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"Catch-All" Chrome Extension Silently Steals Your Data

A new malicious Google Chrome extension steals any data victims enter into any website they visit reports the security team over at Barkly.com.

Malicious browser extensions are unfortunately nothing new, but a newly discovered example analyzed by Morphus Labs Chief Research Officer Renato Marinho is a good indication of how advanced and dangerous they're becoming.

Appropriately dubbed "Catch-All," this malicious Google Chrome extension captures all the data posted by its victims — including usernames, passwords, etc. — on any website they visit and transmits it into the hands of cyber criminals.

Read the entire article at Barkly.com.

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CDE E-Rate News Flash October 20, 2017 Issue 17-13

E-Rate News Flash

E-rate Funding Year 16 (2016–17) Invoicing Deadline

Monthly recurring services received between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 have an invoicing deadline of October 30, 2017. Invoicing is accomplished using one of two methods.

     1.  The local education agency (LEA) submits the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Form 472, also known as the Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) form, to the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to receive reimbursement, after each invoice is paid in full.
     2.   The Service Provider submits FCC Form 474, also known as the Service Provider Invoice (SPI) form, to the SLD for reimbursement on the discounted portion of the product or service provided to the LEA.

The LEA may request a one-time invoice deadline extension if either the LEA or the Service Provider need additional time to complete invoicing. A one-time extension of 120 days can be requested, but must be requested prior to the deadline of October 30, 2017.

LEAs that use the BEAR method for reimbursement must also have:

     1.  A Personal Identification Number (PIN) to access the online FCC Form 472.
     2.  An approved FCC Form 498 on file to receive a direct reimbursement from USAC.

    A detailed discussion of how to complete the invoicing process can be found in the October 6, 2017 Schools and Libraries Program (SLP) News Brief, which is posted on the SLP's Training and Outreach Web page at http://usac.org/sl/tools/news-briefs/preview.aspx?id=791.

    E-rate Funding Year 17 (2017–18) FCC Form 486 Deadline

    LEAs that have received a Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) on or before July 1, 2017 have a deadline of October 30, 2017 to submit the FCC Form 486. The general rule for calculating the deadline for this form is 120 days after the start of services, or 120 days after the date the FCDL was posted. LEAs receiving an FCDL after July 1 can calculate the FCC Form 486 deadline using this general rule.

    Missing this deadline can result in a loss of funds. A detailed discussion of how to submit the FCC Form 486 can be found in the October 13, 2017 SLP News Brief, which is posted on the SLP's Training and Outreach Web page at http://usac.org/sl/tools/news-briefs/preview.aspx?id=796.

    New guidance for the FCC Form 470

    The August 22, 2017 Special Edition News Brief issued by the SLP discussed new drop-down menu options on the FCC Form 470. This simplification was implemented so that LEAs would have a better understanding of what they are required to bid on in the event they were seeking certain fiber options for transport services. The August 22, 2017 Special Edition News Brief can be accessed from the SLP's Training and Outreach Web page at http://usac.org/sl/tools/news-briefs/preview.aspx?id=786.

    Although simplification was attained in most instances, the new drop-down menu has created confusion regarding the option of "Internet Access and Transport Bundled". This option has, in the past, been considered technology neutral since the means of transport was not defined. Service Providers could submit proposals containing any method of transport as long as it resulted in a service that delivered Internet access to the LEA.

    The new guidance for LEAs seeking technology neutral bids is to select both "Internet Access and Transport Bundled" and "Leased Lit Fiber". LEAs that select only "Internet Access and Transport Bundled" on the FCC Form 470 will be denied funding if the winning Service Provider delivers the bundled internet access over fiber. Service Providers may inadvertently respond with proposals for Wide Area Network (WAN) services, since that is what the "Leased Lit Fiber" selection has meant historically. LEAs are encouraged to use the "Narrative" section of the FCC Form 470 to provide clarification to the Service Provider. Maintain a copy of all proposals received in order to ensure compliance with program rules.

    Additionally, the new guidance makes it apparent that LEAs should request that Service Providers include the delivery method and speed of the Internet access in their proposals. LEAs can use the "Narrative" section of the FCC Form 470 to notify Service Providers of this requirement. LEAs have the option of posting a Request for Proposal (RFP) in addition to posting the FCC Form 470. In this case, these requirements can be specified in the RFP to ensure that Service Providers are aware of the requirement.

    Detailed definitions for each drop-down menu option in the FCC Form 470 are available in the FCC Form 470 User Guide. Access the Form 470 User Guide from the SLP's Forms Web page at http://usac.org/_res/documents/sl/pdf/e-rate-productivity-center/Filing-FCC-Form-470.pdf.

    Additional Information & Support

    The SLP, commonly known as E-rate, provides timely information and insight through their Weekly News Brief. If you have not already done so, we encourage you to sign up to receive these communications by visiting the SLP's Web page at http://www.usac.org/sl/tools/news-briefs/Default.aspx .

    You can subscribe to the California Department of Education (CDE) E-rate e-mail listserv by sending a "blank" message to . If you would like to unsubscribe from the CDE E-rate listserv, send a "blank" message to

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New Chronic Absentee Intervention Program offered through West (Makers of SchoolMessenger)

To help schools combat chronic absenteeism, West's SchoolMessenger solutions today launched its Chronic Absenteeism Intervention Program (CAIP). CAIP combines the proven elements of SchoolMessenger Communicate, the most-trusted K-12 notification service, and SafeArrival, a unique student attendance management tool, with a set of professional services that support schools as they plan and implement a program to reduce chronic absenteeism.

The impact of chronic absenteeism is well documented. A U.S. Department of Education study, "Chronic Absenteeism in the Nation's Schools," revealed that students who are chronically absent in preK-1 grades are much less likely to read at grade level by the third grade, and a study of Utah public high school students found that even one year of chronic absenteeism was associated with a 7X increase in school dropout.

However, research and experience demonstrate that a tiered intervention approach can reduce chronic absenteeism, including by building awareness, encouraging families, providing support and engaging students. A recent Teachers College, Columbia University, experimental study of 22 West Virginia middle and high schools sent automated text-message alerts to parents about their child's class absences, increasing attendance by 17 percent.

