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So. California school closures due to wildfires

LAUSD Closes San Fernando Valley Schools Due To Wildfires « CBS Los Angeles Hundreds of schools are closed Wednesday due to a new fire in the Sepulveda Pass and ongoing fires burning elsewhere across Southern California. http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2017/12/06/school-closures-la-fires/ Here's a link to a CBS website story about the school district closures as a result of the wildfires.
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CEDS Normalized Data Structure (NDS) Overview

Interesting video describing the CEDS (Common Education Data Standards) 

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CALPADS Update Flash #132

Dear LEA Representative: The attached CALPADS Update FLASH #132 provides information about the following topics: · Aligning Guidance Regarding When to Disenroll Truants to Support Practices to Reduce Chronic Absenteeism, Truancy, and Dropoutso When should an LEA disenroll a student who has been enrolled and attending school and then becomes habitually truant and appears to have dropped out?o Statutory steps for addressing truancy; exit optionso Are LEAs responsible for students who are expected to return the following school year, but who do not show up ("no shows")?o When should a student be exited with E400 – OtherOrUnknown?· Changes to CALPADS Field and Code Definitions to Support Guidanc...
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District Boundary Navigator

Very cool nationwide online map of district boundaries just released:   https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/schoolmap/   Not yet able to download the files that would allow you to import into your SIS, but this looks promising. The U.S. Department of Education tool, School & District Navigator, was developed to provide a geographic presentation of the Common Core of Data's (CCD) public school and public school district datasets.The CCD is a program of the U.S. Department of Educations National Center for Education Statistics that annually collects fiscal and non-fiscal data about all public schools, public school districts and state education agencies in the United States. The data ar...
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"Catch-All" Chrome Extension Silently Steals Your Data

A new malicious Google Chrome extension steals any data victims enter into any website they visit reports the security team over at Barkly.com. Malicious browser extensions are unfortunately nothing new, but a newly discovered example analyzed by Morphus Labs Chief Research Officer Renato Marinho is a good indication of how advanced and dangerous they're becoming. Appropriately dubbed "Catch-All," this malicious Google Chrome extension captures all the data posted by its victims — including usernames, passwords, etc. — on any website they visit and transmits it into the hands of cyber criminals. Read the entire article at Barkly.com.
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CDE E-Rate News Flash October 20, 2017 Issue 17-13

E-Rate News Flash E-rate Funding Year 16 (2016–17) Invoicing Deadline Monthly recurring services received between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 have an invoicing deadline of October 30, 2017. Invoicing is accomplished using one of two methods.      1.  The local education agency (LEA) submits the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Form 472, also known as the Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) form, to the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to receive reimbursement, after each invoice is paid in full.     2.   The Service Provider submits FCC Form 474, also known as the Servic...
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New Chronic Absentee Intervention Program offered through West (Makers of SchoolMessenger)

To help schools combat chronic absenteeism, West's SchoolMessenger solutions today launched its Chronic Absenteeism Intervention Program (CAIP). CAIP combines the proven elements of SchoolMessenger Communicate, the most-trusted K-12 notification service, and SafeArrival, a unique student attendance management tool, with a set of professional services that support schools as they plan and implement a program to reduce chronic absenteeism. The impact of chronic absenteeism is well documented. A U.S. Department of Education study, "Chronic Absenteeism in the Nation's Schools," revealed that students who are chronically absent in preK-1 grades are much less likely to read at grade level by the t...
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Serious flaw discovered in WPA2 security protocol

Several tech news outlets are reporting this morning on the discovery of a new vulnerability that basically destroys WPA2 as a security protocol.  The exploits, which are explained in detail on the KrackAttacks.com website, use a weakness to read information assumed to be safely encrypted.  The most troubling aspect of this attack, in addition to it now being widely known, is how widespread the use of this security protocol is, and how many systems this will ultimately impact.   Also, changing the passwords will have no effect (unless those passwords were so easy as to be hacked through traditional methods).  But this newly discovered exploit can attack even the most comp...

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USAC Schools and Libraries News Brief October 13, 2017

Commitments for Funding Years 2017 and 2016Funding Year 2017. USAC is scheduled to release Funding Year (FY) 2017 Wave 21 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on October 20. As of October 13, FY2017 commitments total over $1.48 billion.Funding Year 2016. USAC is scheduled to release Wave 66 FCDLs on October 17. As of October 13, FY2016 commitments total just under $2.91 billion.On the date that FCDLs are issued, you can access your FCDL notification from the Notifications section of your landing page in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC).FCC Releases FY2018 Eligible Services ListOn October 5, 2017, in Public Notice DA 17-973, the FCC released the Eligible Services List (ESL) fo...
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EdSource releases map of homeless student rates in CA schools

This is a truly fascinating use of "big data."   Kudos to Daniel Willis over at EdSource for creating a map that highlights where student homelessness is greatest throughout the state.  You can see the map here at this link:  https://edsource.org/2017/california-map-shows-hot-spots-of-homeless-students/588165.  To my memory this is the first time I have seen an actual "heat map" of the geographical locations where student homelessness is more pervasive than other areas.  Hopefully with the LCFF process additional resources will flow to these students and these schools to have a positive impact on their learning and continuity of educational services. &...
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USAC E-Rate News Brief October 6, 2017

