Education Exchange: State Panel Discussion (new)

NICK: Hello and welcome to the Child Welfare
Information Technology Systems Managers and
Staff Webinar Series, brought to you on behalf of the Health and Human
Services Administration for Children and
Families, Children’s Bureau. Today’s round table
features a distinguished panel from Alabama, The District
of Columbia and Wisconsin, who will discuss
their experiences with exchanges between child welfare agencies
and education agencies. I’m Nick Mozer, your
host and facilitator for today’s discussion. Next slide, please. Now, I’d like to discuss
a few housekeeping items related to today’s webinar. First, if you
called in using a phone, please select
‘leave computer audio’. You may do so by
moving your mouse to the bottom left corner
of the Zoom webinar software and you should see
an up arrow that says ‘leave computer audio’. If you did not do so
already, please do so now. That will help us
ensure a smooth experience when asking
questions over the phone. Next, attendees are encouraged to participate in the roundtable
with questions or comments. There will be periodic
question and answer sessions throughout the webinar but as of right now, all
participant lines are muted and we’ll open them up for Q and
A throughout the discussion. Please be aware that you can
submit questions at any time using the question and answer
feature or using the chat box, which you can find at
the bottom of the screen. Any additional questions
that you have after the webinar you may submit to
[email protected] or to your federal analyst. Next slide, please. Okay, so, let me
introduce our panelists. First, from Alabama, we have Ramaswamy
Macha, IT Manager; Tim Preskitt,
FACTS Project Manager; Donna Reardon,
FACTS Functional Analyst; Danny Luster, FACTS
Functional Analyst. From the District of Columbia,
we have William Henderson, Interim
Assistant Superintendent, Data Assessment and Research, Office of the State
Superintendent of Education; we have Megan Dho, Supervisory Well
Being Education Specialist, Office of Well Being, Child
and Family Services Agency. In addition, we
have Cynthia Stuart, FACES Application Supervisor with the Child and
Family Services Agency. And from Wisconsin,
we have Jenny Bundrage, Child Welfare Section Chief,
Division of Management Services; and John Elliott,
Deputy Administrator, Division of
Safety and Permanence. So, let’s discuss the
flow of this webinar. We’re going to start with a
past and present discussion from each of our
Title IV-E agencies in which they’ll describe both
the history of their exchanges and where they are today. We’ll then talk about
governance and technology, security, user impact — which is what effect
have we seen both with users and, you know, perhaps
research, all sorts of things. We’ll transition to
lessons learned and advice that our panelists
would give to folks that are somewhere along
this education exchange journey and then we’ll talk
about future vision. What we may find throughout
the course of it is that future vision may come up, just as we’re
talking about our plans because we’re all
working toward something and looking towards the future. Alright, let’s let
the District of Columbia tell us a bit about the
history of their exchange. MEGAN: Sure. Hi,
this is Megan Dho, I am with our D.C.
child welfare agency and I guess, you know, we started where I imagine
many states may have started which was just completely independently
tracking educational data on our youth and foster care, without any
communication whatsoever with our local education
agencies, I’m sad to say. Where we really started
was in our SACWIS system, called, we did have
dedicated education screens that social workers were to
use to enter basic information, educational data
on their clients, including, you know, where
the children attended school, what their grade was, whether they had an IEP,
very basic level information. But, we had no exchange
of data happening, again, with our other
partnering education agencies and I would really say there
were two precipitating events that prompted us to change that. We had one unfortunate
and horrible local tragedy where we had a case that
got national attention — the Banita Jacks case, where four children were
found deceased in their home and it was a horrible case that really got the
attention of the mayor to both recognize
faulty investigations on the part of our agency
and the child welfare agency and not catching things sooner. But, I think what
really shook people up is these children had not
attended school for months and there had been no reporting
by the education agencies to that effect, nor any communication
between the two agencies that maybe
would’ve picked this up. So, I think that was what
really got local attention to say we’ve gotta fix this, we’ve gotta do something to
get us sharing information. And then of course, I
think the Feds also prompted — I’m sorry that case
happened in 2008, I believe — and then, there were
some federal mandates that I think other states
may mention as a trigger. Things like the Richard B. Russell
National School Lunch Act or the healthy, you know, the Healthy
Hunger Free Kids Act, which mandated the exchange
of information to identify, between the
agencies to identify kids that would qualify for
free or reduced lunch. So, that, I think, the combination of
those two things started to get our agencies
talking to one another about how we could
structure such an agreement and I’m gonna turn it over to my
colleague, William Henderson, at our state education agency to
talk about what we developed. WILLIAM: Yeah, so,
and I think I’ll add one more thing onto
that, as well, Megan, is that one of the reasons
why we did this, as well, is because we wanted
to identify students who were eligible for
free and reduced lunch. And if you are a foster student, you’re automatically eligible because you’re a
ward of the state. And so, one of the
things that we were doing was trying to push, we
were pushing that data down to the local education agencies so they could quickly
identify those students and feed them a lot
quicker than just looking through a lot of paperwork. And then, so, yeah, so some
of the things that we did was we tried to figure
out how do we make sure that we get this data, because what FACES had
was data, educational data however, in the District, we
have very porous borders, so a lot of the students were
moving back and forth daily, so our mobility
numbers were very high. So, FACES could not keep up
with how quickly the students were moving back and forth, so one of the things
that we tried to do is provide them more
information on where the actual student
went when they were moved from the parent
home and pushed it back and shared that data back
with Child and Family Services. MEGAN: Do you want to – WILLIAM:
Go ahead, Megan. MEGAN: I was just saying
and do you wanna describe, we did eventually
come up with an agreement, a formal written agreement that I think we’ll talk a little
bit about in more detail later, but that was first developed
in, I believe it was 2013. WILLIAM: Yeah, the ICD,
the Interexchange Document, where we identified what
information we wanted from CFSA, because one of the things we
were doing at the time, too, was identifying
at-risk students. So, there’s five categories
for at-risk students. Either you’re
homeless, you’re foster, you’re overage in high school or
you’re receiving TANF and SNAP. So, one of the things we
did was we met with CFSA on a regular basis to
identify what information that we wanted from FACES and also what
information we were willing, we could share with CFSA. So, some of the
information that we shared is longitudinal
educational data. So, if a child was
removed from a home, CFSA could go into our statewide
longitudinal data system and look at the entire
history of that student as far as if they
were in public education, what schools they went to and you get a lot of demographic
data on those students as far as
assessment information, special ed. information and all other
sorts of information that we have in our
longitudinal data system. And so, Megan, if
I’ve missed anything, please prompt me
because I could talk forever but I just want to be
mindful of everyone’s time. MEGAN: Yeah. I think the only
other thing I’d maybe highlight, and we’ll probably speak
to this in more detail later, but I think the exchange of data that we were able
to orchestrate it so that we have
a daily exchange, a daily data exchange
whereby our FACES information about which kids are in
care is a daily feed that’s feeding directly into the
education system’s database. So, that’s
happening on a daily basis and then it is
currently only one way, we’re not getting the same, respective
information directly fed back into our child welfare system — and we can talk
a little bit later about why some of the challenges
and the reason that’s the case– but, the way we structured ours
is that the exchange of data that we get out
of this is that we, they are permitting us access, direct access for select
users to access their data, the education database system so that we can get
more of that information that William just referenced. I think that’s a
little bit of an overview. NICK: Thank you, Megan. And, Megan and William, it sounds like the
two of you both covered the past of your exchange
and your present, as well. Am I correct in
making that statement? MEGAN: Yeah, I don’t
think we’ve really made many, too many changes from the way that we initially
established the data exchange. We don’t really have a past
and present story yet on that, but we can certainly
fill you in on some ways that we intend to
expand the exchange, perhaps, in the future. NICK: That sounds great. MEGAN: Yeah, we still
have that unilateral, yeah, it’s not fully bilateral,
but we’re hoping to get there. NICK: That sounds
great. That’s completely fine. DeNiro, please
advance to next slide. And then the slide after that. I think we’ll
transition now to Alabama. TIM: Thank you.
