Dates to Remember:

July 15 - Home Base Opt-in Decision Date
July 14-17 - Career and Technical Education Summer Conference, Greensboro
Aug. 5-7 - K12 Network Administrators Summer Institute, Onslow County Schools
Aug. 14 - Back to School Meeting (Vendor Supported) - Wilson (agenda, time and location TBD)
Sept. 16 - SLMC Professional Development (Creating Text Sets), Sampson County Auditorium, SCS Central Office, 437 Rowan Road, Clinton, NC
Oct. 9-11 - NCSLMA 2014 Annual Conference, Benton Convention Center, Winston-Salem, NC
Oct. 28-29 - Bridging the Gap: Uniting NC K-16 STEM Education, McKimmon Conference & Training Center, Raleigh, NC
Nov. 5-6, 2014 - NCREN Community Day

June 30, 2014

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.

Target Audience and Workshop Topics
Our target audience is two-fold: Technical Directors and data management personnel, specifically a person familiar with managing finance and UID data. Workshop topics will include NCEdCloud IAM help-desk / service support within your schools, end-user target applications, service functionality available to users with different roles (e.g. LEA Administrator, Data Auditor, Help Desk, Teacher, Student, etc), the organization of your staff and student data within the service, practical hands-on experience with the service, technical tips and tricks, and more.

To find the workshop nearest to you, please review the PDF map at will be 9 AM to 3 PM with complimentary lunch included. Attendance will be capped at 50 per workshop to best facilitate interactive communication among all.
Workshop Registration See for more workshop info, and register at
Workshop Prerequisites
Each LEA or Charter School has a homework assignment to complete prior to attending the workshop

  1. Claim your NCEdCloud IAM account before the workshop (this can be done now by any active K-12 employee in NC)
    1. Visit
    2. Review the introductory materials via the links near the top of the page
    3. Follow the Claim Account instructions to obtain access to your account
  2. Obtain the appropriate roleCome to the workshop with your own wireless-enabled laptop in hand
    1. The Tech Director should request the LEA Administrator role. [After logging into the IAM Service: Workflow button - left side; Requests - top tab; select LEA Administrator Role; Submit Request]. All requests for this elevated privilege will be vetted by NCEdCloud support staff, prior to granting the role
    2. The Data Management attendee should request the Data Auditor role. [Same process as above except choose the Data Auditor Role rather than the LEA Administrator role]

June 24, 2014

NC READY Facebook Page Shows How We're Building Teaching and Learning
See how we're building great lessons, teachers, students and even birdhouses! Check out the latest posts to our Facebook page where we're highlighting the work that's going on in North Carolina's public schools. We've got video clips, photos, links to stories and more! Visit us at

June 23, 2014

Online Summative Assessments Survey

The NCDPI would like your input, feedback and suggestions concerning Online Summative Assessments using NCEducation/NCTest. We successfully administered over 410,000 assessments this year thanks to your hard work and support!

Please complete the survey here:​ Please share this link with those within your district who worked with the NCTest Online Testing system in 2013-14. Your responses will remain anonymous.

Thank you for completing the survey before July 11, 2014 and for your dedication to the students of North Carolina!!

June 19, 2014

Home Base Opt-In Continuing with Numbers Growing Daily

The online "opt-in" map of the state is turning green as more and more local school districts and charter schools give the "green light" to opting in for Home Base for 2014-15. There are approximately 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 the Weekly Project Status report updated online each Tuesday. Access it here:

MORE INFO: The opt-in deadline is July 15. The opt-in form and details are online now on the Home Base landing page: Or, access them directly at:

Region 2 is highlighted in the Home Base Biweekly Update

See how these school districts are using Home Base and how Race to the Top (RttT) funding has supported school improvements and elevated instruction.
  • 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:

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

June 11, 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

June 2, 2014

Accessibility of Digital Content for ALL Students - Webinar
On June 5 at 2pm ET, SETDA will host a webinar for the public release of the policy brief, The Accessibility of Learning Content for All Students, Including Students with Disabilities, Must be Addressed in the Shift to Digital Instructional Materials. The webinar will explore important considerations and strategies regarding the accessibility of digital content for all students, including students with disabilities. Presenters will discuss open educational resources, the Universal Design for Learning Framework, and federal law requirements regarding accessibility of instructional materials. The session will provide recommendations for effectively managing the increased use of digital content to enhance the educational experiences of all students. There will an opportunity for state and district leaders to ask questions and share examples of their own approaches to ensuring accessibility in digital content.

• Geoff Fletcher, Deputy Executive Director, SETDA
• Chuck Hitchcock, Chief Officer, Policy and Technology & Director, National AIM Center, CAST, Inc.
• Reg Leichty, Partner, EducationCounsel LLC
• Kate Lipper, Policy and Legal Advisor, EducationCounsel LLC

This webinar is free and open to all interested parties; however, space may be limited. Please register and share the registration RSVP: Webinar coordinates will be distributed based on information provided in your RSVP. There are no fees associated with this webinar.

May 30, 2014

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 are as follows:
It is important that each LEA participating in this program have someone attend these webinars.
If you have any questions please feel free to email or call my office at 919-807-3885.

May 27, 2014

If you missed the webinar this past Thursday on Who Owns Teacher-Created Content in a Digital Age? the archive can be accessed at the following location:

May 20, 2014

Legislative Updates to be Posted Online Each Friday - Keep on top of the latest legislative happenings by visiting the Legislative Web page at The Weekly Legislative Update is usually posted each Friday by 5 p.m. Currently online is the May 16 update.

Race to the Top No-Cost Extension Info Online
The US Department of Education has awarded a no-cost extension for North Carolina's Race to the Top grant. The Race to the Top team has developed a quick "Points of Note" sheet that features fingertip information about what this means for the state, along with local districts and charter schools.
The document can be accessed by visiting the RttT Frequently Asked Questions page,, and clicking on the pdf link under Race to the Top Year 5 No Cost Extension Points of Note.
For those of you seeking greater detail around the no-cost extension, your questions may be addressed by listening to a webinar recorded last month. It can be found at
MORE INFO: Michael Yarbrough, Communication and Information Services,

May 14, 2014
NC WiseOwl Annual 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 (
AMTR Reminder
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.

