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CBEDS Frequently Asked Questions 2016

Answers to frequently asked questions about the California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS) data collection, including the School Information Form (SIF), County-District Information Form (CDIF), and the CBEDS Online Reporting Application (ORA).

Select a specific section to view, or browse through the questions below.

General | CDIF | SIF | CBEDS-ORA

General CBEDS Questions

How are the CDIF and SIF data submitted?

Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) use the CBEDS-ORA, a Web-based application, to submit County/District Information Form (CDIF) and School Information Form (SIF) data.

How do LEAs access CBEDS-ORA?

The CBEDS Online Reporting Application [] is available via the CDE CBEDS [] Web page (under the CBEDS-ORA heading). A CDE issued user name and password are needed to log into the application.

How do I obtain a user name and password to log on to CBEDS-ORA?

User names and passwords for CBEDS-ORA are sent to CBEDS coordinators, district superintendents, and charter administrators in July and August. If you did not receive your logon information, please email the CBEDS/CDS Support Office at or call 916-324-6738. Only authorized personnel will be given logon information.

I am a new CBEDS coordinator. Where can I get training on CBEDS?

CBEDS training is available via the CDE CBEDS [] Web page under the “Training” heading. The training includes a general overview of CBEDS and instructions on submitting SIF and CDIF data to the CDE. The training is provided in Microsoft PowerPoint format with voice-over narration, and it lasts approximately forty minutes.

How do I obtain a copy of the 2016 CBEDS Administrative Manual?

The CBEDS Administrative Manual is available on the CDE CBEDS [] Web page under the "Instructional Resources" heading.

What changes were made to this year's CBEDS data collection?

There were no changes to the CBEDS data collection this year. An e-mail informing LEAs of this was sent to all CBEDS coordinators, district superintendents, and charter administrators in late March. A copy of this e-mail is available on the CDE CBEDS [] Web page under the "Correspondence" heading.

Has the CBEDS-ORA file layout changed from last year?

Except for updating date and year references, the file layout has not changed from last year.

How do charter schools report CBEDS data?

Charter schools may choose to report their CBEDS (and CALPADS) data to the California Department of Education (CDE) via one of the options listed below. (The charter school’s funding type does not affect the charter school’s reporting choice.)

  1. The charter school reports CBEDS data independent of its authorizing agency and directly to the CDE.
    The independently reporting charter school completes the SIF, and not a CDIF. Estimated teacher hires data are reported on the SIF.
  2. The charter school’s authorizing agency reports the charter school’s data to the CDE.
    The authorizing agency reports all applicable information about their charter schools on the CDIF, and submits an SIF for the charter school.

Data for charter schools that are closed for the 2016–17 school year, but were open in 2015–16, will need to be reported in order to provide applicable data for the 2015–16 school year. It will be the authorizing LEA's responsibility to report data for these charter schools (including those that were independently reporting in 2015–16).

How do I report CBEDS data for a school that does not have a county-district-school (CDS) code?

CBEDS data are to be reported for all public schools maintained by county offices of education and school districts that are, or will be, open and providing instruction to students on or before Information Day, October 5, 2016. CBEDS data are not to be reported for preschools, adult education centers, regional occupation centers/programs, private schools, children's centers, or after-school programs.

If you have a school that meets the reporting requirements for CBEDS and does not have a county-district-school (CDS) code, you will need to work with your LEA's CDS Coordinator to request a CDS code by completing an Application for a County-District-School (CDS) Code (CDS-01 form) [] (DOC) and submitting the application along with board minutes showing approval of the formation and establishment of the school, and another document verifying the operation of the school (for example, budget items or the appointment of the principal). Please review the CDE’s Definition of a School [] to ensure that proposed new schools meet the requirements for obtaining a CDS code. Once a CDS code is assigned to your school, you may report CBEDS data for the school through the CBEDS-ORA.

How do I report CBEDS data for a school that is not on the List of Expected Schools?

Only the types of schools for which the CDE expects to receive CBEDS data are included on the List of Expected Schools. If you have a school that you feel should be on the List of Expected Schools, please contact CDE CBEDS staff.

How do I notify the CDE of a school that is temporarily non-operational and does not have CBEDS data to report?

To notify the CDE of a temporarily non-operational school or a school that does not have students enrolled as of Information Day, use the List of Expected Schools, which is available from the Main Menu within CBEDS-ORA. Contact your LEA's CALPADS Administrator to confirm that no student enrollments were reported on the CALPADS Operational Data Store (ODS) Report 1.1 on Information Day. Print out the List of Expected Schools, and indicate the school that is temporarily non-operational by providing an effective date and a brief reason for the school not operating. Have your district superintendent sign the list and e-mail the signed copy to the CBEDS/CDS Support Office at, or fax the form to 916-327-0195. Once your list is received and processed, you will be relieved from having to report current year data for the school. However, if the school was open last year, you may still be required to report prior year data, such as truancy or parent exception waivers. In this case, the school will be listed on your List of Expected Schools in a category for closed and temporarily non-operational schools.