This is Tim Preskitt and I wanna say thank you for
letting us participate today. Our story sounds
a lot like D.C.’s in that we have a system, we have some dedicated
screens for education data, we are dependent on our
social workers to enter that. In May of 2013,
we were contacted by the Alabama Department of
Education at their request to start sending them
some demographic information on foster care children and this was in
response to, again, the Healthy Hunger
Free Kids Act of 2010 and the Richard B. Russell Act. So, they reached out
to us and, you know, they identified
the data element. Luckily, this was something that we were able to
easily pull from our system and just begin
sending them this data. We did a
memorandum of understanding that was written and
signed by both agencies and probably
within a month or two we started sending
the data to them one way. Fast forward to
2017, we had a site visit with our new analyst
Lori Partin and her team and the purpose was for her
to come and see our system, get to know us and begin
to talk about the transition from SACWIS and learning
to live in a CCWIS world. The conversation turned to the education
bidirectional interface and we gave our pat answer
that we thought was true, it’s just not possible. We’re a county-based state, we’ve got 67 counties,
multiple school districts, multiple city school districts and there’s just no
centralized database to be able to
pull this information. We felt, we’re
sending it one way, we meet the requirement and it was strongly suggested
that we kind of go back to the table on that one and maybe see if we
could get our partners from education to
sit down and talk and just see if
indeed there was something that we could get back. So, if you’ll advance
to the next slide, please, this is where we’re at today. We did reach out to
our partners and it, but it took a little time
to get them to the table. It was January of 2019
when we did sit down with them and we had a very
constructive meeting and we found out that they truly
did have a centralized database and it was gonna
be possible for us to get information
coming back on our clients. So, that got the ball rolling, we drafted a new MOU and I’m
sure as many of you are aware, even between state agencies, you’ve gotta have a
draft, it’s gotta be reviewed, it’s gotta be
approved by attorneys and then finally signed,
so that took several months. But, the good
news is, we’re there. We’ve had some discovery
meetings, we’ve identified, they’ve actually asked
for a few more data elements to be sent to them around
birth certificate information. We found out what we can
get back as far as demographic and education
information on our clients and we’re starting to make
modifications to our system to pull that information back. So, we’re a lot better
than we were a few months ago and I guess we’ve learned that it really
does pay to sit down and talk with
your fellow agencies and see what’s
actually possible. NICK: Thank you, Tim. Next slide, please.
Wisconsin, please take it away. JOHN: Alright, this is John
Elliott and Jenny Bundrage. So, I can tell,
we’ve been on this journey for a very long time as
we were just reflecting. So, it really started
for us back in late 2012, early 2013 when we received the ACF Education
System Collaboration Grant and so we partnered with our Wisconsin Department
of Public Instruction, a local county here
in Madison, Dane County and the Madison school
district to start building data share
agreements at a local level, because we are a
state supervised, county-administered system, so at that time, we wanted
to test this at the local level and also, I think it’s
important in context — at that time DPI, our Department of
Public Instruction was on a journey where
they did not have a nightly updated from
their school systems, each school system sent
their information in quarterly, so they didn’t
have timely information but as part of their
overall budget request, they were moving to a system where they were gonna
have all school districts basically on the
same technical platform where there would be
nightly feeds and updated. I’ll get back to that in a
minute why that’s important. So, within the grant context, we started at the
local level to really help, a) learn what it
would take to share data between the two systems and also, Madison
schools had the platform, the technical platform
that DPI wanted to expand to all schools throughout
the state of Wisconsin and so, that’s why we chose
them as our local partners so that they actually
have what they call a portal, a system, you may be
familiar with Infinite Campus, which is a system
where they can report stuff out to parents and students, but also have a lot of internal
reporting capabilities. So, they
customized and developed the initial portal for workers, so social workers that could
log in to a separate portal to get key
educational information like attendance and
grades and that information. So, another key
piece of that pilot was to really figure out what
kind of training we would need, what kind of communication
improvements that we would need, what kind of policies
would we need to have in place and we also had
a research agenda where we really focused on looking at kids
in out of home care and why they don’t graduate
and the graduation reasons, so, that’s been kind
of an ongoing piece. So, throughout this process,
I think that grant really helped kind of set at least
the framework for us, because in that process, we really figured out the
technical challenges and issues and Jenny can talk about more of
that if people are interested, about how we can match the
data between the two systems, so we’ve been able to do
that for quite a long time, also realized what
are some of the issues that came up around data sharing and also what are
some of the supports that each system would need. And so, as part of
that grant we also, I think, a key piece of that, we also in the sense
of wanted to make sure that the child welfare system
was sharing key information with our school system, too. And so, as part of that process, we developed what we
call an education passport, which I’ll have to give
New York City credit for that, because we kind of
stole it from them and, but, basically that is
a worker can fill out — and right now, it’s optional, we may make it
mandatory at some point, but right now it’s optional — so when a kid is
entering out of home care and especially when they’re
going to a new school system, the worker can fill out
this education passport, which basically captures key
information about that child. So, whether they have
certain trauma triggers that they should be aware
of, their likes and interests — so, if they’re into
sports or arts or music. They can pass on
key information, key contact
information for that child from the foster parents
and those type of things. So, it’s just a way for
the child welfare system to share some key
information about that child, which doesn’t violate
any HIPAA or FERPA or our, kind of, internal laws
on sharing information, so it’s at a very high level. So, that was kind
of the foundation, really helping us
getting us started and then along that journey, there is a lot
of different things that happened
during that process. So, one of the big things was,
is that DPI in the sense that, again, they were moving
towards a centralized database, our legislature felt
differently about that and said that
they can’t do that, so, DPI had to go
back to the drawing board and basically come up with a
different technical solution, basically an API type
solution where school districts could report in
their information and they could transform it. So, speed forward now,
they’ve done that in place, so they – just to
put it into context, there’s about 432 school
districts in Wisconsin — so, they have done that now. So, they do have
an updated system where they get nightly
feeds from each school district on basic
information that they have — attendance,
behavioral issues, grades, things like that, graduation
rates, things like that. So, where we’ve
been working today with our Department
of Public Instruction, really that grant
sets the foundation, so if you wanna go
to the next slide. So, we’ve been working on a
master data share agreement, so what we’ve tried to
do, instead of having — initially, we were on a path where they wanted to have a
separate data share agreement for every piece of education
data that we were gonna share — so we’ve talked them out of that and tried to have more of a
master data share agreement where we could just
update with specific projects as we moved forward. So, one of the key
things within that is we were moving
