NC SIS Weekly Email Bulletin

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December 18, 2020

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Digital Teaching and Learning


Home Base

NC SIS Weekly Email Bulletin

Topics in this issue:

1.  A Message from Our NC DTL Director

2.  Next Home Base Maintenance Window

3.  PowerSchool Upgrade - Friday, Dec. 18

4.  NCEdCloud IAM Service Maintenance - Tonight

5.  Updated Course Code Master List

6.  XG Grade Level Correction

7.  Uncheck COVID 19 Codes in Special Codes Scale

8.  Attendance Expectations for Remote Learning

9.  New Student Learning Preference Page and Student Transfer

10.  Reminder:  NC Contact Page

11.  Reminder:  PowerSchool IPT Certification in February 2021

12. Home Base Webinars

13.  Friday's Round Up Featuring:  Virtual Holiday Games

14.  Did You Know?

15.  NCDPI Technology Support Center


Dr. Wrenn

A Message from Our NC DTL Director

To all our PSUs and Partners,

On behalf of The Division of Digital Teaching and Learning, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your partnership with us and to wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, and a Happy New Year! 

2020 has been one of our most challenging years, but you quickly faced the difficulties, adapted to change, and mitigated the impact on our students’ learning experience. We appreciate your dedication to the students of NC, and I hope each of you will take time off and focus on yourself and your family. 

May joy and peace resonate in your hearts during this holiday season and the coming new year!

Vanessa Wrenn, Ed.D, CETL, CeCTO

Director Digital Teaching and Learning

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction 

Maintenance Window

Next Home Base Maintenance Window

Our next Home Base maintenance is scheduled to begin tonight, December 18.  PowerSchool is the only application that will undergo maintenance.  All other Home Base applications will remain available.


The PowerSchool application will be brought down tonight at 7 p.m., and returned to service no later than Monday, December 21 at 6 a.m.  This maintenance window has been extended a little longer than usual due to the PowerSchool upgrade that will be implemented.  Details of what this upgrade will include are listed below in the PowerSchool Upgrade message.  Once the upgrade has completed, PowerSchool will be returned to service.


Note: Each year, a list of scheduled maintenance windows are published by NCDPI.  This is published in advance to help teachers and administrators better prepare for temporary outages and loss of access.  Please review the 2020-2021 maintenance schedule and put these dates on your calendar. In most cases, the entire maintenance window is not necessary and we can return systems to service earlier than listed. If an emergency maintenance is required in addition to these scheduled dates, all users will be notified in advance. 


If you have any questions pertaining to this maintenance, please contact the Home Base Team at


PowerSchool Logo

PowerSchool Upgrade - Friday, Dec. 18

NCDPI’s statewide PowerSchool upgrade to version will take place this maintenance period, December 18-21.  The upgrade will include two new enhancements, as well as resolve several issues users may currently be experiencing. Beta testing for this release is in progress. Details of what this upgrade entails are available in the release notes for PowerSchool SIS through  The new enhancements include: 

  • PowerSchool Admin – Demographics - Using the new Default Country for Student Demographics setting, you can choose a specific country and display only the states for that country.
  • PowerSchool Admin – PowerTeacher Pro Settings -- Districts now have the option to hide the PTG links in the PowerSchool SIS Teacher portal. This setting can be found under the Start Page > District Setup > PowerTeacher Pro Settings > Default Gradebook Type page.

PowerSchool will be taken offline tonight, December 18 at 7 p.m. and will resume operations no later than Monday, December 21 at 6 a.m.  Questions pertaining to this upgrade may be addressed to

NCEdCloud IAM Service Maintenance - Tonight

The NCEdCloud IAM Service will undergo scheduled maintenance this evening, December 18, 2020, between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. The NCEdCloud IAM Service will be unavailable during this time. This maintenance will not include any changes to the end-user experience.


System Update

Updated Course Code Master List for 2021-2022

NCDPI released the new 2021-2022 course codes on Friday, December 11. We have discovered that the following course codes were prematurely included in the batch release and will not be active until 2022-2023.


  • TY54 Exploring Masonry Terms  
  • TY55 Exploring Masonry Careers
  • TY56 Exploring Automotive Service Terms
  • TY57 Exploring Automotive Service Careers
  • TY70 Exploring Construction Careers
  • TY71 Exploring Manufacturing and Engineering
  • TY72 Exploring Automotive Careers
  • TY73 Exploring Public Safety Careers

NC High School Classroom

XG Grade Level, Correction May Be Required

The XG grade level was implemented at the end of the 2019-2020 school year specifically to Promote students who fit the following criteria: 

  • The student has a disability that requires special education and related services.
  • The student has completed grade 12 and still has not yet met graduation requirements or reached the age of 22.

