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CALPADS Update Flash #120

Topics include: Chronic absenteeism data collection; new Student Absence Summary (STAS) file; methods for calculating days attended and absent; certification requirements; local use of absenteeism data.

To:            Local Educational Agency Representatives

From:       California Department of Education – CALPADS Team

Date:       August 9, 2016

Subject:  CALPADS Update FLASH #120


CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM DATA COLLECTION

As announced in a May 6, 2016 letter to Superintendents and Charter School Administrators, as part of the 2016–17 End-of-Year (EOY) data submission, local educational agencies (LEAs) will be required to submit data to CALPADS that will enable the calculation of student-level chronic absenteeism rates. These data are being collected pursuant to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which requires states to report chronic absenteeism rates for schools (Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(viii) of the ESSA). It is also likely that chronic absenteeism rates will eventually become part of the state’s new accountability system.

Based on discussions with LEAs, student information system (SIS) vendors, LEAs with custom student information systems, and other stakeholders, the California Department of Education (CDE) has developed the specifications for the new Student Absence Summary (STAS) file. The STAS file format v1.0 document is included as a separate Microsoft Word attachment with this Flash, and it will soon be posted on the CDE CALPADS System Documentation Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sp/cl/systemdocs.asp under CALPADS File Specifications (CFS) heading. Examples of the two new certification reports that LEAs will be required to certify as part of EOY 3, along with supporting reports, will be included in the updated CALPADS User Manual v8.1 which will soon be posted on the CDE CALPADS System Documentation Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sp/cl/systemdocs.asp. A high-level summary of the STAS file and business rules are provided below and may be referred to until the CALPADS Data Guide is updated.

In developing the STAS file specifications, the CDE sought to leverage the data that LEAs already collect to calculate their average daily attendance (ADA) used for funding purposes. Therefore, LEAs have already been collecting the data needed to meet the reporting requirements; however, the data will need to be aggregated differently in order to meet the data submission requirements.

NOTE: The data collected through CALPADS in the STAS file will not replace ADA data (that is already) submitted to the CDE for purposes of funding the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) or other programs funded based on ADA. However, as stated above, the same definitions and rules will be used for determining daily attendance for all attendance accounting systems (seat time, coursework) except when attendance is based on hourly attendance, primarily used by Continuation Schools. See “Methods for Calculating Days Attended and Absent” cited further in this document.

LEAs should convene the appropriate staff who work in the attendance, discipline, SIS, and CALPADS areas to review the STAS file specifications. The CDE plans to have the new functionality available in April 2017, prior to the opening of the 2016–17 EOY data submission window, so that LEAs can begin to submit files.

New STAS File – High Level Summary

CALPADS will expect STAS data for all students in grades K–12, including transitional kindergarten (TK), who have primary or short-term enrollments. However, students enrolled in a Non-Public School (NPS) or students receiving home or hospital instruction are exempt. For exempt students, LEAs must submit “Y” in the “Attendance Data Collection Exemption Indicator” field.

The new data elements to be submitted on the STAS file are summarized below. LEAs should refer to the STAS file specifications for the full definition of each data element.

Name Definition
Expected Attendance Days Total number of days the student was scheduled to attend during the Academic Year from the student’s Enrollment Start Date to the Enrollment Exit Date.
Days Attended

Total number of days the student attended the school of attendance. A day attended is defined as any day a student attended for all or part of a school day.

Days Attended do not include days a student is not in the regular classroom for the entire day due to an out-of-school or in-house suspension.

