December 2013
ATTENTION: All LEAs and Charters NCREN MOU (existing and planning for NCREN customers)
The attached District School Connectivity Initiative (SCI) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) 2014-2017 is required from all 115 districts. The attached Charter SCI MOU 2014-2017 is required from all NCREN (approximately 65 currently) connected Charter/Regional STEM schools. The MOU MUST include a technical contact on page three, and MUST be signed and dated (on right hand side of page 4) by the Superintendent or Board Chair or Head of Organization that holds the charter. This is in addition to the E-rate Letter of Agency (LOA) 2014-2017 that was previously requested. This replaces the School Connectivity Initiative MOU signed in 2011 and that expires June 30, 2014. Read more....

NEW PROGRAM- CeCTO - Certified Educational Chief Technology Officer

We are excited to announce a professional development program to help offer support to you through this challenging and exciting era. This is the fifth year for this exciting and dynamic program. 98 LEA’s and Charter Schools have already participated and benefited from the program. The single program will feature two components: one for superintendents and one for technology directors. Read more including registration....

Speak Up National Survey for Educators and Students
Speak Up, a national online research project facilitated by Project Tomorrow®, gives individuals the opportunity to share their viewpoints about key educational issues, particularly concerning 21st century education and technology. Each year, findings are summarized and shared with national and state policy makers. Participating schools and districts can access their data online, free-of-charge on February 2014.
Learn more.

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. MORE INFO: Cynthia Sartain, Digital Teaching and Learning,

IMPORTANT ScanIt Update: New Version and New Scan Sheets
As part of the upcoming update of the Schoolnet component of Home Base to version 15.2, there will be an update to the ScanIt software which will result in new scan sheets when printing to plain paper. If you have paper answer sheets that students have completed or that you plan to use with assessments scheduled over the next week, it is very important to get those results scanned in before the close of business (5 p.m.) on Friday, December 6.
If you have assessments scheduled after December 6 and plan to administer them using paper-pencil, please hold off on printing answer sheets from within Home Base until Monday, December 9. The answer sheets that you have been printing will not be compatible with the new version of ScanIt. The scanning process and the supported scanners will not change with this upgrade. If you run into any problems using the ScanIt software, please contact the Home Base Support Center at Be sure to include ScanIt in the subject line and include the screen shots of any error messages or problems that are occurring when you use ScanIt.More info regarding Classrooms and Benchmark Assessments.

Home Base Upgrade Brings Many Changes - 15.2
The Home Base Instructional Improvement System (Schoolnet) was upgraded over the weekend (Dec. 7-8). This new version, 15.2, includes some new features, addresses many identified bugs, and is designed to significantly improve product responsiveness and stability.

Decision Date Moved for Home Base Options
With the roll-out of Home Base in the fall of 2013, we know that local educators have been so busy dealing with PowerSchool and other "must-use" elements that it has been challenging to get to the optional parts of the system that can be so helpful and powerful for classroom teachers.
Those opt-in pieces include Schoolnet, OpenClass, the Professional Development system and its PD courses and transcript features for educators, and more. That's why the NCDPI has extended the window for local school districts to make a final "opt-in" decision for the non-required parts of the Home Base system to July 15, 2014.
By opting in, local districts agree to pay $4 per student based on average daily membership (ADM) and will be able to fully use all parts of Home Base — not just PowerSchool, the NC Educator Evaluation System and state-required online assessments. More detail about options to show your opt-in decision are still to come, so stay tuned.

A Look at What’s Coming in Schoolnet Throughout 2013-14
The resources in Schoolnet will get better and better as the tool matures. By the end of the 2013-14 school year, Schoolnet will have a lot of additional content and will continue to grow thereafter. 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 optimistic about the prospect of being able to gather and share great work from North Carolina teachers in Schoolnet. Teachers are creating excellent lesson plans, units and assessments, and Schoolnet offers educators an opportunity to highlight and share that great work. You can find a list of what’s coming in Schoolnet at

Digital Learning Application Extension to January 13, 2014We continue to hear that the short turn-around time to submit your application for available digital learning funds has been an issue for the preparation of quality and collaborative applications. Because of those expressed concerns, the Chairman of the State Board of Education has approved an extension for application submission until January 13, 2014. If you have already submitted an application, it will remain active for review. If you would like to modify your already submitted application prior to January 13, 2014, contact Neill Kimrey at

Secure Platform Requirements for NCTest V4 and Online Testing Survey
The attached memo, Secure Platform Requirements for NCTest V4 and Online Testing Survey, from Rebecca Garland, is being sent to all LEA Superintendents and Charter School Directors.

2014 Home Base Symposium-February 17-19, 2014 The 2014 Home Base Symposium is set for February 17 - 19, 2014 and we anticipate another exciting event, so you don’t want to miss it! The conference will be held at the Sheraton Four Seasons, Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, NC. The cost to attend is $ 115 for normal registration (postmarked by 1/31/2014) and $ 250 for late (postmarked on or after 2/1/2014) and onsite registrations. We encourage all participants to take advantage of the normal registration fee. Online registration is available on the NC SIS website at

Online Assessment Best Practices Guide - UPDATEDAs 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.

