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Letter regarding changes to CALPADS due to ESSA

California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
May 6, 2016

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:


The purpose of this letter is to update you on the major upcoming 2016–17 data collection changes that will be made to the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) to support California’s new Accountability and Continuous Improvement System, which will also align with changes due to the newly enacted Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). A high-level description of the changes are provided below; more specific instruction and guidance will be provided via the CALPADS listserv to staff working on CALPADS. It is recommended that your administration meet on a regular basis with your staff responsible for CALPADS to discuss the upcoming changes and readiness steps that your LEA should take in order to prepare for these changes.

Students with a Parent on Active Duty with the Armed Forces or Full-Time National Guard

ESSA requires accountability data to be submitted for three new subgroups: (1) foster youth, (2) homeless youth, and (3) students with a parent or guardian who is a member of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard) on active duty or full-time National Guard duty (Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(ii) of the ESSA). CALPADS already maintains data on students’ homeless and foster status. However, CALPADS currently does not collect whether a student has a parent or guardian who is on active duty with the Armed Forces or full-time duty with the National Guard. Effective July 1, 2016, local educational agencies (LEAs) will be able to submit a new program code to indicate whether a student’s parent/guardian is on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces or full-time duty with the National Guard. The California Department of Education (CDE) recognizes that collection of this information may be too late to include on 2016–17 registration forms. However, LEAs may submit these data throughout the 2016–17 school year, as certification of counts will not occur until the End of Year (EOY) 2 data submission. LEAs are encouraged to enhance local business processes to collect these data for new students, and to reaffirm the status each year for returning students.

Chronic Absenteeism

ESSA requires states to report Chronic Absenteeism rates for schools (Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(viii) of the ESSA). To meet this requirement, LEAs will be required to submit attendance data to CALPADS in order for the state to calculate chronic absenteeism rates on a student-level basis. The CDE has already engaged in discussions with student information system (SIS) vendors and LEAs with custom student information systems regarding how best to collect these data. Please note that the absenteeism data collected through CALPADS will NOT replace the average daily attendance (ADA) data submitted to the CDE for purposes of funding the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), or other programs funded based on ADA, although the same definitions will be used so that LEAs may utilize the data that they already collect. These data will be required for the first time as part of the 2016–17 EOY 3 - Student Discipline data submission. 

Golden State Seal Merit Diploma and State Seal of Biliteracy

The new Accountability and Continuous Improvement System will entail multiple accountability measures, including the possibility of a College and Career Ready (CCR) indicator. One such measure may be the receipt of a Golden State Seal Merit Diploma and/or a State Seal of Biliteracy. The CDE will transition the collection of these data to CALPADS. LEAs should therefore begin to maintain the Golden State Seal Merit Diploma and State Seal of Biliteracy in their SIS to facilitate reporting to CALPADS. LEAs will be able to submit these data for the first time for 2016–17 graduates.

Highly Qualified Teachers

ESSA eliminates the specific requirements related to Highly Qualified Teachers (HQT).  Therefore, CALPADS will stop collecting two data elements that have been collected as part of the Fall 2 submission: whether a course is a core course under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, and whether those courses are being taught by teachers meeting the federal HQT requirements. CALPADS will continue to collect all other Fall 2 data which includes data on staff, courses, and course enrollment. Any new reporting to CALPADS to meet ESSA requirements related to staff qualifications is still being discussed, and the CDE will provide information as soon as information is available. Should additional data need to be collected through CALPADS, the CDE recognizes that sufficient lead time must be provided to LEAs.

In an effort to collect the data in the most efficient and effective way possible, the CDE is conducting discussions with SIS vendors and LEA staff responsible for CALPADS. The CDE appreciates your continued support of your staff with CALPADS responsibilities and those program and administrative staff who play key roles in ensuring that the data submitted to CALPADS are accurate. Because CALPADS data are now the basis for so many key functions, including funding calculations, test registration, and accountability metrics, it is critically important that these staff are fully supported.

We look forward to working with your staff as these changes are implemented. Should you have any questions, please contact the CALPADS Service Desk at 916-325-9210 or through e-mail at



Jerry Winkler, Director
Educational Data Management Division


cc: LEA CALPADS Administrators

Last Reviewed: Thursday, March 28, 2019

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