Friday, December 12, 2014

Student Record Enhancements, Tips & Tricks (December 2014)

DOE's Student Record "data cleansing" has been problematic at best. Several edits are either not working or if they are working, they are not working as they are supposed to.

I have wasted several weeks trying to "figure out" what's wrong with our data, only to realize that the DOE still hasn't implemented changes that they published months back at their end.

Good news is, we have all of those edits and file layout changes implemented in our application.

Course level data creates a lot of problems regarding Students in grades 6-12 not having enough courses in the file. The problem is, most schools are not yet finished with first semester still, so the course level extract generated by the SIS doesn't have enough courses for most students.

To get around this problem, what we have done is to provide a way in SR application so that you can merge your Student Class data with SR Course extract. This will significantly reduce your course level errors and will also prepare you end users for errors that they will see once courses in Student Class have a final grade and are included in SR Course extract.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

FteTrack and Schedule Analysis Enhancements (October 2014)


A new report (Pic 1) is available to System Administrators in FteTrack that shows any FTE program categories where total segment counts may have dropped below 5% from the previous year. The reason this report is only available to System Admins is because your school users already have access to these numbers in "Funded & Non-funded Students" report. This report alerts System Administrators about programs and services that could potentially affect QBE funding and teacher allocations for the school and the District negatively.

Pic 1

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Importing DOE FTE Errors into FteTrack

Several of our users have asked for a way to display errors you get on the DOE portal and are not generated by FteTrack withing FteTrack error page.

Now this is possible, here is how.

You want to download your Errors from the DOE portal for your system, it should be called XXXfte_errors.csv, where XXX is your 3 digit district code. Then, you just copy this file as is to C:\StateFiles folder of your FteTrack server.

That's all you need to do, next time you run FteTrack load job, it will automatically load the DOE error file and merge that with errors that are generated by FteTrack so that your school users will have just one place to review these errors and make the necessary changes to data.

To apply these changes, please refer to self-update guide, or, give us a call.

Here are the list of errors that are imported currently:

Error Description
E043 The STUDENT ID submitted does not match the STUDENT ID in GUIDE. Verify the STUDENT ID and make updates where needed (SIS or GTID) before re-validating.
E048 GTID missing or invalid. GTID submitted was not found in GUIDE system.
E049 All full-time students reported as active in Student Record from prior FISCAL YEAR must be reported in FTE 2015-1. All students reported in the Student Record with a WITHDRAWAL DATE on or after 10/01/2013 must be reported in FTE 2015-1.
E133 This active student's name (LAST NAME, FIRST NAME, or MIDDLE NAME) submitted does not match the student name in GUIDE. Make the necessary corrections where needed (SIS or GUIDE) before re-validating.
E2567 Student is being reported with WITHDRAWAL REASON = 'T' but the STUDENT ID is not reported by any other school in the SYSTEM or any other SYSTEM in the State. See report ENR036 for GTID claims after transfers.
E047 This GTID is being reported active in more than one district. Please review the Duplicate GTID Report (SR - Student Report SR066; FTE- Main Menu).
E0702 STUDENT STATUS = 'R'; GRADE LEVEL must be the same GRADE LEVEL as reported in the prior FISCAL YEAR Student Record collection.
E167 The STUDENT ID has been reported with more than one GTID this fiscal year. Please see FTE report FT091 for details and more information for resolving this error.
E168 The GTID has been reported with WITHDRAWAL REASON='G' and DIPLOMA TYPE = 'S' or 'A' in a previous collection; but the GTID is being reported as ACTIVE in this collection.
E1685 The GTID has been reported with WITHDRAWAL REASON = 'G' and DIPLOMA TYPE = 'G'; 'B'; 'C'; or 'V' in a previous collection; but the GTID is being reported as ACTIVE in this collection.
E2568 STUDENT STATUS = 'N'; GRADE LEVEL should be no more than two grades different than reported in Student Record but cannot be the same GRADE LEVEL reported in Student Record.
E2573 STUDENT ID is reported by another SCHOOL CODE in the SYSTEM with a different DATE OF BIRTH.
E799 Special Ed student reported in SR and did not exit program; but REPORT TYPE = 'R' in FTE.
E808 Duplicate STUDENT ID. This student is being reported as active in another Georgia school system.  Please refer to report FT032.
E809 WITHDRAWAL REASON of Dropout reported for student who is actively enrolled in another school system.
W162 Student First Name changed between FTE and Student Record.  Please verify data.
W165 STUDENT ID changed since the last FTE cycle or Student Record collection.  Previous STUDENT ID should be entered in the PREVIOUS STUDENT ID field.
W167 The STUDENT ID has been reported with more than one GTID this fiscal year. Please see FTE report FT091 for details and more information for resolving this error.
W2569 Student is reported in a grade other than '12' and a withdrawal code of 'G'.
W2572 Student ID is reported in another system in the state with a different gender code.
W2574 GTID is reported in another system in the state with a different date of birth.
W2576 Student ID is reported in another system in the state with a different grade level.
W2675 Active students with the same name are being reported with different STUDENT ID's. Please verify data reported is correct - if correct; no action required.
W2991 The WITHDRAWAL DATE is prior to September 16; and the student has not been reported as active by another district in FTE Cycle 1 (See FT053).
W809 Active student has been reported as a dropout in another School System.