The XG grade level should be used for any student with an IEP who meets all of the above criteria. These students often remain in high school beyond four years and typically fall between the age range of 17-22.  They are likely following the Extended Content Standards and participating in the Alternate Assessment or following the Occupational Course of Study.  

Most users are using the XG correctly; however, correction may be required.  Below are examples of inappropriate uses of the Extra Grade (XG) grade level. 

  • Students who were in grades 9-11 last school year and were moved to XG this school year.
  • Students identified as XG whose age does not fall into an acceptable range to be considered a potential grade 12 student. 
  • Schools that have added the XG grade level that do not also contain grade 12.  For example, if you are an elementary or middle school, the XG grade level is not for your campus. 
  • Students who are not receiving EC Services but are being shown as XG. 

To find and correct these student records in PowerSchool, you can: 

  • Click on -9 on the Start Page of PowerSchool 
  • Search for Grade_Level = -9 on the start page

Once you have the list of students, you can export out their information and review it for accuracy.

Remember to also review the program schools (Homeless, Migrant, EC) for the appropriate age-grade and EC combination. 

Note:  It is important that these students show as promoted and not retained or demoted in PowerSchool.

Questions about -9(XG) may be addressed to

Reminder:  Uncheck COVID 19 Codes in Special Codes Scale

Now that the 2020-2021 school year has begun, and the end of the 45-day period where students can decide whether they want a numeric grade or PC19/WC19 based on the COVID-19 grading policy has passed, corrections to the grade scale should be made to ensure COVID grading from 2019-2020 school year is not utilized moving forward. 


All PSU's should navigate to their Special Codes scale that's attached to their NC 10-Point Grading Scale and remove the checkbox next to the COVID 19 codes for Use As a Final Grade to prevent teachers from erroneously assigning these codes. See navigation and screenshot below.

LEA Office: Start Page > LEA Setup > Grade Scales > Grade Scale: Special Code Scale

Covid Codes

Thank you for all of your hard work to ensure accurate grading and transcripts. Please let us know if you have any questions. We are here to help you.


Reminder:  Attendance Expectations for Remote Learning

With learning occurring in remote settings this year, it is important that teachers and administrators maintain and submit accurate attendance records for state reporting and funding purposes. A new attendance code was created for tracking students who are participating in remote instruction. In addition, the default present code description has been modified to specify on-site attendance. 


With the potential for attendance data to be included in analyses, it is important to verify and review frequently for accuracy. Attendance records should be audited every 20 days as part of PMR reporting.

Thank you for your attentiveness to this process.

NC Elementary Classroom

Reminder:  New Student Learning Preference Page and Student Transfer

The NCDPI Home Base Team has learned that the data on the new Student Learning Preferences page transfers with the student records when a student moves to another district. All PSU staff responsible for transferring students out should clear the data from that page prior to releasing the student.

We are updating our QRDs with this reminder, but until we move to PowerSchool version 20.4 or higher, these records will continue to be included in the transfer process.


Reminder:  NC Contact Page

The Home Base Team would like to remind PSUs that the NC Contacts screen in PowerSchool will be retired in favor of the new Core Contacts screen.

On January 29, 2021, the NC Contacts page will be disabled, and the data will no longer be visible to PSUs.  All NCDPI integrations (see below) that rely upon the NC Contacts page will instead rely on core Contacts. Please also be reminded that third-party integrations installed by PSUs should be reviewed to ensure they are not pulling data from the NC Contacts page any longer — for example, many SchoolMessenger customers are currently pulling data from this custom page. PSUs will need to reach out to their vendors to initiate any changes to their data integration configurations.


The following NCDPI Integrations are affected by this change:



*There is an update to the TIMS extract using the core contacts. Further information and documentation will be provided early next week to explain how PSUs will set up the extract via Data Export Manager to pull the necessary transportation data.  


In the 2019-2020 school year, a PowerSchool upgrade deployed the new Core Contacts page into NC PowerSchool instances and migrated data from core Demographics (mother and father) into the new Contacts page. Data from the custom NC Contacts page was not automatically migrated into the new Core Contacts page and must be moved manually.  Information on Core Contacts was provided during the September 2019 Home Base Meet-Ups, and many PSUs have finished manually moving data from NC Contacts to the new Core Contacts page.


