent reviewers from seeing teacher's names.
10. NCDPI ASW - Allow teachers to choose multiple objectives per class.
11. NCDPI ASW - Need validation on ASW activities.
12. NC DPI ASW - Automatically choose for ASW participation.
13. NCDPI ASW - Pop up message when teacher indicates schedule is incorrect.
14. NCDPI ASW - Notify reviewers and arbitrators when they are added to the role.

NCLTI Professional Development for Leadership: October 22, 2014
The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, is please to announce a professional development opportunity for LEA leadership teams as part of the North Carolina Learning Technology Initiative (NCLTI): NCLTI Lunch and Learn || Connect, Share, & Grow Your Digital Culture More information will follow, but mark your calendars now!

2014-15 NC Summative Assessments Update September 2014
As in recent years, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) is being proactive in offering assessments online for the 2014-15 school year. Information on assessments available online is provided in this memo as well as other critical information needed for successful online administrations. One key change for 2014-15 is that English II will be required to be administered online.. Most schools are already administering English II online, and as you know, online testing for English II is more conducive to score turnaround for the constructed response items. Please review the following information and please contact your Regional Accountability Coordinator for clarification. Memo here....

Verizon Mobile Learning Academy
The Verizon Foundation, ISTE and the Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Technology in Education are teaming up to offer a free, moderated five-module Academy designed to bring teams of administrators, technology coaches and teachers up to speed on best practices and principles guiding today’s most effective mobile learning classrooms/environments. The Academy, which is based on the professional development program that delivered promising results in the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools (VILS) program, offers Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from Johns Hopkins University. More info here.

Minimum Technical Requirements for Home Base
As the school year gets into full swing, perhaps you’re wondering what you need for Home Base in terms of browsers and operating systems for your devices. We’ve just updated our Minimum Technical Requirements document on our Getting Ready - Implementation page. The link is here: TIP: You can always find the latest tech requirements for Schoolnet on the bottom of the page at any point when you are logged into Schoolnet. Just click on System Requirements.

Teacher User Guide for Standards-Based Grading
To assist teachers with using the PowerTeacher Gradebook for implementing standards-based grading, a Teacher User Guide is available at The guide describes how to attach standards to assignments, how to work with standards grades, and how to analyze and report final grades.

August 2014

NCREN Community Day 2014
NCREN Community Day will celebrate 30 years of networking in North Carolina this year! We are looking forward to celebrating three decades of success with you in November while looking ahead to the next decades Nov. 5 - 6 at the Institute for Emerging Issues in the James B. Hunt, Jr. Library on the campus of NC State University in Raleigh. Online Registration is now open!
This annual event provides an unmatched opportunity to hear from influential leaders in the community and network among NCREN constituents and peers from around the country. This year we will feature sessions on the impact of broadband on reducing health care costs, advanced technology for supporting live music performances over the Internet, how residential broadband will shape our communities, and a panel of national leaders in networking. More details and other topics will be announced soon.

Action Required: Submit Wide Area Network Allocation Data via Deadline: August 15, 2014
DPI provides funding for the non-reimbursed portion of E-rate eligible Wide Area Network services to LEAs and multi-site Charter Schools connected to NCREN through PRC073 allocations. In order to accurately calculate the funding level for each LEA/Charter, DPI needs relevant and verifiable WAN cost data, including your E-Rate Funding Request Number (FRNs), for Funding Year 2014 (July 2014 to June 2015) to be submitted through the following online form: by August 15, 2014. When you have submitted your data, you will receive an automatic email confirmation that will include your submitted data for your records. Connectivity Services staff will review the data and contact you directly if there are any questions. We anticipate the processing to be completed and funding released in early November.

Voice Phaseout Schedule Cheat Sheet

Standards-Based Grading and Reporting Webinar - August 15th
This webinar will demonstrate how standards should look in the PowerTeacher grade book once the 2014-15 standards spreadsheet has been loaded in PowerSchool, discuss various grading scenarios, and preview the new standards-based report card template. To register for this webinar, go to: . The target audience for this webinar is curriculum & instruction staff and data managers in districts implementing standards-based grading during the 2014-15 school year. The August 15th webinar is a follow up to the August 1st webinar on the standards-based grading and loading the 2014-15 standards spreadsheet. The recording of the August 1st webinar can be found at: If you were not able to attend the August 1st webinar, it will be repeated on August 14 from 10 - 11:30. To register, go to: . This webinar is targeted for curriculum & instruction staff and data managers in districts implementing standards-based grading during the 2014-15 school year. It will be most beneficial for participants who have made local decisions regarding conversion scales and have started entering data in the 2014-15 standards spreadsheet.​

Lilead Fellows Program Opportunity
Some of you may be interested in the following professional development opportunity provided by the Lilead Projectat the University of Maryland. They are creating the Lilead Fellows Program, an 18-month professional development opportunity just for school district library supervisors. Participants will work with other supervisors and experts in the area of school librarianship to learn new skills and solve current problems in their school districts with the support of the peers. Participants will meet face-to-face and online throughout the program. Fellows will receive some travel and financial support, a tablet filled with professional development materials, and the opportunity to work closely with other supervisors. To learn more about the program and how to apply, visit their website. Additionally, a recording of an informational webinar about the program and the application is available here.

2014 NC SIS Summer Update: Getting Back to School Business
We heard you loud and clear in the survey and we aim to answer your request. Therefore, this year’s conference will focus on setting up schools for the 2014-15 school year, changes coming with the PowerSchool 8.0 upgrade, Federal and State reporting, curriculum updates and much more. The conference will be held via GoTo Webinar on Monday, August 11, 2014. It will be broken down into two parts – a morning session and an afternoon session. The morning session will begin at 9 a.m. and continue through 11:30 a.m. The afternoon session will resume at 1 p.m. and continue through 4 p.m. Registration links for both sessions are listed below. Please register at both links if you plan to attend the morning and afternoon sessions.
Part I - Morning Session ( 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.) -
Part II - Afternoon Session (1 p.m. – 4 p.m.) -
To view a list of scheduled topics and times, please visit the 2014 NC SIS Summer Update page posted to the NC SIS website for more detailed information:

PRC30 Allocation on HOLD Due to Budget Delay! - UPDATE - Funds Permanently Cut!
As you are aware, at the June State Board of Education meeting, the Board approved the application process for the PRC 030 funds that were allocated in the 2013 General Assembly Budget. This process set a deadline for applications of August 1, 2014. Since that time, the 2014 General Assembly short session budget negotiations have been taking place. While we still await a final budget, early proposed versions from the House eliminated the PRC 030 funds and moved them into other school fund sources. Therefore, it is possible that there will be no PRC 030 funds for 2014-15 and therefore will be no need for an application process. However, until we see a final budget, we do not know if this change will actually take place. Therefore, we are postponing the application deadline until August 15, 2014. If the budget does eliminate these funds, we will send out another communication letting you know that you do not need to apply. Thank you for your patience with this process.

July 2014

Negotiations Bring No-Cost Year for Home Base Opt-In 2014-15
NCDPI leaders and Pearson have continued negotiations about the cost of content for Home Base, and here is the good news announced Thursday, July 24, by Chief Finance Officer Philip Price: Pearson has agreed to waive the costs of content for the 2014-15 school year, bringing the $4 per student in ADM to $0 for the 2014-15 school year. The cost is anticipated to be $4 for each of the subsequent two years, 2015-16 and 2016-17. That brings the total cost for the three-year contract down by a third of the anticipated costs. While we are excited that 108 LEAs and 49 charters committed to spend $4 per ADM to have access to all of Home Base in FY 2014-15, we are even more excited that we will not be processing their opt-in submissions and that they will get the entire suite of Home Base tools at no charge for FY 2014-15.