WiseOwl Webinars – Britannica and EBSCOText Complexity and Britannica for ELA Common Core: Friday, December 6th at 4 pm, or Monday, December 10th at 4 pm. Using EBSCOhost (full text of 4000 student, professional, and consumer magazines): Tuesday December 10th at 3:30 pm. Information available at or email Dan Sparlin ( Webinar announcements are available via Twitter by following WiseOwlGuide.NCDPI and MCNC Sponsored Technical Webinars John Warf, Senior MCNC Client Network Engineer will lead two 2-hour webinars in the coming weeks on Google Apps. There have been a couple of small changes to the schedule. We will also have availability for individuals to come to MCNC if you prefer in person. A brief description of each webinar session follows: Session 1: Google Apps Administration Console and Chromebooks - 2 hours This session will focus on the native Google Apps console and ease of administration. With all the recent changes to the console, there are a lot of questions about where different pieces are and how to effectively use the panel. We will also look at a couple of add-ins to help monitor and manage users through the console. With Chromebooks being a hot item we will go through the management of Chromebooks too! Session 2: Google Apps User Management - 2 hours This session will focus on the various ways of managing users. We will focus on three key components of User Management and how they work together. Each of the three has their role in Google Apps to make your console work efficiently and effectively.
  • Google Apps Directory Sync (GADS) - Syncing Active Directory or eDirectory to Google Apps for user creation and management.
  • Google Apps Password Sync (GAPS) - Syncing Active Directory Passwords for single password optimization.
  • Google Apps Manager (GAM) - Easy tool for gathering user data and reporting as well as performing operations that can’t be done in bulk at the web interface level.
The webinars are scheduled as follows with registration information: GoogleApps Administration Console and Chromebooks December 3rd, 9:30 – 11:30 am: Session 1 Webinar Registration Link - December 12th, 9:00 – 11:00 am: Session 1 Webinar Registration Link - // GoogleApps User Management December 3rd, 1:00 – 3:00 pm: Session 2 Webinar Registration Link - December 13th, 9:00 – 11:00 am: Session 2 Webinar Registration Link - // The webinars will be delivered from MCNC, and LEA and charter school technology staff are invited to participate in person if they like. The webinars will also be recorded and archived. Onsite Attendance Registration Link -

Online Assessment Feedback Requested
Your feedback via a short survey is requested regarding plans for online test administration, the secure web browser installation and online assessment using BYOD. Please complete the survey by December 16th, 2013. The attached memo went out to your Superintendent/Director today.
Thanks for your participation! If you have questions please contact []Cynthia Sartain.

November 2013

Charter School Annual Connectivity Funding PRC 36
Annual Connectivity Funding for non-NCREN and multi-location NCREN charters is scheduled to be allocated (made available) 11/20/13 (via PRC 036). Attached is a spreadsheet. Amounts are pro-rated if you connected to NCREN after July 1, 2013. Note: Non-NCREN charter allocations are lower this year based on new (lower) state (ITS) pricing for 100 Mbps fiber circuits. Connectivity Funding Archives

@NCHomeBase for Instant Notifications The NCDPI knows that you want to receive instant notification about important announcements surrounding Home Base, especially when systems are down for maintenance and when they returned to service. A moment’s notice can save a great deal of time and frustration. That’s why Home Base is now part of the Twitterverse and waiting for you to follow! You will continue to receive pertinent news on Home Base via the Home Base Weekly Update ( and other communications streams. Simply follow @NCHomeBase to begin receiving instant notifications!

FAQs PRC30 FAQs to guide you as you submit your competitive application for PRC30 funding are now available.. The application/instructions, non-competitive allocations, link to FAQs page and legislation are provided below. Grant applications for competitive portion are due by 12/13/13. FAQs Page, , Legislation

EBSCO Webinar- Science Reference Center NC WiseOwl and EBSCO present a Webinar on the Science Reference Center at 3:30 PM, Thursday November 21st. Sign up on the Webinar page:

Home Base Webinar Series Webinars are held each Tuesday and Thursday to support Home Base implementation. On Tuesdays, the Educator Evaluation tool is featured, while the Instructional Improvement System is featured on Thursdays. While selected topics are identified, this is also a time for you to submit questions to a team ready to lend support. Please see the link for registration information.

IAM Service Updates 1. We wanted to let everyone know that we officially completed the Testing Phase for the IAM Service on Friday and have now started the Deployment Phase. The production environment is currently running and undergoing final testing/validation/configurations for the tentative LEA and Charter School integrations starting in January.
2. Here is the high level schedule for the deployment phase.
October 1, 2013 - December 31, 2013 - Pre-deployment planning with early adopters
January 1, 2014 - March 31, 2014 - Technical integrations with early adopters
3. We have 10 early adopters planning sessions currently going in parallel. We have met with 4 of LEAs and Charter Schools so far to begin the planning process and continuing to schedule 3 hour blocks with others.
4. Our team is out this week at 2 conferences presenting the IAM Service.
Mark and Steve are at the Internet2 Identity Week conference:
5. We have started our planning efforts to define the integration requirements for Home Base applications and the IAM Service. Our team is working with NCDPI, Home Base application vendors, and LEA and Charter School representatives to develop a sound integration plan. We will keep you posted as we make progress on this effort.
Don't forget to check out our website for additional information:

NC SchoolSpeedTest Month - November 11-December 11 Here is the link to the webinar if you missed if Friday or want to view again- [Webinar Link:]
Please take a moment now to forward this email to principals, IT coordinators, and in-school staff and remind them:
1. Starting this week, any teacher, administrator or staff person on the school network can visit and take an automatic one-minute Internet speed test.
2. With this data we can prioritize Internet upgrades and make the case for increased investment in school Internet.
3. We need 10-20 tests at different times of day from each school site; please forward this email widely and remind people to visit at different times and test often.
Thank you for your participation in this process! We look forward to seeing data from your schools!

Digital Learning Funds The State Board of Education approved the allotment of the Digital Learning Funds for 2013-14.
  1. 50% of the funds will be distributed based on allotted average daily membership. The allotment will be distributed in the revision on November 20th.
  2. 50% will be awarded through an application process, administered by the DPI Digital Teaching and Learning group
  3. Charter schools do not receive a direct allotment, however, LEAs shall ensure that charter schools, which are located within the district, are notified and have access to all trainings organized by utilizing these funds. Charter school personnel shall be permitted to attend all such training and LEAs shall make available all digital content, purchased or subscribed, to the charter school, if the content is acquired with these funds.

