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: https://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sp/cl/calpadsupdflash151.asp
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.
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...
We received another response from the AG's office. They replied with: "we notice that on pages 7-8 of the District’s enrollment package ask for the country where a child attended school." They want the country box on this page to also be removed. The field they are referring to is on the "Register-10.aspx" page when asking for the student's previous schools. Do we have access to change that or is it going to be another programming request? Please advise.
Sean, on the Other District Enrollment page, the name and location (address) of previous schools are asked, however the Other District Enrollment section is optional for parents to populate. If the parent happens to provide this information, it is useful for matching purposes as well as for requesting cumulative records from other schools.
Good afternoon again Kevin,
I have spoken to Lee Sherman, Deputy Attorney General in more depth about this. He says this box needs to be removed even though it is optional. I can share these emails and contact info with you if you need them. Please let me know how I can start the process of getting these country boxes removed.
I wonder if it can be fixed by just having a free-form Address field? Many don't know the official address anyway, so guess at much of the items.
I agree with Jan. There are many times where AIR is requiring more information than the parent knows at the time of enrollment (they may be enrolling at school on their phone and looking up the contact name at the old school is a little tedious) and they end up making up information so they can get to the next step.
One more thing; if they start to enter previous school info, the Country field comes back as a Required field to continue.
We too have been contacted by the AG office to have Aeries remove the
'Country' field removed from the previous school screen. Here's their comment:
Will there be another update to address this?
@Terri - We received your ticket on the same matter. We'll update your ticket, as well as this forum thread with any relevant information.
Update: CALPADS today has released CALPADS Update FLASH #151 on this issue: https://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sp/cl/calpadsupdflash151.asp
Kevin, any idea when Online Enrollment can either delete the required Country field be deleted/hidden or the Address fields changed to just one long free-text field?
@Jan - As mentioned before, we'll update this forum thread with any relevant information. We are discussing this issue again next week.
We have discussed this further, and we will be making an additional adjustment to Aeries Online Enrollment. We will be removing 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 right away, by the end of March 2019.
Thanks Kevin, great to hear. Do you know if they are going to also make the State and ZIP fields NOT required?