Home Base Highlights
Several new resources have been added to the Home Base Toolkit: Take a look at our newest video where Hoke County Schools Director of Digital Teaching and Learning Dawn Ramseur, shares her experience with Home Base and SchoolNet. To view the video, please visit A slideshow that provides an in-depth review of Home Base is available at You can download the presentation to show to school and district staff.

NCDPI YouTube Channel Highlights Learning Success in RttT Videos
A series of short videos highlighting how Race to the Top is looking in classrooms across our state is now available on the NCDPI's YouTube Channel. Check out how we are improving instruction and educator effectiveness, and home and school connections at

NCWise Owl Update
Our collection of free eBooks and AP images will both be returning for next year. eBook titles have increased from 10,000 to 14,000 for next year. AP Images has 13 million photos, plus articles and feature collections, with 3500 images added each day.

Atomic Sync Mode - Preserve Data Integrity
Pearson and NCDPI do Not recommend using PowerSchool in Non-Atomic Sync Mode except for temporary fringe cases that are necessary to perform workarounds or troubleshoot issues. If such cases should arise, always consult with Technical Support before setting your server to Non-Atomic Sync Mode. Once set, be sure to return your server back to Atomic Sync Mode when complete. After you get all your standards imported and atomic sync is turned back on, you will need to go to System > Special Operations. From the Operations menu, choose Resynchronize PowerTeacher and Resynchronize PowerSchool Standards Score Data.

Update Your Home Base Contact Leads
As you transition back to school for year-rounds or prepare to start your 2014-15 school year, please take just a few moments to make sure your list of key contacts for Home Base is current. We know position changes can happen, so we want to be sure all your contacts are noted and recognized by the Home Base Support Center in the event they call or email us. Please look over the listed “leads” and their backups that your school has identified as key contacts for each area of Home Base: PowerSchool (SIS), Schoolnet (IIS) and TNL (Educator Effectiveness). The list is online at For any changes, please include the person’s name, email address and your LEA #. Send that information to Kathy Newbern at

Schoolnet Migration to Next Release - 16.0
Schoolnet, the instructional improvement system within Home Base, will be down from at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 24, to Sunday evening, July 27, to perform a data center migration. This move will be another step toward continued improvement on the performance of the system. During this time, there will also be maintenance on the ADFS component, which provides the single-sign-on authentication that allows users to log into PowerSchool and access other Home Base applications, such as Schoolnet, the TNL Educator Evaluation and Professional Development system and OpenClass. Please note that while you can still access PowerSchool, you will not be able to connect to the other components with your single sign-on access. You will be able to access the Educator Evaluation and Professional Development system through the alternate direct log in, using your direct link credentials. You can also access OpenClass through direct log in. In addition, on Friday evening, Aug. 8, Schoolnet will upgrade to the next version release, 16.0. The system will be down during this upgrade and will be back up by the following Monday, Aug. 11. This new release will include many new features for Schoolnet and will also improve performance. Additional communications about what you can expect to see in 16.0 will be forthcoming. The release notes can be found on PowerSource here.

Back to School Meetings 2014
Once again, we will hold jointly-sponsored, regional Back to School meetings. These meetings will be sponsored by NCTIES and NCSLMA, our professional organizations, in partnership with our vendor sponsors, providing attendees with morning and afternoon breaks, as well as lunch. More Info - Registration Agenda

Home Base Opt-in Progress
See the progress of Opt-in here

NCTest Secure Browser 2013-14 Version Will be Used for 2014-15
We have been receiving an increased amount of questions asking where to find the NCTest Secure Browser update for 2014-15. There is NOT a new version of the NCTest Secure Browser for the 2014-15 school year. LEAs and schools that installed the NCTest Secure Browser during the 2013-14 school year do not need to reinstall/update the application. Any new installs during this coming year will use the same application version as used in 2014-15. LEA test coordinators and test assistants can download the NCTest secure browser application file from the TNN main page in NCEducation. Also, a new version of the NCTest iPad App will be required for the 2014-15 school year. It is scheduled to be available by October 1, 2014. Information will be posted to TNN when the App is approved for download.

NCREN Community Day 2014
Mark your calendars for NCREN Community Day 2014 as we celebrate 30 years of networking in North Carolina. Make plans to join us November 5–6 at the Institute for Emerging Issues on the campus of NC State University in Raleigh. Our theme this year is The Next 30. *Note: This year’s event will be held on a Wednesday and Thursday. Registration is coming soon. Follow event updates and news using #Next30. For more information, contact Darleene Heath at or 919.248.1993.

June 2014

Home Base Opt-In Continuing with Numbers Growing Daily
It's been exciting to watch the online "opt-in" map of the state turn green as more and more local school districts and charter schools give the "green light" to opting in for Home Base for 2014-15.As of this writing, there are already 58 LEAs and 15 charter schools that have officially opted in, meaning all their teachers, staff and students will be benefiting from the full suite of technology tools in Home Base for 2014-15 — that's 435,784 students so far.The list of opt-in districts and charter schools, along with their average daily membership (ADM) count and the running total and percentage, continues to be part of our Weekly Project Status report updated online each Tuesday. Access it here:
MORE INFO: The opt-in deadline is July 15, but there's no need to wait. The opt-in form and details are online now on the Home Base landing page: Or, access them directly at:

From the Field: New Videos Online Show Home Base, RttT Impact
There is great teaching and learning going on all across North Carolina. To help showcase how local school districts are using Home Base and how Race to the Top (RttT) funding has supported school improvements and elevated instruction, the NCDPI Communications team is compiling a series of short video clips from the field on new Home Base and READY playlists on the NC Department of Public Instruction's YouTube Channel (
So grab a snack, sit back and check out what some of your colleagues are up to with Home Base and RttT:
  • Buncombe County Schools - Instructional Coaches Marta Garcia and Millie Stubbs share how a healthy infusion of Professional Development supported by RttT has been replicated for 1,800 teachers across their district. View their discussion here:
  • Greene County Schools - Carrie Ann Miller is a STEM teacher who ignites excitement among her students interested in careers in science, math and/or engineering, thanks to RttT support. View her clip here:
  • Brunswick County Schools - First-year social studies teacher Quan Stewart is using Schoolnet data to more quickly locate resources and then customize his instructional practices. Hear from him here:
  • Brunswick County Schools - Could you build a birdhouse by reading instructional text at the age of 5? Stephanie Boehmer's kindergarten class can. Boehmer shows that the new standards foster creativity in the classroom via various methods. See it at
MORE INFO: Keep checking back as more videos will be posted in coming weeks. Please forward links and tweet if you see something you like. And, if you have a good news stories "From the Field" to share for this publication, please contact Kathy Newbern in the NCDPI Communications office,

Summer Schoolnet Capacity Building Trainings Scheduled
The NCDPI will be hosting a series of summer trainings for districts/charter schools, organized by regions, to benefit Schoolnet users in the 2014-15 school year. There are two levels of training; one is basic for those who are training new users, and the other offers a more in-depth exposure to the system's features.Schoolnet I sessions will support the local leadership/training team with an introduction to Schoolnet, with a focus on item/assessment creation, instructional materials and reporting at the student and classroom level with a brief overview of school and district reporting.Schoolnet II sessions will focus on advanced topics within Schoolnet, which will be helpful to users who have implemented Schoolnet within their district and are familiar with assessment, and instructional material creation, as well as basic reporting functionality of Schoolnet.More details and registration links will be forthcoming, but for now you can save the dates shown here:
  • Regions 1 and 5: Schoolnet I and II, July 21-24,
  • Region 2: Schoolnet I, July 21-24,
    Regions 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8: Schoolnet I, July 28-31,
  • Schoolnet II sessions are Aug. 4-5 for the east, hosted by Region 4; Aug. 6-7 for the west, hosted by Region 7.
MORE INFO: Cynthia Martin at or Yvette Stewart at

NCTest Online Summative Testing Specifications for 2014-15
Secure Platforms Required for NCTest v5:
In order to access NCTest v5 during the 2014-15 school year, LEAs and schools will be required to use a secure platform. Schools must use the secure platform to access the online summative assessments, Online Assessment Tutorial and interactive online released test forms. Options for NCTest v5 included a secure browser for Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X, native app for iPad, Chromebook (Chrome OS) version with special restrictions. A new NCTest Chrome App for Chromebooks, Windows, and Macintosh workstations/laptops is currently being developed and will be made available as an option.
NCTest v5 Technical Requirements:
Schools that administer an online assessment, but do not meet the technical requirements, are at risk of delivering items to students that cannot be manipulated (e.g., technology-enhanced items), items that do not display with associated artwork (e.g., tables, graphs, symbols), and items that do not fit properly on the screen. Complete lists of technical requirements for NCTest v5 are available at Schools must periodically review the technical requirements for updates. Please contact the NCTest Help Desk at with questions.

