Superintendent's Weekly Update: MiSiS

No programmatic effort can succeed unless there is effective communication with all stakeholders.

Recognizing this, the MiSiS team has been working closely with a Communications Taskforce—including the Office of Communications and Media Relations—to carry out a comprehensive communications management plan. The strategy is to promote consistent and timely communications among the project team, MiSiS business owners (those who shape and implement policies involving student information), MiSiS users, and the general public. Communications activities will include some that you are familiar with—such as the weekly update you are reading now—as well as new efforts to fill communications gaps.

An important example of this work is the updated MiSiS website released this week, which provides a more visual and user-friendly experience while highlighting some of the human faces behind MiSiS. The new website serves as a gateway for a variety of information needs, including general information about the project, updates on fixes and enhancements, training opportunities, and—perhaps most importantly—tools our employees can use to discuss MiSiS with their peers or to let us know how we’re doing.

I encourage you to review the new website at, ask questions, offer suggestions, and let us know whether your experiences with MiSiS are getting better or if they are falling short. This tool—among others we are shaping—plays an important role in facilitating our work as a team, ultimately providing what we need to support our students.

Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines

Key Updates and Highlights

System Performance
• There was brief unplanned downtime on Thursday morning due to a technical issue with supporting equipment. Although our technicians were able to resolve the problem in 30 minutes, investigations into the cause of the downtime are ongoing in effort to improve the integrity of the system and reduce the chances of unplanned outages going forward.
English Learners
• Schools can now use MiSiS to reclassify and print parent notification letters for English Learners in grades 2 through 5 and 10 through 12. Reclassifying students in grades 6 through 9 is not yet available in MiSiS, as the process is dependent in part on a reading assessment managed by a vendor. We are working closely with the vendor on data transfer issues needed to reclassify those students.

• Elementary teachers have successfully entered over seven million grades during the current grading window.
• The team corrected a problem early in the week that had prevented teacher comments from translating into the correct home languages on student report cards; all report cards—including comments—are now provided to parents in the correct home languages.

• Schools are now able to see the correct Guardian Information in the Student Transfer Form and the Student Profile.
Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)
• Schools can now view columns for Highly Gifted and Highly Gifted Applicable in GATE search results.

• There are approximately 660 schools (roughly 75%) that have zero to minimal attendance backlog and are taking attendance correctly for every student in every class period.
• Remaining schools have made steady progress in addressing the attendance backlog; the District-wide backlog has dropped 18% in the last two weeks.

• The scheduling team is working to improve the master scheduling process for the 2015-2016 school year and working closely with the training team to incorporate the revised process into upcoming trainings.
• The 2015-2016 school calendar year will be open for master scheduling after the Board of Education approves the school calendar.

Upcoming Milestones
• March 6 – The second reporting period for elementary grades ends today.
• March 6 – Today is the 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 – The March California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) is administered.