ISBE Attendance Reporting Changes (Illinois Only)
In response to COVID-19, many school districts have been doing e-learning and/or remote learning in addition to traditional in-person instruction. From a state reporting perspective, the ISBE has enhanced their attendance report to track this trend. The report breaks down present attendance into three separate buckets: in-person instruction, e-learning, or remote learning. Until this month, the state didn’t use any data in these new fields, so at their direction we’ve been filling them with zeros. Starting this month (due 2/25), the state will accept breakdown data and use it to calculate funding. We plan to have our ISBE attendance reports updated early next week so our customers can meet this deadline and receive their expected funding.
There is an inaccuracy in our current attendance reports, however. The student’s bucket for present attendance (in-person, e-learning, or remote learning) is calculated based upon their calendar code for each day (X-Students in Attendance, XELD-ELearning Day, XRLD-Remote Learning Day, etc). Our report uses each students’ current calendar to calculate which bucket a day’s present credit goes into (not the calendar at the time the attendance was entered). For students on the same calendar for the entire year, their attendance breakdown is correct. If a student has moved between various calendars, their current calendar may have different calendar codes for past days than previous calendar(s) used at the time attendance was taken. While present attendance will be correct in aggregate, it may have inaccurate breakdowns between in-person, e-learning, and remote learning.
We are working to extend our data model to better support assigning students to different calendars. When taking attendance, we’ll record their calendar too, and use this value when calculating the breakdown. Then future changes in students' calendars won't affect previous days' attendance breakdown. We’ll also support an edit mechanism to go back and update students’ past calendars and correct any breakdown inaccuracies. Once we release this code, users can fix students’ calendar histories, and resubmit the ISBE attendance report. This report is collected every month by the ISBE, and new data will overwrite previous submissions. Once data is updated in SchoolInsight, it should flow into the ISBE with the latest report.
The updated attendance report will be available early next week. Our new software to better support student calendar changes is under development currently, and should be released soon. We’ll post updates as functionality becomes available.
The Common Goal Team