AMTR Registration
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

AMTR General Information
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


We have uploaded data from years past as well as current data. Here is the link to the Wiki:
Contact Cathy Mathews or Julian Nichols-Wilson for questions and clarifications.​

May 13, 2014

A list of frequently asked questions was compiled from the two recently held SAR webinars. Please see the following document, FAQ for SAR 2014, for answers to the questions. For more information or assistance, please contact Sandra Johnson at

May 12, 2014

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
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 (instructional resources and assessment items), the NC Professional Development Management System (Truenorthlogic) for local content creation and administration, and OpenClass (Collaborative Environment). 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

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. Intel® Teach professional development empowers 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. Through the NCDPI Digital Teaching and Learning division, trained facilitators can offer free online training through Home Base’s Professional Development system. The Intel® Teach Elements courses can be delivered in flexible formats: 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. Trainers can meet with district leaders to determine which course(s) best meet their needs and customize the delivery of those courses to meet district goals.

For more information about the Intel® Teach program, visit you are interested in providing this opportunity in your districts and schools, send requests via email to Deborah Goodman, NCDPI Intel ITA Coordinator, at

May 9, 2014
NC WiseOwl and EBSCO will be offering an "EBSCOhost Basics" Webinar on Tuesday May 13th at 3:30 pm. EBSCOhost is the professional level WiseOwl database with full-text access to over 3000 magazines and professional journals. A registration link for the Webinar is located at This session will be archived for those who cannot attend. Questions may be addressed to Dan Sparlin ( Webinar notifications may also be obtained by following ³WiseOwlGuide² on Twitter.
Free on-site staff development on WiseOwl for any LEA level group may be arranged by contacting Dan Sparlin at the above email address.

May 5, 2014
NC WiseOwl and EBSCO will be offering a Webinar this Thursday (the 8th) at 3:30 pm on Using NoveList for Readers’ Advisory in Fiction and Non-Fiction - Teaching with Books and Applying to Core Curriculum. A registration link is located at This session will be archived for those who cannot attend. Questions may be addressed to Dan Sparlin ( Webinar notifications may also be obtained by following “WiseOwlGuide” on Twitter.
Free on-site staff development on WiseOwl for any LEA level group may be arranged by contacting Dan Sparlin at the above email address.

Upcoming Webinar Series on Roles and Permissions in SchoolNet
Over the next two weeks, there will be a two-part webinar series on Roles and Permissions in Schoolnet. These sessions will review the specific roles and permissions needed to enable users to access information and functionality specific for and appropriate to their roles. We will discuss the difference between roles, what capabilities are inherent with each role and what the optional permissions allow users to do.
The two webinars in this Roles and Permissions series will both be held on Thursday afternoons from 3:30-4:30 p.m.
  1. The first will be Thursday, May 8. To attend “An Overview of Roles and Permissions,” register here:
  2. The second, on Thursday, May 15, reviews specific use-cases we have worked through with districts and charter schools that have already implemented Schoolnet. To attend “Managing Roles and Permissions,” register here:

E-rate BootcampsPlease use the following link to register for bootcamp this summer. (You may simply reply to this message.) I very much look forward to sharing a few days with my friends and colleagues as we navigate the E-rate 2.0 waters.

Agenda for the bootcamp will be available shortly, but will cover all USAC Forms, tips for competitive bidding and working with vendors, program compliance, and understanding the nuances of program rules, policies and procedures. Please share this message with others in your school or district who could benefit and hope to see you this summer.

May 2, 2014If you're looking for the READY Regional Outreach presentation that was held at the Wilmington Convention Center on April 14th, it can be found at here.
SAR Webinars (April 28 and 29)
The webinar will be posted soon on the NC SIS website at The PowerPoint presentation used in the Webinar is posted at
PowerSchool Users Group meeting
On Friday, May 30th there will be a Region 1/2 Users Group meeting for district-level PowerSchool coordinators. Rosalyn Galloway is going to join us in person that day for a hands-on session, which will take place at the NC TeleCenter, 415 East Blvd, Williamston. We can host a total of 60 people for the session— which means 1-2 from each LEA/charter. Please do not sign up more than 2 people (max) for this session.

Who: PowerSchool district-level coordinators in Regions 1 & 2
When: Friday, May 30, 2014
Where: NC TeleCenter, 415 East Blvd, Williamston, NC (Martin County)
Time: 10:00 AM – 3:30 PM (Lunch is on your own. Restaurants and fast food are within one mile of the meeting site.)
Registration: Click here:

May 1, 2014
ACTION REQUIRED: NCREN connected entities must submit updated Form 479, (2014) via email to Jeannene Hurley no later than May 31, 2014.
NCDPI must annually collect a signed E-rate Form 479 from all K-12 State Network Consortium members. This affirms the entity is in compliance with current FCC Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) rules. The correct form (2014) maybe downloaded using this link from the USAC website:
  • Fill in all contact information on page one and top of page two,
  • Type a form identifier using your LEA number, or Charter number, and the year 2014; e.g. LEA### 2014
  • Authorized individual (or designee, e.g. CTO) must sign and date the bottom of page two
  • Scan, then email ALL THREE PAGES to Jeannene Hurley (
Reminder: "Administrative Authority" on the form is the name of the school, NOT a person's name.
If you have any questions about this process, please call or email Jeannene Hurley.

April 28, 2014
AMTR Contact Updates
If you have not already done so, please download and review the AMTR contact sheet for your LEA/charter. Please mark any individual accounts that should be disabled in column G (no longer in the LEA or no longer responsible for the AMTR). If an individual has moved to another school in the LEA, please list the name of the new school in column H. We can not add accounts, so those who need to register a new account will have to do so using their NCID. Please remind your staff to use their school email addresses rather than a personal one when registering.

