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HOME BASE OVERALL

GENERAL


What is Home Base?
Home Base is a statewide, instructional improvement system and student information system for teachers, students, parents and administrators. Teachers will be able to use Home Base to access student data and to access teaching and learning resources to help improve educational outcomes for students. Students will be able to access their assignments, grades and learning activities. Parents will be able to view their child's attendance and progress, and administrators can monitor data on students, teachers and schools. Not only does Home Base put data and resources at the users' fingertips, it does so with single sign-on access to the integrated system made up of the following components: Learner Profile and Student Information; Standards & Curriculum; Instructional Design: Practice & Resources; Assessment; Data Analysis & Reporting; and Professional Development & Educator Evaluation.


Who is the vendor for Home Base?
Home Base encompasses instructional improvement system and student information system components (IIS). In September 2012, NC began transitioning to a new SIS by upgrading from NC WISE to Pearson's PowerSchool product. In December 2012, NCDPI awarded a contract to Pearson for the instruction, assessment and dashboard components of the IIS. In February 2013, NCDPI signed a contract with Public Consulting Group and Truenorthlogic, partnering vendors for the educator evaluation and professional development components of the IIS.


Is IIS a part of Home Base or is it Home Base?
The Instructional Improvement System is a part of Home Base. It integrates seemlessly with the Student Information System part of Home Base.


When will Home Base be available?
The student information, curriculum, instruction, classroom and benchmark assessment, and educator evaluation (for teacher evaluation) components will be available at the start of the 2013-14 school year for year-round (July 2013) and traditional schools (August 2013). The other components will follow, including professional development tools, the principal evaluation piece of the educator evaluation component, and statewide summative assessment tools to support the administration of End-of-Grade (EOG) and End-of-Course (EOC) tests.


What is the URL for the IIS portion of Home Base?
Each district will have its own URL for PowerSchool. Teachers and other users will go to their district's PowerSchool URL in order to access all the other components of the Home Base platform. 


Can a school district add its logo or "push out" an important message on the Home Base landing page?
No. Instead, we are encouraging school districts and schools to include a direct link from their own homepage to the Home Base single sign-on page to make it convenient for their users since the URL for Home Base in each LEA/charter school will be unique.


How do I access Home Base?
The Home Base URL is specific to your district or charter school. All Home Base users will log into PowerSchool, which will act as a portal for all of the Home Base applications.  Once you log in to PowerSchool, you are in Home Base and have access to the entire suite of tools available within Home Base, including the student information, the core instructional improvement and the NC educator evaluation systems. Home Base vendors have set up single sign-on integration among all of the Home Base applications. In other words, once logged in, you will be able to launch any of the Home Base systems without having to log in again.


How do I find my Home Base URL?
Home Base URLs are custom to your school district or charter school. Your URL is generally your district or charter school name (or abbreviation) followed by <.powerschool.com>. Your user name and password will come from your PowerSchool Coordinator. Note: PowerSchool is the portal into Home Base. Once you’ve logged in there, you can access all of the systems in Home Base. For a teacher view of logging and accessing the different components, see the screen shots and instructions on the Home Base website at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/homebase/training/general/.


Is Parent Portal implementation mandatory for the LEAs/charters?
No. While the Home Base Parent Portal is a valuable resource for parents, students and the LEAs/charters, its use is not mandated by the NCDPI. In addition, it is up to the LEAs/charter schools as to how or when they roll out the parent portal. Here's a link from the Home Base SIS website that can assist in the implementation of Parent Portal: http://bit.ly/1duPxWv


FINANCIAL


What is the Home Base cost structure after Race to the Top (RttT) money runs out?
Home Base will be provided to all districts and charter schools at no cost in 2013-14.  Use of the optional components will require a $4 per student cost share in 2014-15, with a decision being required regarding opting in by July 15, 2014. NCDPI will continue to fund the cost of the student information, statewide summative assessment and educator evaluation components of Home Base as these are required by all districts to use. The optional components include the instructional, classroom/benchmark assessment, and professional development tools and resources. This model will leverage the buying power of the state to ensure that Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and charter schools have access to high quality instructional and assessment tools and content at reasonable rates.


