This document will assist you in importing attendance data from your current student information system into Illuminate. This is the primary attendance specific documentation for DnA system administrators.
Manage Attendance Flags, Edit Daily Attendance Calendar, Day Types, Day Types - Add, Day Types - Modify, Reporting Periods, Reporting Periods - Create, and Reporting Periods - Modify
Your Customer Success Manager (CSM) would love to partner with you to make sure that you are setup for success. Before you dive into the import process, Unlocking the Power of Illuminate will walk you through some important questions to help you navigate your next steps.
When importing attendance, it is very important to think about why you'd like this data in Illuminate. The attendance data does require ongoing maintenance, so there could be an easier way to have the data in Illuminate depending on your needs.
- For Use in Report Cards
- If you only want to have the data represented in your elementary report cards, importing daily attendance marks is not necessary. It would be easier to create a summary assessment with columns for Days Absent and Days Tardy for each reporting period. Then you import the data into the summary assessment and build a custom report from that data. The custom report is then easily linked to a report card field.
- For Daily Attendance in Reporting
- If you want daily attendance to view in the Student Profile and to have available in reports, then proceed to the steps below.
- Import Student ID is the key identifier for this dataset. The Import Student ID should be a unique value for each student. This does not have to be the Student Information System (SIS) ID. The only requirement is that the Import Student ID value is unique across all schools or districts included in your instance. Traditionally, in a single district instance, the Import Student ID is the SIS-generated student ID. In installations that span multiple districts, such as a consortium or a county, the Import Student ID is usually the State Student ID because this value is expected to be unique across multiple SIS.
- Student Last Name, Student First Name, and Birth Date are actually “soft” requirements within this dataset. It is expected that every student should have these additional three basic data elements available in this file. In the attendance.txt file, these fields are only used to assist in troubleshooting data. Ensuring that the data is available in the file allows for more efficient troubleshooting when reviewing import logs. This data is required to be present in the import file; however, the fields are not imported. These fields are updated only through the studemo.txt import.
- Section ID, Final Attendance Flag Code, and Site ID create the actual attendance mark for a student. These three fields together identify the course, teacher, time-block, and site where the attendance mark is being given.
- Created By and Student Grade Level ID are conditional requirements. In the event that attendance data being imported is for elementary students where there is no section data, then the only link back to the class that the student is in will be their grade and their teacher. Created By should be the user ID of the student’s teacher who originally recorded the attendance record. Student Grade Level ID will be the grade that the student is in.
If any of the required fields are not provided, or if any of the required fields do not align to the designated field types or values, the entire record will not import. Problems with required fields will generate import errors that will need to be corrected in the files before the live data will be accurate and available in Illuminate.
- Course ID is not required but is a helpful data element to link the student to the course in which they are receiving the attendance record. Generally, the Section ID will address this issue, however, for troubleshooting and additional data validation, Course ID is a helpful piece of data to submit.
- Created By*, Reconciled By, Creation Date/Time, Reconciled Date/Time, and Original Teacher Attendance Code are all additional data elements to help track the process of attendance data collection and reconciliation. The Illuminate import will support all of the fields, however they are not required. Both Created By and Reconciled By should be user IDs in Illuminate.
- Academic Year and Session Type are not required fields but allow for attendance for various years and sessions to be imported. If, for example, you are importing attendance data for historical summer school records, be sure to include both Academic Year and Session Type.
Pro Tip: The required fields are the absolute minimum requirements. Many non-required fields are used in basic reports and compliance reporting. However, the more data that you provide, the more comprehensive your data in Illuminate will be. Why not include all available data?
While not required columns, the Grade Level and Academic Year columns in the import file must have values in order for there to be resulting attendance meta data at the site to build custom reports.
- First things first, assign yourself or the person managing the attendance import, the appropriate permissions listed above.
- Create your Day Types. You will create day types such as weekend, holiday, and normal. Make sure to indicate if they are in session (Y or N). Read the guide for more information. Navigation: Admin Gear > Day Types
- Update your Calendar. Layout the year based on day types you previously created. This must be done per site and should match your SIS. If your calendars do not match your district calendars, your attendance counts in Illuminate will not be accurate. TIP: The first day in the calendar should be the first student session day, not when teachers or staff report.
- Create Attendance Periods. The step-by-step guide will walk you through the process. You will need to repeat this process at the district level and at each individual site for which you'll be importing attendance data. Navigation: Admin Gear > Reporting Periods
- Setup Attendance Flags to match the flags in your SIS. Most of our DnA clients use Excused and Unexcused; however, if you have a long list of flags that you use, create a spreadsheet for our data team with the following codes: Illuminate code, district code, description and matching codes.
|Illuminate Code||District Code||Description||Matching Codes (used at another school)|
|K||ISN||In School Suspension||ISS|
Before you add your file to the SFTP as part of your automation profile, we'd recommend importing as validation only or into your sandbox site first. This will alert you to errors that will be generated by the file so that you can correct those errors. To add the file to your nightly automation, follow our step-by-step guide.
This is a frequent occurrence when data is initially loaded. In order for student attendance records to be successfully imported into Illuminate, all of the attendance flags need to be accounted for. That doesn't mean all of the flags need to be created in Illuminate.
Scenario 1: For attendance accounting purposes, you may have multiple variations of reconciled excused and unexcused absence marks in your student information system. In Illuminate you may only want to see three or four attendance codes to represent those excused and unexcused attendance marks. For DnA or ISE installations where attendance data is desired for use in custom reporting, it is a good idea NOT to include all of the original attendance flags in your installation.
Resolution 1: Identify which of your original flags map to the desired flags that you will use for reporting. In your Illuminate import configurations, add a mapping on the attendance flag column to translate all of your original flags to the desired reporting flags. Navigation: Admin Gear > Core Data Configurations or ⌘+K search Configuration
Scenario 2: For ISI installations beginning the data conversion process, you will most likely need to account for all of your incoming attendance flags. The ISI data conversion process is a good time to reevaluate and possibly consolidate some of your current flags. As you review your existing attendance flags, you may want to map some of the incoming flags to new flags. However, this is not necessary.
Resolution 2: In your ISI installation you will need to add all of the appropriate attendance flags in order for your data to import completely. Navigation: Admin Gear > Attendance Flags or ⌘+K search Flags
- Meta Data for Custom Reporting
- The meta data will need to be installed by our team. Notify your implementation manager or our support team at email@example.com.
- You will want to enable and share the reporting categories through Manage Custom Reporting Data.
- Students: Attendance by Session: This is best if you are not using grading periods or report cards in the system. Sessions allow for a broader range or filter of dates and period of time to run reports.
- Students: Attendance by Grading Period: If you are using Report Cards or Grading Periods, also install Student Attendance by Grading Period. Make sure Grading Periods are previously set-up. This will allow you to calculate the specific attendance counts for students for report cards.
- Attendance Widget for the Student Profile and Dashboard
- The widget will need to be enabled by our team. Notify your implementation manager or our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Intervention Tracking
- Accountability Dashboard
- Taking Attendance in Illuminate
- While you have the ability to view attendance data, DnA or ISE only clients do not have access to the attendance module and cannot take attendance in Illuminate.
- Attendance Reporting
- The data in Illuminate is imported nightly; therefore, the data is not live. It cannot be used to submit attendance data for state reporting.
- Attendance Data in the Portal
- Students and parents cannot view attendance data in the Home Connection Portal