MESSAGES 2014 :: MAY 27, 2014

MAY 27, 2014

Weekly Message for Superintendents: Tuesday, May 27, 2014

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As anticipated, a bill was filed last week, SB 815, that focuses on ensuring the privacy of student data. This issue continues to be extremely important to me and to the Department of Public Instruction's policies and operational practices. There also are state and federal laws that address this issue. In the meantime, there are many ways we can all be diligent in this area. For example, in Home Base, establishing and maintaining appropriate Roles and Permissions sounds like a routine task, but in reality it's one of the frontline strategies for keeping student data and other information secure and confidential.

It's important to be diligent to ensure that users are not inadvertently "permissioned" to see more data than they should within the system. For example, teachers should only be given access to individual level data on their students, not all students within their school, especially students they do not teach. For the initial implementation of Schoolnet, all PowerSchool users were mapped to one of two roles in Schoolnet: "Teacher" or "Staff." Schoolnet users with the "Teacher" role may access student-level data only for those students they are assigned to teach, and users with "Staff" role have access to only aggregate-level information such as rolled-up reports for their assigned institution (school or district level). LEAs and schools (e.g., district/school data managers or leaders) have the ability to provide different levels of access to principals, assistant principals, curriculum managers, assessment coordinators and others as needed based on their responsibilities within their school or district.

There is more information about this process in the May 9 Home Base Biweekly available online at Thank you for your work to maintain important data confidentiality.

June Atkinson
State Superintendent

HB Update
(pdf, 296kb)

May 22, 2014
(doc, 63kb)

In this Weekly Superintendents' Message:

  1. ACT Plan and Explore Administrations for 2014-15
  2. Legislative Update Webinar Reminder
  3. Finance Officers' Newsletter Online
  4. Edwards Receives Public School Forum Award

ACT Plan and Explore Administrations for 2014-15

Within the next few days, ACT plans to send out to their Explore and Plan contract states an email communication regarding ACT Aspire and the retiring of ACT Explore and ACT Plan effective with the 2013-14 school year. ACT feels it is critical that they message all of their customers about the retirement of Explore and Plan. North Carolina, however, has an agreement with ACT to continue ACT Plan and ACT Explore administrations for an additional year. Therefore, North Carolina will administer ACT Plan and ACT Explore in October.

Legislative Update Webinar Reminder

Superintendents are reminded that the next Legislative Update Webinar will be held Friday, May 30, from 11 a.m.-noon. To register, please visit

Finance Officers' Newsletter Online

The May 23 edition of the Finance Officers' newsletter is online and contains the following items: Legislative Update Webinar, Additional Driver's Training Funds Request for FY 2014, School Allotments FY 2013-14 Year-End Reminders, Approved May Masters Pay, Administrative Costs Limitation by PRC, Workers Compensation and Web News. To read more, please go to the NCDPI's Financial and Business Services Web site at and click on Resources, then Newsletters.

Edwards Receives Public School Forum Award

Congratulations to Mooresville Graded Schools' Superintendent Mark Edwards for recently receiving the 2014 Public School Forum of North Carolina Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award. The award recognizes exemplary leaders who have made outstanding contributions to public education.