Newsblast - February 2021 Print

Attention Auditors! - New video from MDE Office of Audits

Gloria Suggitt and Caitlin Hengesbach, from MDE's Office of Audits, have recently produced a video session on properly documenting and referencing your support materials and work papers when you audit an LEA or PSA. The 15-minute video presentation is available on the MPAAA website, on the new 'Resources and links' page, or you can go to it directly by clicking HERE.

Please join me in thanking Gloria and Caitlin for their willingness to make this video, and should similar offerings become available, we'll be sure to make them known.

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Please Help Us Plan!

With the pandemic changing everyone's lives this past year, we've all spent a lot of time online watching recorded training sessions.  We have heard back both positives and negatives but wanted to get some feedback on your thoughts about recorded training OUTSIDE of a pandemic. 

We originally published the survey in January. While we did get some responses, we hope that by leaving it open another month, we will get a higher degree of participation. The three-question survey can be accessed HERE until February 26th. 

If you responded to the survey in January, there is no need to retake it, and thank you for your assistance in helping us know how to plan our future sessions once the pandemic subsides.

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Winter Certification Courses Now Available

This winter we've chosen to use recorded sessions for our selection of 5 MSBO/MPAAA certification courses.  This option will give you the freedom to take the course at your leisure, without worry about winter driving or becoming ill.

These 5 courses are the ones MOST needed by our members who are working on their Pupil Accounting Specialist (PAS), Pupil Accounting Auditor (PAA), or Specialist in Educational Data (SED) certifications.  Four of the courses are already online and ready for you to take, and the fifth will be added by February 1st.  The courses are:

1. Introduction to Auditing (PAS, PAA) - This course is the MOST in need of by our members because most pupil accountants don't realize that this IS A REQUIRED COURSE for both pupil accountants and auditors. This online video course will cover the basics of the pupil auditing process, explaining the rules and procedures that auditors follow as they select buildings, programs, and individual students to audit. This course is designed to give participants, be they auditors or pupil accountants, an understanding of the audit process to assist them in their respective jobs. You can learn more about the course, or register to take it HERE.

2. Legislative Primer (PAS, PAA, SED) - This online video course will cover the basics of education law in Michigan and explain how bills and laws can be accessed and examined on the various websites maintained by the State of Michigan.  All the official sources of rules and regulations will be covered as well as how to access the relevant documentation, and the appropriate circumstances to use that resource. Finally, some time is given to explain the funding mechanism used for Michigan's schools and how Proposal A still affects school funding, even 20+ years after its passage. You can learn more about the course, or register to take it HERE.

3. Data Quality 1 (PAS, PAA, SED) - This course will cover the basics of Data Quality, from the primary perspective of the data input user at a local School District or School.  The session will discuss techniques to find and help prevent data errors, as well as providing additional information on how data quality is part of a broader perspective, data governance. You can learn more about the course, or register to take it HERE.

4. Data Quality 2 (PAS, SED) - This video course will cover Data Quality from the District's perspective. The techniques in finding and correcting data errors before, during, and after the data submission process will be discussed, as will data privacy, including FOIA and FERPA regulations. You can learn more about the course, or register to take it HERE.

5. Organizational Applications (SED) - JUST OPENED! - The role of the student information system (SIS) will be covered in this session. Covered is the central role the SIS plays in organizing the activities of a school, and the data that is collected and reported to state and federal officials. The criteria for evaluating a perspective SIS is also discussed, with emphasis on data quality and student data security. You can learn more about the course, or register to take it HERE.

Each course costs $70 for MPAAA members and $95 for non-members. If you can't use a credit card to register, you can use THIS FORM to register for any/all sessions and return it with a check.

Once registered, you will receive an email within 24 hours giving you login information to access the session(s) you've selected.  There is an MSBO certification form that can be completed during the videos and returned for those wishing MSBO credit.

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Salary Survey 20/21

To date, we have had very few members take this year's salary survey.  Please understand that without member input, the report will be of little use. Please consider taking the survey before it closes on February 26th. If you have already completed the survey for this year, please accept our thanks!

All data collected through the survey is anonymous, and there is no personal data shared in the results. Also, any reported information coming from a single individual is redacted from the report. We take privacy very seriously and will make sure your data is stored and handled with appropriate safeguards.

To take the 2020/21 MPAAA Salary Survey, please click HERE. The survey will be open through February 26th, 2021, and the results will be published in March. Please give serious thought to completing this survey to make the resulting document as useful to all our members as possible. 