Building on this evidence, the components of CAIP are uniquely designed to help schools develop and deploy a customized, preventive family messaging program to reduce absenteeism that meets their local needs. 

Full Story:  https://www.schoolmessenger.com/cms/One.aspx?portalId=14462&pageId=200986


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Serious flaw discovered in WPA2 security protocol

Several tech news outlets are reporting this morning on the discovery of a new vulnerability that basically destroys WPA2 as a security protocol.  The exploits, which are explained in detail on the KrackAttacks.com website, use a weakness to read information assumed to be safely encrypted.  The most troubling aspect of this attack, in addition to it now being widely known, is how widespread the use of this security protocol is, and how many systems this will ultimately impact.  

Also, changing the passwords will have no effect (unless those passwords were so easy as to be hacked through traditional methods).  But this newly discovered exploit can attack even the most complex passwords because it simply found a work around and gains access despite the existance of a password.  Therefore the only true "fix" will be patches coming from router / wi-fi vendors.  

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USAC Schools and Libraries News Brief October 13, 2017

Commitments for Funding Years 2017 and 2016

Funding Year 2017. USAC is scheduled to release Funding Year (FY) 2017 Wave 21 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on October 20. As of October 13, FY2017 commitments total over $1.48 billion.

Funding Year 2016. USAC is scheduled to release Wave 66 FCDLs on October 17. As of October 13, FY2016 commitments total just under $2.91 billion.

On the date that FCDLs are issued, you can access your FCDL notification from the Notifications section of your landing page in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC).

FCC Releases FY2018 Eligible Services List
On October 5, 2017, in Public Notice DA 17-973, the FCC released the Eligible Services List (ESL) for Funding Year (FY) 2018. Appendix A contains a list of commenters, and Appendix B contains the ESL itself.

EPC Update
USAC deployed some minor changes to EPC this past weekend. Please make a note of the following:

FCC Form 470
When an applicant creates a new Funding Request Number (FRN) and selects either "Leased Dark Fiber and Leased Lit Fiber" or "Self-Provisioned Networks and Services Provided Over Third Party Networks":
• The applicant can enter information for both service types on a single screen.
• There will be separate rows created for both services in the Service Request table.
• If the applicant chooses to edit one of the service types, both service types will be presented for editing.
• If the applicant attempts to remove one of the service types they will be prompted that both will be removed if they continue.
• The FCC Form 470 PDF and the Records area will show both rows of services as in the Service Request table.

FCC Form 500
• For an FCC Form 500 being filed for a funding year before FY2016, the caption "FCC Form 500 Number" has been corrected to "Funding Year." Applicants should indicate the funding year to which their FCC Form 500 applies.
• Additional information on FCC Form 500 change types can be found by clicking the More Info link next to the type of change you are requesting and a More Info section will appear at the bottom of the General Information screen.

FCC Form 486
• FRNs that were filed on an FCC Form 486 and later canceled can now be re-filed.
• Service provider CSV .486 files now display "0.00" if the pre-discount cost field is empty.

Entity profiles
• Entity hyperlinks in the applicant profile for a library system now link correctly to the individual entities.

FCC Form 486 Reminders
After applicants have received an FCDL with a positive funding commitment and services have started for the funding year, they must file an FCC Form 486. The FCC Form 486 must be filed no later than 120 days after the date services began or 120 days after the date of the FCDL, whichever is later.

For those of you who have not yet filed your FCC Form 486 for FY2017, we are providing the following reminders:

Filing an FCC Form 486

• In general, applicants file FCC Form 486 in EPC. To start a form, you can click the link labeled FCC Form 486 at the top of your landing page in EPC.
• For commitments from FY2015 and previous funding years, applicants file FCC Form 486 in the legacy system. Go to the Apply for E-rate page on the USAC website, scroll to the FCC Form 486 section, choose Start Your Form (FY2015 and Prior) from the dropdown menu, and click GO.

When you file your FCC Form 486 in EPC, you will see the following screens:

1. Create FCC Form 486
On the first screen, you are asked for three pieces of information:
• Nickname – choose a nickname that will help you differentiate this form from other forms you may file.
• Funding Year – choose 2017.
• Main Contact Person – Designate the person best able to answer any questions about this form.
Click Continue after you have completed all of your entries.

2. Select FRNs
On this screen, you will see a list of all of the FRNs for which you can file an FCC Form 486. The list will only include funded FRNs filed by your billed entity from the funding year you specified on the previous screen.
• Choose the FRN(s) you want to include on this FCC Form 486. First check the box to the left of each FRN. The caption on the button at the bottom of the list will change to Add (x) FRNs where (x) is the number of FRNs you have selected.
• If you have a large number of FRNs, you can limit the list by specifying search criteria and performing a search.
• You can add all of the FRNs on the list by clicking the Add All (x) FRNs button at the top of the list.
After you click one of the add FRNs buttons, you will see the FRNs you have selected in the Selected FRNs section at the bottom of the screen. At this point you can delete FRNs from the list you selected or add FRNs from the list above.
When you are satisfied with your list, click Continue.

3. Service Information
On this screen, you specify the service start date for the FRN(s) you selected.
• Unless you specified a different service start date on your FCC Form 471, you will see July 1, 2017 as the service start date for your services for each FRN.
• To change the service start date, check the box next to the FRN(s) you would like to change, enter the new service start date, and click the Update Selected FRNs Start Date button. All selected FRNs will change to the service start date you enter, so if you have multiple service start date changes, you will have to change the FRNs one at a time.
• You cannot enter a service start date before July 1, 2017.
• After you have provided accurate service start dates for the FRN(s) included on this form, click Continue.

4. Early Filing and CIPA Waiver
Applicants can file the FCC Form 486 early – that is, before services start – if certain conditions are met. However, early filing is not permitted after July 31 of a funding year. Because July 31, 2017 has passed, do not check this box if you are filing now.
The CIPA waiver on this page is very specific. Applicants should only check this box if they are unable to make the certifications required by the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) because their state or local procurement rules or regulations or competitive bidding requirements prevent the making of the certification(s) otherwise required. If this statement does not apply to you and you cannot accurately make this certification, do not check this box.