If you need to review registration process, please see the registration document. Please send the completed form to Julian Nichols-Wilson at and copy me.

If you have any questions, you may also contact Julian. Thank you!

So You're Interested in Opting Into Home Base webinar

NCTest Secure Browser and NCTest iPad App Messages for Online Assessment
The document linked here was shared out on the Director's List serve to help offer possible solutions to NCTest issues. The chart will be available on TNN under the NCTest Secure Browser Heading. It 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.

NCEdCloud IAM Service - General Availability Announcement for all LEAs and Charter School

2014 NCSLMA Call to Present is Open
The theme for this year's NC School Library Media Association Conference is EXTREME MAKEOVER: EVOLVING LIBRARIES EDITION. Rooms will be equipped with a VGA projector, but presenters need to bring their own laptop computer and adapter cables if needed for Mac devices. The deadline to submit is July 11, 2014. You can apply using the following link -
SAR Webinars
NCDPI will host a SAR webinar Monday, April 28 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesday, April 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Topics of discussion will include SAR Data Collection and Timeline, SAR Exceptions and Corrective Actions, and the Differences in the New SAR Review and Edit Process in PowerSchool vs. the Former Process. The same topics will be covered in both sessions, so you only need to register for the one that is more convenient to your schedule. Also, attached for your convenience are the Course and Section Attributes document and the 2014 School Activity SAR Guidelines.

Please note: This will not be a training session of how to correct the data in PowerSchool; however, we will answer questions and follow-up as needed. If you have questions prior to the webinar that you would like addressed, please email those to Sandra Johnson at

Registration Links for Webinars
Monday, April 28:
Tuesday, April 29:

Please DO NOT use the new launch method for the Gradebook at this time.
On the PowerTeacher portal navigation menu, you will notice the New Gradebook Launch method. Previously, it was stated that users would have the ability to turn off this new PowerTeacher 2.8 feature. However, we have later learned that this option CANNOT be turned off. Therefore, if you launch the Gradebook, please DO NOT click the “Launch” button that appears on the screen as this requires the setup and use of the new launch method. Users should use the old “Launch” button in its place as identified by the red circle in the illustration below.
If you have any questions pertaining to the launching of the new PowerTeacher 2.8 Gradebook feature, please contact the Home Base Support Center at

April 17, 2014
PRC 15 Revision 28

April 14, 2014
NCDPI and MCNC are working with Apple to conduct a series of short sessions around the state focused on Apple Deployment Programs. In the session, Apple Engineers will discuss the best practices to configure, deploy, and manage Apple products in an education environment using Apple's new services for Device Enrollment, Volume Purchasing and AppleID for Students.
Five sessions are scheduled, with the dates/times, locations and registration links as follows:
Tuesday, April 29th – 9:00 am to 11:30 am
Edenton-Chowan School District
100 Blade Street
Edenton, NC 27932

Thursday, May 1st – 9:00 am to 11:30 am
Sampson County Schools
437 Rowan Road
Clinton, NC 28329

Tuesday, May 6th - 9:00 am to 11:30 am
Bldg. 3
3021 East Cornwallis Road
Durham, NC 2709

If you are interested in attending a session, please register at the appropriate link. Space will be limited to 30 attendees at each location.
Please contact Dave Furiness with MCNC at if you have questions.

April 8, 2014

AMTR Update from Julian Nichols-Wilson
The process that we are working through with the AMTR involves deleting quite a few questions, updating some with better choices for answers, and adding a few new ones that are necessary for richer information. We should know next week how soon we will be able to get these changes programmed into the AMTR by the Information Technology department. At that point we will be in a better position to ascertain just when the link will again be “live.”

I know that this is frustrating for everyone, but the final product should have updates that are more applicable. Data that has been entered up to this point will be harvested and saved, and then shared with you. We plan to provide LEAs with a list of the new set of questions so that you may prepare yourself for the data entry process. Users will continue to access via the same link.

April 4, 2014
WiseOwl and EBSCO will be presenting two Webinars covering WiseOwl resources for secondary science, social studies, and language arts teachers. The Science Reference Center will be covered on Tuesday, April 8th at 3:30 pm. The Literary Reference Center and Points of View databases will be addressed on Wednesday, April 9th at 3:30 pm. Both Webinars will be available as archives for those who cannot participate live. Information and registration available at – questions may be addressed to Dan Sparlin (

April 3, 2014
New and Updated Documents on the Web
Importing and Exporting Student E-mail Addresses (QRD)

March 31, 2014
State Superintendent Atkinson Provides Home Base Update in Video
State Superintendent June Atkinson provides an update on the second half of the roll out for Home Base in a short video available at In the video, Dr. Atkinson talks about the successes, challenges and new things to come in the tools that make up the Home Base system.

March 28, 2014
Region 2 Summer Institute 2014 Webinar - April 7th, 3:30pm---
Join us to get the latest information on Region 2 SI 2014. Click this link to start or to join the Webinar:

Find the latest version of the NCREN monthly reports now available in the NSOC space located in EdSpace. Please use the following link to access the content at

READY IV Meeting for Region 2 is scheduled for Monday, April 14th 1:30-4:30 p.m. at the Wilmington Convention Center

Tracy Weeks named NCDPI's Chief Academic and Digital Learning Officer
Former North Carolina Virtual Public School Executive Director Tracy Weeks was named NCDPI’s Chief Academic and Digital Learning Officer at last week’s State Board of Education meeting. Weeks is a former high school math teacher, instructional technology specialist and adjunct assistant professor at the university level. She has strong experience in collaborating with teachers on integrating technology and online learning into their classes; leading teams in developing and implementing online curricula; and managing and organizing the business, financial and instructional aspects of the NCVPS. She has a bachelor’s degree in secondary mathematics education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a master’s degree in instructional technology and a doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction from North Carolina State University. In her new role, she will lead the department’s Curriculum and Instruction, Career and Technical Education, Digital Teaching and Learning, and Exceptional Children divisions, NCVPS and Home Base support and development.

