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    Week of May 15, 2017
    Posted on 05/15/2017
    Improvements to Attendance Management System (Formerly Truancy Management)

    In partnership with the Attendance Office, DoTS has recently launched a new attendance management system for central office and school-based staff. The system went through a long design, build, and testing process in order to provide increased functionality and usability over the department’s previous, aging truancy system.

    The new system provides central office and school staff better tracking of students’ truancy status, the ability to manage and track attendance supports and interventions, and a variety of new reports designed to support schools in compliance work and providing early support and interventions. Attendance Office staff have been using the new system for the past couple of months and schools are getting access and training starting this week.

    2017-2018 E-Rate Application Summary

    The Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) Program administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company, with the guidance of policy created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), collects and delivers funding focused on places where broadband and connectivity needs are critical. This program serves people in rural, underserved, and difficult-to-reach areas. It provides discounts to keep students and library patrons connected to broadband and voice services. Discounts are based on Free and Reduced Lunch percentages. Seattle Public Schools qualifies to receive a 60% discount on eligible services.

    Funding may be requested under two categories of service. Category One services include Data Transmission Services and Internet Access, and Voice Services. Category Two services include Internal Connections (wiring, switches, wireless access points, etc.), Managed Internal Broadband Services, and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections. The first step in applying for funding is to request bids from service providers for the services the district needs (Form 470). After staff selects a service provider through the competitive bidding process, the district submits FCC Form 471 applications to receive funding.

    The 2017-2018 E-Rate application window closed on May 11, 2017. During the preceding four months, the E-Rate team in DoTS gathered enough data to submit 21 applications for support for purchases of equipment or services beginning July 1, 2017 and ending June 30, 2018. The applications, if approved, could amount to over $6,000,000 of discounts. The Category One and Category Two products and services support all our schools and particularly apply to construction and infrastructure at our schools opening in the Fall.

    Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) Complete

    Thanks to the collaborative efforts of many SPS district and school staff, the bi-annual Civil Rights Data Collection effort required by the Office of Civil Rights has been officially submitted and certified as complete.

    This extensive nationwide data collection wraps up over a year of effort, incorporating data from a wide range of departments, data systems and school staff with the ultimate aim to inform and improve the degree to which students are receiving equitable academic experiences regardless of race, gender, special program, or school attended.

    Examples of such measures include comparing schools’ teacher retention, teacher experience, certifications to teach Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects, and chronic absence. Student breakouts by gender, race/ethnicity, special education and English Language Learning are included. The CRDC includes early childhood education opportunities, discipline, HIB (harassment/intimidation/bullying), course enrollment and outcomes for various categories such as STEM, dual credit, credit recovery, distance learning, General Educational Development (GED) preparation, advanced learning and college preparation and exam activities along with various accounting expenditures in detailed breakouts.

    While PowerSchool, our Student Information System (SIS), was able to fulfill a higher degree of the reporting requirements this year, many items are not yet easily retrievable from existing data systems. There is more work ahead to improve the ease of accurate and complete reporting required for school year 2017-2018. A task force will be underway to identify focus areas aimed to implement improvements ahead of start of school in the Fall.