5. Certifications and CIPA Certifications
Along with the other program certifications, you must complete the appropriate CIPA certification. We suggest that you review your work carefully – especially the CIPA certification – to make sure that all of your answers are accurate. For more information on the requirements of CIPA, you can refer to the CIPA page on the USAC website.

For members of a consortium or in other situations where the entity filing the FCC Form 486 is not the Administrative Authority for purposes of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), recipients of service may need to file the FCC Form 479, Certification of Administrative Authority to Billed Entity of Compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act, with the entity that will file the FCC Form 486 on their behalf. In this situation, the FCC Form 479 provides the information necessary for the Billed Entity to complete the appropriate CIPA certification(s) and successfully submit the FCC Form 486.
After you have checked the appropriate certifications, you can preview your form by clicking the Preview button.

6. Preview
From this screen you can preview your form.
• If all of the information is correct and you are a full-rights user, you can certify the form by clicking the Certify button at the bottom of the screen. You can use the Back button to make corrections.
• A partial-rights user must send the form to full-rights users for certification by clicking the Send for Certification button. This will create a task for all full-rights users, one of whom must accept the task and follow the steps in the bullet above.
• You can also use the Print Preview function to print a copy of your form.
• Once you click the Certify button, you can no longer edit the information on your form.

7. Certify
The full-rights user who certifies the form will get a confirmation on his or her screen that the form has been certified. USAC will also create the following notifications, which will appear in the Notifications section of the organization's landing page:
• The FCC Form 486 Certification notification can be generated shortly after the form is certified to notify the organization that the form has been received by USAC.
• The FCC Form 486 Notification Letter can be generated after USAC has reviewed and approved the FCC Form 486. The service provider(s) for the FRN(s) will also be able to access the associated electronic notification (.486 CSV file).
• The day after the date of the FCC Form 486 Notification Letter, the FCC Form 486 Service Start Date field in the FRN Status Tool will be populated with the service start date reported for each FRN on the FCC Form 486.

We strongly encourage you to complete and certify your FCC Form 486 in a timely manner.

Invoicing Reminders
Applicants and service providers who have been successfully filing invoices – FCC Form 472, Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement Form (BEAR Form) or FCC Form 474, Service Provider Invoice Form (SPI Form) – on a regular basis can continue to file invoices as appropriate to complete the invoicing process for FY2016 recurring services by the invoice deadline.
Applicants who are only now realizing that this deadline is approaching and are not prepared to meet it should review the following steps and take the appropriate actions. Those actions are detailed in the October 6 SL News Brief.

• See if you need to file BEAR Forms.
• If you do, get a PIN NOW.
• Request an invoice deadline extension, even if you do not think you will need it.
• Complete and certify an FCC Form 498.
• Submit your banking information and then follow up with USAC.
• Complete and certify your BEAR Forms.

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EdSource releases map of homeless student rates in CA schools

This is a truly fascinating use of "big data."   Kudos to Daniel Willis over at EdSource for creating a map that highlights where student homelessness is greatest throughout the state.  You can see the map here at this link:  https://edsource.org/2017/california-map-shows-hot-spots-of-homeless-students/588165.  To my memory this is the first time I have seen an actual "heat map" of the geographical locations where student homelessness is more pervasive than other areas.  Hopefully with the LCFF process additional resources will flow to these students and these schools to have a positive impact on their learning and continuity of educational services.  This is just one example of how the state's data system, CALPADS, can produce updated and actionable information to Calfornia educators and decision makers.



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USAC E-Rate News Brief October 6, 2017

Commitments for Funding Years 2017 and 2016

Funding Year 2017. USAC is scheduled to release Funding Year (FY) 2017 Wave 20 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on October 12. As of October 6, FY2017 commitments total over $1.43 billion.

Funding Year 2016. USAC is scheduled to release Wave 65 FCDLs on October 10. As of October 6, FY2016 commitments total over $2.90 billion.

On the date that FCDLs are issued, you can access your FCDL notification from the Notifications section of your landing page in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC).

Update on Fall Training

USAC will be conducting in-person E-rate training sessions for 2017 at these four locations:

Washington, DC area on October 10

National 4-H Conference Center
7100 Connecticut Avenue
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Charlotte, North Carolina on October 24

Central Piedmont Community College
Performing Arts and Event Facilities
1206 Elizabeth Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28204

Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 2

Location information will be posted shortly on the registration page

Portland, Oregon on November 14

DoubleTree Hotel Portland
1000 NE Multnomah
Portland, Oregon 97232

You can register for any of these training sessions from the Upcoming Events section of the Trainings & Outreach page on the USAC website.

After you have registered for a specific training session, please continue to monitor the page for that session, as we will continue to provide more details as they become available.

Note that attendees will make their own arrangements for hotels and meals.

Reminders on the Upcoming Invoice Deadline for FY2016 Recurring Services

Applicants and service providers who have been successfully filing invoices – FCC Form 472, Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement Form (BEAR Form) or FCC Form 474, Service Provider Invoice Form (SPI Form) – on a regular basis can continue to file invoices as appropriate to complete the invoicing process for FY2016 recurring services by the invoice deadline.

Applicants who are only now realizing that this deadline is approaching and are not prepared to meet it should review the following steps, read the details below the steps, and take the appropriate actions:

  • See if you need to file BEAR Forms – Item 1.
  • If you do, get a PIN NOW – Item 2.
  • Request an invoice deadline extension, even if you do not think you will need it – Item 3.
  • Complete and certify an FCC Form 498 – Item 4.
  • Submit your banking information and then follow up with USAC – Item 5.
  • Complete and certify your BEAR Forms – Item 6.

1. Verify that you have been receiving discounted bills from your service provider.

You can choose whether to receive discounted bills from your service provider or to pay the service provider's bills in full and then invoice USAC for the discount amount.

  • For the SPI method, the service provider bills you for the non-discount share of the cost of the service and then invoices USAC for the discount share by filing a SPI Form.
  • For the BEAR method, the service provider bills you for the full cost of the service, you pay the service provider's bill, and then you invoice USAC for the discount share by filing a BEAR Form.