Topliff Named 2014 NCVPS Teacher of the Year - Congratulations to North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) Occupational Course of Study teacher Maria Topliff who was named the 2014 NCVPS Teacher of the Year. Prior to joining the NCVPS where she teaches OCS Blended English 2 and is one of the instructional leaders for American History, Topliff taught for six years in the Onslow County School System. She said her top priority is making a difference in the lives of her students. “I believe that teachers have far more influence in our students’ lives than we can imagine.” She will now represent North Carolina in the National Online Teacher of the Year competition. The previous three state winners were finalists for the National Online Teacher of the Year Award; and NCVPS’s Leslie Fetzer was the 2012 national recipient.

Important: Do Your Homework Prior to Attending Build Workshops
While this message has been shared with districts and charters, we wanted to repeat it here: It is imperative for those attending the Build Workshops to come prepared. Participants must have these required tasks completed before coming to the workshop:
-- Complete Checklist – Participants must complete the checklist from the Prepare to Build session in preparation for this class. When attendees are not prepared, a large amount of time is consumed by getting the participant prepared which takes away from our ultimate goal – building a schedule for the participant’s school. You can obtain that checklist here:
-- Print Reports – There is also a list of reports that needs to be run after data entry is completed and before attending the workshop. These reports should be run to check your data. You can view a list of these reports here:
Note: Attendees who have not completed all necessary steps in preparation for this workshop will be sent away to finish the required tasks so the trainer can work with those who are prepared.
MORE INFO: If there are schools needing to attend a Build Workshop, please register NOW! Workshops with low enrollment are being moved to areas that need more seats. If there is not a workshop with available seats close to you, please notify Wendy Hinson at

VPP+DEP: Leveraging Apple's New IT Deployment Programs Webinar - April 3rd
Tad Johnson will walk you through these two enterprise-focused enhancements and show you how, with Casper Suite, you can now:
  • Configure and customize the setup experience for your users—as well as ensure their devices are enrolled in the JSS—without ever having to touch the device
  • Wipe and re-enroll devices instantly if trouble arises
  • Reassign apps to different users – saving both time and money
  • And more
Join us Thursday, April 3rd, from 2:00 – 2:30 p.m. CT (3:00 - 3:30 p.m. ET) for Tad’s informative and interactive presentation. Register today!

March 20, 2014
New Professional Development Tool Goes Live April 1 (Changed to April 15th)
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,

The updated 2014-15 Course Code spreadsheet is now posted on the NC SIS website and the corresponding course codes for 2014-15 are in Powerschool. You can find the list at
As noted in the email from last week, this 2014-15 spreadsheet consolidates in one list all active codes for 2014-15, including AP/IB, CCP, and CTE courses that will be available in PowerSchool. There will be no other changes made in the 2014-15 list except those involving error corrections that may be found or course codes for new courses should they be needed and/or requested by LEAs.
Access the latest SBE Newsletter - March 2014

Two New Build Workshops
Two new Build Workshops have been added to the training calendar. You may register for these training sessions and others by clicking on the links below.
Mooresville – May 6-9
Martin – May 20-23

March 9, 2014
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 (

March 5, 2014
Director's Meeting scheduled @NCTies in State Room A/B Marriott, 4:15 PM - 6:00 PMRegister here
READY Outreach Regional Meetings
As we enter the homestretch of the Race to the Top grant, we are offering a fourth round of READY meetings to update you on priority streams of work, and as always, to provide ample time for feedback.

We know that there have been concerns around the progress of Home Base, and we understand the need for more information and input. To this end, the READY Regional Outreach Meetings will reserve a significant segment of time devoted to updating you on the status of Home Base across the state and opt-in information for the 2014-15 school year. In addition, we will provide you with updates on the Educator Effectiveness plan along with the latest on the General Assembly's School Performance Grades, which will be reported in August based on the 2013-14 school year’s results.

There are key leaders in your central office and community whose work is directly affected by the issues we will discuss. For this reason, we encourage you to please invite the person in the following positions (or an appropriate designee) to attend the READY meeting in your region with you:

• Curriculum and Instruction Director
• Human Resources Director
• Technology Director
• Finance Director
• Data Manager
• Parent Representative, such as a PTA President

Below are the meeting dates, times and locations for each region. Please RSVP to Joyce Myers,, no later than three weeks before the date of your meeting (RSVP deadlines are indicated for each region).
Region 2 – Monday, April 14, 1:30 TO 4:30 PM – Wilmington Convention Center (RSVP deadline, Monday, March 24)

Dates for 2014 Summer Institutes Now OnlineDates for the 2014 Summer Institutes are available on the Professional Development website at New information is being added regularly, so district personnel are encouraged to check the website for updates such as registration opportunities and agendas for the Institutes.

February 24, 2014
Learn More about the 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. Likewise, 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. To learn more about this exciting new component and options that will be available, please attend a webinar Thursday, Feb. 27, from 4-5 p.m. Human resource and professional development directors are especially encouraged to attend.Register at The webinar will be recorded.
February 14, 2014
Frances Herring, Contentnea-Savannah K-8 School (Lenoir County Schools), on being selected as one of eight regional Wells Fargo North Carolina Principals of the Year. Frances will now compete for the state title of 2014 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year.
Melissa Gillespie, Laney High (New Hanover County Schools), on being selected as one of nine regional Teachers of the Year and will now compete for the title of 2014-15 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year.
We wish them much luck as they compete for state titles!

Home Base Among Topics at READY IV Meetings This Spring
As we enter the homestretch of the Race to the Top (RttT) grant, the NCDPI leadership has invited superintendents and key local district leadership to a fourth round of READY Regional Outreach Meetings in March and April 2014. The purpose of these gatherings is to provide updates on the priority activities of the READY initiative work and look toward the future after the RttT grant is over.

Key topics for these meetings are:
• Home Base – where we are to date, what it means to opt-in to the non-required parts, and more;
• educator effectiveness; and
• the General Assembly's A-F Accountability Model, which will be reported out for the first time in fall 2014.