If you don't want to merge these errors in FteTrack error report, you just delete the file you downloaded from the DOE portal from C:\StateFiles folder.

As always, you can always turn off an error visibility by going to FteTrack's "Setup Error" page (see pic below). Once you turn off an error, users will no longer see that error on their error summary report.

Monday, September 22, 2014

CCRPI Reports in Student Record

There are several CCRPI indicators that can be derived from Student Record (& FTE) data alone. Other indicators need extended Assessment data that's not part of either FTE or Student Record data collection.

Now, the reports that can be derived from Student Record and FTE datasets, are available in Student Record application. We encourage school districts to keep track of these year round and not just towards the end of the year.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

New Reports in Student Record

A major change in upcoming 2015 CCRPI reports is the change in the way student attendance information is factored into a school's CCRPI score.

Instead of average daily attendance (ADA), percent of students with fewer than 6 absences is going to be included in Post Elementary, Middle & High school readiness scores.

Now, we have a report available under Enrollment reports, that will help schools keep track of this important CCRPI indicator year round. See the screenshots below

Pic 1

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Using Schedule Analysis

Schedule Analysis (already installed on FteTrack server) helps you with:
  • Identifying students with missing/incomplete schedules
  • Reduce potential un-funded students/segments for FTE
  • Review class size for various programs & services (identified easily by Course numbers)
  • Make sure scheduling rules are followed for each school/ grade level
  • Review teacher rosters for TKES/LKES system

Logging on to Schedule Analysis:
It's installed on the same server as FteTrack and you use the same userid and password that you use for FteTrack. URL for schedule analysis is http://[ftetrack server]/SA/index.html , where [ftetrack server] is the name or IP address of the machine where FteTrack is installed. For example,

Monday, August 25, 2014

Setting up Missing Core Courses Report in Schedule Analysis

Several people (thanks Jodi, Mike, Patricia and Samantha) have suggested that Missing Core Courses Report will be more effective if there was a way to configure the courses required by grade levels.

Now, there is way (see screenshots below). You can choose which courses are required for each grade level and Schedule Analysis will honor your selection when determining which students are missing one or more Core courses for the grade level they are enrolled in. This setup page is available in FteTrack setup menu.

This is how you can update your FteTrack installation files, or, let you know if we can help.


Pic 2

Thursday, August 14, 2014

CRDC Track

The 2013-14 CRDC will collect information about the 2013–14 school year from a universe of every public school district and school.

The following statement for this document on ED website for CRDC made me chuckle though:

 Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 14.2 hours per school survey response and 4.2 hours per local educational agency (LEA) survey response, including time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information.
Are they kidding or just ignorant?