If a school district has Race to the Top money left, can it be used to purchase Home Base optional resources for the 2014-15 school year?
The current expectation is that all LEAs/charters need to expend all RttT monies by the end of fiscal year 2013-14. The NCDPI will need to pay the Home Base fees for 2014-15 to Pearson, one of the project vendors, in advance – that is, by June 30, 2014 – so the NCDPI will be gathering funds from any LEAs opting in for 2014-15 before the end of the 2013-14 fiscal year. Therefore, if an LEA/charter school wants to use their local RttT funds in FY 2013-14 to pay the Home Base $4/student, opt-in fee, they simply need to have that in their approved RttT Detailed Scope of Work (DSW). If they would like to reprogram funds currently slated in their DSW for other purposes to use for this purpose, they simply need to amend their DSW through the standard process.


How do I opt in to Home Base?
It's easy to opt in. Fill in this online form.


What does the $4 per ADM cost share cover?
Schoolnet, a vast array of state-vetted and aligned resources, the collaboration and course management system OpenClass, plus the ability to create and administer your own local professional development and track CEUs in the same system you're using for educator evaluation. For more, see the info sheet Opting in to Home Base found on the Home Base landing page: www.ncpublicschools.org/homebase/


STUDENT INFORMATION


Will the new software have a similar version of Student Assistant Module (SAM) available?
Yes. The Home Base solution provides its own robust student information system including demographics, grades, recommendations, attendance, schedule, etc. The student information system and the instructional improvement system will share a grade book. Teachers, parents and students will have access to student assignments, grades and assessment results through secure web portals.


INSTRUCTIONAL TOOLS


Will Home Base allow us to have student discussions like other Learning Management Systems (LMS) such as CANVAS? 
Yes. The instructional improvement system portion of Home Base will provide a variety of student and teacher collaboration capabilities. The collaboration tools will allow for student discussions like those that are available in other LMS systems. These tools will be available in Spring 2014. 


Which Learning Management System (LMS) will be included in Home Base?
OpenClass is  an open source product and will be integrated into Home Base. OpenClass is a Pearson product.


Will there be a way for students to track and turn in assignments in various formats electronically?
Yes, Home Base provides the ability for teachers to attach due dates to assignments which are then viewable by students.


Will Home Base allow content to be published to the web?
No. However, Home Base will facilitate content sharing not only within Local Education Agencies (LEAs), but also across LEAs. The first step is to roll out content in Home Base that is comprised of Pearson provided content, LEA provided content through the Home Base Resource Consortum, and Open Education Resources that have been aligned to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. 


Will each LEA have any control over curriculum, such as pacing guides, scope and sequence?
Yes. Local Education Agencies (LEAs) will continue to have control over how the standards are scoped and paced. Home Base will help districts as they develop and implement local curriculum. Home Base provides a platform for district leaders and teachers to access high-quality, standards-aligned instructional, assessment, and professional development resources to use in building their curriculum and lesson plans.


What type of copyright requirements will teachers be held to when sharing resources in Home Base?
Teachers, as well as any user, are held to U.S. copyright laws.


How will Home Base developers ensure that NC teachers use instructional and assesment materials that are aligned to Common Core and NC Essential Standards?
From the onset, Home Base will provide resources like lesson plans and learning tasks that have been vetted and aligned to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study (i.e., Common Core and NC Essential Standards). NCDPI and educators across the state have been working to identify and include these resources which will be searchable by the standards to which they are aligned.


After the initial lesson links are found, how will they be maintained and updated?
The system will scan for broken links and only display resources that have active links.  Users will have the opportunity to rate the effectiveness of content and recommend new content. Content managers will be able to remove content rated ineffective by teachers.


Will we be able to access NC FALCON and other Professional Development modules in Home Base?
The goal is to have the NC FALCON and other modules accessible through Home Base. Timelines for this transition will be available at a later date. Until these resources are moved to Home Base, the modules will continue to be available through NC Education and a direct link to NCEducation will be placed on the HomeBase landing page. A separate login will be required.


Are there plans to integrate Learn NC lesson plans into Home Base?
NCDPI staff are reviewing web resources including lesson plans at Learn NC using the Open Education Resources Achieve Rubrics to ensure quality and alignment.  Through this process, some of the LEARN NC lesson plans will be made available through Home Base.


