Hey, IRC/IMCs, do you feel ready for the APH Census? Wait, come back, no need to run for the hills just yet!
We know this is a big project for you all, and we want to help make it as painless as possible, as well as ensuring that you have all the accurate information you need.
Right now, we support two approaches to getting the census info: generating forms for the districts to fill out and return, or an all-online approach via WebOrder. Read on for more info!
One – Generating PDF forms to send via email
Working with OCALI’s AT&AEM Center, we developed the necessary tools to generate fillable PDF forms using the information on the district record. These forms can then be emailed to the district to be completed, signed, and returned. (If you plan to print and mail forms, rather than emailing a fillable PDF, that can be done with the existing Census notice—just let us know if you need some help setting it up!)
Once you receive the form back from the district, you would review and update the information in KLAS as needed, and run a program in the batch manager to verify it, automatically applying the necessary APH information. Once all of the census forms have been returned and verified, you can extract the APH data and upload it to the SRS.
This approach requires more data entry and more hands-on work in general from your staff, but offers full control over your KLAS data and an easy way to ensure that you have manually checked over all of the information you are passing on to APH.
Two – Online via WebOrder
Working with Tennessee School for the Blind’s Resource Center for the Visually Impaired, we developed the additional functions in WebOrder necessary to complete the APH Census online.
This allows your districts to enter and update their own information directly, including adding students, entering last medical report dates and other data, updating the status of students no longer in their district, and so forth.
When they’re ready, they will use a “certify census” page to do a final review, attest that they have the parental permission forms on file, and enter a digital signature. Once all districts have certified, you can extract the APH data from KLAS and upload it to the SRS.
This approach transfers the bulk of the data entry from your staff to the districts, but you will still need to review the records on your end. In particular, duplicate student accounts will likely be created (since they can’t see student records associated with a different district), requiring you to merge the accounts.
What works best for you?
There are benefits and downsides to both approaches, but we hope that either one will make the Census process a little easier and more reliable for you. They have both been successfully used, so now we are making them more widely available.
As part of the KLAS 7.7 release, we have been working on some back-end changes to standardize where and how APH data is stored. This will make it even easier for us to implement these processes for anyone who wants to try them. But in the meantime, you may be able to get started with an earlier version--just let us know how you want to approach the census, and we'll figure out if you need an upgrade.