Technology Readiness Tool Update – Tool Closing August 1- Export Data Through June 12, 2014!
Thank you for your efforts in entering and updating information in the Technology Readiness Tool over the past few years. The Technology Readiness Tool will be closing effective August 1, 2014. In preparation for the closeout of this tool, there are some important dates that you need to be aware of.
  • June 12, 2014 – This is the last day that users can edit and enter information (including import/export) in the Technology Readiness Tool.
    Please export any raw data from the system that you would like to have for your records by June 12, 2014. You will not longer to able to import and export after this date.
  • June 13, 2014 – As of this date, all users will have "Report View" only access in the system and will no longer be able to enter or edit data (also you will no longer have the import/export feature, so please export all raw data prior to June 13th. You can continue to view and download your data from the reports tab.
  • July 31, 2014 – This is the last day that the Technology Readiness Tool will be available to users.
  • August 1, 2014 – The Technology Readiness Tool will be closed and users will no longer have access.
Thank you again for those who have worked to enter and update the information for their schools and districts. Please make sure you export any data or download any reports that you might want to keep for your records following the timeline above. If you have any questions, please contact Kayla Siler at

K12 Network Adminsitrators Summer Insitute 2014
DPI and MCNC are pleased to announce that registration for the K12 Network Administrators Summer Institute 2014 is now open. Additional information on the summer institute and registration can be found at: Please note that the preliminary dates communicated previously have changed due to instructor availability. We ask that LEAs and charter schools limit their participation to one attendee until the level of community interest is determined. If space remains in any of the sessions after June 30, 2014, LEAs and charter schools may register additional attendees on a first come first serve basis until the available spaces are filled. An email will be sent to the K-12 community via the Technology Directors List Service on July 1, 2014 alerting the community to additional availability. Please direct questions and comments to Dave Furiness, Director – Client Network Engineering at

Summer 2014 NCEdCloud IAM Service Workshops
The North Carolina Education Cloud Identity and Access Management team is planning a summer workshop series to guide key K-12 personnel through the steps required to successfully adopt the NCEdCloud IAM Service for their LEA or Charter School. Workshop goals include bringing attendees up to speed on the service and how they play a part; presenting scenarios of how accounts might be rolled out among support teams, teachers and students; and beginning the process to integrate and access Year 1&2 Target Applications. Read more here.

Recorded Webinars - Adobe Deployment
From David Barbour: We are still finalizing this year’s contract so I have not created logins for everyone yet. This will be done as soon as the contract is final. It should be within the next few days. You will receive login information directly from the Adobe Deployment site as soon as created.
NCDPI - Creative Cloud Apps Deployment (Windows)
NCDPI - Creative Cloud Apps Deployment (Mac)
NCDPI - CS6 Apps Deployment (Mac/Win)

Lead List Provides Local Contacts to Help with Home Base Questions
Each charter school and school district has identified a lead person to help with questions around the key components of Home Base. Some use one person for all components; others have a different contact for each area: PowerSchool, SchoolNet, NC Educator Evaluation System. To view the list of leads, sorted by school district or charter school, please visit

LEAs/Charters Are Opting In For Home Base**
Regarding the opt-in of $4 per ADM for access to the complete suite of Home Base technology and instructional tools, there's a growing list of school districts and charter schools that have already completed the form to opt in ahead of the July 15 deadline.
They include:
-- Bertie County Schools, Caldwell County Schools, Camden County Schools, Carter Community School in Durham, Charlotte Choice Charter, Cherokee County Schools, Clay County Schools, Clinton City Schools, Columbus County Schools, Crossnore Academy, Currituck County Schools, and
-- East Wake Academy, Edenton-Chowan Schools, Elkin City Schools, Franklin County Schools, Halifax County Schools, Harnett County Schools, Hertford County Schools, Hickory City Schools, Hoke County Schools, Iredell-Statesville Schools, Lexington City Schools, Lincoln County Schools, Macon County Schools, Martin County Schools, Montgomery County Schools, Mount Airy Schools, as well as
-- Nash-Rocky Mount Schools, New Hanover County Schools, Northampton County Schools, Pamlico County Schools, Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Schools, Pender County Schools Perquimans County Schools, Randolph County Schools, Sampson County Schools, Stanly County Schools, Stokes County Schools, Sugar Creek Charter School in Charlotte, Thomasville City Schools, Tyrrell County Schools, Voyager Academy in Durham, Watauga County Schools, Wayne County Schools, Whiteville City Schools, Wilson County Schools and Yadkin County Schools.
MORE INFO: Here is the direct link to the quick-and-easy opt-in form: More details are available from all the regional leads. Also, for those who would like to know more, you can view a recorded webinar that explains the opt-in components of Home Base at

May 2014

NCDPI Data Calendar Lists Required Data Reports for 2014-15

The NCDPI’s annual data calendar serves as the master schedule of all recurring annual data reports required by the agency. The list of required data submissions for 2014-15 is available to review at

2014 Summer Institutes for Network Administrators
DPI and MCNC want to give you the earliest information on Summer Institutes for Network Administrators. Summer Institutes are three-day training events that focus on a specific technology area of benefit to many County, City, and Charter school technical support staff. This year, the focus is on Wi-Fi fundamentals with an emphasis on operations, security, and troubleshooting. Sessions will be led by a training company that specializes in this technology. Fees are anticipated to be about $325, which includes lunch each day.
Preliminary Schedule:
Week of July 7: Western area
Week of July 14: Central area
Week of July 21: Eastern area
The exact locations, dates, trainers, and costs are being finalized and will be communicated as soon as possible. If you are interested in hosting a three-day session in your school district or charter school, or if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact Dave Furiness, Director - Client Network Engineering, at

NCDPI - CTE Adobe Agreement
NCDPI CTE and Adobe have once again partnered to provided Adobe Software license on a per-seat basis. This program provides participating LEA the opportunity to purchase a limited number of Adobe seats for their CTE programs only. To better deploy this software for the 2014-2015 school year, three separate webinars will be provided. Each of these webinars will detail the deployment process and will be recorded for playback at a later date if needed. These webinars will all be on Monday, June 2, 2014 and listed below. It is important that each LEA participating in this program have someone attend these webinars. A list of all LEAs and the number of seats purchased can be found here. (Note: Adobe Creative Cloud Desktop must have Windows 7 or better to install) If you have any questions please feel free to email me at or call my office at 919-807-3885.
June 2, 2014 – 12pm
Adobe Deployment Overview for Creative Cloud Applications (Windows)
CONFERENCE NUMBER 855-870-5454 code 434 158 9696
June 2, 2014 – 1:30pm
Adobe Deployment Overview for Creative Cloud Applications (Mac)
CONFERENCE NUMBER 855-870-5454 code 434 158 9696
June 2, 2014 – 3pm
Adobe Deployment Overview for CS6 Applications (Windows / Mac)
CONFERENCE NUMBER 855-870-5454 code 434 158 9696

Windows XP Internet Kiosk Image
Our current data indicates that there are tens of thousands of computers in North Carolina K-12 still running Windows XP. We know many districts are working on upgrading these computers to Windows 7, or are actively working on purchasing replacements. However, many of these computers are still in perfect working order (they’re just old), and many districts are unable to replace or upgrade many of these machines due to budget constraints. As a result, the Friday Institute is working on developing an “Internet kiosk”-style image for these older computers. This image will be a secure desktop environment that will run Google’s Chrome web-browser only (and no other software). However, this image is being designed with older computers in mind, meaning it will run with a minimum of 512MB of RAM, and won’t even require a hard drive to be installed. The image will be a full installation of Google Chrome, with Java, Flash player and media viewers. It will run PowerSchool, most modern web applications, and both Google Apps and Microsoft Live EDU.

