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PIMS Data Collections and Reporting Timeline Modifications Due to COVID-19 for SY 2020-21

Topics: ACS Electronic Signatures | Fire and Security Drills | School Reconfiguration

This page was created on October 1, 2020.

The information below provides guidance on PIMS data collections and reporting timeline modifications. Unless otherwise noted, data collections and reporting remain unchanged at this time. Local education agencies (LEAs) are strongly encouraged to keep student information systems and other data systems up to date.

ACS Electronic Signatures

Accuracy Certification Statements (ACS) provide confirmation that Local Education Agency (LEA) data submitted in a specific data collection is complete and accurate. It is an indication that data are final and provides 1) a certification that the Chief School Administrator has reviewed and signed off on the data accuracy and 2) is essential documentation for potential audits.

To facilitate the timely submission of ACSs and accommodate the unique needs of working remotely, electronic signatures will now be accepted on ACSs using one of the two methods detailed below.

  • Option A: The use of actual signatures is encouraged whenever possible. This method requires that the document be printed, signed, scanned, and then submitted.

  • Option B: If printing and scanning are not possible, the use of an electronic signature is permitted.  If this option is utilized, the ACS must be submitted by attaching it to an email from the Chief School Administrator.

Fire and Security Drills

Guidance and information on fire and school security drills can be found on PDE’s COVID-19 Answers to FAQs webpage.

School Reconfiguration Updates for SY 20/21

  • At times, school districts may find it necessary to make changes to their school organization. A school district shall obtain approval of the Department prior to making these changes.  However, LEAs should not request school reconfiguration changes for temporary moves for the 2020-21 school year. This guidance does not reflect a change in policy; LEAs should never make a request to permanently close a school for a temporary situation.  If LEAs wish to request permanent changes, then the standard procedures for submitting would be in effect.

  • Examples of Temporary Closures include, but are not limited to the following:

    • Closing a school building for one year due to renovations.

    • Moving certain groups of students to different buildings / schools in the coming year to meet social distancing guidelines.

  • Cyber programs within the LEA are not considered independent schools.  These are considered programs within the school district, regardless of their permanent or temporary status.  Additionally, due to their fluidity, on-demand changes to instructional delivery models are not to be consider a school change.

    • Students should all be reported at their home school, and the teachers teaching these students should be reported at the student’s home school. The same is true of administrators, coordinate services personnel and support personnel. (This may mean staff that are reported part-time in multiple buildings for staff assignment would still be considered full-time, if their assignments total 100%.)