Navigation Paths


NC Student Contact Screen

Start Page > Student Selection > NC Information: NC Student Contacts


New Core Contact Screen

Start Page > Student Selection > Information: Contacts


For PSUs who have not completed data migration from NC Contacts to Core Contacts, the resources below from PowerSchool Support may assist in this process. A PowerSchool Community account is required to access the linked resources. 



PSUs requiring additional assistance with this data migration process should log a ticket with PowerSchool Support by calling the NC-specific support number 1-855-339-4790 or by visiting

Professional Development

Reminder:  PowerSchool IPT Certification in February 2021

The Home Base Team will be offering a virtual IPT certification training from February 1-5, 2021.  This training will span five full days. Participants will have 90 days to take and pass the certification test after training. Each PSU is allowed a certain number of technical contacts based on their ADM. If you are unsure of your current technical contacts, please contact PowerSchool Support at 1-855-339-4790. 


NCDPI has created an IPT FAQ document  to help answer questions you may have. Please review this document for frequently asked questions about the training and certification.

Those who can attend the DPI offered IPT Training include: 

  • Anyone replacing a previous technical contact from their allotted number.
  • A local charter school employee who is not employed by a data management company. 

Those who cannot attend this training are: 

  • Charter school data management company employees
  • PSUs wanting additional technical contacts above their desired allocation
  • Anyone who has attended training previously and failed the certification test. 

Note: Anyone who is not eligible for this training will need to arrange training and/or certification directly through the vendor, PowerSchool, and cover the cost incurred. To do so, please reach out to the PowerSchool training team,   


Those who are eligible for this training session, please fill out the registration form.



Pre-Recorded State Reporting Webinars 

Canvas Red logo

Canvas PD Mini-Course - Crafting High Quality Feedback in Canvas


Our next Canvas mini-course is now open for self-registration in NCEES. Learn all about the different ways you can give high quality feedback in Canvas.


This course is designed to be completed in one hour, and upon course completion, 0.1 CEU of Digital Learning Competency Credit will be applied to your transcript in NCEES (within 48 hours).


Register here (must login to NCEdCloud):

Schoolnet icon

December Webinar Recording & Other Videos

If you missed the December Schoolnet webinar on Advanced Assessment Creation, the recording is now available on YouTube! Additionally, check out the NCDPI Schoolnet Playlist to the right of the video for past webinar recordings and other Schoolnet video reference guides from the Home Base team at NCDPI.

Coming in January: Schoolnet Mini-Course

We’re excited to announce the first Schoolnet mini-course in NCEES will be available in January 2021! Like the mini-courses for Canvas and #GoOpenNC, these will replace the monthly Schoolnet webinars and will be designed to be completed in 1 hour. Within 48 hours of course completion, 0.1 CEU of DLC Credit will be applied to your transcript.

The January 2021 course topic is Keeping It Simple in Schoolnet. In this course, participants will learn to build and analyze a simple quiz in Schoolnet.

Stay tuned to the Schoolnet Google Site for the release date and additional information as it becomes available!


New Self-Paced Course on Curating Content in #GoOpenNC

We are so excited to try something new with our monthly webinars for #GoOpenNC. The webinar is now available on-demand in a mini Canvas course (you will need to login to NCEES via NCEdCloud to register).


The course is designed to be completed in one hour and NCEES will apply 0.1 CEU of Digital Learning Competency Credit to your transcript within 48 hours of completing the course.  The course is available until May 31, 2021


NCEES Webinar

Did you miss NCEES December Webinars on Middle of Year Plan Activities and Reporting?

Click here for a full list of NCEES webinars and recordings. 

Also, Check out our NCEES YouTube Playlist!

#GoOpenNC Logo

New Mini-Course: Remix and Add Your Own Content to #GoOpenNC!


Our next #GoOpenNC mini-course is now available for self-registration on NCEES. Learn how to remix and add your own resources to #GoOpenNC.


Each mini-course is designed to take one hour to complete and within 48 hours of course completion, 0.1 CEU of Digital Learning Competency Credit will be applied to your transcript!


Register here (must login to NCEdCloud):


NCWiseOwl EBSCO Webinars 2020-2021 

PSUs, please share this message with your teachers.