If you did not communicate your choice to your service provider(s), they may have assumed you chose the BEAR method and billed you for the full cost of your services. At this late date, we recommend that you use the BEAR method if your approved discount has never been applied to your bills from the service provider.

2. Request a Personal Identification Number (PIN).

To access the online BEAR Form, you will need a PIN. A PIN is specific to a user and a Billed Entity, so if you file BEAR Forms for more than one Billed Entity, you will need a PIN for each one.

NOTE: If you have a PIN and you can access the online BEAR Form for your Billed Entity, you do not need to request a new one.

  • To create a PIN, open a customer service case in EPC.
  • Download the New PIN Template from the PIN page on the USAC website, even if you only need one PIN.
  • Complete a line on the template for each PIN you are requesting. Avoid adding a space at the beginning or end of each of your entries, and double-check your entries for accuracy.
  • Attach the completed template to your customer service case and click Submit.

We will first verify that you are an authorized user on the organization's account in EPC. If you are, we will create a new PIN for you and mail it to you in a secure mailer at the address you provided in the New PIN Template. It usually takes two to three weeks for you to receive your PIN after you submit your request, but we try to turn PINs around more quickly at this crucial time.

For more information on requesting a PIN, you can refer to the September 15 SL News Brief.

3. Submit an invoice deadline extension request.

Applicants and service providers can receive a single, 120-day extension of the deadline to file an invoice. We suggest that you request one now just in case you need it.

The request MUST be submitted no later than the invoice deadline itself – for most FY2016 recurring services, that deadline is October 30, 2017. We recommend using the Deadline Extension Tool to submit your request.

Applicants access the tool by logging in to the online BEAR Form.

      • Click the Deadline Extension link on the right-hand side of the blue bar at the top of the BEAR Form home page.
      • Set (select) the SPIN you are using if you have more than one SPIN.
      • Click the 472 BEAR Form link on the left-hand side of the home screen.
      • Click the Deadline Extension link on the right-hand side of the blue bar at the top of the BEAR Form home page.Service providers access the tool by logging in to the E-File System.

We will notify you of the status of your request on-screen, and follow up with an email. If your request is approved, the FRN and its extended deadline will show up immediately in the FRN Extension Table.

4. Complete and certify an FCC Form 498.

Before you can file a BEAR Form, you must have a 498 ID. USAC issues this identification number after you certify – and USAC approves – an FCC Form 498.

NOTE: If all of your service providers use the SPI method to invoice USAC, you do not need to file an FCC Form 498.

To complete and certify an FCC Form 498, you need the following:

  • A School or Library Official and a General Financial Contact. Your EPC account administrator assigns these two roles in your organization's profile in EPC. One person can hold both roles. The School or Library Official must be the one to certify your form.
  • Your Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Tax Identification Number (Tax ID). In general, schools and libraries already have a Federal EIN or Tax ID. If the billed entity is not the school or library – for example, if a town or county government files program forms on behalf of a library that does not control its own finances – use the EIN or Tax ID of the appropriate agency.
  • Your Data Universal Numbering System (D-U-N-S) number. DUNS is a proprietary system developed and regulated by Dun & Bradstreet. Dun & Bradstreet will issue a DUNS number without charge to an entity required to register with the federal government for contracts or grants.
  • Your FCC Registration Number. An FCC Registration Number (FCC RN) is required by all entities that do business with the FCC. If you have filed an FCC Form 471 in the last several years, you already have an FCC RN. If not, you can apply for one on the FCC's CORES website. Only the Billed Entity (the entity filing program forms) needs this number.
  • Your bank name, bank account number, and routing number for direct payments. To identify the bank account where you want USAC to send your direct payments, you will be asked to provide these three pieces of information. The bank account you provide cannot be for a bank account owned by a consultant.

For more information on filing the FCC Form 498, you can refer to the August 11 SL News Brief.

5. Provide verification of your banking information to USAC.

After you certify your form, scan and upload a copy of a voided check or a statement from your financial institution that includes your bank name and bank account number. The name on the account must match the name on the FCC Form 498, and the bank account information must match the information on the voided check or bank statement.

  • To upload your documentation, complete the information requested on the Upload Documents page, locate and upload your documentation using the Browse... or Choose File function on that page, and then click the Sendbutton.
  • To fax your documentation to us, create a cover page that includes your billed entity name, your 498 ID (from your certified FCC Form 498), and the contact person's name, email address, and phone number. Fax the cover page and your documentation to us at (888) 637-6226.

To check the status of our review, you can email USAC Customer Support or call us at (888) 641-8722 (choose option 3, then option 2, then option 2 again – ignore the verbal prompts).

We also verify that the EIN or Tax ID you report matches the number you reported on the FCC RN on file with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). We will notify you if there is a mismatch that you must correct.

For more information on our FCC Form 498 review process, you can refer to the August 18 SL News Brief.

6. File your BEAR Forms.

When you are ready to file your form, log in to the online BEAR Form using your PIN, last name, Billed Entity Number, and email address. The information you provide in all four fields must match the information you provided USAC when we issued your PIN.

For assistance in filing this form, you can refer to the FCC Form 472 User Guide and the BEAR Form video in the Invoicing section of the Online Learning Library on the USAC website.

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Desert Sands USD selects Edupoint as new SIS

LA QUINTA, Calif., Oct. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Edupoint® Educational Systems, creator of the industry-leading Synergy Education Platform for K-12 student information, learning management, and assessment, has been selected by Desert Sands Unified School District to implement Edupoint's Synergy® Student Information System (SIS), replacing eSchoolPLUS™ (now owned by PowerSchool®). The district's Synergy solution includes the fully-integrated Synergy Online Registration and Synergy Assessment modules. Desert Sands Unified School District serves approximately 29,000 students at 34 schools in Southern California'sCoachella Valley.

Synergy SIS provides the richest feature set in the industry to help school districts manage student data, improve accuracy, simplify and automate processes, and increase productivity. It provides a built-in teacher portal with robust gradebook, exceptional data access for reporting and analysis, and is highly configurable to match the unique needs of individual districts. The Online Registration module enables parents to enter their child's information into the system conveniently from home, and creates a student record only when the student is accepted at a school. The Assessment module provides a platform for creating and managing formative, benchmark, and summative assessments that students can take online through the StudentVUE web portal or mobile app. Assessment results are analyzed within the module as well, with interactive reports tailored to teachers, principals, and district administrators.

