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Definition of Continuous Enrollment

Letter Head: Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, California Department of Education

August 10, 2012

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

Definition of Continuous Enrollment for Accountability Reporting

The purpose of this letter is to provide you with information about two recent changes to the processes used to determine which students are counted as “continuously enrolled” for accountability purposes and to clarify the impact of those changes on local educational agency (LEA) policies and practices.

First, with the full implementation of the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS), the California Department of Education (CDE) is improving the way we collect and use data for assessment and accountability reporting. Most recently, entry and exit codes for individual students obtained from CALPADS were used to determine if students were continuously enrolled in the school or LEA for the 2011 Base Academic Performance Index (API) calculations. Previously, the CDE relied upon information provided on the Student Answer Document (SAD) for either the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program or the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) to make this determination. The CDE believes this new process for determining continuous enrollment will improve the consistency of the data across the state. Plans are in place to remove the continuous enrollment data collection and other information from the SADs for both STAR and CAHSEE during the 2012/13 and 2013/14 school years. These changes will lessen the burden on LEAs that have to input the information on the SAD.

Secondly, the new California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 5, Section 1039.2, requires that a student be considered continuously enrolled if the student was enrolled in the same school or LEA from Fall Census Day (first Wednesday in October) to the first day of testing, without a gap in enrollment of more than 30 consecutive calendar days. These regulations were approved at the January 2012 State Board of Education (SBE) meeting and became effective May 2, 2012. The CDE anticipates that these new regulations will also be applied to 2012 Adequate Yearly Progress calculations, pending SBE approval at the September meeting.

While these regulations now determine which students are included in accountability reports for schools and LEAs, these regulations do not, in any way, mandate local policies about enrolling or exiting students.

The CDE is encouraged that the CALPADS system can be utilized in this way, and looks forward to increasing the use of the data collected through the state’s longitudinal data system in the future. For your future reference, attached is a schedule for extracting enrollment and exit code data from CALPADS for use in accountability calculations. If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact Jenny Singh, Administrator, Academic Accountability Unit, by phone at 916-319-0437 or by e-mail at



Deborah V.H. Sigman, Deputy Superintendent
District, School, and Innovation Branch


Accountability Coordinators
CAHSEE Coordinators
CALPADS Coordinators
STAR Assessment Coordinators


Schedule for Extracting Data from the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement
Data System (CALPADS) for 2012 Accountability Reports

Data from CALPADS was used for the first time in the calculation of the 2011 Base Academic Performance Index (API) in June, 2012. The CALPADS data were used to determine which students were continuously enrolled at the school or local educational agency (LEA) and which test scores were assigned from an alternative education program (AEP) to a non-AEP as defined in the California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Sections 1039.2 and 1039.3. Over the next several years, the use of data from CALPADS for assessment and accountability reporting will continue to expand.

The California Department of Education (CDE) will be extracting the 2011–12 enrollment and exit code data from CALPADS on August 15, 2012. It is anticipated that these data will be used to produce both the 2012 Growth API and the 2012 Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) reports.

The initial 2012 Growth API and 2012 AYP reports will be based on non-certified CALPADS enrollment and exit code data. API and AYP reports will be updated throughout the year to reflect updates made to CALPADS data on the following schedule:

  • August 15, 2012 (non-certified data)
  • December 20, 2012 (certified data)
  • February 26, 2013 (final certified data)

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact the Academic Accountability Unit (AAU) by phone at 916-319-0863 or by e-mail at


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