Important SIMS Items- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Information Services

Important SIMS Items

To:SIMS Contacts
From:Paula Girouard O┬┤Sullivan, Director of Information Services
Date:February 4, 2005


The following text was sent via email on February 4, 2005 to all SIMS Contacts listed in Directory Administration.

Thank you all for your work with the October 1 and December 1 SIMS data. We are wrapping up a few loose ends and beginning preparation for the March 1 data collection. There have been several recent postings to our website and security portal that I'd like to bring to your attention:

  1. An email regarding the preliminary Ch. 70 budget and the October 1 SIMS data went to superintendents on 2/03/05. You can find a copy of the email at under Headlines at the bottom of the page.

  2. We posted a file on 1/26/05 with the duplicate student resolutions for the October data to the SIMS File Exchange Dropbox in the DOE security portal. The file name is REDP_distcode.xls. This is for your information only; no further changes can be made. Please do not send the file back to us.

  3. Also in the SIMS File Exchange, you will find a file with the duplicate students from the December 1 data (not to be confused with item 2). The file is named SPED_DUP_distcode.xls and was posted on 2/1. We ask that you provide information on these students by 2/17/05 or the students will be changed to "Transfer" to remove the duplication. If you do not have a file, you do not have any duplicate students to resolve.

  4. Starting in March, we will no longer accept the school code "08880000" that indicates the actual school code is unknown. We have posted a file of students reported with this code to the SIMS October Data Dropbox so that you may begin researching the actual school codes in preparation of the March data transmission. The file is called UNKdistcode.xls and was posted on 01/28/05. More information can be found at If you do not have a file, you did not report any students with this school code in October.

  5. As in past years, we are asking for information on all grade 6-12 students who were enrolled in your district at the end of the 2003-04 school year and who were not reported by any district in the October 1, 2004 data. This year that data will be collected through an on-line application available through the security portal to all staff who have the MDCS security role. We ask that this data be submitted by 3/3/05. The application will be made available on or before 2/9/05. When it is available, we will post more detailed instructions under the Headlines on the Information Services site

  6. Finally, in response to requests from districts we have posted a sample letter that you may use for communicating with parents regarding the change in the race and ethnicity codes for next year. This letter can be found at the bottom of the Frequently Asked Questions document at If you're saying to yourself "what change in the race and ethnicity codes?" you may want to read the rest of the FAQ as well.

As always, please contact your DOE Field Technologist or the Data Collection office at 781-338-DATA (3282) if you have any questions.

Thank you.

Last Updated: February 8, 2005

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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