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On this page you will find information and updates about the Home Base system.

NCDPI Links:

NC Public Schools Home Base Page
Daily Home Base Updates
Home Base Bi-Weekly Updates
Home Base FAQ Documents
Calendar for Upcoming Webinars

New icon.gifWhat's new in 15.2 - Provides an overview of changes during the upgrade to version 15.2.

Click here to access archived webinars about Home Base on Vimeo.
Click here to access videos related to Home Base.
The videos cover topics such as searching for instructional materials, creating classroom assessments and using the Principal Tools.

Having problems with access? Check this document for troubleshooting advice.

Summer Institute Home Base Wiki: This wiki was used during Summer Institutes and has access to all of the Mastery in Minutes modules by role as well as the Distance Learning modules by role. You can also find information about the features and timeline on this wikispace.

PowerSchool Maintenance Weekends:


2013

Nov 15-18

Dec 13-16

2014

Jan 3-6

Feb 7-10

Mar 14-17

Apr 25-28

May 16-19

Jun 20-23

Other Resources:


New icon.gifSchoolNet Resources - This includes Quick Reference Cards as well as click paths.
Home Base Implementation Planning Resources
Home Base Resources - May 2013
Resource Summary Spreadsheet - April 2013


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February 11, 2014

New on the Web: Roles and Permissions – Access for District Instructional Coaches

Speaking of roles and permissions, if your district has Instructional Coaches who work at more than one school within the district, you can add the roles needed and limit the access to only the schools where the additional roles are needed. There's a new document online that provides details on adding roles for more than one school within a district along with the guidance for giving district level staff access to aggregate level data and teacher lesson planner. Access it here: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/homebase/getting-ready/implementation/user-roles-access/access-district-coaches.pdf.

You'll see there is another similar document online called "Access for School Instructional Coaches." The two are different, so we just wanted to bring that to your attention. Access the school instructional coaches document here: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/homebase/getting-ready/implementation/user-roles-access/access-instructional-coaches.pdf

January 25, 2014

Roles for Instructional Coaches Using Schoolnet - If your school has Instructional Coaches, or those in similar positions, who need access to aggregate data and lesson plans in Schoolnet, you will need to add specific roles to their account. A new document provides steps and guidance for giving school-level staff access to aggregate data and access to the teacher lesson planner.

To help you, a new document, “More on Roles and Permissions – Access for School Instructional Coaches,” has been added to the Home Base website at:http://www.ncpublicschools.org/homebase/getting-ready/implementation/category?category=User%20Roles%20and%20Access. There you’ll also find general information about roles and permissions, as well as documents outlining how to set up a teacher with access to build benchmark assessments and to share assessments. MORE INFO: For questions, please contact the Home Base Support Center at homebase.incidents@its.nc.gov.

What's coming up in SchoolNet? - This document shows the new content that will be available in SchoolNet over the next 12 months. Check back often as this document is frequently updated. https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1FqsvoPaglgewPaN3uDjnN2xbCOPK6ELhOCHDZP2YG4g/edit?usp=sharing

December 20, 2013

Webinar on PowerTeacher Gradebook Now Online - The NCDPI hosted a well-received webinar Dec. 12 on using the PowerTeacher Gradebook. Co-presenters were Lynn Bullock, implementation training manager from Pearson, and Rosalyn Galloway, Student Information System (SIS) program manager. More than 250 people participated, and many of them expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to hear directly from these presenters. MORE INFO: A recording of the webinar can be found at www.nc-sis.org/recordings.html.

Giving Teachers Permission to Create Benchmark Assessments in SchoolNet - This resource for data managers goes through the steps and screen shots necessary to give teachers the correct role and permissions in PowerSchool to create benchmark assessments. Find the resource under "Miscellaneous" on the SchoolNet Resources page.

December 16, 2013

Home Base Release and Upgrade Documentation New on the Web - New releases and upgrade information for Home Base applications are available online at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/homebase/updates/releases/. Don’t forget, you also can see what’s new with Home Base by reading the weekly Home Base Updates at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/homebase/updates/biweekly/?year=2013.