What sort of file type and file size limits are being discussed, in regards to individual  student uploads? What types of image files or movie files can be uploaded?
When uploading instructional materials, the file size limit is 20MB.


Will teachers be able to interact with individual students around specific assignments through commenting?
Yes. Students will be able to submit their assignments online by attaching a variety of artifacts such as simple text, documents, videos and images/photos. Teachers will be able to comment on student assignments and provide feedback and grades.


How soon will district and classroom item banks be available? Number of items?  Rigor of items?
The classroom and benchmark assessment component of Home Base will be available at the start of the 2013-14 school year. Assessment item banks will become available through Home Base at that time. NCDPI will migrate the ClassScape items to Home Base, include NWEA items from Pearson, items from LEAs, with other potential sources still under review. LEA/charter schools will also be trained on how to populate their own item banks with items and will have the ability to submit items to a District-District item bank that allows sharing across LEAs/charter schools.


ASSESSMENTS


Will CTE assessments  be delivered through Home Base?
It is NCDPI’s long-term intent that all assessment be delivered through the Home Base platform. However, no decision has been made at this point to replace the current products being used to deliver Career and Technical Education (CTE) assessments.  More analysis is required before making such a decision. In the meantime, CTE teachers can link directly to their resources and assessment tools through a link on the HomeBase landing page. A separate login will be required.


How will Test Nav be used with the current EOGs and EOCs?
A: TestNav is the technology platform that will be our new online assessment delivery system for EOGs and EOCs. For the 2013-14 school year, NCTest will continue to be used for the delivery of our online assessments. Then in 2014-15, NCTest will be replaced by TestNav as the platform for delivering our EOG and EOC assessments online. TestNav will be integrated into the Home Base suite of tools.


Can teachers use existing assessments they have created in ClassScape – can those be imported into Home Base?
No, assessments that were created in ClassScape cannot be imported into Home Base. However, there is a process for downloading the information (test blueprint) from ClassScape that will allow you to rebuild the assessment in Home Base. Here is the process to get that information from ClassScape is: ClassScape users can go to Manage Custom Assessments/Benchmarks and select "Export Item List" to create a spreadsheet in CSV formatting with the item order, ClassScape item ID number, and objective. Test Administrators or teachers would then use the spreadsheet to find their same items in Home Base (Schoolnet) and rebuild their assessments.


Does Home Base have the capabilities to upload district level assessment data?
In general, any assessment data can be uploaded to Home Base as long as it can be put into the proper upload format. Data can be loaded by teachers through the system interface, and if a district chooses to load a comprehensive data file for their entire district, that district could contact Pearson services and Pearson staff can assist with providing the data layout and working with the district to define the test view within the IIS.


Can I create an assessment without standards?
Within the IIS you must associate a standard with each assessment item. Building assessment items and aligning them to standards can be done quickly and easily through several processes. You can learn more about how to do this through modules on PowerSource (which does require a login).


Will K-2 assessment items be included in Home Base? For instance, we give formative assessment three times a year in math for K-2.
At this time, assessment items are only available in the system beginning with grade 3. If your school or district has K-2 items, they can be added into the system and delivered via Home Base. In addition, the NCDPI has purchased items that will cover grades K-12 in English/language arts and math that will be added throughout the 2013-14 school year (this will include approximately 1,000 math items and 4,000 ELA items in grades K-2).


If I build assessments in Home Base this year, will I be able to use the same assessments next year?
Yes. The system stores all of the assessments that you build, and you will be able to access and schedule the same assessments in the next school year (without having to rebuild!). Please remember it's important to use a naming convention for your assessments that makes it easy to search and find exactly what you are looking for from year to year. Also, you can copy any test used and give it a new name or make a slight modification (add or remove items, change the points value, etc.) and use it again without having to start over and build a whole new test.


Will Reading 3D/mCLASS and Home Base be linked? If so, will I give my assessments in Home Base? What about historical data?
Reading 3D/mClass will be integrated. Student data from the previous school year will be uploaded and available in Home Base. Administration of assessments will still be through Reading 3D. Also, there is an mCLASS 'hot button' from Home Base/Schoolnet to access this external program.


