Kindergarten

School Finance Reporting for Kindergarten Students: Responses to Frequently Asked Questions (January 2014)

Question 1: When a school has more than one section of kindergarten, can they report them separately?

Each group of kindergarten students that has a different kindergarten schedule, number of instructional days and/or length of instructional school day must be reported separately. Refer below for definitions of each of these. Each group of kindergarten students is identified by a separate grade level using any of KA, KB, KC ... KX, KY, KZ excluding KH. The combination of kindergarten schedule, instructional days and length of day will determine the pupil unit weighting assigned to a particular group of kindergarten students.

a) Kindergarten schedule is one of seven codes describing the type of instructional calendar the board has adopted for a group of kindergarten students; it is further defined below in Question 2.
b) Instructional days are the actual number of required student-teacher contact days on which instruction occurs to all students in the grade level and without charge to parents.
c) Length of the school day is the number of minutes between the time when all students in a school and grade are required to be in their seats and instruction begins and the time when the first students are dismissed in the school and grade. Length of day excludes meal times and times for which parents pay a fee. Annual instructional hours equals the number of instructional days times the length of day in terms of minutes divided by 60 minutes per hour.

Question 2: What are the valid Kindergarten Schedules as reported on MARSS?

Effective FY 2014 there are seven recognized kindergarten schedules for purposes of MARSS reporting:

A: Half day, daily. For example, this could be a group of kindergarten students scheduled to meet every day during the morning or the afternoon. Annual instructional hours are less than 850.

B: Full day, alternate day. For example, this could be a group of kindergarten students scheduled to meet Monday, Wednesday and alternate Fridays for the full school day. Annual instructional hours are less than 850.

C: Full day, three days per week. For example, this could be a group of kindergarten students scheduled to meet every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for the full school day. Annual instructional hours are less than 850.

E: Full day, daily or full day, four days per week; free; available to all students in the school. For example, this could be a group of kindergarten students scheduled to meet every day of the week for the full school day, the program is free and available to all kindergarten students enrolled in this school, and is funded with general education revenue. Annual instructional hours equal or exceed 850. In a district with a commissioner-approved four-day week, this could be a group of kindergarten students scheduled to meet four days per week for the full school day, as long as the program is free and available to all kindergarten students enrolled in the school, is funded with general education revenue and provides at least 850 annual instructional hours.

F: Full day, daily funded with Title I; free; available to all students in the school. For example, this would be a group of kindergarten students scheduled to meet every day of the week for the full school day, the program is free and available to all kindergarten students enrolled in this school and is funded, in part, with Title I money. Annual instructional hours equal or exceed 850.

G: Full day, daily funded with parent tuition. For example, this could be a group of kindergarten students scheduled to meet every day of the week for the full school day; however, parents are assessed a participation fee or tuition. The tuition represents either part of the school day, e.g., afternoons, or optional full days, e.g., Tuesday and Thursday. Instructional days and length of day reported on MARSS include only the time for which parents are not assessed a fee. Annual instructional hours for the free portion of the school year are less than 850.

H: Full day, daily; free; available on a limited basis (not available to all students in the school). For example, this would be a group of kindergarten students scheduled to meet every day of the week for the full school day, the program is free but is not available to all students enrolled in the school; participation is limited in some manner. Annual instructional hours equal or exceed 850.

Question 3: What is the difference between Kindergarten Grades and Kindergarten Schedules in the MARSS reports?

The kindergarten grade represents a group of kindergarten students using one of KA, KB, KC…KX, KY, KZ, excluding KH. (HK is used to report students enrolled in academic kindergarten who have an IEP/IFSP/IIIP.) Each group of kindergarten students has its own calendar. The KA, KB, KC, etc., has nothing to do with the kindergarten schedule.

The kindergarten schedule is the single-digit code that best represents the type of schedule for which the students are required to attend school for instructional purposes. Refer to Question 2 for a list of the values. The KA, KB, KC, etc., in the grade level has nothing to do with the kindergarten schedule value. These are two separate data items.

