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Certification of Special Ed Discipline Data

California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
May 17, 2017

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

Review and Certification of Special Education Discipline Data in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System

In the spring of 2015, the California Department of Education (CDE) began a process to align data collection processes for students with disabilities in California. This process ensures student data are accurate for the purposes of both monitoring and accountability, as outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In 2015­­–­16, the collection of discipline (suspension and expulsion) data for students with disabilities was transitioned from Table C of the California Special Education Management Information System (CASEMIS) into the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) End-of-Year (EOY) 3 data submission (see the CALPADS Calendar at for more information about the EOY 3 submission).

The process for submitting data for the CALPADS EOY 3 submission requires certification by a superintendent-level staff person (or designee) for each local educational agency (LEA) or independently reporting charter (IRC) school. Under state law (California Education Code [EC] 56601) all data for students with disabilities are reported by the Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA). To meet this requirement, the discipline data for students with disabilities, once submitted in CASEMIS, now submitted in CALPADS, must be reviewed and certified by the SELPA. Because the CALPADS reports do not currently aggregate data by SELPA, SELPAs must work with LEAs to validate data in CALPADS are accurate.

In order to ensure discipline data for students with disabilities undergo a comprehensive review by SELPA staff prior to certification, it is necessary for LEAs, IRCs, and their associated SELPAs to develop a local discipline data review process to review and certify the following reports in CALPADS for the EOY 3 data submission:

  • 7.1 - Discipline Incidents – Count by Most Severe Offense
  • 7.3 - Discipline Actions – Count
  • 7.4 - Discipline Actions – Count by Offense
  • 7.6 - Discipline Actions – Persistently Dangerous Offense Expulsions
  • *7.7 - Discipline Removals for Students with Disabilities – Count
  • *7.8 - Unilateral Removals for Students with Disabilities – Count
  • *7.9 - Discipline Removals for Students with Disabilities – Student List

*These reports only contain discipline data for students with disabilities. All other reports contain discipline data for all students (including students with disabilities).

The Special Education and Educational Data Management Divisions strongly encourage Superintendents and Charter School Administrators to authorize their CALPADS LEA Administrators to provide access to these certification reports (and associated supporting reports) to the SELPA-level staff for review through one of the following methods (in order by best practices):

  1. Provide SELPA-level staff with a CALPADS LEA-level account. When creating the account, the account should be assigned the following role through the User Security screen:
    • Reports>Discipline
  2. Provide electronic copies of certification reports through a secure file transfer protocol (SFTP). Email is not recommended unless the LEA has a data encryption process; or
  3. Provide paper copies of certification reports (only to the individuals specifically authorized to review and certify them). This is the least preferred method.

Once access has been provided, LEAs and SELPAs should develop a data review process including roles and responsibilities for special education, CALPADS, and administrators, as well as, a timeline including critical deadlines.

LEAs can start reviewing these reports beginning May 15, 2017; with the initial deadline to certify reports in CALPADS July 31, 2017. There is a brief window to amend data before the final certification date of August 11, 2017. We recognize many of your staff will be on summer break so it is critical LEAs and SELPAs begin developing this process now.

For additional questions or comments, please contact Shiyloh Duncan-Becerril, Education Administrator I, Special Education Division, by email at or Karen Almquist, Education Administrator I, CALPADS/CBEDS/CDS Operations Office, by email at


Kristin Wright, Director
Special Education Division

Jerry Winkler, Director
Educational Data Management Division

Last Reviewed: Thursday, May 18, 2017

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