Fall Data Conference, October 29-30, 2009


Date: October 29-30, 2009

Time: 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Location: Nebo Grant Center

105 South 400 East, Springville, Utah 84663

Phone: (801) 489-2833

The purpose of this meeting is to facilitate cooperation and coordination among the Utah State Office of Education (USOE), districts and charter schools to further the efficient, accurate and timely exchange of school performance data. This agenda and all the information presented during data meetings will be available on the USOE Information Technology website.


Iron and some other LEAs asked about sharing lists of IT tools/systems used in Utah as well as experiences, help information etc. The USOE and TCC will work on putting a collaboration site in place. Planning will take place in the next TCC meeting in February. 


Thursday, October 29, 2009

8:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast - Networking

9 a.m.

Clearinghouse Changes for 2009-2010 - Bruce Hudgens, Randy Raphael, John Brandt

What is new and changed for 2009-10 (effective for the July 2010 submissions) 

  • More attention will be given to MESA this year than other years by program people
  • Days Suspended: Total number of days student was suspended or expelled. 

Note 1: The 2009-10 year-end will be a pilot submission. Data can be submitted via the Clearinghouse or manually as in past years. Beginning for the 2010-11 year-end submission the Clearinghouse/UTREx will be the only way to submit this data. 

Note 2: Includes safety and non-safety violations. (details after lunch) 

  • TEDI (Title I Part C to Part B transition) will be in production soon and that will mean that 2.5 year olds may already have SSID numbers. These are not errors.

Suggested Clearninghouse Verification Checks (carryover from Spring 2009)

Is anyone doing something similar to Nebo? If other LEAs do similar things would it be helpful to have a checklist of items that would help districts and charters as they are working through the process.

Here are some examples:

  • Have we identified all of the F and J visa foreign exchange students? 
  • Have our gifted and talented students been identified?
  • Have our kindergarten students been identified appropriately?
  • Do we have students that are showing up as out-of-state students and we really don't have that situation in our district?
  • If we take the total membership days and divide by 180 do we get a number that would reflect an average student count? Does this calculation work for each school? If not, maybe all the days of school are not being counted appropriately.

There are other omissions that would not necessarily cause an error in the Clearinghouse edit program, but would have ramifications if not reported.

Are there volunteers for other examples of data checking or significant cases where it would have helped?

From Emile Coon of Academia West:

  • “I started double-checking the CACTUS ID numbers of the teachers in SIS to make sure they match the teacher s actual CACTUS ID number and that there are no typos. A few times, there has been a typo in the Teacher Certification CACTUS id field and it caused the school to be reported as having fewer HQ teachers than it actually had. This is part of my new year-end checklist.”

Timing of Clearinghouse Submissions – New Schedule

  • New dates in end-to-end Clearinghouse, CRT, AYP/U-PASS process 
  • Federal requirements are mandating these changes in dates. 
  • USOE is strongly recommending that each LEA to submit at least one Clearinghouse file that can pass the preliminary edit/error reports and thus be eligible for a full summary and verification report cycle prior to July 2, 2010. This would give every LEA at least one week prior to the July 9, 2010 deadline to review the summary and validation reports and resubmit its Clearinghouse file if necessary.
  • Accountability Timeline
  • 2010 Appeal Process 


USOE will put a version number on the report each time a new one is produced. 

10:30 a. m.

Data Quality Auditing (looking for LEA input) - Jennifer Lambert

  • Newly appointed Data Quality Manager – Jennifer Lambert
  • Her role
  • Two data auditors/analysts (Emily Tew and Bela Vastag) will work with LEAs to improve the quality of data flowing between the LEAs and the USOE
  • Help review Clearinghouse reports and work with LEAs to correct high-priority errors
  • Review LEAs’ state data submission procedures
  • Focus will be helping to ensure the submitted data accurately represents the LEA
  • Roles and operating procedures yet to be fully defined
  • The USOE welcomes suggestions in regards to this initiative

For example, the course “Citizenship & Attendance” was reported by some LEA s instead of using the course “Grade 1” or “Grade 2”, …

If a school has a combined course, like “Grades 4-5 Combined”, Data Auditors will help us identify them and appropriately report them. 

10:45 a.m.

