Attendance Setup

Contents

Introduction

This section provides details for setting up and troubleshooting Colorado attendance in PowerSchool. Follow the instructions carefully to ensure accurate attendance reporting. For field level information, see District Setup.

Attendance Tracking & Notification -  District Setup

District Start Page > District Setup > Attendance Tracking & Notification

Set Up Percent Tracking Method

A tracking method of Percent must be set up for CO attendance reporting. The Threshold for this is typically 50. This means that a student must be marked unexcused absent for more than 50% of the day to be truant.

Note: Additional Tracking Methods may be setup for local use. Please refer to the Attendance Tracking & Notification guide on PowerSource.

Setting Up Unexcused Tracking Levels

An Unexcused Tracking Level must be set up for Attendance Tracking & Notification to work. The Tracking Method must be set to Percent and the Trigger 1 value can be set to any value (1 is standard).

Note: Unexcused Tracking levels work with the Tracking Method setup and, when a student reaches a defined “level” (the number of truancies based on the defined Tracking Methods and Trigger) a “level reached” record is created. These “level reached” records are used by the Attendance Tracking & Notification reports (not CO state reports). Additional Triggers can be defined for local use. Even though this piece of setup isn’t used for CO state reporting, it is required setup for Attendance Tracking & Notification.

About Illness Levels

Illness Levels are not required for CO state reporting, nor are they required for Attendance Tracking & Notification (in general). If you set up Illness Levels at the district level, the corresponding setup must be done at the school level as well.

Update Calculation Year

Ensure the Calculation Year is set to the correct year for each school that will be using Attendance Tracking & Notification.

Note: Ensure this is set/updated once the EOY process has been run.

Attendance Tracking & Notification  - School Setup

Start Page> School Setup > Attendance Tracking & Notification

Attendance Mode Setup

Ensure that the Attendance Mode Setup reflects the correct attendance method.

Note: This should reflect the attendance method that the FTE (Full-Time Equivalency) is set to. This can be viewed at the following path:Start Page> School Setup> Full-Time Equivalencies (FTE)

Unexcused Tracking Setup

Ensure the Unexcused Tracking Category is set to the Attendance Code Category that will represent unexcused absences and the Status is set to Absent.

Note: Additional Unexcused Tracking Categories may be defined but, for CO state reporting, only the Unexcused matters.

Illness Tracking 

Illness Levels are not required for CO state reporting, nor are they required for Attendance Tracking & Notification (in general). If Illness Levels were set up at the district level, this setup must be completed.

Refresh Attendance Tracking Data

District Start Page> Reports > Refresh Attendance Tracking Data

The Refresh Attendance Tracking Data function must be run prior to running the CO Attendance Data/Audit File reports. Additionally, prior to running the Refresh Attendance Tracking Data function, the Refresh Premier Attendance Views function should be run at each school (Start Page> Special Functions> Attendance Functions> Refresh Premier Attendance Views Data).

When the Refresh Attendance Tracking Data function has finished running, click the Completed link to view the function results.

If the function was successful, the following message will appear for a given school:

SCHOOL: Apple Grove High School   YEAR: 26   MODE: MPTD

If the function was not successful for one or more buildings, the following error appears:

ERROR: No Category selected.

Note: Errors will let you know where the problem is. In the above example, the school level Unexcused Tracking Category setup hasn’t been completed.

General Attendance Setup Items - School level

Set up Attendance Code Categories

Start Page> School Setup > Attendance Code Categories

The following Attendance Code Categories must be set up in PowerSchoola;

  • Excused – The Name value (the second field on the Edit Attendance Code Category page) for the Attendance Code Category must be Excused.
  • Unexcused – The Name value (the second field on the Edit Attendance Code Category page) for the Attendance Code Category must be Unexcused.

Calendar Setup

Navigation: Start Page> School Setup > Calendar Setup

Every in-session day must have the following fields set:

  • Cycle Day value must be populated
  • Bell Schedule must be populated
  • School In-Session must be selected
  • Membership value must be set.
  • If Tracks are being used, the applicable Track checkboxes must be selected.
  • Type must be set to In Session.

Attendance Setup by Mode - School Level

Daily, Code-to-Day

Attendance Codes

Start Page> School Setup > Attendance Codes

  • Any Absent codes must be set to the Absent Present Status.
  • All Absent codes must be set to either the Excused or Unexcused Attendance Code Categories.
  • All Attendance codes should be set to count towards ADA Calculations and towards Membership.