The design of the image will be such that no user data is ever saved on the device, so each user gets a clean experience, with each boot. LEAs will be able to configure home page, host names, and a “secure testing mode” to enable testing without students being able to access other sites (the FI and CUACS have had preliminary discussions about a path for NC Test certification). The goal of this project is to create a secure environment that, above all, is clean and easy to use, meaning that there will be a consistent user experience with extremely minimal technical effort. There will be several incremental releases of this client: the first will be a bootable flash drive that can be used without overwriting anything on the desktop, the second being a desktop image that can be deployed in five minutes or less, and the third will add support for the Raspberry Pi The Friday Institute is currently seeking LEAs and charters that are interested in piloting the initial release of this client, with release planned within the next few weeks. If your LEA or charter school is interested in participating, please fill out this form <>. If you have specific questions, please contact Mark Samberg at the Friday Institute at

NCSLMA Call to Present
Please share this Call to Present reminder from NCSLMA with your SLMCs: “The 2014 NCSLMA Conference Call to Present is now open! The theme this coming year is EXTREME MAKEOVER: EVOLVING LIBRARIES EDITION. We have some exciting speakers and authors lined up, and now we need to hear from you, our members, for some awesome concurrent session proposals! You can access the Call to Present here. For a peek at what is being planned so far for the conference, take a look at the conference flyer. Please pass this information along to your circle of influence!”

Annual WiseOwl Survey
The annual WiseOwl survey is used to help determine our resource lineup for the following school year. The survey is quick and simple - merely check the resources that you have used this year. No personal information is gathered. The results will be compiled on Thursday May 22nd. Use the following links to access the appropriate survey, and thanks for participating. Dan Sparlin, NC WiseOwl Webmaster (
K-5 Survey Link | 6-8 Survey Link | 9-12 Survey Link

AMTR Due June 30, 2014
On June 30th of each year, data will be pulled down from the AMTR for the NC School Report Card. Please make sure by June 30th your data is accurate and ready for your NC School Report Card. To register for the AMTR, please see the attached instructions. All AMTR data stewards at both the district and school level (including school principals) will need an NCID to log in. For more information about NCID and to locate your district NCID Administrator, who will set up your log in, please visit The Annual Media and Technology Report (AMTR), a legislatively mandated instrument, provides data on school media and technology programs to school, district, and state level stakeholders. The information is based on the school and district level media and technology inventories on July 1 of each year. This report gives both the legislature and the public a yearly snapshot of the state of media and technology programs in North Carolina's schools. Questions included in this report are based on the requirements in the North Carolina Educational Technology Plan and requests for data from agencies within the NCDPI and state government. Accuracy is essential as this data can affect fund allocations from state and federal agencies. For additional information, visit
Contact Cathy Mathews or Julian Nichols-Wilson for questions and clarifications. AMTR wiki

Home Base Webinar Opportunities
Managing Roles and Permissions in Home Base - This webinar will be held Thursday, May 15, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Webinar topics include specific examples and issues pertaining to roles and permissions if not assigned correctly, best practices regarding assigning roles and permissions, and how to monitor roles and permissions and resolve issues. To register, please visit
Intro to Open Class - Open Class is a dynamic learning environment that helps teachers bring social learning and interactive experiences to students. By participating in this webinar, teachers will learn how Open Class can be used to present course content, explore subjects using social learning, collaborate on projects, hold active discussions and more. This webinar is scheduled for Thursday, May 22, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. To register, please visit

Intel® Teach Helps Teachers Engage Students in Digital Learning
Intel® Teach helps K–12 teachers of all subjects engage students with digital learning, including digital content, Web 2.0, social networking and online tools and resources. In addition, the Intel® Teach Elements courses empower teachers to integrate technology effectively into their existing curriculum, focusing on their students’ problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration, which are precisely the skills required in the high tech, networked society in which we live. Intel® Teach Elements are free, just-in-time professional development courses that can be used to provide now, anytime, anywhere professional development. A series of courses provides deeper exploration of 21st century learning concepts and focuses on the roles of both the classroom teacher as well as the student in the classroom. The Intel® Teach Elements courses can be delivered in flexible formats: independently, facilitated online or a blended approach. Each course provides five hours of e-learning with 10-15 hours of application work. Facilitated courses range from 30-45 hours. For more information about the Intel® Teach program, visit If you have questions, contact Deborah Goodman, NCDPI Intel ITA coordinator, via email at NCDPI Intel Website | NC Intel Moodle

Schoolnet Version Release 15.4
  • Instructional Materials Standard Search: Expanded search using keyword or by standard dot notation.
  • New assessment item types, including Drag and Drop and Click Stick Click Drop Technology Enhanced Items.
  • Equation Editor in the Test Tunnel: Students can now answer open-ended math problems with an advanced equation editor embedded directly into the test tunnel. This feature can be turned off and on by the administrator.
  • Co-Authoring Folders: To assist in collaborative item authoring, users can now create Co-Authoring Folders to establish the co-author membership and sharing rights for all items, rubrics, and passages within the folder.
  • Student Comments: A new Enable Student Comments test property has been added. When creating a test, you can choose to give students the option to leave comments for each test item or at the end of the assessment (or both if necessary).
  • New Multiple Choice Layout Option: An item creator can manipulate the layout of a multiple-choice question to display the answer choices in a column or grid format.
  • Exemplars: An item author can now input or attach a file to an Open Response item or task that illustrates student work at various points along the grading scale. This is great for teachers who are looking for an example for grading reference (also known as anchor papers).
  • The 15.4 release also corrected issues that had occurred when using the proctor dashboard in the Assessment Admin component, and issues related to ScanIt use in the Chrome browser. These issues, as well as others, have been corrected by the upgrade. Support Center staff will reach out to you to follow up on any tickets that may have been pending the upgrade to the 15.4 release.
You can view the full release notes in Schoolnet by clicking on “Help” in the top right corner and then selecting “Release Notes” under Additional Guides. Note: North Carolina has implemented three components of Schoolnet: School & District Data, Classrooms and Assessment Admin. Information in the Pearson Release Notes about other components, such as “Educator Development” or “Interventions,” do not apply to NC. If you have any questions about the upgrade, please email the Home Base Support Center at or call 919.807.HELP (4357).

SketchUp Pro License Grant Update
You may have heard we just released SketchUp Pro version 2014. And, moving forward, we will be releasing new versions of SketchUp Pro on a yearly cycle. But, as a grantee under the Statewide License Grant Program, you should continue to use version 2013 until your current codes expire (for most, that will be in 2016). Every time a teacher/admin tries to update a license, you (the contact whose email the license is registered under) may receive auto-generated emails saying your 2014 codes are available. Please ignore these, and continue to use the 2013 codes you have. Please encourage your schools to disable the auto-check for updates in SketchUp, so the message to update stops showing. They can do so by following the instructions in this Help Center Article. Please message to all of your schools/districts that version 2013 can still be downloaded from this link, and that any tech supports issues can be answered through our online Help Center.

