Dates to Remember:

October 22-24, 2015 - NCSLMA 2015 Annual Conference: Empowering Students: Literacy For All, Benton Convention Center , Winston-Salem, NC
November 12-13, 2015 - NCREN Community Day, Create the Future, Wake Forest University
March 2-4, 2016 - NCTIES 2016 Conference, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, NC


June 3, 2015
Mark your calendars and help "Create the Future" at NCREN Community Day 2015 on Nov. 12-13 at Wake Forest University. Get event updates using #NCREN15.

June 1, 2015
Microsoft Office ProPlus for All Teachers, Staff and Students in NC
Microsoft, DPI and the Office of State Budget Management (OSBM), are currently exploring options to provide Office ProPlus to all teachers, staff and students in NC for use at school and at home. This initiative will save a significant amount of money as the proposed cost is less than the total amount currently spend annually by LEAs and Charter Schools in purchasing Microsoft Office products. OSBM has requested historical sales records from Microsoft. In order to help OSBM conduct their due diligence, Microsoft intends to provide OSBM a three year record that will include LEA and Charter School estimated amount they have spent on Microsoft Office products. No personal information will be shared and the information will not be distributed beyond OSBM. However, before we sent this information to OSMB, we want to allow you to opt out of this disclosure for any reason. If you do not want your district data to be included in this disclosure, please send an email to Michael Nicolaides (Michael.Nicolaides@dpi.nc.gov) within two business days and your data will be removed from the record. If you have any other questions, feel free to email Michael or Eric Robertson of Microsoft (eric.robertson@microsoft.com / 612.419.1733).

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

Personalized Learning for Educators
(for teachers and administrators)
Session Dates and Locations
  • July 13 - Pisgah High School, Canton, NC
  • July 14 - West Wilkes Middle School, Wilkesboro, NC
  • July 15 - Cox Mill High School, Concord, NC
  • July 16 - North Guilford High School, Greensboro, NC
  • July 20 - Gray's Creek High School, Hope Mills, NC
  • July 21 - Croatan High School, Newport, NC
  • July 22 - John A. Holmes High School, Edenton, NC
  • July 23 - Rocky Mount High School, Rocky Mount, NC


May 4, 2015
NC Digital Learning Rubric responses for all LEAs and Charter Schools
During the March meeting, the NC State Board of Education requested that all districts and charter schools complete the rubric by May 15, 2015. For your convenience, please submit rubric responses online at http://go.ncsu.edu/ncdlrubric.

As you know, the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University in collaboration with policymakers, education leaders, practitioners, and other partners – is developing the North Carolina K-12 Digital Learning Plan (http://ncdlplan.fi.ncsu.edu/) to accelerate the State’s progress in providing the personalized, digital-age education K-12 students need to be successful in college, in careers, and as productive citizens.

As part of this plan, the Friday Institute has produced the NC Digital Learning Progress Rubric, to serve as a roadmap to support North Carolina’s educators and communities in the transition to digital-age teaching and learning. As an update of the NCLTI rubric, this rubric is designed to help district or charter teams reflect on their current stage of development in digital learning and track their progress moving forward.
Attached are the NC Digital Learning Progress Rubric, Instructions for Use. These resources are also available on our NC DL Plan website at http://ncdlplan.fi.ncsu.edu/resources/
Please send any questions to Jeni Corn at jocorn@ncsu.edu

NCEdCloud/IAM
If you have an NCEdCloud IAM related question your first sources for information can be the training videos at my.ncedcloud.org and to visit the the IAM info site at ncedcloud.mcnc.org. In particular you may wish to visit some of these useful links:

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

iPad Use for Spring 2015 Large Font Assessments
Through continued quality control checks, it has been discovered that Large Font causes some display issues for students on the iPad. Due to this concern, iPads must not be used to administer assessments to students who require the Large Font version of EOGs, EOCs or NCFEs during the Spring 2015 administration window. If a student requires this accommodation, it is available on any other approved online device using the NCTest Secure Browser, NCTest Chrome App or Chromebooks with required security settings. Large Print paper/pencil versions of all assessments are also available for order for students with a documented Large Print accommodation need.
iPads must NOT be used for the Chemistry NCFE assessment during the Spring 2015 administration. There are items on this assessment that do not meet display expectations on the iPad.
Please direct questions to the NCTest Help Desk:
HELP (ncdesk@ncsu.edu or (919) 515-1320


April 23, 2015
District and School Transformation (DST) in partnership with N.C. State University would like to invite you to a professional development opportunity made possible through our Northeast Leadership Academy - District and School Transformation (NELA-DST) Grant Initiative.
Eric Sheninger, Senior Fellow and Thought Leader on Digital Leadership with the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE) and Scholastic Achievement Partners (SAP) will be coming to North Carolina to deliver a full day of professional development on Digital Leadership. We think it is especially important for superintendents and technology directors to participate and benefit from what we expect to be a day filled with great discussions on the most effective K-12 practices for successful instructional technology implementations and maximizing student learning.
DATE: Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
TIME: Registration @ 8:30am; 9:00am START
LOCATION: Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown; 3415 Wake Forest Rd, Raleigh, NC 27609
Register HERE
Please forward this email to anyone in your district that you feel would benefit from this experience.


April 21, 2015
Home Base 2015-2016
Weekly Message to Superintendents: Monday, April 20, 2015
As you plan for the next school and fiscal year, the Department of Public Instruction needs to hear from you regarding your plans for continuing with Home Base. Specifically, we need to know your source of funding for continuing with the optional components of the Home Base suite or if you do not intend to continue with the entire Home Base suite.
The state’s Student Information System (PowerSchool) and Educator Effectiveness System (Truenorthlogic) will continue to be provided at no cost to you. While we continue to negotiate for the best price for the Instructional Improvement System (Schoolnet) and the instructional resources that it provides to your classroom teachers, we anticipate the cost will be $3 or less per student in average daily membership.
The form for you to complete is online at http://forms.ncpublicschools.gov/. Please complete this form by July 31. Please remember, the anticipated cost for Home Base is separate from the cost for the new learning management system (LMS). The LMS cost is per subscription (rather than per student) and is priced at $3.74 per user account per year. As a reminder, that memo with those details is online at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/superintendents/messages/2015/03/27-01. In an effort to provide districts with as much information as possible, webinars are planned that will outline the features that are available with the LMS.
​Regards,
June Atkinson
District and School Transformation (DST) in partnership with N.C. State University would like to invite you to a professional development opportunity made possible through our Northeast Leadership Academy - District and School Transformation (NELA-DST) Grant Initiative.

Digital Leadership Workshop Opportunity
Eric Sheninger, Senior Fellow and Thought Leader on Digital Leadership with the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE) and Scholastic Achievement Partners (SAP) will be coming to North Carolina to deliver a full day of professional development on Digital Leadership. We think it is especially important for superintendents and technology directors to participate and benefit from what we expect to be a day filled with great discussions on the most effective K-12 practices for successful instructional technology implementations and maximizing student learning.
DATE: Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
TIME: Registration @ 8:30am; 9:00am START
LOCATION: Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown; 3415 Wake Forest Rd, Raleigh, NC 27609
Register Here

April 14, 2015
New Resource for Parents on 21st Century Learning and Citizenship
P21 has created a free digital toolkit to help parents support their learners in becoming 21st century leaders and citizens. The three-part toolkit was developed with National PTA as a family engagement advisor, and provides an overview of 21st century learning and how citizenship has changed in a digitally and globally connected world, tips and strategies for families, and real world examples of 21st century learning in action. Find out more at www.P21.org/Parents.

