This lesson provides an overview on importing your master schedule data into DnA.
About Mastschd Data
The Master Schedule import (mastschd.txt) builds the schedule for all school sites. The mastschd file should contain all active classes (also known as sections) that are available for all sites for a given academic year.
About Importing Mastschd
The mastschd.txt file is the process by which master schedules are loaded into DnA. Traditionally, the mastschd.txt file only creates the schedules for middle and high schools. Generally, elementary schools are excluded from master schedules (see the roster.txt file for more about elementary schedules). In Data and Assessment (DnA) or Special Education (ISE) this file is a key component of the regular data automation.
For DnA Student Information (ISI) the mastschd.txt file is used to load historical master schedule data. For both DnA and ISE, it is the ONLY way that sections are created. Each master schedule record is referred to as a section in DnA. A section identifies a course that is being taught by a teacher at a site during a period (time block). The unique key on each row is Section ID, Site ID, Course ID, and User ID.
- Section ID
- Site ID
- Term Name
- Course ID
- User ID
- Academic Year
Section ID is the key identifier for this dataset. The Section ID should be a unique value for each section. It is required that, for the entire installation, the value is guaranteed to be unique. Section IDs cannot be recycled or reused. They must be unique across all sites and all years.
Site ID is the internal identifier of the site to where this section is being offered. Because each instance of a course being taught at a site is a unique section, the section can only belong to one site. The site ID in this file must align to the site IDs that were originally provided in the sites.txt import file when the system was originally set up.
Term Name should indicate when the section is available. Traditionally, the terms used are either full year, semester, or quarter terms. The name of the terms in the mastschd.txt file should align to the names of the terms that are setup in your DnA instance.
Course ID refers to the course that is being taught in this section. The Course ID should align to a Course ID that was imported with the courses.txt file. While sections must be unique within the mastschd.txt file, it is fully expected that Course IDs will be repeated. This is how, in a district wide implementation, data can be linked back to an Algebra course. Even though there may be 30+ sections of Algebra, as long as they all refer to the same Course ID then the data can be cleanly reported.
User ID is the indicator or the teacher that is teaching the section. The User ID in this import file is used for two purposes. Primarily, it identifies the teacher of the course. Secondarily, it creates a user affiliation for the user to the site where this section is being taught. Technically, the presence of a User ID in the mastschd.txt file is all that is required to provide teachers with access to the DnA installation.
In DnA, Period is also referred to as a timeblock. In a traditional installation, the period would refer to the timeblock, usually 1 through 7, when this section is offered.
Academic Year is currently required to identify the academic year to which the student data belongs. Generally, after historic data loads and for regular automation, the Academic Year field simply identifies the current academic year. The data, as stated in the spec, should be represented as a hyphenated two year range such as: 2016-2017.
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.
Whether or not a field is required refers to basic, minimal operation of the system. With only the required fields your DnA installation will work, however, it will not be configured optimally. Additionally, beyond minimal functionality and basic reporting, in an DnA Student Information (ISI) installation as much data as can possibly be provided should be imported. Many non-required fields are used in basic reports and compliance reporting.
Non-Required but Highly Recommended Fields
- Room Number
- Session Type
- User Start Date
- User End Date
- Primary User
Room Number is a nice to have field that helps to identify the room number in which the section is offered. It is available on various screens throughout DnA.
Session Type is used to identify whether the master schedule data belongs to a normal session (Session Type= 1) or if the master schedule belongs to the summer session (Session Type= 2). This field defaults to the normal session, but if summer school is part of the DnA installation this field is very necessary.
User Start Date, User End Date, and Primary User are all used to identify who is teaching a section when. In the event that a section has two concurrent teachers (team teachers), there will be two records in the file with the same Section ID, Site ID, Term Name, and Course ID. However, the User ID would be different for each row of data. The Primary User field is used to identify which teacher is considered the primary in the event of concurrent co-teachers. This is used to identify the teacher of record. User Start Date and User End Date can be used to identify when teachers may start or end teaching a section. If one teacher leaves and another one takes over a section, then the start and end dates are useful in this situation.
- Unique Term ID
- Quarter Number
- Highly Qualified Teacher Competency Code
- Is Attendance Enabled
In some student information systems, Section IDs are reused from year to year. Because the Section ID is the unique identifier for a section it is imperative that they are unique throughout the system. If your SIS reuses Section IDs, make sure to talk to the DnA data team about some options. Typically a concatenated ID solution must be implemented to ensure field uniqueness.
The term names in the mastschd.txt file must align to the name of the terms in DnA. If they do not, the data will not import. Be sure to properly identify your terms when building terms through the Term Manager in DnA.
Want to review your data for accuracy? Visit our Mastschd.txt data Accuracy and Validation guide.