This is one of the most important months of the year for school finances, so please remember that this is the time be proactive rather than reactive. The numbers you collect for your reports due October 1, 2016 will reflect on your detail student weights in the WADM for your district later this year.
Further, it is vitally important that you tie all of the free and reduced students in a family together. If one family member receives this designation, then all of the students in that family receive the designation even if they don’t use it. The G/T counts need to get started now in case you have to test students; the same procedure applies with special education students. Also, determining the students on the transportation report requires looking at location and distance from one point in the district.
We often see that districts want to do things the same old way and sometimes are costing themselves student counts. The importance of being accurate is essential to other items that are funded by the free and reduced counts along with the G/T and special education counts.
We haven’t discussed the Native American or the bilingual counts. The bilingual count is important to the WADM as well, but it also is important to identify the ELL students that you have in your district. These reports are tedious, and sometimes we worry about our accuracy. Remember: if a student fits inside one of these areas, he or she should be counted.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.