My LEA had issues getting mCLASS 'rosters' completed. Will we continue having these issues?
Because Reading 3D/mCLASS is now mandated statewide, the NCDPI and Amplify were working together to produce the required scripts to get data from PowerSchool to mCLASS. Unfortunately, that work did not complete before the start of school. Some LEAs began the process manually and others waited for the statewide solution. The NCDPI and Amplify did get LEAs rostered that had not started the process. We are now working on the final solution so LEAs/Charters can 're-roster' as they need during the year.


Will DIBELS be a part of the Reading 3D/mCLASS?
Yes. Reading 3D has two components – DIBELS Next measures and Text Reading Comprehension measures. Both components are required for students in third grade being taught with the NCSCoS.


CONTENT


What instructional and assessment resources will be available in Home Base?
NCDPI will include the following Instructional and Assessment Content Resources in Home Base when it is launched in July/August 2013:

  • Pearson’s Science and Social Studies Digital Library consisting of learning objects for grades K-12;
  • Open Education Resources for English/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies and Program Areas that have been reviewed and aligned to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study;
  • Assessment items that are typically sold with Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Classroom Assessment item bank for Science and Social Studies;
  • Math, ELA, Science and Social Studies ClassScape Assessment items that are being revised in Spring/Summer 2013;
  • Lesson plans, curriculum resources, assessments, professional development and talent management/educator evaluation resources shared from the LEAs and charter schools participating in the Home Base Resource Consortium.

During the 2013-14 school year, assessment items from Pearson’s new “Next Generation” Assessment item bank for English/Language Arts and Math for grades K-12 will be added to the bank on an ongoing basis.  The first set will include technology enhanced items and is scheduled to be loaded in late fall/early spring.  More information regarding this timeline will be available in September 2013.


When creating lesson plans or assessments, will there be a storage limit for teachers?
Overall, a teacher has unlimited storage for lesson plans, etc. in Home Base.


Can you add modules and other content and activities as well?
Yes. Teachers will be able to add content and other activities to Home Base. 


How will Home Base developers ensure that NC teachers use instructional and assessment materials that are aligned to Common Core and NC Essential Standards?
From the onset, Home Base will provide resources like lesson plans and learning tasks that have been vetted and aligned to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study (i.e., Common Core and NC Essential Standards). The NCDPI and educators across the state have been working to identify and include these resources which will be searchable by the standards to which they are aligned.


If we have existing lesson plans, will we be able to use them in Home Base?
Yes. There are several ways to do this, including these two primary ways: 1) A teacher or district could open the lesson plan template available in Home Base and upload the previously-created lesson plans in Word or PDF format to attach to the lesson plan template; 2) In addition, a teacher or district could use a previously created lesson plan as a guide and complete the template to create a new lesson plan by cutting and pasting information from the existing lesson plan. A school district has the capability to share lesson plans out to schools within the district as well.


INTEGRATION/TECHNICAL


Will the Learning Management System (LMS) be integrated into the Student Information System by PowerSchool, such that students are automatically assigned to classes and teachers based on the data in PowerSchool?
Yes. Home Base will allow for the auto-provisioning of students from Home Base into OpenClass. This feature is scheduled to be available in October/November 2013. This auto-provisioning currently exists for the core instructional and assessment components that will be available in Home Base starting in July/August 2013.


How is the single sign-on different from NCID?
The major differences between the two systems — NCID and the NC Education Cloud Identity and Access Management System (IAM) — is the scope of what users they serve and to what applications they provide authentication/authorization services. The NCID system provides identity services to state agencies, local governments, business and individual users of North Carolina for state-owned applications. The IAM system will be serving the larger K-12 community of North Carolina for state owned and non-state owned, cloud-based application services they utilize. The IAM system will be coordinating identity services for a set of users and target applications outside of the scope of the current NCID model. Why do we need both? Due to the gap in service scope of NCID, the K-12 community requires an identity service that can provide the authentication/authorization needs for its user base and the vast set of learning resource applications it utilizes.


Is Home Base accessible by standard browsers?
See the Home Base Minimum End-User Technical Requirements publication (pdf, 0kb) for a complete list of supported platforms and browsers.