I have known school districts during the last CRDC reporting cycle (2011-12) where they had 3-4 people working full-time for months to be able to compile this massive dataset for all of their school and they had 12 schools.

Anyway, based on the guidelines from OCR website, we can conclude that most of the data elements ( > 80% ) at school level (both Part 1 & 2) can be easily derived from the existing FTE and Student Record datasets that each school district in Georgia already reports to the state.

The way this application works is, you load your October 2013 FTE file (for Enrollments) and 2013-14 Student Record files (for Course & Discipline related data elements). The application pre-fills forms for individual schools with more than 80% of data fields already filled in. Data elements that are not part of either FTE or SR data collection can be manually entered and saved into the form for each school.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Generating GHSA Form A directly from your SIS database

This application is Desktop java application that pulls data directly from Student Information System database (Powerschool and Infinite Campus only at this time), so, you will need the necessary information like your database server name/ip address, port etc.

Since this is a java application, you will need Java run-time environment 7 (JRE 7).

You want to download this file and just double click on the “jar” file, if you have the correct version of JRE installed, you should see the following screen.

Pic 1
If the connection to the PS database is successful, you will see a screen like the following with your High School names:

Pic 2
Pressing on the two buttons above will print the appropriate reports (one PDF per High School) in the same folder where you downloaded the “jar” file.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

FteTrack and Schedule Analysis enhancements

FteTrack now gives school districts even more options to customize the application so that it fits a district's unique needs.

Most school districts have an "FTE Manual" that clearly states how to handle each individual DOE errors. Application administrators can now enter error resolution texts for each of these error codes in the application setup page (Pic 1 & 2), so that when a school user logs in and reviews his/her errors s/he will also have one two lines of text (Pic 3) that can guide the user in terms of how that error needs to be resolved.

Pic 1

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Controlling Error visibility in Student Record application

One of our users had an interesting request:

She wants to be able to control what her school users see in terms of Errors and Warnings. SR application already allows admin users to turn an Error/Warning code on or off at System level. But, she wanted a more granular control, i.e., to be able to turn specific errors off for individual schools.

With the latest SR application update, you should be able to do this.

Turning off Errors at System level:

Picture 1

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

New Content Completer validation report

Content Completer data element is mandatory for each Course level record. This element, though new, is a critical data element and will potentially be used for a large number of CCRPI indicators.

There is a lot of confusion out there about how this element is going to be reported and how it's going to be used for CCRPI. Information available through the DOE is complex and confusing at this point. Furthermore, 2 weeks from the end of current school year and the DOE is still trying to finalize the requirements..

Having said all that, we have added a new Course level report that validates Content Completer flag. This exception report looks for the following:

  • Content Completer = P and Numeric grade < 70 or Alpha Grade = F or N for any part of the course
  • Content Completer = F and no part of the course has Numeric grade < 70 or Alpha Grade = F or N
  • More than 1 part of the course being reported with Content Completer = P or F

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Special Ed FTE Reporting - IEPs, Segments and Scheduling

From FTE File Layout and Edit Rules:

SPECIAL ED ENVIRONMENT must be one of the following valid values if DATE OF BIRTH is such that AGE is greater than 5 as of September 1:

  • '1' Regular Class - inside regular class at least 80% of the time
  • '2' Resource Room - inside regular class 40%-79% of the time
  • '3' Separate Class - inside regular class less than 40% of the time

Friday, February 21, 2014

Loading Files to FteTrack

When we install FteTrack on a machine, the install process creates a Shortcut (picture 1 below) for FteTrack Load command on User's Desktop. Later on, if you login to the machine with different UserID than the one we used to install the software, you will not see the Shortcut for the load command.

Picture 1

Monday, February 17, 2014

Updating FTE Track and Student Record Installation files

Download the zipped file containing all of the updated files (link at the bottom)

Unzip the file using Window's unzip utility or any similar zip utility (7-zip, WinRar, Winzip etc.)

Unzip the zipped file
.. then run the Update_FteTrack.cmd as an Administrator. For that, you first select the file, right-click, then choose "Run as administrator" from the context menu.
Run as administrator

After running an update of the software, you must run the Load commands by clicking the respective Shortcut on your Desktop.

