Frequently Asked Questions
Personnel working with MSC are encouraged to review the information by topic for answers to frequently asked questions related to data collections.
Additional questions may be directed to ResultsHelp.
Course Information (Updated June 22, 2011)
It has been stressed that English, Reading and Math is the driver of this data collection. Please clarify that this is for ALL content areas.
The Master Schedule Collection is for ALL content areas. Indicator (b)(1) specifically states we must be in compliance with the America Competes Act. Element 9 of this act requires states to build a longitudinal data system with student-level transcript data, including final grades and courses taught. Because of this requirement, courses from ALL content areas and final grades in Grades 6-12 are required in MSC.
What is the “cutoff” for reporting students? Is the 20th Hour Rule still in effect?
After hearing back from school divisions about the difficulty of using twenty hours as a “cutoff” for identifying which students should be included in the MSC, the guidance from VDOE is that it is now acceptable to use the first marking period as the cutoff time. However, please be aware that by delaying the cutoff, some teachers who may have spent instructional time with students will not receive growth information on these students.
There are some situations when it is in the student’s best interest to significantly change their schedule of classes after a marking period of instruction. Do we include the original course assignments as well as the adjusted courses assignments this student?
Yes, you will need to include all of the courses that the student was enrolled in for at least twenty hours. The grade reported for the student in those original courses would be an "NG" or a "W " since they did not finish the course.
How will MSC implement local policies that allow courses to be expunged from the student’s high school transcript?
MSC will collect “transcript data” for the state’s longitudinal data system. MSC will not produce official high school transcripts. The term transcript data in Element 9 of the America Competes Act refers to courses taken and grades earned as transcript data. Virginia’s transcript regulations are much more specific and include many more details than are collected in MSC for the purpose of the SLDS (state longitudinal data system). MSC will collect annually courses taken and grades earned. Local school divisions should continue to implement local and state policies for student transcripts.
In regards to Section ID, is the ID unique regardless of course code, school and other combinations of codes? For example, my school may have several sections of 1140 (English 10) and several sections of 1150 (English 11). Are you saying I can’t have a section course 1140 with Section ID as "1 "AND a course 1150 with a Section ID of "1 "?
That is correct. The Section ID must be unique within the school. You may concatenate many different codes together to achieve this uniqueness but it has to be unique when sent to VDOE.
A question has been raised about what SCED Course Level to assign AP and IB courses. There are only 4 options, with Honors being the highest. Would typical Honors level courses be assigned the same SCED course level as AP and IB courses?
The LEAs will decide what level a course is depending upon their knowledge of the rigor of each course. However, AP and IB course levels are assigned a specific SCED code, so you do not have to indicate a level of rigor for these courses. As a result, the Course Level would be filled with an “X” indicating no specific course level.
What is the purpose of reporting grades on the MSC?
Indicator (b)(1) of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Indicators and descriptors requires states to meet all 12 elements of the America Competes Act. Element 9 requires states to collect "Student-level transcript information, including information on courses completed and grades earned." Note that this requirement does not require VDOE to produce a student’s transcript. That process will continue to be handled locally.
VDOE has not been given and guidance or directives from the federal government about how grades are to be used. Unless it is mandated, VDOE will not be reporting grades or using the grades in public reports.
Do we have to report summer school remedial and enrichment courses, even if the students are not receiving course credit?
Please report course credit summer school courses and any other summer school courses that would have an impact on the promotion or retention of a student at both the secondary and prior to secondary levels. However, you do not have to report enrichment courses or non-graded remediation courses that take place during the summer.
Our division offers the ISAEP⁄GED program. How should we report that in Master Schedule Collection?
For Master Schedule Collection purposes, please report this program using the SCED Code 22004: Dropout Prevention Program. VDOE is looking into modifying this code’s description to better fit the state’s program.
On the SCED crosswalk, Algebra I A and Algebra I B’s SCED codes look incorrect. What SCED codes should be used to identify these codes?
