MESSAGES 2015 :: APRIL 20, 2015

APRIL 20, 2015

Weekly Message for Superintendents: Monday, Apr. 20, 2015

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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 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 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.

June Atkinson
State Superintendent

April 16, 2015
(doc, 76kb)

HB Update
(pdf, 439kb)

In this Weekly Superintendents' Message:

  1. Proposed Maintenance Weekend Calendar for 2015-16 School Year
  2. Does Your District Partner with Local Businesses to Provide Wi-Fi to Students?
  3. 2014 NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey Research Brief Available; Student Achievement and Teacher Attrition Analyses
  4. Finance Officers' Newsletter Online
  5. Career Development Coordinator Evaluation Instrument Training
  6. Professional Development Opportunity Focuses on Digital Leadership
  7. Shattering the Myths of Online and Blended Learning
  8. The Professional Educator: An Ethics Guide for North Carolina Teachers
  9. Indian Ed Advisory Council Makes Available Culturally Responsive Instructional Resources

Proposed Maintenance Weekend Calendar for 2015-16 School Year

Following are the proposed 2015-16 Home Base maintenance weekend calendar dates. Prior to submitting these dates to the Configuration Control Board for final approval, the NCDPI Home Base staff would like to give you an opportunity to preview the list. These maintenance weekends are necessary to install updates for state reporting and any fixes. Because we are winding down with implementation, it is possible that some of these maintenance weekends may not be needed.

July 18-20
Aug. 7-10
Sept. 18-21
Oct. 16-19
Nov. 13-16
Dec. 11-14
Jan. (No Maintenance Weekend)
Feb. 5-8, 2016
March 11-14, 2016
April 22-25, 2016
May 13-16, 2016
June (No Maintenance Weekend)
If you have comments concerning any of the proposed dates, please send your responses to Rosalyn Galloway at

Does Your District Partner with Local Businesses to Provide Wi-Fi to Students?

A recent article in Education Week (Businesses Build Online Wi-Fi Network in Georgia School District, April 13, 2015) focused on a partnership between a Georgia school district and local businesses to extend Wi-Fi within the community. About 50 businesses have agreed to have their names and locations listed as part of a free Wi-Fi zone that offers Internet connectivity to students. One local businessman said, "The Wi-Fi has been good for his bottom line and also gives him the chance to support local schools, several of which are located within a few miles of his shop." Does your district have a similar partnership? If so, could you please reply to this email and let us know about it? If you would like to read the article, it's available online at

2014 NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey Research Brief Available; Student Achievement and Teacher Attrition Analyses

Teaching conditions do matter in NC! A copy of the final briefing compiled by the New Teacher Center is now available for download at The purpose of this report is to help stakeholders better understand the connections between teaching conditions and outcomes of interest in North Carolina. The research brief:

  • links teaching conditions, as measured by the survey, to student achievement and teacher retention outcomes;
  • provides information on response rates to the 2014 survey;
  • tests the relationship between 2014 survey data, and student and teacher outcomes; and
  • summarizes school-level descriptive information.

For more information, contact Yvette Stewart at, or Dawn Shephard at

Finance Officers' Newsletter Online

The April 17 edition of the Finance Officers' newsletter is online and contains the following items: Legislative Webinar Agenda, Salary Reminder, New Hires Within Division of School Business, and Transportation Injury Data. To read more, please go to the NCDPI's Financial and Business Services Web site at and click on Resources, then Newsletters.

Career Development Coordinator Evaluation Instrument Training

Career Development Coordinator Evaluation Instrument training will be held Tuesday, May 5, from 3-4:30 p.m. The training will focus on content and strategies for implementing the new CDC evaluation instrument. The target audience includes school administrators, central office personnel in charge of evaluating CDCs and any others interested in learning about the responsibilities of CDCs. The training should take 90 minutes. To register, please visit

Professional Development Opportunity Focuses on Digital Leadership

NCDPI District and School Transformation in partnership with N.C. State University would like to invite superintendents and technology directors to a professional development opportunity made possible through the department's NELA-DST (Northeast Leadership Academy/District and School Transformation) grant. 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. The day is expected to be filled with great discussions on the most effective K-12 practices for successful instructional technology implementations and maximizing student learning.

The event will take place at the Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown on Wednesday, May 13, with registration starting at 8:30 a.m. and the event starting promptly at 9 a.m. Please forward the following registration link to anyone in your district who you feel would benefit from this opportunity:

You can learn more about Sheninger at He is a CDE Top 30 award recipient (2014), Bammy Award winner (2013), NASSP Digital Principal Award winner (2012), PDK Emerging Leader Award recipient (2012), winner of Learning Forward's Excellence in Professional Practice Award (2012), Google Certified Teacher, and ASCD 2011 Conference Scholar. He also has contributed on education for the Huffington Post, co-created the Edscape Conference, sits on the FEA Board of Directors, and was named to the NSBA "20 to Watch" list in 2010 for technology leadership. TIME Magazine also identified him as having one of the 140 Best Twitter Feeds in 2014.

Shattering the Myths of Online and Blended Learning

Join the North Carolina Virtual Public School online in its professional learning course "Shattering the Myths of Online and Blended Learning." If you have ever questioned the relevance and rigor of online and blended courses in comparison to brick-and-mortar courses, this course is for you. The course will shatter nine myths of online and blended learning and help participants become better digital educators and better digital learners. This six-week, facilitator-led course runs June 15 – July 26. The course is 30 hours of engagement with 3.0 CEU option upon completion. For registration and pricing details, visit Contact Don Lourcey at with questions or comments.

The Professional Educator: An Ethics Guide for North Carolina Teachers

State Board policy TCP-C-014 defines the code of ethics for all North Carolina educators to set standards of professional conduct. This new online module reviews these standards for all teachers and serves as an essential tool for all teachers, especially beginning teachers' and lateral entry teachers' growth and development. This module, which is available in Home Base, should take approximately 10 hours to complete and is worth one CEU on completion. Please contact Geetanjali Soni at for more information.

Indian Ed Advisory Council Makes Available Culturally Responsive Instructional Resources

The North Carolina State Advisory Council on Indian Education is pleased to announce its new online Culturally Responsive Instructional Resources. K-16 teachers will find many useful resources including lesson plans and teaching suggestions, research, text lists, information on all eight state-recognized North Carolina tribes, and contemporary background information on Indian country today.