April 13, 2015
Schoolnet – Classrooms Component: ITF and Media Coordinators Best Practices (April 16th - 3:30 - 4:30)
This webinar offers a roundtable discussion by the NCDPI Schoolnet experts and SLMCs and ITFs experienced in Schoolnet on best practices and more! For the ITF and SLMC focus, essential questions will be answered including "How can Schoolnet help me meet my professional standards?" and "How can Schoolnet help me meet the performance indicators for my evaluation?"
Webinar Registration

PowerSchool – Q & A Open Forum Webinars
The Open Forum webinars are facilitated forums and won’t offer any presentations. The attendees can ask their scheduling questions to a panel of the NCDPI staff members. Included are the dates and registration links for June.
Dates and Registration here:
Friday, June 12, 1 p.m.
Wednesday, June 17, 1 p.m.
Wednesday, June 24, 1 p.m.
Register here: http://bit.ly/1B65yrX
Please note all registration information is subject to NC Public Records Law.
For more information about NC SIS training and documentation, please visit our website athttp://www.nc-sis.org.

April 6, 2015
Region 2 NCEdCloud IAM Update Webinar
9 AM Monday April 27, 2015Logging into PowerSchool, SchoolNet, NCEES, and OpenClass is about to be streamlined. The new NCEdCloud Identity and Access Management (IAM) Service accounts will provide teachers, students and staff one login to these four resources starting July 6, 2015. Attend this webinar for an update on the NCEdCloud IAM service and how districts can prepare for its use with Home Base.

Join the meeting: https://join.me/ncedcloud
On a computer, use any browser with Flash. Nothing to download.
On a phone or tablet, launch the join.me app and enter meeting code: ncedcloud
Join the audio conference:
Dial a phone number and enter access code, or connect via internet.
By phone:
United States - Hartford, CT +1.860.970.0010
Access Code 664-116-397#
By computer via internet:
Join the meeting, click the phone icon and select 'Call via internet'. A small download might be required.

New Learning Management System Convenience Contract - ACTION REQUIRED for Participation!**
The NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is pleased to announce a statewide contract with Instructure, Inc. for its Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) service. The contract provides a vehicle for Local Education Agencies (LEA) and Charter Schools to take advantage of the state’s negotiated pricing to purchase Instructure’s Canvas LMS service. For any LEA or Charter School choosing to use this contract, the negotiated terms include:
  • per subscription pricing of $3.74 per user account per year;
  • basic implementation (remote set up help - online/teleconference);
  • standard online training modules;
  • 24x7 support for one designated local LMS administrator;
  • course migration assistance from supported export formats;
  • integration with the NC Identity and Access Management (IAM) service;
  • integration with the NC Learning Object Repository (NCLOR);
  • integration with PowerSchool.

Please see the memo sent on Friday, March 27, for additional details on the statewide contract and how to participate.

The contract covers any LEA or Charter School in North Carolina that would like to purchase the service any time over the next three years (from original contract date). Current Canvas subscribers can take advantage of the statewide pricing at their contract renewal date. Onsite implementation assistance, additional training services, and expanded support options are available, if desired, from the vendor at an additional cost. A rate sheet from the vendor will be made available. LEAs and Charter Schools who wish to take advantage of this statewide pricing should work directly with Instructure to begin a contract for the Canvas LMS. The local sales representative is Melissa Gomez - mgomez@instructure.com - 801.678.3021. As Race to the Top comes to a close, there may be remaining funds that we can distribute to assist with first year subscriber fees for LEAs and Charter Schools that wish to purchase the Canvas service for the first time. Until we come closer to the end of the grant, however, we cannot guarantee the amount (if any) of this assistance. If this assistance is available, only those LEAs and Charter Schools who have committed to enter a contract by July 15, 2015, will be eligible; to be considered, LEAs and Charters must notify us of this commitment by completing this form http://goo.gl/forms/gEpdnxFTYh by May 1, 2015. If you have questions about this process, please contact James Robinson (jerobins@ncsu.edu) at the NCSU Friday Institute.


March 25, 2015

Benchmarking Soon? Let Us Know When

The NCDPI is pleased to report that Schoolnet continues to provide a stable instructional improvement system with no known system-wide issues. We are still continuing to improve and monitor Schoolnet, especially during peak usage times, such as when many districts administer their benchmark tests. In order for us to have the most up-to-date information in one place and to be able to anticipate peak testing time, we ask that you fill out a quick and simple form at http://goo.gl/MB5oax to let us know about your plans for benchmarking.

Coming in July 2015! Logging into Home Base with the IAM Service
You may know by now that the IAM Service will be replacing the “PowerSchool Single Sign-on” solution after the 2014-2015 End-of-Year processing, July 6. With this change, all North Carolina K-12 students and employees will login to Home Base applications using their NCEdCloud username and password. The accounts are currently available and LEAs and Charter Schools can begin providing students and employees their accounts at any time. Employees can follow the "Claim Account" process described in For Teachers and Staff on the NCEdCloud IAM Website(ncedcloud.mcnc.org). Students’ accounts will be issued by their teachers, who have access to their students’ usernames and initial passwords. Parents will continue to use the PowerSchool Parent Portal for access to student information.

More information on the IAM Service, including Getting Started, FAQ, Resources and background information is available on the NCEdCloud IAM website at http://bit.ly/1KpkLfH

Home Base Weekly Webinar Series
The NCDPI invites you to take advantage of the weekly Home Base Webinar Series which invites system users to discuss timely topics. Webinars are designed to assist users with PowerSchool, Educator Evaluation/PD System plus Schoolnet and OpenClass on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. These webinars are always free and offer attendees the opportunity to learn about best practices, tips for success and new aspects of the system. Participants are also given a chance to ask questions and connect with experts. Upcoming topics include:
· Mid-Year Graduates in PowerSchool
· North Carolina Educator Evaluation System
· What does Quality Online PD look like?
· Creating Classroom Assessments in Schoolnet
· KPIs and Pre-Formatted Reports in Schoolnet
For a full list of upcoming topics, webinar start times and registration links, please visit http://bit.ly/1E7iqV1 and click Webinars on the left navigation bar. The calendar is being updated daily with new training sessions so check back often.
Specific upcoming webinars on Schoolnet, OpenClass and PowerSchool/PowerTeacher are also listed below.

Weekly Webinars on Schoolnet and OpenClass in March and April
The Schoolnet and OpenClass webinar series continues on Thursdays throughout the school year and features weekly sessions on each of the components within Schoolnet (Classrooms, Assessment Admin, and School and District Data) and on OpenClass. Webinar details are posted on the Home Base website at http://bit.ly/1KplNZ2 and http://bit.ly/1Dq1RU1.
Please visit our online calendar for future webinars.

Home Base Website Updated with Schoolnet Roles and Permissions Documents
The Schoolnet Roles and Permissions webpages have been updated. Please check out http://bit.ly/1ENLrEF to find the latest documentation and information about setting up user roles and permissions for Schoolnet.

PowerSchool Scheduling Workshops
Build Workshops by Region
Build Workshops are offered for schools utilizing the “Build and Load” Methodology. Sessions are hands-on working time. Session facilitators will assist schools with completing their master schedules to the extent time allows. Scheduling teams should have completed all steps in the Prepare to Build Workbook (https://powersource.pearsonschoolsystems.com/article/6303?from=search), including validating their build data if possible.

PowerSchool Scheduling Workshops
Load Only Workshops by Region
Load Only Workshops are offered for schools utilizing the “Load Only” Methodology. Sessions are hands-on working time. Session facilitators will assist schools with loading their students and completing their schedules to the extent time allows. Scheduling teams should have completed all steps in the Load Process Workbook (https://powersource.pearsonschoolsystems.com/article/6750?from=search), ensuring that a complete, valid timetable is in place and the load data is validated, if possible.