When will PowerSchool be integrated with the Instructional Improvement System side of Home Base?
End-users will see a great deal of integration between PowerSchool and the curriculum and instruction components of Home Base by back-to-school 2013.  Deeper integrations are planned in later releases of the Home Base platform.


Will we be able to obtain Single Sign-On (SSO) to the Google Apps environment?
Yes, the Home Base Learning Management System (LMS) is already integrated with Google apps in terms of SSO. The Home Base LMS will be available in October/November 2013.


What is the update cycle for the Home Base software, and how is user input gathered and incorporated into the product development process?
Home Base leverages the Agile development methodology and constantly releases enhancements; feasibly, something small could get released every two weeks. Any enhancements with significant user interface or user experience implications are planned for release during appropriate times of the year, e.g., June/July. NCDPI will continue to seek feedback from the Home Base User Group, the Home Base Resource Consortium, and the Home Base Stakeholder Committee regarding enhancements. In additon, LEAs/charters will be able to participate in existing feedback loops established by the vendors. For example, Pearson has a Product Advisory Council that helps guide priorities and a customer forum where enhancement requests can be entered.


How will Home Base work with existing Learning Management Systems?
Content can be imported into the Home Base collaborative tool (OpenClass) from Blackboard: 7.x, 8.x, 9.x; Moodle: 2.0 (and older versions) and Angel. For LEAs that choose to migrate from an existing LMS platform to OpenClass, Pearson will assist LEAs with the migration. If an LEA or charter school wishes to continue to use an existing LMS that is not OpenClass, there may be integration potential. NCDPI is currently exploring what those options would be. More information will be provided as it becomes available.


Can Chromebooks be used?
Chromebooks can be used. For information please visit Chromebooks and online testing (pdf, 307kb).


For the assessment component, what are the specifications for the scanners that can be used for scoring the assessments and getting the results in Home Base?
The following are available: 


Plain-Paper Scanner Support---most optical scanners that encompass the following requirements:

  • TWAIN-compliant Black/white scanning at 300 dpi or above
  • USB 2.0 or later
  • Equipped with Automatic Document Feeder (ADF)


NCS Pearson Scantron OMR Scanner Support--It is expected that ScanIt will generally work with any Scantron or NCS scanner with a serial port connection. Schoolnet’s ScanIt has been verified to work on the following OMR scanners:

  • SCANMARK (ES2010, ES2260, ES2800, 4000, 5500, 6500)
  • OPSCAN series (2, 3, 4, 4ES, 4U, 6 and 8)
  • Insight (4, 4ES)

OMR Forms Support

  • Forms:  19465, 71737, 245696 (1-50, A-E), 245699 (1-200, A-E), 219482 (1-100, A-E), & 220608 (1-400, A-E)

 
Can I import course information from my LMS to Home Base?
Yes. Content can be imported into the Home Base Learning Management System from Blackboard: 7.x, 8.x, 9.x; Moodle: 2.0 (and older versions) and Angel: Common Cartridge output only. 


Will all teachers need to run a PowerTeacher Client, or is it 100% web based?
It is web based; however, Java must be installed to run the PowerSchool applications (e.g., PowerTeacher).


Teachers and counselors often experience severe slow-downs and even outages in NC WISE, especially during periods of high use (inputting final grades, changing schedules, etc). Will PowerSchool offer any improvement in that sense or is that a function of each county's technology issues, for example?
Each Local Education Agency (LEA) and charter school will have its own instance of the PowerSchool (student information system) portion of Home Base. Therefore, some of the performance issues may be resolved. However, district technology infrastructure, including router configuration and wireless network configuration at each school, will always play a significant role in the system performance.


What is the plan for mobile and other device access of Home Base? Is Home Base being developed in a way that is standards-based and responsive? Does the system work totally in the browser?
Home Base is web-based and will run on HTML-5 compatible browsers on a variety of platforms.