Yes, the SCED codes for these two courses were switched in the crosswalk. Algebra I – 2 Year Sequence Part I should be identified by the SCED Code 02053 and Algebra I – 2 Year Sequence Part II should be identified by the SCED Code 02054. This will be updated in the next release of the SCED Crosswalk.
Reporting (Updated May 14, 2014)
I wasn’t clear on what school years are covered in the two collection windows. Will EOY cover the most recently completed school year? Does the fall basically collect course enrollment for the current year?
Yes and Yes. EOY covers all (fall, spring, summer) semesters of the most recently completed school year. FALL collects the courses being taught as of 10/1. If your school division is on a 4x4 schedule, this means you would report your first semester courses and any full year courses that you have.
Will we still be required to report VA course codes in other data collections such as SEDF? In which case we’ll need to maintain both the state code and the SCED code for every local course code?
Because SEDF is being incorporated into MSC starting with the Fall 2013-2014 collection, you may report your courses with VA course codes or SCED codes. However, it is likely the VA course codes will be phased out in the next few years, so using SCED codes is the best option in reporting.
Does the Fall MSC include the schedule for the student’s entire upcoming school year? Would that mean that for classes broken down into semesters, we have to report the same information with two different section codes?
Because SEDF needs all of the information on the courses taking place the entire school year, you need to report all Semester 1, Semester 2 and year-long courses in the Fall MSC. We anticipate that changes will occur, and those updates will be made when you submit your End of Year MSC.
We do not schedule our Pre K-3 students in our SIS. Will we need to backfill this information in our SIS before the first MSC submission?
The goal is to have course and teacher information, as well as student information, for each course that a student is taking, even those students in K-3.
We do not schedule Pre-K students. What information do we need to report for these students?
For Pre-K classes, you will need to report the teacher and course number only. You will not have to report student information for these classes.
It was brought to my attention that we need to report all courses for elementary and pre-k students. Do we also need to report the evaluation method and results for these courses as well? For example, a student may receive an “E” for Meets or Exceeds Expectations in Kindergarten.
You do not need to report a final grade for the Pre-kindergarten or Grades K-5 students until further notice. However, if you would like to submit grades for Grades K-5, VDOE will accept them. VDOE does not need a description of the evaluation method for the courses.
We have a large amount of students withdraw each year. Are we to report a grade of "NG" for these students for all courses?
Yes, even if there are a large amount of withdraws, you still need to report these students with a "NG" for each courses that they were enrolled in.
During any given school year, we will have a few hundred students transfer from school to school within our division. Are we required to report the student twice, once for their original school and once for the school their new school, with final grades?
Yes, you will be required to report the student for each school. However, you will report the courses from the original school with a "NG" for final grade. For example, if a student transfers from Chilhowie Elementary to Saltville Elementary, you will have to report courses that the student was enrolled in for each school. However, the student’s courses at Chilhowie would be reported with a "NG" for the final grade.
When students have both a Teacher of Record and Other Instructor, are two records required for this student? If so, would the final grade for the records be the same?
Yes, two records in the F Record are required for students who have both a Teacher of Record (Role Code=1) and Other Instructor Few Students (Role Code=4). The final grades for both records would be the same because they represent the same course. However, if you are reporting two Teachers of Record (both teachers have a Role Code=1) or Other Teacher Whole Class (Role Codes 2 or 3), choose one of the Local Provider IDs to report the students record under in the F Record. Since both teachers are linked to the same course, we will know that both teachers taught those students.
How should we report a teacher that teaches two different sections during the same period? For example, a special education teacher may teach both English 10 and English 11 during the same period.
Please report both classes even though they take place during same period. You will then connect the two courses in the I Record in order to show that these two courses are taught by the same teacher at the same time. The I Record connections are required for CTE courses, but recommended for other courses as well. The same teacher will be linked to these courses and the students in the class should be assigned to the class that they are taking. This will not affect the FTE of the teacher in the B Record since she is teaching both courses during the same period.
Should we report Central Office personnel on the Master Schedule Collection?
No, Central Office personnel do not need to be reported in the Master Schedule Collection. However, Central Office personnel do need to be reported in the IPAL survey using the SSWS application.