A Look at What’s Coming in Schoolnet Throughout 2013-14
The resources in Schoolnet will get better and better as the tool matures. By the end of the 2013-14 school year, Schoolnet will have a lot of additional content and will continue to grow thereafter. The NCDPI is continually seeking and vetting great resources and assessment items and expanding the set of tools available to teachers in the platform. We are especially optimistic about the prospect of being able to gather and share great work from North Carolina teachers in Schoolnet. Teachers are creating excellent lesson plans, units and assessments, and Schoolnet offers educators an opportunity to highlight and share that great work. You can find a list of what’s coming in Schoolnet at http://goo.gl/MWbszP.

Home Base Improvements Included in Upgraded Version of Schoolnet - Speaking of Schoolnet, which is the Home Base Instructional Improvement System (IIS), it was upgraded during the Dec. 7-8 weekend to Version 15.2. This new version includes some new features, addresses many identified bugs, and is designed to improve product responsiveness and stability. We specifically wanted to update you on challenges with Assessment Admin (within Schoolnet). The implementation of Schoolnet 15.2 on Dec. 9 addressed many of the assessment administration issues that LEAs had previously reported. A large number of LEAs have successfully delivered classroom and benchmark assessments this week. However, the NCDPI is aware of two issues in version 15.2 that continue to present assessment administration challenges to some LEAs/charters. One of the issues relates to the ability to search for items in item central when building tests. The other issue impacts the ability of teachers to preview tests and the ability for students to take the tests online (specifically, tests with images). In both cases, teachers and students get an “Our Apologies” error in Schoolnet. We expect that these two issues will be resolved by the end of this week (by Dec. 16). Until then, we offer the workarounds described below.

Searching for Items in Item Central
When searching for assessment items in item central, please avoid searching by subject. Searching for items by subject does not work as designed at this time and will result in an “Our Apologies” error. Instead, please search for items by grade or standard or some combination of grade and standard. You may also use the advance search feature to narrow the list of items. This approach should allow you to find items for your test. In addition, teachers may use the Express Test feature to generate a quick test based on the parameters (subject, grade, standard, etc.) that you set up for the test. Teachers may also create a test manually by manually entering items.

Taking Online Assessments

If you have already built and scheduled an assessment and plan to deliver the assessment online, please take the following steps to ensure that your students are able to take the assessment online.

1. From the test properties page click, Preview Online Test. If you get an error message, or if you are unable to preview the test, then your students will also be unable to take the test.
  • a. If you are able to preview the test, continue with online administration of the test.
2. If you are unable to preview the test, please use the following workaround so that images/graphics will display properly and to ensure that students can take the test.
  • a. Go to Test Properties
  • b. Click Edit Properties
  • c. Go to Enable Tools and Manipulatives and click “Yes” radio button
  • d. Turn on at least one of the manipulatives (calculator, ruler, etc.)
  • e. Save
  • f. Preview the test. If the test displays in preview, your students should be able to take the test online.
3. After turning on the manipulatives, if you are still unable to preview the test, teachers should print answer sheets and give pencil-and-paper versions of assessments and use the ScanIt software to load the results into the system. For more information on how to use ScanIt, you can access the recorded how-to webinar at: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/homebase/resources/videos/webinars/ and refer to the PowerPoint from that webinar found here: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/homebase/training/materials/schoolnet/classroom-benchmark/scanit-webinar.ppt, plus the ScanIt User Guide is online at: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/homebase/training/materials/schoolnet/classroom-benchmark/20131017-nc-scanit-guide.pdf.

Again, we expect that these issues will be resolved before Monday, Dec. 16, and we appreciate your patience as we improve your instructional improvement system. If you encounter errors while using the assessment admin module, please report the problem along with a screen shot of the error to the support center at homebase.incidents@dpi.nc.gov.

MORE INFO: For a list of what’s new, what’s fixed and the info above on challenges with Assessment Admin within Schoolnet 15.2, access this document http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/homebase/updates/releases/schoolnet-15-2.pdf.

Note: The document is found on a new page within the Home Base website under Updates called New Releases where you can look for documentation when new system releases become available to improve Home Base. This New Releases info resides on the Updates page where you’ll also find archive copies of this publication as well as the latest memos related to the project.

December 9, 2013
Home Base Support Center Guides and Lead Lists Now Available
Wanted to share the good news with you that we finally have the HBSC help document posted, which includes best practices info on posting tickets.
There's a direct link off the Home Base Toolkit on the main HB landing page:
http://www.ncpublicschools.org/homebase/

It is a link off the middle bottom box where the graphic is the hands typing on a laptop:
external image donow.jpg
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That links to the help guide pdf which "lives" here on the new Resources/Support Center page: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/homebase/resources/support-center/
There you will see the LEAs Leads List link as well as the Charter Schools Leads List link.

