MESSAGES 2015 :: JULY 6, 2015

JULY 6, 2015

Weekly Message for Superintendents: Monday, Jul. 6, 2015

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Last week was a great opportunity to network with colleagues and receive updates about our work. Thank you to those of you who attended the 2015 Summer Leadership Conference in Asheville. Last week also came with good news for North Carolina. The federal government announced that our state will receive more than $34 million in Federal Communications Commission (FCC) E-rate funds to expand WiFi access to K-12 classrooms. We anticipate that this will extend high performance Wi-Fi to more than 20,000 classrooms and will benefit approximately 375,000 students. North Carolina and California are the states receiving the largest grants for this work. The joint effort to receive these funds involved the participation of Gov. Pat McCrory, Lieutenant Gov. Dan Forest, NCDPI, the Friday Institute and the State Information Technology Services.

On another digital learning note, we are receiving frequent telephone calls and other contacts from district representatives who are not sure if their district has opted in to Home Base for the 2015-16 school year. To assist everyone in locating this information, we have placed a list on the Home Base website,, that will be updated regularly to reflect the latest news. Also, on that site you can find the original memo that provides you with details about how the sign-up works this year and what your costs will be.

June Atkinson
State Superintendent

Standards Review Commission Survey
(docx, 15kb)

In this Weekly Superintendents' Message:

  1. State Board of Education Meets Thursday
  2. PowerSchool End of Year is Complete
  3. Participation in the Home Base Suite
  4. Academic Standards Review Commission Seeks Superintendent Assistance with Teacher Survey
  5. Educator Effectiveness Offers New Self-Paced Online Modules
  6. Finance Officers' Newsletters Online
  7. NC Students Immersed in 2015 Governor's School Session
  8. More Than Half a Million Books Collected for Give Five – Read Five

State Board of Education Meets Thursday

The State Board of Education will meet this month via conference call on Thursday, July 9. The abbreviated meeting will be held from 9 – 10:15 a.m., and will be audio streamed. Action items include the Task Force on Summative Assessment final report and recommendations, NCDPI Proof of Concept Study, concussion safety requirements for interscholastic athletic competition, an update to the policy governing school bus passengers, and field testing for the 2015-16 school year. The full agenda, as well as executive summary materials, are available online at by clicking on the Meetings tab.

PowerSchool End of Year is Complete

NCDPI staff are pleased to announce the successful completion of End of Year (EOY) and the integration of the Identity Access Management (IAM) service with the Home Base suite of applications. This system provides single sign-on to PowerSchool, SchoolNet, OpenClass, NCEES and Canvas (for those who have adopted and successfully integrated with Canvas). We want to thank the LEAs and charter schools for all of the hard work on the EOYs. When students, teachers and staff launch any of Home Base's suite of applications, their usernames and passwords are remembered by the IAM Service. When subsequently launching any of the other applications, the IAM Service takes the user directly into the other applications without having to login again. To login to the IAM Service, visit For further information on the IAM Service, visit

Participation in the Home Base Suite

As Race to the Top (RttT) comes to a close, NCDPI is committed to moving North Carolina public schools as far as possible towards personalized learning for every student. To that end, we are excited to be able to utilize RttT funds to provide all districts and charter schools with access to both the full suite of Home Base tools (including Schoolnet, the Learning Object Repository and the Local Professional Development option in TNL) and the newly integrated Learning Management System, Canvas, for only $1/ADM. If you're uncertain your district has opted-in, the opt-in list is now available on the Home Base home page at

Academic Standards Review Commission Seeks Superintendent Assistance with Teacher Survey

Please open the attached letter from Academic Standards Review Commission Co-Chairs Andre Peek and Tammy Covil regarding the Commission's second attempt to solicit superintendent and teacher feedback regarding the Common Core standards. Superintendents will receive a survey link by this Wednesday (July 8) from Jocelyn Herrera ( with instructions for distribution. Please be on the lookout for this survey link.

Educator Effectiveness Offers New Self-Paced Online Modules

NCDPI Educator Effectiveness staff are excited to announce the release of the following self-paced online professional development modules: modules: Assessing Digital Tools, and mini modules: Creating a Connected Culture Through Student Engagement and Empowerment, Creating and Managing PD Through Home Base, Google Apps for Educators, Twitter in Education, and Using Adobe Connect. For a complete list of online courses, modules and mini modules, visit or look under the Professional Development tab in Home Base. To self-register for these free courses, follow the instructions below to log into Home Base:

  • Log in to the NCEES system using your usual PowerSchool log in or the alternate log in
  • Click the Professional Development tab.
  • Search for the course, or list all opportunities to find the course for which you wish to register.
  • Click on the course title, you are then presented with the course screen. Click on the section.
  • Click on the register button.

Directions on how to register also are available at For more information, please contact Geetanjali Soni at

Finance Officers' Newsletters Online

he June 23, June 26 and July 2 editions of the Finance Officers' newsletter are online and contain the following items: Key Links for Budget Details, Continuing Resolution and Home Base Payment (June 23 edition); Salary Reminders, FY 2015 Close Out Deadlines (LEAs and Charter Schools), FY 2015 Close Out Reminders (Charter Schools only), Important Workers Comp Information: and Web News (June 26 edition); and FY 2015 - 13th Month MFR File Reminder (LEAs only), 2015 Annual Transportation Report (TD-1), and 2015 FBS Summer Conference Reminder. To read more, please go to the NCDPI's Financial and Business Services Web site at and click on Resources, then Newsletters.

NC Students Immersed in 2015 Governor's School Session

Gifted high school students from across the state are exploring cutting-edge ideas and concepts in academics and the arts as the 2015 Session of the North Carolina Governor's School is underway. The five-and-a-half week summer residential program welcomed 650 rising seniors and some exceptional juniors to its two campuses – Governor's School East (Meredith College, Raleigh) and Governor's School West (Salem College, Winston-Salem). The lists of attendees are available online at

More Than Half a Million Books Collected for Give Five – Read Five

Thanks to the statewide summer reading campaign Give Five – Read Five and similar local efforts, thousands of public school students won't have to spend the summer without books to read. As a part of these campaigns, businesses, nonprofits, churches and even other middle and high schools collected more than 533,000 books for students to take home and read to help them maintain literacy skills during summer break. To read more, visit and select the appropriate link under "News."