Will VDOE allow a blank grade for a student in a course?
A blank Final Grade field will be allowed for courses that are taught in Grades K-5. However, for secondary classes, the answer is no, the student must have a final grade the F Report for each course taken. There is an option of using “NG” or “no grade awarded regardless of reason.” Choose the grade that best fits the situation.
What about SOPs and VSDB? Are we responsible for reporting them as well?
No, SOPs and VSDB will report their own student/course/teacher information to VDOE.
Will the SEDF Fall Collection be required next Fall 2013? Will the SEDF Spring Collection be required next Spring 2014?
For the 2013-2014 school year, the SEDF data collection will be collected through Master Schedule Collection. The SEDF reports will still be accessible through the SEDF application in SSWS, but reporting will be done exclusively through MSC. SEDF information will be collected on both the Fall and EOY MSC.
Why are grades collected? Will grades be used in teacher evaluations?
Indicator (b)(1) of the SFSF requires that the state meets all 12 elements of the America Competes Act. Specifically, Element 9 says states will collect "Student-level transcript information, including information on courses completed and final grades earned. To that end VDOE is collecting the division-assigned final grade for the student in each section the student is enrolled. Even though the Final Grade element is collected, VDOE is not using the data for SOL-to-grade comparisons nor will VDOE use the information in any growth or impact calculations (including the student growth measure).
We have a successful MSC submission, but our SEDF report is showing zeroes. Why is this happening? How can it be fixed?
Your SEDF report is reliant on your Fall and EOY Student Record Collections. The Fall MSC/SEDF depends on the Fall SRC and the EOY MSC/SEDF depends on the EOY SRC for demographic information shown in the SEDF reports. If the Student Record Collection is not submitted, then your SEDF report will show zeroes in the demographics section. In order to get an accurate SEDF report, make sure your SRC is successful before you submit a successful MSC.
Teacher Information & Licensure (Updated November 15, 2013)
For the purpose of the MSC, who is a teacher?
Divisions should keep in mind that the MSC will be used to match teachers to students so, where available, teachers can be provided with student growth information. A dual purpose of the MSC is to provide the data on instructional personnel required by the IPAL collection.
VDOE has defined several teacher roles for the MSC collection. School divisions can associate as many teachers to a student as they wish. The only requirement is that one teacher per section be reported. Keep in mind that divisions must report enough records to meet the reporting requirements of IPAL, so not all licensed professionals will have students. It is perfectly acceptable to submit “teacher” records without corresponding “student” records. More guidance on this topic will be forthcoming.
Will VDOE supply us with license numbers for our staff? I know we can go to a website and search for an employee name but a file is the most advantageous.
Yes, there is a download available through the IPAL application that will allow you to download your B and G Records, which included the license numbers of all of the employees you reported on last year’s IPAL.
What about staff with provisional licenses?
These staff members can be reported the same as those staff with full licensure. Use the provisional license number in the D Record just as you would for a teacher with a professional license.
I believe there was mention of including school administrators in the report. Is that required or optional? Which administrators should be included?
Including school administrators is a requirement. The administrative and instructional personnel who will be included are consistent with who is included in the IPAL data collection. These administrators and pupil personnel service providers would have a B and G Record in the Fall MSC. Starting with the 2012-2013 school, at least one school administrator must be included in the G Record or you will receive a fatal error on your submission.
If a teacher is teaching more than one course in a school and is highly qualified in one course, but not highly qualified in the other course, will that teacher need multiple local provider ID’s to be reported on the Section B records?
No, you would only need to report the teacher one time in the B Record. The teacher’s highly qualified designation will be recorded in the individual course section in the D Record.
How can we define a Teacher of Record when two teachers deliver content to classrooms at the section level? I know you left this to the LEAs to decide but I can tell you this will be very controversial in our district.
The collection as it is now will accept two Teachers of Record for the same section. It will also accept one Teacher-of-Record (Role Code = 1) and one or more Other-Teacher-Whole-Class codes (Role Code = 2 or 3).
If Section D has to have the same unique Section ID, how would two teachers be reported if they are both teaching the same section/class? Would one teacher be Role =1 and the other be Role =2?