IMPORTANT: We've asked three key people to update and maintain this list, as needed, 1 per each area: Yolanda for SIS (PowerSchool) contacts, Tom Tomberlin for NCEES, and Angie Parrish from the Learning Systems team for the IIS (Schoolnet) contacts.

December 6, 2013 - Decision Date Moved for Home Base Options
With the roll-out of Home Base in the fall of 2013, we know that local educators have been so busy dealing with PowerSchool and other "must-use" elements that it has been challenging to get to the optional parts of the system that can be so helpful and powerful for classroom teachers.
Those opt-in pieces include Schoolnet, the Professional Development system and its PD courses and transcript features for educators, and more. That's why the NCDPI has extended the window for local school districts to make a final "opt-in" decision for the non-required parts of the Home Base system to July 15, 2014.
By opting in, local districts agree to pay $4 per student based on average daily membership (ADM) and will be able to fully use all parts of Home Base — not just PowerSchool, the NC Educator Evaluation System and state-required online assessments. More detail about options to show your opt-in decision are still to come, so stay tuned.

Next Home Base Maintenance Weekend Starts Dec. 13
The next Home Base maintenance weekend is Dec. 13-16. The system will shut down on Friday, Dec. 13, at 5 p.m. Once maintenance is completed a message will be sent to notify users that the system is up and available for use. Please do not access Home Base during the maintenance period.
Home Base will be returned to service no later than 6 a.m., Monday, Dec. 16. If a delay in bringing up the system should occur, users will be notified via NC SIS email.
Ever wonder who sets the maintenance weekend dates? The dates are set by the Configuration Control Board (CCB) comprised of local public school representatives. It is challenging, to say the least, to select ideal dates.

December 2, 2013 - IMPORTANT ScanIt Update: New Version and New Scan Sheets
As part of the upcoming update of the Schoolnet component of Home Base to version 15.2, there will be an update to the ScanIt software which will result in new scan sheets when printing to plain paper. If you have paper answer sheets that students have completed or that you plan to use with assessments scheduled over the next week, it is very important to get those results scanned in before the close of business (5 p.m.) on Friday, December 6.

If you have assessments scheduled after December 6 and plan to administer them using paper-pencil, please hold off on printing answer sheets from within Home Base until Monday, December 9. The answer sheets that you have been printing will not be compatible with the new version of ScanIt. The scanning process and the supported scanners will not change with this upgrade.

If you run into any problems using the ScanIt software, please contact the Home Base Support Center at homebase.incidents@its.nc.gov. Be sure to include ScanIt in the subject line and include the screen shots of any error messages or problems that are occurring when you use ScanIt.

For more information, you can also reference the guide for using ScanIt at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/homebase/training/materials/schoolnet/classroom-benchmark/20131017-nc-scanit-guide.pdf and the “ScanIt Webinar Presentation (11/20/13)” at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/homebase/training/materials/category?category=Classroom%20and%20Benchmark%20Assessment%20(Schoolnet).

November 29, 2013 - Update on Classroom Assessment Items in SchoolNet
The attached slides have the counts of items that are currently in the system, plus one slide that has the subject and grade breakdown for the remaining purchased items (these purchased items will be added in batches throughout the 13-14 school year – we just got the first 2000 last week to start review and we will try to get them live quickly because it will add items at the k-2 level).

Our recommendation to help build out the subjects and grades covered is for LEAs and schools to add their own items and then share them within the system. They can submit items to be shared with all teachers in their school and from there items can be shared across districts and even at the state level. These would be for classroom assessments. We also will work to expand the benchmark items offered and I will send updates when I know more about that.
Click here to view the slides.

Update on Resources in SchoolNet
The attached document outlines the most recent resources available in SchoolNet.

ScanIt Information
There is an NC Specific Guide for ScanIt on the website at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/homebase/training/materials/category?category=Classroom%20and%20Benchmark%20Assessment%20(Schoolnet). On this same site there is a presentation that was used at the November 20 webinar on ScanIt. Please reference these documents for any help and troubleshooting with ScanIt. The documents contain links to additional reference documents that can be found in PowerSource.

