Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education 2019 ADE Cohort Graduation Rates System (ACGRS) opens November 1, 2019

Memo Information

Memo Number
COM-20-055
Memo Date
10/30/2019
Memo Type
Informational
Unit
Public School Accountability
Regulatory Authority
Response Required
NO
Attention
Federal Programs; Superintendents; Assistant Superintendent; Principals; Curriculum Coordinators; School Counselors; Data Stewards (SIS; eSchool; eFinance; TRIAND)

Primary Contact Information

Secondary Contact/s Information

Memo Reference

No references available.

Memo Text

2019 ADE Cohort Graduation Rates System (ACGRS)

The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Office of Information Technology and Public School Accountability will open the 2019 Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rates System (ACGRS) for the 2019 graduation rates on November 1, 2019.  The ACGRS is designed to improve the quality of data used to calculate the four-year and five-year adjusted cohort graduation rates at the school, district and state levels.

The ACGRS includes two adjusted cohorts of students: the 2019 four-year adjusted cohort and the five-year adjusted cohort. The graduation rates that result from this corrections process will be used for local decision making as well as in future federal and state accountability calculations. The system has been pre-loaded with data for the expected and actual 2019 graduates for the four-year adjusted cohort and the five-year adjusted cohort. The figure below illustrates which students are included.

The 2019 four-year and 2019 five-year adjusted cohorts start with different groups of students. It is important to review both cohorts of students and to submit corrections deemed appropriate to improve the accuracy of the cohort data. The 2019 four-year adjusted cohort started with students who were first-time ninth graders in 2016. This is the first year this cohort of students has been loaded in the corrections system. The 2019 five-year adjusted cohort started with students who were first-time ninth graders in 2015. These students were expected to graduate in four years. Since they were enrolled in high school a fifth year, they are included in the five-year cohort that started in 2015.

This tool is designed to allow authorized district staff to request changes to student demographics, remove on-time students who have transferred out, and add actual graduates. Students who were in any of the following student subgroups (Economically Disadvantaged, Children with Disabilities, or English Learners), at any time during the cohort period (grades 9-12), must remain in the subgroup for the ACGR. (34 C.F.R. § 200.34(e)(2)).

On-time students may be removed for the following reasons: moved out of state, deceased, moved out of the country, started homeschool or attended a private school. Documentation must be uploaded into the ACGRS for each correction.  For example, if a student has moved out of state, a copy of the dated request for student records from the receiving school should be uploaded into ACGRS. Students who are not on-time (repeated a grade in high school before transferring out) may not be removed. For more information about on-time students, please see attachment “2019_ACGRS_Resources_and_FAQ”.  Please note that transferring to another Arkansas school is no longer a reason to remove a student from a cohort, because DESE data systems accurately track in-state on-time transfers.  

If a student graduated in 2019 (including graduates from summer 2019) and is not listed as an actual graduate in the cohort, the graduate may be added when a copy of their official transcript is uploaded into the ACGRS as documentation. However, if the student graduated after August 15, 2019, the student is considered to have graduated in more than four years. A student who graduates after the summer of 2019 is counted as a non-graduate in the four-year graduation rate and may be counted the next year as a graduate in the five-year graduation rate if the student graduates in their fifth year.

Early graduates: In some cases students graduate in less than four years. When the four-year adjusted cohort is constructed, students who graduated early are still listed as expected graduates in the four-year adjusted cohort. Because early graduates are counted as graduates in their four-year adjusted cohort, it is important that these students are not added as a graduate to an earlier cohort of students.

If a school coded the student as an early graduate (Graduated = eSchoolPlus Withdrawal Code = 140 which translates to SIS Withdrawal Code = 15), then the student is identified as an actual graduate in their expected four-year cohort. It is not necessary to add early graduates to the 2019 four-year or five-year cohort. Early graduates will be accounted for with their original four-year or five-year cohort. For example, if a student started as a first-time ninth grader in 2016 and graduated in 2018, the student should count in the 2019 four-year graduation rate. The student should have been entered in the 2019 cycle nine graduates table by the school district. If a student started as a first-time ninth grader in 2017 and graduated in 2019, the student should not be added to the 2019 four-year cohort. The student should be coded as Graduated (eschoolPlus withdrawal code =140) and counted as a graduate in the 2020 four-year cohort. 

There are some students who are expected to graduate listed at schools that do not include grade 12. These students could have moved out of state before grade 12 or could have dropped out. If these moved out of state and were on-time (had not repeated a grade before transferring out), they may be removed from the cohort. A copy of the dated request for student records from the receiving school should be uploaded into ACGRS.

All corrections with proper documentation must be completed no later than 5 p.m. on November 15, 2019. The system will be locked and corrections will not be possible after this time.

Older browsers such as Internet Explorer version 8 do not allow full functionality of the system.  For best usage of the system, we suggest the use of Google Chrome as your browser.

Access to the system is available through the ADE Data Center (https://adedata.arkansas.gov) by selecting ADE Cohort Graduation Rates System. Alternatively, districts may directly login to the system by navigating to https://eis.ade.arkansas.gov/ACGRS. District employees must use their Triand District-level login and password to access the system. Please remember that the data contained in this system is of a sensitive nature. As with granting access to Triand, district administration should ensure only individuals with a legitimate educational interest as allowed by FERPA have access to the ADE Cohort Graduation Rates System.

Please use the following link to access a video demonstrating the use of the Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rates System: https://youtu.be/iVnt4S6mEJs

The following documents are attached to this Commissioner’s Memo: A guide demonstrating the system’s use; Frequently Asked Questions and Documentation; and a copy of the U.S. Department of Education’s guidance concerning the Four-Year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate. The U.S. Department of Education’s guidance will be used when deciding whether or not records should be updated.

For questions regarding your Triand username or password, please email: ade.triand@arkansas.gov.


 

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