Electronic Transcripts and NC Colledge Application Week
The annual statewide North Carolina College Application Week will be held November 18 – 22. NCDPI, Pearson, and CFNC are piloting electronic transcripts (from PowerSchool) in two school districts with anticipation of turning it on for all districts next week. This pilot testing includes close monitoring and verification of all electronic transcripts comparing it to the paper version (Credit History & Performance Information sections). Pearson is performing a thorough verification of GPA comparisons for all schools districts, and has fixed the code that caused discrepancies. The CFNC Electronic Transcript System currently has 533 participating high schools, and is currently processing electronic transcripts from NC WISE with the exception of the two districts that are being piloted.

Those LEAs that would like to opt out on using the electronic transcript (from PowerSchool) should contact NCDPI at by 3 p.m., Tuesday, November 12. This will give CFNC time to respond to this request, and prepare for a successful College Application Week. Please note: If your school district “opts in”, you do not need to do anything at this time. DPI will approve for CFNC to start processing electronic transcripts (from PowerSchool) for your school district beginning November 13
th. If your school district “opts out”, you need to send an email to by 3 p.m. on Tuesday, November 12. Opting out means CFNC will continue to process electronic transcript from NC WISE through College Application Week.

DPI and MCNC Course Offerings DPI and MCNC had planned to offer a series of technical one-day workshops in the fall with a morning session devoted to iPad management and an afternoon session devoted to Google Administration. The morning session was going to be led by Apple Engineers. Apple recently requested that we delay the technical briefings until several yet to be released iOS7 features were generally available. No timeline was provided for their release. As a result, we have decided to proceed with the Google Administration briefing, but as a series of webinars, and not wait on Apple.
Read more....

New STEM Courses - 2 Professional Development Opportunities ● Feb. 17-18, 2014: Scaling STEM Conference, Sheraton Imperial, RTP, NC.
● July 14-17, 2014: Career and Technical Education Summer Conference, Greensboro, NC.
School leaders and teachers are encouraged to develop a team of teacher leaders of Science, Technology, Mathematics, and Career and Technical Education to participate in these professional development sessions. Curriculum focuses on Energy and Sustainability, Agriscience and Biotechnology, Health and Life Sciences, and Aviation, Security and Advanced Manufacturing. Learn directly from the course developers how to deliver and integrate STEM course content, advance your knowledge/understanding, discover creative approaches and uncover optimal answers to potential challenges. In collaboration with the developers of STEM Curricula: North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, NCDPI STEM Education and Career and Technical Education and North Carolina New Schools.
MORE INFO: Tina Marcus, STEM Education,

STEM Education Featured on UNC-TV Show
“Why STEM Matters: Challenges and Opportunities Strengthening America’s Workforce,” was the title of a recent episode of UNC-TV’s Black Issues Forum show on which NCDPI STEM Project Manager Tina Marcus appeared. Marcus discussed STEM education and the work being done at the state level, along with the opportunities that are available to increase interest and engage more students – especially females and traditionally underserved – in pursuing careers in the STEM fields. The show can be viewed at The episode also features Dr. Lee Stiff, President of EDSTAR Analytics and professor of mathematics at NCSU, and Enrico Copeland, President/CEO of Global Health Connections International, both of whom shared their views and the work they are doing. MORE INFO: Tina Marcus, STEM Education,

Educator Effectiveness and Career and Technical Education Assessments In October 2013, the State Board of Education (SBE) approved a new policy (GCS-A-016) on the use of state assessments in North Carolina's educator effectiveness model. This new policy lists the assessments that will be used to measure student growth and outlines policies and procedures for the administration of the NC Final Exams (formerly known as the Common Exams). While the Career and Technical Education (CTE) State Assessments are listed in the policy as one of the assessments to measure student growth, the CTE State Assessments are not subject to all of the requirements of the new policy. This memo provides clarity to the requirements for the administration of the CTE assessments. Read more....

Known Issues Website Shows Incidents in Home Base The Known Issues website for Home Base has been updated, and is available to view at The website displays a list of incidents in Home Base by application. It also shows the status of each incident, timeline for resolution and the remedy for each incident, if available.

Home Base Weekly Newsletter Features Latest Program News Want to learn more about the latest news about Home Base? Check out the Home Base Weekly newsletter. To view the editions for Oct 10 and Oct. 17, please visit You can self-subscribe to the newsletter at

New Instructional Material for the EVAAS Now Online New material has been added to the Resources page on the Educator Effectiveness Model website. Check out what’s new at
  • New Reports in EVAAS (Education Value Added Assessment System) – EVAAS reporting for the 2012-13 school year includes redesigned teacher reports, scatterplots and the decision dashboard. This resource provides descriptions of each of the new reports.
  • General Information on EVAAS Accounts - This resource describes the different types of accounts in EVAAS, as well as how they are created and maintained.
  • Account Creation and Maintenance for District EVAAS Administrators - This resource provides screen shots and instructions for steps that district EVAAS administrators must complete to perform common account creation and maintenance activities. The resource also includes screen shots and instructions for how to complete common tasks performed by school EVAAS administrators.
  • Account Creation and Maintenance for School EVAAS Administrators -This resource provides screen shots and instructions for steps that school EVAAS administrators must complete to perform common account creation and maintenance activities.

NCREN Community Day 2012: The Connected State November 21 - 22, 2013. Venue: NC State University
James B. Hunt Jr. Library, Raleigh, NC
Venue & Directions
Presentation Topics more and register!

