SEA Data Processes Toolkit

What is the toolkit and what is it for?

The SEA Data Processes Toolkit is a collection of templates to document all state-level IDEA data collection and reporting procedures and activities. Using this toolkit to create protocols for all data collections will establish a well-managed process for data collection, analysis, and reporting.

States can use the toolkit to establish and support consistent practices that produce valid and reliable data, build the capacity of data stewards, and create and maintain a culture of high-quality data.

The toolkit contains customizable data collection protocols in Word and a calendar for data stewards that provide a map for documenting data processes for the state.

Documentation of state processes requires dedicated effort and a commitment to designate time to complete and regularly update the protocols. IDC has specialized TA providers available who can facilitate the documentation process in your state.

How to use the toolkit

IDC strongly recommends a team approach to completing the protocols. Additional staff that SEAs might involve include

  • State director of special education
  • Data governance coordinator or manager
  • Program staff
  • IT steward
  • Other data stewards (e.g., assessment)
  • EDFacts coordinator
  • Other staff as appropriate.

When completing the protocols for each collection, states should add detailed information about the many processes and information associated with that collection. Listed prompts are not comprehensive; they are meant to serve as guides for thinking about the processes in a state. States should indicate which members of the team are responsible for the various tasks and document any communication that is necessary to support ongoing data processes work.

Toolkit Components

SEA Data Processes Toolkit Overview

The overview is useful for sharing with staff members as states plan to begin documenting processes. States can use the overview as a discussion tool to help build buy-in across the department.

State Landscape Protocol

This protocol covers background information on the state including description of the data systems, key special education and data staff, and general policies and procedures that apply to IDEA data. It is useful particularly when onboarding new staff members. The information in the State Landscape Protocol serves as an overview of state infrastructure, and states can apply the information to all of the other data collection protocols.

Annual Determinations for LEAs

This protocol covers all processes for using data to establish each local LEA’s annual determination. It will define which data a state uses for the determination and how the state calculates and shares the annual determination.

Business Rules Documentation Protocol

This protocol is a customizable Excel workbook states can use for documenting, recording, and communicating existing business rules or data quality validation checks they perform during the collection and validation of IDEA Part B data.

618 Data Collection Protocols  

These protocols cover information about data collections as defined in Section 618 of IDEA. States submit the data to OSEP via EDFacts files and the EMAPS system.









Significant Disproportionality  

This protocol allows states to document all of their processes for significant disproportionality, including definitions and methodology; timelines; data collection, preparation, and analysis; LEA notifications, identification of contributing factors, and CCEIS.

"Communication was the main thing we needed to improve. By documenting our processes and understanding what each office and division is doing we were able to understand the work and how the data is being processed."

Joe McCowan,  KY