Overview: UIAS (Unique Identifier Audit System) is a reporting tool used by NYSED to distribute select audit reports to LEAs (Local Education Agencies) such as public school districts, charter schools and non-public schools participating in the NYS Student Information Repository System (or SIRS, aka the Statewide student data warehouse).
UIAS audit reports rely on tracking a student's unique NYS identifier (the NYS Student Identification System ID, or NYSSIS ID) across enrollment locations throughout the State. UIAS reports are intended to alert LEAs to specific scenarios in which students' enrollment records may be inappropriately aligned with the expected business rules for those enrollment cases (see UIAS Report Guides for specifics). UIAS audit reports currently include:
- Disappearing Students: expected to be continuously enrolled in a given location based on the past year enrollment record, but with no apparent re-enrollment in that location in the new school year;
- False Dropouts: students exited as dropouts but who may have re-enrolled in a new location;
- False Transfers: students who were to have transferred to a new location but appear not to have been enrolled elsewhere; and
- Simultaneous Enrollments: students who appear to be inappropriately enrolled in multiple locations.
For LEAs: UIAS audit reports are distributed directly to charters and public schools via the IRS Portal, a secure, Web-based file distribution application. For information about eligibility to access the IRS Portal file delivery system, and who is notified when files are available, see our IRS Portal resources page. (Non-public schools currently receive UIAS reports through their RIC; see next paragraph for details.)
Each Regional Information Center (RIC) receives copies of all reports for each LEA they host, including any non-public schools they may serve. Currently, non-public LEAs have no access to the IRS Portal. Until the IRS Portal can accommodate non-public LEAs, RICs must securely deliver UIAS reports to their non-public customers. RIC copies of UIAS reports are delivered separately via SFTP (secure file transfer); a copy of each Big 5 City District's UIAS reports is also delivered via SFTP to each Big 5 member (in addition to delivery via the IRS Portal).
Timeline (Report Release Schedule) :
UIAS reports will generally be released on the first Wednesday of each month. Some reports may be released only periodically (See relevant Report Guides. For example, False Transfer reports use current school year data from December through June. From July through November the False Transfer Across Years version uses current and prior years.)
UIAS Report releases are now fully incorporated into the NYSED IRS Calendar (link now located in left navigation bar), and any accompanying details will be noted in the Descriptions area of the Event.
LEAs should review all reports and report guidance following the steps below.
1. For each report, LEAs should first review the relevant UIAS Report Guide, located above.
2. LEAs should next compare their official records (entry/exit enrollment codes, dates, etc.) against the data as stored in the LEA's local student management system (SMS) and/or as submitted to their RIC or other regional Level 1 data hosting site.
3. Any discrepancies between official records and data recorded in the local SMS (or at Level 1) should be considered for correction, following accepted State or local protocols if required for such changes. In many cases, it may be necessary to communicate with another LEA with whom records may conflict. In others, LEAs may need to resolve students' statewide NYSSIS IDs if these are the cause of record discrepancies (see NYSSIS user guide for more information).
4. An LEA may request assistance with investigations suggested in Step 3 by contacting their RIC or Big 5 UIAS Point of Contact (PoC). Most LEAs will contact their RIC, though Big 5 City Districts also have a dedicated UIAS PoC and may have other support.
All issues should be submitted to the LEA's RIC or Big 5 City District according to that regional support team's proscribed troubleshooting procedures. (An overview of NYSED's guidelines may be found in the Guidance for RIC/Big 5 UIAS PoCs, Step 4, below.) LEAs should not report issues directly to NYSED, as NYSED does not directly handle LEA data movement. NYSED will also provide a UIAS FAQ based on common inquiries as they occur.
RIC or Big 5 UIAS PoCs will review all documented LEA inquiries, and, if necessary, further escalate issues to NYSED through the NYSED IssueTracker troubleshooting application. UIAS PoCs may also use IssueTracker to forward LEA suggestions about report design or report guide revisions.
All LEA issues should be handled by the LEA's RIC or Big 5 City District UIAS Point of Contact (PoC) according to that support team's proscribed troubleshooting procedures. LEAs should not report issues directly to NYSED, as NYSED does not directly handle LEA data. RIC or Big 5 UIAS PoCs will review all documented LEA inquiries, and, if necessary, further escalate issues to NYSED through the NYSED IssueTracker troubleshooting application. RIC or Big 5 UIAS PoCs may also use IssueTracker to forward LEA suggestions about report design or report guide revisions.