School Speed Test Month In order to improve access to high-speed Internet connections for every teacher and student, we need to know what bandwidth is currently available in North Carolina public school classrooms. To do this quickly and easily this fall, we are partnering with nonprofit Education Super Highway to complete a North Carolina School Speed Test.
What will this mean for you and your LEA team? Starting on Nov. 11, 2013, any person on a school network can go to to help us test access. This test will use crowd-source data from school staff members to measure how Internet speed is available in classrooms. The data we collect from this process will identify network bottlenecks, support network planning, demonstrate need for increased funding and support district readiness for online assessments.
It is important for every school in our state to participate so that we gather the information we need to help improve Internet availability to all teachers and students. To prepare for the online tests and receive additional information, please participate in the following webinar and question and answer session on Friday, Nov. 8, at 1 p.m. at the following link:
Audio: (513) 386-0101
ID Code 342-080-016#
Once the North Carolina School Speed Test month ends, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and your IT Director will receive a report showing the bandwidth available in each school, as well as per-student bandwidth information to help you and your staff plan for effective upgrades. IMPORTANT: If you are attending our director’s meeting next week. We will setup and watch the webinar together at 1:00. Bring your lunch and learn about the speed test!

October 2013

Spam Filters for Listservs We are finding that the DPI listserv domain ( is increasingly being blocked as spam by the LEA email servers. Please make is whitelisted on your email servers/spam filters. Thanks much for your help in making sure all email is received!

Rich Blocks Poor Blocks: explore income data in your library’s service area | Data & research Have you always wanted a better understanding of income distribution in the area surrounding each of your branch libraries? This kind of data can be helpful in understanding our library’s community. Rich Blocks Poor Blocks is a neat interactive mapping site that takes data from the US Census Bureau’s 2007 through 2011 American Community Survey to map income data on income and rent in American, block by block. Data can be displayed by street address, zip code, census tract number, or city, and comparisons to state medians are also shown. The map below shows income across North Carolina as a heat map. Zoom using the +/- keys on the left side, and click any tract to view a pop up box displaying the median household income for that tract, as well as the state average.

Home Base Resource Consortium Meets Oct. 29 The next Home Base Resource Consortium meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 29, from 3:30-4:30 p.m., is open to anyone interested in learning more about new instructional resources added to Home Base and the process for submitting resources to be shared with schools, districts, and entire state. Please register to attend at District-level personnel are invited to join the Home Base Resource Consortium to share your rich instructional and assessment resources with other educators across the state. MORE INFO: LaVerne Weldon at

Online Assessment Updates New technical requirements for 2013-14 online assessments are available at (this includes support for chromebooks and information about the secure browser and other support for online testing). Additional information about state assessments for 2013-14 is also available on the website at
MORE INFO: Please contact your Regional Accountability Coordinator (RAC) with questions.

Educator Effectiveness Webinars Do you have questions about Home Base? Can you carve a few hours from your week for professional development? If so, we bring the PD to you. Join us every Tuesday for a tutorial on the Educator Effectiveness online tool.
For a complete list of our Tuesday webinars visit:
The Instructional Improvement webinars are every Thursday from 3:30 to 4:30 pm. This Thursday (Oct. 3), the webinar will highlight using the IIS to build instructional capacity through the creation of and linkage to instructional material.
To register for this webinar go to:
For a complete list of Thursday webinars please visit:

We Want You to Like Us – Really, Like Us! The READY Facebook page offers information and points of note that we post on a nearly everyday basis, and that often don’t make the Race to the Top Weekly Update. For example, if you haven’t liked us, you haven’t seen some really cool artwork from NC students posted this week. So, come on – like us, at We tweet, too, so follow us at

READY Animation Sets Tone for Discussions Around Changes
The NC Department of Public Instruction has developed an animation for our colleagues across the state to use as they plan meetings, work sessions or conferences involving the READY initiative. The video works well as a "tone setter" for discussions around the new Common Core State Standards and Essential Standards, new assessments, educator effectiveness, school/district turnaround and more. It serves as an inspirational reminder about the work we do and the ultimate beneficiaries of that work — the 1.5 million students of North Carolina. It could also serve as a way to remind parents and the broader community about our accomplishments and goals and how they could help support our efforts. Reaction to the READY animation has been highly favorable. We encourage you to incorporate it into your presentations as you plan your meetings over the coming months. Also, feel free to share it with your colleagues for use in school-based meetings and activities. The video is accessible via youtube at this address:

Release of Value-Added Data from School Year 2012-13 On Thursday, Oct. 17, the Department of Public Instruction and SAS Institute began the release of value-added data from the 2012-13 school year. The release schedule is as follows:
  • District EVAAS administrators and other district-level staff: data release on the evening of October 17
  • School EVAAS administrators: data release at midnight on October 21
  • Teachers and other school-level staff: data release at midnight on October 28
For more information on the release, please read the recent memo from Dr. Rebecca Garland, Chief Academic Officer. You can find new and updated EVAAS resources on the Department of Public Instruction's website. For upcoming professional development on EVAAS, please visit the NC EVAAS page and click on "Schedule of Virtual Professional Development."

4 C’s of 21st Century Learning on the Web (Interactive Tools) – Critical Thinking Exploring the 4 C’s of Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity on the web will provide educators with the opportunity to maximize the interactivity of the Internet to enhance teaching and learning. The target audience for the Critical Thinking webinar (Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) is classroom teachers in grades K-12. Participants will learn about and use a web 2.0 tool to enhance their students' critical thinking. Teachers also will brainstorm ways the tool can be used in the classroom; elaborate, refine, analyze and evaluate their own ideas in order to improve and maximize critical thinking skills; and explore ways to nurture the home and school connection.
Registration Web Link:
MORE INFO: Donna Albaugh, Educator Effectiveness,

New EVAAS Resources Released As the release of 2012-13 value-added data continues, the NCDPI is responding to district needs through the creation of new resources. Please check the EVAAS Resources page for new resources (marked as new), as well as updated information (marked as updated). The NCDPI will release new resources throughout the next few weeks!