"DSUSD followed a robust, three-tiered evaluation protocol when choosing a new SIS," said Kelly May-Vollmar, Ed.D., Chief Innovation and Information Officer at Desert Sands. "It was vital the company have a strong implementation and training plan, extensive data security measures, and meet an exhaustive list of system functionality requirements. Most importantly, we had to be able to do more for students. Synergy was just what we were looking for in a new system. During the evaluation process, our 60-plus member evaluation panel watched in awe as the Edupoint team demonstrated Synergy's capability. We knew this system was what we wanted for our students and our teachers."

"Desert Sands Unified School District needed a robust SIS and a partner they could count on," said Bob Weathers, Founder and CEO at Edupoint. "The district determined that Synergy SIS was the best match for their requirements based on our solution's rich functionality and Edupoint's proven history as a dedicated partner supporting California districts. We welcome DSUSD as a new client district and look forward to our continued partnership."

About Edupoint Educational Systems:

For over thirty years, the leadership of Edupoint Educational Systems has provided well-designed, technologically-advanced student data management systems that empower all K-12 stakeholders with the tools they need to improve student achievement. The fully-integrated Synergy® Education Platform includes Synergy® SIS, the most powerful K-12 student information system available today, Synergy® LMS, an all-in-one learning and assessment platform, and Synergy® SE, a comprehensive special education data management system. Thousands of schools nationwide choose the Synergy Education Platform to support more than 3.75 million students. Information: http://www.edupoint.com/.

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Happy Census Day!

Census Day is the one day within the Academic Year on which an official enrollment count is taken. For the Fall Calpads data collection, Census Day is the first Wednesday in October. Students who are enrolled in a particular school on this day are counted in various ways towards overall enrollment and additional considerations.
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CALPADS Flash #130, Oct 3, 2017

2017–18 BACK-TO-SCHOOL LETTER

The California Department of Education (CDE) would first like to thank local educational agencies (LEAs) for their dedication and hard work in certifying the 2016–17 End-of- Year (EOY) submissions. LEAs are to be congratulated for meeting the challenge of submitting student absence summary data for the first time and certifying all EOY submissions in August.

The CDE also recognizes that the school year has already started and LEAs are busy enrolling students and scheduling them into classes. The CDE has sent Superintendents and Charter School Administrators the annual Back-to-School letter for data collections, and in that letter we emphasize the importance of executive leadership supporting the mission critical work that you do. You can view this letter, dated September 6, 2017, on the CDE CALPADS Communications Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sp/cl/communications.asp under the "Letters to Superintendents" heading. Additionally, here is a direct link to the letter: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sp/cl/yr1718databts.asp.

FALL 1 SUBMISSION

The Fall 1 certification deadline is December 15, 2017. LEAs should set internal deadlines to ensure their submission is certified on time. The table below provides a suggested timeline that LEAs may use to help them meet the Fall 1 Certification deadline.

​Dates ​Activity
​Now Run the security report in CALPADS (under Admin > User Security, which is only available using the LEA Admin account) to determine if any accounts need to be revoked.  Remove the Anomaly Contact role from an account before it is revoked.  Make sure your anomaly contact is current.  Update CALPADS 2016–17 enrollment records with enrollment end dates.  
​NowUpdate CALPADS 2016–17 enrollment records with enrollment end dates.         
​No Later than October 4th, 2017 Complete Fall 1 data population in local student information system. ​
​ No later than October 27, 2017 ​Upload Student Enrollment (SENR) and Student Program (SPRG) files.  Update students' Student English Language Acquisition Status (ELAS) using the Student English Language Acquisition (SELA) file for students who have had a change in their status.  Review validation errors.  Reconcile data as needed. 
​ No later than November 3, 2017 ​ Post SENR, SINF, SPRG, and SELA files.
​ November 6 – 17, 2017  ​ Review reports.  Reconcile data in reports as needed. 
​ November 20 – December 1, 2017 ​ Send reports to site leaders for approval.
​ December 4 – 15, 2017  ​ Certify Fall 1 data (Level 1 and Level 2).

Fall 1 snapshot reports will begin running in the early morning hours of Wednesday, October 4, and all LEAs should have a snapshot revision by Thursday morning, October 5, at the latest.

LEAs are reminded to indicate which 2016–2017 graduates met the Golden State Seal Merit Diploma and the Seal of Biliteracy. These new indicators will be displayed on reports 1.9, 1.10, 1.11, and 8.1a.

Input Validation Rule (IVR) SENR0269 severity was changed to a warning on October 3, 2017. LEAs are advised to carefully review any SENR0269 warning, as it is essential that enrollment grade levels are within the school's grade span.

REGISTER FOR FALL CALPADS INFORMATION MEETING

Registration is currently open for the CALPADS Information Meeting (CIM) scheduled for Tuesday, October 17, 2017. The meeting will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and will be streamed over the Internet to individual participants. There will be no physical locations for the meeting. If you plan to attend, please register at least 24 hours prior to the meeting on the CSIS October 17, 2017 CALPADS Information Meeting Web page at http://csis.fcmat.org/Pages/October-17-2017-CALPADS-Information- Meeting.aspx. If you will be watching the CIM with others from your organization, please register only one individual. Instructions for joining the meeting will be emailed to those who register in advance of the meeting. There is no cost to participate.

The meeting agenda is also available via the meeting link. The agenda includes a review of the upcoming Fall 1 and Fall 2 submissions as well as updates on Assessment and Accountability. Although attendance is optional, CALPADS administrators and other staff working on CALPADS are encouraged to attend.

Presentation materials will be posted on the October 17, 2017 CIM Meeting Web page (the link provided above) by October 16, 2017. For those unable to attend, a video of the meeting will be posted within a couple of weeks after the meeting. 

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Elpac Update # 7 Sept. 29, 2017

Operational ELPAC Summative Assessment Administration and Scoring Trainings Begin Next Month!

