This lesson will help you understand how attendance flag precedence works within Illuminate Student Information and set up appropriate attendance flag precedence in the system
Attendance Flags are set up on a precedence or hierarchy system. There are four presidence categories that a flag can be classified as.
- Present and Reconciled: The red box contains flags that are considered present and reconciled (tardies are considered present).
- Present and Unreconciled: This option is not shown but would be used for tardies and 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 that are considered absent and unreconciled.
Note: The flags within the boxes cannot be moved up or down out of the box they are in with the arrows on the far left column but they can be rearranged within their own category. That's how the page automatically enforces the precedence rules.
The precedences of irrelevant flags, the last three flags in this example —Not Enrolled, School Closed, and Delete—are irrelevant but are automatically last and there is no adjustment arrow to change their presedence.
By default the Present flag (+) is placed at the top of the list. This should NOT be changed or edited in anyway.
Setting the precedence correctly is important when calculating a student's overall attendance record for a day, Illuminate takes a student's attendance records for all periods that day and then sorts the records according to the attendance flag precedence. We then take the first attendance flag from the list of the student's sorted 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 the "Present without Apportionment" flag type, all of these flag types also count towards apportionment counts in the ADA reports.
- Unverified Present
- 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
- Unreconciled Tardy
- Unexcused Tardy
- Excused Tardy
Flags associated with the tardy flag types contribute towards all tardy counts, all (or some?) present counts, and apportionment counts on ADA reports.
Unexcused Tardy and Excused Tardy flag types are considered reconciled by the absence reconciliation report. Needless to say, the Unreconciled Tardy flag type is considered unreconciled.
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
- Unreconciled Absence
- Unexcused Absence
- Excused Absence
Flags associated with the absence flag types contribute towards all absence counts. Absence flags do not contribute to apportionment counts on ADA reports.
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.
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
- 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.
All three suspension attendance flag types count towards attendance suspension counts.
It might be worth noting that suspension attendance flag types are completely independent of suspensions in the discipline module. A student can have his or her attendance marked with a suspension flag in the attendance module without having a discipline incident filed in the system. Similarly, a student who has a suspension consequence filed in the discipline module will not automatically be have his or her attendance marked with a suspension flag.
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.
Edit Flag Attributes
Once the precedence has been set, and you are viewing the list of flags, you can edit the flag attributes by clicking on the edit icon on the left side.
- Edit the display code to something that users will understand.
- Set Attendance Letter triggers - See help document on Attendance Letters for more in depth information.
- Set permissions for which role types will see each flag. Typically the fewer flags a teacher role see the easier it is for them to take attendance. Notice permission settings are based on role type so if your district has unique schools where teachers will need to see additional flags then an additional role will need to be created for them so that permissions can be assigned accordingly. An example of when this might occur would be at an alternative ed site where teachers are required to use more than just the absent (A) and tardy (T) mark that is being used by all other teachers at all other sites.
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 that sometimes appears in the Absence Reconciliation Report is also based on the student's daily attendance record; if the student's daily attendance record uses a flag that is considered not reconciled, that student shows up as being absent/tardy "All-Day" on the Absence Reconciliation Report.