Update: Clearinghouse Collection of Disciplinary, Delinquent and Neglected Incidents - John Brandt, Brent Page

Contrary to what the USOE said during prior data conferences, changes in disciplinary data (see below) will not be taking place until UTREx is in place. We will continue to rely on the old reporting processes until then.

Currently incident/discipline data are reported via pencil and paper via with the USU/RICEP system. The USOE is working to streamline the collection of these data and integrate them into the Clearinghouse at the student level. This will greatly facilitate the speed and accuracy of state and federal/EDEN reporting. SIS modifications will need to be addressed.

The USOE’s analysis of a tentative migration plan follows.

  • Last October the plan was: Since not every LEA will be able to get their SIS modified in time for 2008-09 reporting, 2009-10 will be the year by which SISs must be modified for incident data to reported via the USOE Clearinghouse. Now, this will not occur.
  • RICEP or pencil and paper/Excel will still employed until UTREx is ready.
  • In 2010-11 LEAs will begin reporting these data through UTREx.

Davis has reported it has taken them years to bring all these data together at the student level. Nebo is working with BYU on a peaceable schools project, and they are recording very granular data, more than what RICEP requires. They are also considering the inclusion of the migrant certificate of eligibility and there may also be inclusion of homeless data.

This will be a big cultural change for both the USOE and LEAs. It will require a considerable amount of clear and broad communications among all IT staff at all levels as well as program personnel and superintendents.

The USOE will conduct a survey to assess the readiness the LEAs’ SISs for the collection of these data. This will require the construction of a list of needed data elements, their definitions and a proposed schedule of implementation.


We will not be able to collect these data without RICEP in 2010-11 if UTREx is not fully functional, but RICEP may not be available. Therefore, we need to think of a contingency plan in case neither RICEP nor UTREx is able to collect these data. 

11:15 a.m.

New Race/Ethnicity Data Collections (Follow-up from Spring) - Randy Raphael, John Brandt

Beginning with the 2010-2011 school year (specifically, the October 2010 Data Clearinghouse upload), each school is required by federal regulation (Federal Register, 19 October 2007, pp. 59266-59279) to record and report to the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) an ethnicity and at least one race for each student. The implication is that your SIS must be able to support the collection, storage and reporting via the Clearinghouse of multiple indicators of race/ethnicity for each student. For more background and guidance see: Managing an Identity Crisis: Forum Guide to Implementing the New Federal Race and Ethnicity Categories.

Handling of New Race/Ethnicity Codes by the Clearinghouse

  • For the 2009-2010 Clearinghouse submissions there will be seven Boolean race/ethnicity fields (Hispanic, white, black, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, unknown) replacing the current one seven-code field. These fields will remain for 2010-2011 and later years with the exception unknown.
  • For 2009-2010 LEAs must submit according to the old rules. The old rules allow only one race/ethnicity to be entered for each student.

The best recommendation is for an LEA to ask the new two-part question of all students between July 1, 2010 and October 1, 2010.

Let others know about these changes, especially those with Native American education


Lunch/Networking – You are on your own 

1:30 p.m.

Days Suspended - Jennifer Lambert, Carol Anderson

One new field needs to be added to the clearinghouse for year-end 2010 or at the latest in 2011. What we need is for LEAs to enter students’ number of days suspended/expelled for safety or NON-safety violations. We have to report this to the Feds, so getting this in the clearinghouse is a good idea. It is also different from Title I disciplinary data needs that are going to be included in UTREx.

  • This new field will be added to the USOE Clearinghouse and/or UTREx for the end of school year 2010-11.
  • SIS vendors must be notified.
  • It will at least be offered as an optional way of reporting the statistic for 2009-10.
  • For 2009-10, those not reporting it via the clearinghouse will have to report it manually as before. After 2009-10, all reporting must be done through the clearinghouse.

Follow-up (Jennifer will Follow-up)

LEAs want to know more from Verne about the sub-categories of actions that warrant suspensions or expulsions.

LEAs will need to notify the USOE how they will report these data in 2010, via the Clearinghouse or pencil and paper like prior years. Care must be taken so the LEAs do not double report.

1:50 p.m.

SERF Change Schedule for 2009-2010 - Jerry Winkler, Robert Nicolson

There will be a discussion about the timing of SERF releases and the notifications given about changes. There needs to more advances notice and clearer table/element definitions. An explanation of how SERFs will be requested, released, acknowledged/signed-off and used in the future. More consideration needs to be given to determine which SERF elements should and can be included in the UTREx student record. Maybe all should be.