The ELPAC Summative Assessment (SA) Administration and Scoring Trainings will begin on October 24 and continue through December 13. LEA ELPAC Coordinators are responsible for registering participants from their LEA. Coordinators will receive an e-mail the first week of October confirming LEA participants' registration. That e-mail will include a registration code that the Coordinator can use to log on to the registration system at any time this fall and change participants' names as well as add names to the waiting list. Specific registration information is located on the ELPAC Web site, under the "Training" tab. If you have any questions, please contact the ELPAC Customer Support Center by phone at 844-782-2714 or by e-mail at .

ELPAC Test Materials

The CDE is pleased to announce that for grades three through twelve, students will be allowed to write, annotate, and take notes during the test administration, which mirrors good instructional practices. Therefore, LEAs are required to order one ELPAC Test Book for each student in grades three through twelve.

The Moodle Training Site for the ELPAC SA––Coming soon!

The Moodle Training Site (Moodle) for the SA opens on Friday, October 27. LEA ELPAC Coordinators will receive an e-mail in early October regarding Moodle training resources (e.g., training binders, presentations, and videos) for trainers and Speaking quizzes for Test Examiners. Toward the end of October, LEA ELPAC Coordinators will receive an additional e-mail with instructions on how to access their LEA's unique enrollment keys. These keys will allow each LEA ELPAC Coordinator to log into the training courses in Moodle and set up user groups. The LEA ELPAC Coordinator is the only person with access to their LEA's Moodle keys and is, therefore, responsible for distributing the keys to the appropriate staff.

ELPAC Initial Assessment Training Dates to be Posted in October

The dates and locations of the spring 2018 Initial Assessment (IA) trainings will be posted on the ELPAC Web site in October to allow LEAs time to plan accordingly. Seat allocations will be e-mailed to LEA ELPAC Coordinators in December. This training will be a training-of-trainers model and will focus primarily on the local scoring of the IA Writing. It will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for LEAs serving kindergarten through grade twelve; for LEAs serving only grades six through twelve, it will run from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Note that all LEA staff who intend to provide a regional training must attend the 2018 training before conducting training of their own. Registration will open on Thursday, February 1, 2018.

Preparing to Administer the ELPAC––Technology Component

In preparing to administer the ELPAC this spring, note that there now will be streamed audio for the Listening domain as well as one task type in the Speaking domain. Test Examiners will need speakers or Test Examiners and students will need headphones with a splitter.

State Board of Education Approval

The State Board of Education approved the ELPAC general performance level descriptors and test blueprints in September. Keep an eye out in October as both of these documents will be posted on the CDE Web site.

Questions of the Month

If the CELDT IA is administered to a student during the ELPAC SA window in spring 2018 and the student is determined to be an English learner, should the ELPAC SA be administered?

Yes, the ELPAC SA must be administered even if the CELDT IA was administered within the ELPAC testing window. For example, if a student is administered the CELDT IA in March and is determined to be an EL, the ELPAC SA must be administered before the end of the ELPAC testing window (May 31).

When is the final day to administer the CELDT RETEST?

If your LEA is working with the testing contractor, Educational Data Systems, to score your CELDT RETEST Answer Books, please complete testing by November 30 to provide ample time for your LEA to receive the results for reclassification purposes.

If your LEA is locally scoring the CELDT RETEST Answer Books, please complete the administration and scoring of the CELDT RETEST by January 31, before the opening of the ELPAC SA administration window on February 1.

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Massive Data Breach at Equifax exposes almost half of America

Credit reporting firm Equifax says cybersecurity incident could potentially affect 143 million US consumers.

Equifax said data on 143 million U.S. customers was obtained in a breach which occurred on July 29th, 2017

Personal information including birth dates, credit card numbers and more was obtained in the breach.

Equifax Inc., which supplies credit information and other information services, said Thursday that a cybersecurity incident could have potentially affected 143 million consumers in the U.S.

Leaked data includes names, birth dates, social security numbers, addresses and potentially drivers licenses. 209,000 U.S. credit card numbers were also obtained, in addition to "certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers."

Equifax said it is now alerting customers whose information was included in the breach via mail, and is working with state and federal authorities. Its private investigation into the breach is complete. 

Source:  https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/07/credit-reporting-firm-equifax-says-cybersecurity-incident-could-potentially-affect-143-million-us-consumers.html


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ELPAC Update Issue #6

 The English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) Update, from the California Department of Education (CDE), is an e-mail for K–12 educators, including testing coordinators that focuses on the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California. When the ELPAC is operational, it will replace the California English Language Development Test (CELDT). The ELPAC Update will be sent once per month beginning March 2017. Please forward this e-mail to any educators in your local educational agency (LEA) who would be interested in or benefit from this information.

Operational ELPAC Summative Assessment Administration and Scoring Training: Registration Now Open

Thank you for your patience during the recent delay of online registration for Summative Assessment (SA) Administration and Scoring Training. We are pleased to announce that registration is now open! This training will be a "training-of-trainers" model. A portion of the training day will be divided into two groups: kindergarten through grade five in one room, and grades six through twelve in another room. We recommend that you plan accordingly and bring one trainer for the lower grades and one other trainer for the upper grades, if applicable.

LEA ELPAC Coordinators are responsible for registering participants from their LEA. Using the registration code provided in the e-mail sent from the Sacramento County Office of Education to LEA ELPAC Coordinators on August 14, an LEA ELPAC Coordinator can log on to the registration system at any time this fall and change participants' names as well as add names to the waiting list. Specific registration information is located on the ELPAC Web site under the Training tab.

If you have any questions, please contact the ELPAC Customer Support Center by phone at 844-782-2714 or by e-mail at.

Coming to You: SA Operational Regional Trainings

Are you unable to attend a state-sponsored SA Administration and Scoring Training on any of the designated dates? No need to worry—county offices of education also will be hosting local trainings throughout California. Staff from county offices will first attend the statewide trainings, and then host local trainings. These regional trainings are posted on the ELPAC Web site, which is regularly updated to include new regional training sites.

New ELPAC Resources Now Available!

