This lesson focuses on setting attendance flags and explaining the logic behind the precedence system when using the Illuminate Student Information software.
Precedence refers to the Attendance Flags' hierarchy system. There are four different classifications of precedence categories.
- Present and Reconciled: The red box contains flags considered present and reconciled (tardies are considered present).
- Present and Unreconciled: This option is not shown but would be used for tardies. Normally, it would be placed between the red and blue box.
- Absent and Reconciled: This option is shown by example flags in the blue box.
- Absent and Unreconciled: The yellow box contains example flags considered absent and unreconciled.
Note: The precedence of an attendance flag can be rearranged using the arrows in the second column from the left. However, an attendance flag cannot be moved out of their own category (the categories colored box).
The last three flags- Not Enrolled at School, School Out/Closed and Delete - are considered Irrelevant Flags. Their precedence is automatically set to last and their precedence hierarchy cannot be reordered.
By default, the Present Flag (+) has the highest precedence (it is located at the top of the list). This should not be changed or edited.
Precedence is essential to Illuminate Student Information when calculating students' attendance records. It sorts each students' attendance flags according to flag precedence and the flag with the highest precedence is used to produce the students' attendance records.
For example, a student's attendance is marked as follows for a given day:
- Period 1: Excused Absence (A)
- Period 2: Excused Tardy (T)
- Period 3: Present (+)
- Period 4: Present (+)
- Period 5: Unexcused & Unreconciled Absence (U)
- Period 6: Present (+)
If the Attendance Flag precedence is setup properly, the student will be considered present by the ADA reports. An unreconciled absence will show up for period 5 in the Absence Reconciliation Report.
Present Flag Types
Flags associated with the Present Flag Types contribute towards all present counts. With the exception of "Present without Apportionment," all of these flag types contribute towards apportionment counts in the ADA reports.
- Unverified Present — An unverified present is the mark given to teachers and the coding for the default present attendance mark. This enables the system to adequately track present marks entered by non-admin users while also providing the data used in essential reports such as the Period Attendance report.
- Verified Present — In our system, the main difference between a verified present and an unverified present is that verified present flags are excluded from the Single Period Attendance report in the attendance module. If a student is scheduled in six classes, marked absent for five of those classes, and is marked with an unverified present flag for one class, the student will be counted on the Single Period Attendance report. After verifying that the student was actually present for only one of the six classes of the day, an admin or attendance clerk can change the student's unverified present to a verified present. It is highly recommended that teachers are not given access to use any attendance flag that is designated as a verified present flag.
- Early Out — This flag falls under the Verified Present category. Any student who receives this mark at any time of the day will be counted to receive apportionment for ADA. Additionally, in custom report attendance counts meta data there is a "attendance category" for Early Outs. By the Early Out attendance category being available in custom report attendance counts, a count of Early Outs per student can now be reported on report cards. Another use case is to use this mark to trigger irregular absence letters. Many districts like to track things like such as early outs and notify parents when they have become excessive.
- Present without Apportionment — The purpose of this flag was to be used in conjunction with with a suspension. Students who came to school and a suspension was started on that day still need to receive recognition for being in attendance, however, do not generate ADA. Flags designated as "present without apportionment" contribute to all present counts in the system but do not contribute to apportionment in the ADA report.
- For the state of IL we recently added the ability to create Verified Present mark that receives only partial ADA. Students in the state of IL receive either full time or half day ADA based on the number of minutes they are in school. This differs from CA's procedure that present at least 1 period or more generates ADA for the entire day.
Tardy Flag Types
Flags associated with the Tardy Flag Types contribute towards all tardy counts, all (or some, depending on district settings) present counts, and apportionment counts on ADA reports.
- Unreconciled Tardy
- Unexcused Tardy
- Excused Tardy
As the name implies, the Unreconciled Tardy flag type is considered unreconciled. This is typically a teacher provided tardy that will be reconciled by the office staff. Unexcused Tardy and Excused Tardy flag types are considered reconciled by the absence reconciliation report. It is highly recommended that teachers do not have access to use any flags that are of the Unexcused or Excused Tardy flag types.
