Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and Special Education Local Plan Area Directors:
2023−24 End-of-Year Submission Deadline and Revised Rollout Plan for the New Four-Year Cohort Graduate Cut-Off Date
As described in the September 5, 2023 letter to Superintendents and Administrators (https://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sp/cl/cadashdeadlines20230905.asp), the 2023−24 K-12 Education Omnibus Trailer Bill, Senate Bill 114 (Chapter 48, Statutes of 2023) established progressively earlier dates by which the California Department of Education (CDE) must publish the California School Dashboard (Dashboard). Since the Dashboard is based largely on data that local educational agencies (LEAs) certify as part of the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) End-of-Year (EOY) submissions, this requires the CALPADS EOY certification deadlines to also become progressively earlier.
Accordingly, in the letter from September 5, 2023, the CDE provided proposed EOY submission deadlines for the current and subsequent two years to provide LEAs adequate planning time to meet the earlier EOY deadlines. The CDE offered LEAs the opportunity to submit comments regarding these proposed deadlines and stated that the CDE would take these comments into consideration when making the final decision about the future CALPADS deadlines. Additionally, the CDE solicited and considered input on the proposed deadlines during County Office of Education User Group meetings and CALPADS regional meetings.
In the same letter, the CDE announced that the Four-Year Cohort Graduate Cut-Off date would be moving from August 15 to June 30 in the current and future years. This change, which supports the requirement for earlier Dashboard reporting timelines, means that students graduating after June 30 (“summer graduates”) will no longer be included as graduates in the Four-Year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate (ACGR). Rather, moving forward, “summer graduates” will be counted as fifth year graduates the following year and included in the Five-Year Cohort Graduation Rate. The CDE would account for this change in the 2024 Dashboard Graduation Rate Indicator so that LEAs are not adversely impacted by this shift in cut-off date. To do this, the CDE planned on recalculating the 2023 Graduation Rate Indicator to remove “summer graduates” so that 2023 status and 2024 change determinations would be made using two years of data that are the same (i.e., do not include “summer graduates”).
Upon reviewing and carefully considering LEA input on both of these topics, the CDE has determined the following:
- CALPADS EOY Deadlines: The EOY deadline for 2023−24 will remain as proposed, August 16, 2024. This is approximately one week earlier than the 2022–23 EOY deadline. Recognizing that many staff who review certification reports are not available in July, and condensing workload is particularly difficult for small school districts where staff have multiple responsibilities, the CDE will continue to evaluate future EOY deadlines moving forward, which will likely need to be earlier in the coming years.
- Four-Year Cohort Graduate Cut-Off Date: The CDE supports and applauds the work that LEAs do to enable students to graduate from high school and receive a diploma, which often includes providing credit recovery opportunities after the official end of their fourth year of high school. It should also be noted that it is a local decision as to what “graduating class” a summer graduate is considered to be a part of. However, for graduation rate calculations, summer graduates will be considered as graduating in the next school year. While the U.S. Department of Education permits states to include “summer graduates” in the Four-Year ACGR, this inclusion cannot delay other required reporting. Given the new state statutory requirement to move up the Dashboard reporting timelines, the CDE has determined that “summer graduates” will no longer be included in the Four-Year ACGR, effective in the 2024−25 academic year.
This one-year delay in implementing the new Graduate Cut-Off Date is in direct response to LEA feedback and in support of the CDE's commitment to mitigate LEAs who may be impacted by this change. The CDE will provide specific guidance as to how LEAs must report "summer graduates" in CALPADS (i.e., students who complete graduation requirements and graduate on or between July 1 and August 15). It will be critical that LEAs follow this guidance in order for the CDE to ensure that LEAs' Graduate Rate Indicator on the 2025 Dashboard is comparable with the data collected for the 2024 Dashboard.
The ongoing support of your staff, particularly LEA CALPADS Administrators and their staff, is much appreciated and critical to the success of meeting the new Dashboard reporting dates outlined in statute. One of the objectives of this change is to respond to LEA requests for an earlier release of the Dashboard to make the data more actionable for supporting students, especially for those LEAs eligible for Differentiated Assistance through California’s System of Support. It is increasingly important to keep CALPADS updated with student enrollments and exits, and program data, along with certifying accurate data by the new deadlines because of the use of the data in mission critical functions and for high stakes purposes to assist with improving student outcomes.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jerry Winkler, Director, Educational Data Management Division, regarding CALPADS End-of-Year deadlines, by phone at 916-319-0634 or by email at CALPADS@cde.ca.gov, or Cindy Kazanis, Director, Analysis, Measurement, and Accountability Reporting Division, regarding the Cohort Graduate Cut-Off Date, by phone at 916-323-5007 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jerry Winkler, Director
Educational Data Management Division
cc: LEA CALPADS Administrators