Home Base Opt-In

Welcome. Below you will find the opt-in form for the 2014-15 Home Base optional components. As a reminder, the optional components of Home Base include Schoolnet and the instructional resources and assessment items available through Schoolnet, the NC Professional Development Management System (Truenorthlogic) for local content creation and administration, and OpenClass. By opting-in, your district/charter will be given access to these tools and resources at a cost of $4/ADM. Please submit your response by July 15, 2014. Opt-in Form

April 2014

Home Base Opt-In Form Ready - The Process Is Simple
Beginning next school year, some components of Home Base will continue to be available to all districts and charter schools at no additional cost. These include PowerSchool, TestNav, Educator Evaluation and state-level professional development. If your district or school wishes to continue to have access to the remaining components of Home Base, you will need to opt in at a cost. An information sheet on how to opt in to certain Home Base features has been shared with each school district and charter via email from State Superintendent June Atkinson.
So what all do you get when you opt in? Read more....

NCEdCloud IAM Services Update April 2014
The NCEdCloud Identity and Access Management (IAM) Service has been fully deployed in production and is now open for general availability to all LEAs and charter schools statewide. The NCEdCloud team notes that the IAM Service has been its focus for more than three years and that during the past year, many teams have worked diligently to set up, configure and test the new service. We have run pilots for the new service with early adopters and continuously updated our internal processes to ensure a successful deployment. Read more....

NCSLMA Call for Proposals
NC School Library Media Association Call to Present for the 2014 conference is now open. More information can be found by visiting the informational flyer​. The deadline for submission is July 11, 2014. ​
The conference will be held October 9-11 at the Benton Convention Center, Winston Salem, NC

Professional Development System Launches in Home Base
The professional development tab inside the Educator Effectiveness online tool is now active. The professional development catalog is now live, enabling educators to sign up for available professional development modules. The catalog will continue to grow as new learning opportunities are added. New modules will be loaded by July 1. Additional information about navigating the professional development system will be available on the regional wikis managed by the professional development leads. These wikis may be accessed at Regional wikis are located on the bottom right portion of the menu page. You also may listen to a recording from the Professional Development System Overview webinar at Questions about the professional development system may be directed to your regional Professional Development Leads.

PowerSchool Graduation Update
Please read this communication carefully. It contains information designed to help principals ensure that eligible 2013-14 high school seniors are able to graduate as planned.
The Pearson PowerSchool development team has been working on automated evaluation of student records for multiple student statuses related to high school graduation. These include evaluating each high school student for:
• Completion of the SBE-required Future Ready Core,
• Completion of UNC-system Minimum Admission Requirements (MARs),
• Local graduation requirements status,
• CTE Concentrator status,
• Math Rigor status, and
• College/Career Endorsement status (beginning in the 2014-15 school year).
For the 2013-14 school year, the following limited functionality is expected to be available no earlier than mid-May 2014. Read more....

NCTest Issues Solutions Chart
This document has been shared out to help offer possible solutions to NCTest issues. The chart is attached and will be available on TNN under the NCTest Secure Browser Heading. This document is intended to offer possible solutions for messages that may appear during the use of NCTest for the administration of NC summative assessments.
Please contact the NCEducation helpdesk at with questions.

Governor’s Teacher Network Application Deadline Extended
Due to a high level of interest, plus spring breaks and holidays occurring during this month, the deadline for application to the Governor’s Teacher Network has been extended to Wednesday, April 30. IMPORTANT NOTE: The training dates for those selected to participate will be two or three days during the window of June 30-July 2 and will take place in Raleigh. Interested applicants should leave those dates open, and information on the two dates of those three selected will be forthcoming. The GTN, funded by the state’s Race to the Top grant, will provide a statewide platform for teachers to share their best work around instruction and professional development and to help advance Race to the Top (RttT) funded educational remodeling efforts across the state. Through the GTN, approximately 450 outstanding teachers from across North Carolina will be selected to serve for one year as instructional and professional development experts and facilitators. Visit for details.
MORE INFO: Theresa Perry, Educator Effectiveness,

Local RttT No-Cost Extension/Close Out Webinars Now Online
The NCDPI hosted two webinars, “RttT LEA/Charter School No-Cost Extension and Close Out Procedures,” on April 4. The webinars reviewed two topics that affect all LEAs and charter schools participating in RttT: 1) the process for LEAs/Charter Schools to submit and receive approval for using any remaining RttT funds from the LEA/Charter School’s original RttT allocation for the 2014-15 school year, and 2) the closeout process for LEAs and charter schools which choose not to apply for a no-cost extension. The webinar discussed three possible end dates for the RttT activities in the DSW for LEAs and charter schools: June 30, 2014 (Option 1), September 23, 2014 (Option 2), or June 30, 2015 (Option 3). LEAs or charter schools must notify NCDPI of the choice for their end date by May 5, and those choosing Options 2 or 3 must submit their amended DSW or no-cost extension request to NCDPI, also by May 5. LEAs/Charter Schools that missed the webinar should listen to the webinar session recording and review the presentation slides for detailed instructions for submitting no-cost extension requests and amended DSWs at the following web link:
MORE INFO: Eric Thanos, Race to the Top Project Coordinator,

Spring 2014 READY Outreach Materials
The NCDPI would like to thank the Superintendents and senior central office staff who attended “Round 4” of the READY Regional Outreach Meetings in March or April. Hundreds of these officials received updates on Home Base, Educator Effectiveness and the latest on the General Assembly’s new Accountability Model, which will go into effect this fall. The PowerPoint presentation presented at these meetings is now available online. For those of you who were not able to attend, and for those of you who were and would like to use it as a reference resource, it can be found at
MORE INFO: Michael Yarbrough, Communication and Information Services,

Annual Media and Technology Report Update
As the NCDPI continues its efforts to overhaul the Annual Media and Technology Report (AMTR) tool, it has become apparent that the process is going to take longer than expected. To ensure that your school personnel have adequate time to enter your data for 2013-14, staff have reopened the current instrument and will continue to work in the background. You are free to enter your current data at this time. As we have in the past, we will collect data on July 1 for the 2013-14 School Report Card. We hope to have the new instrument in place on July 1. As soon as the new questions are completed and vetted, we will send them out to you so that you can provide this information to interested parties in your schools. Thank you for your input on the process in the recent months, and for your patience as we make the tool better for everyone’s use.If you have AMTR inquiries, you may direct them to Julian Nichols-Wilson at or Cathy Mathews at

Home Base PD System Launched April 15
Educators can now access the Home Base professional development catalog by clicking on the Professional Development tab inside the Educator Evaluation tool. The catalog contains an initial collection of professional learning experiences, which includes existing online modules previously accessed through NC Education. This catalog will continue to grow as new learning opportunities are added, so you will want to check back often. Several new modules will upload June 30.

#NCed Chat End of Year Topics
May is the last month of the NCed Chat series before summer break. Engage with state, national and international educators on the following #NCED Chat May topics: Best Practices for Grading, Mentoring, Instructional Design and Professional Learning. Check out the blog and archived conversations online at You also can download the app by your mobile device. Join this Professional Learning Network today and share resources across the state and nation.