Note: A code that is not set to count towards ADA Calculations and Membership will mean that occurrences of that code will not count towards attendance, absences or membership values for a given student. There are very few scenarios where these two checkboxes should not be selected.

Attendance Conversions

Start Page> School Setup > Attendance Conversions

Ensure the Conversion is completely filled out. This can be seen by the word Defined being displayed under the Code column. If you see something like Partial (9/10), the Conversion is not completely filled out. Select the link and enter the appropriate Day Attendance Value for any Codes that are not defined.

If the school uses multiple FTE’s, ensure the Conversion is completely filled out for each FTE.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Due to CDE Attendance Data File specifications, reported attendance values have an implied decimal in the tenths place. A reported attendance value of 1234 is really 123.4.  Avoid setting up Attendance values in the conversion that go to the hundredths place; for example: P (Partial Absence) = .75 Day Attendance Value

FTE

Start Page> School Setup > Full-Time Equivalencies (FTE)

  • Ensure Default Attendance Mode reflects Daily.
  • Ensure Default Attendance Conversion reflects CodeDay

Daily, Time-to-Day

Attendance Codes

Start Page> School Setup> Attendance Codes

  • Any Absent codes must be set to the Absent Present Status.
  • All codes that could result in a partial or full absence must be set to either the Excused or Unexcused Attendance Code Categories.

Note: Because attendance/absences are determined by the amount of time the student was either present or absent, some codes can result in a full or partial absence if the Clock feature is used on the Edit Daily Attendance screen. For example: If a student is marked with a Tardy code (usually a Present code), and the Clock feature (on the Edit Daily Attendance page) is used to indicate that the student missed the first half of the day, due to the conversion, that could result in a half-day absence.

  • All Attendance codes should be set to count towards ADA Calculations and towards Membership.

Note: A code that is not set to count towards ADA Calculations and Membership means that occurrences of the code will not count towards attendance, absences or membership values for a given student. There are very few scenarios where these two checkboxes should not be selected.

Attendance Conversions

Start Page> School Setup > Attendance Conversions

Ensure the Conversion is completely filled out. This can be seen by the word Defined being displayed under the Code column. If you see something like Partial (9/10), the Conversion is not completely filled out. Select the link and enter the time tiers.

If the school uses multiple FTE’s, ensure the Conversion is completely filled out for each FTE.

Note: For CO attendance reporting, it is recommended that there be at least 3 defined Tiers. For example:

  • 0 Minutes Present = 0 Attendance
  • 120 Minutes Present = .5 Attendance
  • 240 Minutes Present = 1 Attendance

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to CDE Attendance Data File specifications, reported attendance values have an implied decimal in the tenths place. A reported attendance value of 1234 is really 123.4. Avoid setting up Attendance values in the conversion that go to the hundredths place. For example: 180 Minutes Present = .75 Attendance

FTE

Start Page> School Setup > Full-Time Equivalencies (FTE)

  • Default Attendance Mode should reflect Daily
  • Default Attendance Conversion should reflect TimeDay

Meeting, Period-to-Day

Attendance Codes

Start Page > School Setup > Attendance Codes

  • Any Absent codes must be set to the Absent Present Status.
  • All codes that could result in a partial or full absence must be set to either the Excused or Unexcused Attendance Code Categories.
  • All Attendance codes should be set to count towards ADA Calculations and towards Membership.

Note: A code that is not set to count towards ADA Calculations and Membership will mean that occurrences of that code will NOT count towards attendance, absences or membership values for a given student. There are very few scenarios where these two checkboxes should not be selected.

Attendance Conversions

Start Page> School Setup> Attendance Conversions

Ensure the Conversion is fully filled out. This can be seen by the word Defined being displayed under the Period column. If you see something like Partial (9/10), the Conversion is not completely filled out. Select the link and enter the appropriate Attendance Value.

If the school uses multiple FTE’s, ensure the Conversion is completely filled out for each FTE.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to CDE Attendance Data File specifications, reported attendance values have an implied decimal in the tenths place. A reported attendance value of 1234 is really 123.4. Avoid setting up Attendance values in the conversion that go to the hundredths place; for example: 3 out of 9 Periods Present = .66 Attendance

FTE

Start Page> School Setup> Full-Time Equivalencies (FTE)

  • Default Attendance Mode should reflect Meeting
  • Default Attendance Conversion should reflect PeriodDay

Troubleshooting

Note: If the Attendance Data File is returning incorrect results, the ADA/ADM by Student and ADA/ADM by Date can be run to help identify the problem. These are system reports that can be found on the System Reports tab (Start Page> System Reports). For example, negative attendance numbers in the ADA/ADM by Date/Student reports typically indicate bad school enrollment dates.

