Newsblast - March 2021 Print

Spring Conference Early Bird Registration is now open!

The Michigan Pupil Accounting and Attendance Association (MPAAA) is proud to open its 2021 Spring Conference for registration!

To help ensure that we are meeting our member's needs, the conference will be a 'hybrid' this year, in that members will have the option of attending in-person on May 3-5, at Grand Traverse Resort, or attending virtually, similar to how our fall conference was organized.  In this way, we hope to make the sessions meet the needs of both those who are comfortable attending in-person sessions (with appropriate safety precautions, of course) as well as those who do not yet have permission - or sufficient comfort level - to attend such a live event.

The In-Person Option:

Those who can attend in-person can rest assured that the Grand Traverse Resort and the Board and staff of MPAAA take their safety seriously and that every precaution will be taken to minimize any health risks.  We will be meeting in the Governor's hall, which will allow sufficient spacing between seats to follow social distancing guidelines in place during the conference. Food and drink service will all be 'buffet' style with servers building your plate (or drink) at your request, and our agenda will emphasize general sessions to minimize room changes and congestion in the hallways.

Grand Traverse Resort has published THIS video that outlines the safety protocols currently in place at the resort. Please rest assured that they have had several events during the last summer/fall and in no case was an instance of COVID infection tied back to their event. While we anticipate that you will not have to wear a mask as you sit in the sessions, a mask is currently required when moving around the facility. Also, please keep in mind that safety requirements may change between now and May.

The Virtual Option:

For those unable to join us at Grand Traverse, you still have access to all the conference's content through a conference website, similar to the fall conference. We are not planning to live stream the conference but instead will record and publish sessions shortly after they are held.  In this way, you will have the freedom of participating in any of the Conference's content at your leisure, on the schedule that works best for you.  The entire conference content will be available for review through the end of May, and we will have a Q & A forum available for any questions you may have.

The Content:

Regardless of the attendance option you choose, the conference content will be the same.  While we are still finalizing times and speaker preferences for the in-person session, we do know our content will include:

  • A CEPI Update on expected changes for this summer and the coming fall
  • An update on the Pupil Accounting Manual (PAM) and the Auditing Manual (PMAM) from MDE
  • A session on the coming changes to TSDL this summer, as well as another session on the new 3rd-grade retention reporting this summer
  • A session on the recent Auditor General decisions that have affected MDE and CEPI
  • A Legislative Update
  • Our State Agency Panel

We will also have the following certification courses. Some will be held live during the conference (and recorded for virtual participation afterward), and some will simply be recorded and shared with all attendees virtually:

  • Pupil Accounting Legal Issues
  • Intro to Pupil Accounting I
  • Legislative Primer
  • Educational Data and its Uses
  • Intro to State Agency Resources

There is a tentative agenda attached to this Newsblast that lists all the courses we are currently planning on holding. As we are able to finalize everything, updates will be shared with all registered attendees in either format.

The Details:

The in-person conference will be held May 3-5 at Grand Traverse Resort, and those wishing to attend in person can book rooms through THIS link.  Note that we have NOT contracted room blocks with other local hotels due to the limited in-person attendance we expect. Please feel free to contact either Grand Traverse or the area hotel of your choice for your stay in Traverse City.

The cost of the conference is $395 for MPAAA members and $495 for non-members. As in previous years, we will have an 'Early Bird' discount of $50 for those who register by Wednesday, April 14. The conference cost is the same for both the in-person and the virtual attendee options.

You can get more detailed information on the conference or register as either an in-person or virtual attendee by clicking HERE.

We are overjoyed that things are slowly returning to normal and hope that even greater progress will be made by May. We look forward to seeing all of you who can attend up at Grand Traverse!

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MSDS Spring General Certification Deadlines Extended

On March 16th, CEPI released the following communication:

Due to continuing technical issues with the MSDS, CEPI and MDE have agreed to extend the Spring General Collection certification deadlines as follows:

Certification deadline: Wednesday, March 24, 11:59 p.m. EDT

Re-certification deadline: Wednesday, March 31, 11:59 p.m. EDT

We understand that this year has been challenging, and we are working with our information technology team to identify the root cause of these technical challenges. We have engaged additional resources for troubleshooting and identifying both short-term solutions for this specific collection and longer-term solutions for future collection cycles. Thank you for your patience as we work to mitigate system performance issues.

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PAM and PMAM published

On March 11th, MDE published the 2020/21 Pupil Accounting Manual (PAM) and the Pupil Membership Auditing Manual (PMAM). Although these manuals have been changed from last year, the changes are relatively minimal as most of the changes due to the pandemic have already been shared in other formats.

In both manuals, the changes are highlighted in yellow, so they should be easy to spot. You can access the PAM HERE and the PMAM HERE.

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TSDL Collection changes to ALL students in 2021

On Thursday, March 11th, MDE announced that due to recent Auditor General findings, and in conjunction with Michigan's Attorney General, it was determined the ALL students should have their course completion data collected in the Teacher Student Data Link (TSDL) collection, beginning with the 2020/21 collection.  You can read the announcement HERE.

The collection, which will also be the first where SCED codes have been updated, will open in early May and currently has a certification deadline of July 30, 2021. For more information on the collection, you can link to CEPI's TSDL information page HERE.

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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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