Feb. 9, 2017 - Home Base Biweekly Update


Home Base Biweekly Update

February 9, 2017

Home Base Symposium 2017
Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson to Deliver Keynote Speech

State Superintendent Mark Johnson will be keynote speaker at this year’s Home Base Symposium, Feb. 22-24, at the Sheraton Greensboro at Four Seasons/Koury Convention Center. Superintendent Johnson will speak during the conference general session, scheduled for Feb. 22 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.


Symposium Early Registration Extended to Feb 10


The early registration deadline for the Home Base Symposium has been extended to Friday, Feb. 10. The registration fee increases from $175 to $250 after Friday.


Watch this video to find out more. Please bring your own device for full participation in the sessions. Follow us on Twitter @NCHomeBase and check out the NC SIS Website for more information. We look forward to seeing you there.

Symposium Preview: PowerTeacher Pro

PowerTeacher Pro is coming to NC PowerSchool instances, and when it arrives, we want you (teachers, data managers and coordinators) to be prepared!


Sessions covering its many advanced features and robust capabilities will be presented at the 2017 Home Base Symposium. So don’t miss this great opportunity to PLUG IN & CONNECT with PowerTeacher Pro.


What separates PowerTeacher Pro from any other grade book? 


Streamlined grading and assignments within this tool empowers teachers to drive student growth by saving countless teacher hours spent elsewhere.  Fast and intuitive interfacing also reduces teacher’s work.  PowerTeacher Pro supports standards-based and traditional grading in one comprehensive solution, and it delivers greater flexibility with classroom analysis.


Join us at the 2017 Home Base Symposium and get ahead of the learning curve. Register Now!


Home Base in Action

Lessons from the Field


We learn more every day about how to use technology more effectively to improve instruction in the classroom and learning for students. Practitioners in schools and districts - from teachers and technology coordinators to data managers and principals -- have important lessons to share about their experiences, successes and challenges.


With this issue, Home Base Biweekly is launching an occasional Q&A feature that we hope will help practitioners in the field learn from one another as Home Base continues to evolve as a critical tool for teaching and learning.


First up is Jamie Frye, instructional technology coordinator and public information officer for Newton-Conover Schools. Jamie first experienced Home Base applications as a high school English teacher before moving into a role supporting other teachers in their use of Schoolnet and Canvas.

Q: What has been your district’s greatest success with Home Base?

A: Home Base is really a huge piece – from Canvas to Schoolnet – of what we’re doing to improve instruction as a district through the implementation of our “Instructional Core.” Schoolnet allows us to use formative assessments that are diagnostic in nature. The results of these benchmark assessments for learning provide valuable data on where students are performing in alignment to standard, to help students with their understanding and shed light on where a teacher might need to focus more attention or small-group intervention.

Read more ....

PowerSchool logo

More Parents Logging Into PowerSchool

Application Boosting Parent Engagement

Are we reaching parents with PowerSchool?

Before PowerSchool was launched in Home Base in 2013, only 20 school districts in North Carolina were providing parents with online access to view their children’s latest grades and attendance records. That represented only about 18 percent of the state's districts. 

Now, 100 percent of 115 school districts provide this access to parents across the state. On a typical school day in 2015-16, an average of 307,000 parents logged into the parent portal. Another 200,000 logged in on the mobile application. In a single week in spring 2016, more than 450,000 parents and students accessed the secure portals.

PowerSchool is showing itself as a powerful approach to strengthening parent engagement.

Canvas (Blue Logo)

NEW! NCDPI Releases a "Blue" Canvas Icon


NCDPI has released a “blue” icon for Canvas within your district’s IAM/NCEdCloud application tray. Within this Canvas instance, NC math teachers of record for NC Math 1, 2 and 3 will have access to the professional learning resource entitled "NC Mathematics Collaboratory." This icon will be a temporary shortcut so users will not have to type in the direct link: ncdpi.instructure.com.


Using the blue icon, all NC Math 1, 2 and 3 teachers now have access to any professional learning within NCDPI’s Canvas Instance at no cost to individual districts. Math instructional coaches, coordinators, specialists are invited and can be enrolled in the course by completing this google form.