You can report more than one teacher under the same Section ID. See above for an explanation of the role codes.
Two teachers can be listed as teaching a section of a course in Section D. However, in Section F, you cannot attach more than one teacher to a student. Is it acceptable to just attach the student to the main teacher? For example, if a student is in English Grade K and that student is pulled out periodically, I will attach the student to the teacher who is mainly responsible for the grade.
This method is acceptable for the inaugural collection. After that, we do expect to see two student records in Section F for a single student where they have a main teacher (use the main teacher’s local-provider-id on this record) and a “collaborative” teacher (use the collaborative teacher’s local-provider-id on the second student record for the section).
How should MOP teachers be reported? What about virtual programs that are not MOPs?
Starting with the 2013-2014 school year, MOP teachers must be reported with their license information. Their license information will be reported in the B and D Record. The teacher role code of “0” will no longer be acceptable. In addition, the Provider Description of “2” in the E Record, has been retired, so MOPs cannot be reported via the E Record.
Virtual programs that are not MOPs will continue to be reported in the E Record. It is recommended that a teacher role code of “1” be used in the D Record and a Provider Description of “3” be used in the E Record.
What about the DOE Virtual Virginia teachers? Will we be provided with their licensure information?
Please report Virtual Virginia teachers as you have in previous years. It is recommended that a teacher role code “1” be used in the D Record and a Provider Description of “3” be used in the E Record.
Will VDOE require school divisions to calculate the “value-added” of all professionals (special education teachers, hearing teachers, vision teachers, speech teachers) that contribute to a student’s performance?
No. Decisions on the application of value-added statistical models will be made locally.
Will VDOE mandate a statewide evaluation that requires use of the Growth Measure, grades, or other measures in a teacher’s evaluation? Will VDOE mandate Pay for Performance?
No. Teacher evaluations and pay for performance are a local decision.
The draft revised Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria and the accompanying workbook developed as part of the teacher evaluation project provide guidance on how individual teachers use multiple measures of data to document and track student growth. Determining how best to measure student progress in each class, and for each teacher’s performance evaluation, is a local decision. This would be done as part of the regular evaluation process put in place at the LEA and school level.
Note that the Code of Virginia requires that evaluations of instructional personnel address student academic progress, but does not dictate a measure or measures.
§ 22.1-295. Employment of teachers.
…C. School boards shall develop a procedure for use by division superintendents and principals in evaluating instructional personnel that is appropriate to the tasks performed and addresses, among other things, student academic progress and the skills and knowledge of instructional personnel, including, but not limited to, instructional methodology, classroom management, and subject matter knowledge…
One way for teachers to verify their information is for VDOE to have a website where they login to do this. Louisiana is a good example of a roster verification process. (Charlottesville)
Thanks! We will look into what Louisiana is doing in this arena.
Out-placed Students (Updated November 15, 2013)
Do we really have to include schedules and grades for our special education students that are out-placed to other public or private institutions?
For MSC, we only collect data from the school divisions. Each school division has to report student-teacher-course data for the following: A.) courses taught by your school division and B.) public regional programs to the students for whom your LEA is responsible. Information from private providers is optional the MSC.
What if our private provider refuses to supply the information we need? Will we be held accountable?
School divisions should make a good faith effort to obtain data from private providers. VDOE is looking into whether there are any federal penalties that may apply to LEAs that do not report.
As an example, we have SpEd students attending Private SpEd schools and Public Regional Centers, will we need to report the teacher and course data for our students attending those schools? OR Does the Private School/Regional Center report on those students? If each individual LEA reports their own students at those Private School and Regional Centers, is there any effort underway to discuss these reporting requirements with those private and regional organizations so that they understand the requirement to provide consistent teacher and course data to the student owning LEAs?
We don’t have the authority to collect data directly private providers. However, each LEA has the responsibility of reporting data for all students for whom they are responsible. Hence, you will have to do the reporting on students attending private schools or regional centers.
Do we need to continue reporting regional center information? Will regional centers eventually report their own MSC?
