The Education Management Information System statute (ORC 3301.0714) was established by the legislature in 1998 to make public school data collection uniform and to assure that the reporting to the Ohio Department of Education would occur in a timely manner. This large database provides ODE the basis for all state and federal funding to Ohio's public schools. It also provides data management for the publication of school district and community school local report cards.
The Office of Community Schools' staff members recommend that an EMIS coordinator be identified early in the developmental process of a new school. Experienced EMIS coordinators report that the EMIS "learning curve" is substantial and requires expertise across a wide spectrum from data entry to systems management. The data required fall into four general categories: district level, student, staff, and financial data. New community school staff can begin entering district and staff data prior to the opening of the school. Once the enrollment is established, student data must be entered and maintained on a regular basis.
Statute prevents ODE from having personally identifiable student data, therefore, a system of Information Technology Centers (ITC) has been established to assist with school-level data submission for EMIS purposes. Click here to link to the list of ITCs. Shopping for a new community school ITC should be organized around the level of service provided by the. ITC personnel should be consulted on the subject of software compatibility between the school and EMIS. The method of communication between the ITC and the school is also important considerations.
Hardware, software, and building infrastructure are areas for consideration as new community schools are under development. Operating community schools report that data are lost when attempting to transfer data across regular phone lines in a dial-up manner. Data lines or high capacity lines such as those offered by cable companies are more reliable.
As the school year progresses, the various reporting periods occur, and time is allotted for the correction of errors. It is the responsibility of the school to assure that their data transfers are successful and their data correct.