Question 4: How is the Kindergarten Average Daily Membership (ADM) computed?

Kindergarten ADM is computed the same way as for older students. ADM equals the membership days in a single enrollment record divided by the number of instructional days in that school and grade. The formula is the same whether the student is enrolled in a full-day, daily program or a half-day day program or a full-day, alternate day program. The availability of 1.0 pupil unit weighting for FY 2015 does not change how kindergarten ADM is generated. A student enrolled for the entire school year in any of the kindergarten programs will generate 1.0 ADM.

Question 5: How is Kindergarten Extended Time Average Daily Membership (ADM) computed?

Extended time ADM is the ADM generated by students enrolled in state-approved alternative programs (SAAP) of which targeted services is one type. It is the ADM generated by the SAAP for instruction provided outside the required school day and school year by at-risk students who have already generated 1.0 ADM in a traditional school program. Extended time ADM generates extended time revenue.

• For FY 2014, extended time ADM for kindergarten students enrolled in a targeted services program equals the membership hours divided by 425 hours. The ADM is weighted at 0.612 to compute extended time pupil units.

• For FY 2015, extended time ADM for kindergarten students enrolled in a targeted services program equals the membership hours divided by 850 hours. The ADM is weighted at 1.0 to compute extended time pupil units.

Note that kindergarten students must be enrolled in the required academic school year as kindergarten students before they are eligible to participate in a targeted services program. For example, a first time kindergarten student would be eligible to participate in a targeted services program after the required academic year has started in the fall. A student repeating kindergarten would be eligible to participate in the summer program after the completion of the first kindergarten year.

Targeted services programs are available to only public school students; nonpublic school students are ineligible to generate extended time ADM as shared time students because, by design, targeted services is not core curriculum which is a statute requirement for shared time aid.

Question 6: How is the requirement for 850 hours met when the school district has snow days?

Effective FY 2015, school boards must adopt a kindergarten school calendar that provides a minimum of 850 instructional hours to be eligible to generate 1.0 pupil unit weighting for the kindergarten students. When school days are canceled for any reason, the canceled day is not reported as an instructional day. The local school board must decide whether or not to make up a canceled school day and adopt a new school calendar reflecting the canceled school day and any new days scheduled for instruction.

Effective FY 2015, when the loss of scheduled instructional days causes the total annual kindergarten instructional hours to fall below 850 hours and the time cannot be made up by adding instructional days or increasing the length of the instructional day, programming at MDE will apply a pupil unit weighting of 0.55 to the kindergarten students’ ADM. The board can appeal the loss of the 1.0 pupil unit weighting by submitting the following information to School Finance:

• Copy of original board-adopted calendar that identifies scheduled dates of instruction and length of instructional day, e.g., start and end times, meal times for kindergarten.

• Copy of new adopted calendar that identifies same as above.

• A description of why lost days/time could not have been made up during the school year.

Question 7: How is kindergarten data edited in the Minnesota Automated Reporting Student System (MARSS)?

Following are the edits that are performed in the local MARSS edit program. Errors need to be corrected because there is an inconsistency between or among data items. Warnings indicate a need to verify the data but if the data are accurate there is nothing to change.

• Error #253 Excessive Instructional Hours for Parent Pay K (schedule G)

§ Occurs when instructional hours > 600 which is considered excessive for a part-time kindergarten program. The number of instructional days and length of day reported for full-day, daily kindergarten programs in which parents pay a fee should include only the time that is free to parents.

§ Enrollment records are marked in error indicating that corrections must be made for these students to be included in other state reports. Any of kindergarten schedule, instructional days and/or length of day could need correction.

• Error #373 Kindergarten Schedules E, F or H < 850 Instructional Hours

§ Occurs when instructional hours are < 850 for full day, daily kindergarten schedules. A full-day, daily kindergarten schedule that is free must provide at least 850 instructional hours.

§ Enrollment records are marked in error indicating that corrections must be made for these students to be included in other state reports. Any of kindergarten schedule, instructional days and/or length of day could need correction.

