How do I manage student’s special education program enrollment in PowerSchool? (CA Only)

Special education specialists use a variety of different systems to be able to determine the status of special education students.  Even though PowerSchool may not be your primary student management system for special education, it does require the most up to date information in it as PowerSchool is the master data source for updates to the State of California’s official student data system called CALPADS.

Triggers for updates

Special education data only has to be updated in PowerSchool when one of the following events occur:

  • A student is classified as special education for the first time.
  • A student previously classified as special education has entered the school for the first time.
  • A student’s primary disability code has changed.
  • A student is no longer classified as special education.
  • A student has left the school.

If you would like to see which current students at the school are designated as participating in a special education program, see this other helpful knowledge base article entitled:  How do I select the current list of Special Education students in PowerSchool?

Types of updates

Depending on the trigger to update information, you will have to perform 2 different types of tasks:

  • Update 1:  Create a new Special Education program record
  • Update 2:  Edit an existing Special Education program record

Tips on updates:

  1. If a student changes primary disability code, end the previous record and start a new one the day after the previous record ended.
  2. It is OK to have a start date but no end date.
  3. Remember to update information for students that have left.

Update 1:  Create a new Special Education program record

Once a student is selected, navigate to:  State/Province – CA (Information) > Program Eligibility (California Reporting Information)

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You should now see a screen like this that lists existing student programs.  Ignore any that are not program (144) Special Ed.  Click New.

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The New Program Eligibility Screen should look similar to the one below:

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  • School of Attendance
    • This should be pre-populated
  • Education Program Code
    • For Special Education, it should always read (144) Special Education
  • Education Program Membership Code
    • Eligibility means that a given student has met all of the criteria to receive services for an education program; however, the student may not necessarily be receiving services.*
    • Participation means that a given student has met all of the criteria to receive services for an education program, and that student is receiving services.*
    • * From CALPADS Data Guide Version 5.0 Published 12/17/2013
  • Education Program Membership Start Date
    • Required.  Must be the student’s initial eligibility date
  • Education Program Membership End Date
    • Only required when a student exits the special education program
  • Special Education Exit Code
    • Not required for CALPADS
  • Primary Disability Code
    • Required for CALPADS
    • 210 – Intellectual Disability (ID): Intellectual Disability means significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior, and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. (34 CFR Sec. 300.7(c)(6)).
    • 220 – Hard of hearing (HH): Hard of Hearing means hearing, impairment, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance, but that is not included under the definition of deaf in this section.
    • 230 – Deafness (DEAF)/Hearing impairment (HI): Deafness means a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through learning, with or without amplification, which adversely affects educational performance. (34 CFR Sec. 300.7(c)(3) Hearing Impairment is a federal category of disability, which includes both hard of hearing and deaf individuals as defined above.
    • 240 – Speech or language impairment (SLI): Speech or Language Impairment means a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. (34 CFR Sec. 300.7(c)(11))
    • 250 – Visual impairment (VI): Visually Impaired, including blindness means impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes both partially seeing and blind children. (34 CFR Sec. 300.7(c)(13)).
    • 260 – Emotional disturbance (ED): Emotional Disturbance means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics, over a long period of time and to a marked degree, that adversely affects educational performance: (A) An inability to learn which cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors; (B) An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers; (C) Inappropriate types of behavior or feeling under normal circumstances; (D) A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; or (E) A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems. The term (ED) includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance. (34 CF Sec. 300.7(c)(4)).
    • 270 – Orthopedic impairment (OI): Orthopedic Impairment means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly (e.g., clubfoot, absence of some member, etc.), impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc.), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns which cause contractures). (34 CFR Sec. 300.7(b)(6 Sec. 300.7(c)(8))
    • 280 – Other health impairment (OHI): Other Health Impairment means having limited strength, vitality or alertness, due to chronic or acute health problems such as a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, or diabetes, which adversely affects a child’s educational performance. (34 CFR Part 300.7 (c) (9)).
    • 281 – Established medical disability (EMD): A disabling medical condition or congenital syndrome that the individualized education program (IEP) team determines has a high predictability of requiring special education and services. (CA Ed Code, Section 56441.11(d)) (Note: This eligibility category is only applicable for children ages 3-5)
    • 290 – Specific learning disability (SLD): Specific Learning Disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor handicaps, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage. (34 CFR Sec. 300.7(c)(10)).
    • 300 – Deaf-blindness (DB): Deaf-Blindness means concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness. (34 CFR Sec. 300.7(c)(2)).
    • 310 – Multiple disabilities (MD): Multiple Disabilities means concomitant impairments (such as mental retardation-blindness, mental retardation-orthopedic impairment, etc.,) the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blind children. (34 CFR Sec. 300.7(c)(7)).
    • 320 – Autism (AUT): Autism means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and non-verbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, which adversely affects educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism include, engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not does not apply if a childÆs educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance. A child who manifests characteristics of autism after age three, that child could be diagnosed as having autism if the criteria in the above paragraph are satisfied. (34 CFR Sec. 300.7(c)(1)).
    • 330 – Traumatic brain injury (TBI): Traumatic Brain Injury means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, which adversely affects educational performance. The term applies to both open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech. The term does not include brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, nor brain injuries induced by birth trauma. (34 CFR Sec. 300.7(c)(12)).
  • Secondary Disability Code
    • Optional (Not reported to CALPADS)
  • CASEMIS Student Services
    • Ignore for now
  • District of Special Education Accountability
    • This will have a default value of the district (In this case, 1964733=Los Angeles Unified School District).  If this is not correct, contact your CALPADS manager and let them know so that this can be changed!
  • Check to update the value for the related field in the Students table, based on changes to this record
    • For new records, always click this.  For older records, only click this if this is the most recent/current record.

When you click submit, it should look like this:

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You will notice that there is not a Student Table Value that contains the Primary Disability on the left and a listing of the record that you had just created on the bottom.

Tip:  If you would like to change the District of Special Education Accountability yourself or add CASEMIS services, proceed to part B below.

Update 2:  Edit an existing Special Education program record

Once a student is selected, navigate to: State/Province – CA (Information) > Program Eligibility (California Reporting Information)

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You should now see a screen like this that lists existing student programs. If you can see the Special Education record that you wish to edit, click on the “144” to enter that record.

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Now the screen will look slightly different compared to a New entry:

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  • 1 – This main section is the same as a new entry.  If you need guidance on what each of these fields mean or how to fill them out, see Part A.
  • 2 – This is a field that will now allow you to change the District of Special Education Accountability.
  • 3 – This field should be checked ONLY if the student is not classified as Special Education anymore.
  • 4 – This “New” field refers to CASEMIS Student Services which are NOT required for CALPADS
  • 5 – This is where you can delete a record IF the creation of the record was a mistake.  If it is not a mistake you should not delete historical records.  This is also the area where you can submit if you made a change to one of the other fields.
Updated on June 5, 2018

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