Major SERF Changes 2009-2010

2:30 p.m.

Concurrent Enrollment - Cyd Grua (USHE), Sandy Hemmert (Granite)

Clarifications and instruction concerning the management and reporting of concurrent enrollment data and LEAs data’s relationship to higher education data. 93%


Cyd passed out set of instructions for providing concurrent enrollment. It would be good to have this on the USOE Website somewhere. Moya Kessig needs to be more involved or the new data steward that replaces Jennifer.

3 p.m.

CACTUS Institution Table Changes for 2009-2010 - Randy Raphael, Travis Rawlings, Sam Jones

1. In the Fall Clearinghouse, for this first time this year (October 2009), a reported grade level for a student outside of the reported grade span for the school in Cactus produced a warning.

2. LEAs will have all year to correct data, either by changing the grade level of the student in their SIS or changing the grade span (grade_low and/or grade_high) in the CACTUS school_year table for school year 2010. To change either of the grade span fields, the LEA must communicate the desired change to Shaunna Ford, who will then update it in Cactus. (The possibility of opening these fields to the LEA for direct updating was rejected by LEA representatives themselves at a monthly meeting of the Data Warehouse Group.) Shaunna reports having made several such changes during the data collection period.

3. In the Year End Clearinghouse, the same situation as in (1) will produce an error and therefore require correction as in (2) before the file will be accepted.

4. Following the Fall Clearinghouse upload, grade span data will be used to update grade_level_summary in the Cactus school table. Specifically, the first five rules below (a through e) will be applied in the fall to just those schools in which at least one student was reported as enrolled in October 2009; the grade spans of all other schools in Cactus will remain as they were:

  • a. If grade_high is -1, set grade_level_summary to PREK.
  • b. If grade_high is 12, set grade_level_summary to HIGH.
  • c. If grade_high is 09, 10 or 11, set grade_level_summary to MID.
  • d. If grade_high is 07 or 08 and grade_low is 05, 06, 07, or 08 set grade_level_summary to MID.
  • e. Otherwise, set grade_level_summary to ELEM.

5. Notice that we are reducing use of the K12 designation, as it is problematic when requests are made for a breakdown of schools by the intuitive tripartite classification of “elementary,” “middle” or “high” school.

6. Two implications of the preceding set of rules, which are especially significant for charter schools, are that: a K-8 school will be classified as an elementary school; and, when the same school adds grade 9, it will become a middle school.

7. Prior to the production of accountability reports but after the collection of test answer documents, grade span and grade_level_summary will be used to update upass_report_type in the school_year table for 2010. So, the next rule is:

  • f. If grade_high is -1 (preschool), 00 (kindergarten), 01, or 02, set upass_report_code to X (“no report”).

8. But (an unresolved question is) what happens if the test answer documents for a school include a grade outside of its (apparently) established grade span? This may not be a problem. The test is just considered out-of-level for accountability reporting if the test is for a lower grade level than recorded in Clearinghouse. It is not necessarily inappropriate for a school to administer a test out of their grade span.

9. The last two rules will be applied only to schools for which at least 10 (ten) usable answer documents were returned in Spring 2010; the upass_report_type for all other schools in Cactus, no matter what their grade_level_summary, will be set to to X:

  • g. If grade_level_summary is HIGH, set upass_report_code to H.
  • h. Otherwise, set upass_report_code to E.

10. Notice that there is no effective distinction between elementary and middle schools with respect to accountability reporting, so we are deprecating use of the M [middle school] designation for upass_report_code. When the currently available list of report codes was originally constructed, there was a larger variety of formats for producing accountability reports. (The upass_report_code in the dropdown menu in the Cactus interface will be modified to allow only E, H, or X in order to reduce potential for error.) It may not mattered what type of school it was for a U-PASS report. U-PASS and middle and elementary reports seem to be the same.

11. Problems in classification that remain after this procedure has been applied will be worked out on a case-by-case basis with information external to the database.

12. When principal access to teacher data is enabled via UEN, read only directory information from Cactus will also be exposed, and principals will be encouraged to send email (automatically directed to Shaunna) to request correction of any data element that they believe shows an incorrect value for their school.