forward on a project to share disability information
for the front end of our system. So, we had another separate task
force on kids with disability, we found out that
about 29% of our kids in, that are served in
our child welfare system have what we call an IEP, as a data myth
that we’ve learned from our Department
of Public Instruction — and so, what we really wanna
do is develop a data exchange where we get some
basic information, disability status information, IEP information, primary and secondary
disability information that would
assist the case worker with really helping
assess child safety, ensure proper planning and
services for our standards and our policies for
the child welfare worker and we were on
the path to integrate that on a nightly data
exchange into our system starting in our
February 2020 release and then it came to a complete
halt at the legal level with our Department
of Public Instruction. So, that’s where we’re at
now on the data exchange, so we have the
ability to exchange data, we’ve partnered with them
also on the ESSA report card, so on their website,
on their DPI website, they have key information
by school district on each kid in out of home care. But, we share information, we’ve got a
strategic plan with them, but the big key is right
now is we’re really stuck in that data share agreement and really
identifying the legal reasons where we can
share that information. So, that’s really
our only barrier, we’ve been on this
journey for a long time and we’ve identified
a lot of information, so we may have to move
away from the disability data and move back to the
kids in out of home care, I think that’s where
we kind of got stuck, because those aren’t kids that
are currently out of home care, which the current
federal law really is more particular to those kids and really specifies it’s
only kids in out of home care. So, that’s kind
of where we’re at, working with our
leadership and DPI leadership to really kind of formalize
our data sharing agreement. NICK: Thank you. So, please
advance to the next slide. For our attendees, we’re
gonna talk about governance and then after that, we will have a very short break
for some question and answers, I understand that we
may have a few in already, so if any occur to you now as you’ve heard our analysts
talk about their story, please, we
encourage you to submit them. Let’s dive into these questions. So, what data sharing agreements
do you have in place? How did you get
everyone at the table? Did you have executive sponsors?
Let’s start with Alabama. TIM: Well, after we had
that first initial meeting, they reached out to us and we had a memorandum
of understanding in place with the one
directional information that we were sending, but we needed to
come up with a new one. So, it was drafted by, you
know, both agencies and then, you know, back and
forth between the attorneys. I don’t believe there were any
executive sponsors or anything, everybody is
shaking their heads here. NICK: That’s fine. D.C.,
anything you’d like to add? MEGAN: No, I think,
that sounds very familiar, I mean, we, as I mentioned, we first established a
formal memorandum of agreement between our two agencies, the child welfare agency and our
state education agency in 2013 and I can’t speak so
much to how we got everyone to the table at that time, I don’t know, William, if you have any
insights to share on that, I can speak a little bit
about what just happened with renewing that agreement. WILLIAM: Yeah, so
the way it happened is is that we got the
SLDS Grant for 2012 and one of the things we
wanted to do is just identify, you know, do some data sharing with other different District
agencies just to help improve the outcomes of
our District students. So, we started
out with homelessness and then we
worked on foster care, it was really hard to
get a data sharing agreement with the homeless organization, which was DHS, so
after we figured that out, then it got a lot easier because we knew what
conversations to have in advance with the legal to make
sure that they were on board before we moved forward with, you know, executing a
data sharing agreement. And then, we developed a
lot of trust because when the, when we got the
blessing from legal to do this and we had to start
really developing trust between two agencies, some of the
things we agreed on is that we wouldn’t redisclose data and if we do any type
of research on the data we would share
it with the entity and then they would
have like buy-in on if we can release
that research or not. So, it was a lot of just
back and forth communications, meetings and developing
the trusted relationships. MEGAN: We did not
have any executive sponsors, but one thing we
did find important was to make sure we
had programmatic people, the folks from the agency who would actually
be using the data, the data folks that knew how to, you know, it was really
crucial to have them there to know how to
orchestrate the exchange and then our legal folks. So, having those three members, I think from each agency,
we found to be very important. NICK: Thank you, that’s
some good advice going forward. Wisconsin, I
understand you’re working on a master data
sharing agreement right now, but can you please elaborate, or is there
anything you’d like to add about how you got
everyone to the table and about executive
sponsors that you may have had. JOHN: Sure. So, I think, I mean, we got everybody at the table
initially through that grant, that grant really
brought us together, that’s really kind of, as I mentioned in
my opening comments, that was kind of the
event that really brought our two agencies together. And so, initially, the executive
sponsors really were myself and the division administrator that heads up their
data reporting analytics and technology over at the Department of
Public Instruction and so, we were initially
the executive sponsors, helped through
that initial grant, get some of the initial
data sharing agreements through and then through that, then we’ve kind of
transformed I think into the ESSA requirements and we have a formal
team that meets twice a month to talk about kind of
our ESSA requirements and how we’re working together
from education and DPI, so we have
multiple people involved. But, we did have our
legal department involved, I think, the
challenge has been I think there’s been some turnover
in the legal office at DPI, there’s been some new
leadership and new people. So, as new eyes and fresh eyes from the legal
perspective got on that, that’s kind of
where it came to a halt, so that’s kind of where we’re
at, trying to move forward. We also had our data governance
people involved here, their IT and
governance people at the Department of
Public Instruction, so we have everybody, basically except
for the lawyers at DPI that have kind
of slowed us down. NICK: Well, speaking
of being slowed down, that sounds like a
perfect transition into a discussion about
any legislative regulations that may have
limited data sharing or perhaps on the
flipside of that, encouraged data sharing? D.C., would you like to
tell us a little bit about any regulatory
hurdles or supports that you
had along the way? MEGAN: Yeah, I
think some of the, I think one thing that
was certainly helpful to us was the momentum
that was built around the federal changes and
the amendment to FERPA to, you know, for the first
time allow the agencies to exchange educational data, you know, without
getting the parent’s consent. I think that was one
of, you know, had that, you know that amendment coming
about around the same time that we were just starting
our discussions about, for the first time,
establish some data sharing I think was very helpful to us because I think
whereas previously there was, it was, we were where
Wisconsin was and saying no, this is in no way possible, we can’t share that kind of data
without parental permission, I think both
agencies giving recognition that that
amendment opened some doors, was a big impetus and has
proved to be very helpful, I think, at getting both
of our agencies at the table. WILLIAM: And I’ll add
more, a little bit more, Megan. One of the things from
our perspective is like, our mayors, our
prior two, three mayors were advocates on
sharing data with each agency, within each agency. And one of the
things that was even, there was a groundswell
of like council members, so when every agency had
to go in front of the council to talk about their performance, one of the questions that
the council members would ask is what agencies are
you sharing data with? And so, that conversation
just kept growing and growing and there is a lot of
information in our city about how robust