1. LEAs should have first reviewed the relevant UIAS Report Guide for each report, located above.
2. LEAs should have next compared their official records (entry/exit enrollment codes, dates, etc.) against the data stored in the LEA's local student management system (SMS) and/or as submitted to their Level 1 data hosting site.
3. The RIC, Big 5 or other Level 1 hosting site should assist the LEA in helping to determine whether discrepancies between official records and data recorded in the local SMS (or at Level 1) should be considered for correction, following accepted State or local protocols if required for such changes. In many cases, the RIC, Big 5 or other Level 1 hosting site may need to help identify and/or communicate with another LEA with whom records may conflict. In others, the RIC, Big 5 or other Level 1 hosting site may need to help LEAs resolve students' statewide NYSSIS IDs if these are the cause of record discrepancies (see NYSSIS user guide for more information).
4. If an LEA's request for assistance cannot be resolved by the RIC or Big 5 City District (or other) support team, assistance from NYSED is available to UIAS PoCs through the NYSED IssueTracker (UIAS Project space). NYSED strongly urges RIC/Big 5 support teams to provide their LEAs with a set of recommended troubleshooting and documentation guidelines, including how to capture and edit screenshots, how to document and articulate a click-path, what types of data are mandatory, and what types of data should NOT be included (such as Personally Identifiable Information, or PII).
For the NYSED IssueTracker, sufficient documentation might include (but is not limited to):
- Student NYSSIS and Local IDs (mandatory),
- BEDS code(s) of enrollment location(s) (mandatory),
- Entry and exit enrollment dates and reason codes (mandatory),
- Date of UIAS report run and/or last known data refresh if referencing local, Level 0 or Level 1 data movement,
- Screenshots, ensuring that PII are not included or permanently masked,
- Click-path, including descriptions of links and/or URLs as appropriate,
- Type of PC/Mac, O/S and/or browser software if applicable.
(The NYSED IssueTracker may also be used for posting LEA or RIC/Big 5 suggestions for UIAS report guidance, Web resources, or report or other user interface design feature requests.)
Q.01: How do I get my UIAS audit reports?
A.01: As noted in the Overview at the top of the page, UIAS reports are distributed directly to charters and public schools via the IRS Portal, a secure, Web-based file distribution application. Our IRS Portal resources page provides information about eligibility to access this file delivery system. (Non-public schools currently receive UIAS reports directly from their hosting RIC. Non-public schools should speak to their RICs' UIAS Points of Contact.)
Q.02: Who gets notified that my UIAS reports are available?
A.02: By default, the District Data Coordinator or School Data Coordinator is the recipient of all email notifications of new files (for ANY files distributed through the IRS Portal). As noted in the Overview at the top of the page, our IRS Portal resources page provides more specific details about how to determine who receives IRS Portal email notifications. (As non-public schools currently receive UIAS reports directly from their hosting RIC, the RIC's UIAS Point of Contact should be consulted. Each RIC manages its own file distribution.)
Q.03: I received notification that UIAS reports are available, so why, when I log into the Portal, don't I have access to them?
A.03: First, a distinction should be made between the NYSED Business Portal and the IRS Portal. The IRS Portal is a file distribution application, just one of many applications (such as BEDS/VADIR, C4E, SAMS, TEACH, etc.) made available through the NYSED Business Portal. Access to each NYSED Business Portal application is selectively assigned by a SEDDAS Delegated Administrator (DA) in your LEA, according to SEDDAS rules (see SEDDAS resources for details). If you are listed in SEDREF (NYSED’s core datafile system) as the Information Officer of record, email notifications from the IRS-Portal are sent to your email address by rule (see IRS Portal resources for more details). However, that does not mean that your DA has assigned an account to you for the IRS-Portal application. Contact your DA (Superintendent or Principal/CEO) first; for further support, please refer to the SEDDAS or IRS Portal resources linked above.
Q.04: I logged into the IRS Portal and found UIAS reports, so why didn't I receive an email notification?
