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Information Services - Data Collection

SIF Weekly Update - April 24, 2014

Dear SIMS Contact:

As you may be aware, DESE is currently working with public school districts across the Commonwealth to enable the School Interoperability Framework (SIF) to support data exchange with the department.

As a real-time, automated process, using an international standard, SIF provides opportunities both for improved and expanded DESE services and for long-term cost savings for school districts by consolidating data requirements into a single interface. These opportunities have led to our decision to adopt SIF as the standard for data submissions to DESE. Over the next couple of years, the scope of applications and data requirements supported via SIF will be expanded, and the existing flat-file data submission methods will be decommissioned.

To date, the focus of the SIF program has been with districts that chose to obtain grant funding through the federal Race to the Top program to fund SIF enablement. Now we invite all public school districts to participate. I must be clear that the department does not have additional grant funding available to cover any district costs at this time, and is also not currently mandating your participation. However, at some point, all districts will be required to use SIF to provide data to DESE. The financial costs associated with this project are small and vary depending on the SIS vendor, but generally range from $0 to less than $10K.

My staff will be contacting you soon with information about SIF Onboarding kickoff sessions that will be available during the next few months. These sessions will provide an overview of the program and start the process of moving your district onto SIF. I encourage you to get on board this spring, but if the time is not right for your district, please let your Support Specialist know your intentions, so that we may better plan for the effort.

Thank you.

Robert Curtin
Director, Education Data Services
MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant St. Malden, MA 02148
(781) 338-3582

Last Updated: April 25, 2014
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