Letter Criteria Selection

PATH: Attendance > Attendance Letters

The Letter Criteria page allows selection of the letter type (determines how attendance events are counted), types of attendance events (statuses/excuses), the time considered for the events (the whole year, a selected term, etc.), and which course sections are included.

Attendance Letter Criteria Selection

Attendance Letter Workflow

 Attendance Letter Workflow


Step
1.Create an Attendance Letter.
Letter Criteria Screen
2.Name the attendance letter.
3.

Select the letter type.

Learn about the different letter types.

4.Select the type of attendance (status/excuse or attendance codes).
5.Enter the status/excuse values or the attendance codes that trigger a letter.
6.

Enter a Weight value for each of the entered values or codes.

Learn about Weight values.

7.

Enter the number of events the student must have to receive a letter.

Learn about qualification criteria.

8.

Select the appropriate interval for the letter.

Learn about intervals.

9.

Select which Teachers and Sections to include in the letter.

11.If available, select which Sections to exclude from the letter (non-attendance taking courses, etc.).
Letter Format Screen
12.Write the letter in the designated Default Language.
13.

Write the same letter in additional languages that can be sent to parent/guardians who prefer to receive communications in that language.

Learn how to add preferred languages and create letters in another language.

Generate and Print Letters
14.Select the letter to generate from the Saved Letters list.
15.

If desired, select a previously-saved Ad hoc Filter that includes the students who should be receiving the letter.

Determine which operation to use when generating letters with an ad hoc filter.

16.Preview and Print letters.
17.Review the list of students that met the criteria of the letter, and remove their selection as needed.
18.Preview the letters prior to sending.
19.Print the letters.

Letter Type Selection

The type of letter selected determines how the attendance events are counted. There are six letter types, and it is up to the school to determine which one (or ones) fit their needs best.

Attendance Letter Type Options

See the following pages for guidance on creating a specific type of letter:

Letter Type Descriptions and Scenarios for Use

Letter TypesDescriptionWhen to Use
Period Marks

This option looks only at the existence of an attendance event in a period for the student and provides a total number of periods in which a student has an attendance event. Attendance taken in the selected courses are not be used by the trigger calculation.


Choose this letter type to list the total number of periods in which there is an attendance event.

Use the By Course/Term Interval to include the total number of periods in which there is an attendance event for a specific course (requires courses to be selected in the editor). 

This is best for Block Schedules and for Modified Block Schedules.

Course Marks

This option looks at the existence of an attendance event in a course/section for the student. This option can be used for skinnied courses and for courses scheduled over multiple period schedules.

Choose this letter type to list the total number of a particular course is missed.

Use the By Term interval to include the total number of courses in which there is an attendance event for that term.

Whole/Half Day Absences

This option uses student attendance minutes that meet the entered weight to generate a letter. Whole Day and Half Day minute values are entered on the Calendar tab.

If a student is absent for the entire day, a count of 1 is included in the letter; if a student is absent for less than the entire day, a count of .5 is included in the letter.

Choose this letter type to list attendance events by the whole or half day.

Early Release events may alter the the totals for this letter.

This type is best for elementary schedules that use an AM/PM period setup.

Exact Day Absences

This option uses student attendance minutes that meet the entered weight to generate a letter, using the entered Student Day minute values on the Calendar tab.

If a student is absent for the entire day, a count of 1 is included in the letter.

Choose this letter type to list attendance events for the day.

This type is best for schools that only report attendance for a specific period, or only have one period in their schedule.

Single Day Count

This option looks for any student attendance record matching the selected status/excuse combination either by Year or by Term. If a student has one or more periods with an attendance entry, the day counts towards the total number of qualifying events for a letter.

Choose this letter type to list attendance events for the selected day.

This letter type includes attendance events with an excuse of unknown.

Absenteeism Level

This option uses the Attendance Aggregation Preference summary view options to determined whether a student is considered chronically absent.