CeCTO Program to Change in 2014
Offered through a partnership between the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, UNC School of Government’s Center or Public Technology and MCNC, the Certified Educational Chief Technology Officer (CeCTO) program is one of the nation’s first technology-centered certification programs for educational technology leaders. Registration opens in December. Read more....

What is #NCed Chat?
#NCed Chat provides an opportunity for North Carolina educators to grow and develop their personal learning network (PLN) by connecting to other NC educators throughout the state. The chat serves as a forum for North Carolina educators to come together once every week in a public Twitter conversation around topics that pertain to their professional interests. Come share your resources, insights, questions, and ideas with other educators from around the state.

PRC 15 Updates
The PRC-15 Release Updates/Revisions now live on our DTL Wiki here.
State Board of Education Actions Regarding Educator Effectiveness This month the State Board of Education (SBE) took action on two policies related to educator effectiveness. The Board made revisions to TCP-C-006, an existing policy on educator effectiveness, and created a new GCS policy on the use of state-designated assessments for educator effectiveness. This memo provides summaries of each of the Board’s actions.

Education Value-Added Assessment System (EVAAS) Releases Data Over the next three weeks, the Department of Public Instruction and SAS Institute will release district-, school-, and teacher-level value-added data in the Education Value-Added Assessment System (EVAAS). This memo outlines the release timeline, describes the data that will be released, offers reminders on EVAAS, and provides links to resources that will be helpful as districts and schools prepare for these new student growth data.

Sign Up for Home Base Bi-Weekly Updates Listserv
Get latest updates concerning Home Base in your inbox by signing up for the newsletter. Please share with all in your LEA!
Sign-up Here!

Open Class Coming Soon!
Learn more about the upcoming rollout of the integrated Open Class learning management system by attending the upcoming webinar on October 15th. Register here.

CenturyLink Grants
CenturyLink is connecting teachers with technology for the classroom. The CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation’s Teachers and Technology grant program today opened the application process for teachers in CenturyLink’s local service areas who want to innovatively implement technology in their classrooms to increase student achievement. To learn more about the program or to apply for a grant, visit the grant information site.. The deadline for applications is Jan. 10, 2014.

Subscribe to NC SIS E-Groups
NCDPI invites you to subscribe to one of the NCSIS E-groups below for the latest breaking news and updates with the NC Student Information System. The SISCOORD group is designed for NC SIS coordinators that are interested in receiving the latest information on the NC Student Information System and Reporting. The SISTECH group is designed for NC SIS technical directors that are interested in receiving the latest information onNC Student Information System and Reporting. The archived newsletters are also available for your reference. Home Base weekly updates are also available for reference and distribution.

September 2013

intel_education.jpgIntel Teach Information
Intel Teach continues to provide educators across NC with quality professional development resources. Resources that support development of 21st Century Skills, and implementation of Common Core and RttT initiatives. Find out more on the Intel NC Wiki and this doc.

Webinar Opportunities for Britannica and the Common Core
NC WiseOwl and Britannica will offer three Webinars on Britannica and the Common Core. The free sessions begin on September 23rd. Registration links are available in the Webinars section of NC WiseOwl ( The sessions will be archived. For further information contact Dan Sparlin ( You can receive Webinar announcements via Twitter by following WiseOwlGuide.

AMTR Deadline Extended to October 25, 2013
The deadline for entering data into the AMTR has been extended to October 25. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Cathy Mathews

Julian Nichols-Wilson

IMPORTANT: Tech Planning Notes
UPDATED DIRECTIONS - see attached document-Tech Plan Steps

Other resources for evaluation and planning:

Home Base Educator Evaluation System aka NC Educator Evaluation System or NCEES Upgrade
In response to LEA and school feedback on performance issues and user navigation concerns for the Home Base Educator Evaluation System (aka NC Educator Evaluation System or NCEES), the NC Department of Public Instruction will be upgrading to the latest version of the Truenorthlogic software on Sunday evening, Sept. 8th. We acknowledge the system performance issues that you all have experienced in the early mornings and late afternoons, and we have been working diligently with our vendor to address these issues.As a result of this change, you will notice a new look to the user interface, improved system performance, and improved system functionality and navigation. These updates improve usability by making it easier for evaluators and educators to access and complete the educator evaluation process. The new version offers the following usability benefits:

  • Easier navigation into a professional development plan (PDP)
  • Easier navigation between teacher plans for evaluators/administrators
  • More intuitive status icons for evaluation and PDP steps
  • Improved search and filtering
For system trainers, please note that we have already implemented these changes in the test site, and we will be implementing the changes in the training site this evening to give you an opportunity to preview the changes before they are implemented on the production site on Monday evening. We are also attaching a quick reference guide that highlights the changes to the system user interface. This document will also be available on the systems “Help Guides” Tab. Finally, we are offering two webinars to help you with the transition. Friday, September 13, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM. Tuesday, September 10, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM.

The Technology Leader’s Institute, October 15, 2013
Offered by NC State’s Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, is designed to support K-12 educators’ digital transition needs and we are looking for innovative practitioners to work with the Digital Learning Collaborative (DLC) team in facilitating enriched and student centered digital learning and teaching professional development.

We can all agree that while a growing number of schools and districts across North Carolina are making the transition to technology-enabled learning, technology does not drive these initiatives - teaching and learning always needs to be at the forefront. We are creating a time and a place through the TLI 2013 to focus on how technology can enhance student centered learning and support educator practice in the classroom. Our voluntary presentation opportunity is the Institute’s hands-on “Table Talks” which are conversational sessions in and around problems of practice and/or highlighting innovative digital tools and resources. These sessions run no longer than 25 minutes and will run throughout the day. Institute participants are encouraged to move freely from table to table to personalize and self direct their learning.