Commitments for Funding Years 2017 and 2016 Funding Year 2017. USAC is scheduled to release Funding Year (FY) 2017 Wave 20 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) on October 12. As of October 6, FY2017 commitments total over $1.43 billion. Funding Year 2016. USAC is scheduled to release Wave 65 FCDLs on October 10. As of October 6, FY2016 commitments total over $2.90 billion. On the date that FCDLs are issued, you can access your FCDL notification from the Notifications section of your landing page in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC). Update on Fall Training USAC will be conducting in-person E-rate training sessions for 2017 at these four locations: Washington, DC area on October 10 ...
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Desert Sands USD selects Edupoint as new SIS

LA QUINTA, Calif., Oct. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Edupoint® Educational Systems, creator of the industry-leading Synergy Education Platform for K-12 student information, learning management, and assessment, has been selected by Desert Sands Unified School District to implement Edupoint's Synergy® Student Information System (SIS), replacing eSchoolPLUS™ (now owned by PowerSchool®). The district's Synergy solution includes the fully-integrated Synergy Online Registration and Synergy Assessment modules. Desert Sands Unified School District serves approximately 29,000 students at 34 schools in Southern California'sCoachella Valley. Synergy SIS provides the richest feature set in the industry to he...
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Happy Census Day!

Census Day is the one day within the Academic Year on which an official enrollment count is taken. For the Fall Calpads data collection, Census Day is the first Wednesday in October. Students who are enrolled in a particular school on this day are counted in various ways towards overall enrollment and additional considerations.​
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CALPADS Flash #130, Oct 3, 2017

2017–18 BACK-TO-SCHOOL LETTER The California Department of Education (CDE) would first like to thank local educational agencies (LEAs) for their dedication and hard work in certifying the 2016–17 End-of- Year (EOY) submissions. LEAs are to be congratulated for meeting the challenge of submitting student absence summary data for the first time and certifying all EOY submissions in August. The CDE also recognizes that the school year has already started and LEAs are busy enrolling students and scheduling them into classes. The CDE has sent Superintendents and Charter School Administrators the annual Back-to-School letter for data collections, and in that letter we emphasize the importance of e...
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Elpac Update # 7 Sept. 29, 2017

Operational ELPAC Summative Assessment Administration and Scoring Trainings Begin Next Month! The ELPAC Summative Assessment (SA) Administration and Scoring Trainings will begin on October 24 and continue through December 13. LEA ELPAC Coordinators are responsible for registering participants from their LEA. Coordinators will receive an e-mail the first week of October confirming LEA participants' registration. That e-mail will include a registration code that the Coordinator can use to log on to the registration system at any time this fall and change participants' names as well as add names to the waiting list. Specific registration information is located on the ELPAC Web site, under the "...
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Massive Data Breach at Equifax exposes almost half of America

Credit reporting firm Equifax says cybersecurity incident could potentially affect 143 million US consumers. Equifax said data on 143 million U.S. customers was obtained in a breach which occurred on July 29th, 2017 Personal information including birth dates, credit card numbers and more was obtained in the breach. Equifax Inc., which supplies credit information and other information services, said Thursday that a cybersecurity incident could have potentially affected 143 million consumers in the U.S. Leaked data includes names, birth dates, social security numbers, addresses and potentially drivers licenses. 209,000 U.S. credit card numbers were also obtained, in addition to "certain disput...
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ELPAC Update Issue #6

 The English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) Update, from the California Department of Education (CDE), is an e-mail for K–12 educators, including testing coordinators that focuses on the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California. When the ELPAC is operational, it will replace the California English Language Development Test (CELDT). The ELPAC Update will be sent once per month beginning March 2017. Please forward this e-mail to any educators in your local educational agency (LEA) who would be interested in or benefit from this information. Operational ELPAC Summative Assessment Administration and Scoring Training: Registration Now Open Thank you fo...
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CAASPP Update #221 August 30th, 2017

Postponement of Public Release of 2016–17 CAASPP Summary Results  During the preview period of the 2016–17 CAASPP public Web reporting site, some local educational agencies (LEAs) identified a small number of cases in which test results did not appear to aggregate as expected to their district or charter school summaries. The CDE delayed the release of the statewide test results in order to investigate these reported cases.  The issue impacts only the CAASPP public Web reporting site and the research files available from that site for 2016–17. Please be assured that the individual student achievement levels and scale scores that have been reported to your LEA or direct funded ...
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"Hey Echo, what are junior's grades today?"

Very cool application of one SIS system's OPEN API to connect with one family's Amazon Echo device (similar to an Alexa or Siri device) - Editor When Sycamore Education's public application program interface (API) was released, the possibilities opened up that would allow third-party developers to access data stored within Sycamore in a safe and secure manner. Most recently, a parent at Shakopee Area Catholic School in Shakopee, Minnesota has increased those possibilities even further to assist him and his family. Todd Kitta, an architect with the Microsoft Technology Center, created quite the social media buzz when he shared a YouTube video of receiving Sycamore information from his Amazon ...
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Interactive (and safe!) Eclipse Website (very cool!)

Nasa put together a virtual preview of what the eclipse will look like in your area.  Click on your hometown on the map and see a minute-by-minute preview! 
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