When selected, an Absenteeism Mode field also needs to be selected. Choose from one of the four aggregation types - Federal, Exact, Exact Minute and Approximate. For more information on these modes, see the Attendance Aggregation Preferences article.

Choose this letter type to list a student's percentage of being absent. It does not rely on weights or intervals.

Attendance Type

In addition to selecting the Letter Type, also select the Attendance Type, using either an Attendance Code or the Attendance Status and Excuse.

When generating Period Marks, Course Marks, or Single Day Count letter types, determine whether to look at Attendance Codes or Status/Excuse values. Attendance Codes are assigned a status and excuse value, while Attendance Statuses and Excuses keep the values separate.

The Attendance Type field is not used in the Whole/Half Day Absences, Exact Day Absences or the Absenteeism Level types.

See the Table of Attendance Letter Options for details.

Letter Criteria by Attendance Code or Status/Excuse

When using the Status/Excuse Attendance Type, a value must be entered in the Status and Weight fields in order to generate the attendance letter.

The Letter Trigger does not affect data displayed in the sub-report. If there is a trigger for a specific attendance code, the sub-report does not display data for only the trigger code.

Weight Values

In order for a student to be reported in an attendance letter, that student's attendance entries must cross the Trigger total. This is done by adding the selected Status and Excuse counts that are multiplied by the entered weight, or the Attendance Code counts by the entered weight.

Consider the following example for a letter using Status/Excuse Attendance Type:

Using the Period Marks letter type, a student receiving 4 unexcused absences and 3 tardies would receive a letter because the student exceeded the trigger value of 5 on the effective date (4*1.0+3*.34 = 5.02). A student with 5 unexcused absences before the effective date would not receive a letter because the student exceeded the trigger before the effective date.

Letter Weights and Student Attendance Tab Using Status/Excuse

Consider the following example for a letter using the Attendance Code Attendance type:

A student receiving 4 unexcused absences and 3 tardies would receive a letter because the student exceeded the trigger value of 5 on the effective date (4*1.0+3*.5 = 5.5). A student with 5 unexcused absences before the effective date would not receive a letter because the student exceeded the trigger before the effective date.

Letter Weights and Student Attendance Tab Using Attendance Codes

Qualification Criteria for Letter

The value entered in this field is the total number of attendance entries the student must have that meet the previously entered Attendance Code or Status/Excuse values. This is a required entry. Letters generate for those students who meet or exceed the entered value for the selected interval.

In the example below, a letter generates for the student when there is a total of five attendance entries that are either Absence/Unverified or Truant, or a combination of both of those codes for the entire year. If the student has only four qualifying attendance entries, a letter does not generate.

Qualification Criteria

Intervals

Each letter also requires the selection of an Interval, which is the period of time across the school year for which the calculation applies. The Selected Type changes which interval options are available.

It is recommended that attendance letters be created for each specific term ("3 Unexcused Absences Term 1", "3 Unexcused Absences Term 2", and so on). This selection is not available with the Absenteeism Level Letter Types.

Attendance Letter Criteria - Intervals
Interval OptionDescriptionAdditional Items to Select
YearAttendance records are totaled for the entire school year.N/A
Term

Attendance records are totaled for the selected term (Quarter 1, Semester 2, etc.).

Choose the desired terms, and also choose if the number of attendance events should be totaled across the selected terms or within each term.

When the Total Across All Checked Terms is marked, a letter generates for the student when they meet the letter criteria across any of the selected terms. When the Total Across All Checked Terms is not marked, a letter generates for the student when they meet the criteria within one of the selected terms.

Example: Total Across All Checked Terms is marked

  • A letter is marked for Q1 and Q2, and has Qualification Criteria of five unexcused absences.
  • The Total Across All Checked Terms checkbox is marked.
  • The student has three unexcused absences in Q1 and two unexcused absences in Q2.
  • A letter generates for the student in Q2 after the fifth unexcused absence.