our data sharing is because of those seeds that
were planted many years ago. NICK: Thank you. Wisconsin, is there anything
that you’d like to add? JOHN: So, what I would
add is part of, you know, when the federal
legislation was passed, we also codified in state law and we also thought we made our
state law a little bit broader and again, so we
could hit some of the kids in the front end of the
system so when they’re, when a family is
under investigation, so again, having some of
that key education information, especially disability
information, may be helpful. But, it seems like that’s
kind of where we hit the issue with our Department of
Public Instruction lawyers, where they’re citing the federal
law around USA Scholars ACT, really being very particular to
kids just in out of home care. So, not kids that
are under investigation, so that’s kind of
where we hit that hurdle, so our next step is
maybe we just abandon that and we move
forward to just focus on kids in out of home care. But, we do have a state law that
really mirrors the federal law with a little bit
broader restrictions, I mean a little bit broader than the restrictions
at the federal level. MEGAN: I just wanna
jump in really quick, this is Megan from D.C. What you’re stating
totally resonates with us, because we’ve seen the value that the data exchange for
the out of home kids is having and enhancing our practice and
we are also looking at ways, is there any work around
not having that FERPA amendment extend to kids that
are under investigation. So, I just wanted to add that. NICK: Thank you. Alabama, is there
anything that you’d like to add to this conversation topic? TIM: Well, I don’t
think there really any specific legislative
regulations around education, I will say this, when our
legislature is in session, it’s pretty amazing
how much encouragement we get to start going to
work to do something when we’re called on, we do a lot of
queries to pull information when they are
discussing, you know, making some changes to
laws and things like that and sometimes it will come
down the pike toward us so, we’re ready and willing
whenever we get the call. NICK: Sounds good. So, let’s transition now,
I’m taking a look at the time, so I think what
we’re gonna do is we’re gonna combine the
next two questions into one, if that’s okay with
all of our panelists. So, what we’ll do is, do you sit on your
partner agency’s governance or steering committee boards? And we’ll start
with Wisconsin, please. JOHN: So, as I
mentioned before, under ESSA, so basically, we formed our
own, kind of, steering committee related to
partnering on education issues, so we periodically get
together maybe once a year to do larger planner
where I will get involved, but otherwise,
that’s more at kind of the next level of leadership at the two
agencies that get together. And then on individual
projects, like when we were, as we were down this
path on the disability, we’ll have a much
broader group involved, like Jenny from
our technology side and the technology side from our Department
of Public Instruction. So, we use that mechanism
really as to keep in touch and really to plan our focus
on the data exchange issues. NICK: And so, using that
mechanism to keep in touch is that also how you go
about communicating business or solution changes
that may impact everyone? JOHN: Yup. NICK: Alabama, do you have
anything you’d like to add related to these two topics? TIM: Yeah, we’re
not sitting in on any of the committee
boards or anything like that. I will say now
that we’ve initiated this contact with education, we’re trying to have
regularly scheduled meetings, especially like project
to project communication, discovery meetings, we’re having
sprint planning meetings to talk about getting
users stories into a sprint. So, we’re trying to have
meetings every two weeks and hopefully once
everything’s been implemented, we’ll be able to continue
having periodic meetings, updates if things
need to be changed. NICK: Great,
thank you. And, D.C.? MEGAN: At present, we do not
have any formal representation on agency-wide
steering committees or that sort of thing. But, I will say, I do
feel as though our data and programmatic
folks that were invested in the
development of the agreement are in some
regular communication. I think just through
establishing the agreement, it opened a lot of doors
for relationship building and sort of sharing, you know, either where
there’s potential for us to grow our
agreement in different ways, it’s been very beneficial. And then with respect
to how we communicate, you know, how those
communication lines are open, another thing that
we deliberately did in our MOA agreement
is clearly establish within the
agreement points of contact from each agency so
that who, you know, so you should always
know who you can contact if you have any questions
about the data exchange as it’s delineated in
the agreement and that, you know, and we
also have – which maybe, we may speak to a
little bit more in a second — but, we also have points of, separate points of
contact for who to, if there’s any
breach of data sharing. Any data breaches, that you
know immediately who to contact so that those can
be addressed promptly. So, I think
that’s been effective. NICK: Thank you. With that, I think we’re ready
to transition to our next slide, DeNiro, if you would. And now, I will, I
wanna walk you through, we’re gonna take a quick Q and A and then I’m gonna pass
the mic over to Nicole Fuller who’s going to walk us
through some questions. So, when you, if you
wish to ask a question, you may do so via,
there’s a Q and A button at the bottom of the screen. If you navigate
your, it may be hidden, but once you
navigate your mouse down towards the
bottom of the screen, you’ll see it, left click on it, you may ask a question openly
of you may ask one anonymously, that’s your preference. In addition,
others may choose to use, there’s a Zoom
webinar chat function and submit a question to
panelists in that manner. If you’d like to ask a
question over the phone, please select, there’s a button on the
right hand side of your screen that says ‘raise hand’,
if you select that button, then Nicole will walk
you through the steps that we can do to bring
your question over the line. And with that, I will
transition to Nicole, I believe we have one
question in the queue already. NICOLE:
Good afternoon, so this question is
for all of the panelists — have you had any
issues with the quality of the Department
of Education data? In one particular state, there seems to be some
issues with the quality of the Department of Education
data that can cause issues, so much so that some of
the child welfare workers in various counties
are a bit reluctant to use the Department
of Education data. So, how have you handled or
addressed data quality issues or concerns
between the two systems? And I’ll just open it up. WILLIAM: I can start. This is William
from Washington, D.C. So, one of the things is
with Washington, D.C. is our, I think we have one of the best, the quality of our
data is pretty good because one of
the things that we do is that we don’t accept
data if it’s not verified. For example, if a LEA, a local
education agency submits — they submit their data
on a nightly basis to us — and say, for example if
the student the night before came across as a black male and then the next day
it’s changed to a white male, we will hold that
data back and we will put in, we call it unified data errors and we will, we will not
change that until we get, until they can verify that that
race or gender has changed. Normally, like if
it’s a date of birth, we ask for a copy of
the birth certificate before we change it
and we don’t pass that on to our downstream system
until that data is clean. So, whatever data
we have prior to that, we will keep until
they can verify the data that they’re submitting to us
has changed and it is correct. NICOLE: Thank
you, Mr. Henderson. Would one of the other
panelists like to respond? JOHN: I can just say
from Wisconsin’s perspective, so data quality has
not been an issue, because when we do exchange it or when we’ve done it in
the past, it’s updated nightly, so if there has been
any changes in the data it would be updated and
reflected in our system when we get there. I, to me, the
bigger issue really for us is the availability of data. So, at the statewide
level, there is not as, there is decent
level of data available, but a local school district is gonna have a
lot more robust data, especially if it
was around behavioral and attendance issues, and like the
reason for a suspension or a disciplinary issue, a local school district
would have a lot more detail about what that is, whereas the data
