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School Finance

ASSA Questions & Answers

The following questions and answers are a compilation of e-mails received by the department in recent years. They all concern correctly counting students on the ASSA. They are grouped below in broad subject headings. The questions under each subject heading are shown in bold type (Q:) after which the resulting answer (A) is in normal type. There are many instances of overlaps in subject manner. Therefore, if you are looking for specific information concerning, for example, charter schools, you can use the find command on the above menu bar to search for the specific term in question.

Grouped below in categories:

#1 Charter Schools

Student sent on to Education Services Commission

Q: A charter school sends a special education student to the county ESC. When the charter school called the district, they indicated that it was okay. How should this student be counted?

A: The public school district that the child would attend if not attending a charter school counts the student as sent to the county ESC.

#2 Charter Schools

Student sent on to Private School for the Disabled

Q: A charter school child study team has determined that a student should be placed in a private school for students with disabilities. Our district must pay for this. How should this child be counted in the ASSA?

A: If the child does not attend the private school for students with disabilities on the October count date, the student is reported in the Charter School Enrollment System and therefore will be preloaded into the ASSA on the Charter School column. If the child does attend the private school for students with disabilities on the October count date, the district must count the student as sent on the 'Private Schools for Students with Disabilities" screen (Sent > Misc).

#3 Choice

Attends regional choice district

Q: The district has a student who attends a Choice Agriculture Program at a regional district. We received an edit on our ASSA report because we reported a sent student to the regional and they reported the student as Choice. What is the proper way to report this student?

A: A student who is sent to a choice district is only reported by the choice district (the regional district in this case). The district sending the student to the choice district does not report the student on the ASSA.
Choice students are considered residents of the district they attend.

#4 Choice Student Sent to a Private School for the Disabled

Q: A student registers to attend school in a choice district. It is subsequently determined that the child requires services that can only be provided by a private school for students with disabilities. How is this student counted?

A: A choice student who is sent to a private school for students with disabilities is counted as choice sent out of district by the choice district. The district where the child resides does not count this student.

#5 Choice Student Sent Shared Time to a Vocational School

Q: A choice student attends a choice district for high school shared-time and the vocational school shared-time. How is this student counted?

A: This choice student is counted as follows:

  • The choice district and the vocational district count this student as on-roll shared-time.
  • The district where the child resides counts the student as sent shared-time to the vocational district.

#6 Choice Student Sent Full Time to a Vocational School

Q: A choice student who attends a choice district for high school decides to attend the vocational school full-time. How is this student counted?

A: This choice student is counted as follows:

  • The choice district does not count the student.
  • For a student sent full-time to an in-county vocational school, the district where the child resides does not count the student. Only the vocational school counts the student as on-roll.
  • For a student sent full time to an out-of-county vocational school, the district where the child resides counts the student as sent full-time to the vocational school while the vocational school counts the student as on-roll full-time and received full-time from the district where the child resides.

#7 Choice Student Place in a State Facility

Q: If a student who resides at home with a parent and attends a Choice School (in another school district) then is placed out of the parent's home into SFEA program, which school district is responsible for the student (fiscal & awarding the diploma), the choice school district or parent's school district?

A: The district where the child's parent lives is financially responsible. The last school that the student attended is responsible for awarding the diploma. This state facilities student is not part of the choice district's resident enrollment. This student is included in the enrollment of the district where the parent resides.

#8 Choice students who attend a county special services school district

Q: How is a choice student who attends a county special services school district on a shared time basis recorded on the ASSA and which district is responsible for the tuition to the county special services school district?

A: A choice student who attends a county special services school district on a part-time basis is reported is recorded in the ASSA as on-roll shared time (.5 in the ASSA) by both the choice district and the county special services school district. The student will be recorded in ASSA as SENT shared-time to the county special services school district by the resident district.  The county special services school district will report the student as received from the resident district.
The resident district is responsible for any tuition charged by the special services school district.

#9 Choice students who attend shared time at a county special services school district and shared time at a vocational district

Q: How is a choice student who attends shared time at a county special services school district and shared time at a vocational district recorded on the ASSA and which district is responsible for the tuition to the county special services school district and the vocational district?

A: A choice student who no longer attends school in the choice district and attends a county special services school district on a shared time basis and a vocational district on a shared time basis is reported by the resident district. (The student is no longer reported by the choice district.) The student is recorded in the ASSA as on-roll shared time (.5 in the ASSA) by both the county special services school district and the vocational district. The student will be recorded in ASSA as SENT shared-time to the county special services school district and sent shared time to the vocational district by the resident district.  The county special services school district and the vocational district will report the student as received from the resident district. The resident district is responsible for any tuition charged by the special services school district and the vocational district.