How do I make corrections to the List of Expected Schools, like grade span changes or school type changes?

All changes to the List of Expected Schools, except to notify the CDE of a temporarily non-operational school, must be submitted through the Online Public Update for Schools (OPUS)-CDS application by your LEA’s CDS coordinator. The CDS coordinator’s contact information for your LEA is included on the CBEDS List of Expected Schools which is available within CBEDS-ORA [].

After I submit my district's CBEDS-ORA data electronically, should I submit the back-up paper copies also?

No. Please do not submit the back-up copies for the CDIF or SIF.

If I find an error in the CBEDS-ORA data after I’ve submitted the information, how do I correct the data?

First, note that any modifications to already-submitted data must be done prior to the final due date or within the amendment window. To modify your CBEDS data: Log in to the CBEDS-ORA, decertify your data by attempting to edit the data, make the modification(s), and resubmit your data.

What are the consequences of not submitting CBEDS data on time?

Superintendents and charter school administrators will be notified if LEAs are late in submitting their CBEDS data. Since CBEDS data are collected in order to meet federal and state reporting mandates, it is important for LEAs to meet designated reporting deadlines to allow the CDE time to review, verify, and analyze data prior to releasing and providing data to federal and state officials. If data are not received prior to the CDE release of data, data will be omitted, which may impact funding, policy decision making, and may result in skewed or inaccurate data that LEAs may then be asked to justify.

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County/District Information Form (CDIF)

Do independently reporting charter schools complete a CDIF?

No. The County/District Information Form (CDIF) is only completed by districts and county offices of education. Independently reporting charter schools only report data on the School Information Form (SIF).

Classified Staff (Section A – CDIF)

Are the classified staff reported on the CDIF a sum of the classified staff employed in our district’s schools?

No. Only report the full-time equivalent (FTE) of employees assigned to the county or district office on the CDIF. Do not use the CDIF to report the total number of classified staff reported at each of your school sites.

Note: Regional occupational centers/programs (ROC/Ps), preschool, child care, or adult education classified employees are not to be included in your CBEDS counts.

The groundskeeper for our district are employees of another district.  Our district reimburses the other district for the groundskeeper's services.  Which district should report these classified staff members?

The district where the employees are physically working should report the staff, so your district should report the groundskeeper as “Other Classified Staff.”

Estimated Number of Teacher Hires (Section B – CDIF)

Should the district report Estimated Teacher Hire data for their independently reporting charter schools (IRCs)?

No. Do not include estimated hires for your independently reporting charter schools (IRCs) in your district's count of estimated teacher hires on the CDIF. IRCs will report their estimated teacher hires data on their School Information Form (SIF).

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School Information Form (SIF)

Where do I obtain blank SIFs to distribute to the schools in my district?

Blank School Information Forms (SIFs) (as well as the County/District Information Form [CDIF]) are available from the CDE CBEDS [] Web page and may be printed from the Reports Menu within CBEDS-ORA.

Classified Staff (Section A – SIF)

Where do I report a classified staff member who chooses not to report a race or ethnic designation?

Report the staff member in the "Two or More Races, Not Hispanic" column.

When should I use the "Two or More Races, not Hispanic" column?

The racial designation entitled "Two or More Races, not Hispanic" is aligned with the federal standards for collecting and reporting multiple races. This is not a designation that should be used for the local collection of race data from individuals, but should be used to report aggregate data of more than one race. You may also include staff in this category if they did not report a race or ethnicity.

Please note: You are not to include staff in this category if they reported their ethnicity as Hispanic or Latino and also reported one or more races. These staff should be reported in the “Hispanic or Latino or Any Race” category.

How do I report a vacant position for an employee who is on a leave of absence?

If a classified staff position is vacant and/or the regular staff member is on a leave of absence on Information Day but will return on or prior to October 31, then report the regular staff. If the regular classified staff will not return until after October 31, then report the substitute instead.

How many hours are considered full time?

The definition of full time should be determined locally and may vary from agency to agency. If your county or district does not have a definition for full time, for CBEDS purposes, staff who work 30 hours or more per week shall be considered full time.

How do I calculate the FTE of a classified employee who works 5.75 hours out of an 8 hour day?

Take the number of hours the employee works each day (5.75) and divide it by the number of full time hours (8). The result is .71875. Since you are to report to two decimal places, the FTE would be .72.

Are the classified staff who work in after school programs reported in CBEDS?

Yes. Report all classified staff regardless of their assignment. However, do not report the classified staff employed in a regional occupational center/program (ROC/P), preschool, child care, or adult education center.

