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FASTER Update. Presenter: Pete Tanzy, DOE Office of Applications Support Overview FASTER Update Bright Futures Update Additional Cost-saving Measures Changes Are Coming. FASTER Update. Technical Center Transcript Migrant Student Information Exchange New Race/Ethnicity Codes

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Presentation Transcript
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FASTER Update

  • Presenter: Pete Tanzy, DOE Office of Applications Support

  • Overview

    • FASTER Update

    • Bright Futures Update

    • Additional Cost-saving Measures

    • Changes Are Coming


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FASTER Update

  • Technical Center Transcript

  • Migrant Student Information Exchange

  • New Race/Ethnicity Codes

  • Cut-over Date for Next FASTER Release


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Technical Center Transcript

  • Technical Centers are required to use FASTER beginning this August, 2009.

  • New and returning students will have their progress reported in courses instead of just programs.

  • Records of student progress in previous years for returning students can be included on transcripts at the Technical Center’s option.

    • Student progress must be reported using courses from the Course Code Directory.

    • Alternatively, a Technical Center can choose to send only new enrollment information for returning students.


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Technical Center Transcript

  • An abbreviated form of the Interdistrict Record Formats:

    • Header

    • Demographic

    • Immunization (optional)

    • School Year

    • Course

    • Vocational

    • Comment

    • Tests

  • Formats can be found in Appendix I of the FASTER User Manual, www.fldoe.org/faster/.


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Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX)

  • Web-based system accessed by Migrant Education Staff

    • Password protected

    • Encrypted (SSL - https)

    • Student search capability

    • Immediate availability of student information as students are being enrolled


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Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX)

  • Central repository for up-to-date information

    • Periodic updates from schools to MSIX

    • Encrypted batch transmissions (secure FTP)

    • Responsibility is on schools to keep information current.

    • Keeping information current eliminates the need to contact a student’s previous school when they arrive at your district.

    • The most current information will already be in the MSIX database.


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Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX)

  • Florida public education has had an electronic transcript system since 1988.

  • The Florida Automated System for Transferring Educational Records (FASTER)

  • MSIX has been added as an institution with which to exchange information.

  • “District” 99, “School” 0006


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Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX)

  • An exception: no request records will be exchanged.

    • MSIX will request no records.

    • Instead, schools will send records on currently enrolled migrant students at specified intervals.

    • Schools will not request transcripts from MSIX using FASTER.

    • Instead, Migrant Education staff will use the MSIX web-based system to request the transmission of a student’s transcript to their school.


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Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX)

  • FASTER will check the MSIX FASTER “mailbox” once a day.

  • Any transcripts found will be translated from FASTER format to MSIX XML and sent on to MSIX.

  • FASTER will poll Florida’s directory on the MSIX secure FTP server once each day.

  • Any transmissions will be retrieved, translated from MSIX XML to FASTER format, and stored in schools’ FASTER mailboxes.


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Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX)

  • FASTER will send one type of record (student transcripts) to MSIX.

  • FASTER will create only 2 types of records from MSIX transmissions:

    • Student transcripts

    • Header-only transmissions


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Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX)

  • Receiving transmissions from MSIX

    • Interdistrict formats

    • Section B of the Header Record will contain the identifying information from Section A of the last Header Record the district used to send MSIX the student’s records.

    • The Message Type field on the Header Record will identify the type of transmission MSIX is posting.


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Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX)

  • Message Type ‘M1’

    • Indicates the student was new to the MSIX system when the district submitted their records.

    • You only will see this message type as a response to your initial transmission for a student to MSIX.

    • It will be a Header Record only transmission.


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Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX)

  • Message Type ‘M2’

    • Indicates the student was already in the MSIX database when the district submitted the student’s records.

    • You can see this message type in a response to your initial transmission for the student to MSIX or when receiving a transcript from MSIX that had been requested by one of your schools.


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Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX)

  • Message Type ‘M3’

    • Used when MSIX sends you notification it is changing a student’s MSIX ID because it determined that two students were sharing the same MSIX ID and needed to be split up.

    • This will be a Header Record only transmission.


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Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX)

  • Message Type ‘M4’

    • Used when MSIX sends you notification it is changing a student’s MSIX ID because it determined that two of the students in its database are actually the same student, and the records needed to be merged.

    • This, too, will be a Header Record only transmission.


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Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX)

  • Message Type ‘M5’

    • Used prior to the merging or separation of a student’s records to inform the school district that the MSIX administrators would like to discuss the situation with the migrant student coordinator for the student’s school.

    • A Header Record only transmission


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Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX)

  • Message Type ‘M6’

    • Used to inform the school district that MSIX no longer considers the student to be active in the MSIX system.

    • A Header Record only transmission


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Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX)

  • MSIX would like to receive transmissions within 48 hours of:

    • a student’s initial enrollment in their classes,

    • the updating of student information at the end of each grade reporting period, and

    • the entry of final grades at the end of any term.

  • They also want to be sent a record whenever a student withdraws from a school district. This way, they will have a final status for any student leaving the system permanently.


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Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX)

  • When sending a student’s transcript to MSIX, a school district is not required to send the entire student transcript (since MSIX already has the student’s historical information).

  • All MSIX really wants are updates.