Would you like to expand your ed tech networks? Is there an innovative digital tool that you would like to share with others in the field? Do you have a digitally supported student centered learning activity that will resonate with practitioners? Then please join the DLC at the Technology Leaders Institute in building the capacity of NC educators. Participants of this Institute will include instructional technology facilitators, media coordinators, instructional specialists, and digitally savvy classroom teachers and coaches who may help with preparing and supporting others in teaching with technology. Presentation titles and a brief description of the presentation are to be submitted no later than 10am on Monday, September 16th. Please contact Jaclyn Bell, Research Associate with the DLC team, via email at with presentation information and any questions you may have.

Online Course Offeriengs: Transforming Educator Practice Across NC & The TPACK Lens and Educator Practice
The NC Department of Public Instruction and the Friday Institute's Digital Learning Collaborative are pleased to offer two online courses this fall: Transforming Educator Practice Across NC and The TPACK Lens and Educator Practice (PILOT). As part of the North Carolina Learning Technology (NCLTI) capacity-building initiative, a planning team comprised of your NCDPI, NCVPS, and Friday Institute colleagues have been collaborating on defining a set of online courses for NCDPI educators.
Transforming Educator Practice Across NC COURSE DATES: September 25 – November 8, 2013
Time Commitment: 6 weeks; 4-5 hours per week Registration Link:

Promo Code: Transform-F2013 Registration Deadline: September 18, 2013
ABOUT THE COURSE:Transforming Educator Practice Across NC offers job-embedded professional development directly relevant to the capacity-building needs of NCDPI personnel. Participants will begin the initial development of unique professional learning opportunities that align with the seven Standards for Professional Learning (2011) from the National Staff Development Council (NSDC): Learning Forward. Participants will focus on how these standards, along with digital resources and tools, can be integrated into their role at NCDPI to support and advance student learning in digitally-enabled learning environments. Participants will earn 3 CEUs upon course completion.
The TPACK Lens and Educator Practice COURSE DATES: October 2 – October 30, 2013
Time Commitment: 4 weeks; 4-5 hours per week Registration Link:

Promo Code: TPACK-F2013 Registration Deadline: September 25, 2013
ABOUT THE COURSE: This course offers participants the opportunity to learn more about the TPACK (technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge) Framework and the NC teacher evaluation elements related to digitally-enabled learning and teaching. Participants will begin to apply these distinct lenses and concepts to educator practice (scenario exploration, creation, and application). Participants will leave this online learning experience with at least one digitally-enabled learning and teaching scenario, as well as guiding questions for use at multiple levels in the field. In addition, course participants will be equipped to build the capacity of schools and districts as they evaluate digitally- enabled learning and teaching using the NC Teacher Evaluation Rubric. Participants will earn 2 CEUs upon course completion.

NC Schools Network Analysis Raw Data
As an informational item, here is the preliminary raw data for the Wide Area Network speed (predominant to HS, MS, ES) and cost (as a monthly amount) for 2013-14. If you see any anomalies in your data please let me know. We hope to complete the process of annual verification of the expense data prior to the end of September. Contact Barry Pace with report issues.

August 2013

Roles and Permissions for ITFs and SLMCs
Your ITF and SLMC's were given a default staff role by the state. Please make sure that they are also assigned at least the role titled "Access to Aggregate Level Data:" This will allow access to aggregate data/reporting within Schoolnet and PowerSchool. The attached guide explains the roles and permissioning further for ITF and SLMC. The document is available as a page on the ITES Wiki.

Checkout all the information available for the new ITF and SLMC evaluation process on the NCEES wiki.

This includes the user guides, rubrics, rating forms etc. There is a fillable PDF rubric for use by the administrator.

Home Base Wiki
Remember you have access to the Home Base Overview Wiki for use in your LEA. This can easily be used to introduce others to Home Base (specifically Schoolnet IIS portion). There is a section showing appropriate mastery in minutes and distance learning modules by roles. The quick reference guides are also included.

Home Base Bi-Weekly Updates
Latest news to you about home base projects. Current edition and archives.

Home Base IIS Webinar Schedule and Registration Links

Changes to North Carolina Testing Program
Beginning with the 2013-2014 there will be several changes to policies and procedures in the North Carolina Testing program. Please see the attached memo for details.

WiseOwl Webinar
The following WiseOwl Webinar for elementary and middle school teachers and librarians will be offered on Tuesday, September 3rd at 3:30 pm.

Curriculum/CORE Standards and EBSCO Databases
EBSCO student interfaces for research now offer access to CORE Curriculum Standards. This one-hour session will feature sample searching and curriculum integration. To receive direct notices of upcoming WiseOwl Webinars follow "WiseOwlGuide" on Twitter. Sign up link for September 3rd Webinar:

COSN E-Rate and BroadbandSurvey
Take our E-Rate survey by Friday, August 30 to give your feedback to the FCC!

2013-14 Professional Development Calendar
The 2013-2014 comprehensive PD calendar is now accessible from the PD webpage at The link can be found under “Training Opportunities and Featured PD Information.”

READYNC YouTube Channel Premieres
Catch up on Race to the Top-related videos on the new READYNC channel on YouTube. Content includes video segments from the READY Outreach Meetings over the last year, plus podcasts and more. Check it out at! As always, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, @ncpublicschools, and on Facebook (search NC READY Initiative).

LSTA Grants: Dates for 2014-2015 Applications
LSTA grant guidelines, applications, and other materials for the 2014-2015 grant cycle will be posted on the **State Library’s LSTA****webpage** on September 6th, 2013. Below is a list of deadlines and dates related to the 2014-2015 application cycle.

September 6, 2013

Annual Program Plan, EZ Grant Guidelines, Applications, Project Grant Guidelines, Letter of Intent and NC Cardinal Application posted.
November 1, 2013

Letters of Intent (LOI) for Project Grants and NC Cardinal Applications due,
December 11, 2013

Letter of Intent libraries notified. Project Grant Applications posted.
February 28, 2014

All EZ Grants and Project Grants Applications Due
June 3, 2014

Grant awards announced on State Library Site.

