Superintendent's Weekly Update: MiSiS

Because technology plays such a large role in the education of our students, we have technicians on staff 24 hours a day – every day of the year – to make certain our systems continue to function normally. At times, we need to take systems down temporarily to perform important maintenance work. Recall from last Friday’s update that this past weekend was one of those times.

I’ve come to understand that it took longer than expected to bring systems back up, which interfered with the work that some of our employees were doing over the weekend. Please note that this was not a problem with MiSiS; rather, it concerned the equipment in our Data Center that supports all of the technical programs that our schools rely upon. I understand that it can be challenging for technology to be unavailable when needed, and we do our best to notify schools about planned downtime in advance to help employees plan accordingly.

MiSiS continues to show stable performance, allowing our teams to make improvements in anticipation of important school events throughout the year. As you will note from the highlights below, this week we made important progress with student transcripts and English Learner reclassification notices. However, there are still major challenges with the actual reclassification process. Fixing this is a top priority.

Our schools need to have current and accurate information for every student at all times, and our work will continue in earnest as long as there is more we can do to achieve this goal.

Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines


Key Updates and Highlights

Grades and Graduation Standards
• Program bugs related to student transcripts have been resolved; the team is doing some final testing at some of the District’s largest secondary schools to verify that transcripts are functioning correctly.
English Learners.
• The system is now ready to generate reclassification notices and cumulative folder labels for English Learners. However, the rosters that list students ready to reclassify are not yet functioning correctly. This is a top priority item, and the team is working closely with the Office of Multilingual and Multicultural Education every day to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
• Student home language data inaccuracies were corrected in time to meet state reporting requirements.

Attendance
• Due to some unanticipated network problems on Thursday morning, employees were unable to access MiSiS and other systems between 8 and 9 a.m.; schools are reminded that whenever MiSiS is unavailable for any reason, it is critical to take attendance manually and update in MiSiS as soon as possible.
• This week we saw the sharpest drop to date in the attendance backlog. Our records show that 500 of our schools have reduced their attendance backlogs to zero and are taking attendance for every student, every period, every day as required. Our educational service centers and technical staff are providing support as needed to schools where there are still backlogs in attendance data.
Scheduling
• The scheduling team has been working very closely with administrators of the District’s independent study program, which has unique scheduling requirements. This week they reached an important consensus about correct scheduling processes and are moving forward accordingly.
School and Student Services
• A program bug that prevented Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) psychologists from saving comments in the system has now been corrected.
• The system now generates student office summons reports that are correct and readable.

Upcoming Milestones
• February 19 to March 6 – Second reporting period for elementary grades
• March 6 – Certification deadline for California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS)
• March 10 – Master scheduling for 2015-16 begins (pending Board approval of the 2015-16 calendar)
• March 10 – Smarter Balanced Testing begins at most schools
• March 12-20 – Mid-term for spring; most summer school enrollment begins during this period
• March 17 & 18 – March California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) administration