Should long-term substitute classified staff be reported?

Yes, long-term substitutes should be included in your CBEDS report.

How should I report full time classified staff who work half-time as paraprofessionals and half-time as office/clerical at one school?

Report the full time equivalent (FTE) for each assignment (e.g., “.50 FTE paraprofessional” and “.50 office/clerical”).

How should I report the classified staff who serve at more than one school in our district?

Report the FTE at each school site to which he/she is assigned. In other words, if a half-time employee works at two school sites, the employee's FTE is reported as .25 at each site.

How do I report classified staff who are assigned to the district office, but are located at a school site?

Classified staff are to be reported at the site where they are assigned to provide services. If a district assigned staff member is physically located at a school site, but is not providing any services to that school site, they would be reported at the district office, not the school. For example, if you have staff that support a district run program, but the staff are housed at a school because there is no room at the district office location to house these staff, the staff would be reported at the district office and not the school where they are physically located.

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Kindergarten Program Type (Section B – SIF)

I’m getting a warning indicating that the transitional kindergarten (TK) program data do not match the kindergarten (K) program data for a school. The school offers a full-day K program and a part-day TK program. May I submit these data, and do I need a waiver to operate different length K and TK programs?

Yes, you may submit data reflecting different lengths of K and TK programs. Pursuant to Education Code Section 37202 External link opens in new window or tab., TK programs operated by a district must be of equal length to any K program operated by the same school site and/or district, unless there is an approved State Board of Education waiver on file. For more information on applying for a waiver, please refer to the California Department of Education’s (CDE’s) Submit a Waiver Request [] Web page.

Our school has K and TK aged students enrolled, but we do not offer a K or TK program, so we send these students to another school within our district for services. Do we report that our school offers a K or TK program, or does the school where the students are sent, and where services are provided, report this?

Since your school does not actually provide the K or TK services and you send your students to another school for these services, on CBEDS you would report that your school does not offer a K or TK program. The school that provides the service would report that they offer a K or TK program on CBEDS by indicating the appropriate length of their K or TK program.

If our school offers a K program, are we required to also offer a TK program?

LEAs must offer TK and K classes to all age-eligible children to attend. It is appropriate, however, if an LEA has a K program at one school and offers a TK program at another school, as long as the students are being served within their district. Charter schools that offer a K program, however, must also offer a TK program.

How do I report kindergarten program data for independent study, home school, or other types of schools that don’t meet on a daily basis?

Since independent study, and other similar courses, are equivalent to classroom-based courses, when determining full-day or part-day kindergarten programs you are to consider the instructional minutes that are equivalent to a classroom-based course, rather than the one or so hours per week that you physically meet with the student.

Since my high school district does not have any kindergarten programs, do I need to complete this section?

Yes, all schools must complete this section. Please select “None” for each school in your district that does not offer a kindergarten or transitional kindergarten program.

Are charter schools required to obtain a waiver if their K program instructional minutes are a different length from the TK program instructional minutes?

No, charter schools are not required to obtain a waiver if their K program instructional minutes are a different length than the TK program instructional minutes.

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Truancy (Section C – SIF)

How do I determine whether a student should be reported as truant?

A student is considered truant when the student has unexcused absences of more than 30 minutes on three or more days during the reporting window (July 1–June 30).

If a student is tardy for more than 30 minutes for three classes on the same day, do I count the student as a truant?

Since unexcused absences are reported by the day, this scenario would only account for one day of an unexcused absence. In order for a student to be counted as a truant, they would need three or more days of unexcused absences of more than 30 minutes. If this was the only day within the reporting window that the student had an unexcused absence of more than 30 minutes, they would not be counted as a truant.

How many times can a student be counted as a truant?

Students should only be counted once per school during the (July 1–June 30) reporting window.

If a student was considered truant for both the fall and spring semesters, do I report the student more than once?

No, the truancy count is an unduplicated count at the school level. Students should only be reported once per school during the reporting window.

How do I report a student who is truant at two different schools in the same LEA?

If a student is considered truant at two different schools, each school should report the student once.

If a school did not receive Title IV, Part A funds (Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act), are they still required to report the number of truancies?

Yes. Every school is required to report the number of truancies.

What is the difference between a “truant” and a “chronic absentee”?

A truant is student between the ages of 6 and 18 who has accumulated three unexcused absences of more than 30 minutes on three days in one school year as defined in California Education Code Section 48260. A “chronic absentee” is a student who is absent on 10 percent or more of the schooldays in the school year when the number of days a pupil is absent is divided by the number of days the pupil is enrolled and school was actually taught, exclusive of Saturdays or Sundays pursuant to Education Code Section 60901. A chronic absentee may have all his or her absences excused, and a chronic absentee is absent for the full school day on 10 percent of the days enrolled. A student is only identified as a truant once during the school year, but a chronic absentee can be identified several times as the percentage of days missed fluctuates above and below 10 percent.