Starting with the 2013-2014 school year, the eleven CTE regional centers will be reporting their MSC information directly to VDOE. This means that school divisions will not have to report CTE regional center data. We are currently looking into expanding this reporting to other regional centers and programs for the 2014-2015 school year.
In regards to the reference of regional programs “where you are the fiscal agent,” how does this apply to the Governor’s School?
The responsible division will report the students that are enrolled in their schools, even if the students take courses at a regional program. The Governor’s School, for example, will report course/teacher/student information to the LEAs that they serve. VDOE has developed a tool to assist the regional centers with this reporting process. The LEAs will then report the information from all of the regional programs that their students are enrolled in along with all of the other course/teacher/student information for the entire division.
For a Non-SpEd Regional Center where we are the fiscal agent, do we report only our own students or do we report students from all LEAs attending that regional center?
This is a change. You will report only the students that are enrolled in your school division. The regional centers will report their course/teacher/student information to each LEA that they serve and the LEAs will report the information to VDOE.
How will combined summer schools be reported when students attend from multiple school districts?
The LEA hosting the summer school program will report the students that attend the program. For example, if Amelia County hosts a summer school program and Nottoway County students attend, Amelia County would report the program information for the Nottoway County students.
Some of our students take classes at a special program in a neighboring LEA half the day and report back to us in the afternoon. Who reports the courses for these students?
The LEA in which the student takes each specific course is responsible for reporting the information on that course. For example, if a student takes a technology class in Craig County, Craig County will report this course information. The same student can take reading and math in Botetourt County and Botetourt County will report that course information.
Other (Updated May 9, 2011)
Is the data reported on the MSC subject to FOIA?
All data that are not protected under current law are subject to the requirements of Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act.
What is the growth measure?
In order to meet the requirements for (b)(2), providing student growth data to teachers of reading/language arts and mathematics, the state has established contracts with nationally recognized experts to model student growth percentiles (SGPs) based on data from assessment years 2005-2006 through 2008-2009. SGPs describe the percentile rank of students’ growth by examining student achievement in year X relative to the achievement of their academic peers. In November 2010, VDOE conducted workshops in four locations in Virginia to provide school divisions with information about student growth percentiles, and their potential use. Speakers included experts from other states and districts across the country who have used similar data as part of overall school improvement efforts. The presentations are available on the Web. Interested stakeholders might also be interested in learning more about student growth percentiles from other states. Information is available from Colorado, Indiana, and Massachusetts.
What is the difference between the growth measure and teacher impact?
SFSF indicator (b)(3) requires Virginia to provide teachers of reading/language arts and mathematics in which the State administers assessments with reports of individual reports of individual teacher impact on student achievement on those assessments. To meet this requirement, Virginia will use the student growth percentiles to provide teachers with data that provide context for understanding their impact on student achievement as measured by statewide assessments. As the data that links students to teachers become available for multiple years, VDOE will provide both annual and longitudinal reports with growth data to meet this requirement. Longitudinal reports will be provided that enable teachers to consider trends in student growth over time, and also in aggregate over multiple years. Growth data will only be aggregated across multiple years when data are available from the same assessments. The forthcoming revised Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria describe ways that these data may be used as one of multiple measures of student growth within a performance evaluation. The decision about whether to use these data as part of teachers’ performance evaluation is local.
Can you post the WebEx sessions on the WebEx calendar so we can register in advance?
The webinars scheduled through the end of August are on the WebEx calendar listed under Training Sessions. Registration is open for all of them. Registration is required and closes at 1:50 p.m. the day of the webinar (10 minutes before the start time). Please be courteous to everyone attending. Plan ahead and connect early.
Can you send the topics of the upcoming webinars in advanced so we can have the appropriate stakeholders at the webinars?
Terrific suggestion! We will try to implement by February. A word of caution though, these webinars are designed to answer questions so topics may be brought up during the webinar that are not on the agenda.
Do you record webinars? If so, how can I get the audio of the webinar I missed?
Yes, we are recording webinars. If you would like information on how to access the audio portion of the webinar, please email ResultsHelp.