Absence Flag Types
Flags associated with the Absence Flag Types contribute towards all absence counts. Absence flags do not contribute to apportionment counts on ADA reports.
- Unreconciled Absence
- Unexcused Absence
- Excused Absence
Unexcused Absence and Excused Absence flag types are considered reconciled by the absence reconciliation report. Again, needless to say, the Unreconciled Absence flag type is considered unreconciled and is also considered the teacher absent mark. It is highly recommended that teachers do not have access to use any flags that are of the Unexcused or Excused Absence flag types.
Suspension Flag Types
All three Suspension Flag Types count towards attendance suspension counts.
- Out-of-school Suspension (Excused)
- Out-of-school Suspension (Unexcused)
- In-school Suspension
Both types of out-of-school suspensions are considered reconciled absences.
The in-school suspension flag type is considered a verified present and counts towards apportionment. Note, suspension attendance flag types are independent of suspensions in the Behavior Module. Faculty can mark a student with a suspension flag in the attendance module without filing a discipline incident in the Behavior Module. Similarly, a student with a suspension consequence filed in the Behavior Module will not automatically receive suspension flags in his attendance.
Independent Study Flag Types
- Independent Study Pending—counts as a reconciled, unexcused absence
- Independent Study Complete—counts as a verified present and towards apportionment
- Independent Study Incomplete—counts as a reconciled, unexcused absence
Although the independent study pending and independent study incomplete flags are both counted as reconciled, unexcused absences, having the two flag types available allows the flags to be counted to separate "attendance categories" in custom reports.
System Flag Types
- Unverified Present (Default)
- Not Enrolled
- School Closed
These flag types cannot be selected when creating a new attendance flag. One flag for each of these flag types exist in the system by default. The "Unverified Present (Default)" is counted like any other unverified present. The "Unverified Present (Default)" flag is special in that in negative attendance setups/reports, the "Unverified Present (Default)" is assumed for a student's attendance when the student does not have an explicit attendance record. The "Delete" flag can be selected in attendance entry screens to delete an existing attendance record. In most cases, the "Delete" flag should only be used before unenrolling and/or unscheduling a student. Please note that after deleting a student's attendance records, the take attendance screens and attendance reports may start showing the student's attendance as being assumed as the "Unverified Present (Default)" flag—the student's attendance is assumed after being deleted, but scheduling and enrollment pages will allow removal of scheduling and enrollment records. The "Not Enrolled" and "School Closed" flags are not selectable by any user. These flags are information only flags that are used in various parts of the attendance module to designate days that school is closed or a student is not enrolled.
After setting precedence, view the list of flags and you can edit flag attributes by clicking on the edit icon on the left most column.
To best serve your district, edit the display code to something users will understand.
- To best serve your district, edit the display code to something users will understand or something they are familiar with.
- Next, you can set your attendance letter triggers. These are not required fields and are not often used when setting up Attendance Letters. For more, see help document on Absence Letters for more in depth information.
- Permissions determine which role types have access to each flag. Note, having fewer options makes taking attendance easier for teacher-roles. However, if a teacher needs access to additional flags than a typical teacher at your district, an additional role may be required with the additional permissions. For example, a district may have an alternative education site where teachers require more than the Absent (A) or Tardy (T) mark used by all other teachers within the district.
Attendance Flags are used when calculating the counts in the following reports:
- Daily ADA Report or Hourly ADA Report
- Cumulative Attendance Report
- Absence Reconciliation Report
- The "All Day" column is factored in on the Student [Attendance] Summary
The "All-Day" period appears ocassionally in the Absence Reconciliation Report is based on the student's daily attendance record. If the student's daily attendance record uses a flag considered not reconciled, the student shows up as being absent/tardy "All-Day" on the Absence Reconciliation Report.