exchange at the state level just tells us that
that event happened. So, again, data
quality has not been an issue, but the type of
data and the information that comes with it is probably
a little bit more problematic for us when we
get to that point. NICOLE: Thank you, John. Tim, anything from your team? TIM: I’m gonna let
Danny take this one. DANNY: Okay. We have
already discussed how us and the education department
kind of match data together. The Board of
Education gives each child what they call a SSID number
and that number follows them from the time they enter
the public school system to they leave the
public school system. We do not get that information, that’s some of the information
we get from them, of course, we haven’t received any
data back from them as of yet. But, that’s one way we’re
gonna use to match our children and the other is
that we’re gonna start putting our birth certificate
numbers into our system and sending that information
also to the Education Department and we’re gonna use
that as a matching tool to make sure that our children are matching up
for the information that we’re sending them
and that we’re getting back. WILLIAM: Yeah, and the same
thing with Washington, D.C., we have a unique
student identifier, so, yeah, that same, the
school identifier can change, however, our unique student
identifier follows a student if they go from a charter school to a traditional
school or vice versa. NICOLE: So, we have an
extension to that question and it has to do
with data reconciliation. So, at the beginning
of a school semester where a lot of data is
entered and/or is new, how do you reconcile that data, assuming that there’s more
reconciliation that has to occur at the beginning of the
school year than throughout? And it’s open to any panelist. WILLIAM: So from
D.C.’s perspective, so, school starts
around August, September and so one of the major projects that we have right after that is
our enrollment audit council, you know, the
counting of students. So, that’s when we
really get it right, because you know,
there’s high stakes involved in making sure
that each LEA or school gets their proper amount of
money to educate those kids. So, one of the things
we do is we work with them at the beginning of the year
to make sure that their data is as clean as possible. We push back to the
LEAs all of their errors, like for example,
whatever we got the prior day or the prior
year, if it’s changed, we send that back and we say, “Are you sure
that this is correct?” And if it is, you know, then show us where it
did not change or change. And then that’s how
we will start moving. But, we don’t change
data at the state level, we always make sure
that that schools change it and push it through our
system on a nightly basis. We just identify what
those errors are on a dashboard that we send out to
the schools every day. MEGAN: And
if I could add, I was gonna add
to William’s point, I guess from the
child welfare perspective. One of the most valuable things that we’ve found with
getting the education data from our education agency, is its usefulness in
reconciling our data, our child welfare data. So, as I mentioned before, right now the only
way that we’re, you know, regularly
tracking our key things that we need to be tracking — where kids are in school, how often they’re
changing schools — is relying on the social workers
to enter that information directly into
our database system, our SACWIS system and there’s many times where
that’s not entirely up to date, by no, you know, social workers
struggle with that and so, our data has historically
not always been so reliable so one of the
benefits that we have gained from the data
exchange and getting, now having access to a portal where we can look
up enrollment data on any of our youth in care, we do a quarterly data
reconciliation process now where we bump up
our school enrollment data that we have in
our database system, the child
welfare database system, against the education system’s
longitudinal education database and their enrollment information
and identify discrepancies and that has
allowed us to clean up our, more often than not, I would say we’re maybe
in a more fortunate position in that we find education data, the data coming to us from
our education agency is often, more often than not, it’s much more
reliable than the data that we’re getting directly
from our social workers, so we feel that it’s
done an incredible amount to improve the quality
of our enrollment tracking and school changes
of our youth in care. CYNTHIA: And I agree. This is Cynthia
Stewart from D.C. and I was, Megan, you’re
saying exactly, you know, hit the point that I
was gonna make as well, that from the
system perspective, I know that we give
an exception report and we’ll probably touch on
it in another slide coming up, but that’s one of the
challenges that we have is when we do have
that data that does not match up against
the school system’s records and so the next step in
the future comes trying to figure out what to
do with that information that we’re receiving that does
not match as we expect it to. So, I just wanted to point that
out from the system perspective, as well, that you know, we notice when we
have reports on our end where we give
exceptions for things that did not match
on that daily run. NICOLE: Thank you, panelists. We have one more question,
Nick, before we’ll move on. This next question is posed to
Alabama and the Wisconsin team. Can Alabama and Wisconsin
comment on the mechanism by which their Department of Ed funded the creation
of daily data exchanges with all
districts in their states? JOHN: So, this is
John from Wisconsin. So, for our Department
of Public Instruction, so, as I mentioned before,
so their original path — and this was
probably eight years ago, maybe five years ago — they had an
initial budget request that got actually approved
through the governor’s budget to basically for all
intents and purposes, have everybody on the same
kind of like SACWIS system, but a Department of Public
Instruction system and so, but then when they
started going to procurement, some legislators
didn’t like that they were just gonna award
the contract to one company and so they put the nix on that,
but they still had the money, so instead, they focused
their money on creating an API and so that, again,
school districts could choose the product that they wanted to, it had to meet
some basic requirements and so then they worked on
basically creating that API that could do nightly feeds to then feed into their
overall, kind of, DPI system. So, they did that. The bigger problem, I
think, for us on funding is more of when you start
talking about data exchange between our two agencies and then synching up
our IT funding schedule with their schedule. So, I think at the
actual exchange level has been really to us
has been a lesson learned, we can talk about later,
but from a funding perspective, it’s like, their
priorities and projects that are for their system don’t necessarily
always align with our needs. NICOLE:
Thank you, John. TIM:
This is Alabama. We didn’t have any
special funding for this, this one directional
that was going over, this was just
regular maintenance. NICOLE: Thank you, Tim. I’m
going to hand it back to Nick. NICK: Thank you,
Nicole. Next slide, please. Let’s talk about technology. What technology do
you use in your exchange? And, let’s get
started with D.C., please. WILLIAM: So, the
technology is FTP, we just send it over there
via FTP on a nightly basis. CYNTHIA: And this is
Cynthia Stewart from D.C., as well and I’ll
also say that, you know, unlike a lot of states, we’re a little
unique in the sense that we don’t run by jurisdictions, I’m sorry by
counties, I should say. And so, you
know, we actually have an Office of Chief Technology, which governs our entire network
for all of our entities, all of our agencies so, we’re a little lucky
in that regard, that, I’m not sure how other
states are doing it right now, but we don’t have firewalls
that we have to, you know, go in and out of
when we’re communicating with our inter agencies
and so, from that perspective, it’s a little
smoother, I will say that. And so, we are operating within
the same wide area network, our current exchange, as I think William
just said is, you know, done through a daily
batch process and right now the way that we are
sending the information is through a CSV file and
it’s sent daily, as I mentioned and we give, as
people have already said, basic demographic information, social worker
information on that file and just some educational
information, as well, that we have in our