March 10. 2014

Digital Learning Day is just 2 days away!!!
The Digital Learning Day momentum is building with well over 1,000 activities on the map! NC, WI, MI CA, AR and TX are coming on strong with enthusiasm points, with more very close behind (RI and several others!) Below is the embed code for Friday's webinar. Many states are embedding the video into their site and encouraging their schools and districts to watch in lunch rooms, etc. This a great opportunity for one more push to encourage educators in your district or schools to 1) Plan an event and add it to the map, and 2) watch the live stream on Friday, March 13th at 1:00 PM.
This should be a very easy request of your web designer. Begin the cut HERE...
<iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ueYXJorFPc0?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
The countdown is on...

Reminder: NCTest Online Summative Testing Specifications for 2014-15
Secure Platforms Required for NCTest 2014-15
In order to access NCTest during the 2014-15 school year, LEAs and schools will be required to use a secure platform. Schools must use the secure platform to access the online summative assessments, Online Assessment Tutorial and interactive online released test forms.
Options for NCTest Spring 2015 include:
1. For Supported versions of Chromebooks, Windows and Macintosh workstations and/or laptops. For more detailed information, please refer to https://center.ncsu.edu/nctest and Click on NCTest Support:
a. NCTest Secure Browser v4 (same install as 2013-14, you DO NOT need to re-install)
b. NCTest Chrome App (Chrome Browser 27+ required)
c. Chromebooks ONLY: Chrome OS with required security settings
2. NCTest iPad App for iPads
NCTest Technical Requirements
Schools that administer an online assessment, but do not meet the technical requirements, are at risk of delivering items to students that cannot be manipulated (e.g., technology-enhanced items), items that do not display with associated artwork (e.g., tables, graphs, symbols), and items that do not fit properly on the screen. Complete lists of technical requirements for NCTest are available at https://center.ncsu.edu/nctest. Click on NCTest Support for more information. Schools must periodically review the technical requirements for updates.




February 26, 2015

Extension Notice: District Readiness Instrument

Considering the inclement weather across the state the past two weeks, an additional extension has been granted for the submission of the MTSS Readiness Instrument until next Thursday, March 5th, 2015 by 5:00PM.
The link to the instrument is https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/mtssreadinessfinal. However, additional support for completion of the tool is available on the wiki athttp://mtss.ncdpi.wikispaces.net.
http://mtss.ncdpi.wikispaces.net/North Carolina MTSS Readiness Instrument Survey
Purpose: This tool is designed to assist districts in determining initial readiness for implementation of a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) designed to meet the needs of all students. The tool addresses the six critical components identified as crucial to successful MTSS implementation in North Carolina.
Read more...https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/mtssreadinessfinal
If you have any questions please contact your Regional MTSS Consultant. Thank you to those teams who have completed and submitted the tool.

CCSA

The 2015 Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement (CCSA), March 30 - April 1, 2015 at the Sheraton Four Seasons/Joseph S. Koury Convention Center, 3121 High Point Road, Greensboro, NC is quickly approaching! Don’t miss these extremely relevant and exciting sessions:
· "Sparking Hope: Teaching as a Catalyst to Launching Great Learning," by Sean McComb , 2014 National Teacher of the Year
· “Your School’s BRAND Determines Student Outcomes” and "Effective Vice Principal LEADERSHIP" by Baruti Kafele, School Leadership and Development
· "The Resilience Revolution" by Brooks Gibbs , Featured Presenter
· “The Literacy Solution: More Reading, More Knowledge” by Elfrieda Hiebert, TextProject & University of California, Santa Cruz
· “Transforming 21st Century Teaching and Learning: Demographically Speaking” by James H. Johnson, University of North Carolina, Kenan–Flager Business

In addition, hear directly from our biggest stakeholders – our students:
· “Do You Know Me?” Hoke County Middle School Students
· “Words as Weapons for Positive Change,” Poetry Project, Guilford County Schools
· "Student Six" Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

Don’t delay - learn more and register for the conference today! http://www.ncpublicschools.org/academicservices/conference/

February 13, 2015

NCTies - Register for Director's Pre-conference Meeting
We will have a pre-conference meeting before the NCTIES General Conference this year. We have an exciting agenda planned, with both informative and collaborative topics and activities. Our meeting will begin at 3:00pm on Wednesday, March 4th, and will conclude at 5:30pm. The meeting will be held in the State room A/B in the Marriott. Given that space is limited, we ask that you pre-register, and limit the number of registrants from your LEA or charter school to two attendees. If you have not registered, please remember to do so.
***Use this link to register. Registration will close Monday, February 16th.
We look forward to seeing you there!

February 2, 2015 (Happy Groundhog Day!)

Federal Flash: A Weekly Update on Education Developments NC Washington, DC in Five Minutes or Less
January 30, 2015
You like us! You really, really like us! The response to "Federal Flash" has been incredible! Thank you!
The latest issue of Federal Flash is up! Watch it at http://youtu.be/-DgBthJ4or0 .
NOTE: If this email was forwarded to you from someone else and you want to be added to the Federal Flash distribution list, email Alliance@all4ed.org .
Alliance for Excellent Education

1201 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 901
Washington, DC 20036

Alliance for Excellent Education - Future Ready Leadership series
On January 27, 2015 the Alliance for Excellent Education kicked off its Future Ready leadership series. Future Ready is a free, bold new effort to maximize digital learning opportunities and help school districts move quickly toward preparing students for success in college, a career, and citizenship. The initiative provides districts with resources and support to ensure that local technology and digital learning plans align with instructional best practices, are implemented by highly trained teachers, and lead to personalized learning experiences for all students, particularly those from traditionally underserved communities.
Thank you for participating in the Alliance for Excellent Education’s webinar series. Check back to register for upcoming webinars, or to view previous videos at all4ed.org/webinars-events/.


2015 Home Base Symposium Normal Fee Registration Deadline Extended to February 6
The postmark deadline for the $ 115 registration fee has been extended to February 6! This extension is being granted due to inadvertently publicizing two different postmark deadlines for the $ 115 registration fee. All registration fees postmarked after February 6 are $ 250.
Remember, we can only accept checks whether mailing or paying onsite. Payments should be mailed along with your registration form to NCDPI Cash Collections, 6336 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6336.
The 2015 Home Base Symposium Registrant List has been updated on the NC SIS website at http://www.nc-sis.org/Documents/symp_2015/2015_Symposium_Registrants.pdf. Please review this list to ensure your registration and payment status is correct. Remember, processing of payments once received at NCDPI can take up to 10 working days.
Questions pertaining to Symposium registrations and payments may be addressed to Yolanda Wilson, yolanda.wilson@dpi.nc.gov.


Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement
Online registration is now open for the Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement (CCSA) “Champions Engaging North Carolina in 21st Century Teaching and Learning”
March 30 ­ April 1
Sheraton Four Seasons/Koury Convention Center
Greensboro, NC.
Be sure to visit the website where you may:

  • ➢ Check out Keynote speakers
  • ➢ Pick out sessions in advance
  • ➢ Qualify as a conference intern if you are an undergraduate education major
  • ➢ Find many exciting new updates coming soon!
http://www.ncpublicschools.org/academicservices/conference/​ Sponsored by the NC Department of Public Instruction

Schoolnet Training Site
This past weekend, the NCDPI and Pearson updated and refreshed the Schoolnet training site. What this means to you and your institution:
T
he training site has more meaningful data/reports to explore and review in your training efforts. The training site still has tens of thousands of assessment items and instructional materials to support your training efforts. Additionally:
  • Each LEA and Charter School will have their own new unique set of teacher login accounts to use for training purposes and can access students and school leadership connected with their teacher.
  • LEAs / Charter Schools will share district leadership accounts.
  • You will now also have logins for additional role­specific users. LEAs/Charter School will share a pool of logins for scenario base login accounts, e.g. School Library Media Coordinators, ITF's, Coaches, Teachers who have permission to create benchmarks, staff or any teacher who has ability to approve assessment items, or approve instructional materials, and more.
The training site will continue to be accessed at http://bit.ly/Wb2yNC. Then select Home Base Training District from the dropdown tab next to the “sign in with” prompt. Next, log in with your user/password.
If you are a trainer in your district or charter school, please look for an email with your new login credentials. If you have any questions, please contact the Home Base Support Center at homebase.incidents@its.nc.gov

Home Base Weekly Webinar Series
The NCDPI invites you to take advantage of the weekly Home Base Webinar Series which invites system users to discuss timely topics. Webinars are designed to assist users with PowerSchool, Educator Evaluation/PD System and Schoolnet and OpenClass on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. These webinars are always free and offer attendees the opportunity to learn about best practices, tips for success and new aspects of the system. Participants are also given a chance to ask questions and connect with experts. Upcoming topics include:
● Mid­Year Graduates in PowerSchool ● North Carolina Educator Evaluation System ● What does Quality Online PD look like? ● Creating Classroom Assessments in Schoolnet ● KPI’s and Pre­Formatted Reports in Schoolnet
For a full list of upcoming topics, webinar start times and registration links, please visit http://bit.ly/1E7iqV1 and click Webinars on the left navigation bar. The calendar is being updated daily with new training sessions so check back often.



January 28, 2015

NCET 34th Annual Conference, March 25 – 27, 2015

http://www.ncet.net

Are you looking for training for your technical staff at the most reasonable price? The North Carolina Educational Technicians association is hosting their 34th annual conference in March. The yearly conference is hosted and sponsored by school technical staff, for school technical staff, from all across NC. The conference is centrally located in Clemons, North Carolina just outside of Winston-Salem. Cost for the conference is $75.00 and includes NCET Membership, Shirt, Two Meals (Wednesday and Thursday Night), and a Notebook of Information.

Tentative Class List includes - Security Cameras, Wireshark Basics, SAFARI Montage, Firewalls, District Case Studies, Securing VPNs, Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365, Google Scripting, NCEdCloud, Wireless Basics, Multiple OS, Single Solution, iPad Repair, SCCM, Microsoft Deployment Kit, Powershell Scripting, Apple DEP with Casper, Basic Troubleshooting, Wireless Security, iPad Apps, Windows 10 Intro, SMART Troubleshooting, Active Directory, Important On-Hand Tools, and more… Classes are subject to change.
Dr. Atkinson Highlights Important Stories in Education for 2015 in Latest Blog Post
In her latest blog post, Dr. Atkinson shares her thoughts about the stories that will be important in public education in our state in 2015. To view this and earlier blog posts, please visit http://www.ncpublicschools.org/statesuperintendent/blog/2015/20150105.

January 24, 2015

The NCEdCloud team will be providing a Wifi Project update this coming Wednesday, January 28 at 10:00am. The update will include potential eligibility for complete wireless install in your schools, purchasing from the statewide contract and recent additional funding.
Registration information:
NCEdCloud Wifi Project Update
Jan 28, 2015 10:00 AM EST
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5151247524523017218
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. The webinar will be recorded and posted to the NCEdCloud website. Email questions to Lee Sartain

January 14, 2015
Welcome Dr. Vann Lassiter, the newest member of the Digital Teaching & Learning Team. He will be serving in the role of Educator on Loan.

January 13, 2015

Device Management Cooperative Purchasing Agreement
DPI released an RFP for device management solutions with the intent to establish a Device Management Cooperative Purchasing Agreement which will be available to NC LEAs and charter schools. The RFP included a comprehensive list of technical requirements to support Windows-based PCs, Apple Macs, iOS-based devices, and Android devices.
We are currently evaluating vendor responses, which includes assessing the extent to which the Vendor offers a comprehensive suite of device management services that are relevant, beneficial, and cost effective for NC public K-12; experience with NC LEAs and charter school is also an important consideration.
We are soliciting your help with the Vendor evaluation. More specifically, we’d like to know what device management solutions your LEA or charter school is currently using and what features and functionality are most important to you. We would greatly appreciate it if you or a network administrator on your staff could complete the following brief survey at your earliest convenience:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9YN29LN
Thank you for your time and feedback.

2015 Home Base Symposium
Register now for the 2015 Home Base Symposium scheduled for February 23 – 25, 2015 at the Sheraton/Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, NC. Online registration is available at http://www.nc-sis.org/symposium15.html. Please make every effort to register online and print your registration form from the site for sending along with your check to NCDPI Cash Collections, 6336 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6336. If you experience any problems while registering, you may contact Yolanda Wilson at yolanda.wilson@dpi.nc.gov.
Sneak peeks into new tools, upcoming functionality and resources for all Home Base products, including PowerSchool, Schoolnet, Open Class and Professional Development will be offered. Yes, this symposium encompasses more than just PowerSchool training; so hurry and save by getting your registration payment and form postmarked prior to the normal registration deadline!
The fee for normal registrations postmarked by January 31, 2015 is $ 115. Fees for late registrations postmarked on or after February 1, 2015 and onsite registrations are $ 250. Please note that we can only accept checks – credit cards and cash are not acceptable.
A block of rooms for symposium guests have been reserved at the Sheraton Hotel. Reservations must be booked by January 22, 2015 to capitalize on the special rate of $ 154.46 (taxes included). Hotel forms may be retrieved from the NC SIS website’s Symposium page: http://www.nc-sis.org/symposium15.html. Complete and send the form to the Sheraton Greensboro Hotel at Four Seasons, 3121 High Point Rd., Greensboro, NC 27407 or fax to 336-323-4876

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

NCTest Client Error and Information Messages
An NCTest Client Error and Information Messages, Causes and Possible Solutions chart is attached to this post and will be available on TNN under the NC Education and NCTest Guidance Heading. This document is intended to offer possible solutions for messages that may appear during the use of NCTest for the administration of NC summative assessments.
Please contact the NCEducation helpdesk at ncdesk@ncsu.edu with questions.

January 5, 2016

Happy New Year!!!
NCET 34th Annual ConferenceMarch 25 – 27, 2015
http://www.ncet.net
Are you looking for training for your technical staff at the most reasonable price? The North Carolina Educational Technicians association is hosting their 34th annual conference in March. 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. The conference is centrally located in Clemmons, North Carolina just outside of Winston-Salem.

Twitter ALERTS for Home Base Systems Users
Our Twitter followers are growing. Help spread the word that Home Base Alerts are available through Twitter now! The more users who join the Home Base Alert, the fewer emails we’ll need to send out. Please join here. http://bit.ly/1zVb561

Learn about Tweets, Retweets, Hashtags and more information that will help you become a tweeting expert by clicking here. http://bit.ly/1vc2URm


December 16, 2014

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

High Quality Online PD Modules: Available Now!
Please take advantage of our self-paced, facilitated modules and mini-modules available to teachers and principals at no charge! You may click here to access a printable version of current modules. All modules may be accessed through the Educator Effectiveness PD System through Home Base. In addition, you may get ideas for staff and PLCs using the implementation guide, found here: www.rt3nc.org. Over 50 professional development opportunities are listed here for your educators. Please contact Dr. Geetanjali Soni, Geetanjali.soni@dpi.nc.gov or any member of the Educator Effectiveness Division with any questions.

