MESSAGES 2014 :: MAY 12, 2014

MAY 12, 2014

Weekly Message for Superintendents: Monday, May 12, 2014

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This week, the General Assembly will begin its short session. Many of you have already participated in legislative previews and followed the news on various anticipated bills. With the start of the session, we will begin our usual weekly legislative webinars, led by Legislative Director Rachel Beaulieu and including other NCDPI staff as needed. The first webinar will be held this Friday, May 16, at 11 a.m. Reserve your webinar seat online at In other activity, LEAs and charter schools are now officially opting in to the optional (non-required) components of Home Base using NCDPI's web-based form. The link to the form is provided for you again in the first item below. Congratulations to those of you who have moved forward with your decision and taken that step.

June Atkinson
State Superintendent

HB Update
(pdf, 283kb)

May 8, 2014
(doc, 70kb)

In this Weekly Superintendents' Message:

  1. Home Base Options Opt-In Form
  2. Home Base Maintenance Weekend Scheduled for May 16-19
  3. Race to the Top No-Cost Extension Info Online
  4. USED Updates Student Enrollment Guidance
  5. NC TWCS Data Release
  6. State Advisory Council on Indian Education to Meet

Home Base Options Opt-In Form

All North Carolina school districts and charter schools were asked to try out all the portions of Home Base at no cost this year and now have been asked to express their intent to opt in no later than July 15. Among the LEAs/charters already opting in for 2014-15 are Bertie County Schools, Caldwell County Schools, Camden County Schools, Carter Community School in Durham, Clay County Schools, Clinton City Schools, Columbus County Schools, East Wake Academy, Elkin City Schools, Franklin County Schools, Harnett County Schools, Hertford County Schools, Hickory City Schools, Macon County Schools, Martin County Schools, Mount Airy City Schools, Northampton County Schools, Pamlico County Schools, Pender County Schools, Perquimans County Schools, Randolph County Schools, Sampson County Schools, Sugar Creek Charter School in Charlotte, Thomasville City Schools, Tyrrell County Schools, Voyager Academy in Durham, Wayne County Schools and Yadkin County Schools. Here again is the direct link to the quick-and-easy opt-in form: More details are available from all the NCDPI Regional Leads. Also, for those who would like to know more, you can view a recorded webinar that explains the opt-in components of Home Base at

Home Base Maintenance Weekend Scheduled for May 16-19

The next Home Base maintenance weekend is May 16-19, which means the system will be unavailable for access beginning at 5 p.m., Friday, May 16. Once maintenance is completed, a message will be sent to notify users that the system is up and available for use. Home Base will be returned to service no later than 6 a.m., Monday, May 19. If there's a delay bringing the system back up, users will be notified via NC SIS email.

Race to the Top No-Cost Extension Info Online

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

USED Updates Student Enrollment Guidance

Last week, US Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder announced updated guidance to assist public schools in ensuring enrollment processes are consistent with the law and fulfilling their obligation to provide all children equal access to an education. In 2011, the Departments of Justice and Education issued guidance to help schools understand their responsibilities under the Supreme Court's decision in Plyler v. Doe and federal civil rights laws to provide all children with equal access to an education regardless of their or their parents' immigration status. Last week, the departments issued important updates to that guidance, including examples of permissible enrollment practices, as well as examples of the types of information that may not be used as a basis for denying a student entrance to school. The updated guidance documents emphasize the need for flexibility in accepting documents from parents to prove a child's age and to show that a child resides within a school's attendance area. They also provide specific examples of the types of documents that many schools have accepted. And the guidance documents remind schools that they may not require certain documents—such as a parent's state-issued driver's license—where such a requirement would prevent a student from enrolling because of his or her parent's immigration status. These documents, which include a guidance letter to states and school districts, a fact sheet, and Q & A document, are available online at at the bottom of the press release.

NC TWCS Data Release

On May 15, the 2014 North Carolina Teacher Working Conditions Survey (NC TWCS) results will be available online at This year's NC TWCS tied the all-time state record for response rate with 89 percent or 93,179 teachers and administrators responding. A total of 2,548 schools (98 percent) met or exceeded the minimum 40 percent threshold and will have their own results to use in school improvement planning. As in previous years, each school that met or exceeded the minimum 40 percent threshold as well as all district results will be available online (at the web address noted above) in "Detailed" or "Summary" views that may be downloaded. The New Teacher Center will present the statewide preliminary findings at the June State Board of Education meeting. If you have any questions, please use the Question or Comments icon on the NC TWCS website. Thank you for helping to make this year's NC TWC Survey a success!

State Advisory Council on Indian Education to Meet

The State Advisory Council on Indian Education will meet on Thursday, May 15, from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., in Room 504 of the Education Building, 301 N. Wilmington Street, Raleigh. Agenda items include a discussion of the Council's roles and responsibilities, 2013 Education Summit follow-up and subcommittee formations and discussion. A tentative agenda is available online at For additional information, please contact Debora Williams at or 919.807.3912.