Costumes, Candy Corn, and Child Count: Step Into Autumn With EDFacts Modernization
This is the third installment in our monthly blog series on EDFacts modernization covering topics surrounding the modernization and how it affects the process of collecting and reporting high-quality special education data.
Ah, autumn. For many of us, it’s time to enjoy crisp air, take a trip to the pumpkin patch or apple orchard, and reorganize the closet to put the warm sweaters in front. Of course, fall marks another important annual tradition: developing or updating your data processes documentation for the Child Count and Educational Environments data collection. That’s right: Fall is not all hot cider and pumpkin spice; it’s also the start of “Child Count Season.” [Cue the spooky music.]
On Your Mark, Get Set…
Your state’s Child Count date might not be until December 1, but that’s no reason to delay planning for and working with your districts to certify their counts by that all-important deadline. Also, on the heels of the ongoing EDFacts modernization efforts, there will be new deadlines and processes for Child Count data in the new year, making it more important than ever to tighten up your system now.
As always, IDC is here to help. Below are some action items to help make your Child Count data processes more efficient, effective, and focused on the future.
If you’ve worked with IDC before to document your Child Count processes, dust off that document and give it another look. Pay special attention to your state’s deadlines for sending reminders to districts. Oh, and don’t forget to notify new staff that the documentation—you know—actually exists. It’s an all-too-common oversight, and it might lead to someone accidentally missing a step.
If you haven’t already documented your processes, or if you want to create new documentation for your state, contact your IDC State Liaison and schedule a call or meeting.
Speaking of which, you also want to…
Put Together a Schedule
Uncap your red pen. It’s time to start thinking ahead to spring and even to the summer months. The new EDPass system, which will debut next year, requires different processes and a different timeline to submit your Child Count data. In fact, the U.S. Department of Education and the Partner Support Center offered an overview of this system in a recent webinar and indicated that the system will be open to submit Child Count data in June 2023 (see minute 1:34:00 here). This means that you need to upload files to the new system in June. When you do, the system will check the data against business rules (more on these in a future blog); then, prior to submission, you need to correct the files and upload them again, then enter data notes to explain any errors or warnings identified by the system. It can be a lot to keep track of.
That’s why we think you should also…
Coordinate With Peers
This new process requires you to work carefully with your EDFacts coordinator. It also assumes that you have some understanding about potential data quality issues that might come up at the time of your Child Count submission. So, be prepared. Data managers might want to review Child Count data quality reports for recent years to better understand previous data quality concerns.
Lastly, make sure you…
Schedule a meeting with your EDFacts coordinator to talk about finalized files and prior data quality concerns. During this meeting, you can also create a process and schedule for working in the new EDPass system together.
Fall can seem like the shortest of seasons. The space between the start of the school year and the winter holidays is never long enough to accommodate all that these months have to offer, from hayrides to haunted houses. Likewise, when it comes to your role with Part B data, and especially Child Count, the end of summer means a to-do list a mile long. By preparing or updating your data processes now, you won’t miss any steps when the SPP/APR work intensifies over the winter. Plus, IDC is always happy to help you think through any other process concerns you may have. We’re just a phone call away.
- Audrey Rudick