Give Five – Read Five Efforts Continue, Report Book Totals by June 13
Districts, schools and community organizations across the state are continuing to collect books as a part of the State Superintendent’s Give Five – Read Five campaign. One group of five high school students from Holland’s United Methodist Church in Garner (highlighted here has recently reached their goal of collecting more than 20,000 books (over 26,000 and still counting!) for eight elementary schools in Wake County. With nearly two months left in the traditional school year, it’s not too late to start a book collection at your school. Visit the Give Five – Read Five website ( for tools that can help support your campaign at the local level. If your school is collecting books, please report your book collection totals to Sara Clark at by June 13 to be eligible for one of three fantastic prizes. (See attached flyer for more detail).

AMTR Overhaul
As we continue in our efforts to overhaul the AMTR, it has become apparent that the process is going to take longer than expected. To ensure that you have adequate time to enter your data for 2013-2014, we have reopened the current instrument and will continue our work in the background. You are free to enter your current data at this time. As we have in the past, we will collect data on July 1 for the 2013-2014 School Report Card. We hope to have the new instrument in place on July 1. As soon as the new questions are complete and vetted, we will send them out to you so that you can provide this information to interested parties in your LEA. Thank you for your input on the process in the recent months, and for your patience as we make the tool better for everyone’s use. If you have AMTR inquiries, you can direct them to me, Julian Nichols-Wilson <>, or Cathy Mathews <>.

March 2014

Academic Achievement Levels Change
The State Board of Education approved a change in March to the way that state test scores will be provided to students and their parents moving from four achievement levels to five. This move will provide greater precision in reporting student performance. The new achievement level 3 will be considered to be passing in the sense of being prepared for next year's grade although the student may not be demonstrating learning that is on track to be college- and career-ready. As a result of this, some students who, under the previous model, were at a high level 2 could move into level 3. Students at levels 1 and 2 would be considered below grade level readiness and off-track in terms of college- and career-readiness. Levels 1 and 2 students would be identified as those most in need of intervention to reach grade level work. This change will be in place for the tests students take at the end of this school year.
Five Achievement Levels and What they Describe:
Achievement Level 1: Limited Command
Achievement Level 2: Partial Command
Achievement Level 3: Sufficient Command
Achievement Level 4: Solid Command; Career- and College-Ready
Achievement Level 5: Superior Command; Career- and College-Ready

LEA/Charter School RttT No-Cost Extension Webinars
The US Department of Education (USED) has approved the opportunity for the NCDPI to provide a no-cost extension year for the Race to the Top Grant for LEAs and charter schools. The NCDPI will conduct two webinars on Friday, April 4 to review with LEAs/Charter Schools the process to submit and receive approval for using any remaining RttT funds from the LEA/Charter School's original RttT allocation for the 2014-15 school year. We also will discuss the closeout process for LEAs and charter schools which choose not to apply for a no-cost extension. The April 4 webinars are scheduled for 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. (material covered will be identical). A link to register for these webinar sessions is included below. NCDPI encourages all Superintendents, RttT Leads, and Finance Officers to participate in one of the webinar.
Title: RttT LEA/Charter School No-Cost Extension and Closeout Procedures Date: Friday, April 4, 2014, 11 am or 3 pm
11 am to 12 noon webinar registration: to 4 pm webinar registration:

New Professional Development Tool Goes Live April 1
The new Home Base Professional Development Tool will be live for all district/charter educators to enroll in state-provided courses beginning April 1. All of our NC Education online modules, including facilitator-led sessions, are included in this system. Our NCDPI module developers are currently creating additional modules based on district requests for release this summer and fall. This spring, we will pilot the opt-in functionality of the system with a small group of districts. District and charters that opt in to Home Base will benefit from additional local course/catalog creation and enrollment management functionality beginning in the fall. This is a great opportunity to use one portal for state and local educator PD transcripts. To learn more about this exciting new component and available options, please view the archived webinar held Feb. 27: In addition, regional face-to-face sessions will be held in all eight regions starting March 20. Human resource and professional development directors, and PD coordinators and leaders are especially encouraged to attend.
MORE INFO: Please see our NCDPI/RESA partnership schedule for more information,

EBSCO Webinar - eBook Collection
WiseOwl and EBSCO will be presenting a Webinar on using the new eBook collection. The Webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, March 12th at 3:30 pm, and will be archived for those who cannot attend live. Information and registration is available at Free, on-site staff development on all WiseOwl resources is available as well - contact Dan Sparlin (

2014 Home Base Symposium Presentations
These files are a collection of presentations for the 2014 Home Base Symposium. All presentations unless stated otherwise, are in Adobe Acrobat Reader (PDF) format. If you do not have this free reader, a copy can be obtained on the Adobe website at The reader is specific to your computer platform and operating system. Instructions for installing are also available on the Adobe website.The individual symposium presenters have provided these presentations. The NCDPI assumes no responsibility for the content of the files.

February 2014

ScanIt Update/Reminder
NCDPI has provided the following support materials for installing ScanIt (the software used to interface your scanner to Schoolnet). Document on “How to Use ScanIt” Follow this link, and go to the bottom of the page where you will find a PowerPoint presentation labeled, “ScanIt Webinar Presentation” that has proven to be very helpful in helping LEAs set up their scanners to work with Schoolnet. If you have any trouble, please contact the Home Base Support Center and request support for Schoolnet. The support personnel are familiar with helping LEAs set up scanners.

AMTR Update
As a reminder, the data from the AMTR 2013 may be found here:
Suggested uses:
1) click on the link to open the section of interest, (the file contains all of the data for the whole state).
2) filter the file to show only your LEA/Charter.
3) total data using the formula (sum) command.

New Home Base PD Tool Functionality
The new Home Base Professional Development Tool will be live for all district/charter teachers and administrators to enroll in state-provided courses beginning in April. Districts and charters that opt in to Home Base will benefit from additional local course/catalog creation and enrollment management functionality beginning in the fall. To learn more about this exciting new component and options that will be available, please attend the webinar Thursday, Feb. 27, from 4-5 p.m. Human resource and professional development directors are especially encouraged to attend. If a SLMC and/or ITF (or other staff member) cannot login to TNL, contact the District TNL Admin. to be added manually. Register at The webinar will be recorded.

PBS Learning Media – Added as Aligned Resource in Schoolnet!
PBS LearningMedia offers thousands of classroom-ready, curriculum-targeted digital resources. PBS LearningMedia builds on the strength of public media and is designed to improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement. Resources are aligned to Common Core and national standards and include videos and interactives, as well as audio, documents, and in-depth lesson plans.

Jason Griffey Workshops on Library Technology - FREE!
In partnership with NCLA’s Technology and Trends Round Table, the State Library is excited to announce that we are bringing internationally known library technologist, writer, blogger, Head of Library Information Technology at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, and Library Box kickstarter Jason Griffey to North Carolina in March! Registration Information Also sign-up to get information like this via the NC State Library blog on the registration page!

Supervisor's Meeting at NCTIES
We will have a Supervisors’ meeting before the NCTIES General Conference this year. We have updates from the NCDPI Digital Teaching and Learning division, as well as an Update/Q&A session with the NC Homebase team, and an Identity and Access Management/NC Education Cloud update from that team. Our meeting will begin at 4:15 pm on Wednesday, March 5, and we will get you out by 6:00 pm. The meeting will be held in the State A/B room in the Marriott property. Given that space is limited, we ask that you pre-register, and limit the number of registrants from your LEA or charter school to two attendees. Registration here. We look forward to seeing you there!