Superintendents were notified this week of the central office personnel to accompany them to the meetings. They include:
• Curriculum and Instruction Director
• Human Resources Director
• Technology Director
• Finance Director
• Data Coordinator
• Parent Representative, such as a PTA President

Superintendents are notifying the NCDPI their intent to attend and bring colleagues.
MORE INFO: Michael Yarbrough, Communication and Information Services,

It's Almost Here: Home Base Symposium; New This Year is the Pearson Hub
Participants planning to attend the Feb. 17-19 Home Base Symposium at Greensboro's Koury Convention Center may want to check out The Pearson Hub. Offered in the Blue Ashe room, the Hub is the place where Pearson staff will meet with school district representatives. The room is available for Pearson team members to meet with you to problem solve and collaborate on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 17 and 18, from 8-11 a.m. to 1-4 p.m. both days, and on the final Symposium day, Wednesday, Feb. 19, from 8-11 a.m.

Home Base's Collaboration and Course Management Tool Is OpenClass: Sign-Up Now!
The NCDPI and Pearson started work with interested districts to set up and train on OpenClass. Set-up means ensuring roster syncing between PowerSchool and OpenClass, and that students and teachers can access OpenClass through the Home Base single sign-on (the PowerSchool portal). OpenClass is a powerful online tool that is primarily a teacher tool — a flexible environment for collaboration, content delivery, feedback and collection of student work — many of the features that are included in most Learning Management Systems (LMS).

The Sign-Up Process: Because we are supporting set-up at a district-level based on interest, superintendents or their designees need to sign up (the sooner districts express interest, the sooner they'll have access). The sign-up link is included in an email that went to all superintendents. Additionally, the link has been posted on the Academic Services News Network. After a district expresses interest, we'll work with each district to set up and train on OpenClass.

FOR MORE: There's more information about OpenClass in the Jan. 15 webinar archived at:

February 13, 2014
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. I'd like to give a "shout out" to Onslow County and Sampson County for being in the top 5!!!

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.

February 6, 2014
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. Discussions focused on federal policy landscape, the journey of digital learning, digital learning in action, and making a difference shared by educational experts. At 11:00 AM FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, one of the special guests on Federal Policy Landscape and Special Guests spoke about E-Rate Modernization. You can access his remarks by visiting:

The AMTR Wiki has received a facelift. We have uploaded data from years past as well as current data. This will afford LEAs the opportunity to access the same information that they have enjoyed in previous years. The AMTR is open and ready for updates from LEAs.
Here is the link to the Wiki:

February 5, 2014
Happy Digital Learning Day!Project Tomorrow is proud to celebrate Digital Learning Day with the release of the Speak Up 2013 data results to all participating organizations and the launch of the Speak Up for Higher Education survey "Tomorrow's Teachers Speak Up!".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. It is our hope that you will use your Speak Up 2013 data results to stimulate new conversations about the value of digital learning, and in particular, to underscore the importance of including the views of your stakeholders – students, parents and educators – in these vital discussions. To find out how you can get involved in all the great events taking place today, please visit the Digital Learning Day website at:
Quick Links:Did your organization participate in Speak Up?** Click here for instructions on how to access your Speak Up Data ResultsSave the Date!** April 8, 2014 ~ Speak Up Congressional BriefingSpeak Up for Higher Education survey Tomorrow's Teachers Speak Up! Is now open for input through May 16th!Speak Up on the Go**- New Speak Up presentations and findingsNeed Help With Your Speak Up Data?** Learn more about our Speak Up Services
It's easy to view your Speak Up results onlineThe results are in and you may view your district or school results along with national comparisons by following the steps below:1) Click here to access your reports.2) Select Option 1 to view district results or option 2 to individual school results.3.) Next, enter the state, the first few letters of your district or school name and your district or school administrative password.The results will be displayed and may be printed or copied onto an Excel Spreadsheet or this Speak Up 2013 Excel Template.Forgot your password? If you are registered as the primary contact of your organization please click here to retrieve your password information.Not the primary contact, visit our "look up an organization" page to locate your organization's primary contact on record. For confidentiality reasons, we provide passwords to the Speak Up contact of record only. To sign up as the primary contact (if one is not on file) please contact Jenny Hostert on the Speak Up Team
National Release of Speak Up 2013 National Findings2014 Congressional Briefing
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Please join us for the release of the Speak Up 2013 National Findings. This is the first of two Congressional Briefings on the data results from the 403,000 online Speak Up surveys submitted from education stakeholders nationwide in fall 2013.The April 8th briefing will include a presentation of the national findings and a moderated panel discussion with students and educators. This year’s national report on the findings will be distributed to all attendees.To RSVP to attend the briefing or to request a copy of the report, please visit our website at: you need additional information about Speak Up or the Congressional Briefing, please feel free to contact Jenny Hostert at or 949 609-4660 ext 17.
2014 Home Base Symposium Program Booklet
The 2014 Home Base Symposium Program Booklet which includes this year’s speakers, presenters, course list and master schedule has been posted to the NC SIS website’s Symposium page ( Please feel free to use this booklet to plan your schedule prior to attending the symposium. You may download the booklet by clicking on the following link:

Upcoming Webinar Aimed at Administrators
District Administrators are the target audience for the Thursday, Feb. 6, webinarAdvanced Curriculum Manager Dashboard. Topics include instruction on entering curriculum documents and uploading district resources and instructional units. The webinar is from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Register here:

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

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.

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.