You must do this because the update process drops and create some of the internal database tables, thus, rendering all of the reports invalid. Running the Load command rebuilds all of the reports.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Turning User Account Control (UAC) Off in Windows 7

We have had several problems recently when we were trying to install FTE Track on a user's machine in a GoToMeeting session, mainly because the target machine had User Account Control (UAC) turned on.

So, here is how you turn UAC off on a Windows 7 machine.

Click on Windows Start Button (ORB) and type in "User" in the search box, without quotes that is.

Select "Change User Account Control settings" under Control Panel group as shown in the picture above.
Then, bring the slider all the way to the bottom (Never notify), click OK and reboot your machine and you have successfully turned off UAC.

Friday, February 7, 2014

HOPE Track

HOPE Track s Dekstop based application that helps counselors/school IT folks preemptively clean data before they submit it to GA411college website.

It's much more effective than the official website and much more superior in terms of functionality and features.

You need to have Adobe AIR run-time installed first, then, download the zipped file from the link at the bottom of this post and unzip (you must unzip the file first) the file and just double-click on the file named HopeTrack.air and follow the prompts.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Special Ed (IDEA) and Suspension/Expulsion in Student Record data collection

With so many new rules added and several of the old rules updated with regards to Discipline incidents/actions reporting in Student Record for Special Ed Students, it's imperative that the Data Reporting/IT teams for districts work closely with their respective Special Education departments to ensure that the reporting of Out-of-School suspensions/Expulsions for Special Ed students is in line with the current Rules/guidelines by the DOE.

Here are a couple of examples of very specific rules :
Discipline Procedure for a student with an IEP

Reporting requirements for SWD students

Given all of these rules, there should be greater emphasis on accuracy of discipline data.
To help districts with that, we have added an "SWD" column to both Discipline Incident Details and Action Details reports with further drill-down capabilities to review list of such incidents/students by school and student lists by school. Screenshots follow:

Discipline Action Summary

Monday, January 13, 2014

Student Record App

Just like FteTrack, Student Record application also gives district users a head start in terms of error handling and reports.

But, it does so much more. Unique drill-down feature allows you to review and correct each and every data element in Student Record files.

We recommend districts start running Student Record extracts after the first month of school year and clean data year round, so that it doesn't become a monumental task in May and June, when schools are dealing with several year-end tasks like Report Cards, HOPE, CCRPI etc.

Installing Student Record application is simple, assuming you already are an FteTrack user, download the application archive and run the appropriate command file from an Administrator command window.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

FteTrack Enhancements - Validations

As most of FteTrack users know, one of the numerous ways that FteTrack helps school districts maximize funding and ensure data quality, is by letting individual schools take ownership of their own data. An important built-in tool is the Validation button, whereby, school users can keep track of any data inconsistencies by validating records (along with optional comments).

One of the most requested feature enhancements is a way to tag students in the list by identifying the ones that somebody has looked at the details and validated by making sure that the validation warnings are legitimate/acceptable.

Now, when you are looking at the Student list for a particular Discrepancy report, you will see students who have been validated, clearly marked accordingly in the list. (See the picture below)

This change in included in version V20131230.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

SpedMaximizer Enhancement - now pulls student schedules from FteTrack

Many of our current users have asked in the past if there was a way to show student schedules inside SpedMaximizer student details page.

Now, there is a way!

When you open SpedMaximizer next time, you should get update notification like this:

Go ahead and update the software. After you have updated the software and restart the application, you will get a popup window like the following:

Go ahead and enter the server name or ip address of the machine where FteTrack is installed. This the string between http:// and /FteTrack of the URL you use to login to FteTrack. For example, if you use the URL http://ushasoft-x237/FteTrack/index.php to login to fteTrack, you will enter ushasoft-x237 in the box above and press the Save button.

That's all that is needed for this to work. If you have entered the correct Server Name/IP, you should see student schedules as the picture below:

Comments/feedback welcome.