Want to love and utilize NCWiseOwl even more?  Attend the upcoming webinars available from our database vendors! 



  • Britannica School for Remote Learning 
  • Britannica School for Parents 
  • Britannica Basics for Elementary Educators 
  • Britannica Basics for Secondary Educators 
  • Sharing Britannica Content on Google Platforms 
  • Preparing Digital Content Sets for Instruction 
  • Britannica Tools to Support Reluctant Readers 
  • Britannica School - STEAM in Focus 
  • Britannica School - Arts & Humanities in Focus 
  • Britannica Tools to Support English Language Learners 


  • EBSCO Reference Center Exploration 
  • EBSCO Online Classroom Tools and Integration Tips 
  • EBSCO Accessibility and Usability Features within EBSCO Resources
  • EBSCO Working with EBSCO eBooks

Please visit the NCWiseOwl  Toolkit  professional learning section for detailed descriptions and registration links.


Friday Roundup

Virtual Holiday Games

Like the saying goes “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and because it is, we look forward to spending time with family and friends.  Throughout the year everyone is busy with the hustle and bustle of work, school, and the everyday responsibilities of life.  Even though this year was different, we found different ways to accomplish those tasks. So, it is now that time we anticipate enjoying food, fun and laughter as we celebrate winter holidays and the beginning of a new year.

As we continue to celebrate in different ways, whether small gatherings, virtually, or however you choose to be creative to spend with family or friends, maybe the following ideas and sites will help you plan that special occasion.

  • - This site has a large selection of trivia topics that are great for virtual gatherings.  Click on explore content to see the many topics.
  • Lightning Scavenger Hunt – For Lightning Scavenger Hunts, create a list of items or characteristics. Then, on a Zoom call, challenge your remote employees to gather the items and show them on screen to earn points.
    • Here is an example of items to find: 1) Something red. 2)Your favorite mug. 3)Whatever is in the pockets of your winter jacket. 4)The thing you have had the longest. 5) A book that you did not enjoy. 
    • You can get creative with your hunt; the more obscure the objects the better.
  • Read My Lips - Many of us have been in a Zoom meeting when a presenter’s audio cut out or the speaker forgot to unmute the microphone. Read my lips turns this awkward or frustrating situation into an intentional challenge.
    • To play, one attendee will mute the mic, and then speak a word or phrase. The other players must try to guess the word or phrase correctly. Players will have one minute to figure out the message. The turn-taker can also give clues by using the chat box, if necessary.
  • Rock Paper Scissors - Even if your teammates did not grow up playing Rock, Paper, Scissors, the rules are easy and intuitive: scissor cuts paper, paper covers rock, rock crushes scissors. Switch it up by using the reactions feature to answer in place of hand gestures. The key is as follows:

              👏 = Paper

              👍 = Rock

  • Teammates cross arms = Scissors
  • To play, prompt participants with the classic rallying cry, “rock, paper, scissors, shoot!” Teammates will have three seconds to answer. When all players respond, count the reactions: majority wins. 

So as you settle down to enjoy the holidays, and you’re trying to think of ways to entertain, check-out these virtual games for fun and excitement with family and friends.

IMPORTANT:  Please check PSU policies and consider HIPPA, FERPA, and COPPA laws with regards to student privacy BEFORE implementing any free resources.




Follow us on Facebook and begin receiving "Did You Know" tips featuring each Home Base product. 


These messages will include upcoming changes, tips and even hidden treasures within each product to make your job easier.  If you are not following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, click on the links below and begin today!  Make sure you share this information with other staff within your school.


Instagram:  @nchomebase         Facebook:  @nchomebase       Twitter:  @nchomebase

ServiceNow Square Logo

NCDPI Technology Support Center

NCDPI's Technology Support Center continues to meet your support needs for:

  • Schoolnet 
  • NCEES/Unified Talent
  • IAM/SSO (NCEdCloud) 
  • Staff & Student UID (eScholar)

Support availability:

Web (NEW URL)   -  24/7

Phone:  919-716-1840, Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. (excluding state holidays)

Technical support for SIS needs is handled directly by PowerSchool support using chat, phone, or by opening a case ticket. 

Remember to visit the NC SIS website for additional information including webinars and training documentation.  Follow us on twitter @NCHomeBase



 NC Department of Public Instruction

 Education Building, 7th Floor North

 301 North Wilmington Street

 Raleigh, NC 27601