  • Minimum technical requirements for user
    (pdf, 0kb)


How will Home Base user accounts be created?
Initially, Pearson, the Home Base vendor for the student information system (SIS, also called PowerSchool) and the core components of the instructional improvement system (IIS), will generate user accounts using teacher and student data coming from NC WISE. All Home Base end-users will log into PowerSchool, which will act as a portal for all of the Home Base applications. Home Base vendors have set up single sign-on integration between PowerSchool and all of the other Home Base applications. Once logged into PowerSchool, end-users will be able to launch any of the Home Base applications from PowerSchool without having to log into the other applications.


Will the availability of Home Base do away with log-ins to NC Education?
Not immediately.  NC Education includes many resources for assessment and professional development including discussion boards, etc. Many of the resources that are currently found in NC Education will be moved to Home Base. Timelines for this transition will be available at a later date. As the timelines are developed, the state will determine which, if any, resources will remain in NC Education and for how long. Until all resources are moved to Home Base, logins for NC Education will continue to be used. For convenience, a direct link to NC Education has been placed on the Home Base landing page.


Can NCDPI provide or create a “Technical Resource Document” that provides architectural blueprints, or specification information on compatibility issues for all aspects of Home Base, especially if LEAs want to customize their Home Base to continue using private vendor (third-party) products or that they may wish to purchase to address the needs of their students?
There is currently a minimum technical specifications document available on the Home Base website at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/homebase/getting-ready/technical-requirements.pdf (pdf, 0kb).  This document is updated as any new information becomes available. You may also send specific questions to homebase.incidents@its.nc.gov. LEAs are free to work with Pearson directly to consider local integrations between Home Base and LEA systems.

What are the specifications for the scanners that can be used for scoring the assessments and getting the results in Home Base?
You can find a document with scanner specification on the Home Base website at
http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/homebase/getting-ready/scanner-information.pdf (pdf, 0kb).

In Home Base, is there a link to get to the CTE instructional management system in Thinkgate?
Yes. There is a CTE Thinkgate icon on the Home Base landing page that will take you to that external site, https://elements.schools.nc.gov/, where you can log in to get access to your CTE curriculum blueprint, create and administer assessments and find diagnostic and evaluative reports.


NCEDCLOUD IAM SERVICE

What exactly is Identify Access Management?
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) and led by the Friday Institute. It is based on the principle that strong identity management is a foundational component for the ongoing shift toward Internet-based (cloud) technologies in today's schools. As more services move to the cloud, a centralized and standardized way to manage user accounts, roles, and permissions for these technologies is required for success. The IAM Service is an enabler to help LEAs and charter schools manage the full identity life cycle with current and future cloud applications.

When will IAM be available?
The NCEdCloud Identity and Access Management (IAM) Service is now open for general availability to all LEAs and charters statewide after a concentrated, three-year team effort to set up, configure and test the new service, plus pilot it.

IAM is open for 'general availability,' what does that mean?
General availability means that any LEA or charter school can submit a request to have any of the currently integrated applications integrated for its district and be managed by the new automated processes of the IAM Service. The IAM Service is fully available for all users in a district to claim their accounts.

How do users claim their IAM accounts?
Vist the NCEdCloud website to get set up your account: ncedcloud.mcnc.org/

What does IAM do for me?
The service provides LEAs and charters a tool to manage the authentication and authorization needs for their students, employees, parents, and guests accessing "cloud" or hosted services. It provides self-service capabilities to all end-users, and delegates administrative capabilities to LEA and charter school technology leaders. As users move around among different schools and districts, changes to their student or employee source system records are automatically reflected in the IAM Service, and access is updated accordingly for target applications. The Central Directory Local Replica (CDLR), a local Active Directory option, allows services/applications inside LEAs and charters to receive these automatic data flows and utilize the centralized self-service capabilities.

What integrated applications are available in the IAM service?

  • ● MCNC Zscaler
  • ● Central Directory Local Replica (CDLR)
  • ● Follett Destiny
  • ● Discovery Education
  • ● Google Apps for Education

What additional integrated applications are planned for the IAM service?
Upcoming Target Applications available for integration (over the next year) are:

  • ●Home Base Applications Integration:
    • Student Information System (based on Pearson PowerSchool)
    • Instructional Improvement System (based on Pearson Schoolnet)
    • The Educator Effectiveness System (based on Truenorthlogic software)
    • Educator Evaluation System module
    • Professional Development System module
    • Classroom Collaboration tools (based on Pearson OpenClass)
  • NCEdCloud LMS RFP Winner
  • SAS EVAAS for K-12
  • Edmodo
  • MS Student Advantage
  • mClass
  • Microsoft Office 365


SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATION


Will specialist teachers have access to student information in the same way that homeroom or classroom teachers will?
Teacher access to student records is determined by the security configuration, and Pearson and NCDPI will work with districts to determine the proper student access rights to grant to each teacher.


