LEA Data Processes Toolkit


What is the LEA Data Processes Toolkit and what is it for?

There is a continuous need for state education agencies (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs) to collect and report comprehensive, high-quality data and ensure they report data accurately and in a timely fashion. The customizable IDC LEA Data Processes Toolkit is a new instrument that can improve decisionmaking about children and youth with disabilities by ensuring data are of high quality and processes are clearly defined and documented, while also providing data staff a map for documenting data processes within local districts.

High-quality state data is dependent on high-quality local data. Using this toolkit to create protocols for local data collections will provide opportunities for states to collaborate with LEAs in establishing a well-managed process for data collection, analysis, and reporting. In addition, they can use the toolkit to create and maintain a culture of high-quality data, establish and support consistent practices that produce valid and reliable data, and build the capacity of data staff at the LEA level.

Establishing a well-managed process will

  • Increase the accuracy and validity of the data from the LEA
  • Ensure required submissions are completed on time at the LEA level
  • Assist in larger conversations regarding the importance of collecting, reporting, analyzing, and using high-quality data
  • Enhance communications among staff within an LEA

How to use the toolkit

IDC strongly recommends a team approach and collaboration between state and LEA staff to complete the protocols. IDC has specialized technical assistance (TA) providers available who can facilitate the process with your state. Here are some suggested staff, if available, to help complete these protocols.

  • LEA director of special education
  • LEA data managers (special education and general education)
  • LEA data governance coordinator
  • IT staff
  • Other data staff (e.g., assessment)
  • Other local staff as appropriate

Documentation of local data processes requires dedicated effort and commitment to designate time to complete the work.

Toolkit Components

LEA Landscape Protocol

This protocol covers background information on the LEA, including description of the data systems, key special education and data staff, and general policies and procedures that apply to IDEA data. It is useful particularly when onboarding new staff members. The information in the LEA Landscape Protocol serves as an overview of LEA infrastructure, and LEAs can apply the information to all of the other data collection protocols. 

LEA IDEA Data Collection Protocols

These protocols cover information about individual data collections completed at the LEA level. LEAs submit the data to the SEA for aggregation and submission within the SPP/APR as required by federal regulations.  Prefilled information and definitions in the protocols are taken from OSEP file specifications.








"From an administrator perspective, we think that this is a phenomenal tool to give to new data managers when they come in. We had no idea what to do and how to do it, just a set of deadlines."

Ginger Elliott Teague, OK