January 24, 2014
New on the Web: Roles for Instructional Coaches Using Schoolnet
If your school has Instructional Coaches, or those in similar positions, who need access to aggregate data and lesson plans in Schoolnet, you will need to add specific roles to their account. A new document provides steps and guidance for giving school-level staff access to aggregate data and access to the teacher lesson planner. To help you, a new document, “More on Roles and Permissions – Access for School Instructional Coaches,” has been added to the Home Base website at: There you’ll also find general information about roles and permissions, as well as documents outlining how to set up a teacher with access to build benchmark assessments and to share assessments.MORE INFO: For questions, please contact the Home Base Support Center at

January 22, 2014
Feb 5 - Digital Learning Day Image-Peter H Reynolds Artwork.jpgDigital Learning Day
Once 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:

Regional Teacher of the Year
Congratulations to Melissa Gillespie, Laney High (New Hanover County Schools) on being selected as regional teacher of the year! The 2014-15 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year will be announced April 3 during a luncheon ceremony in Cary.

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.
By opting in, local districts agree to pay $4 per student based on average daily membership 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.

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
MORE INFO: Mike Martin, Policy and Planning,

January 21, 2014
2013-14 Digital School Districts Survey
The Center for Digital Education, in partnership with the National School Boards Association, invites all U.S. public school districts to participate in the 2013-14 Digital School Districts Survey. The purpose of the survey is to recognize exemplary school boards and districts’ use of technology to govern the district, communicate with students, parents and the community and to improve district operations.
The deadline for responses is Tuesday, February 11, 2014.

Top-ranked districts will receive the Digital School Districts Survey award and will be honored at a reception during the National School Board Association’s annual conference April 5-7, 2014 in New Orleans. Additionally, winners will be featured on their website and in the Yearbook and other publications.For more information and the online entry form,
January 10, 2014
NCCAT Class Offerings
Please pass on these great digital teaching and learning classes being offered at NCCAT …

  • Jan. 14-17: Digital Learning Across the Curriculum in Cullowhee
  • Feb. 12-15: Digital Learning Across the Curriculum in Cullowhee
  • Feb. 19-22: Using Data Wisely
Link to calendar of events -

Webinar from Britannica and NC WiseOwl
Britannica and NC WiseOwl are offering a Webinar titled "Digital Discoveries for Black History Month: New Resources, New Lesson Plans, New Perspectives." The Webinar, which is scheduled for January 15th at 3 pm, targets the middle school English Language Arts and Social Studies areas. Information is available in the Webinars section of NC WiseOwl ( As always, free on-site staff development is available at the LEA level to facilitate the use of WiseOwl resources in the curriculum. Questions and requests may be addressed to Dan Sparlin (

January 6, 2014
Happy New Year!
SBAC and Addressing Accommodations
For questions concerning how SBAC addresses accommodations, etc., please refer to the following FAQ which has links out to other docs at the bottom.

December 19, 2013
Register Now for 2014-15 CeCTO -
Schools are in a transformational era of education. As such, superintendents and educational technology directors are facing increasing challenges and responsibilities. As the lines between traditional functional services and departments begin to blur, senior and IT leadership are charged with 1) managing the constantly expanding role for IT within the LEA and charter schools, 2) protecting the LEA and charters from ever-increasing security threats, and 3) keeping up with the pace of new technology.To help ensure you are prepared for these changes, the Certified Educational Chief Technology Officers Program (CeCTO) was developed. This is the fifth year for this exciting and dynamic program, and 98 LEAs and charter schools have already participated and benefited from the program. The single program features two components: one for superintendents and one for technology directors. Please see the attachment for additional information about the newly revamped 2014-15 CeCTO program and how to register you and your technology director.

2014-15 21st Century Community Learning Centers RFP -
The NCDPI has opened its 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) 2014-15 Request for Proposals (RFP). Any public or private organization is eligible to apply for a 21st CCLC grant. Agencies and organizations eligible under the 21st CCLC grant program include LEAs, non-profit agencies, city or county government agencies, faith-based organizations, institutions of higher education and for-profit corporations. For more information, please visit

December 18, 2013
Home Base Symposium
The first Home Base Symposium that will be held February 17 – 19, 2014 at the Sheraton Four Seasons Hotel in Greensboro, NC. This will be an information packed conference that will provide in-depth training on the functionality of PowerSchool and other components comprising the Home Base application.
Normal Registration (postmarked by 1/31/2014)................................................. …. $115.00
Late or On Site Registration (postmarked on or after 2/01/2014)…………..... $250.00

Wanted by the White House: Student Videos that Highlight the Power of Technology in Schools
The White House has announced the first ever Student Film Festival, a video contest created just for K-12 students, and whose finalists will have their short films shown at the White House. Finalist videos may also be featured on the White House website, YouTube channel, and social media pages. You can review the download entry guide here.

Registration Open for LEARN NC Spring Online Professional Development Courses Teachers can hone your instructional skills by taking a professional development course from LEARN NC. LEARN NC offers a full slate of Carolina Online Teacher (COLT) courses as well as courses in cultural awareness, ESL, literacy across the curriculum, and more! Check out the new “America on the World Stage” series of courses that have been built around the America on the World Stage Digital Library. This series uses a global approach to U.S. history.Educators completing COLT courses will receive 2.0 – 3.0 Technology CEUs for renewal credit, while the America on the World Stage series offers subject-area CEUs for Social Studies.To enroll please visit Check back often to see new additions to the course schedule.
December 17, 2013
The following info was sent out earlier and many of you have already responded! Thank you! Since everyone's feedback is important, please take a moment to complete the very short survey linked below if you have not done so.

Secure Platform Requirements for NCTest V4 and Online Testing Survey
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. This memo went out to your Superintendent/Director yesterday.
Thanks for your participation! If you have questions please contact [] Cynthia Sartain.

Scheduling Information Webinar
Two different types of scheduling workshops are being planned based on how LEAs perform their scheduling. A webinar to assist in determining which scheduling workshop to attend will be held Wednesday, December 18 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Kris Cornia with Pearson will explain the differences in the scheduling workshops during this webinar.

If you or someone else within your LEA/school is responsible for your school’s scheduling, please take the time to attend this webinar designed to answer pertinent questions relating to the upcoming scheduling workshops. For more details and registration, please go to the December training calendar ( and click on the Scheduling Information link. You may also go to our Course List page ( and locate the webinar by title, “Scheduling Information”.

