Superintendent's Memo #031-11

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

January 28, 2011

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Master Schedule Course Collection to Meet Federal Requirements of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund

As a condition of the receipt of State Fiscal Stabilization Funds (SFSF), Virginia is required to collect and report data on indicators and descriptors related to the four education reform areas of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) by September 30, 2011. To the extent possible, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) plans to use existing data sources to meet the requirements. However, the assurances will require VDOE to collect additional data from school divisions on principals, teachers, students, and schools. The attached table contains the required indicators and descriptors, and their corresponding data collection requirements.

In summary, the Virginia Department of Education is required to collect:

This memo is to inform you of the Department's plan to collect data to meet the requirements of course-level data by student and teacher for all students. These data will permit Virginia to complete the following requirements of the SFSF:

  1. Meet the statewide longitudinal data system requirements of the American Competes Act (SFSF indicator (b)(1)). Virginia's data system has met all but two of the America Competes requirements. In accordance with the conditions upon which Virginia accepted ARRA funds, by September 30, 2011, Virginia's statewide longitudinal data system must have a teacher identification system with the ability to match teachers to students and include student-level transcript information including courses completed and grades earned.

  2. Provide student growth data on their current students and the students they taught in the previous year to, at a minimum, teachers of reading/language arts and mathematics in grades in which the state administers assessments in those subjects in a manner that is timely and informs instructional programs (SFSF indicator (b)(2)). VDOE will calculate a student growth measure based on current statewide assessments. The new data are required to enable these data to be provided to teachers.

  3. Provide teachers of reading/language arts and mathematics in grades in which the state administers assessments in those subjects with reports of individual teacher impact on student achievement on those assessments (SFSF indicator (b)(3)).

Master Schedule Collection

The Master Schedule Collection (MSC) has been created to collect the data needed to satisfy Indicators (b)(1), (b)(2), and (b)(3) of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) assurances. Over the last six months, input from student information systems specialists from school divisions and various offices at VDOE were used to build the collection tool that is nearly complete.

As with all data collections at VDOE, extensive work has been done to ensure that the data required in this collection are not collected by any other means at VDOE. To this end, VDOE has designed the MSC to meet the requirements of the SFSF and enable school divisions to incorporate these data into the Instructional Personnel and Licensure (IPAL) data collection beginning with the collection that will occur in the 2011-2012 school year. In addition, this collection has allowed VDOE to eliminate the Math and Science Course Enrollment Data Collection (CEDC), effective immediately, and in the future, will permit VDOE to use the data from the MSC to meet the requirements of the current Student Enrollment and Demographic Form (SEDF).

In order to best prepare all school divisions for this large, comprehensive collection that involves multiple offices and student services, the Virginia Department of Education is asking for school division participation in the following three areas:

Assign a Master Schedule Collection Contact for your division no later than February 14, 2011

VDOE regularly requests that school divisions assign and update contact information for each application in the Single Sign-on for Web Systems (SSWS). VDOE requests that each school division add an MSC contact via the SSWS Educational Registry Application (ERA) no later than February 14, 2011. Please consider carefully the individual chosen to fill this capacity. Over the next eight months, invitations to webinars, correspondence, and surveys will be sent to this contact as Virginia prepares for the inaugural data collection that links students to courses to the teachers that taught them. Correspondence may include technical documents related to the data collection, implications of the data use, updates from the United States Department of Education, and procedures for data verification.

This collection is being implemented to meet the requirements of SFSF and will likely require participation and input from multiple units within each school division. Finding the best contact person is critical to ensure good communication, timely compliance, and overall understanding of this initiative.

Attend semi-monthly meetings for the Master Schedule Collection

On Tuesday, January 11, 2011, VDOE began hosting webinars on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of every month at 2 p.m. on the MSC. During each one-hour session, VDOE will continue to share information regarding this collection, answer your questions, take constructive feedback, and work collaboratively with you in preparation for the inaugural MSC from June 10 through September 30, 2011.