How will non-teaching support staff and administrators interact with Home Base?
This is role dependent and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) will make some decisions regarding access. For example, LEA/charter school data managers will use the student information system portion of Home Base (PowerSchool) in a manner similar to how they use NC WISE today. Districts will have the option to allow substitute teachers to take attendance and this will be the only functionality the substitute teachers will be able to access.


How will Home Base deal with different levels of access?
Home Base access will be role-based. Functionality will be granted to each student, teacher, parent and administrator on an as-needed basis.


Will parents and students have access to Home Base?
Yes, Home Base is designed to be accessible to educators, parents and students. Parents and students will be able to access Home Base from anywhere with an internet connection. With their secure logins, parents will be able to view their child's attendance and progress. Students will be able to access their assignments, grades and learning activities.


Who will create and manage the single sign-on accounts?
NCDPI is working with Pearson on a plan to use the existing NC WISE user accounts and to work out accounts for those who do not currently have an NC WISE account. More information will be forthcoming.


Will this system streamline the school data manager's existing role?
The basic role of the data manager will not change.


TRAINING /COMMUNICATIONS


How will Home Base training for teachers be delivered? Will LEAs need to be prepared to conduct professional development on Home Base?
Training will be provided through a train-the-trainer model. Both web-based and face-to-face training opportunities will be held for district leaders. The district leaders will determine how best to train school staff based upon need and role. Training on the IIS components will begin in June 2013.  Prior to the training, NCDPI will offer demonstrations of the system via webinars and at conferences. PowerSchool training is well under way.


Will Home Base webinars be offered for school data managers?
Yes. Information on dates and times of those webinars is available in the Home Base Biweekly Update e-newsletter which is then also published on the website.


How does the state plan to communicate Home Base to employees in school districts?
NCDPI is using multiple avenues for communicating information to the district employees about Home Base. Some of these measures include a postcard to every current NC public school and charter school teacher; a biweekly e-newsletter; ongoing communications with superintendents, principals, teachers, school administrators and public information officers through current listservs; monthly webinars for teachers, technical staff and the Home Base User Group; and ongoing and up-to-date information posted at the Home Base website. Additionally, there is a Home Base Speakers' Bureau and a revamped, expanded NCDPI Home Base Support Center available to answer questions. In terms of learning to use Home Base, NCDPI is using a train-the-trainer model and will train district trainers through face-to-face and web-based training so that the district trainers may train district teachers and staff.


How can we learn more about Home Base?
Visit the Home Base website to learn more about Home Base. In addition, NCDPI staff will hold monthly webinars about Home Base. Information about upcoming webinars can be found in the Home Base Biweekly e-newsletter and is posted on the calendar portion of the Home Base website.


How will Home Base training for teachers be delivered? Will LEAs need to be prepared to conduct professional development on Home Base?
Training will be provided through a train-the-trainer model. Both web-based and face-to-face training opportunities will be held for district leaders. The district leaders will determine how best to train school staff based upon need and role. Training on the IIS components will begin in June 2013. Prior to the training, the NCDPI will offer demonstrations of the system via webinars and at conferences. PowerSchool training is well underway.


How will Home Base training for teachers be delivered?
Training for Home Base follows a train-the-trainer model. Both web-based and face-to-face training opportunities have been held for district leaders.  The district leaders will determine how best to train school staff based upon need and role. District/charter training for the student information, educator evaluation and instructional improvement systems has been completed. In addition, webinars are held weekly on Home Base for continued support and learning.


When will LEAs/charters get PowerSchool ‘scheduling’ training for next year, 2014-15?
Spring 2014. Exact dates will be announced this fall so check the Training section of the Home Base website in the near future.