Newsblast - October 2020 Print

MDE & CEPI Publish New Attendance Reporting Guidelines

The following article appeared in the October 8 edition of MDE's Assessment and Accountability Newsletter. It discusses changes in attendance reporting during the pandemic.

2020-21 Required Reporting – Student Attendance Data

Student attendance data must be reported for 2020- 21 to fulfill pupil accounting requirements around student membership, for instructional time resulting in number of hours and days (1098 hours and 180 days) necessary to deliver educational or course content leading to course completion, and for accountability purposes. 2020-21 accountability requirements have not been waived at this time.

When a student exits a school district or at the conclusion of the school year, two 2-way interactions per week are required throughout the school year while the Extended COVID-19 Learning Plan is in place. Because schools are required to provide the equivalent of 180 days of instructional content, days attended and days possible for student attendance should be based on the method the school is using to demonstrate the instructional content. A school having two 2-way interactions during a week will constitute the student having been in attendance for five school days.

Example calculation for days possible using the two 2-way interactions per week:

     Rosa Parks High School has 36 weeks of school scheduled for 2020-21.

     36 x 5 = 180 days possible

Note: For a pupil who transitions from an online environment (where weekly 2-way interactions are required) to a seated environment (where regular attendance is required), physical attendance in scheduled courses may be considered when determining if this requirement is satisfied. For pupils transitioning from a virtual environment to homebound or hospitalized services, or to home-based instruction, the participation requirements of the applicable section begin at the point of transition in the program.

Attendance data are required to be reported in the End of Year (EOY) Michigan Student Data System (MSDS), as well as at any time a student is exited from enrollment. Note: MSDS continues to collect attendance data by days – that is, days attended and days possible.

All school districts must continue reporting data as in a normal year in the appropriate CEPI collections. This will ensure continuation of required reporting elements even outside of the waived federal assessment and accountability requirements for 2019-20.

For more information on the MSDS, refer to the 2020- 21 MSDS Collections Details Manual (pp. 9-15).

For more information on 2020-21 accountability, refer to Michigan School Accountability: Planning and Response to COVID-19

For more information on pupil accounting, including membership and 2-way interactions:

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20/21 Budget Changes the Return to Learn Rules

When the State Aid budget was passed at the end of September, it included some changes to the original Return to Learn legislation that was adopted in August:

  • The staff allowed to engage in 2-way communications was expanded beyond certified teachers.
  • The permitted topics of discussion in the 2-way communications were also expanded.

MDE released an updated memo that has specific details, and you can click HERE to access it.

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Fall Conference Registration Is Open

Our fall conference has proven very popular with our members this fall.  The virtual format seems to be working well, and we are still adding new sessions as the information becomes available.  For this reason, we will continue to allow registrations for the next few months and will hold the conference open to registered attendees through at least the end of December.  As some information (like the new Pupil Accounting Manual) may not be released for some time, we will hold the conference open UNTIL we have that information, regardless of the time it takes.

We will not let today’s circumstances prevent us from delivering the very information you need to do your jobs in the best available timeline.   While we are sad that we can’t see you in person at the Battle of the Bays this Fall, we are excited to be able to offer you a Virtual Fall Conference Library full of some of our most sought after sessions.

How Does it Work?

Essentially what you are investing in is a complete library of information available at your fingertips, 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, where you would be limited by time at a live conference.
  • We will also have a limited selection of non-certification courses offered at the conference’s opening. However, the sessions you are most likely anxious for, the sessions on updates and changes for the coming year, will be added to the conference library as they become known, and content is created. This means that the conference library will remain open until we get the answer's we all need, even if it means through the end of the year. MPAAA is committed to keeping the conference available until we know what is expected.
    • 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 advantage of the forum 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!
  • We intend to provide training on areas most relevant to this approaching school year, and that 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 at no extra cost. So, yet another bonus you get with our Virtual Conference Library that we are unable to offer at our Live events. 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 to swallow.

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 simply 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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Special Ed Reporting Details Released

Last week, MDE's Office of Special Education (OSE) released updated guidance for schools on preparing and reporting FTE for students with IEPs.

In general, IEPs should be written for a 'standard' year (without adjustments for the pandemic). Any changes to those services because of the Return to Learn legislation should be included in the student's contingency learning plan.

The new requirements are detailed in the memo from MDE that you can access HERE.  There is also a live Q & A document that provides additional details and guidance that is available HERE.

For those of you who may have registered for the MPAAA fall conference, there is a presentation on these requirements just uploaded onto the conference website in the last few days.  Registered attendees can access the conference library HERE.

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Membership Renewal

The renewal function is now open on the MPAAA website to renew your membership for the 2020/21 year. This renewal will extend your membership through June 30, 2021.

The cost of renewal for the coming year remains $85, as it has been for the past several years.

The financial repercussions of the pandemic certainly require that any expenditure by school districts be carefully considered. Please keep in mind that MPAAA is dedicated to making sure our members have the most up-to-date information available from MDE and CEPI as we all navigate these fluid and uncertain waters.

You can renew your membership online with a credit card by clicking HERE, and signing into the member's area. Once logged in, you will have a 'Renew Your Membership' link you can use.

If you would prefer to send us a check, please complete THIS form to send in with your payment. All memberships will run through June 30, 2021.

Thank you for considering the renewal of your membership in MPAAA. We will do our utmost in the coming year to continue to earn your loyalty and ensure that your membership is money well spent.

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