Example: Total Across All Checked Terms is NOT marked

  • A letter is marked for Q1 and Q2, and has Qualification Criteria of five unexcused absences.
  • The Total Across All Checked Terms checkbox is NOT marked.
  • The student has three unexcused absences in Q1 and two unexcused absences in Q2.
  • A letter does NOT generate for the student, as a total of five unexcused absences in one term was not met.

CourseAttendance records are totaled for the selected course based on a distinct student:course combination.N/A
Course/Term

Attendance records are totaled for the selected course in the current term based on a distinct student:course combination.

When the Total Across All Checked Terms is marked, a letter generates for the student when they meet the letter criteria across any of the selected terms for any of the selected courses. When the Total Across All Checked Terms is not marked, a letter generates for the student when they meet the criteria within one of the selected terms.

Example: Total Across All Checked Terms is marked

  • A letter is marked for Q1 and Q2, and has Qualification Criteria of five unexcused absences.
  • The Total Across All Checked Terms checkbox is marked.
  • The student has three unexcused absences in Q1 for the selected course and two unexcused absences in Q2 for the selected course.
  • A letter generates for the student in Q2 after the fifth unexcused absence.

Example: Total Across All Checked Terms is NOT marked

  • A letter is marked for Q1 and Q2, and has Qualification Criteria of five unexcused absences.
  • The Total Across All Checked Terms checkbox is NOT marked.
  • The student has three unexcused absences in Q1 for the selected course and two unexcused absences in Q2 for the selected course.
  • A letter does NOT generate for the student, as a total of five unexcused absences in one term was not met.

Date Range

Attendance records are totaled across a number of days, determined by the user. These can be either Calendar Days or Attendance Days.

The Number of Days to Review value is the total number of days, either calendar days or attendance days, the attendance letter will evaluate in determining if the student receives a letter.

Actual date values do not need to be entered at the criteria level; instead, use the Campus Field  options for Attendance Letter Criteria options on the Letter Format detail to print which dates were considered in the letter:

  • startDate - prints the beginning date of the student's attendance events
  • endDate - prints the ending date of the student's attendance events

When a Date Range letter is selected for generation (first screen of the Attendance Letter), the duration in days automatically displays. The user does need to enter the End Date (last day considered for attendance events).

Teacher and Sections to Include

Letters can be created to include a selected teacher and section, or multiple teachers and sections. All teachers and all sections can be chosen. Or, if a specific teacher is chosen, only the sections in which the teacher is the primary teacher are available. The list of available sections can be sorted by Number or Name.

Attendance Letter - Teacher and Section

When using the Period Marks or Course Marks Type and the Status/Excuse Attendance Type, sections can be excluded, if desired.

Exclude Sections from Attendance Letter

Table of Attendance Letter Options

Due to the different options available with each potential combination, the following lists which options display with other options.

TypeAttendance TypeIntervalTeacher/Section IncludeSection Exclude
Period MarksAttendance Code

by Year

by Term

by Course

by Course/Term

by Date Range

YesNo
Status/Excuse

by Year

by Term

by Course

by Course/Term

by Date Range

YesYes
Course MarksAttendance Code

by Year

by Term

by Course

by Course/Term

by Date Range

YesNo
Status/Excuse

by Year

by Term

by Course

by Course/Term

by Date Range

YesYes
Whole/Half Day AbsencesStatus/Excuse

by Year

by Term

by Date Range

YesNo
Exact Day AbsencesStatus/Excuse

by Year

by Term

by Date Range

YesNo
Single Day CountAttendance Code

by Year

by Term

by Date Range

YesNo
Status/Excuse

by Year

by Term

by Date Range

YesNo
Absenteeism LevelN/AN/AYesNo

This pertains to all attendance codes with the following Status/Excuse options:

  • Absent, Excused
  • Absent, Unexcused
  • Absent, Unknown


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