How are truancies identified for Independent Study students?

If the student is not completing the work required by the learning agreement, the student should be evaluated for referral to classroom instruction. Once the student is back in classroom instruction, the student should be considered a truant if the student misses more than 30 minutes without a valid excuse on three days.

How are truancies identified for Virtual schools?

It is recommended that Virtual schools use the same method they use for calculating attendance and average daily attendance (ADA) funding to identify truancies. For example, if completed work is used to calculate daily attendance, then failure to submit completed work may be used to identify a day/s of absence.

If a school did not have any truant students, how do they report this?

For most schools, it is highly unlikely that zero students have had three or more unexcused absences. However, if you have no truancies to report, enter “0” for the number of truants and provide an explanation. Note: A minimum of 35 characters is required for your “0” response. Examples of appropriate responses include:

  • School has an aggressive attendance policy
  • Small enrollment population with no unexcused absences

For more information on reporting truancy data, please refer to page 10 of the CBEDS Administrative Manual.

Educational Calendar (Section D – SIF)

What type of calendar do I report if the district does not have year-round schools?

Only check "traditional" in part 1.

My school operates on both a traditional and single-track calendar. How do I report our school calendar?

In part 1, check "traditional" and "single-track." In part 2, check the appropriate single-track, year-round calendar.

How do I report a school's start date and end date for a multi-track calendar?

In part 3, report the first day of school for the earliest track and the last day of school for the latest track.

Parental Exception Waiver (Section E – SIF)

What is the difference between a parental exception waiver and a parental request?

A parental exception waiver is a petition submitted by a parent or guardian to have their child enrolled in a bilingual education class or other generally recognized alternative course of study.

A parental request, on the other hand, is a request by a parent or guardian to have their child transferred from a structured English immersion setting, placed in an English-language mainstream class, and provided with additional and appropriate instructional services as authorized by the California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 11301(b).

School Improvement Grants (Sections G, H, I, and J – SIF)

Do I need to report School Improvement Grant (SIG) data?

To determine whether your sites are SIG participants and are required to submit data for SIG, review the CBEDS List of Expected Schools available within CBEDS-ORA []. SIG reporting instructions are on pages 11–13 of the CBEDS Administrative Manual.

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The CBEDS Online Reporting Application

What is CBEDS-ORA?

CBEDS-ORA is a Web application used by authorized CBEDS LEA coordinators to report appropriate CDIF and SIF data to the California Department of Education (CDE). It also allows users to update coordinator contact information, and it contains a list of schools that are expected to submit CBEDS data.

Why do we need CALPADS and CBEDS-ORA? What is the difference between the two?

Each system (the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System [CALPADS] and the California Basic Educational Data System [CBEDS-ORA]) is used to report different types of data. CALPADS is a statewide longitudinal education data system used by LEAs to report student-level and staff-level data. CALPADS houses student-level enrollment, demographic, program, and assessment data for evaluation and research use, as well as course enrollment, course completion, and staff assignments.

CBEDS-ORA is the system used by LEAs to report aggregate data. Data reported through CBEDS-ORA include non-student data, such as aggregate counts of classified staff, estimated number of teacher hires, kindergarten program types, and school educational calendar type. Select aggregate student counts are also collected on CBEDS-ORA, such as aggregate counts of students in the School Improvement Grant (SIG) and counts of truants.

How do authorized LEA representatives use CBEDS-ORA to submit CBEDS data? Are there instructions or training for using CBEDS-ORA?

LEA representatives (CBEDS coordinators) use a Web browser to navigate to the CBEDS-ORA [] logon page. Users then log on using their unique user name and password, which are issued by the California Department of Education (CDE). After all data have been entered into CBEDS-ORA, coordinators must submit/certify the data.

For instructions on how to use CBEDS-ORA, please refer to the CBEDS-ORA Quick Guide []. CBEDS training is also available via the CDE CBEDS [] Web page.

Can LEAs upload a data file into CBEDS-ORA to meet the data reporting requirements?

The CDE provides a file upload option for LEAs. However, once the file is uploaded, you must still go through the process of submitting/certifying your data. Files must be in the specified format for CBEDS-ORA in order for data to be uploaded. You may view the 2016 CBEDS-ORA File Import Specifications [] (DOC) from the CDE CBEDS [] Web page or within CBEDS-ORA [].

Can data be exported from CBEDS-ORA?

Yes, data may be exported into a tab-delimited text file. The option to export data is available through the Advanced Features option from the Main Menu.

How may I receive more information about CBEDS-ORA?

Additional resources on CBEDS-ORA are available on the CDE CBEDS [] Web page.
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Questions:   CALPADS/CBEDS/CDS Operations Office | | 916-324-6738
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, October 4, 2016
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