ACHIEVEMENT IN MONTANA (AIM)

OPI AIM Update on ESSA Chronic Absenteeism Reporting

District Attendance Policies DO NOT Need to Change

The OPI AIM staff have been receiving questions from districts regarding their absenteeism policies changing to meet the ESSA Chronic Absenteeism definitions. The OPI does not expect, or want, districts to change their current absenteeism policies in an effort to avoid having students reported as chronically absent. The ESSA Chronic Absenteeism EDFacts FS195 reporting is informational only and does not have any direct or indirect repercussions for states or districts. The OPI will be providing counts of students who are chronically absent by school to the federal government to satisfy this reporting.

Here are definitions from the FS195 federal file specification document on our OPI AIM website:

Absenteeism – In accordance with the Office for Civil Rights’ guidance, a student is absent if he or she is not physically on school grounds and is not participating in instruction or instruction-related activities at an approved off-grounds location for the school day. Chronically absent students include students who are absent for any reason (e.g., illness, suspension, the need to care for a family member), regardless of whether absences are excused or unexcused.

Tardies – A student who is absent for less than 50 percent of the school day.

Notes from the OPI:

The Tardies definition above can be interpreted as - if the student is absent for 50% or more of the day, then the student is considered to be ESSA absent for the full day.

The OPI staff has gotten confirmation from the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) that the        definition of an absence does NOT include school/instruction related activities.

For districts that use Infinite Campus as their local student system (District Edition) the absence excuses that will be included when calculating ESSA # days absent are excused, unexcused and unknown.

Please refer to the following guidance documentation on the OPI AIM website for further details:

Chronic Absenteeism General Information

Chronic Absenteeism Email to Districts 12/7/17

Federal FS195 File Specification

Different Deadlines for MT Edition and District Edition Users

MT Edition Users Deadline is June 22, 2018.

The ESSA #Days Absent field is currently available in Infinite Campus on the students’ enrollment tab. It can be populated via file import/upload after school ends for the 2017-18 school year. This value on the enrollment tab will then sync to the state and will be used by the OPI for federal reporting. The file upload template “End of Year Attendance Totals” can be used to upload ADA #Days Present, ADA #Days Enrolled and ESSA #Days Absent.

District Edition and MT Value Added Users Deadline of June 22nd, 2018 is Tentative.

New attendance tab calculation: There will be an automatic nightly ESSA absenteeism calculation process available starting in the Infinite Campus version 1821 update. It will calculate number of days ESSA absent and if the student is chronically absent. These calculated values will be refreshed nightly and seen inside students’ Attendance tab. The OPI is scheduled to take this 1821 version Infinite Campus update into AIM on June 15th.

New process to copy attendance tab value to enrollment tab: This process will copy the ESSA #Days Absent value from the attendance tab to the ESSA #Days Absent field on the enrollment tab. This value on the enrollment tab will then sync to the state and will be used by the OPI for federal reporting. This copy feature is currently being worked on and we are not sure when it will be available in an Infinite Campus. We are hoping to have this available for the districts in mid-July. The OPI will provide notification as soon as we know when this process will be available for District Edition and MT Value Added districts.

New Chronically Absent Student Report in Infinite Campus

A New report that lists students who have been determined as ESSA Chronically Absent will be available in Infinite Campus. The OPI AIM staff doesn’t know when it will be available yet (possibly after July). We will update districts as we find out more.

** Thank you for all that you do! Please don't hesitate to contact the OPI AIM Help Desk at 877-424-6681 or 406-444-3800 or email opiaimhelp@mt.gov with any questions or concerns. **