system, which again, of course when it
reaches the educational system, may or may not
match, hopefully it will, but if it doesn’t,
we discuss, you know, what happens after that. And that’s it for
D.C. from that point. NICK: Thank you, Wisconsin? JENNY: This is Jenny Bundrage. We do a web service,
which is a nightly batch. So, we call their web servers,
pass our demographic information and then get the
information back. NICK: Thank you. And Alabama? RAMASWAMY: Hi, this
is Ramaswamy Macha. Currently, we are using SFTP,
it’s a mainframe process, but for the new
bidirectional exchange, we are planning we want to go for a web server
concept with XML. Right now, we are in
the design process of that. NICK: Great, thank you. Now, let’s talk a bit about your most significant
technology challenges with implementing
either your current exchanges or the challenges
that you anticipate from a technology standpoint
in your future plans. And we’ll start with
Wisconsin this time. JENNY: In terms
of the challenges for implementing the current, we have such a small use case, that we really
didn’t have any challenges. In terms of future planning, things that with
any data exchange that you need to be aware of are when you’re making
changes to your system, letting those other
agencies and entities know, likewise, we have to rely
on all of those other agencies letting us know when
they make changes, as well. So, I think one
of our biggest fears is that when their changing
ref data, reference data, that we then can
account for that, so we just always have to
be having those communications to know what’s coming. NICK: Thank you. Alabama? RAMASWAMY: The
challenge we’re anticipating is more the type of transactions we want to send with
the new bidirectional. We’re planning like
to add transactions when we send first time, then again if there’s
modifications, more transactions using what they have. Regarding technology-wise, they’re also
going to web services, until today
everybody is on mainframe, but they are also working with
the web services and XML and we are also
upgrading our side, so there could be some on both sides of the web
services implementation. But, we do have experience in
other projects of web services, but with this its first
time doing web services, so we’re hoping
it will go smooth. NICK: Thank you. And,
District of Columbia? CYNTHIA: For D.C., I
would say the technology, you know, I think we kind
of touched on it before again with the exchange and the fact that sometimes
the data is not matching and so from our
agency’s perspective it’s we’re trying to figure
out what’s that best next step and once we generate
these exception reports, and we noticed that, you know, Cynthia Stewart
was spelled with a D at the end of the
name for the file that we sent over to
our education agency, but the Cynthia Stewart
that they have last name was, you know, ends in a
T, all else is the same, what’s the next step? Do we have our
program staff go in there and make the
corrections on our end because we know that
the education system is probably the
holder of that information and those are the
type of conversations, I think, that
we’ll start having next and trying to
figure out what to do with these exception reports
that we find from our end. Because, more than
likely, I think as, again, kind of mentioned in the past, slides that it’s
probably more likely that it could be an incorrect
data entry on our side and so, we wanna make
sure that we are having, you know, valid
information in the system and we do know that for us, duplicate clients
are a challenge and so, that exact example
with Cynthia Stewart, I’m sure other states
may be facing this issue, how many different ways can you have the same
person in your system and how many ID’s do you have
associated to that individual and making sure that, you know, we’re talking
about the same person when we’re exchanging this data. So, I think for us,
that’s the next big challenge that we wanna accomplish is try to figure out
some sort of systematic way to work with
program and, you know, give these exception
files that we’re receiving and what do we do with it next,
just to make sure, you know, the information is valid
and comprehensive on both ends. NICK: Thank you, let’s transition to
the next slide, please. Let’s talk a bit about
security and for our attendees, we’re gonna have another Q
and A session after this slide, so if you have any technology
or security related questions, it’s a good time to
start thinking about them. Are there regulations or
internal policies or procedures that define the security
standards for the exchange? And we’ll start
with Alabama this time. RAMASWAMY: Yes. We do
have security regulations and policies in our division. We follow NIST
control, NIST SP 800-53, which is a subset of IRS 1075. Pretty much we
have security group and all our new processes have
to go through the security group and they have to give
approval before we get into. NICK: Great, thank you.
And, District of Columbia? CYNTHIA: And for D.C.
from a security perspective, you know, when we wrote the MOA, we looked at it more so
from a HIPAA perspective and just making sure that
PHI and PII information is, you know, in that exchange and making sure that
everybody understands that we are guided by
that particular policy and so, from that perspective
we just are making sure that we are following all of those
particular security measures and from the MOA that we have, we definitely defined that out
and spelled that out in there. WILLIAM: And from the SLDS
side of that for the District is that we do annual audits and what we do if we see there
is no activity on an actual, on any credentials,
we deactivate those credentials, we also, before we give anyone
access to our data system, they have to sign a data
security document stating that, you know, they understand
the importance of this data and then we also, we
also give role based, so you can only see the data
that you’re required to see. NICK: Thank you and
Wisconsin, anything to add? JENNY: So for Wisconsin, we do as well both
from the regulatory and best practices polices, which are outlined
in our IT policies, kind of for every system and that applies both to
storage and transmitting. NICK: Thank you. And so, I’m keeping an
eye on the time at this point and what I’m gonna
do is I’m gonna group the next couple of questions. I heard throughout your
responses discussions of some of the permissions
groups that you use, but I didn’t hear, especially
from Alabama and D.C., I believe about
the security protocol for at rest and in transit. So, Alabama, if you
would please take the lead — what security
protocol do you have in place for the data at rest and
for the data in transit? RAMASWAMY: Data transit
is more of an encryption, right now it’s
SFTP, fully encrypted, whereas at rest it’s a PII we
follow a NIST SP 800 framework. Regarding the
permissions and groups, we do have security user
roles and only certain users and we have permissions
only they can access data. NICK: Thank you very much. CYNTHIA: And this is D.C. So, from D.C.’s perspective, we also use SFTP
for the transit of data and much like William mentioned
before from his school side, we also have group permissions, so we have the system giving
information to our FACES, but it’s only
like one data element. The rest of the information, as Megan mentioned goes into
another — it’s called SLED — another system our workers
at our agency can access and so for us, there’s only a
certain number of individuals who have specific user
group access to that data. And so, from that perspective,
the grouping of it, as well, is
monitored and managed by only giving
certain permissions for those who need access to it. NICK: Thank you. With that, let’s please
transition to the next slide. We’re gonna take,
let’s take some time and do a little bit of Q and A. We’re going to
wait a minute or so and if we don’t
get any questions, then we will transition
on to the next slides. Okay. I haven’t
seen any movement in terms of questions
submitted at this time, so let’s transition
on to user impact. What value has each partner
found to be the most impactful to child welfare
and/or education? And we’ll start with Alabama. TIM: Yeah, I think from
education’s point of view and they’re not here right now, this has been beneficial to them because it’s affected
the school lunch program and the matching to make sure that we’ve got the
right information going over, it’s helped them out getting
demographic information. And, I guess, you wanna
go onto the second one, Danny can kind of talk about from a social
worker’s point of view, how this has helped, we
anticipate this helping us. DANNY: Yeah. As a social worker