  • However, in recognition of the fact that it may be easier for school districts to send the student’s entire transcript, MSIX has agreed to accept such transmissions.


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Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX)

  • We are in the final phase of testing with the MSIX system’s contractor.

    • ‘Transcripts’ for 32,000 migrant students were created from 2008’s Survey 5 Information Database submissions.

    • Transmitted to MSIX on April 9th.

    • Currently reviewing the information via the MSIX web system and working out the last few details.


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Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX)

  • We anticipate going into production with MSIX by this August.

  • Therefore, please send MSIX the transcripts for all your migrant students as soon as their course schedules are set.

  • And then be prepared to receive transmissions back from MSIX, as described earlier.


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New Race/Ethnicity Codes

  • School districts are implementing the new federal race and ethnicity codes for Fall reporting in the 2009-2010 school year.

  • To support this effort, changes are being made to the FASTER formats.

  • The six new data elements (ethnicity and the five new race codes) are being added to both the FASTER Header Record and to the I/S/T01 Demographic Record formats.


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New Race/Ethnicity Codes

  • This change will be put into production by July 1st of this year.

  • The change is being made in an “upward compatible” fashion:

    • The fields on the Header Record are being implemented as optional fields (as most fields are on this format) and will remain so. Therefore, blanks in this field will not cause a record to be rejected (however, avoid sending non-display characters, like binary zeroes).


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New Race/Ethnicity Codes

  • “Upward compatible” (continued)

    • The fields on the I/S/T01 Demographic Record are being implemented as optional fields (blanks permitted but, again, non-displayable characters will cause a rejection).

    • With the upcoming release of FASTER, though, these new fields on the I/S/T01 Demographic Record will become required.

      • Ethnicity must be submitted with a value of either ‘Y’ or ‘N’.

      • Only values of ‘Y’ and ‘N’ will be valid for any of the five new race codes, and at least one of them must have a value of ‘Y’.


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New Race/Ethnicity Codes

  • The mandatory nature of the fields on the I/S/T01 Demographic format is provisional, subject to modification at the upcoming meeting of the Student Records and Electronic Systems Committee (STRES).

  • The STRES Committee meeting this year will be conducted by conference call, at a date and time to be announced.


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Cut-over Date for Next FASTER Release

  • Cutover begins Friday, 11/6/2009.

    • No new postings after 6:00 AM

    • No new retrievals after 12:00 Noon

    • No more aging reports after 6:00 PM (system shutdown)

  • New release in place by 8:00am, Sunday, 11/8/2009.


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Bright Futures Update

  • Last year, we implemented a cost-saving change to our processing procedures: the transcripts of freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are only evaluated on Saturdays, while seniors are evaluated nightly.

  • In November of 2008, we also converted the Bright Futures on-line system from a mainframe-based web system to a .NET server-based system.

  • We also eliminated the collection of transcripts for middle school students, made technical changes to the way we share evaluation results with FACTS, and archived a significant amount of on-line data and magnetic tapes.


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Bright Futures Update

  • This effort paid substantial dividends. For the first ten months of the current fiscal year, our costs are down by over $260,000 from our Fiscal Year 2007-2008 totals.

  • Projections for Fiscal Year 2009-2010 indicate that the costs for the coming fiscal year will be over $350,000 lower than they were in 2007-2008.

  • With additional efforts and help from school districts, we may achieve more savings.


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Bright Futures Update

  • Northwest Regional Data Center (NWRDC) reduced cost rates:

    • Class C: 40% cost reduction

    • Class G: 75% cost reduction

  • Off-hours processing:

    • Class C: weekdays, from 9pm to 5am

    • Class G: weekends, from 9pm Friday through 2am Monday


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Bright Futures Update

  • If we can get the school districts that use the Evaluation Report Print function to run their jobs during reduced rate hours, we could save another $3,000 in the coming year.

  • Please contact our staff at the numbers and addresses at the end of this presentation for assistance in achieving these savings.


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Additional Cost-saving Measures

  • In last year’s presentation, I asked school districts to try to make as much use as possible of NWRDC’s reduced rate job classes.

  • I estimated that, if every FASTER user ran their jobs in class C, we could save about $20,000 over the course of the fiscal year.


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Additional Cost-saving Measures

  • We didn’t hit that maximum.

  • However, significant progress was made.

  • During the first ten months of this year, almost $4,000 in savings has been realized from school districts making use of NWRDC’s reduced rates job classes.

  • That’s over $3,000 better than was done the previous year.

  • To all the districts who helped out, thank you so much for your time and effort.

  • For those yet to get on the bandwagon, please feel free to contact us for any assistance you need in making this move.


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Changes Are Coming

  • In response to the national economic crisis, we will continue to explore avenues for cutting costs.

  • One avenue under consideration is the re-hosting of applications to a server-based environment.


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Changes Are Coming

  • For these and other changes in FASTER, please keep an attentive eye on the updates we send out via the FASTER listserv.

  • And if you are not already on this listserv, please contact the FASTER support staff whose names appear on the final slide of this presentation. They will make sure you get added as quickly as possible.


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Contact Information


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Follow Up Question and Answer Session

Submit Questions to

[email protected]

Or call

(850) 245-0400


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