The choice district must continue providing child study team services unless the parents decide to use the resident district's child study team. Since the student will be counted on the resident district's ASSA, the choice district will not receive state aid and will not need to forward the aid to the resident district.

#10 DCF Day Training

Q: Can a district count a DYFS placement student as enrolled in the DCF Regional School? The district pays no tuition. If so, where is the student counted?

A: If the student is district responsible, then the district counts the student on the "DCF Day Training Program" line on the Students Sent "Misc" screen. If the student is state responsible, then the district does not count the student.

#11 Free/Reduced Lunch

Q:  Child nutrition has changed its "carry-over from prior year" time frame to be 30 operating days.  This year for our district, 30 operating days would be October 16th.  Should I count the students that have not returned an application as of Oct 15th in our ASSA snap shot?

A school district can certify its ASSA Low Income count supported by carryover applications and current year applications received as of the count date.  Alternatively, a school district can update its free/reduced counts through the date of its final ASSA certification.  If the district chooses to update its low income free/reduced counts through the date of final certification using the current year applications for those students, then no carryover applications can be included. Regardless of which option is selected, the final ASSA submission must reflect only students that were counted as "on-roll" on the count date.

Where a district opts to update its classifications through the date of final submission of its ASSA, the updated low income free/reduced lunch counts must be supported by ASSA workpapers and a supporting audit trail.

#12 Home Instruction

ESC student placed on home instruction

Q: A student who normally attends an Education Service Commission School was on home instruction on October 15. How does the resident district count this student?

A: There is no separate screen for home instruction students. Count this student as on-roll.

#13 Home Instruction

Student in drug rehab

Q: Our district has a grade 10 special education student who was placed in a drug rehab center. Instruction is being provided by the CSSD. Is this considered Home Instruction? If not, how is the student counted?

A: The district reports the student as sent to the CSSD. The CSSD reports the student as on-roll and received from the district. Home instruction students are reported on the on-roll screen. However, if the district pays for instruction in a private rehab center, then report the student as sent on the "Other Placement" screen (Sent > Misc).

#14 Home Instruction

Student in juvenile detention

Q: We have a classified student in the 9th grade. The student was placed in the Juvenile Detention Center. Instruction is being provided by the CSSD. Is this considered Home Instruction? If not, where is the student counted?

A: A student in a Juvenile Detention Center on October 15 is reported on the state facilities count. This student is not reported on the ASSA. The following is a listing of the types of state facilities:

Department of Children and Families Developmental Centers

Department of Children and Families Regional Day Schools

Department of Children and Families Residential Centers

Department of Corrections Training School / Secure Care Facility

Department of Children and Families State Residential Mental Health Centers

Juvenile Justice Commission State Juvenile Community Programs

Juvenile Justice Commission Training Schools / Secure Care Facilities

Juvenile Justice Commission Juvenile Detention Centers or Boot Camps

Department of Children and Families Community Programs

These students are reported to the Office of School Finance by the individual state facilities and are added to the district ASSA counts. They appear on the district ASSA Summary Reports that accompany the State Aid Notices.

#15 Home Instruction

CSSD providing instruction

Q: Our district has a Special Education student who was terminated from a private school placement. The student was subsequently hospitalized by the family. We are providing home instruction during this time through the CSSD. A new private school placement will begin in a few weeks. Should we record him as a student sent to a private/out-of-district placement, or as sent to a CSSD?

A: You must count the student as sent to the CSSD. The CSSD reports the student as on-roll and received from your district.

#16 Home Schooled

Attends vocational school shared-time

Q: How is a student counted who is home-schooled for the academic portion of the day and goes to vocational school on a shared-time basis?

A: The vocational school counts the student as on-roll shared-time and received shared-time on the "Non-Public." screen under "Misc". The district where the student resides does not count the student.

#17 Homeless

Q: How should a district report homeless students from out-of-state?

A: Homeless students from out of state are normally 'state' responsible and should be counted on-roll and received from the state (Received > Misc).\

#18 Homeless Student District of Residence

Q: Our district is educating two homeless students. How are these students counted?

A: The district where the children last resided before becoming homeless is the children's district of residence. This district reports the students as sent to your district. Your district counts these students as on-roll and received from the district of residence.

Please note that after these children reside in your district for more than one year, your district becomes financially responsible for educating the children.

#19 Homeless Students living in a Non-Operating District

Q: We are a non-operating district that contracts to send its students to another district. Several homeless students reside in our district.  Here is the situation:

  • We have 5 homeless students whose last known residence was in District A.
  • They will be attending District C schools.
  • District C doesn't want to prepare the tuition contracts or show these students as received.
  • A non-operating district (District B) that normally sends to District C doesn't mind preparing the contracts. But they are a non-operating district and so they cannot show these students as received.
  • The homeless students now reside, temporarily, in the non-operating district.