The wait for the new ELPAC resources for parents and educators is over! The CDE is pleased to announce that the following resources are now available on the CDE ELPAC Web page and on the ELPAC Web site:

Do We Administer the CELDT or the ELPAC in 2017–18?

A Parent Guide to Understanding the ELPAC (translated into seven languages)

•"ELPAC Assessments Fact Sheet"

•"Domain Information Sheets"

Matrix Four: Universal Tools, Designated Supports, and Accommodations for the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California,

Practice Makes Perfect

The ELPAC Practice Tests are under development. When finalized, they will be posted on the CDE ELPAC Web page and on the ELPAC Web site. Watch for more information, coming in the September issue of the ELPAC Update.

Question of the Month: If the CELDT Initial Assessment is administered to students in 2017–18, must the students also take the ELPAC SA in spring 2018?

Answer: All students who currently are being tested with the CELDT Initial Assessment (IA) within 30 calendar days of enrollment also will be administered the ELPAC SA in spring 2018. All students who took the IA and were identified as ELs will take two assessments each year. Why? The SA is the measure for accountability requiring that each student be tested annually.

The ELPAC Overview Video

The CDE is pleased to announce that in October, the "ELPAC Overview" video, in English and Spanish, will be available for download by LEAs! This video will be an excellent resource for LEAs to share with parent groups and staff. The video will showcase the new ELPAC and its importance for California. More information will be coming soon.

The ELPAC IA Field Test

If your LEA is participating in the ELPAC IA field test from August 28 to September 22, please remember that no pre-identification labels are available. Test Examiners will need to fill in the student demographic information before sending the materials to Educational Testing Service. If you have any questions, please contact the ELPAC Customer Support Center by phone at 844-782-2714 or by e-mail at .

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CAASPP Update #221 August 30th, 2017

Postponement of Public Release of 2016–17 CAASPP Summary Results

 During the preview period of the 2016–17 CAASPP public Web reporting site, some local educational agencies (LEAs) identified a small number of cases in which test results did not appear to aggregate as expected to their district or charter school summaries. The CDE delayed the release of the statewide test results in order to investigate these reported cases. 

The issue impacts only the CAASPP public Web reporting site and the research files available from that site for 2016–17. Please be assured that the individual student achievement levels and scale scores that have been reported to your LEA or direct funded charter school are correct. 

Once we complete our analysis and the new release date is finalized, the information will be provided to LEAs along with details and timeline for accessing the embargoed Web site. LEAs will have an opportunity, before the public release, to review the state, county, district, and/or school CAASPP reports once again to verify that the anticipated results are displayed and that all schools in the LEA are included. 

Reminder: CAASPP Online Systems Resume September 5! 

The Labor Day holiday marks the end of the system downtime period for the transition to the 2017–18 CAASPP assessments! On Tuesday, September 5, the CAASPP online systems will resume operations and provide LEAs with the following: 

    • Access to the 2017–18 Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments—which include new and revised Interim Assessment Blocks—and hand scoring materials 
    • A brand-new Interim Assessment Reporting System, chock-full of data features, including item-level student responses and advanced grouping features, for 2017–18 results (Results from prior school years will appear in the new reporting system but will not be displayed in the same level of detail as results from the 2017–18 school year.) 
    • New accessibility supports available for both summative and interim assessments 


Questions regarding the 2017–18 CAASPP online systems should be directed to the California Technical Assistance Center by phone at 800-955-2954 or by e-mail at .

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"Hey Echo, what are junior's grades today?"

Very cool application of one SIS system's OPEN API to connect with one family's Amazon Echo device (similar to an Alexa or Siri device) - Editor

When Sycamore Education's public application program interface (API) was released, the possibilities opened up that would allow third-party developers to access data stored within Sycamore in a safe and secure manner. Most recently, a parent at Shakopee Area Catholic School in Shakopee, Minnesota has increased those possibilities even further to assist him and his family.

Todd Kitta, an architect with the Microsoft Technology Center, created quite the social media buzz when he shared a YouTube video of receiving Sycamore information from his Amazon Echo.

By leveraging the Echo, Microsoft Azure, the Microsoft Bot Framework, and Sycamore Education's API, Kitta was able to pull data from Sycamore's K-12 system, Sycamore School, to be read aloud by "Alexa." As a result, Kitta could find out the grades in his children's classes in a matter of seconds, with just a simple voice command.

"I wanted to make it easy for all of us to check the status of grades in each class, as well as check for missing assignments." Kitta continued, "Simply being able to ask Alexa about the current state for each kid is super helpful, and will likely make it more often that each of us check these items."

The inspiration for this project came from a surprising source: the kitchen table. A common occurrence in the Kitta household was that dinner unknowingly would be the same thing children had for lunch at school that day.

"I wanted to make it easy for my wife and the kids to find out what was on the [school] menu without having to dig out a phone or paper calendar," Kitta said.

Kitta's tech-savvy nature was also a motivating influence on the project, as he wanted to test the development experience of the Echo. He found the development of the Echo, combined with the integration with Sycamore's API, to be quite beneficial.

"I was skeptical that an API would be available, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that one was indeed out there," Kitta stated. "Not only that, but it was very well documented, and had an awesome sandbox that greatly assisted my development."

Kitta plans to use the demonstration in the Microsoft Technology Center's Innovation Alley, which showcases up-and-coming projects and demonstrations from visionary thinkers, innovators, and entrepreneurs in the technological field.

In the future, he hopes to add the same capabilities to leverage Microsoft's Cortana, as well as create further functionality for school news and contact information for the Echo, with the help of Sycamore's API.

Source: http://sycamoreeducation.com/thanks-to-tech-savvy-parent-sycamore-education-meets-the-amazon-echo/


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Interactive (and safe!) Eclipse Website (very cool!)

Nasa put together a virtual preview of what the eclipse will look like in your area.  Click on your hometown on the map and see a minute-by-minute preview! 

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Intro to Data Impressions's services

Remember at Data Impressions, Making Good Impressions is Our Business.

Check out a showcase of Data Impression's white glove deployment services.