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

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

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

Additional December Schoolnet and OpenClass Webinar Series
The Schoolnet and OpenClass webinar series continues throughout the school year, including the month of December. The last session will be held Thursday at 3:30 p.m. on each of the components within Schoolnet (Classrooms, Assessment Admin, and School and District Data) and on OpenClass. Information about the webinars is posted on the NCDPI calendar ( http://bit.ly/1AOp4hv) or included in these archived Biweekly newsletters or at http://bit.ly/1vJGuuh

December 11, 2014

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



November 6, 2014

COLLABORATIVE CONFERENCE FOR STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT (CCSA)

“CHAMPIONS ENGAGING NORTH CAROLINA IN 21ST CENTURY TEACHING AND LEARNING”
Proposal submission deadline now extended to NOVEMBER 15th!
March 30 - April 1, 2015
Sheraton Four Seasons/Koury Convention Center
Greensboro, NC

Proposal descriptions and more information may be found on the conference website:

http://www.ncpublicschools.org/academicservices/conference/​
Watch our website for exciting updates on speakers and sessions!
Sponsored by the NC Department of Public Instruction


October 28, 2014

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

October 27, 2014

Please read and forward to the appropriate staff the attachment from Rebecca B. Garland, Deputy State Superintendent, and Tracy S. Weeks, Chief Academic and Digital Learning Officer, dated Oct. 21, 2014. For the purpose of identifying CTE concentrators and students who need to be tested for WorkKeys, coordinators and data managers may receive requests from staff to access PowerSchool.

October 24, 2014

Windows XP Devices and NCTest Secure Browser 2014-15

Google announced that they would stop supporting Chrome on Windows XP machines. This is in response to the planned retirement of Windows XP. In the announcement they stated that… Like all technologies that come to their end-of-life, the XP operating system and most of its desktop applications will no longer receive updates and security patches…..[However, Google will be] extending support of Chrome on Windows XP, and will continue to provide regular updates and security patches until April 2015.

Due to this announcement and Google’s timing for ending support, the NCDPI has determined that districts that plan to administer End-of-Grade, End-of-Course or NC Final Exams using Windows XP machines during the 2014-2015 school year must do so using the NCTest Secure Browser v4 for these devices. The NCTest Secure Browser v4 is the same install as was used during the 2013-2014 school year. Districts who have previously installed this version do not need to re-install the NCTest Secure Browser.

Please share with local technology staff as appropriate.
Please direct questions to the NCTest HelpDesk at ncdesk@ncsu.edu

The Identity and Access Management Service (IAM)

What is the IAM Service?
The Identity and Access Management (IAM) Service is one of the NCEdCloud initiatives for the K-12 community of North Carolina, funded by Race to the Top (RttT). The goal of the IAM Service is to enable LEAs and charter schools to provide streamlined user access to current and future cloud applications. The primary benefits for K-12 users include (but are not limited to) Single Sign On (SSO) access to:
  • Currently available cloud applications such as Google Apps for Education, Follett Destiny, and Discovery Education.
  • Planned integrations with Home Base applications including PowerSchool, Schoolnet, Educator Effectiveness System (TNL) and OpenClass.

When will the IAM Service be available?
  • Some K-12 staff have created IAM Service accounts and are currently accessing several Home Base applications using the existing eight character user names (4 letters + 4 numerals). Two important improvements to the IAM service are coming soon:
    • Starting December 1, K-12 staff and students currently accessing non-Home Base applications will switch to using their eScholar 10 digit UID rather than the existing eight character ID. Passwords will not change for these current users.
  • Beginning July 6, 2015, Home Base applications will integrate with the IAM Service. Until that time, K-12 users will continue to access Home Base applications with your usual Home Base logins.
What is the goal of the IAM Service work?
  • Long-term streamlined access (single sign-on) to cloud applications.


New on the Web:

Parent Portal How-To Guide Now Online

Online Events Calendar Features New Look, Improved Functionality

  • Offers one place where all Home Base related events, workshops, webinars and conferences are listed for easy access.
To see what’s new, please visit http://calendars.ncpublicschools.gov/.


October 16, 2014

2014-15 Education Directory Now Online
The Education Directory for 2014-15 is available online at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/nceddirectory/. In addition to the full version, the directory also is available in three sections:
  • Section 1- State Agency
  • Section 2 – Association and Commissions
  • Section 3 – Schools
Note: The NCDPI no longer prints or sells print copies of the directory.

Educator on Loan Position
The Division of Digital Teaching and Learning at the NC Department of Public Instruction is seeking to fill an Educator on Loan position. The Digital Teaching and Learning Educator on Loan will support the mission of the division by providing professional development to school districts and charters as they plan and implement digital learning initiatives.​​ If you're interested in pursuing this opportunity, please review the job description​ and complete the simple google form. Be sure to include a link to your cover letter and resume as part of the form.
If you have any questions, please reach out to Susan.McKinney@dpi.nc.gov

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

Upcoming PowerSchool Workshops

Classes will be held at NCDPI in Raleigh.
PowerSchool New Coordinator Training Workshop
This workshop is geared to new PowerSchool coordinators who have not attended the 5 day IPT certification training or the 8 day District certification training.
Dates, Times and Registration Link
--December 11 – 12, 2014
--January 12 – 13, 2015
Registration Link: http://www.timetosignup.com/powerschooltraining/folder/2160/

PowerSchool New User Workshop (School Level Staff)
This is a 4 day workshop to train new users on the day-to-day processes of using PowerSchool.

Date, Time and Registration Link
--January 6 – 9, 2015 (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
Registration Link: https://www.timetosignup.com/powerschooltraining/form/5504

PowerSchool Workshop for School Counselors
This workshop will be a hands-on training covering the basic functionality of PowerSchool pertinent to school counselors.

Dates, Times and Registration Link
--October 24, 2014 (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
--November 14, 2014 (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
--November 20, 2014 (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
--December 5, 2014 (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
Registration link - http://www.timetosignup.com/powerschooltraining/folder/1907/

PowerTeacher Grade Book Workshop
This workshop will cover basic PowerSchool and PowerTeacher functionality such as taking attendance, creating assignments, entering assignment grades, working with categories/groups, printing reports, final grade setup/weights, etc.
Dates, Times and Registration Link

--Tuesday, October 28 (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
--Monday, November 3 (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
Registration link - http://www.timetosignup.com/powerschooltraining/folder/1905

October 15, 2014

Apply Now for 2014 -15 Green Ribbon Schools Award - The U.S. Department of Education (USED) Green Ribbon Schools’ award program for 2014-15 is now open. The award recognizes schools and districts from across the United States that excel in reducing environmental impact and costs, improving the health and wellness of students and staff, and providing effective environmental and sustainability education that incorporates STEM, civic skills and green career pathways. Three North Carolina schools have received this outstanding national award. LEAs or their principals should apply directly to the NCDPI. Up to four North Carolina schools can be nominated by the department and sent to the USED for national consideration. Additional information and applications are available online at www.SchoolClearinghouse.org under “Green Ribbon Schools.” For more information, please contact Ron Collier at ronald.collier@dpi.nc.gov.

October 13, 2014

The October 22 NCLTI Lunch & Learn has been moved to:
December 9th or 10th (choose a date that works best for your schedule)
The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, is pleased to announce a professional development opportunity for LEA leadership teams as part of the North Carolina Learning Technology Initiative (NCLTI).
NCLTI Lunch and Learn || Connect, Share, & Grow Your Digital Leadership
More information will follow, please pass the word to LEA colleagues!