Which district(s) counts these students?

A: The districts involved must count these 5 homeless students as follows:

  • District A reports the students as sent to District C.
  • District C reports the students as on-roll and received from District A.
  • District B (the non-operating district) does not count these students, even though the students temporarily reside there.

#20 Out of State Facilities

Q: The district has a classified student who is 18 years old and was placed in an independent living school (boot camp) located in California. How is this student counted?

A: The district must check whether this facility is an approved out-of state facility. The list can be found under http://www.state.nj.us/education/specialed/outofstate/. It may also fall under the NAPLES guidelines. If this facility falls under one of these guidelines, then the student is reported as sent on the "Private School for Students with Disabilities" screen. A court ordered placement is considered as 'approved' whether or not the school appears on the list.

#21 Parent Paid

Q: District A has 3 parent paid students who reside in District B. How are these students reported?

A: These three students are reported by District A as on-roll and received from 'Parent Paid' (Students Received > Misc). District B does not report these students.

#22 Pre-school

Q. How do I report preschool students that are funded through the Federal Preschool Expansion Grant?

All in-district preschool enrollments must be reported Onroll in the schools that the students attend. This includes Federal Preschool Expansion Grant students and students funded locally and by the State.
The Federal Preschool Expansion Grant students educated in-district must also be reported as RECEIVED->MISC->FEDERAL PRESCHOOL EXPANSION GRANT.

Federal Preschool Expansion Grant students sent to provider preschool program are only reported as SENT->MISC->PROVIDER PRESCHOOL-FEDERAL PRESCHOOL EXPANSION GRANT

Full day special education preschool

Q: A school district operates a half day pre-school handicapped program in both the morning and afternoon. One student attends both sessions. How should the student be listed?

A: Districts that provide two daily back-to-back shared-time sessions of services cannot count a child twice on the ASSA as a special education student. Each district that falls within this category must chose to do one of the following:

  • Record the student as on-roll shared-time in a separate school register in the AM session and on-roll shared-time in a separate school register in the PM session (for reporting purposes where there are two separate sessions), or
  • Record the student as on-roll full-time for a combined full-day session in one school register.

In either case, no student in this category can be recorded as greater than one full-time equivalent student.  

#23 Pre-school

½ preschool – ½ day nursery school

Q: A pre-school disabled child attends the district program for the morning session. The child is then sent to a nursery school in the afternoon as part of directive from the DOE to offer regular education settings. The district pays the tuition. How is this child counted?

A: Report the Special Education pre-school disabled student on the "Sp Ed Elementary" line as on-roll shared-time and sent shared-time on the "Provider Preschool" screen (Sent > Misc).

#24 Pre-school

Low income pre-school

Q: Are pre-school students included in the low income count?

A: Regular education preschool students cannot be counted as free or reduced lunch students. Only special education preschool students can be counted as low income on the appropriate free or reduced lunch columns.

#25 Pre-school

Attends district preschool and an ESC

Q: Our district has a special education pre-school child on-roll in the morning and sends the student to the ESC in the afternoon. How is this student counted?

A: Report the student on the "Sp Ed Elementary" line as both on-roll shared-time and sent shared-time to the ESC. Even if the student meets the 10 hour qualification for a full time preschool disabled student in both of the half day programs, you cannot count the student as full-time in both places.

#26 Pre-school

Half day special education preschool

Q: Our district has 1/2 day special education preschool students. However, the software has no half-day Special Education level. Therefore, the student is counted either in pre-school half day or in the appropriate Sp Ed level as elementary. How are these students reported?

A: The half day and full day pre-school lines for three and four year old students at the beginning of the on-roll screen are for regular education pre-school children. Half day special education pre-school students are reported as shared-time on the "Sp Ed - Elementary" line if the students receive less than 10 hours per week of instruction time.

#27 Pre-School

5 year old Pre-School Student

Q: Where does a district report a 5-year old who is still in pre-school?

A: Report the five-year-old regular education pre-school student on the four-year-old line. If the student is special education, then report the student on the "Sp Ed Elementary" line.

#28 Pre-school

Attends community preschool and CSSD

Q: How do you count a pre-school disabled child who attends a full-day program at a community program or a day care center and who receives educational services indicated in his IEP from both the center and the CSSD Educational Services Unit? This program is called an Integrated Pre-school Program.

A: Report the student as sent shared-time to CSSD and sent shared time on the "Sp Ed – Elementary" line on the "Provider Preschool" screen (Sent > Misc).

#29 Pre-school

Attends district preschool and out-of-district program

Q: A special education preschool student attends the district's pre-school handicapped program 3 days a week and is also enrolled in a non-public preschool 2 days a week. How is this student counted?

