Snapshot: Last Friday in October

Facts Behind Snapshot

The foundation of PEIMS as outlined in Texas Education Code §42.006 is the opportunity for each school and district to tell the story of the students served.  For Texas public schools, their are four submissions with the first being based on a specific moment in time known as “snapshot.” The Texas Education Agency has designated the last Friday of October as snapshot day and the time in which each LEA district shares a part of their story with the state and the general public.  There are almost 100 separate data elements regarding the day of snapshot.  This data is used to finalize accountability for the prior year and help assist the state plan and prepare for the upcoming school year.

Snapshot Overview

Snapshot is reported during Submission 1 and represents the state of the LEAs. Keep in mind that data reported for Snapshot represents the district as a whole and does not separate the data by individual campuses. Although the Fall Snapshot Date may not be a day of instruction, LEAs still report all students served and staff employed on that date.  This data provides a baseline for state planning and reports student leavers and dropouts.

State Planning

Keep in mind that snapshot is not about what students are present or absent.  Instead, snapshot is about the overall enrollment of students within the LEA and individual programs students participate.  For example, any student who is enrolled in Special Education, the Bilingual Program, or Gifted and Talented on or before the snapshot date is reported during the fall submission.  If a student enrolls in school or a special program after the last Friday in October, that student is not reported during the fall submission.  The reason is because the state is using the data to plan but not necessarily to receive funding.

Student Leavers

Per the Texas Education Data Standards, students who previously attended a Texas public school must re-enroll by the last Friday in September which is known as the end of the “School Start Window.” That date has been pushed back for the 2017-2018 school year to the last Friday in October due to Hurricane Harvey. The result is that any student who has not been designated a leaver code other than ’98’ will be considered a dropout and negatively impact the district’s leaver accountability.

Preparing for Snapshot

Because snapshot addresses both leavers and planning, it’s important to carefully review your reports within your Student Management System and to compare those reports with those found within the TSDS PEIMS system.  It’s also important to have multiple eyes review these reports and have your program overseers and campus administrators sign off that the reports are accurate.  After all, these reports begin the 2018-2019 chapter of your story. Here are some important questions to consider when preparing your snapshot data:

  • What is my enrollment for the last Friday in October and is that number reflected in all reports?
  • Have all newly enrolled students who qualify for Special Education been inputted in the Student Management Software? Are they reporting in the TSDS PEIMS system?
  • Have all students who qualify for special programs (i.e.: At-Risk, Gifted and Talented, Title I, ESL/ELL) been entered? Does documentation within the student’s cumulative folders support the codes and services being reported?
  • Review the potential leaver list in the TSDS PEIMS and PET systems.  Should any of the students on these lists have a code outside of a ’98-Other’? (Remember that a Code 98 means there is no other documentation that would justify a different code.  Just because a student is a 98 does not mean they are a dropout, just a “potential dropout/leaver.”  The student who is reported with a “98-Other” and enrolls in another Texas school will not be considered a dropout.  Therefore, it’s important to have strong documentation to support the whereabouts of students who do not return to your LEA.)
  • Have all program specialists reviewed the reports in the Student Management System and the TSDS PEIMS system to confirm enrollment and qualifications of each student?

Final Thoughts

Even though snapshot is an important date, it’s only a single day within the overall year that students are served.  Data Quality for this date is very important as it equates to a first date, first meeting, or initial interview.  It’s a day that you want to report with your best foot forward.  But it is a report of that specific day and not an audit or official visit taking place that day.  In fact, even if an LEA is not in session on snapshot, the LEA will still report data that holds true for the snapshot day. The absence of a teacher, PEIMS Clerk, Special Program Director, or student on the last Friday in October will not have a negative impact on the charter’s first submission.  But, for many PEIMS Coordinators, this date is used as the final deadline so that reports can be printed and the above questions can be asked to ensure the charter is, in fact, placing its best foot forward when the final data is submitted in December.

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