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CALPADS Update Flash #187

Topic of this Flash: Guidance for Populating Student Absence Summary and Course Section Files in 2020-21.

To:           Local Educational Agency (LEA) Representatives

From:      California Department of Education (CDE) –
                California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) Team

Date:       August 19, 2020

SubjectCALPADS Update FLASH #187


Guidance for Populating Student Absence Summary and Course Section Files in 2020–21

LEAs are required to submit and certify data for all CALPADS submissions in 2020–21. In Flash #185, it was stated that no changes will be made to the Student Absence Summary (STAS) file, and that guidance will be provided regarding how to report distance learning attendance and absence through the existing file. This Flash provides guidance for populating the STAS in 2020–21. It also provides guidance for populating the Distance Learning and Online Instruction Type fields in the Course Section (CRSE) file.

Guidance for Populating Specific Fields in the Student Absence Summary (STAS) File for 2020–21

Field # Name Definition Guidance for 2020–21
13.16 Days Attended Total number of days the student attended the school. A day attended is defined as any day a student attended for all or part of a school day.

For 2020–21, LEAs should report in this field as a day attended, days in which a student attended a day or part of a day in distance learning. Per Education Code section 43504(d)(2), daily participation in distance learning “may include, but is not limited to, evidence of participation in online activities, completion of regular assignments, completion of assessments, and contacts between employees of the local educational agency and pupil or parents or guardians."

LEAs may also choose to take and report attendance based on period-by-period attendance. To convert periods attended into days attended:

Periods Present (attended)

divided by:

Total Periods Expected to Attend

multiplied by:

Days Expected to Attend
13.17 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 pursuant to EC 48911. For 2020–21, absent from the "regular classroom" includes when a student is absent from distance learning due to an out-of-school suspension.
13.18 Days in Attendance 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 either an in-school suspension pursuant to EC 48911.1, or a teacher suspension from a classroom pursuant to EC 48910(c) or a combination of both. For 2020–21, “in attendance”, but absent from the "regular classroom" for the entire school day, includes when a student is in attendance virtually.
13.19 Days Absent Excused Non-Suspension Total number of days the student was absent for the entire school day with a valid excuse, per Education Code sections 48260(c). (This does not include an absence due to an out-of-school or in-school suspension.)

LEAs should develop a local policy as to what constitutes an excused absence in a distance learning context. The policy should be consistent with Education Code (EC) sections 48205 and 48225.5, which specify what constitutes an excused absence. The policy should also be consistent with EC Section 48260(c) which states that an excused absence from school may includereasons that are deemed by the school administrator, based on the student's circumstances, as constituting a valid excuse.

In developing their local policies, LEAs should consider whether the absence was due to circumstances outside of the student's control. For example, a distance learning absence might be excused if the absence was due to lack of connectivity or equipment over which the student does not have control.
13.20 Days Absent Unexcused Non-Suspension Total number of days the student was absent for the entire school day without a valid excuse. (This does not include students who are absent due to an out-of-school suspension or who attended in-school suspension.)

An unexcused absence under distance learning would be when no excuse is provided, or when the excuse that is provided is determined not to be valid based on the LEA's policy or based on the discretion of a school administrator pursuant to EC Section 48260(c).

Guidance for Populating Specific Fields on the Course Section (CRSE) file in 2020–21

Field # Name Definition Guidance for 2020–21
9.24 Distance Learning Indicator An indication of whether or not Course Section instruction was delivered by way of distance learning. Distance Learning is an instructional method in which the pupil and instructor are in different locations and interact through the use of computer and communications technology.  Distance Learning may include video or audio instruction in which the primary mode of communication between pupil and instructor is instructional television, video, telecourses, or any other instruction that relies on computer or communications technology (Education Code Section 51865). Online learning is only one form of distance learning. A "Y" would indicate that a course is being delivered by way of distance learning. An "N" would indicate that the course is not. LEAs should populate this field with a "Y" if instruction in the course section is taught through distance learning full time or part time (portion of a day or week), as of Census Day.
9.33 Online Course Instruction Type Code A coded value representing the type of online instruction that is being delivered in a course section. Currently, if Field 9.24 - Distance Learning Indicator, is populated with a "Y" then this field must be populated. See 2020–21 guidance below provided for codes in the Online Course Instruction Type code set.

Guidance for Using Online Learning Type Codes in Field 9.33 - Online Course Instruction Type Code in 2020–21

Coded Value Code Name Code Definition 2020–21 Guidance
1 Instructor-led Instructor provides all instruction associated with online content. The course section content may be based on an online program or based on other instructional materials (e.g., textbooks) and is solely or primarily provided in a synchronous manner. This means that the teacher and students are in different locations and the instruction is provided by the teacher to the student in real time (at the same time) for the full or some portion of the school day. The synchronous instruction may occur through various computer or communications technology (e.g., Zoom meetings, conference calls, etc). Some portion of instruction may be provided in an asynchronous manner.
2 Facilitated Learner sets the pace of their own instruction, facilitator monitors progress and may provide support. The course section content may be based on an online program or based on other instructional materials (e.g., textbooks) and is provided solely in an asynchronous manner. This means the teacher and students are in different locations and the teacher does not provide any instruction in real time, except teachers may interact with students in real time to monitor assignments, provide content support (re-teaching), and provide feedback. Examples include: The teacher provides assignments that students complete at their own pace, and the teacher monitors progress and may provide support through email or calls.
3 Learner-led Learner sets the pace of their instruction. Content and instruction are provided solely by the online application. LEAs should continue to use this code when the content and instruction are provided solely by the online application. The online content system provides all instruction and issues the grades in the courses.
Questions:   CALPADS/CBEDS/CDS Operations Office | calpads@cde.ca.gov | 916-324-6738
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, August 18, 2020
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