Attendance Accounting

School Calendar

The school instructional calendar is determined every year by the Personnel Department and is different each calendar year. Normally the total number of days taught in a school year would be 180. School month is defined as twenty days or four weeks of five days each, including legal holidays.

School Monthly Reports

Five days following the end of the school month, schools are required to send monthly ADA reports to the Business Department for compiling and calculating average daily attendance. A monthly ADA report schedule is included in this guide for easy reference.

Attendance reports are generated by attendance programs such as:

  • K-12 regular (01)
  • Home or Hospital – Regular (05)
  • Home or Hospital – Special Education (04)
  • Special Education Master Plan – SDC Non-severe (08) / SDC Severe (09)
  • Low Incidence (02) to be added to (01) attendance

Average Daily Attendance Reports

Average Daily Attendance (ADA) is the basis upon which New Haven Unified School District derives about 80% of its income. Accurate reporting of attendance is therefore critical. Although absences are no longer used for ADA, it is still important to track the reasons and encourage attendance for all students.

Please submit kindergarten retention forms each year to the Business Department for filing. Retain a copy at the site for audit review.

Revised Reports

For reporting purposes, prior period revised reports (if necessary) must be submitted along with the current month average daily attendance reports. (Example: The first school month’s revised report is to be submitted along with the second school month ADA report, and so on.)

Revised reports would normally be final with the exception of Independent Study or Home Instruction. Updates and any other corrections must be finalized before the revised reports are sent. Multiple revised reports create an undue burden and should be avoided.

All resolutions must be corrected with four (4) weeks of the date of occurrence and cannot be corrected after this time frame. Errors found in reporting may be corrected at any time throughout the year.

Review of Attendance Reports by Site Administrators

Before reports are sent to the Business Department, a detailed review of the reports is required to be done to identify any errors as per the following check list.

  • The school month dates as per instruction calendar
  • The number of days taught as per instruction calendar
  • Staff development days as per staff development calendar
  • “Z” on the report
  • Student totals on two lines (only for students scheduled for less than a full day of attendance)
  • Independent Study, attendance resolution codes “K” and “Y”
  • Site administrator’s follow-up with site attendance clerks such as timeliness of reports and accuracy of reports

Retention of Records

Notes from parents and call-in logs supporting excused absences should be retained or one full year. Notes from parents and logs should contain the following data:

  • Name of student
  • Date of absence
  • Date of note or call
  • Signature of parent or person taking call
  • Reason for absence

For further information regarding the retention of records, refer to the “K-12 Records Retention Manual” prepared by CASBO or refer to the Central Files manual at ESC.

Staff Development Days

Under the new attendance accounting rules, staff development days are no longer counted towards ADA. Students are required to attend classes for 180 days per school year, and teachers must take their staff development training outside of these 180 days. Therefore, you will no longer record staff development days as part of the ADA procedures and adjust your attendance for the day before or after as was done previously.

Independent Study

There are two types of independent study — short term and long term – and both are governed by (California Education Code section 51747)
Long-term independent study is handled at the Decoto School for Independent Studies for students needing an alternative program to the regular classroom. The Decoto School reports this ADA for Independent Studies. 
The school sites report Short-term independent study ADA for students taking vacation and other days off away from the regular classroom. The rules concerning this report state that no independent study will be granted for students of less than five days and fewer than 15 school days.  
Both independent studies — short-term and long-term — must have the independent study agreement completely filled out and signed by both the student’s parents and the administrator in charge. All rules concerning the agreements, including the days returned, the materials to be kept, and the return date, apply to both independent studies.

Reconciliation of Enrollments to ADA Report (#NA4955)

The district’s auditors have recommended we complete regular reconciliations of our actual enrollments to those reported in our attendance report (#NA4955) to assure that we are reporting all students and that none are reported in more than one program. Through much discussion, we have come up with the following procedures to complete this process:

First: What the auditors require is a very simple comparison of two sets of records. Any manual record that starts with the first day of school before any adjustments are to be made, with adds and drops to the reconciliation date, should match the actual ADA report for all programs students are in. Taking the high enrollment and deducting drops should come to the correct enrollment matching your manual records. If this occurs, you are done. Simply copy the last page of the attendance report (#NA4955) and your manual record showing the calculation to the same number of students enrolled. Have the principal sign it and send it in with your monthly ADA reports. Then keep this on file for the auditors to review with any backup used in the calculations.

NOTE: This can be done for the total school enrollment first before going on the grade levels or programs when errors occur.

Second: When differences do occur, proceed with the following steps:

  • Make sure you have run the report from the first day of the attendance month for which you are completing the reconciliation.
  • Make sure you have run the reports the day after the last Friday of the ADA month so that all changes on Friday have been updated in the computer.
  • Make sure that you have run the report for all programs at your site with active students enrolled.
  • Compare your calculations by grade level to isolate the problem, then begin to examine the detail by student for any discrepancy.
  • Check for students that may have been moved to other programs to see if they are still in the old program and are being counted twice.

These are the initial steps to discover differences in your reconciliation. If there is still no resolution, call Barbara Boyles at Extension 2218 and discuss the matter with her.

If through this process you discover the reason for the difference and are sure the ADA report is correct, simply note this on your cover sheet and submit the data without further review.

This process is to be done monthly.