Managing No-Shows in PowerSchool to Minimize SENR CALPADS Errors

In preparation for submitting the SENR file to CALPADS for Fall 1 Certification, you may find that there is a special group of students that have not shown up all year, and how to manage them in PowerSchool is not so clear.  This blog post aims to demystify the management of no-shows for your school and how to handle them in both PowerSchool and CALPADS.

Step 1:  Knowing your no-shows

In CALPADS, there are two types of no-show students.  The first, identified by exit code N420, addresses the need to categorize students that had attended the school in the previous year, but did not return.  The second, N470, groups together the students that are pre-enrolled in a school but never attended.

Step 2:  Managing PowerSchool

After the first few weeks of school, it becomes clear which students are no-shows.  Before making changes, ALWAYS clear attendance before making changes to school enrollment information.  Follow the steps below depending on the type of no-show:

N420 – As the end of year process has already been run, the current enrollment under Transfer Info will show a start and end date in the current school year.  Edit the current enrollment and change the entry and exit dates to be two days after the last day of classes in the previous year.  By using two days after the final day of school as the entry and exit date, it will avoid conflicts with the previous enrollments that had an exit date of the day after the last day of school.

N470 – After clearing attendance, change the entry and exit date of the current enrollment to be July 1 of the current school year.  The reason why we pick July 1 is because it is the first day of the CALPADS reporting year and is a day that is least likely to be in session by another school, preventing enrollment conflicts with the schools that they may actually be attending.

Step 3:  Managing CALPADS SENR Submission

Before running the SSID Enrollment Records (SENR) Report in PowerSchool for CALPADS Fall 1 or CELDT Pre-ID, it is a good idea to clear these no-shows from their enrollments in CALPADS.  To do so, we run the SSID Enrollment Records Report for two single dates and upload them to CALPADS.

1st date:  The second day after the last day of classes.  This will isolate the report to N420 exit codes.

2nd date:  July 1 of the current calendar year.  This will isolate any N470 codes.

Of course it is a good idea to check these files before uploading to ensure that only the no-show codes are being represented in these files.  If everything was done correctly, then they will appear correctly and you can continue to run the SSID Enrollment Records report for all attending students starting at the beginning of the school year!

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Last chance for corrections to 2011-12 Enrollment in CALPADS for API/AYP

SPECIAL NOTE:  Tomorrow is the LAST day to request de-certification of 2011-12 Fall 1 data if you want to re-certify by Friday, September 21st.

Continuous Enrollments
Data Source:  CALPADS + STAR Testing
Continuous enrollments, which are used to calculate the 2012 API and AYP determinations, are measured using students that were reported enrolled in the same LEA from Fall 1 Census Day (10/5/11) to the first day of STAR Testing without a gap of more than 30 consecutive calendar days.  To check your enrollment numbers on Census day, run the report “1.1 Enrollment – Primary Status by Subgroups” in CALPADS.
If you need to make changes, CALPADS has pushed back the final day to make changes to enrollments for 2011-12 until Friday September 21, 2012.

Steps to re-certification of Continuous Enrollments

1 – Request new snapshot:  If you need to make changes, a service request must be made to CALPADS to request a new snapshot.  Simply de-certifying will NOT request a new snapshot to be requested during the nightly process.  Complete this step by Wednesday.

2 – Make Changes:  Although it would be tempting to upload a new SENR Enrollment file, we recommend making changes to enrollment manually to reduce the risk of generating errors in the overnight snapshot.  If you have fatal errors on Friday, you will not be able to re-certify.  Complete this step by Thursday.

3 – Re-certify:  After an overnight process, re-run report 1.1 in CALPADS and those numbers will reflect the re-stated enrollment for 2011-12.  Certify at Level 2 and you are finished!

Steps to re-certification of Student Demographics

Student Demographics for Continuous Enrollments are sourced from the answer documents of the STAR Testing.  The Data Corrections Window for 2011-12 is from October 1 to November 9, 2012.

Stay tuned for a future blog post on that process!

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CALPADS End of Year 2: Correcting NCLB Title I Part A Basic School-wide Status

California schools have to comply with the applicable portions of “End of Year 1-4” reporting for the first time this year. As far as End of Year 2 reporting is concerned, these reports focus on “program participation,” which include 504 Accommodation, CAHSEE, Cal-Safe, Title I programs among others.

As far as the NCLB Title I Part A Basic School-wide is program is concerned, there are two things to point out:

This data was previously collected on the Consolidated Application (ConApp), Part II

  • LEAs do not need to report students participating in NCLB Title I Part A Basic School-wide

This means that if you are not a NCLB Title I Part A Basic School-wide school, but you do receive Title I funds, you need to individually report students as participating in Program 122, or NCLB Title I Part A Basic Targeted.