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Winter 2021 MPAAA Bootcamp

Although we have recently completed our webinar-based Pupil Accounting Bootcamp, the recorded version of the Bootcamp is still available for those who are new to Pupil Accounting and are looking to increase their skills and knowledge.

The recorded Bootcamp is a series of videos that you may watch at any time during the workshop period.  While this option makes live Q & A impossible, you will have access to a forum where you can ask the session presenters questions. Having just completed the Bootcamp as a series of real-time webinars, we're making the recordings of those new sessions available in the recorded Bootcamp as well, to ensure you have access to the newest, most recent information in this ever-changing environment.

The $95 cost of the recorded sessions will allow you to apply for MSBO credit for 5 of the 6 courses.

The sessions included in the Bootcamp are:

Session 1 - Introduction to Pupil Accounting 1 will be taking you through pupil accounting basics, from learning the terms and acronyms, through working with the 3 populations, to all the forms to use and the documents to gather.

Session 2 - Introduction to Pupil Accounting 2 - This continued coverage of population 3 is in greater detail and instructs you on what to expect from an audit.

Session 3 - Overview of State Reporting will be going over data reporting requirements.  You'll learn what applications you need to report data to, and we'll spend time in the actual applications explaining the inner workings and how to know where your data is in the submission process.

Session 4 - Introduction to CEPI - Staff from CEPI will provide more in-depth information on CEPI's data reporting requirements and how to ensure your data submissions are timely and complete.

Session 5 - Days and Hours will explain the days and hours requirements and how to make sure your buildings meet them (and what it will cost if they don't!).

Session 6 - The Recipe - A calendar-based review of how to complete a count day, from before school starts through the end of the audit. The items that need to be addressed at each step will be addressed, and helpful hints will be given to ensure your submission and audit go smoothly.

You can review detailed information on either Bootcamp by going to the MPAAA website. To register for the series directly, you can click HERE.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Rob Dickinson, MPAAA's Executive Director, at (517) 853-1413, or [email protected]

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Fall 2020 Conference Registration Is Still Open

Our fall conference has proven very popular with our members this year.  The virtual format worked well. We have continued to leave the conference open until all the sessions are in place. As we wait for the new Pupil Accounting Manual's publication, we will continue to allow registrations. We will hold the conference open to registered attendees until we have the puzzle's final piece (the PAM) in place.

How Does it Work?

Essentially what you are investing in is a complete library of information available at your convenience that will change as the school year progresses and our state leaders provide more information.   

  • We opened the conference library to registered attendees on Monday, September 21st. At that time, all certification courses and other known courses have been posted to the virtual library as recordings. Registered attendees are given access to the library through our website and may watch classes at their leisure.
  • Certification credit can be acquired by completing and returning a conference credit form that asks you for codes you will see during each certification course. This virtual format is actually a huge advantage because you can literally take every available class you need to obtain your certification. You would be limited by time at a live conference.
  • As a registered attendee, you will get regular emails letting you know when new content is available. We have opened a Q & A forum on the MPAAA website that will allow you to ask questions of the presenters from the various sessions and get answers. The forum's advantage is that it also allows you to see other questions that have been asked and the response.

What is Offered?

  • We are pleased to offer, in partnership with MSBO, two certification courses that you may need to finalize your certification if you are in the PAS/SED/PAA tracts. The Principles of Education and Team Leadership courses are only offered every other year, and this is the year! While we were unable to record the Team Leadership session, Principals of Education is available on the conference webpage for you to view and receive credit.
  • We intend to provide training on areas most relevant to this approaching school year, which means sessions on changes and new rules and laws.
  • Of course, we will have our partners from CEPI and MDE providing the most update-to-date sessions available.
  • Since Pandemic Learning is the default method of instruction this year, we will be providing sessions around this hot topic.
  • Due to the current climate, our agenda will remain fluid, with some of our courses being updated up through the day the conference opens and new sessions added as they become available.

What does it cost?

While a conference of this type is undoubtedly complex to engineer, it does have SOME advantages. One is the price. We are making the conference available to members for $195.00 and to non-members for $295.00.  You can watch ALL of the sessions, another bonus you get with our Virtual Conference Library that cannot be offered at a live conference. With finances on EVERYONE’S mind right now, this discounted fee, and the lack of any travel or hotel costs, is intended to make the decision to ‘attend’ the conference a bit easier for your District.

MPAAA realizes we are all working in an environment that is unprecedented during our lifetimes. We hope that this unique conference offering will allow you to get the information you need in the most comfortable, most convenient, and least expensive way possible.

How do I Register?

To sign up for the conference, and pay the fee online with a credit card, you can click HERE.  If you need to send in a check, you can complete THIS form and return it with your check.

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