December 11, 2013
Are you looking for training for your technical staff at the most reasonable price? The North Carolina Educational Technicians association is hosting their 33rd annual conference in March. Training sessions include, but are not limited to, OS support, mobility, networking and wireless troubleshooting. The yearly conference is hosted and sponsored by school technical staff, for school technical staff, from all across NC. This year we will also be more centrally located in Clemmons, North Carolina just outside of Winston-Salem.
NCET 33rd Annual Conference
March 19 – 21, 2014
Schedule of Events

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: Kayla Siler, Policy and Planning,

@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!

December 9, 2013

LEAs/Charters Now Have More Time for 2013-14 RttT Expenditures/Encumbrances
There’s nothing like having more time, and NCDPI is giving it to LEAs and charter schools, to expend or encumber their Race to the Top funds from the original end date of June 30, 2014 to a revised end date of Sept. 23, 2014. This later date will enable LEAs/Charter Schools participating in RttT to use grant funds to carry out key activities such as professional development in the summer months of 2014.

For documentation purposes, LEAs/Charter Schools do NOT need to add an additional year to their DSWs; NCDPI will simply consider the 2013-14 year in the DSW a 15-month year. NCDPI will provide further information at a later date regarding other administrative details related to this change.
MORE INFO: Eric Thanos, RttT Project Coordinator,

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,

Home Base: OpenClass Overview Webinar Is Dec. 12
Plan now to attend the OpenClass Overview webinar on tap for Thursday, Dec. 12, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Register at The webinar is open to anyone interested, but would especially be of interest to teachers and principals. OpenClass is a dynamic learning environment that helps teachers bring social learning and interactive experiences to their students. Participants will learn how OpenClass can be used to:
• Present course content,
• Explore subjects using social learning,
• Collaborate on projects,
• Hold active discussions, and more.

December 4, 2013

Online Assessment Survey for Directors
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.

Upcoming NC WiseOwl Webinars
Two Webinars on using NC WiseOwl resources will be conducted in the next week:
Text 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

December 2, 2013
PRC30 Chart of Accounts (COA)A quick list for use in budget preparation has been prepared to assist in how funds can be spent.

November 19, 2013

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.

November 14, 2013

Flexibly Scheduled Library

Research shows that student achievement is typically higher in schools with library media programs that have flexibly accessed instruction. I communicated recently with media/technology directors who would like to connect their elementary principals/SLMCs who operate a fixed schedule library with principals/SLMCs who have strong elementary library programs operating on a fully flexible schedule for instruction.
***Can you recommend an elementary school in your area that operates on a fully flexible schedule for instruction and has a strong library media program?
If so, please complete the following survey: Flex Schedule Survey

NCTies Awards

Each year NCTIES recognizes outstanding individuals who have shown outstanding achievement and leadership in implementing technology to improve education. This year NCTies has revamped their awards to align with ISTE awards. Winners of each award would be eligible, per NCTIES Board approval, to submit applications for the ISTE awards.

Media Specialist Technology Innovation Award
Outstanding Teacher Award
Outstanding Leader Award
Making IT Happen

November 6, 2013

Educator Effectiveness and Career and Technical Education Assessments

The following memo from Rebecca Garland clarifies the requirements for the administration of CTE assessments.
CTE State Assessments

November 1, 2013

Microsoft IT Academy

The Microsoft IT Academy is available again this year offering several opportunities to grow your expertise with E-Learning courses offered through NCDPI! Get started right away with **//Teaching with Technology//** and **//Office 2010//** courses that are preloaded into your My Learning space or choose from over 1800 courses listed in the Learning Catalog. Both Windows and Mac versions are included for many titles! Over 100,000 students and staff have earned Microsoft certifications since the academy’s inception! Learn more on the NC IT Academy website. **Follow the steps located here to get started!**

October 25, 2013

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

October 24, 2013

Home Base Website Features Resources for Educators, Parents and Students

As Home Base rolls out to districts statewide, instructional resources have been added to the Home Base website to help administrators, teachers, parents and students access and use the elements that make up Home Base.

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.

October 21, 2013

STEM Information shared by Carole Stern, NCSSM Outreach Specialist
  • STEM@NCSSM includes the link to access the instructional materials for the Engineering Curriculum Project, the NCSSM YouTube Channel as well as additional digital materials we have developed at NCSSM and want to share
  • Step up to STEM is a cost free program that includes a residential component and year round activities. Students apply in the 8th grade to participate as rising 9th graders.

October 17, 2013

Home Base - Open Class Overview webinar
Open Class slides to accompany the webinar

October 10, 2013

AMTR Reminder...

The deadline for entering data into the AMTR is October 25. Please make sure you have checked your data and are satisfied that it is correct. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us. Thank you!
Cathy Mathews
Julian Nichols-Wilson


The latest PRC 15 update is posted at

October 4, 2013

CenturyLink to connect teachers with technology by offering $75,000 in grants in eastern and central North Carolina. Applications being accepted through Jan. 10, 2014. See the document linked here for more information.

October 3, 2013

Director's Meeting at NCSLMA 4:15pm-6:00pm, Ardmore 1

September 30, 2013

Check out the new Digital Teaching & Learning website now part of the NC Public Schools website.

September 19, 2013

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.

September 15, 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 Cathy Mathews or Julian Nichols-Wilson

September 6, 2013

Roles and Permissions for ITFs and SLMCs
Your ITF's 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. We have created a guide that explains the roles and permissioning further for ITF and SLMC. The document is available as a page on the ITES Wiki.

The NCEES wiki has information such as user guides, rubrics, rating forms, etc. available for the new ITF and SLMC evaluation process. There is a fillable PDF rubric for use by an administrator.

August 29, 2013

Home Base webinar schedule.