not doing casework anymore, it has been very beneficial
when this information came in, some of this information the social worker’s
not gonna have to enter. It’s gonna go directly into
the demographic information for that child
regarding the school system and those type of things. So, one, it saves time
because we know social workers are extremely busy people, so it will save time and also they will be
able to compare their data with what the school
system’s sending to them. NICK: Thank you. And
let’s go onto D.C. now. MEGAN: Yeah, I guess I’ll start. From the child
welfare perspective, I think I’ve already spoken to the value of
the enrollment data, that I think has just enabled
us to really clean up our data and improve our data quality as we’re tracking the
school enrollment for our use, as well as you know, the all important
school changes and you know and registering impact that
that’s gonna have on our use. But, the other real values
is it’s also given us access to the student achievement
data for any of our youth, we can immediately
go into their portal and look up their most
recent standardized test, we’re using the PARKs
scores, the PARK test in D.C., so we can see their
levels of achievement in both English language
and as well as in the math areas to see how they’re performing
in comparison to their peers. And, the special education
database access, you know, both the achievement data
and special education data, we have that, we should have access
to on an individual level for each student if
the social worker goes up and requests it, but
many of our schools, it’s amazing how difficult and the barriers that
we encounter often times in just getting basic
records on our schools, directly from the schools. So, having direct, where we’re
encountering those barriers, or when the children
first come into care and we really we know
they have a lot of needs and we wanna get
access to, you know, as much educational
information as we can early on to take into
account in case planning, having more direct
access to their database system has proved to be a game changer. I mean and just
getting more immediate access to vital information. CYNTHIA: And then,
I’ll add from D.C., as well that from a
lessons learned perspective and speaking the same language that as we look to
like future conversations with our state
agency for education I’m thinking about the fact that sometimes schools
define absences different ways. Right, and so, it could be,
and not from a day perspective, but from a, are
you late to class, does a school, you know, consider half a day
an absence or, you know, does a student have to
be absent the full day to be considered an
absence and just making sure that the schooling system
is defining it the same way, because a lot of
those things end up as reports at our agency and so if we end up
going with another exchange, whether it be an
API or a web service, et cetera, in the future
then it will be very important that we’re all
speaking that same language in what we’re putting and
gathering from these systems. So, that will be
important and then, as we’ve touched on before, just making sure that
we have people in place and teams that can
deal with the discrepancies that we come up with, any duplicate client
issues that we may come across and just verifying the data that is being
exchanged back and forth. NICK: Thank you.
And, Mr. Henderson, is there anything that
you’d like to add in here? WILLIAM: No, I think everyone
hit on all of the impacts that this
integrated data has done. NICK: Thank you. Wisconsin, would you please
share some of your user impact and respond to both the
question about the value each partners found
to be most impactful? And about how it’s
affected outcomes. JOHN: Sure. I
mean for us, again, because of the
situation we’re in, I think during the pilot stage when we were with
just the local county and the local school district, we found a lot of benefits
from the worker side in A, you know, streamlining
some of the process, they don’t have to
get parental consent so they can get some
of that information, which then kind
sped up the conversation that they needed to have
with the person at the school. And so, we
worked really hard too, to have points of
contact so they would know who to contact if they
had questions for discussion. So, I think from both sides, at least at that
local level, there was, they seemed to
have particularly, I think it helped
with communication and where they
wanted to focus their
conversation on that child, I think that was one
of the big benefits. I think overall,
bigger picture for us, I think some of the benefits
we’ve had in just our kind of our research agenda is
we’re really understanding why kids don’t
graduate high school, the kids in out of home care. So, that is helping
us partner with DPI to really figure out what
are some legislative solutions or other issues that we can do to help improve
our graduation rates, which are at about
50% like nationwide. So, it hasn’t
necessarily improved any outcomes at this point,
but I think the biggest benefit like at the local
level in that exchange is that
communication and streamlining some of that communication. MEGAN: And can I add one
– this is Megan from D.C. — I did just think
of one other outcome in the way that
we’re using the data that I think has enhanced
our practice in efforts to ultimately improve outcomes and that is by having we’re
able to use some of the data that we’re getting
from the school system, particularly the
achievement data to better target our resources at those kids
that the data shows to be educationally at-risk. So, for example, we are
fortunate enough at our agency to have
contracted tutoring services for those kids that
need the academic support and so now we’re
able to actuall make that a more data informed process. One of the things
that we’ve started doing is looking at
that achievement data and the student level data
to identify in the aggregate, which kid it’s showing that
are struggling academically and then we’re targeting, we’re being more
data driven in targeting those tutoring resources
directly to those kids. WILLIAM: And Megan, I’m gonna say it from a
state education agency, as well, because
one of the reasons why we’re very excited
about sharing this data or receiving this data
from child and family services is the same reason. What our mayor and
city council has done is every student who
is in the foster care system are identified as at-risk and we allocate a certain
amount of money per year that we give to that LEA to
support their outcomes because, of course we all know that they’re one of the
most vulnerable populations in, you know, in the school system. So, we do it on
our side, as well. NICK: Thank you. With that, let’s
transition to lessons learned. And, as a heads up to
all of our attendees, there’s another
slide following this one, but I’m keeping track of
time and I want to ensure that we have
sufficient time for questions. So, what we’re gonna do, this will be our final
slide in which our panelists will share some information
and then we’re gonna transition to a question
and answer session. Let’s talk about
lessons learned. What lessons did you learn through the implementation
of these exchanges? I know each of you
touched upon a few throughout the course
of this conversation. And we’ll start with Wisconsin. JOHN: I think for us
as far as lessons learned is get the lawyers
involved right away. [laughter] So, I think that’s
one of the keys. I think the spirit
of wanting to exchange that data is program
side on both levels, but the barrier really
has been on the legal side. So, and not only legal, I would say at
the leadership level. So, I mean, we
have an opportunity now because our new
leadership actually came from the Department
of Public Instruction, so that gives us a
unique kind of leverage point that we’re going
to potentially use as we move into the new year to try to overcome some
of those legal barriers. NICK: Thank you. Alabama? TIM: Yeah, I think
for us it’s pretty basic. Just because it’s
always been like that don’t necessarily make it right. Doesn’t necessarily
mean things haven’t changed. And we were operating
under misinformation that, you know, we couldn’t do a
bidirectional data exchange because there was no
centralized database within education
and it was just wrong. And it took, you know, having Swamy come over
to our team and saying, hey, I know somebody over there, let me reach out
to him and you know, Danny making some
contacts to find out, yeah this can be possible and then just trying to
get the right people together to talk about it. NICK: That’s very