We have encountered that some schools are being incorrectly categorized as “NCLB Title I Part A Basic School-wide” in the certification report for EOY2 “5.1 – Program Participants – Count.”

If you are in this situation, here are some tips on how to update the Title I status so that it is reflected in CALPADS. Once you’ve confirmed you are not a Title I Part A Basic School-wide school:

  • You will need your CARS account (you have to be a designated LEA administrator)
  • The CARS page will be the one titled Title I, Part A Notice of Authorization of School Wide Program
  • That page will show up after you have used you LEA user ID and password
  • Make sure the schools are not showing anything except their name and their school CDS code

  • If an approval date and poverty rate percentage are filled in you will need to delete that information and make sure the box marked Authorized is not checked off
    • If it is, click on the box again to remove the checkmark.
    • Next, click Save and then recertify the page
    • Lastly, contact CALPADS support to ask them to do a new data pull from CARS so that your school’s status is updated to Targeted Assistance status

For more information on Title I funding, follow this link: http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/el/le/yr10ltr1012.asp.

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Resource Planning for the 2012-13 School Year

Now that the 2011-12 academic year has ended, high performing school administrators around the country are taking the time to reflect on the previous year and asking themselves how to improve the upcoming year.  When DataDriven For Schools (DDFS) visualizes how schools work with student data, we find it helpful to think in “Verticals:” these are frameworks of critical processes that a school must have in place to ensure accountability, transparency and smooth operations.  In a single slide, a vertical framework looks like this:

Defining your verticals

Depending on your school, some of these verticals may not apply or need to be changed.  Nonetheless, once your verticals are clearly defined, it becomes much easier to segment those processes across your organizational structure.

Role mapping

When planning for your next school year, it will be important to map these responsibilities to individuals or teams so that processes for the management of student data are clearly defined.

It is important to define a leading role for both the entire vertical AS WELL AS the individual tasks.  The more detailed the verticals are, the more likely that you will have a clear guiding document to get you through the school year.

In the end, you can operate during the school year with a role mapping document that looks like this!

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Moving to a different SIS this summer? Data Migration Basics by DDFS!

The most important component of any Student Information System is the data that it manages, which is why the decision to change systems needs to be one that is well informed and planned with as much detail as possible.  The more detailed the planning, the less risks you will face when migrating your your data.

This blog post comes to you at a time when we are helping schools manage the process of data migration to and from PowerSchool SIS to make sure that they start the 2012-13 year with everything in its right place.

Step #1:  Building a solution

For many schools, the hardest part of a data migration is taking inventory of what you have and deciding where you want it to go. It is important to start before the end of the school year to:

  • Build a timeline of data migration, making sure you have the staff present and available during the summer to move the data.
  • Seek the outside help of companies like DataDriven For Schools to fill the gaps or manage the entire process if internal resources are not available.
  • Engage the vendor of your current SIS as well as the future SIS to see if either of these companies might have data migration tools that make moving data easier.
  • Request that a testing/sandbox server is available from the future SIS company in order to perform testing.
  • Work internally to prioritize data by deciding what is important, what is nice to have and what is not needed.

By completing the above bullet points, you are well on your way to building a Solution Document, which will provide a blueprint of all of the details of the data migration to the parties involved.  Before any work is started, the Solution Document should be thoroughly reviewed and discussed by all of the individuals working with the data.

Step #2:  Finalize the previous school year

Before moving data, all previous year data needs to be finalized.  This can include:

  • Grades and transcripts
  • Attendance
  • State reporting (Example: CALPADS EOY 1-4 for California)
  • Run the end of year process for your completed year

See the blog post here for more details!

Step #3:  The data freeze

Moving data while using a system is a bit like changing cars, you don’t want to do it without stopping both cars first!  In order to do it safely, both systems need a period where they can be stopped together in order for the data to change from one to the other.  Because of this we tell everyone that the data is “frozen” and they are only allowed to read but not write data to either system.  The summer is a particularly good time to do a data migration because the data freeze can last up to a month in some circumstances.

Step #4:  Starting the new system

After the data is successfully migrated into the new system according to the Solution Document, you can begin using your new system!  It is a very good idea to make backups of the previous system in order to reference old data if you realize several months later that something was not migrated or migrated as expected.  The likelihood of this is high when learning a new system, so it is extra important to make sure the backups are made in a way that it is easy to extract the information you need.

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