November 15, 2013 - Home Base Maintenance weekend and tips for logging help-desk tickets

Next Home Base Maintenance Weekend Gets Underway Starting Nov. 15 - The next Home Base maintenance weekend will begin Friday, Nov., 15 at 5 p.m. Please do not access Home Base during the maintenance period. You can view the North Carolina Release Notes identifying upcoming fixes on issues to be addressed; they are located at: http://www.nc-sis.org/Documents/requirements/2013_North_Carolina_Release_Notes_Nov2013.pdf.
The date listed in the document is Nov. 8 – the Pearson reporting release note date; however, the implementation date for North Carolina will be Friday, Nov. 15. Please review the entire package. Users also may be interested in viewing the Pearson PowerSchool Release Notes for 7.9.1 and 7.9.1.1 via these links:
Widely reported issues that will be fixed include the following:
  • PowerSchool 7.9.1.1 — Resolves the PowerSchool saving issues that have been identified when saving assignment scores in PowerSchool;
  • PowerSchool 7.9.1 - Resolves the following PMR issues:
-- (PMR-25) No longer displays lines with no student name or number
-- (PMR-9) No longer displays the extraneous column Admission Status for elementary schools
-- No longer includes students or data from unaffiliated schools
-- (PMR-17) No longer flags students who are enrolled at one school but take all of their courses at another school
-- (PMR-10) No longer causes the report to lock or hang
-- Report now includes students who were transferred out during a PMR month to attend another school but did not enroll
-- (PMR-20) No longer includes students without an exit code who have a future exit date
-- (PMR-17) Validation is now a warning instead of an error
Other updates will include AIG, SAR and miscellaneous enhancements. Again, please review the NC Release Notes for details. Home Base will be returned to service no later than 6 a.m., Monday, Nov. 18. If a delay in bringing up the system should occur, users will be notified via NC SIS email.

Worth Repeating: Tips for Logging Remedy Tickets with Home Base Support Center
As more and more charter schools and LEAs are embracing more and more components in Home Base, including the initial must-use piece PowerSchool, more tickets are coming in to our NCDPI Home Base Support Center (HBSC).
While we have had some recent issues with tickets queuing up but not reaching the Support Center, resulting in delayed responses, we are working with ITS to quickly correct that issue so that all tickets are addressed in a timely manner. Please continue to log tickets when you have issues.
To resolve your issues as quickly as possible, it is critical for the Support Center to receive key information from you to help us and our development partners solve your problems. It sounds simple, but always make sure your ticket includes your LEA number, your county and your issue (for example, PMR, RPG, Attendance, etc.)
In addition, please provide the following information on all tickets submitted to the HBSC; doing so will speed up responses and help prevent additional backlog:
Step 1: Clearly define the four W's related to your issue: Who, What, When and Where.
  • Who — Who is accessing the application when the problem occurs? Provide both email and phone number for the contact and an alternate for someone who can get in touch with you quickly. Delays in contacting you can cause delays in resolution. Who is being impacted (provide identifying information such as school name, student name, DOB, grade level, race/ethnicity as appropriate).
  • What — What are you doing when the problem occurs? What did you click, and what happened when you clicked it? In which part of the application are you working? If a student record is involved, provide a sample student number.
  • When — What time of day did the problem occur?
  • Where — Which areas are known to be affected (one school, the entire LEA, one teacher, etc.)? If a server is involved, provide the server URL; if a school or entire LEA is involved, provide identifying information.
Step 2: Take a picture. Take a screen shot of the error or copy the error message you receive and include it with the ticket. Error messages are not helpful without knowing what you were doing and what was clicked (see Step 1).
Step 3: Define what happened. Clearly state what is happening vs. what is expected or needed.
Important Note: Please make sure all tickets are logged with the Home Base Support Center at homebase.incidents@its.nc.gov. If you call or email a concern, you must get a ticket number. If a ticket number is not generated, it is not being tracked and could get lost. Calling or emailing an NCDPI staff member or escalating the issue directly to the vendor does not result in an HBSC ticket being created. It is very important to have a centralized place for ticket information to be collected. This way, we have documentation on all issues in all areas and can easily see where similar problems are occurring, and the Support Center can refer the ticket to the correct person or place.