FY 2013-14 RttT Budget Submission – PRC 156
LEAs and Charter Schools must submit their FY 2013-14 RttT budgets in the Budget and Amendment Approval System (BAAS). As of August 22, 73 LEAs/Charter Schools had NOT YET submitted FY 2013-14 RttT budgets. RttT budgets must be submitted and approved through the BAAS before LEAs or charter schools may spend RttT funds for this fiscal year. If you have not submitted the FY 2013-14 RttT budget in BAAS, please do so by Friday, Sept. 6.

Informing Instructional Improvement through Data Literacy
The Wikispace pages provide educators with a five stage, cyclical process for data-driven decision-making. A fillable fishbone diagram is available for download and can be used to identify causes and effects in a classroom, school or district setting based on data analysis. A data action plan template can be downloaded and used to develop a SMART goal, determine specific strategies to be implemented and identify data sources to be used to assess goal achievement. Additional resources related to each of the five stages of the data-driven decision-making process are also available on the wikispace pages.

NCREN Community Day 2013 Announcement
As summer comes to a close, we look ahead with enthusiasm for our annual NCREN Community Day event. We cordially invite you to participate in this year’s event on Nov. 21-22 at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library on the campus of NC State University in Raleigh. This year’s theme is The Connected State. Make plans now to join us this fall as we highlight recent accomplishments in networking and explore a future without bandwidth restraints and connection barriers in North Carolina. Questions: Contact Darleene Heath at (919) 248.1993 or

Guidelines for Establishing Roles and Permissions Within Schoolnet
Schoolnet is a role-based application. Permissions in Schoolnet are dependent upon roles and the operations that are assigned to each role. In order to successfully log into Schoolnet from PowerSchool, each user must be permissioned with a DEFAULT role.
In preparation for Home Base “go live,” an initial permissioning to grant users access has been completed. We have permissioned teachers with a default as “teacher” and all of other users as “staff.” Teachers represent the majority of users and should not require further permissioning. Your next step is to permission the remainder of your staff using the steps below.

July 2013

2013-14 Professional Development Calendar
The 2013-2014 comprehensive PD calendar is now accessible from the PD webpage. The link can be found under “Training Opportunities and Featured PD Information.” MORE INFO: Yvette Stewart, Educator Effectiveness

READYNC YouTube Channel Premieres
Catch up on Race to the Top-related videos on the new READYNC channel on YouTube. Content includes video segments from the READY Outreach Meetings over the last year, plus podcasts and more. And, as always, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, @ncpublicschools, and on Facebook (search NC READY Initiative).

Phase lll Online Professional Development Modules
Online learning modules should be used over time as part of PLCs, during staff meetings or independently (over a series of days). Central office personnel might also use them for district training with specific groups. The modules are designed for in a variety of settings – by individuals or by cohorts, with or without a facilitator, depending on local needs. NCDPI is pleased to announce the recent release of Phase III online professional development modules for the 2013-14 academic year. All are available through the NC Education site. Please review the updated implementation guide.
Modules include:
Building and Sustaining Professional Development
Data Literacy in Action
Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects, Part 2
NC Principal and Assistant Principal Evaluation: Understanding the Process
NC Teacher Evaluation: Understanding the Process
Responsibilities of the 21st-Century Educator
21st-Century Mentoring
Universal Design for Learning

Two additional modules were released earlier this year:
Measures of Student Learning: Common Exams, Grades 9–12
Measures of Student Learning: Common Exams, Middle and Elementary Grades

MORE INFO: Dr. Lynne Johnson, Director of Educator Effectiveness, or Dr. Geetanjali Soni, Online Module Developer

EVAAS FAQs Now Available Online
With the many changes that are occurring in our schools, the NCDPI seeks to provide as much information as possible up front for our teachers, principals and support staff. One of these provisions is a new FAQ feature for the Educator Value-Added Assessment System (EVAAS). It offers answers to the most commonly-asked questions about EVAAS, including the incorporation of EVAAS into the State's accountability and educator effectiveness models.

New Website Explains Common Core and More
North Carolina’s Standard Course of Study includes the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and mathematics. The State Board of Education adopted these standards in 2010; and local districts and charter schools have been implementing them since last fall. Nonetheless, there continue to be questions about the Common Core, what these standards are and are not, and why North Carolina chose to use these multi-state-developed standards as its own. To help your team and you in communicating about the Common Core State Standards, we've launched a new Common Core webpage that gathers in one location many of the information resources that were already on the NCDPI website and some new resources. A direct link is available under “Highlights” on the NCDPI website. Two specifically helpful features of this site include, “13 Things to Know about Common Core in North Carolina” and “Frequently Asked Questions.” Each of these documents is available as a printable PDF that you can use with parents or others. These documents are available in the left side navigation bar on the page.