A.04: As noted above, only the Information Officer (School or District Data Coordinator) designated in SEDREF will receive email notifications from the IRS Portal (see IRS Portal resources page). If you are the individual named in SEDREF as the Information Officer and the email listed is correct, but you did not receive an email notice (or received some but not all notices), please contact your RIC/Big 5 UIAS Point of Contact. This could indicate a problem with the IRS Portal notification process, and The UIAS PoC should open a ticket in the NYSED IssueTracker to pursue resolution.
Q.05: I checked SEDREF and some of the contact information is wrong; how do I submit changes?
A.05: For public schools and districts, charter schools, non-public schools, BOCES and RICs, changes to SEDREF contact information must be submitted to the Information and Reporting Services (IRS) office, on executive letterhead, signed by the individual in the executive position for the governing organization. For example, any contact changes at the district level must be signed by the School Superintendent on district letterhead. Public school principal changes must also be submitted by the district; other public school-level contacts would be submitted by the Principal on school letterhead. All charter and non-public school contacts would be submitted by the Principal or other chief executive (heads of boards, etc.) on that institution's letterhead. Signed-off changes on letterhead may be faxed to IRS at 518-474-4351 or attached as a PDF and submitted to DATAQUEST@mail.nysed.gov.
Q.06: How often are UIAS reports run?
A.06: While a new SIRS extract for UIAS is created following every weekly data refresh, NYSED runs most UIAS reports monthly (typically on the first Wednesday of the month). However, some reports may be run at different intervals depending on the time of the year. Information on frequency may be found in each UIAS report guide, and in the schedule of releases timeline.
Q.07: I am missing UIAS reports. Where are they?
A.07: Please be aware that you will only receive a report if you have potential violations (according to that report's business rules, see UIAS Report Guides). Likewise, you should only receive a notification (if you are the designated Information Officer) if a report has been generated. If you have logged in to the IRS Portal and find no reports (or only some reports), you may wish to check with your UIAS Point of Contact to be sure they also have no copy of that report. Your UIAS PoC should open a ticket in the NYSED IssueTracker to report any discrepancies.
Q.08: There are only two students in my UIAS report! Can someone tell me about it?
A.08: Please first review the suggested steps LEAs should take when considering UIAS report outcomes. Please consult with your UIAS Point of Contact, who may have additional troubleshooting procedures.
Q.09: Two of our home-schooled students appear on the UIAS Disappearing Student Report, and the SIRS Manual seems to have no exit code for a home-schooled student when they complete their education. If there is no code to exit these students, how do we keep home-schooled students from appearing on this report?
Will there be an exit code that we may use to exit home-schooled students when they "graduate"?
A.09: The Disappearing Student report should pick up only enrollments left "Open" at the end of the prior School Year (see Disappearing Student Report guide), which would indicate a continuous enrollment, but having no subsequent enrollment in the next year.
Per the SIRS Manual guidance, home-schooled students should not generally have Open enrollments except for the purpose of reporting assessments (see below). The SIRS Manual (which may be found at the main SIRS Resources page) states that home-school enrollments are to be assigned a transfer exit code of 255. Effectively, then, home-schooled students are initially enrolled for the purposes of recording their demographic, enrollment and program services, then kept in a "closed" state, except when enrollments are temporarily opened in order to record assessments.
The following points about home-schooled students are made by the SIRS Manual:
1. The district must provide demographic, program and enrollment records; the enrollment must use the standard 0011 enrollment entry code; and the location BEDS Code must be the district of residence home-school location code (i.e., ending in '0888') (see Chapter 5, Reporting Rules, including row in Table of Reporting Responsibility for School-Age Students).
2. When the student is transferred to instruction provided by parents or guardians (or by instructors employed by parents or guardians), that student should be exited to home instruction using transfer exit code 255 (see Appendix 8: Reason for Ending Enrollment Codes).
3. While the SIRS Manual refers to opening an enrollment on the day of a test administration and closing it back out (with a 255) on the day following that assessment (see Chapter 8: Reporting Enrollment Records), it does also mention the option of waiting to close the enrollment on the day following the last assessment date if multiple assessments are taken. Nonetheless, the last enrollment record should always have an exit of 255.