November 8, 2013 - Question about SchoolNet item banks

Issue/question. When searching for multiple choice assessment items in Schoolnet's Item central, I notice some items only have 3 answer choices. Further, when searching for assessment items in item central, these 3 answer choice items seem to bubble to the top of the search result pages.
Response:
Multiple choice assessment items with 3 answer choices are Extend2 items. ( you can verify this by viewing the assessment item 'details'. Due to how Schoolnet is configured at present, there is a tendency for Extend2 items to appear first on the search results pages. In Schoolnet certification training and follow up webinars we do discuss that Extend2 items are in the item central, and if a user sees these items bubble to the top, suggest they scroll down a little, or apply additional search criteria filters to minimize this from occurring. An enhancement request had been made to Pearson so extend2 do not appear first on generic search requests.

September 23, 2013 - Daily Home Base Updates

There is a new feature available on the HB website called Home Base Daily Updates. This is a running record of the most frequent and compelling issues known to date (as well as a status update or remedy solution) that have been logged for any component of the Home Base system (including EE, PowerSchool, and Schoolnet). Currently, this link is accessed through the NCDPI homepage under “Highlights.” This communication was sent out by Vanessa Jeter to the LEAs/charters last week in HB newsletter.

August 16, 2013 - Common Access Issues and Teacher Views Resources

How to permission staff in PowerSchool
Click here to access a presentation showing how a teacher gets a UID and then access to NCEES.
Click here to access a document that shows the exact screens a teacher would see when they log in to Home Base and link to NCEES and the IIS.

June 26, 2013 - Access to Training PPT for Classroom Instruction/Assessment

Please click here to download the PPT used in training sessions held between June 24, 2013 and July 2, 2013.
To access this from within the system, visit the Home page. Then, hover over "Classrooms." Select "Instructional Materials." The PPT is tied to professional development. You can do a search for "Homebase LEA training PPT."

June 13, 2013 - Home Base Slide Show

The slide show that was shared from the Home Base planning sessions can be found by clicking here.

May 28, 2013 - Conversion from NC Wise to Power School Reminders

We’re taking this opportunity to reach out and remind all our customers that the conversion from NC WISE to PowerSchool – the first implementation phase of Home Base – is fast approaching. In fact, the targeted month (July) is less than 30 business days away!

Because you know your business processes and needs better than we do, we are encouraging all LEAs and Charters to ensure you are prepared as effectively as possible to take on eSIS YET processing, PowerSchool data validation and other preparation processes needed to move forward with the new Home Base services starting in July.

Like you and your staff, we are also preparing our support team for the new services by:

  • Restructuring and expanding the support center
  • Changing the support phone menu to accommodate more services
  • Increasing the number of service staff for support
  • Engaging vendors for a more integrated customer support team
  • Crafting vital reference and support materials with plans in place to expand these resources as we learn more

As most of you know, Home Base is far more than the singular student information component that we had with NC WISE and, with critical times ahead, we all need to ascertain that staff is prepared when Home Base goes live. Taking advantage of the web based training resources (Distance Learning and Mastery in Minutes) available in PowerSource will aid in meeting that need. If you have not received access to PowerSource, we strongly advise you to contact your NC WISE coordinator and request access to begin using these essential training modules.

More communications will continue to come as we get closer to implementation. In the meantime, if you have questions, please use the resources listed below that have been made available to you so we may respond to your needs as promptly as possible:


NCDPI is excited about the opportunity to chart this new course together with you. With greater preparation now, we can increase our chances of mutual success. Let’s all do what we can to make this transition go smoothly.

May 14, 2013

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For registration information, contact your superintendent.

April 30, 2013

Click here to see a timeline of components included in Home Base.

February 28, 2013

The Student Information System (PowerSchool), Curriculum & Instruction, Classroom & Benchmark Assessment, and Educator Evaluation components of Home Base will be available to Year Round Schools in July 2013 and will be available to Traditional calendar schools in August 2013. Availability of other components, including OpenClass Learning Management System will be available in October 2013. Finally, Summative Assessment components will be available statewide for school year 2014-15.

February 22, 2013:

Homebase bi-weekly update

February 6, 2013

Memo on contracts and vendors

January 25, 2013

Homebase bi-weekly update.

January 22, 2013

Webinar recorded during an EVAAS training that provides updates on Home Base:


Presentation accompanying this webinar can be downloaded by clicking this link.