IMPORTANT: Changes to NCWiseOwl
This year marks the first time since the inception of the WiseOwl program in 1999 that we have made any significant changes that involve dropping resources. Since the addition of the EBSCO databases several years ago, we have been concerned with the fact that there is considerable overlap of content between the Gale/Cengage databases (InfoTrac, InfoBits, etc.) and the EBSCO products (Student Research Center, Kids Search, EBSCOhost, etc.). The fact that Cengage Learning, the company that provides InfoTrac products, has recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy also concerns us. Another issue that we have been considering is the critical need for eBooks and quality primary source images to support the Common Core and Essential Standards, particularly since textbook and library acquisitions funding has become problematic.
For the above reasons, and others, we have dropped ourGale/Cengage databases and added two major collections of eBooks, as well as the AP Images database from EBSCO. Our users who have become accustomed to the InfoTrac products will find that the EBSCO databases may be searched in essentially the same manner, and that they contain more magazines and PDF files than the equivalent InfoTrac products.
Below is a summary of the new additions to the WiseOwlcollection of resources:

The K-8 Collection contains nearly 4,800 titles, and the High School Collection includes nearly 5,100 titles, with new titles added to each collection quarterly. Both collections include content that spans all academic subjects and incorporates selections of classic literary works, important historical documents, and general reference works. The content in both eBook collections is downloadable to a variety of devices. Chapters may be transferred to Kindles, iPads and other e-readers. Users also have the ability to search alongside other EBSCO content, adding magazines, journals and other EBSCO resources to their results.
AP Images
The AP Images Collection is a primary source database with millions of images from 1826 to the present, and more than 3,500 additionalphotographs are added daily. The collection also includes 36,400 audio sound bytes dating from the 1920s, and more than 2,900 multimedia interactives. The multimedia interactives represent a compilation of integrated video, graphics and photos that bring the latest news and educational topics to life. In addition, AP Images Collection provides 2.7 million Associated Press news stories from 1997 to the present, and a professionally produced collection of more than 340,000 maps, graphs, charts, logos, flags and illustrations. As always, we provide free staff development at the for any LEA that would like training on using WiseOwl resources effectively.

ID Fields in PowerSchool - Critical to the Single Sign-On Functionality
As you are setting up your roles in Home Base and providing staff access to the system, keep in mind all staff UID numbers are required. Here are some tips as you set up:
Local ID number on Staff Info screen: Several LEAs have inquired about the six-digit ID number found on the Staff Info screen in PowerSchool. This number is the Local ID number pulled over from eSIS. This number should NOT be altered or deleted because it is the key that identifies where the Phase 2B imports are loaded.
StatePrid number on the Staff Info screen: The StatePrid number field located below this ID field on the Staff Info screen is for the UID number. This field may or may not be filled in, depending on whether the 10-digit UID number was present in eSIS. If the StatePrld field is empty, LEAs/charters will need to enter the staff ten digit UID number in this field.

The StatePrid number field is a required field for the NC Home Base system. The Single-Sign-On functionality in Home Base will not work if this StatePrid field does not contain the UID. Once the StatePRID field is complete, the overnight processes have to run for the user to have access to all of the Home Base systems.
In addition to completing this StatePrid field, all users will need to have a Schoolnet role set up in PowerSchool. Users that existed in eSIS have been set up as either Staff or Teacher during the implementation. Data Managers will need to add new users and adjust the Staff role as appropriate.

MORE INFO: For more on Schoolnet roles, please see the document at
If you have questions or concerns about these fields or access to Home Base, please contact the Home Base Support Center at
NOTE: A few issues have been identified and are either being rectified immediately or explored further for a thorough resolution. PowerSchool issues and their fixes are being communicated to users via NC SIS email and the PowerSource Forum. Users may visit our “What’s New” page at's_new.html to get a view of the more recent communications and new or updated training documentation. One such issue being addressed involves access during this first phase rollout, specifically to reach NCEES and Schoolnet from PowerSchool. Here is the latest document to help you. Please read "Resolving Common Access Errors in Schoolnet and/or NCEES found here:

Resources for Home Base Rollout Educate and Update Users
Are you ready for the Home Base rollout? Check out resources on the Home Base website to help administrators and educators transition to Home Base and PowerSchool. Some of the new material includes:
A page that provides a variety of material to guide districts in their implementation of Home Base. Training materials for the PowerSchool portion of Home Base. Information about groups and partnerships that support the implementation of Home Base. A document that explains how NCDPI uses the NC Summary Rubric to identify and evaluate online quality instruction for Home Base. In addition, take a look at the Home Base Biweekly Update to see the latest news on Home Base.

RttT Website Redesign Makes it Easier to Find Reports and Plans
Portions of the Race to the Top (RttT) website have been redesigned to make it easier for internal and external stakeholders to find information about North Carolina’s RttT program.
The Reports page now provides separate links to weekly updates, monthly status reports, evaluation reports and reports to the General Assembly and the U.S. Department of Education. The State Plan page features sections highlighting the approved state plan, annual goals and scope of work, budget and the monitoring plan.

Updated Data Management Available on the Web
A number of policies for managing data have been updated on the Data and Statistics website. The revised policies cover data quality, security and research facilitation, and include:
DMG-2008-003-DQ: Data Audit/Data Profiling
DMG-2009-001-SE: Security of Confidential Data on Desktops and Laptops
DMG-2009-003-SE: DPI Access to Information and Systems Policy
DMG-2009-001-RR: Sharing Data with Researchers
DMG-2009-002-RR: Requests for Personally Identifiable Information

Back to School Vendor Lunch and Learns August 21-23

MCNC’s Broadband for the Future event now scheduled for Aug. 12. Registration is open.
MCNC will celebrate the completion of the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative (GLRBI) by hosting Broadband for the Future on Monday, Aug. 12, from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Originally planned on June 21, this event will leverage the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) and highlight the immense reach of the GLRBI by staging connected events in (Asheville, Charlotte, Elizabeth City, and Research Triangle Park). The goal is to show what’s possible for NCREN users today and showcase the possibilities of a future where bandwidth scales to any need. This historic project for North Carolina already is having a positive impact on student learning, patient outcomes in health care, economic outcomes in job creation and community development, and is accelerating innovation and research all across the state. In August, we’ll highlight some of these impacts through some great speakers who can share first hand the impact of the project.The event also is a chance to thank the many who helped make this successful project possible. If you previously registered for the event planned in June, please take a few minutes to register for this new date.
Click to Tweet MCNC announces Aug. 12 as the new date for Broadband for the Future event. Have you registered? #GLRBI

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