• Warning #358 Instructional Hours Too Few

§ Occurs when instructional hours < 425. Statute requires districts to provide at least 425 annual instructional hours in public schools, including charter schools.

§ No enrollment records are marked in error. Verify that the instructional days and length of day have been reported correctly. There is nothing to adjust if the data are accurate.

Question 8: How is a student reported on MARSS when the school offers only a full-day, daily kindergarten program and parents exercise their right to excuse a student from part of the school day under Minnesota Statutes, section 120A.22, Subdivision 12(b)?

A student who is scheduled to attend at the school site per parent request for less than the full school day as adopted by the school board is considered a part time student. A kindergarten student enrolled in a full-day, daily program that is free and whose parent picks up the child prior to the end of the day as a daily, routine schedule must have a MARSS percent enrolled calculated and it will be less than 100 percent. For example, if the kindergarten day is exactly five hours long and the student is scheduled to leave each day per parent request after only three hours of instruction, the Percent Enrolled is calculated to be (three hours divided by five hours times 100) or 60 percent. The student’s ADM will be prorated but the prorated ADM will be weighted at 1.0.

Question 9: How is a student reported on MARSS when the student transfers from a half-day, daily kindergarten program to a full-day, daily kindergarten program in the same school?

When a school offers at least two sections of kindergarten, one that is scheduled to meet full-day, daily and another that is scheduled to meet half-day, daily, students must be allowed to transfer between the two schedules for the full-day, daily section to be eligible to generate the 1.0 pupil unit weighting effective in FY 2015. The student who originally enrolls in the half-day, daily program but chooses to transfer to the full-day, daily program mid-year is withdrawn on the student’s last day of attendance in the half-day program. On the first day of attendance in the full-day, daily program the student is assigned to the kindergarten grade level identified with the full-day, daily kindergarten schedule.

For example, grade level KA is the half-day, daily program (kindergarten schedule A) and KF is the full-day, daily program (kindergarten schedule E). The student will be originally enrolled in grade KA. On the last day of attendance with the KA kindergarten group the student is withdrawn with a MARSS Status End 01. On the first day of attendance with the KF kindergarten group the student is re-enrolled with a Last Location of Attendance of 22. The student’s Percent Enrolled will be 100 in both records because the student was enrolled in the full program in each section of kindergarten: the KA group was scheduled for only half-days while the KF group was scheduled for full days. Effective FY 2015, the ADM while enrolled in KA will be weighted at 0.55 and the ADM while enrolled in KF will be weighted at 1.0.

Question 10: Is a school able to maintain full-day, daily kindergarten funding when it offers both full-day, daily and half-day, daily schedules at the beginning of the school year, but does not allow mid-year transfers into the full-day, daily section?

No. When the full-day, daily schedule is not available to all students who desire to participate, no kindergarten students will generate 1.0 pupil unit weighting in FY 2015. This kindergarten section should be identified with Kindergarten Schedule H – full-day, daily kindergarten, free with limited access. By limiting transfers into the full-day, daily section of kindergarten the district has limited participation so that no students are considered to be enrolled in a full-day, daily kindergarten program that is free and available to all students enrolled in the school. Students enrolled in both sections of kindergarten will generate 0.55 pupil unit weighting. A district kindergarten transfer policy may dictate when student may transfer between full-day and half-day programs but such policies may not unreasonably restrict availability of the full-day program to all kindergarten students at the school.

Question 11: How is the kindergarten schedule reported for kindergarten students with an IEP/IFSP (MARSS grade level HK) and what impact does this have on their Average Daily Membership (ADM)?

Schools are not required to report a kindergarten schedule for grade HK (kindergarten students with an IEP/IFSP) because each student on an IEP has a schedule unique to the student’s instructional needs and as defined in the IEP/IFSP. The average daily membership (ADM) will continue to be the (student’s membership hours divided by 875 hours) with a maximum of 1.0. Students in grade HK are eligible to generate membership between July 1 and June 30. The HK students’ ADM will continue to be weighted at 1.0 for purposes of computing pupil units.