OpenClass Implemenation
A message about OpenClass, the learning management system component of Home Base, was sent out in this week's State Superintendent newsletter inviting interested districts/charters schools to participate in trainings. If you are interested in getting connected to OpenClass, please confer with your district superintendent or charter school leadership regarding registering for training. OpenClass offers an online space in which students and teachers can have 24-hour access to their courses. It's a place for delivering multi-media assignments, creating collaborative spaces, uploading and downloading documents and giving descriptive feedback on student work. One big benefit of this addition of OpenClass into the Home Base suite is the automatic roster sync between PowerSchool and OpenClass. Teachers will be able to log in and see all of their courses and students without having to manually enter or import them. Another benefit is the single-sign on functionality—students and teachers can access OpenClass through PowerSchool without having to sign in again or remember another password. If interested in implementing Home Base's OpenClass later this spring or early fall, superintendents or their designees should sign up for training and complete a short online form at: . This form should only take a couple of minutes to complete. Because we are supporting set-up at a district-level based on interest, sign up is limited to superintendents or their designees (the sooner districts express interest, the sooner they'll have access!). For more information about OpenClass, you can find the Janurary 15th webinar archived at:​

SPEAK UP Data for 2013
The Speak Up wiki page has been updated to include state data and includes a list of the 5 districts that had the top participation in NC. Districts that participated may log in and have access to the data for their district. A report of participation by state is also included. National Speak Up data is always released through a congressional briefing on Digital Learning Day. Thanks for your support with the 2013 Speak Up survey, an important data source for federal decision makers.

Digital Learning Day Update and Contest for NC (Deadline extended to February 26th due to inclement weather.)
Yesterday's Virtual Conference: Live from the Library of Congress hosted by the Alliance for Excellent Education and its Center for Digital Learning and Policy included a variety of activities and speakers from across the country. The chat room exploded with conversations from all over. It was enlightening to hear the passion for digital teaching and learning across the country and to hear what other states and districts are doing to transition to a robust digital environment that affords all students with the resources to be successful in college and career. Discussions focused on federal policy landscape, the journey of digital learning, digital learning in action, and making a difference. All resources provided during this virtual conference will be archived and on the Alliance for Excellent Education's website at North Carolina was 2nd in the lead for number of events posted on the Celebration Map. By selecting NC on the map, you can scroll to see all the events that were posted. The Digital Learning Day video contest is on. Please see attachment for due dates and instructions for submission.

Historical and Current AMTR Data Has a New Home
The AMTR Wiki has received a facelift. We have uploaded both historical and current data. This will afford our LEAs the opportunity to access the same information that they have enjoyed in previous years. The AMTR is open and ready for updates from our LEAs.

Weekly Project Status Webinars to Begin for Superintendents, Charter School Directors
Near the end of 2013, State Superintendent June Atkinson outlined several steps to ensure both direct and frequent communications with local school districts and charter schools in this second half of the Home Base rollout year. One such action item is a new weekly Project Status Webinar that begins on Tuesday, Feb. 4. Superintendents and charter school directors have been invited to tune in along with anyone they'd like to include from their Home Base teams. The one-hour webinar begins at 11 a.m. Presenters, including Dr. Atkinson, will unveil several new reporting areas including Successes and Recent Accomplishments, Major Attention Areas, plus a calendar identifying when new updates and releases are coming within the project component areas, like SchoolNet and PowerSchool. These reports will be shared live for the first two webinars, and starting Feb. 14 will additionally be available online with a weekly update cycle to match the next coming webinar.

It’s Getting Exciting: A Whopping 59 Sessions Set for Feb. 17 Symposium
From a PowerSchool Cafe to wireless for $5 a day, you won’t want to miss a minute of the first-ever Home Base Symposium set for Feb. 17-19 in Greensboro. Fun fact: Did you know our host site, the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center/Sheraton Four Seasons, is the largest convention hotel between Atlanta and Washington, D.C.? Here’s what’s on tap when you arrive: 59 distinct sessions with more than 100 presenters and guest speakers from LEAs, the NCDPI, Pearson and other vendors who support the Home Base implementation.Roughly 20 percent of the sessions offered support the PowerSchool SIS foundational sessions (meaning they tie in, but are focused on data, policy, integrated applications and IIS). There are 21 sessions on PowerSchool functions plus eight hands-on sessions. There’s a special session for Tech Directors and for Superintendents on the last day of the conference, Wednesday, Feb. 19. The PowerSchool Cafe premieres this year, where LEAs are invited to join forces and create a report to share at conference closing with all attendees. The “cafe” room will be available four times during the conference to these LEA/school staff to work in groups for about eight total hours. Then — ta-dah — during the last session, these cafe-goers will share/demonstrate their report to what we hope will be huge applause and what we know will be huge thanks from the NCDPI. The goal of these collaborative work sessions is to create reports that can be shared throughout the state. Also new: The host hotel is offering wireless to those not staying at the hotel for $5 a day. We are encouraging users to take advantage of this offer in order to minimize cell phone “hot spots” that negatively impact everyone’s wireless experience in the hotel. Please see hotel staff for information.
MORE INFO: For the full course list and descriptions and more about registration, visit Once the booklet is complete, it will be posted online to allow attendees to download and pre-plan their sessions. We anticipate this is the last year we will provide hard copies at the conference. Next year we plan to ‘go green.’

Symposium Planners Highly Recommend These Two Symposium Sessions
Like a mom of several children, of course we cannot single out a favorite; yet, when we asked the hard working Symposium team to pretty please give us a couple of sessions to highlight, here’s what they came up with. Hope to see you there, in Greensboro Feb. 17-19:
❖ Home Base Data Flow
This session will provide participants with an overview of how data flows through the various components of Home Base, including
1. Data integration between PowerSchool, the PS ODS and Schoolnet,
2. Data integration between PowerSchool, the EdCloud and OpenClass (ECollege),
3. Data integration between LEA source systems, UID Staff, the NCDPI ODS, and the Educator Evaluation Systems.
❖ Best Practices for Implementing Home Base Suite of Applications
Representatives from Bladen, Hoke and Montgomery counties will share how they have successfully rolled out the Home Base suite of applications. Participants will leave this session with strategies for communication, ideas on how they might be funding Home Base opt-in, real-life examples of how they rolled out the parent portal, training plans, and use of the instruction and assessment components that apply to a district's specific needs, and "role-alike" professional contacts who may be useful for future inquiries.

Teachers and Curriculum Staff: Please Complete Our Schoolnet Survey
First: A huge thank you to the 200+ teachers who have taken this survey. If you’ve not had the opportunity yet, please take a few minutes to give us your feedback. We hope to gauge teachers' knowledge and use of the instructional materials and classroom assessments in the Home Base Instructional Improvement System, Schoolnet.
Throughout the state, Schoolnet use presently ranges from “not at all” to “daily.” Whether you have used the materials or not, the information you provide will help us communicate with other teachers and staffers about the system, and will provide some baseline data.
The survey should take only five to 15 minutes to complete depending on your use of Schoolnet. We appreciate your taking the time to respond. All responses are confidential. Access the survey now through Feb. 7 at

January 2014

Weekly Project Status Webinars to Begin for Superintendents, Charter School Directors
Near the end of 2013, State Superintendent June Atkinson outlined several steps to ensure both direct and frequent communications with local school districts and charter schools in this second half of the Home Base rollout year. One such action item is a new weekly Project Status Webinar that begins on Tuesday, Feb. 4. Superintendents and charter school directors have been invited to tune in along with anyone they'd like to include from their Home Base teams. The one-hour webinar begins at 11 a.m. Presenters, including Dr. Atkinson, will unveil several new reporting areas including Successes and Recent Accomplishments, Major Attention Areas, plus a calendar identifying when new updates and releases are coming within the project component areas, like SchoolNet and PowerSchool. These reports will be shared live for the first two webinars, and starting Feb. 14 will additionally be available online with a weekly update cycle to match the next coming webinar. A second action item was a request that each district identify its Home Base team members to Dr. Atkinson so she can be certain communications around Home Base are reaching the proper recipients — those responsible for program success at the local level. That list is nearing completion; we thank all those who have participated.