All data stewards and other persons working with student and teacher scheduling, and IPAL data, including human resources personnel, are invited and encouraged to attend. Unlimited personnel from each school division may join the webinars; however, personnel from each school division should assemble together and make only one connection to the webinar. Depending on interest and participation, additional sessions may be added. To ensure a smooth transition from separate student and teacher data collections, please be sure that individuals responsible for and involved with both student and personnel data collections are included in all communications and meetings.

To attend, follow the "Webinars" hyperlink on the Department of Education's homepage, www.doe.virginia.gov. On the tab labeled "Upcoming" choose the "Master Schedule Collection" link. Follow the on-screen directions to register. You must register for each session no later than 1:50 p.m. on the day of the session. Timely reminders of each upcoming webinar as well as outcomes from completed webinars will be sent to the locally designated Master Schedule Collection Contact for your division.

Meet the data reporting and verification deadlines

To meet SFSF requirements, VDOE will require two MSCs each year. The first is designed to collect course data linked to teachers for the 2010-2011 school year. Divisions can start submitting MSC data for all courses taught in the 2010-2011 school year, including data from the summer of 2010, as early as June 10, 2011. (NOTE: VDOE recognizes that incorporating data from the previous summer may be impossible in the first year, but expects this requirement to be met in subsequent years.) Each school division must complete this collection no later than September 30, 2011. In order to successfully complete the collection, all class rosters must be verified and the superintendent must certify the collection is accurate, complete, and final. Meeting this deadline satisfies indicators (b)(1), partially satisfies (b)(2), and will support the state's work in meeting indicator (b)(3).

The second MSC, which will begin in the fall of each year, will require divisions to submit course enrollment linked to teachers for the current school year. In addition, this collection will include additional elements to ensure that content required to comprehensively incorporate MSC data into the current IPAL system are captured. Divisions can start submitting MSC data for all courses planned for the 2011-2012 school year as early as August 15, 2011. The final deadline of this collection period is January 31, 2012. VDOE has set up this data collection to permit local flexibility in completing different parts of the collection at different times or by different staff, while enabling divisions to access data, such as teacher rosters and growth data (SFSF indicator (b)(2)), before the submission is finalized. The final collection, due January 31, 2012, will be a snapshot as of October 1, 2011, as is consistent with past practice within the IPAL collection.

Additional information related to the MSC

Please send technical questions about the Master Schedule Collection or SSWS to ResultsHelp@doe.virginia.gov or call (804) 229-2099.

More details about the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund may be accessed on the VDOE Web site at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/school_finance/arra/stabilization/index.shtml. More information on Indicators (b)(1), (b)(2), and (b)(3) can be found on the SFSF Application, Phase 2 application, pages 59-63. Questions about indicator (b)(1) should be directed to Bethann Canada, director, Office of Educational Information Management, by e-mail at Bethann.Canada@doe.virginia.gov or by phone at (804) 225-2951. Questions about indicators (b)(2) and (b)(3) should be directed to Deborah Jonas, executive director, Research and Strategic Planning, by e-mail at Deborah.Jonas@doe.virginia.gov or by phone at (804) 225-2067.

General questions about Virginia's SFSF application should be directed to Veronica Tate, director, Office of Program Administration & Accountability, by e-mail at Veronica.Tate@doe.virginia.gov, or by phone at (804) 225-2869.

For more information on licensure, please contact James Lanham, director, Licensure and School Leadership, by e-mail at James.Lanham@doe.virginia.gov or by phone at (804) 371-2471. Questions about the IPAL data collection can be directed to Brian Mason, project specialist, by e-mail at Brian.Mason@doe.virginia.gov or by phone at (804) 225-2823.

As updated information is available, it will be posted to the VDOE Web-site at: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/info_management/data_collection/master_schedule_collection/index.shtml.

PIW/sw/dlj

Attachment:

  1. Data Collection and Reporting Requirements of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (PDF)