Speak Up
Speak Up survey is available now. Region 2 had two districts listed in the Top 5 Districts for total participation last year. I challenge you to get your district in that list this year! The survey will remain open through December 19. Speak Up data is a data source for the Digital Learning Plan. Here's a link to the Speak Up 2014 information with resources that can be shared with school districts and charter schools.
http://ites.ncdpi.wikispaces.net/Speak+Up+2014

October 3, 2014

Android Device Deployments
In an effort to better inform online testing application development and ongoing online testing deployment, the NCDPI would appreciate if you would take a moment to complete this very brief survey which asks about Android device deployments in your LEA/Charter. It is appropriate to complete for current and future 2014/15 school year deployments. The survey will remain open for completion until COB, October 10, 2014.
Please let me know if you have questions about the survey.


September 30, 2014

OpenClass for LEAs That Use Google Apps for Education
Google Apps for Ed LEAs that Want to Integrate OpenClass with Google Applications, please see below that immediate action is needed.
If your district or charter school uses Google Apps for Education and you intend to use OpenClass as a part of the Home Base suite of instructional tools in the 2014-15 school year but haven’t already set up your OpenClass “campus”, you will need to do so by September 30 in order to easily access the Google integrations. The entire process for this step will only take approximately five minutes of your time.

The urgency to complete the OpenClass set up by September 30 is due to a change by Google, making OpenClass temporarily unavailable in the Apps Marketplace. While it will still be possible to set up a Non-Google campus, the OpenClass / Google integration functionality will be unavailable, including seamless navigation between OpenClass and Google Apps, as well as the Collaboration capabilities, such as easily accessing gmail, calendar, and Google Drive from OpenClass. The NCDPI and Pearson teams are working to determine the timeline for OpenClass support of the new Google authentication mechanism, which will allow OpenClass to become available again within the Google Marketplace.

To set up your OpenClass campus from Google Apps for Education, you will need to complete the following steps:
Sign-on to Google Apps as an administrator
Navigate to https://www.google.com/enterprise/marketplace/viewListing?productListingId=11714+16794383872495174146&pli=1
Add OpenClass to your Google Apps Domain
Notes on Application Set-up:
Institution Name: Enter your district name

Complete the Friendly URL for your District: This can be anything, e.g., “stanly” for Stanly County School or “hertfordcounty” for Hertford County Schools. The only restrictions are that the friendly URL must be more than four characters and less than 20, with no spaces or special characters.
Please reference the attached document for more details. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. If you have any questions, please contact the Home Base Support Center at homebase.incidents@its.nc.gov.

September 29, 2014

October to be Declared Anti-Bullying Month - Governor McCrory is expected to declare October as Anti-Bullying month. Attached is some information to assist educators in helping students understand the issue and address ways to reduce or eliminate bullying in schools. Questions regarding the materials may be directed to Ben Matthews at ben.matthews@dpi.nc.govor 919/807-3500.

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

September 25, 2014

K-12 Social Studies Leaders Institute
The K-12 Social Studies Team will be hosting their annual Social Studies Leaders Institute on October 14th in Raleigh from 8:30-4:00. The Social Studies team would so appreciate if you could help spread the word. The registration has been extended to October 3, 2014. It will be a wonderful opportunity for district leaders and teachers to explore the civic mission of schools in the 21st century. Participants will be able to experience the following sessions that will assist them in developing a strategic plan for curriculum, instruction, and assessment.Please visit the following link explore the session that will be provided. http://ssnces.ncdpi.wikispaces.net/2014+Social+Studies+Leaders+InstituteClick here to register for the Institute: **https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5BQBC9W**
Speak UpSpeak Up surveys go live on October 6. The survey will remain open through December 19. Speak Up data is a data source for the Digital Learning Plan. Here's a link to the Speak Up 2014 information with resources that can be shared with school districts and charter schools.
http://ites.ncdpi.wikispaces.net/Speak+Up+2014

September 17, 2014

Middle School STEM Experience: Future City- Looking for an exciting STEM curriculum/project for your school, STEM after-school program, elective class, honors science or global studies class? Then you will want to check out Future City at http://futurecity.org. The registration fee is waived if you register byOct. 15. When registering, make sure you say “bill me later” when it asks about the $25 fee.Participating schools receive access to the free SimCity software and the winning team gets a free trip to Washington DC to compete at nationals. Contact North Carolina Regional Future City Coordinator Lindsey Genut atlsgenut@ncsu.edu for more information.

September 11, 2014

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

SLMC and ITF Evaluation Tutorials
The DT&L Division has created webcasts for your administrators on the evaluation process for SLMCs and ITFs. They can be accessed by following the links below:
NC SLMC Evaluation Tutorial Webcast
NC ITF Evaluation Tutorial Webcast

September 10, 2014

2014 Fall Institute for Network Administrators
DPI and MCNC are pleased to communicate plans for the 2014 Fall institute for Network Administrators. The focus of this year’s fall institute will be Microsoft PowerShell fundamentals with an emphasis on setup, usage and troubleshooting. This will be primarily a lab-based training session. The training company will be selected shortly, and at which time detailed information on the curriculum will be communicated.
Preliminary Schedule:
October 27-28: Burke County Schools, 509 West Concord, Morganton NC 28655
October 29-30: MCNC Location, 3021 E. Cornwallis Road, Research Triangle Park NC 27709
October 31: Virtual Office / MCNC Location for Q&A*
-Friday of the training week will be an optional meet with the Instructor day. This will be a time that you can either meet virtually or in person with the class Instructor.
-Registration is currently open via the MCNC training site and the link stated below.
https://www.mcnc.org/events/training/fall-institute2014
-Please direct questions and comments to John Warf, Senior Client Network Engineer at jwarf@mcnc.org or to Dave Furiness, Director Client Network Engineering at dfuriness@mcnc.org.

From the Field: Greene County Transformation; Data-Driven Instruction in New Hanover
A few more “good news” videos have been shared from the field and posted to our NCDPI YouTube Channel. Access our Home Base and READY playlists here: https://www.youtube.com/user/ncpublicschools.
Listen to the latest:
• Both Stephen Greene, NCDPI district transformation coach, and Christy Stanley, NCDPI Instructional Coach, work with Greene County Schools. Hear them describe some of the turnaround they’ve seen in the school district. Stephen discusses highlights of 74 teachers coming together to write the Pre-K through 12 curriculum. “I think what we saw almost overnight was the teacher leadership come out within this district. Teachers felt very strongly that this was going to be their curriculum, and that has made just a cultural change.” Christy says teachers are conducting a scholastic inventory three times a year. “Teachers are now really getting into the data piece.” Stephen adds: “Uncovering the data, you now have a lot more professional learning teams coming together to look at each other's data, talk about strategies within different groups -- literacy, particularly writing, is expected in every content area across every grade level. View the clip here: http://bit.ly/1Baej6H
• Ryan Redd, a New Hanover County Schools middle school math teacher and instructional coach, talks about getting the most from Home Base, from teaching resources, to immediate data to drive instruction to the opportunity for professional development that Race to the Top funding has provided. View the clip here: http://bit.ly/1nTjmAe
SHARE YOURS: This 2014-15, all schools across the state have full, free access to all the online tools in Home Base. We’d love to see how your school or school district is highlighting what’s important and helpful to you in Home Base. Share your videos, news announcements, tweets and anything Home Base related you’d like us to consider highlighting. Share your good news stories “From the Field” with Kathy Newbern in the NCDPI Communications Office, kathy.newbern@dpi.nc.gov.