Leading in and Beyond the Library Report, January 2014
Our own Wynn Smith, Wilson County Schools, is part of the report and also two other NC LEAs.
The implementation of digital learning has changed the potential of school librarians and libraries. Many principals and district leaders are utilizing the role of the school librarian and the library and its resources as important elements in the digital learning transition, the systemic approach to integrating the effective use of technology to improve student outcomes. According to Melissa Johnston, “Because of their knowledge of pedagogical principles and curriculum, paired with technology and information expertise, school librarians are in a unique position to serve as leaders and valuable assets through making meaningful contributions toward the integration of technology and learning.” Read more....

Home Base Symposium Course List
The course list is now available. More info....
Come join us as we host our first Home Base Symposium that will be held February 17 – 19, 2014 at the Sheraton Four Seasons Hotel in Greensboro, NC. You don’t want to miss this information packed conference that will provide in-depth training on the functionality of PowerSchool and other components comprising the Home Base application.
Registration fees:
All registration fees are non-refundable.
Normal Registration (postmarked by 1/31/2014) - $115.00
Late or On Site Registration (postmarked on or after 2/01/2014) - $250.00
Checks must be made payable to NCDPI Cash Collections.
Note: Registration fees paid at the conference must be paid by check.
Online Registration

2014 Symposium Letter
2014 Hotel Reservation Form
2014 List of Registrants
2014 Symposium Course List

Scan-IT Resources
A webinar on how to install and use Scan-It - 11-20-13.
For System requirements, install and use... download the Scan-it user guide in PowerSource:

OpenClass Update: Continuing Integrations with Home Base
Forty-five LEAs participated in OpenClass training in December and into January. The attendees learned how to create courses in a blended/online environment, explore subjects using social learning, set up online collaboration projects, and develop threaded discussions. During the weeks of Jan. 13, 20 and 27, our Pearson partners will integrate each OpenClass campus with Home Base by syncing the course and roster information from PowerSchool so all of the 45 can begin piloting OpenClass in the schools/sections of their choice. Planning for integrations with additional LEAs is underway. District superintendents and charter leadership will be sent information shortly on how to sign up for future “waves.” Stay tuned....

New Teacher Role Available for Creating Shared Classroom Assessments
Do you have teachers who need access to build shared or schoolwide assessments? The basic teacher role only allows a teacher to build “My Classroom” assessments within the Schoolnet component of Home Base. If your teachers need access to build “Shared Classroom Assessments” or “School Assessments,” they will need an additional role.
The new role for teachers is called “Access for Teachers to Share Assessments.” A new document has been posted to the User Roles and Access page of the Home Base website that provides the details you need to set up this role for a teacher (remember that the roles and permission for Schoolnet access are set up within PowerSchool, so please work with your school and district data managers to ensure you have the right roles set up).
Please note this role is only something that would need to be added for someone with the default role of “teacher,” and that the shared and school assessments are only available to teachers within the same school. You’ll find the new document “More on Roles and Permissions – Access for Teachers to Share Assessments” at There you’ll also find general information about roles and permissions as well as a document on how to set up a teacher with access to build benchmark assessments.

Release of Educator Evaluation Dashboards
The NCDPI and SAS Institute have released the teacher and administrator evaluation dashboards. An evaluation dashboard allows a teacher to see his or her ratings on Standards 1 – 5 integrated with Standard 6 of the NC Educator Evaluation System. An administrator can see his or her ratings on Standards 1 – 7 integrated with Standard 8.
Both teachers and administrators can track their individual progress toward an overall effectiveness status. You can find updated resources on the evaluation dashboards at You can access recorded web trainings on the evaluation dashboards at, as well as a schedule for live web training sessions in which educators can have their questions answered by the NCDPI and SAS Institute.

Online Assessment Best Practices Guide - UPDATED
As you continue preparing for online assessments, the Best Practices Guide has been updated and is available on the website at The key updates are in Appendix A related to best practices from a technology perspective (including links to tools to help with testing bandwidth and determining readiness). There are also updates to the section for Testing Personnel based on changes in administering online assessments in NCTest for 2013-14.

Alternatives to Online Assessment Delivery in Schoolnet
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) and the Pearson staff recognize the frustration caused by the performance of the Assessment Admin Module of Schoolnet in some districts. In order to best utilize the instructional days and to keep frustrations at a minimum, we suggest that LEAs/charters prepare for alternative solutions in the event you experience performance issues. Unfortunately, at this time, we cannot provide you an estimated timeline for performance improvements. As Pearson investigates the root causes and prepares an action plan, we will provide you with updates. Some alternatives to consider include delaying the administration or delivering existing assessments using the paper/pencil option. If the paper/pencil option is chosen, please scan the results into Schoolnet using the ScanIt software available for download on the MySchoolnet page.

If you need support with ScanIt, the software used for scanning the tests, please review the NC ScanIt Guide found at In addition, you may view an archived webinar, Using ScanIt to Upload Scan Sheets into Schoolnet, found at On Thursday, Jan. 30, there will be another webinar on ScanIt. To register go to: If you need additional support using ScanIt, please contact the Support Center with any questions at 919.807.4357 or

Note: For districts that have planned hands-on training or live demonstrations of the assessment module, we advise having screen captures available in case there are performance issues.

What’s Coming in Schoolnet in 2014
There are many things to look forward to in the new year, and Schoolnet’s increasing resources are among them.
The NCDPI is continually seeking and vetting great resources and assessment items and expanding the set of tools available to teachers in the platform. We are especially excited about the potential Schoolnet offers in gathering and sharing great work from and among North Carolina’s teachers. Excellent lesson plans, units and assessments all are coming forth from teachers across the state, and Schoolnet offers educators an opportunity to highlight and share that great work. You can find a chart outlining what’s to come this year, at

Digital Learning Day 2014
Digital Learning Day is Wednesday, February 5, 2014! Digital Learning Day is about giving every child the opportunity to learn in a robust digital environment everyday, with the goal of success in college and career. We urge you to make a difference in America's schools and take the pledge to support the effective use of digital learning.
Take the Pledge
Add your school/district event to our interactive map
Sign up for our newsletter
Find resources such as lesson plans, toolkits and instructional strategies for Digital Learning Day and beyond.

DLD_button.jpgOnce again at the state level we have partnered with NCSLMA and NCTies to offer a statewide video contest to highlight what innovative digital learning looks like for your students. Please forward the attached announcement to your schools. We also recognize there are many events taking place across the state in your districts and schools. Please take a few minutes to announce your events so they are added to the National Celebration Map:
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NCTest iPad App not Available for Fall Online Assessment Administrations
The iPad App will not be available for 2013-14 fall administrations of the end-of-course (EOC) and NCEXTEND2 EOC online assessments. The newest release of the iPad App continues to offer the “define” feature with some item types and must not be used to administer EOC or NCEXTEND2 EOC online assessments until further notice. The iPad App is expected to be available for NCTest spring 2014 online administrations.

Leading From The Library!
Tips and tricks for stepping out of the stacks and into the limelight as instructional, pedagogical and technological library leaders!
Monday, January 6th - 8pm EST

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SUcalendar 2015 survey
SUcalendar 2015 survey

Happy Giving Tuesday!

After giving thanks on Thanksgiving, it's time to give back with #GivingTuesday! Today, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world are coming together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.
For #GivingTuesday we ask our Speak Up family to donate 15 minutes of your time for the future of education. Make a difference today by expressing your views about education, technology, and college and career ready skills through the Speak Up 2015 National Research Project. Click here to take the survey.
We want everyone to have a voice in the future of how technology is used in our schools - please share the Speak Up survey with your students, teachers, parents, administrators, community organizers, friends, and anyone who has a passion for improving education:
Thank you for your continued support of Speak Up! To learn more about #GivingTuesday, visit their official website.