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CASEMIS to CALPADS (C2C) TRANSITION UPDATES

(Editor's Note:  I copied this directly from the PDF file that was distributed on the listserv.  A few folks were having issues with the attachment not coming through, so here is the raw text:)

California Department of Education – CALPADS Team and Special Education Division

Subject: CASEMIS to CALPADS (C2C) TRANSITION UPDATES

END-OF-YEAR (EOY) SUBMISSION CERTIFICATION DEADLINE MOVED TO AUGUST 25, 2017

Per the CALPADS Update Flash #129 that was released on July 21, 2017, the final August 11th EOY certification deadline (the close of the amendment window) for EOY 1, 2, and 3 has been moved to August 25th, in order to accommodate a defect fix. Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPAs) should work with district CALPADS administrators to ensure that all discipline reports in the EOY 3 submission have been reviewed prior to the August 25th certification date. The certification deadline for the California Special Education Management Information System (CASEMIS) suspension data (formerly Table C) has also been extended to August 25th. All other submissions for CASEMIS (Tables A and B) still have a certification deadline of August 11th.

SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM END DATES IN CALPADS: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When is it appropriate for LEAs to populate the Education Program End Date for a Special Education Program record (Education Program Code 144 – Special Education)?

 The only circumstance in which the Education Program End Date for a Special Education Program record should be populated is when the student exits special education for one of the following reasons:

o Student was determined to be no longer eligible for services; o Student completed high school;
o Student aged out of the program (on 23rd birthday);
o Student dropped out of school;

o Student transferred out of state or out of the country; o Student died;
o Parent withdrew the student from special education; o Student received a special education waiver;

o No parental consent was given for an infant to be evaluated for Individualized Education Plan (IEP) services.

 It is NOT appropriate to populate the Education Program End Date for a Special Education Program record in any of the following scenarios:

o Routine year-end program record exits in CALPADS;
o To reflect changes from one primary disability to another;
o When the student transfers to another California public school or district.

How should Special Education Program records be reported for a student who was eligible for special education services, subsequently exits the program and then, after a period of time, is once again determined to be eligible for services?

 First, LEAs must ensure that the original Special Education Program record reflecting the Special Education Initial Entry Date (Education Program Start Date field) and the Special Education Program Exit Date (Education Program End Date field) are in CALPADS. If the record is not in CALPADS, then the record should be submitted.

Then, in order to reflect the subsequent determination that the student is eligible for services, a subsequent Special Education Program record should be submitted reflecting the new eligibility determination date (IEP meeting date) in the Education Program Start Date field. The Education Program End Date field should be null.

UPCOMING CASEMIS FALL ROADSHOWS

The California Department of Education (CDE) Special Education Division will be conducting its annual "Fall CASEMIS Roadshows" beginning in October 2017. Special Education and CALPADS staff will update local educational agencies on upcoming changes in CASEMIS for December 2018, as well as debut some of the data validations that will be required when CASEMIS is transitioned into CALPADS. The proposed dates and locations of these roadshows are listed below. The exact times, addresses, and registration information will be finalized and sent out in the September C2C newsletter. Please save these dates on your calendars.

October 9, 2017, San Diego, CA, San Diego COE
October 11, 2017, Santa Clara COE
October 12, 2017, Sonoma COE
October 13, 2017, Sacramento, CA, Sacramento COE
October 16, 2017, Saddleback USD
October 20, 2017, El Cajon
October 26, 2017, Desert Mountain SELPA
October 27, 2017, Ventura County SELPA
November 9, 2017, Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles COE 
Contact Us Special Education Division Amanvir Sahota (916) 327-1022 CALPADS Office Sotain Fisher (916) 327-0210 

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Regional Training for new CAASPP Coordinators

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

NEW CALIFORNIA ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT PERFORMANCE AND PROGRESS COORDINATOR TRAINING

Every local educational agency (LEA) must identify a Coordinator responsible for the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System. The New CAASPP Coordinator Training is designed for LEA CAASPP Coordinators who have been in their role for less than 12 months. The purpose is to help new LEA CAASPP Coordinators understand their role and responsibilities.

Highlights of the training include:

  • Responsibilities of the CAASPP Coordinator
  • Procedures to support a successful CAASPP administration
  • Checklists, examples, and timeframes for completing activities
  • Opportunities to connect with other CAASPP Coordinators in a regional network

  • Dates and Locations:

    Date

    Location

    Time

    October 11, 2017

    Sacramento County Office of Education

    8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

    October 16, 2017

    Fresno County Office of Education

    October 23, 2017

    Riverside County Office of Education

    Registration Information:

    Registration must be completed online at https://www.eventsforce.net/scoe/4/home. The registration fee is $40 per person and covers training materials, breakfast, and lunch.

    If you have any questions about the New CAASPP Coordinator Training, please contact Rachel Perry, Director, Sacramento County Office of Education, by phone at 916-228-2669 or by e-mail at .

    Sincerely,

    /s/

    Michelle Center, Director

    Assessment Development and Administration Division

    MC:rp

    cc: New LEA CAASPP Coordinators

    Regional Assessment Network members

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Dashboard Aficionados! Join the LCFF Review Team!

Good afternoon!

The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) is seeking qualified individuals to serve as leads and as members of LCFF Content Library Review Teams. If you are interested in serving on a review team, please complete the Application to Serve as Lead/Member of LCFF Content Library Review Team. The deadline to submit an application is September 1, 2017.

As background, the CCEE, in partnership with many other stakeholders, is developing the LCFF Content Library, a free repository of files (e.g., slides, handouts, videos, and other physical or electronic content) on California's accountability and continuous improvement system. The CCEE supports and curates the Library in partnership with review teams, the members of which may include representatives from county offices of education, statewide education associations, advocacy organizations, community-based organizations, and other entities selected by the CCEE. Following submission of a file, it is typically reviewed by at least one review team, which then makes a recommendation to the CCEE based on whether the file is accurate and current but also whether it is aligned with the California School Dashboard, the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), and other files in the Library.

Please contact me with any questions. Additional details on the LCFF Content Library can be found on the CCEE Web Page at www.ccee-ca.org.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Michelle Magyar

Senior Manager, Training

@CCEECA

Click HERE to sign up for the CCEE listserv

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