If there’s one thing every educator is short on, it’s time. If there are two things, they’re time and money. We want to save you both this Count Day, via our expert Count Day consulting and innovative 10-Day Worksheets. Around this time last year, we took a deep dive into the why’s and how’s of Count Day. If you missed it, check it out here. There is a ton of great information that will help you get a better understanding of this important event.
This year, after a brief re-introduction, we want to focus more specifically on how Macro Connect has helped, and continues to help, schools have a successful Count Day. We’ll cover three essential tools that have been proven to get results, and show you first hand how the Macro Connect team can help you and your school get every dollar you deserve.
Why Count Day Is Important
This year, Count Day falls on Friday, October 2nd. And on Count Day, attendance counts for more. Of course, attendance is always important. It ensures your students are safely accounted for and in the classroom, ready to learn. But on Count Day, your school and district collect the population data they need to apply for the funding you rely on. About half of your school’s budget comes directly from the state of Michigan’s Foundation Allowance. This is what schools use to keep the lights on, pay salaries, and buy books and computers. October’s Count Day dictates 90% of that funding and February’s Count Day dictates the other 10%. That means it’s critically important that you do everything within your power to maximize the accuracy of your Count Day data.
Let’s Be Proactive About Count Day
Our team believes in creating a proactive environment instead of a reactive one, especially when it comes to school funding and Count Day. That’s why we’re constantly refining and auditing the way things are done with our partner schools. When you leave things to the last minute, details get overlooked, opportunities are lost, and in the case of Count Day, students suffer for it. So let’s get proactive!
While you might not think about Count Day until the school year starts, we’re thinking about it all year round. Did you know that there is a Michigan Pupil Accounting and Attendance Association (MPAAA)? It’s an organization of individuals intensely dedicated to education data management and attendance accountability excellence. Two of our data team members, Christian Anderson and Jan Jenema, are actually MPAAA board members! You can believe it when we say, we’re always thinking about Count Day.
Now let’s move on to three specific examples of the ways our School Data team makes a positive impact on Count Day.
We take some of that proactive mentality and translate it directly into the attendance procedures we recommend. Our team strongly encourages Positive Attendance, because it’s all about removing human error from the process. In most classrooms, teachers start with a blank attendance form and change it from blank to Present if the student is present. But if you skip over a name or forget to mark it as you go through the list, or if it somehow doesn’t register your change, they don’t get marked as present and so they aren’t counted on Count Day. Nothing is more frustrating than having a student marked absent when they were actually present. Then you have to go through the whole 10-Day attendance hassle, wasting time and potentially costing your school some funding.
The Positive Attendance approach starts with marking every student as Present and then marking them as absent if they are absent. We recently helped our friends at The Leona Group implement this methodology in their attendance process and they have already seen great results! It was a serious time saver for them and it can be for you too. If you’re interested in learning more about this attendance method, reach out and we’ll share all the details.
Knowledge Is Power
The Macro Connect team believes that knowledge put to good use is a powerful force. That’s why we endorse continual training and professional development across all topics relevant to an educators job. As simplistic as it may sound, this includes training in attendance practices and the software associated with it. When every single student marked correctly accounts for thousands of dollars in school funding, a half day training course suddenly sounds like a worthwhile investment. Help your staff by making sure they’re armed with all the knowledge they need to have a great Count Day.
Macro Connect offers a wide variety of training options based on your time and financial constraints. Ranging from one-on-one consulting to full day PD sessions, we want to make sure the solution fits your needs. One option would be a large group session where we train your whole staff during one of their reserved professional development days. That would be the simplest solution, but might be hard to schedule. Another option is a smaller group training class with just your department heads. In this more intimate setting, we can give your staff leaders the tools they need to instruct their departments at their own convenience. We also have more intensive opportunities available like the Detroit PowerSchool Summit on November 6th and 7th, where we’ll offer two full days of rigorous training on applications including PowerTeacher Pro. Just send one person from your school and we’ll make them experts so that they can be your go-to in-house experts. And if you need something even more custom, we can design a training program around that too. Just give us a call to start the conversation.
The 10-Day Worksheet
In a digital world, the 10-Day Worksheets you use for students marked absent on Count Day can be extremely time consuming. For the average school, using the old pen and paper method can take up to 20 hours when it’s all said and done. No one has that kind of time. We took that frustration and created a solution that works, saving you 95% of the time it would take to do it by hand.
Imagine the morning after Count Day, your teachers all have pre-populated 10-day worksheets with student, school, and attendance info pre-populated and ready to print for all absent Count Day students waiting in their inbox. Not to mention, the Macro Connect 10-Day Worksheet is approved by WRESA. Many of our school partners utilize this updated worksheet and can attest that it’s nothing short of a miracle. Want to get your hands on our special 10-Day Worksheet? Reach out using the contact information at the end of the post!
Get Started Today
With so much on the line for a strong Count Day, we want to make sure you have access to every advantage possible, to ensure success. From customized training to innovative procedures and worksheets, Macro Connect has you covered when it comes to Count Day. Help your school get the funding you deserve by asking our School Data team how you can have a better Count Day.