Curious about Tech Requirements? We Gotta Doc for That
As the school year gets into full swing, perhaps you’re wondering what you need for Home Base in terms of browsers and operating systems for your devices. We’ve just updated our Minimum Technical Requirements document on our Getting Ready - Implementation page. The link is here: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/homebase/getting-ready/implementation/category?category=Technical%20Requirements
TIP: You can always find the latest tech requirements for Schoolnet on the bottom of the page at any point when you are logged into Schoolnet. Just click on System Requirements.

Principal READY Support Sessions Resume This Fall
We are excited to announce the 2014-15 Principal READY sessions for this fall in each region. Building on the foundation we established during fall and spring of 2013-14. Principal READY will focus on instructional leadership to help the principal support teachers. Participants will collaboratively explore curriculum tools and resources that will help their teachers improve content knowledge and instructional skills, with a specific focus on mathematics. These meetings and supporting resources are part of the State’s READY work, with Principal READY providing a unique opportunity for administrators to work in groups, discussing the standards and classroom observations. Principals will collaborate with colleagues and NCDPI staff to support instructional capacity through a strong, consistent implementation of the North Carolina Educator Evaluation System.
MORE INFO: Find the statewide schedule here:
http://ncees.ncdpi.wikispaces.net/READY+Principals+Fall+2014

September 5, 2014
New DT&L Director
Please welcome Verna Lalbeharie as the new Director of Digital Teaching and Learning at the Department of Public Instruction. Her official start date is September 15. Verna comes to the NC Department of Public Instruction from the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University where she was a Senior Program Director, Co-Leading the Digital Learning Collaborative; engaging educators at all levels in innovative models of professional learning and strategic planning to support digital teaching and learning. She served as the Lead- or Co-Principal Investigator on many projects including, the NC Learning Technology Initiative: Statewide Capacity Building; Golden LEAF Foundation’s Learning Technology Readiness Initiative and a number of local education agency learning technology initiatives across NC. Prior to joining the Friday Institute, Verna had spent most of her career working on initiatives and research efforts that advance student success. Her work has focused on both secondary and post secondary education reform. She worked in an R&D capacity in the non-profit environment for 13 years, first at Jobs for the Future in Boston, MA and then at MDC, Inc. in Chapel Hill, NC. In both these positions, Verna worked on teams that managed large-scale, national, multi-component, and multi-year education initiatives. Verna holds a B.A. from Smith College in Northampton, MA and a M. Ed in Curriculum Reform from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA.​

Save the Date!

The NC Department of Public Instruction will sponsor the fifth annual Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement (CCSA) on March 30-April 1, 2015 in Greensboro. The CCSA reflects the Agency’s efforts to accommodate some of the economic challenges experienced by schools and communities by providing a multi-faceted professional development opportunity for educators and education stakeholders. This conference is designed to consolidate several conferences into one by merging the Accountability, Safe Schools, and Raising Achievement and Closing Gaps conferences.
Watch our website for exciting updates on speakers and sessions!
http://www.ncpublicschools.org/academicservices/conference/​

August 28, 2014

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

August 26, 2013

600+ Additional Instructional Materials Added
Last week new instructional materials were imported into Schoolnet. The result of the new import was approximately 600 new instructional resources that can be found on the Schoolnet tab within the Classrooms Module, under Instructional Materials. New resources, units and lessons were added mostly in the subject areas of English Language Arts, Math and the Arts. Additional resources are added at least monthly, so watch for more resources to be available soon.
MORE INFO: The latest information about available resources can be found on the website at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/homebase/content/numbers/.

August 13, 2014

Online Learning For Educators: Home Base PD System
Check out the new professional development modules in Home Base. New facilitated sessions will be offered in the fall. Please remind your staff that they may register for online modules by using the professional development tab in Home Base. If they have trouble logging in, they may use the alternate log in: https://ncees.homebase.ncpublicschools.gov/alternateLogin.html. For 43 of our 50 modules, Sept. 3 will be the last day for educators to complete and access a module on the TOPS site (enrollment was open through June 30). After this date, the new modules will be available through the NCEES Home Base professional development system. Also, tell your staff to print any completion certificates by Sept. 3 for all modules taken this summer to ensure they have a certificate during this transition. If you have any questions about this process, please contact a member of the Educator Effectiveness Instructional Design team found online at www.rt3nc.org.

Some NCVPS Courses Available At No Cost to Enhance Blended Learning Opportunities
Are you interested in creating blended learning courses for your students? Are you interested in offering online courses locally? The NC Virtual Public School shares some courses at no cost to districts. The courses and content shared, developed under Creative Commons Licensing, were created either through federal grants or with state funds. Therefore, North Carolina teachers should have access to these resources to use in their classrooms to enhance instruction. Visit www.ncvps.org/index.php/shared-courses-2 to see which courses are available. For more information, please contact NCVPS Curriculum Director Jennifer Nobles at jennifer.nobles@ncpublicschools.

Register Now for Bridging the Gap STEM Education Conference
As you start planning for the new school year, NCDPI staff wanted to make sure you're aware of an important upcoming conference and how it can benefit educators from your schools.The 3rd annual Bridging the Gap STEM education conference, “Uniting North Carolina K-16 STEM Education,” will be held Oct. 28-29 in Raleigh. It will feature more than 80 presentations from nearly 150 presenters who represent all corners of the STEM education community: K-12, higher education, industry, state government, and other STEM groups like museums and nonprofits. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the conference will feature a special opportunity for schools to apply for funding to support K-12 STEM education programs and resources. To register, please visit http://bridgingthegapnc.com/. For every three registrations purchased as part of a single order, schools will receive an additional registration for free.

August 9, 2014

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2014 NC SIS Summer Update. This year’s theme is ‘Getting Back to School Business.’
We heard you loud and clear in the survey and we aim to answer your request. Therefore, this year’s conference will focus on setting up schools for the 2014-15 school year, changes coming with the PowerSchool 8.0 upgrade, Federal and State reporting, curriculum updates and much more.
The conference will be held via GoTo Webinar on Monday, August 11, 2014. It will be broken down into two parts – a morning session and an afternoon session. The morning session will begin at 9 a.m. and continue through 11:30 a.m. The afternoon session will resume at 1 p.m. and continue through 4 p.m. Registration links for both sessions are listed below. Please register at both links if you plan to attend the morning and afternoon sessions.
To view a list of scheduled topics and times, please visit the 2014 NC SIS Summer Update page posted to the NC SIS website: http://www.nc-sis.org/2014_Summer_Update.html. You may also view the attached agenda for names of presenters.

August 6, 2014

Standards-Based Grading and Reporting Webinar - August 15thThis webinar will demonstrate how standards should look in the PowerTeacher grade book once the 2014-15 standards spreadsheet has been loaded in PowerSchool, discuss various grading scenarios, and preview the new standards-based report card template. To register for this webinar, go to: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/285389529 . The target audience for this webinar is curriculum & instruction staff and data managers in districts implementing standards-based grading during the 2014-15 school year.
The August 15th webinar is a follow up to the August 1st webinar on the standards-based grading and loading the 2014-15 standards spreadsheet. The recording of the August 1st webinar can be found at: http://www.nc-sis.org/standardbasedreportcard.html. If you were not able to attend the August 1st webinar, it will be repeated on August 14 from 10 - 11:30. To register, go to: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/723263417 . This webinar is targeted for curriculum & instruction staff and data managers in districts implementing standards-based grading during the 2014-15 school year. It will be most beneficial for participants who have made local decisions regarding conversion scales and have started entering data in the 2014-15 standards spreadsheet.


August 1, 2014

Considerations for Wi-Fi deployments in K-12 Education Settings
If you follow either the K-12 vertical or the Wi-Fi industry, you probably saw the news that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revamped its E-Rate program and plans to boost the amount of money allocated to in-school Wi-Fi. Click here to read the article to see considerations for Wi-Fi deployments.

