AzEDS: Answers

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Answers

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Will Arizona use AzEDS and Ed-Fi in the 2015-2016 school year?

The short answer: Yes and No
The long answer: On October 19, 2012, the Arizona Data Governance Commission directed the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) to use Ed-Fi as the Agency’s internal physical data model. The agency originally committed to fully implementing AzEDS by July 1, 2015; however, it was determined that not all LEAs and vendors could be AzEDS compliant by that date to meet this Data Governance Commission directive. ADE is developing an implementation plan that will allow both vendors and LEAs to test new AzEDS submissions before they will be used for state aid payment calculations.

Will SAIS be completely replaced?

Short Answer: Yes – Eventually
Long Answer: Beginning on July 1, 2015, AzEDS and SAIS will run in parallel using a “single submission, dual reporting” model. This means that each LEA will submit data using either AzEDS or SAIS, but ADE will provide reporting through both AzEDS and SAIS and continue to calculate school payments using SAIS. This will give LEAs and ADE time to not only transition to AzEDS, but to also ensure all calculations and reporting is accurate before the final switchover to AzEDS. SAIS will continue to be the “database of record” until July 1, 2016.

What is a REST API?
The REST API (application programming interface) is a back-end interface that allows any amount of information to be securely stored and retrieved using the internet. Since REST APIs are always in the back-end, they go unnoticed even though they surround us on a daily basis.

Examples of REST APIs
Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and online banking: they all use REST APIs to transfer data. Last time you saw a doctor, did they write a paper prescription or send one to the pharmacy in a real-time transaction? The medical field is quickly relying on APIs to communicate information to pharmacies, insurance companies and other doctors. Since all the aforementioned APIs hide behind a web browser, most users are none the wiser.
AzEDS REST APIs
The AzEDS REST API will work similar to the examples mentioned above. Users will continue to use their SIS to create, modify, delete and search school and student data. Some vendors may have had to reconfigure their SIS to accommodate the new back-end. These changes should be minimal. Vendors will provide any necessary training to their clients to help ensure that the transition to this new behind-the-scenes technology is as smooth and simple as possible.

Although the idea of a REST API may sound intimidating, it really is as simple as checking your email using a web browser.

Recommendations for Data Submission
LEAs are able to configure the schedule for when their data will be submitted (pushed) via the AzEDS REST API. ADE makes the following recommendations regarding schedule and submission configurations:

  • Weekly submission is recommended. Each LEA sets its own submission schedule, which in turn determines what “near real-time” means for them. ADE recommends that LEAs submit data at least weekly and do so daily, if possible.
  • Validate data before submission. In order to reduce submission errors, ADE recommends that LEAs validate data before submitting it. For example, validating that a student is enrolled before that student’s attendance is submitted.

NOTE: ADE does not have insight into the configuration options available in each SIS; LEAs are encouraged to work with their SIS vendors regarding these settings.

Verification and Integrity Reports
ADE expects to run Integrity nightly and provide Integrity reports similar to those currently generated for SAIS. However, verification reports can be accessed through AZDash immediately after each submission to review what data was submitted. Currently ADE is piloting the verification reporting process and expects to have further guidance in May regarding the Integrity report.
Aggregation
ADE is still working on the Aggregation components and have yet to determine the aggregation execution date and time.
Discipline
The rules for providing discipline will not change. Discipline will continue to be reported via AzSAFE until ADE provides updates on additional applications. The plan is to include Discipline data in the student-data transmission eventually. We do not know when this will occur.
STC Data
STC data will be sent with student data, similar to SAIS transactions. Separate files are no longer necessary. Integrity errors for STC data will be reflected on the Integrity reports so that they can be corrected, just like SPED, ELL, and Student integrity.
Student State ID
As we continue to replace SAIS, applications may be sunset and processes will change. This process will replace the SAIS ID search and generation. LEAs will use this process during the pilot year of AzEDS submissions. The current process of SAIS ID search will continue until June 30, 2015. In FY 2016, existing SAIS IDs will be referred to as Student State ID and will continue to be valid.

How will the Student State ID be different than the SAIS ID?
All State Identities will be stored in a centralized database. Each vendor has programmed their SIS to be able to search and add to this database. Creating this will:

  • Make it easier to find existing IDs
  • Simplify the process of creating new IDs
  • Reduce the amount of duplicate entries
What Will the New Process be for Creating a Student ID?
Each LEA / school will use their SIS to search for new students (using name, gender and birthdate) to see if they have an already-existing identity in the centralized database. The SIS will return any matching, or potentially matching, results. If none of the matches are correct, the SIS will offer an option to create a new identity. A new number will automatically be generated. Once the student is enrolled in the school, the identity is saved in the database.
Staff State ID
Similar to students, teachers will also have a State ID number that is stored in the centralized database. However, unlike students, there are no-preloaded staff ID numbers.

How will the Staff State IDs be Assigned?
Each vendor has programmed their SIS to search the centralized database for existing identities. Before an LEA or school can add a teacher, they must conduct a search (using name, gender and birthdate) to see if an identity already exists. The SIS will return any matching, or potentially matching, results. If none of the matches are correct, the SIS will offer an option to create a new identity. A new 8-digit number will automatically be generated. Once the staff member is added to the school, the identity is saved in the database.
Will this Replace the Stakeholder ID?
The Educator Stakeholder ID is still a separately required ID for Highly-Qualified Teachers. When adding a teacher, this ID can be inputted into the teacher’s data. This ID is independent and cannot be used to search for a Staff State ID.
Do Non-Teaching Staff need a State ID?
At the present time, ADE does not require non-teaching staff members to have state IDs.
New FY16 ELL Program Codes
When using SAIS:

  • LEA Responsibility — Use the FY15 code A (SEI) in place of the new ELL FY16 Program Codes:
                                              A2 (SEI 2-Hour Model), A3 (SEI 3-Hour Model), and A4 (SEI 4-Hour Model)
    • No Action Required — The data will be copied into the AzEDS database using the new code value A4.
    • LEA Responsibility — When the LEA switches to the new AzEDS system, they must change the A4 entries to the correct codes (A2, A3) or leave them as A4.
  • LEA Responsibility — Use the FY15 Exit Code ELL03 (Withdrawn by Parent) in place of the new ELL FY16 Program Code, PW (Parent Withdrawn).
    • No Action Required — The data will be copied into the AzEDS database using the new Program Code PW.

When using AzEDS:

  • No Action Required — New ELL FY16 Program Codes, A2 (SEI 2-Hour Model), A3 (SEI 3-Hour Model, and A4 (SEI 4-Hour Model) will be submitted to the AzEDS database properly.
    • No Action Required — The data will be copied into SAIS database using the FY15 code A (SEI).
  • No Action Required — New ELL FY16 Program Code, PW (Parent Withdrawn) will be submitted into the AzEDS database properly.
    • No Action Required — The data will be copied into the SAIS database using the FY15 Exit Code ELL03 (Withdrawn by Parent).
Register ID
The Register ID is a required SAIS field that identifies a subgroup within a grade level, such as a specific class. This element will not be collected in AzEDS. When data is submitted via AzEDS and copied into SAIS, it will record a default Register ID of 001.