helpful, thank you. District of
Columbia, anything to add? MEGAN: Yeah, this is Megan Dho. I would start by just
saying on the governance end, while we’ve been fortunate, I think to have a
data exchange agreement that’s been working well, one thing I think we’ve
learned on the governance end is to make sure that we are more frequently
checking in about those, the status of how
things are working, but also the
status of the agreement, because we did just encounter
a situation this summer where we were not
fully on top of the fact that the five year duration of
our agreement was due to expire and we had to very
hastily, literally about — I give the credit to our
education agency colleagues, because they were the
ones that reached out to us, we were not on top of this
and they even reached out, I think gave us
about two months, thinking that would be enough
time to update the agreement and low and behold, we
did not meet that deadline. We should’ve given
ourselves more time because, as some other
people have mentioned, once we have all of our Office
of General Council involved, you know, even the
most basic of changes, it takes a long time to
update these agreements, so I think a lesson learned
is that is making sure that — and I think we still
need to work on this — making sure we have at
least some built in times that we are maybe annually
coming together to just, how’s everything
going, any changes needed and where are we with
the actual agreement itself, making sure that we’re more
conscious of when those end. CYNTHIA: And to add to
that, Megan, this is Cynthia, I’ll just say even
in recent conversations from an MOA perspective, you know,
there’s the option too, of having the
modifications to those MOA’s instead of having to
do them from scratch, you know what I mean. So,
just keeping that as an option, as well, that sometimes if
most of it is as it should be and you added because some
practice or program has changed, you know, having the
states giving the option of just making an updated
version of that by submitting, you know, a modification to it. MEGAN: Thanks, Cynthia. NICK: Thank you. I’d like to
take just a couple minutes to talk about a major challenge or barrier that you
faced and how you overcame it. Let’s start with Alabama. TIM: I think for us technically, we’re not really facing
any challenges or barriers that we can’t handle. I think it’s the
more human aspect of it. It’s, you know, the finding
out who the right people are, getting them in the
room at the right time and getting that commitment. That’s where the challenge is. And, it should be
easier than it is, especially when you’ve
got two state agencies talking with each other,
but it’s just difficult. We’re working through it, but it’s just
taking a lot of time. So, that, to me, that’s
the most challenging part that we’ve run up against. NICK: Thank you. And D.C.? MEGAN: I don’t
think I have anything from the programmatic side. I don’t know if
the technology side, you guys have any insights? WILLIAM: No, I don’t, I didn’t find any
challenges or barriers, I think that we, I think that we’re always
in constant communication with each other and we figure
out how to solve the problems. CYNTHIA: I would agree. NICK: That’s great and
Wisconsin, anything to add? JOHN: The only thing I
would add, is you know, other than the legal
stuff I’ve already mentioned, I think on the technical side it was really understanding
kind of their cadence and sequences when
they make updates. So, their system doesn’t
necessarily flow with ours and so, especially
since we’re really more of a one directional data exchange and we wanna have conversations
about bidirectional in the future, it wasn’t
necessarily a priority for them to kind of meet our
kind of IT schedule, our release schedule
for our SACWIS system, so to me that’s a
big lesson learned and make sure that
we get that up front when we’re talking
about that exchange and the timing and
resources on their side needed and the resources
that we need to do it so that we can sync up
their development cycle with our development cycle. NICK: Thank you. And with that, we’ve reached, this is our final
question and answer session, so if you have a
burning question and haven’t really
known when to ask it, now’s the time to do so. As a reminder, you may do so via the
question and answer function via the chat box or
by raising your hand. With that, I’m gonna turn
the mic over to Nicole and she, as we sit here and wait. I don’t think we have
any questions at this time. NICOLE: We don’t, Nick, so
I’m gonna move it right along, I’m gonna say
going once, going twice, I don’t think we
have any questions — Oh, there’s one, hold on. So, there’s a question that
says can states share their MOA or your agreement? So, I think our
answer to that is yes, but our ask here
from the central office would be you do need to reach
out to each state individually and so, we will when we
send out the deck from today, the PowerPoint from today, you will have the
contact names of who to contact from a state or the District
of Columbia’s perspective, so please feel free to
reach out to any of those folks who can then release
their specific legal or MOU agreements. TERRY: Nicole?
NICOLE: Yes? TERRY: We do have
the C-SWAP functionality that if states are interested, they could upload
their memos of understanding to our C-SWAP component and then states could access
all of them that are available. NICOLE: Yes, that
was Mr. Terry Watt who’s been here in
the room all afternoon. So, yes, C-SWAP is available
for any states or territories and the District of Columbia to
upload information for sharing. And if you need
any help in doing so, I think that there is a
link on the C-SWAP page and I’ll even ask Nick when
we send out the PowerPoint deck that we’ll also
send the link out to C-SWAP in case there is anyone who would like to
share that information. Thank you, Terry. TERRY: If we don’t
have any other questions, I personally want
to thank the states for their time and effort. I want to encourage everyone is,
we’re gonna run into roadblocks, we’re gonna run
into bumps in the road. If you can’t get 100%
today and can get 75%, by all means, go for what you
can get, start this process. Continue to break
barriers, perceived barriers that might be preventing
you from sharing data. I still can’t get my
head wrapped around, you know, I’ve
heard the same argument that Wisconsin brought up
where an education office says you know, we really
can’t share information about foster care disabilities. And, I just don’t
understand what they know that we don’t already know and if the child
was with their parents, the same thing applies. So, continue to
push that envelope, in the short term if you
have to take something less, by all means, start
it, the benefits will flow and people will start
to become more comfortable with the whole process. NICK: Terry, if I may ask a
follow up question about that, when you said if
you can get 75% or if you can
get part of the way, what are some ways
that states can do that? I guess I’m
specifically thinking, especially for
county administered states in which they may face
unique or different challenges than perhaps are state managed. TERRY: If the state is
able to create an exchange with a couple of large counties
because of the technology that exists there but can’t
do it with all of the counties, or all of the jurisdictions
in the state, start there. Demonstrate the
successes that you can and you might be
able to get the funding to fund those smaller counties
and smaller jurisdictions in order to support
this kind of exchange. And remember, this is
to the extent practicable and if you can only do it in
one large county as a starter, that’s perfectly fine. NICK: Thank you. It doesn’t look like we have any
more questions in the queue. So, with that,
we’ll do a quick wrap up. I wanna thank
all of our panelists for their participation today,
that was very informative. And, if you’d like to
contact them directly regarding a specific question, the points of contact are
listed on the slide here. For Alabama, it’s Danny Luster,
[email protected] Spencer Wilder,
[email protected] And John Elliott,
[email protected] I read through those responses for a Section 508
compliance purpose, so thank you for
your patience with that. Now, up next with the
Children’s Bureau webinars, we are planning a Platform as a Service
Federal Perspective webinar, more details about that
will come as we get them. Thank you very much, everyone
for your participation today. And that ends the
roundtable discussion.

1 thought on “Education Exchange: State Panel Discussion (new)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *