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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—Reviewing the Frequency and Timing of Data Collections

Data collection timelines

The Mississippi Statewide Information System was designed to accept the prescribed monthly submission as well as optional daily submissions from districts, which provides a mechanism for adding data collection windows as needed during a crisis. If the system hadn't allowed for this type of flexibility and had limited attendance reports to the originally scheduled 10th day of each month, Mississippi would have been unable to accurately report fall enrollment at the beginning of the school year, which fell shortly after hurricane Katrina.

Be familiar with the frequency and timing of your agency's current data collections. Be prepared to introduce additional data collections or collection cycles during a crisis.

While the timing of all data collections is important, data about displaced students are especially time sensitive given the immediate information need for funding, accountability, and other decisionmaking. In a crisis, the flexibility to adjust collection schedules is critical. For example, when enrollment counts are only collected by the state a few times a year, additional ad-hoc collections may be needed to report accurate changes in enrollments following a crisis.