General Attendance Reporting Issues –  What to Check

Student School Enrollment Dates

  • The Entry Date must fall within the defined Years & Terms.

  • The Exit Date must not exceed 1 day beyond the last day of the defined Years & Terms.

Student Course Enrollment Dates

  • The Course Entry Date must fall within the defined Years & Terms.
  • The Course Exit Date must not exceed 1 day beyond the last day of the defined Years & Terms

Student Course Enrollments

  • If Meeting, Period-to-Day attendance is being taken, students cannot be enrolled in multiple classes in the same period.

Student FTEs

  • Ensure the student is assigned to the correct FTE (Full-Time Equivalency).

Attendance Code

  • Ensure all applicable codes are set towards Attendance & Membership.
  • Ensure all absent codes are set to either the Excused or Unexcused Code Category.

Attendance Conversions

  • Ensure the Attendance Conversion is completely filled out.
  • Day Attendance values should not exceed the tenths place.

Attendance Data/Audit File Issues - What to Check

Attendance Data/Audit file returning negative attendance

  • Try to narrow the issue down to a certain student or students by running the ADA/ADM by Student report (on the System Reports tab)Check the student’s school enrollment dates and ensure the entry date falls within the defined school year and the exit date is no greater than one day beyond the last day of the school year.

Attendance Data/Audit file returning 0 attendance

  • Make sure the student’s FTE is correct.
  • Make sure the student is enrolled in classes.
  • If doing Meeting, period-to-day attendance, ensure the student is not enrolled in multiple classes during the same period.

Note: The issues above will cause this issue to manifest in the system ADA/ADM by Date & Student reports as well.

Attendance Data/Audit file returning attendance but is less than expected

  • Try to narrow the issue down to a certain student or students by running the ADA/ADM by Student report (on the System Reports tab).
  • If the issue is narrowed down to a certain student, run the ADA/ADM by Date (on the System Reports tab) for that student to identify the problematic days.
  • Ensure the problematic days are set up correctly in the school calendar.
  • If doing meeting, period-to-day attendance, ensure the student is enrolled in the correct number of periods for the attendance conversion.
  • If doing daily, code-to-day attendance, ensure the code used on the problematic day (if one was used) is set correctly in the attendance conversion.
  • If doing daily, code-to-day attendance, ensure the student is enrolled in the bridge period on the problematic day.
  • If doing daily, time-to-day attendance, ensure the student is enrolled in enough periods to obtain full attendance based on the attendance conversion

Attendance Data/Audit file returning 0 excused absences

  • Ensure the excused absent attendance codes are set to the Excused Attendance Code Category
  • If doing daily, time-to-day attendance, ensure that any code that could result in a full or partial absence is set to the excused attendance code category.
  • One example of this could be a code such as Tardy. If a student arrives at school 2 hours late and is marked Tardy, the time the student missed may be enough (in the attendance conversion) to give them a partial absence.
  • Ensure the Excused attendance code category is named “Excused”

Attendance Data/Audit file returning excused absences but less than expected

  • Try to narrow the issue down to a certain student or students by running the ADA/ADM by Student report (on the System Reports tab).
  • If the issue is narrowed down to a certain student, run the ADA/ADM by Date (on the System Reports tab) and cross reference with the student’s attendance page to identify the problematic days.
  • Ensure the excused absent attendance code used on the problematic day is set to the “Excused” Attendance Code Category.

Attendance Data/Audit file is returning 0 unexcused absences

  • Ensure the Attendance Tracking & Notification setup is done at the district and school levels.
  • Ensure the Refresh Attendance Tracking Data report at the district level.
    • Open the completed file and ensure all schools loaded properly.
  • Ensure all unexcused absent codes are set to the Unexcused code category.

Attendance Data/Audit file returning unexcused absences but less than expected

  • Try to narrow the issue down to a certain student or students by running the ADA/ADM by Student report (on the System Reports tab).
  • If the issue is narrowed down to a certain student, run the ADA/ADM by Date (on the System Reports tab) and cross reference with the student’s attendance page to identify the problematic days.
  • Ensure the unexcused absent attendance code used on the problematic day is set to the “Unexcused” Attendance Code Category.