Highly Qualified Teacher Reports 

  • HQ Detail Report – Has been sent to Superintendents; Missing Teachers Example
  • HQ Course Counts – 2008-09 Year-end compared to Oct 2009 submission 

Discrepancy Report in CACTUS – Demo, Training for CACTUS Users – Will be contacting

CACTUS IDs for New Hires 

3:30 p.m.

Update and New Policies and Procedures for YIC data submissions - Travis Cook

Determining enrollments.

UTOPIA – the new YIC SIS

  • 1. The LEA in which the YIC resides or another LEA that agrees to sponsor them provides all instruction in a YIC in some manner (maybe even via contract teachers). The LEA may get some funding.
  • 2. All data reporting should therefore come through the LEA’s SIS and clearinghouse submissions.
  • 3. Utopia exists because it calculates hours of achievement that SISs do not. But – the LEA SIS must be used to report the student’s course/enrollment records via the clearinghouse. So Utopia will never report directly to the USOE via the Clearinghouse.  


Travis was unable to attend. We need to follow-up with him to verify these processes. The LEAs did not like the proposal to submit YIC student enrollment records via the LEA SIS and Clearinghouse submissions.  

4 p.m.

Meeting Adjourned

USOE staff will stay to address any individual LEA questions and concerns. 


Friday, October 30, 2009

8:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast - Networking

9 a.m.

CIS/Utah Futures - Dawn Stevenson

We have recently launched a new education and career planning system known as UtahFutures in collaboration between DWS; USHE, including UHEAA; USOE, including CTE, Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance; Adult Education and the Office of Rehabilitation; and the Statewide GEAR UP Grant. Utah Futures is Utah’s one-stop shop for students to make education and career plans on-line. Students manage their Student Education Occupation Plans (SEOP) using UtahFutures in middle school and beyond. Students build this electronic education and career portfolio throughout life, and online access makes it easy for parents to get involved.

On November 2, 3, and 4 we will have 3 day-long train the trainers sessions presented by Susan Roudebush of the University of Oregon CIS, intoCareers, the developer of UtahFutures. On November 16 through 19 we will have 7 half day trainings for using the administrator tools in the Utah Futures System.

Short demos of the system

  • Student
  • Counselor
  • System Administrator

Brochures above the system are also available.

9:30 a. m.

CRT Test Processing - Sharon Marsh, John Jesse

Submission websites

  • secure testing site
  • secure Move-It site

Error correction website

Process for receiving password information

More Accurate Reporting of Course Codes on All-students files

Students and classes are too often incorrectly identified by course codes when they are registered and subsequently reported to the USOE in pre-print, all-students and clearinghouse files. Many times LEA IT procedures are used to set these codes up for the elementary classes, which are where we had significant problems during CBT testing this past school year.

Assessment and Computer Services are making a concerted effort to communicate the need to include all data items, student attributes in particular, on all all-student files beginning with the 2009 Iowa tests. All standardized tests will be affected including: CRT, UBSCT, DWA, Iowa (low income not available for Iowa), and UALPA. It was also decided that the all-student file validation program be modified to generate errors if any of these values in the all-student file are invalid.

This process, both the CBT and batch versions, checks for valid data elements like SSID. Errors require correction.

No updates/resubmissions are permitted after June 25, 2010 for traditional schools and July 1, 2010 for year round schools.

10 a.m.

Graduation Rate Calculation - Bela Vastag

School aged students who graduate through adult education. Recent changes to board rules allow that “an out-of-school youth of school age who has successfully completed an Adult Education Secondary Diploma or a Utah High School Completion Diploma [GED] shall be reported as a graduate for K-12 graduation (AYP) outcomes.” (R277-733-7-D-(5)). USOE Adult Education will provide data on these successful outcomes to the districts.

2. New federal graduation rate formula. Students with High School Completion Status Codes of GP (Graduation Pending) need to be resolved by the October clearinghouse submission in the year of their expected graduation date. Currently, these are converted to CT (Certificates of Completion). Under the federal formula (for AYP), they will be converted to Dropouts for the graduation/dropout rate calculations. Other differences which will result in a much lower graduation rate under the new federal formula.


Salt Lake suggested that UTOPIA just provide a list of GED and Carnegie Unit diploma earners directly to the warehouse instead of reporting them to the LEA that in turn reports them back to the USOE via the clearinghouse. After some discussion it was decided it these diplomas need to be reported to the LEA first since they need to make record of that fact in their records to indicate these students did graduate and were not counted as dropouts.

