Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo


Topics include: 4-year graduation cohort process: New process for using CALPADS data for 4-year graduation cohort; key process changes.

To:            Local Educational Agency Representatives

From:       California Department of Education – CALPADS Team

Date:       March 8, 2018

SubjectCALPADS Update FLASH #135

4-Year Graduation Cohort Process

Prior Process for Using CALPADS Data for 4-Year Graduation Cohort

Historically, the CDE has extracted data from the CALPADS Operational Data Store (ODS) following the Fall 1 initial certification deadline (December time frame) and used these data to calculate the preliminary 4-year graduation cohort rate for the prior year. Since the processing and calculation of the 4-year graduation rates has occurred outside of CALPADS, local educational agencies (LEAs) have had no visibility into the students that make up the cohort within CALPADS. Instead, the CDE has provided LEAs with a private preview of the preliminary 4-year graduation rates along with the underlying individual student-level data used to produce the aggregate counts and rates by demographic and program subgroup. LEAs were given a short correction opportunity during which they could update the underlying student-level data in the ODS. Following the close of the Fall 1 amendment window, the CDE would then re-extract the updated data from the ODS and produce the final 4-year cohort graduation rates, which were publicly released on DataQuest in the spring, and more recently incorporated into the November release of the California School Dashboard.

New Process for Using CALPADS Data for 4-Year Graduation Cohort

Due to a strong desire on the part of the State Board of Education and LEAs to base Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) planning on the most recent data available, the timeline for the development of the 4-year graduation cohort rate will change beginning with the fall 2018 Dashboard.

  • LEAs will be able to view the students in the 2017–18 cohort for each of their schools in a CALPADS ODS report beginning in May 2018. Therefore, beginning in May, LEAs will be able to view the students in the cohort, and once students are exited at the end of the school year, LEAs will be able to see counts of graduates and non-graduates and the resulting graduation rates. As LEAs update their data, the changes will be reflected in the report the next day, giving LEAs ongoing opportunities to view and update their cohort data within CALPADS.
  • The CDE will pull data from the CALPADS ODS in mid-September (a specific date will be announced) for the 4-year graduation cohort rate for use on the 2018 Dashboard. Since LEAs will have seen the rates within CALPADS, there is no longer a need for the private-preview process, and LEAs will not be given further opportunities to make adjustments to the data used to calculate their 4-year graduation cohort rate.

Key Process Changes

Key changes that may require local business process changes and modifications to the allocation of staff are:

  • LEAs will be required to exit all students from the prior school year as part of certifying End-of-Year (EOY) 3, including those students who are graduates.
  • LEAs will have until mid-September to verify and update the graduate indicators (e.g., a-g completion, Golden State Seal Merit Diploma, Seal of Bi-literacy) since these indicators are used as part of the College/Career Indicator (CCI).
  • LEAs should revise exit/completion codes by mid-September, for all students who complete graduation requirements by August 15, 2018, which is the end of the cohort window.

The CDE recognizes that this is a significant change to past practice. A letter announcing these changes will be sent to your Superintendents this month (March 2018), along with further details. Since this change represents a significant change from past practice, we are providing this information to you now so that you have time to prepare for this transition.

Questions:   CALPADS/CBEDS/CDS Operations Office | | 916-324-6738
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Recently Posted in School Performance
  • CALPADS Release Updates v1.2.97 (added 15-Oct-2021)
    This document lists fixes that have been released to the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) Web application.
  • CALPADS Error List v13.4 (added 15-Oct-2021)
    This document contains descriptions for each error generated when submitting given data to CALPADS.
  • CALPADS Update Flash #213 (added 01-Oct-2021)
    Fall 1 Submission, Roll Over, Codes, and File Specification Changes
  • 2021–22 Data Collections: Back-to-School Letter (added 13-Sep-2021)
    September 2021 letter to County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and Special Education Local Plan Area Directors.
  • CALPADS Update Flash #212 (added 09-Sep-2021)
    Fall 1 training is now open; announcement of new quarterly regional meetings.

  • CALPADS Release Updates v1.2.94 (added 18-Aug-2021)
    This document lists fixes that have been released to the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) Web application.