Information - National Origin questions in Aeries Online Enrollment and CALPADS process changes

It has come to our attention that several school districts in California have recently received letters from the California Department of Justice, office of the Attorney General, regarding Compliance with California Law and the Attorney General Model Policies for K-12 Schools. A press release on this topic was also released by the Attorney General.

These policies prohibit school districts from collecting information related to national origin at the time of enrollment.  However, since many data elements in this category are required for various state and federal reporting purposes, schools may solicit this information separately from the school enrollment process.

Several customers have contacted us requesting that we make modifications to Aeries Online Enrollment to not ask any questions related to national origin to become compliant.

We are committed to assisting districts in being compliant with these laws and policies.  As a result, we will be making an immediate change to Aeries Online Enrollment to, by default, not ask any questions related to national origin such as Place of Birth and US School Entry Date.  We are also considering adding the ability to collect this information as part of the Data Confirmation process.

A secondary issue related to CALPADS has also come up: Birth Country (SENR 1.21/SINF 2.22) is a required data element to enroll a student and obtain an SSID.  We have been in communication with CALPADS, and they will soon be releasing guidance and possibly make some adjustments to their system regarding the birth country field.  Since birth country is still required for CALPADS at this time, our recommendation is to adjust the code translations for the STU.BCU field to map Aeries code Blank to CALPADS code UU-Unknown.  After obtaining the correct birth country for the student, Aeries and CALPADS would need to be updated.

We appreciate the information that we have been provided regarding this issue.  Should you need any assistance with adjusting your codes or anything else, please contact Aeries Support.

Update 3/6/2019: CALPADS has released Update Flash #151 on this issue, confirming the above information:

Update 3/12/2019: We will be making an additional adjustment to Aeries Online Enrollment to remove the Country field from the previous school information collected on the Other District Enrollments page. We are also adjusting the State field to be a drop-down of only US States. We plan to release this update by the end of March 2019.

Update 3/25/2019: A version of Aeries Online Enrollment has just been released which will remove the Country field from the Other District Enrollments page. The State field is now a free-text 2-character field.

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On page 12 it does specifically state, "Where any law contemplates submission of national origin related information to satisfy the requirements of a special program, [local educational agency] personnel shall solicit that documentation or information separately from the school enrollment process"

Good afternoon Kevin,

Is there an ETA on this change? My ed services office contacted me about this letter and would like to have this option removed from our online enrollment. Any further information or update you can provide would be much appreciated.

Thank you,

Sean Riley

Hi Sean,

The following changes to Online Enrollment are being tested now and will ship once they pass Quality Control:

  • Add 4 new options:
    1. Ask US School Enter Date
    2. Ask US Pre-School Enter Date
    3. Ask CA School Enter Date
    4. Ask Birth Place
  • Support new gender codes

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Thank you for such a quick response, I will pass the update along.

Today's update of Online Enrollment includes new options to hide these fields from parents. They will default to off (hidden from parents) after the update is applied. This update and revision notes will be posted to our website shortly. The new options are highlighted in the screenshot below:

Here is updated documentation on these new settings.

How/does this affect our verification process of asking to see the child's birth certificate? It's used to verify the legal name, gender, birthdate of the child. I would assume we can collect the birthplace from this document and record it?

Hi Jan, I'm not sure if it's acceptable to obtain the birthplace information from the birth certificate if it is provided. As far as I can tell, that specific workflow was not mentioned in the policies or in the letters that we have seen. That might be one of those things that is subject to interpretation, or you might need to reach out to the authorities for clarification. If you do find clarification, feel free to share.

Good afternoon Kevin,

We are an Aeries hosted customer and have not yet seen this update hit AIR. Is this something we need to request to have updated from support? Please let me know.

Thank you,

Sean Riley

Sean, you don't have to request the updates from Support, since they happen automatically. There is sometimes a few days delay from the time they are released until the time the updates are applied to allow for applying updates during maintenance windows. I checked with Support and it sounds like it will be updated this evening around 10PM.

Okie doke, thank you.

This is great information.  The problem in Data Confirmation is of course how to add it but not let the parents keep changing it, kind of like the address...Although the first time if it was blank it would need to allow someone to enter the information and what type of verification is needed? 

thanks for addressing this, Aeries!

In addition to mapping CALPADS Translations so that blank means UU-Unknown, I also need to make that field no longer "Required". This is still done in AeriesCS, correct?

Jan, To allow blanks you will need to make the birth country field not required. That is still currently done by using the Define Required Fields form in Aeries Client, although we do have that page in the works to be converted to Aeries Web soon.

Thanks Kevin. I did that, and also figured out I had to add a new record in the Code Table first for BCU to hold the actual blank, in order to add that record in the CALPADS code translations. Need more coffee...

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