MESSAGES 2013 :: FEBRUARY 21, 2013

FEBRUARY 21, 2013 - Principals' Biweekly Message

The contract has been signed and the project has begun to provide the educator effectiveness and professional development portion of the Home Base technology project. This is the last contract necessary to bring the entire project to life between now and fall 2014. Home Base truly will be a home base for educators, bringing together technology tools in three main categories: instruction and assessment, student information and educator effectiveness. The educator effectiveness and professional development components are being developed by TrueNorthLogic and Public Consulting Group. Kick-off activities were held last week to begin the work with NCDPI staff and contractors. The Student Information System (PowerSchool), Curriculum & Instruction, Classroom & Benchmark Assessment, and Educator Evaluation components of Home Base will be available to year round schools in July and will be available to traditional calendar schools in August. Availability of other components, including OpenClass Learning Management System, will be available in October. Finally, Summative Assessment components will be available statewide in the 2014-15 school year.

June Atkinson

In this Biweekly Principals' Message:

  1. Celebrate Entrepreneurship Week
  2. Like READY on Facebook; Follow Us on Twitter
  3. EVAAS Updates
  4. Feb. 5 Math Webinar Recording Online
  5. Video Series to Enhance Teacher Understanding of Common Core State Standards in Math Online
  6. Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement Scheduled for March
  7. Military Child Education Coalition Sponsors Institute
  8. NCVPS Summer Courses Catalog Online
  9. NC ECHO Project Makes Local History Searchable, Accessible Online

Celebrate Entrepreneurship Week

Entrepreneurs are an important part of North Carolina's economy, especially in creating new industries, new businesses and new jobs to help North Carolina's economy rebound from the economic difficulties that began in 2008. In recognition of the role that entrepreneurs play in North Carolina, Gov. Pat McCrory has declared Feb. 16-23 as Entrepreneurship Week. The READY initiative underway in North Carolina public schools is doing its part to ensure that students graduate with the skills needed for success in careers or college - foundational skills for entrepreneurs. To read the complete proclamation, please visit

Like READY on Facebook; Follow Us on Twitter

There are three easy ways to obtain the latest information on North Carolina's READY initiative: Facebook, Twitter and the NCDPI website!

READY is taking public education to a whole new level with new curriculum, new assessments, a new accountability model, and a new Educator Evaluation system. Home Base will provide a suite of technology tools for teachers, students and parents all in one place. All these changes will result in more students graduating well prepared for college and careers.

So… like us on Facebook at, follow us on Twitter at /ncpublicschools, or visit us on the web at for more information about what our state is doing to support teachers and improve education for all students.

EVAAS Updates

On Feb. 1, teachers across North Carolina received access to a teacher evaluation dashboard housed in the EVAAS web platform. This report integrates a teacher's ratings on Standards 1-5 with the baseline data for Standard 6. Over time, the dashboard will hold the three years of data that will be used with data from Standards 1-5 to determine a teacher's overall effectiveness status of in need of improvement, effective, or highly effective. As a reminder, the sixth standard rating for the 2011-12 school year will not be counted toward the overall status. For more information on how to access and interpret the report, please visit pdf .

The NCDPI and SAS Institute also are pleased to announce the launch of new learning modules on EVAAS. These eight-ten minute videos are available 24/7, and provide a narrated explanation of how to access and interpret different reports. The modules currently available are:

  • Teacher Value-Added and Diagnostic Reports for Grades 4-8 ELA and Math Teachers
  • Teacher Value-Added and Diagnostic Reports for Grades 4 and 8 Science, High School, and Career and Technical Education Teachers
  • Teacher Evaluation Dashboard

The modules can be accessed through the Help menu when logged into EVAAS. For more information, please e-mail

Feb. 5 Math Webinar Recording Online

If you were unable to participate in the "Integrating the Common Core Math Practices and Assessment into Instruction" webinar held Feb. 5, you may want to take advantage of the recording, which is available online at .

Video Series to Enhance Teacher Understanding of Common Core State Standards in Math Online

The Southeast Comprehensive Center at SEDL has posted a series of some 40 videos to help teachers understand and apply the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics in the classroom. Each video is an audiovisual resource that focuses on one or more specific standards through examples and illustrations geared to enhancing understanding. The intent of each content-focused video is to clarify the meaning of the individual standard rather than to be a guide on how to teach each standard, although the examples can be adapted for instructional use. This free resource can be accessed online at

Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement Scheduled for March

The third annual Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement, "Engaging NC in Transforming 21st Century Teaching & Learning," will be held March 25-27 at the Koury Convention Center/Sheraton Four Seasons, Greensboro. This conference consolidates the former Accountability, Safe Schools, and Raising Achievement and Closing Gaps conferences. For conference information, including featured presenters, topics and registration, please visit .

Military Child Education Coalition Sponsors Institute

The Military Child Education Coalition® (MCEC) will hold a no-cost training opportunity, "Living in the New Normal," on March 11-12 at the MAHEC, Division of Regional Services, 121 Hendersonville Road, Asheville. MCEC, a non-profit, worldwide organization, focused on ensuring quality educational opportunities for all military children affected by mobility, family separation and transition. Participants may apply for Continuing Education Units (CEU) and one hour graduate credit upon completion of the training. For more information, including registration, please visit and click on the appropriate link under Programs & Training.

NCVPS Summer Courses Catalog Online

The NCVPS course catalog for summer courses and for the 2013-14 school year is now online at . Registration opens March 1 for all three sessions. Sessions are Summer 2013, Fall 2013, and Spring 2014. For questions, please contact Connie Joyner at or Adam Renfro at .

NC ECHO Project Makes Local History Searchable, Accessible Online

Students, educators and researchers may now search and access primary source materials from local history collections across North Carolina with a single search box thanks to a collaborative project led by the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, NC LIVE, and the State Library of North Carolina.

NC ECHO, a new website available at, was created in order to expand access to unique local heritage collections previously scattered across a multitude of websites and North Carolina institutions. NC ECHO enables users to search across thousands of digitized and "born-digital" historic materials, including a wide variety of books, photographs, maps, family histories, state documents, newspapers and other materials from cultural heritage institutions around North Carolina. The collections available through NC ECHO include a diverse array of materials by and about the people, places and history of North Carolina.

A previous program by the same name was run out of the State Library of North Carolina from 1999-2012, with the intent to identify and digitize local cultural heritage collections. The newly revived NC ECHO program continues with the same spirit, to build connections and improve access to these collections of historic materials. Over the coming year, the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center will continue to work with cultural institutions across North Carolina to add new materials to this statewide search.

All of the collections available through the NC ECHO search are freely available online to all users, regardless of their location.