Please read the memo that Dr. Garland and Dr. Quick sent out this past Tuesday on testing updates.
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:
For questions contact Dan Sparlin,

August 28, 2013

NCREN Community Day
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.Contact Darleene Heath at (919) 248.1993 or

August 20, 2013

The latest PRC 15 revision has been posted.
PRC 15 Revision 4 with FINES and FORFEITURES Posted

August 13, 2013
2014-2016 Tech Plans
As per Neill's email today, your local technology plans are now on a two-year cycle. While legislation that requires local technology plans for state PRC 15 fund disbursement no longer exists, and E-Rate Priority 1 services do not require plans, E-Rate Priority 2 requests do require a state-approved local technology plan. Any future technology funds from the US DOE will likely also require a state-approved local technology plan. Below are guidelines for you to follow.
  • Please revisit your current plan and make any updates or revisions based upon what your LEA/charter plans to achieve July 2014-June 2016.
  • Add an addendum that includes your LEA/charter plans in rolling-out the required and optional portions of Home Base. Include high-level implementation details, professional development activities, funding sources, and ways you will be evaluating effectiveness. This should be 2-3 pages MAXIMUM.
  • Get your draft to your regional Digital Teaching and Learning consultant in electronic form by 5 pm on November 1, 2013.
  • Once you have received feedback on an particular edits, get your plan approved by your local board of education/board of directors.
  • I will plan to take the revised plans to the State Board of Education in April of 2014, and then back for approval in May, 2014.
  • If you do not have a current plan and wish to create one for approval, please contact your regional Digital Teaching and Learning consultant.

Additional email from Barry Pace.
FYI – Since from an E-rate perspective and according to USAC "In general, technology plans should not cover more than three years.", and since the next cycle will cover two years on top of the two that we are finishing up June 30, 2014, your revised document should clearly be considered a draft of a new two year plan. Avoid using any auto-updating date fields when adding a date to your cover page. The date that your written draft containing all four required E-rate elements should remain permanently on your document. (e.g. "DRAFTED October 12, 2013"). A requirement for Priority 2 funding Selective Reviews or Audits is that the date of the draft technology plan MUST precede the date that the Form 470 is submitted. The fact that you will be emailing the draft to the Digital Teaching and Learning consultant does provide an additional timestamp evidence, but your first defense against a denial during a Selective Review or a commitment adjustment post audit is ensuring the appropriate date remains permanently in place on the draft.

Here is a link to the Schools and Libraries Technology Plan page that lists the four required elements…

New appraisal instruments for SLMCs, ITFs

The new appraisal instrument is to go before the board in September; however, LEAs are to start using it in August. The updated version is posted on NCEES.

August 8, 2013

Six Excellent Sites for Free Digital Textbooks posted on The Journal

August 1, 2013

***Please note I have created a page on our wiki for Home Base updates. See navigation on the left. I have copied over info shared here in our updates as well as what's on the Other Resources page as well. I thought it best to have all info pertaining to Home Base on one page. I hope this helps you find info more quickly.

Resolution to Common Home Base Access Errors

Please see the Home Base weekly update attached here. A portion of that update deals with a "Resolution to Common Home Base Access Errors." There are links inside of the PDF that take data managers to a simple powerpoint that walks them through fixing access issues step by step.
Because some of you may not be subscribed to the newsletter, we wanted to make sure you also got this information. Please let Neill know if you are experiencing problems after performing the fix.

NC WiseOwl Update

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.
Questions or requests for staff development may be addressed to Dan Sparlin

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.

NCTest v4 Secure Web Browsers for Desktops and Laptops Available

The summer school EOC testing window ends on Thursday, August 15, 2013. NCTest v3 (i.e., operational online EOC assessments, Online Assessment Tutorial, online released forms, Classcape) will close on Friday, August 16, 2013. In order to access NCTest v4 during the 2013–14 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, interactive online released test forms, and Classcape.

The NCDPI secure browser for desktop and laptop computers running Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Mac OS 10.5 or greater is available on the main Testing News Network (TNN) page under NCTest Secure Browser Installs/Downloads. Review PlatformInstallInstructions.txt for guidance. Contact the Help Desk () for additional technical guidance.

A complete list of technical requirements for NCTest v4 is available at The second bullet provides a link to a more detailed document entitled NCTest Support (
As a reminder, all devices must have a screen of 9.5 inches or larger. Devices running Linux or Microsoft Windows RT will not be supported during the 2013–14 school year. A physical keyboard and mouse/touchpad are required for Windows 8 users.
Share this information locally and provide downloaded installation files to local technology leadership for distribution according to the local testing 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

July 31, 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

NCVPS Courses Are Available for Use in Your District
The North Carolina Virtual Public School shares certain courses with the field of education at no cost in order to provide high quality open-sourced curriculum for usage in North Carolina, the US and internationally. The courses and content shared by NCVPS have been created either through federal grants or with state funds and were developed under Creative Commons Licensing. Therefore the teachers of North Carolina should have access to these resources to use in their classrooms to enhance instruction. Please visit our website ( to see which courses are available for your immediate use and to see which courses are coming soon. For more information about how to access these, please contact Jason Don-Forsythe at

NCVPS Approves Courses from Online Vendors
At the direction of the NC General Assembly (SB 200), NC Virtual Public School (NCVPS) provides a virtual course approval process in order to ensure the availability of high quality online courses for use by schools and districts. The process only applies to teacher-led online courses which are taken for first time credit.
After an extensive review of course and teacher quality, NCVPS is pleased to communicate the following approved courses for use by districts and schools in the state of North Carolina.
Course Results
AP Psychology
Apex Learning
Course Results
Algebra 1
Course Results
For more information, please visit our website or contact Don Lourcey at

July 16, 2013

COPPA FAQ Update June 2013

From Barry Pace
The FTC recently updated COPPA including giving schools clearer guidance in using online resources with students under 13. The updated FAQ (June 2013) is located here: (Link is directly to section M. "COPPA AND SCHOOLS")

Broadband For Future Event (Update)

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. If you previously registered for the event planned in June, please take a few minutes to register for this new date. Thank you.
Click to Tweet
MCNC announces Aug. 12 as the new date for Broadband for the Future event. Have you registered? #GLRBI
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. The event also is a chance to thank the many who helped make this successful project possible.