Ensuring Local Data Systems are Configured Properly For State Reporting #WhyDataMatters

Schools and districts use a wide range of different data systems to report required data to the Maine Department of Education (DOE), in addition to meeting their own diverse data needs. Because of this, data systems are highly configurable. It is very important for schools and districts to understand how their own systems are set up to ensure that their data is reported correctly to Maine DOE.

The Department has become aware of instances where a school’s data was unintentionally not reported correctly for a number of reasons and ends up surfacing significant issues in an unexpected way. It is important to understand that because local school units have their own data systems, configuration issues will need to be investigated and found at the local level.

Here is an example of a configuration issue, brought to the Department’s attention recently, that was found and fixed by a local school unit: Incorrect coding of dismissal (even within 5 minutes of the end of the day, for example) led to students being counted as absent. Customizing the local system, in this case Powerschool, fixed the issue and decreased the district’s ADA% absent.

Scheduling and attendance configuration issues affecting attendance reporting have also been discovered by districts using Infinite Campus.

The Department encourages School Administrative Units to work with local vendors to ensure that the settings and configurations of your local system are aligned correctly for state reporting.

For further questions about reporting, please contact the Maine DOE Helpdesk at medms.helpdesk@maine.gov.