LAUSD aiming to resolve MiSiS issues as ‘Norm Day’ approaches
Vanessa Romo | September 2, 2014
While LA Unified says it’s making strides toward solving MiSiS problems, difficulties enrolling students persist and could severely impact school funding levels as a deadline approaches for allocating personnel resources.
School administrators are required to report final enrollment numbers to the district by Sept. 12, a date officials with AALA, the school administrators union, say is too soon to assess accurately how many students attend each school.
“That’s right around the corner,” Dan Isaacs, an AALA official told LA School Report. “And from what we’re hearing from principals and clerical staff who have been working lots and lots of overtime to enter the information into the system, it’s just not enough time,”
The headcount tallied by the cutoff date, called “norm day,” determines the number of teachers, counselors, and assistant principals assigned to each campus for the remainder of the year.
A report issued late last week by AALA estimates that as of Aug. 25, “there are at least 45,000 students on campuses for whom the district cannot account.” These students show up as being enrolled in a particular school, but they do not have proper course schedules, according to AALA.
“That could leave some schools with too many teachers or too many assistant principals, and others with not enough,” Isaacs said.
But LA Unified’s Chief Strategy Officer, Matt Hill, says the union is using inaccurate data.
“The numbers referenced in AALA’s newsletter were based on an unofficial attendance report not designed for tracking enrollment counts,” he told LA School Report.
He explained that one reason attendance reports appear low is “because some teachers had been taking attendance on paper since the first day of school and had not yet transferred attendance from paper into MiSiS.”
MiSiS is the district’s new student-tracking computer system that continues to pose technological challenges for district officials trying to get it up-and-running smoothly.
Hill said teachers have another 10 days to enter attendance data into the new system.
AALA President Judith Perez has called on the district to postpone the deadline but Superintendent John Deasy said the series of MiSiS setbacks have not slowed the march toward “norm day.”
“We will norm up as we always do,” Deasy told LA School Report.