Updated 9/2/2020 6:30 PM
NOTE: This is an update to a previous communication about new CDE Guidelines provided to SIS vendors on Aug. 27, 2020
** The free overview webinar sessions information, slide decks, and recordings are listed at the bottom of this document **
Staff at Aeries Software have continued to engage with the CDE and learn more about the expectations for schools this year. Since our last email on 8/27, we have learned some key information that we would like to share concerning the accounting of Daily Participation and Weekly Engagement during the 2020-2021 school year for Online, In Person, and Hybrid Instruction of students.
The big news is that if schools follow some basic guidelines, they do not need to use paper records and physical signatures to properly account for Daily Participation, Weekly Engagement, and Instructional Time Certification. We are making adjustments to Aeries that we plan to release in the next 2 weeks.
Steps for ensuring your schools meet accountability requirements:
(1) Assignment Tracking
All classes (at all grade levels) must use a system or method for tracking assignments given to students on every day of remote instruction. This can be in the Aeries Gradebook, a Learning Management System, or any digital system that can be accessed later if a school undergoes an audit. The important part of this is that EVERY day of remote instruction is accounted for.
(2) Lesson Plans / Daily Syllabi
All classes (at all grade levels) must maintain daily lesson plans and/or syllabi for every day on remote instruction. If maintained by a teacher, this can be stored in a Learning Management System, recorded in the Aeries Gradebook, maintained by the district, or stored in a shared network or online drive.
(3) Class Calendars for Tracking of Daily Instructional Delivery Method (NEW FEATURE IN AERIES)
The method(s) of delivering instruction and assignments in each class must be maintained for every day of the 2020-2021 school year. This can be done by using a new feature in Aeries called "Class Calendars". This new feature, which should be made available to schools early in September, allows a school to define an unlimited number of "Class Calendars" that each defines on which days a class meets and the instructional methods delivered on each day of the school year. Classes (both elementary and secondary) can be linked to these Class Calendars. This feature will ensure that there is an accounting of how students were instructed throughout the year, a critical part of any audit in the future.
(4) Class Attendance
Teachers must continue to track attendance as they have in previous years. COVID-19 - Attendance Features for SY 2020-2021. These guidelines have been updated a few times so far this summer as new information has been disseminated from the state. We are currently working on a new portal option to allow teachers to Mass Add Attendance Codes.
(5) Attendance Notes (NEW FEATURE IN AERIES)
Create Attendance Note Codes for "Distance Learning Engagement Types" in your Attendance Notes area of Aeries (ATN.CD). Use the new "Quick Attendance Notes" feature to allow your teachers to easily indicate which daily engagement types a student performed each day in their classes. This feature was being released with the 8/28 update to Aeries. We are currently working on a new portal option to allow teachers to Mass Add Attendance Notes.
(6) Instructional Minutes Certification (NEW FEATURE IN AERIES)
Teachers must certify each week, the daily instructional minutes for their class(es). They can do this by filling out a form similar to the recently released CDE Template for Daily Participation and Weekly Engagement (specifically, section D). Alternately, the school can use a new feature being developed for Aeries called Weekly Instructional Minutes Certification. This new feature will be released in early September.
(7) Electronic Attendance Accounting Certification
Any school wishing to store all the above information electronically and not have to print and have teacher physically sign a Daily Participation and Weekly Engagement Report can instead follow the standards detailed by the CDE for Electronic Attendance Accounting. Schools already certified for this must continue with their previously approved procedures. Schools not previously certified can comply with the guidelines and get a letter from their auditor attesting that the school will be following those procedures. Procedures for Aeries are also available.
(8) Daily Participation and Weekly Engagement Report (Only required if not following any of the above methods for electronic accounting)
If any of items 1-7 can not be completed, a school must have all teachers print, fill out, and sign a Daily Participation and Weekly Engagement report. The school may use the template produced by the CDE, create their own, or use the one being developed for Aeries. The new report, called the "Weekly Engagement Report" will be similar to the Weekly Attendance Report currently available in Aeries but will contain additional content that is consistent with the information on the "Combine Daily Participation and Weekly Engagement Template" that CDE recently published. It will be made available in an Aeries update in Early September. This report will attempt to fill in as much information as possible. It will pull data from Class Calendars, Gradebook, Attendance, Attendance Notes, and Weekly Instructional Minutes Certifications. If any of that information is not available, the teacher will need to manually record the required information on the printed paper. This report will need to be run for all school weeks during the 2020-2021 school year.
IMPORTANT NOTE - These recommendations are just one possible way of handling CDE requirements. If you would like to pursue alternative methods, please refer to CDE documentation and their FAQ.
We are also continuing to engage with the CDE and our customers to make adjustments to Aeries in response to the quickly changing educational landscape this year. These recommendations are based on the best available information as of 8/31/2020.
Upcoming FREE Overview Webinars Scheduled:
Side Deck for All Sessions: https://aeriessoftware.sharepoint.com/:b:/g/ESI2ll_4BlJBjskSEqCYt-gBPn5ay1Xq2QUM0hVWlOFFDw
Tuesday, September 1, 2020, @ 1:00pm
Wednesday, September 2, 2020 @ 3:00pm
Thursday, September 3, 2020, @ 3:00pm
FAQs compiled from these webinars can found here.