10:30 a.m.

Update and New Policies and Procedures Calculatoin of Class Size - Emily Tew

  • Presentation
  • Options
  • Best option, data and algorithm
  • Impact on the Clearinghouse
  • Examples of current problem
  • Proposed solution: New clearinghouse items
  • Examples of cycle and term


After some animated discussion, there was agreement that collection of a cycle day and term for each class was probably the best option. There was also some serious interest in doing a teacher load calculation. 

11 a.m.

Tentative UTREx Status report (DigitalBridge) - DigitalBridge Staff

Agenda Review the overall Agenda with group to share our goal/intent of the meeting

1. Explain we will review SAMS at the end of the discussion Users Group

  • i. Review the overall vision of UTREx (15 minutes(Marcus, Kelly and Bruce))

1. Display the large data diagram and how its all connected high complexity

2. Explain the amount of DB/USOE effort so far

  • a. Data
  • b. ZIS
  • c. UI

3. 3 primary functions and benefits

  • a. Data collection
  • b. Transcripts
  • c. SRE

4. Explain the paradigm shift of continuous data review vs batches and explain improved efficiency in UTREx (Bruce presentation)

  • ii. Demo " A day in the life of UTREx" (Dev Team Kerry, Dave, Suraj, Jim)(3 Projectors LEA1, LEA2 and Animation for state)

1. Demo of UI

  • a. Data Collection automated and simple provides reports
  • b. SRE
  • c. Transcript

2. How it impacts them

3. How it improves process

  • iii. Jim discuss data quality and clearinghouse expectations. (30 minutes)
  • iv. Explain the need for phased rollout/transition OLD and NEW clearinghouse(Kelly and Marcus)

a. Priority of phased rollout

  • i. Data Collection
  • ii. Transcript
  • iii. Record Exchange (SSID RFP is out one year)

b. Estimated overall Timelines (simplified) (Kelly)

  • v. DigitalSAMS Status and Q/A (Jim and Kelly) Propose this be monthly users group. Demonstrations of UTREx UI for secretaries, student personnel etc.

Changes in data culture

The near real-time capabilities of UTREx, especially the transferring of individual student records, require more ongoing data maintenance. It may make sense to batch some data but not always. There will be set certification dates for LEAs to sign-off on accuracy of data.


UTREx will be able to supply more than 1 enrollment record per school for a year. Will this cause any problems for the current Warehouse architecture and loading process/rules? 

DB did a simple demo of data flow and UI for UTREx for student record exchange and eTranscripts. They needed more time to answer questions about importing data into SISs from UTREx . The “last mile” is always a problem and they seem to be having problems with it.

Bruce Hudgens suggested that there be some parallel piloting with the some LEAs running both the Clearinghouse and UTREx to submit data. DB said they would consider this recommendation. DB also gave a general schedule for the migration to get all LEAs implemented by July 30, 2010.

The big discussion was about how to handle the editing/error corrections that take place at a point in time (Oct 1, Nov 1, July 1 clearinghouse collections). The UTREx philosophy is that all LEA data should be up to date on the submission date and nothing needs to be done except for the USOE to take the “snapshot”. However, the reality is that the LEAs do not keep their data that current. Their practice is to take the two weeks, say between Oct 1 and Oct 15 to read the Clearinghouse error and summary reports to help clean-up before the final data are “certified”. Two options for now:

  • 1. Have LEAs start running edits (with UTREx these are available continuously throughout the year) and summary reports from the State well before the due date and make sure everything is fixed by the 1st
  • 2. Create a local snapshot in the local data store (aka DigitalSAMS) and allow summary reports to be run from there and have a UI for error corrections. The big drawback is that the same changes must then be manually made in the SIS to keep it in sync. Also, for a period of time no new transactions, occurring after the 1st, can be entered into the state DigitalSAMS database.

This issue will be discussed at length in the November UTREx advisory committee’s meeting. 


Lunch/Networking – You are on your own 

1:30 p.m.

Continuation of DigitalBridge Presentation Followed by Q & A and individual consultation

3:30 p.m.

Meeting Adjourned

USOE staff will stay to address any individual LEA questions and concerns. 

Thank you to everyone form making time in your busy schedules to participate in this meeting.

Late Updated: 04/21/2009