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Crisis Data Management: A Forum Guide to Collecting and Managing Data About Displaced Students
NCES 2010-804
February 2010

Chapter 2. Before a Crisis: Planning for Displaced Student Data—Evaluating the Disaster Recovery Team

Recommendation:
Ensure that data managers are represented on your agency's disaster recovery team and, when possible, that a "data subgroup" is established.

Most disaster recovery experts advocate the creation of a disaster recovery team that will plan and implement recovery activities in response to an actual emergency situation. Team members typically include key staff responsible for minimizing the impact of a crisis and ensuring that educational services to students are not interrupted. Members may be selected for their expertise in safety and security, transportation, technology, homeless services, food service, special education, assessment, facilities, communication, federal programs, counseling and mental health, emergency systems, legal services, and finance and administration. Agencies should also have strong contacts with organizations outside of education that serve children or collect data about students (e.g., immunization and free lunch programs).

Recommendation:
All data systems should be automated. Ensure that automated data systems are flexible enough to permit the creation of new applications and file formats.

Because data are a critical component of disaster recovery planning, data stewards from throughout an agency should be represented on the disaster recovery team. In fact, depending on organization and size, some agencies may choose to establish a "data team" as a subgroup of the disaster recovery team. Such a group usually includes a student information system manager, as well as data stewards from important program offices and departments. The goal of this subgroup would be to ensure that data needs are met during and following a crisis.

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