4. As long as the location code reflects the appropriate (district + 0888 BEDS) home school placement, the 255 home-schooled transfer exit code is not amongst codes counted as dropouts and these students will be excluded from that count under the current Accountability rules.
Q.10: My False Transfers report lists ten students as having left the district with a 170 exit code. Most "left the district" during July, August or
September, meaning they never showed up here to attend
school in the current school year. They were "exited" on the dates that
reflect when the registration office was notified of their departure. What is
the "violation" and how should we respond?
A.10: A UIAS workgroup is currently discussing the potential pros and cons of excluding transfers that have been recorded over the summer months (beginning July 1 and ending August 31). The scope and specifications of any recommendation will be determined prior to the next UIAS development cycle (for version 3.0, scheduled to begin development in Fall 2010, with a release anticipated in winter 2010-11).
To address the question, "What is the "violation" and how should we respond?", here are some general observations:
1. According to the SIRS Manual (which may be found at the main SIRS Resources page), the exit enrollment transfer code 170 is to be used only when you have received documentation "… includ[ing] a request for a transcript from a receiving school, a record of sending a transcript to the receiving school, or a written acknowledgement [sic] from the receiving school that the student has registered." (See Appendix 8: Reason for Ending Enrollment Codes.)
2. If it is known that the student intended to transfer, but the documentation is not already in hand, then the appropriate exit code is a 425 “Left school, no documentation of transfer”. Per the SIRS Manual (see Appendix 8: Reason for Ending Enrollment Codes), this code "...is used when a student is thought to have transferred to another school but the required transfer documentation has not been received.” Once the appropriate documentation is received, the exit record may be changed to a 170 transfer. Coding the student as exiting with a 170 prior to receiving appropriate documentation is in violation of requirements. Also, if it was not known that the student intended to transfer, other exit codes should be considered (again see Appendix 8: Reason for Ending Enrollment Codes).
3. When the False Transfer report logic considers enrollments recorded with a 170 (amongst others, see False Transfer Report guide), appropriate documentation is assumed. Since each of those documentation cases presumes activity at the new LEA ‘B’ on or after the date on which the student left the prior LEA ‘A’, there should always be one of two cases: either a “same day” exit/entry, or a lag between enrollment exit from LEA ‘A’ and enrollment entry in LEA ‘B’. Same dates and lags should not be picked up by the report. Thus only “true” false transfers (where no subsequent enrollment is detected) and overlaps (where LEA ‘B’ has an entry date that precedes the LEA ‘A’ exit) should be returned as possible violations, as identified in the report guidance.
4. When documentation of transfer is received, the date on which the student is known to have left your district (LEA 'A') should be used as the Exit Enrollment date, not the date the data are being entered into the student management system. Your district (LEA 'A') should maintain appropriate records indicating the last date on which the student was enrolled in your district.
5. If you have documentation of transfer, and thus have legitimately entered a 170 code, yet no subsequent enrollment is detected, you should investigate with LEA ‘B’. LEA ‘B’ may have anticipated enrollment when requesting records from LEA ‘A’ but the student may not have ultimately enrolled; the student may have been erroneously assigned a new NYSSIS ID by LEA ‘B’; or some other scenario may have occurred. All scenarios would require follow-up with LEA ‘B’. Your UIAS Point of Contact (see Report Review Steps: LEAs) should assist you with any issues you may have. If they cannot resolve an issue for you, they will escalate to NYSED directly through our shared NYSED IssueTracker troubleshooting system.
Q.11: On the False Transfer Report, if the dates of exit
and enrollment are correct at our school and the other school, what do I
need to do with these students? For example: A student was withdrawn
on 8/13 with a 170 and enrolled in the new district on 9/2. I have verified that the
student did enroll on that date. Is
there something else I should be looking at?
A.11: Because LEAs submit student data through a hosting site (your RIC or Big 5 City District hosting center), all UIAS inquiries should first go to your UIAS Point of Contact (PoC) there. UIAS PoCs have the best capacity to confirm what data have been loaded into their Level 1 regional datamart as well as how your data should appear in the Level 2 statewide data warehouse. If your UIAS PoC cannot resolve an inquiry s/he will escalate issues directly to NYSED through our IssueTracker troubleshooting application. In the "Support Steps: RIC/Big 5 UIAS PoCs" section above, you will find a list of the kind of details your UIAS PoC is likely to ask of you for troubleshooting purposes.