Action Required: PRC073 WAN Reimbursement
DPI provides funding for the non-reimbursed portion of E-rate eligible Wide Area Network services to LEAs and multi-site Charter Schools connected to NCREN through PRC073 allocations. In order to accurately calculate the funding level for each LEA/Charter, DPI needs relevant and verifiable WAN cost data, including your E-Rate Funding Request Number (FRNs), for Funding Year 2014 (July 2014 to June 2015) to be submitted through the following online form: http://tinyurl.com/PRC73-2014 by August 15, 2014.

When you have submitted your data, you will receive an automatic email confirmation that will include your submitted data for your records. Connectivity Services staff will review the data and contact you directly if there are any questions. We anticipate the processing to be completed and funding released in early November.

2014 Calling All Teachers Program

U.S. Cellular is collaborating with DonorsChoose.org, an online nonprofit that supports K-12 public school teachers, to fund classroom projects that enhance students’ learning experience. We invite you to get involved! If you are a public school teacher, consider submitting a project for funding consideration. If not, let a public school teacher know about Calling All Teachers.

The U.S. Cellular’s Calling All Teachers program, which will fund $1,000,000 worth of classroom project requests for K-12 public school teachers this fall.
  • Register as a U.S. Cellular teacher on DonorsChoose.org
  • From August 11 to September 21, registered public school teachers can post a project
  • Teachers within our retail footprint are eligible for funding
  • One project (valued between $100 to $1,000) per teacher will be considered
  • This fall, U.S. Cellular will fund projects up to a total of $1,000,000
For more information, please check out www.uscellular.com.


July 30, 2014

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

Breaking News: Negotiations Bring No-Cost Year for Home Base Opt-In 2014-15
NCDPI leaders and Pearson have continued negotiations about the cost of content for
Home Base, and here is the good news announced Thursday, July 24, by Chief Finance Officer Philip Price: Pearson has agreed to waive the costs of content for the 2014-15 school year, bringing the $4 per student in ADM to $0 for the 2014-15 school year. The cost is anticipated to be $4 for each of the subsequent two years, 2015-16 and 2016-17. That brings the total cost for the three-year contract down by a third of the anticipated costs.

While we are excited that 108 LEAs and 49 charters committed to spend $4 per ADM to have access to all of Home Base in FY 2014-15, we are even more excited that we will not be processing their opt-in submissions and that they will get the entire suite of Home Base tools at no charge for FY 2014-15.

Some NCVPS Courses Available At No Cost to Enhance Blended Learning Opportunities - Are you interested in creating blended learning courses for your students? Are you interested in offering online courses locally? The NC Virtual Public School shares some courses at no cost to districts. The courses and content shared, developed under Creative Commons Licensing, were created either through federal grants or with state funds. Therefore, North Carolina teachers should have access to these resources to use in their classrooms to enhance instruction. Visit www.ncvps.org/index.php/shared-courses-2 to see which courses are available. For more information, please contact NCVPS Curriculum Director Jennifer Nobles at jennifer.nobles@ncpublicschools.

Professional Development Calendar Features Home Base-Focused Sessions
The Educator Effectiveness Division has released the collaborative professional development calendar for the 2014-15 school year, which describes more than 250 sessions — among them Home Base Focus Sessions.
These sessions are designed to meet the specific needs of each region. Topics to be covered include PowerSchool, Schoolnet, Educator Evaluation, OpenClass, and the PD system. Participants will have the opportunity to work with trainers to get specific questions answered. In addition, time will be given for participants to network and problem solve concerning their experiences with the different components of Home Base.
● Calendar by REGION: http://bit.ly/2014-2015_region
● Calendar by SESSION: http://bit.ly/2014-2015_Session

(Click the “agenda” tab at top right for easy viewing.)
MORE INFO: If you have questions about the specific content of the sessions, please email your regional PD lead. If you have questions about the calendar, please contact Cynthia Martin at
cynthia.martin@dpi.nc.gov.

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

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

July 24, 2014

NCEdCloud IAM Summer Workshops July 14-31
The North Carolina Education Cloud Identity and Access Management team will hold 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.
Attendance will be capped at 50 per workshop to best facilitate interactive communication among all. The same workshop will be held in all eight regions, each day 9 a.m.-3 p.m. with a complimentary lunch included.
When: Tuesday, July 29, in Clinton
For more complete details, including exact locations, please review the PDF map at https://www.mcnc.org/sites/default/files/Summer.2014.IAM_.Workshops.Planning.Map__0.pdf.
Register at: https://www.mcnc.org/events/training/ncedcloud-iam-service/registration.

Modernizing the E-rate Program for Schools and Libraries
FCC Modernizes E-Rate Program To Expand Robust Wi-Fi Networks In The Nation's Schools and Libraries. Reforms to Expand Wi-Fi to 10 Million More Students, Thousands of Libraries Nationwide Next Year
See documents below:

Word : FCC-14-99A1.docx FCC-14-99A2.docx FCC-14-99A3.docx FCC-14-99A4.docx FCC-14-99A5.docx FCC-14-99A6.docx
Acrobat : FCC-14-99A1.pdf FCC-14-99A2.pdf FCC-14-99A3.pdf FCC-14-99A4.pdf FCC-14-99A5.pdf FCC-14-99A6.pdf

July 22, 2014

Back to School Meeting
Our Back to School Director's Meeting will be held in Wilson County on August 14th. Be sure to register for this event. The agenda can be found on our Back to School wiki page.

Home Base Opt-in Progress
93% of LEAs and 34.9% of Charter Schools have opted in to the full Home Base suite, a total that includes 79.5 percent of all public school and public charter school students. In addition, NCDPI leadership has been negotiating with Pearson to provide the Home Base technology tools at a lower price to local school districts and charter schools. While our negotiations are being completed, the full offering of all Home Base tools has been extended beyond the July 15 opt-in deadline. As soon as the bottom line costs for content has been determined, we will let you know immediately so that you can plan your budget needs accordingly. See the map of who’s opted in at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/homebase/status/opt-in/.

To see more information about the value that the full Home Base suite will bring to your schools and students, here are some YouTube videos showing this in action:

Hoke County Schools Knew Early On They’d Opt In for Home Base
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktHT8e_RpE4

NCDPI Data Systems to Improve Instruction – Brunswick County Schools
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19S_zCATczc

Hoke County Schools Are Rocking Schoolnet
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nC1dA_NQnWo

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

Webinar Focuses on Accountability Results Releases -Superintendents and local public information officers are invited to participate in a webinar focusing on release of school accountability results on Wednesday, July 30, from 10-11:30 a.m. NCDPI staff will try and relay as much information as possible about the schedule for accountability information being released this fall, details of the information that will be available and the new look of the NC School Report Cards. To register for the webinar, please visit https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/168396225.

Finance Officers’ Newsletter Online - The July 18 edition of the Finance Officers' newsletter is online and contains the following items: Federal Overspent Programs (LEAs), Uniform Chart of Accounts, School Bus Parts Inventory, and FBS Conference – July 24. To read more, please go to the NCDPI's Financial and Business Services Web site at www.ncpublicschools.org/fbs and click on Resources, then Newsletters.



SchoolNet 16.0**
On Friday evening, Aug. 8, Schoolnet will upgrade to the next version release, 16.0. The system will be down during this upgrade and will be back up by the following Monday, Aug. 11. This new release will include many new features for Schoolnet and will also improve performance. Additional communications about what you can expect to see in 16.0 will be forthcoming. The release notes can be found on PowerSource at https://powersource.pearsonschoolsystems.com/article/72434?from=search.