Friday, February 08, 2008

ELPP Spreadsheet--Let Technology Do the Work

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Welcome Special Ed. coordinators! Those who know me well know how passionate I am about letting technology handle administrivia and free our time for other things. This article, written for Principal magazine, illustrates that passion.

This post is designed to give you an explanation of the spreadsheet I designed to crunch the ELPP numbers and give you instructions on how you can download it and use it.

I have included two spreadsheets. One has some sample names and data in it. Feel free to add more names, change the data, and “play around with it.” The second is a blank spreadsheet that you can use for your own purposes.

Here is how to use the spreadsheet:

  1. When a pre-school student qualifies for special education, enter the students name and the year they will exit to kindergarten (For example, those exiting to kindergarten this spring would have 2008 in that column). Also enter the dates asked for in the first several columns.
  2. Tab across and fill in all of the entry data (0,1,2). The items on which the child is being scored appear at the top of each column.
  3. When the student exits to kindergarten or moves away, fill in the exit data. If a student moves away during this year, you would change the date of exit from kindergarten to “2008.” As you see, all data for one student goes on one line of that spreadsheet.

All of this is done on that first tab, the one marked "Input."

During the year, you can check on how things are progressing by having your pre-school teachers e-mail the spreadsheet to you. Once you look at them, you could delete them OR save them in case your teachers have not learned the value of backing up their data and a hard drive bites the dust.

When it's time to report your numbers:

  1. Have your teachers e-mail the spreadsheet to you.
  2. Copy and paste the data into one spreadsheet.
  3. Click on the "Entry Data" tab and fill in the yellow squares. The whole spreadsheet hinges on the yellow square for the year. When you enter that number, everything calculates. This spring, you would enter 2008 in that square.
  4. Print that sheet.
  5. Click on the "Exit Data" tab and hit print. (Everything will be already filled out, including the name of your school system, the year, etc.)
  6. Fax the two sheets.
  7. Celebrate not having to do all of the paperwork you did last year!!!

When it's time to crank up next year, you can leave all of the old names and just add new ones. The spreadsheet will hold up to 999 kids before anything would have to be done to it. By then, either the ELPP will be handled by SETS or won't be in existence anymore.

What about the paper forms you had been filling out and then putting in student folders? I am all for doing away with those forms and letting the data be simply entered into the spreadsheet. Jan and Cathy say that Washington requires the paper form and that it be housed in the child’s folder. (Bummer)

Once you have looked at the spreadsheet and played around with putting some numbers in there, I think you will be pleased with how easy it makes the process. Please feel free to call me if I can help you get started or at point along the way. My direct number at work is (256) 315-5617.

To get the sample ELPP spreadsheet with sample data, click here.

To get the blank ELPP spreadsheet click here. In either case, you do not need a password. If asked for one, simply click "cancel."

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