Please note, access to the blue icon does not allow for LEAs and charters to create locally developed content. Individual districts/charters would need to purchase Canvas (accessed via a “red” Canvas icon in the application tray) to create learning opportunities for students. The blue icon is a temporary solution for access to piloted learning as we strive to make all future non-credit professional development resources available in the professional development component of the Truenorthlogic system slated for next school year.


NOTE: If any user accesses the blue Canvas icon and they are not enrolled in a course offered by NCDPI, they will not see any courses. Please do not submit a help ticket in this case.


For more information on Canvas, click here. For additional assistance or questions contact Yanisha Mann

Schoolnet icon

Discover Schoolnet


In the last "“Wired Wednesday,” we previewed the new Schoolnet item type “Gap Match.” 

This item has special features that allows you to add categories to answer choices.  If you missed last week’s webinar, make sure you access the recording or PowerPoint from the webinar on the “SN Webinar” tab of the NC: Home Base Schoolnet Professional Learning Plan.

Our next webinar will be a special session Monday. Feb. 13, with a focus on CTE users. If  you're unable to attend, you can still come to our regularly scheduled webinars on the following “Wired Wednesday.”

Quick Tips

Classrooms for Teachers

In the Instructional Materials section of the Classrooms, there are a variety of student resources in the North Carolina Learning Object Repository “NCLOR” tab. When you are in “Instructional materials,” click on the “Search” button to do a blank search. Click on the “NCLOR” tab and use the filters on the left to find the specific materials. There are thousands of resources here from NC Cultural Resources and UNC TV PBS. 

Classrooms for Leadership

In the Instructional Materials section of the Classrooms, you will notice the resources on the NCLOR tab too! This tab has great materials to highlight with teachers based on their needs for lesson plans and activities.

Upcoming Professional Learning

Check with your district level Schoolnet lead (click here). They will determine if they have the staff to provide the professional learning or if they need to request a district training. If the lead can host a district training, please have them to contact a DTL Regional Consultant for more details.

Upcoming Webinars

Wed, Feb 13, 3:30-4:30

Click here to find information from past postings

Still need help? You may also have your LEA/District Schoolnet Lead contact the Home Base Support Center through the Remedy web portal https://nc-myit.us.onbmc.com or (919) 807-4357.

Schoolnet Use Grows

Schoolnet has 100 percent opt-in for all North Carolina school districts and several charter schools. We also had increases in our usage year-to-date from July 2016 to January 2017.


Assessment is a critical part of the curriculum and instruction cycle, which allows teachers to make real-time decisions about their students’ growth. Both formative and summative assessment data is reflected in the data usage table below.

schoolnet use

While it appears the number of logins to Schoolnet has decreased, this may be a result of our users familiarity and understanding of the application. In addition, the number of online tests has grown while the utilization of scanned tests has decreased. With our new “TestNav” assessments, we also see that more than 30,000 assessments have been delivered with accommodations and accessibility features available with the release of Schoolnet 18.1. We are excited to see this number increase as we begin to utilize the “Read Aloud” accommodation starting this month.


The top five online testing districts/charters are:

*  Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (147,237)

*  Cumberland County Schools (81,573)

*  Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools (58,260)

*  Union County Schools (57,132)

*  Guilford County Schools (52,653)


If you have questions about how to access this program in your district, please contact NCDPI Instructional Improvement Systems Consultant Yanisha Mann.

North Carolina Student Surveys

Free Student Surveys are available to all grade 3-12 North Carolina teachers. The surveys, which are optional, will be administered in March and April. Visit our Wiki or email educatoreffectiveness@dpi.nc.gov for more information.

student surveys


Cybersecurity Awareness

Increase in Phishing Attacks

The N.C. Department of Information Technology (DIT) Enterprise Security Risk Management Office has alerted NCDPI about an increase in phishing attacks.


Phishing and Spear Phishing are social engineering techniques attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) often for malicious reasons by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. 


The latest advisory from DIT is an alert regarding a new phishing attack that request employees W-2s.


NCDPI also has been made aware of other attacks pretending to come from technology support staff, or a vendor like Microsoft, asking the recipients to click on a link to verify their email/network account.


Please remember that technology staff will never ask users to click on any link for account verification or any other purposes.


You may access DIT’s advisory online. It includes an example of this type of phishing attack and a list of phishing attack red flags. 


Please remind your staff and students to never send any private information in an email, even in response to what may seem to be a trusted email address.