If you have confirmed that both your 170 transfer exit and the other LEA's enrollment entry dates are accurate, then the next step should be to provide the appropriate documentation to your UIAS PoC so s/he can open a ticket in IssueTracker to determine why the student is still showing up in the UIAS report.
You should keep in mind that the latest UIAS report would have used data loaded to the Level 2 statewide data warehouse by EOD that previous Friday evening (see the SIRS Data Refresh Cycle page for details), so if any enrollment entry/exit dates have been changed after that data refresh date, the UIAS report will not reflect these changes until the next round of reports.
Q.12: We are getting a lot of violations because our transfer exit dates were entered as the date of the new district's request for transcripts (rather than backdated to the actual last date the student attended in our district). As a result, our exit dates are later than the student's entry date in the new district. What can we do if our student management system does not allow us to backdate exit records?
A.12: Legally, all records should reflect the most accurate data known, including actual exit dates. An SMS incapable of accurately reflecting known data would likely be written up if you were to undergo a formal audit. If your student management system cannot accurately backdate, work with your vendor to resolve this issue.
Q.13: What is the UIAS reports' impact on me, and by what deadline should the review of these reports be completed?
A.13: In terms of impact, the fact that you are receiving a report necessarily indicates that you have records in the statewide data warehouse that are in potential violation of select business rules. Some of these rules have an impact on an LEA's accountability status or even have a fiscal impact if not corrected, so in those cases the assessment of impact may be based on these contexts. Other violations may not reflect an impact with as high a profile, but might still reflect negatively if your LEA was to be formally audited.
Corrections should be made as soon as possible. Once the corrected data are entered into SIRS, subsequent audits should reflect those changes and fewer discrepancies will be generated.
The UIAS reports are intended to alert you to potential violations in order to assist you with the overall task of cleaning data, and have no deadline directly associated with them. However, assessing issues in the context of deadlines associated with specific outcomes (accountability or fiscal, for example) might help you prioritize which records and reports to resolve first. If you need assistance in determining which reports reflect what kind of impact, the UIAS Report Guides and your UIAS Point of Contact should be able to help.
Q.14: After comparing our UIAS Reports from last month to this month, we are finding that many of the students are still reported because
other LEAs are not performing necessary enrollment updates. How do we resolve this?
A.14: For assistance in working with other districts, you may wish to ask your UIAS Point of Contact (at your RIC) to help with negotiations. We strongly recommend that you keep records of all outreach you make, and ask your UIAS PoC to do the same. If the district with whom you are attempting to coordinate is outside the purview of your own RIC, we recommend that your UIAS PoC reach out to the UIAS PoC in that LEA's RIC (or Big 5 CSD). If your UIAS PoC is unable to resolve these issues they should contact SED directly through the NYSED IssueTracker, our shared troubleshooting application.
Q.15: After repeated outreach to
other LEAs to perform necessary updates, no action has been taken by the other LEA. Since it is our LEA that stands to be impacted, but the ability to change the records is outside our control, can we be given assurances that this will not impact us negatively?
A.15: If you and your UIAS Point of Contact have kept records of the attempts made to reach out to the other LEA(s), but you and your UIAS PoC have been unable to engage the other LEA in making changes, then the UIAS PoC should contact SED directly. This may be done through the NYSED IssueTracker (our shared troubleshooting application), or through email@example.com (our central mailbox). All record of attempted outreach (stripped of any secure or private information) should be posted to IssueTracker or attached to the email communication. We cannot make blanket assurances about impact, but SED will review all submissions.
Q.16: How do I submit comments about the reports, guides or other resources, or suggest new reports or modifications to existing reports?
A.16: Submit these to your UIAS Point of Contact, who should post them to the UIAS project in the NYSED IssueTracker. NYSED and the UIAS subcommittee reviews all feedback and suggestions posted to IssueTracker prior to each new UIAS application development cycle.
For questions about UIAS reports or data, or to submit feedback or suggestions about UIAS reports, please contact your Level 1 Big 5 Cities or Regional Information Center (RIC) UIAS Point of Contact (see Support Contacts.)
To contact us regarding general information such as interpretation of NYSED policy or data definitions/guidelines, please send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.