Days Absent
Out-of-School Suspension
Total number of days the student was absent from the regular classroom for the entire school day due to an out-of-school suspension.
Days Attended In-School Suspension Total number of days the student was in attendance but absent from the regular classroom for the entire school day due to an in-school suspension.
Days Absent Excused
Non-Suspension
Total number of days the student was absent for the entire school day with a valid excuse.
Days Absent Unexcused
Non-Suspension
Total number of days the student was absent for the entire school day without a valid excuse.
Incomplete Independent Study Days Total number of days the student did not satisfy statutory and regulatory requirements necessary to earn attendance credit. (To be used for independent study students instead of the “days absent from a regular classroom” fields.)
Hourly Attendance Calculation Indicator An indicator of whether the student is attending a school for which the daily attendance calculation for all students is based on hourly attendance (e.g., continuation schools).
Methods for Calculating Days Attended and Absent

LEAs may report attendance for a student that is calculated using more than one of the following three methods:

  1. Daily Attendance: LEAs should use the same rules that are currently used to determine a day of attendance for ADA purposes.
  2. Coursework Completed (e.g., independent study): LEAs should translate coursework completed into days attended per the rules used to determine daily attendance for ADA funding purposes; however, the “days” absent should be populated in the “Incomplete Independent Study” field. NOTE the following:
    • LEAs should populate the Days Attended and Incomplete Independent Study Days fields for these students, and not the other fields (out-of-school suspension, in-school suspension, days absent excused, and days absent unexcused).
    • LEAs are not required to use this method for students on short-term independent study or single independent study courses.
  3. Hourly Attendance (e.g., Continuation Schools): LEAs should translate hourly attendance/absence into days – as described in the following table (NOTE: In the table below, rows 2–6 represent explanations involving division and multiplication):
Data Element Translating Hours into Days
Expected Attendance Days The number of days the student is expected to attend, which may be less than five days in a typical five-day week.
Days Attended (Hours present [attended]* DIVIDED BY Hours scheduled to attend**)
MULTIPLIED BY
(Days expected to attend)
Days Absent Out-of-School Suspension (Hours absent due to out-of-school suspension DIVIDED BY Hours scheduled to attend**)
MULTIPLIED BY
(Days expected to attend)
Days Attended In-school Suspension (Hours attended in in-school suspension DIVIDED BY Hours scheduled to attend**
MULTIPLIED BY
(Days expected to attend)
Days Absent Excused
Non-Suspension
(Hours absent excused [non-suspension] DIVIDED BY Hours scheduled to attend**)
MULTIPLIED BY
(Days expected to attend)
Days Absent Unexcused
Non-Suspension
(Hours absent unexcused [non-suspension] DIVIDED BY Hours scheduled to attend**)
MULTIPLIED BY
(Days expected to attend)

*For “Hours present (attended)” used in the numerator, include the total hours in actual attendance. Note: the hours entered for the purpose of determining chronic absenteeism are based on actual hours attended and may exceed those used to determine attendance for the purpose of funding.

**For “Hours scheduled to attend” used in the denominator, LEAs should use the total hours the student is scheduled to attend. Note: the hours entered for this purpose of determining chronic absenteeism may differ from those used to determine attendance for the purpose of ADA funding.

Certification Requirements

As part of the EOY 3 submission, LEAs will be required to:

  • Have Concurrent Enrollment anomalies (also known as “CCEs”) of less than 1 percent
  • Certify a cumulative enrollment count for the academic year based on enrollment data in the Operational Data Store (ODS) (Report 1.21, Cumulative Enrollment – Count)
  • Certify the number of students falling in each of four absenteeism rate categories (Report 14.1, Student Absenteeism – Count):
    • 5 percent or less
    • Greater than 5 percent but less than 10 percent
    • 10 percent or greater but less than 20 percent
    • 20 percent or greater

Per the federal definition, students who are absent 10 percent or more of the scheduled days are considered “chronically absent.” Mockups of the certification and supporting reports will be included in the updated CALPADS User Manual v8.1, which will soon be posted on the CDE CALPADS System Documentation Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sp/cl/systemdocs.asp.

Local Use of Absenteeism Data

LEAs will be able to drill down from Report 14.1, Student Absenteeism – Count to see the individual students that fall into each category. For example, LEAs will be able to identify students with absenteeism rates of 10 percent or more and provide appropriate interventions. Beginning in 2017–18, Report 14.1, Student Absenteeism – Count will be available as an ODS report so that LEAs may view the report year-round for whatever data they have submitted.

Questions:   CALPADS/CBEDS/CDS Operations Office | calpads@cde.ca.gov | 916-324-6738
Last Reviewed: Friday, August 16, 2019
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