A: Report the preschool disabled student on the "Sp Ed – Elementary" line as on-roll shared-time and sent shared-time on the "Provider Preschool" screen (Sent > Misc).

#30 Pre-school

Attends a community college program
 
Q: Our district sends special education pre-school students to a program at the community college. How are these students reported?

A: If this is a state approved program or meets the NAPLES criteria (see the ASSA manual), then report the students on the "Private School for Students with Disabilities" screen.

#31 Regional Day Schools

Student sent full time to RDS

Q: A district pays to send a student full time to a Regional Day School. However, the district also pays to send this same student two days a week to attend a vocational rehabilitation program. How is this student reported?

A: The student is only reported as sent full-time on the appropriate regional day school screen (Sent > Misc).

#32 Regional Day Schools

Shared-time RDS, shared-time vocational program

Q: A student attends a Regional Day School 3 days a week and the remaining 2 days are at Employment Horizons (not a school but a vocational program). The resident district pays the regional day school for the 3 day program and also pays Employment Horizons directly. How is this student reported?

A: The district reports the student as sent shared-time on the appropriate regional day school screen (Sent > Misc) and sent shared-time on the "Other Placement" screen (Sent > Misc).

#33 Residence

Foreign exchange students

Q: A district has several foreign exchange students who attend the district schools. Are these students reported on the ASSA?

A: If the foreign exchange students were on the school register on the October count date, they are part of the district's resident enrollment and are counted as on-roll.

#34 Residence

Special Education determination of student from Canada

Q: A district has a transfer student from Canada who is classified autistic. The child has an IEP from his prior school but the district will not be able to complete its evaluation in time for October 15th. Can the child still be counted as a special education student based on the existing IEP?

A: You can use the child's previous IEP. If you cannot finish the evaluation before the October count date, you must have the written record of the previous IEP. The student must also be receiving the services called for in the IEP to be counted as a special education student.

#35 Residence

State-placed child attends school outside district of residence

Q: DYFS has placed two students in a group home within our district and the children attend our schools although the children's parents reside in another district. How do we report these students?

A: The district where the children's parents reside is the children's district of residence. This district reports these students as sent to your district. Your district reports these students as on-roll and received from the district where the children's parents reside.

#36 Residence

Parents live in district, student attends school out-of-state

Q: Parents who reside in our district placed their child in a residential school in California. The dispute between the child's parents and our district went to court. A judge ruled that our district is financially responsible for this placement. The child was never evaluated by the Child Study Team. The district must pay $30,000 per annum for the child's education. Can we report this student on the ASSA?

A: The district can count this student since it is financially responsible. If the student is special education, report the student as sent on the "Private School for Students with Disabilities" screen (Sent > Misc). If the student is regular education, then report the student as sent on "Other Placement" screen.

#37 Residence

Not on school register on ASSA count date

Q: A student from East Stroudsburg, Pa. was supposed to begin school in our district in September. However, the student was incarcerated and will not enter our school until November. Can this student be reported on the district's ASSA?

A: If the student is not on-roll in the school on the October count date, he cannot be reported on the ASSA.

#38 Residence

District of residence on October 15?

Q: A student's family moves to a new district on October 7th but the student is not registered in the new district until 12 noon on October 15th. Which school district counts this student on the ASSA?

A: If the student is registered in the new district on the October count date, then that district reports the child on the ASSA. The student must also be dropped from the old district's school register before this date.

#39 School Register

Student sent to Gallaudet school

Q: A 13 year-old student is being sent to Gallaudet School for the Deaf in Washington, D.C. The tuition and room and board are paid for by the federal government. The local district is responsible for the IEP and travel costs. The student is not on the school register. Is the district eligible for any funding related to the costs of providing services to this student?

A: A student who is not on the school register cannot be reported on the ASSA.

#40 Self Contained Classes

Designate special education students by age or grade

Q: Special education students in self-contained classes used to be designated as elementary, middle, or high school according to age. For several years now, all special education students, including those in self-contained classes must be graded. Should these graded, self-contained students continue to have their designation as elementary, middle or high school determined by age or by the grade level assigned to them?

A: All special education students must now be designated as elementary, middle, or high school according to their grade level.

#41 Self Contained Classes

Contracted Services

Q: A district provides special education services for some of its students by having a contractor come on site and provide the teaching staff as well as other services. These are self contained classes. Since the programs are provided within district facilities, should these students be counted as in district, on roll? Or should the students be reported as sent to an out of district placement?

A: The students in these self-contained classes that are contracted out but provided within a district school are counted as on-roll.

#42 Sent / Received Students

State Responsible Student in Group Home

Q: The County Special Services District receives a student from a district where he lives in a foster home. He was placed in the foster home by the Department of Children and Families. The group home district informed our office the student is state responsible. The student attends an out of district school. The district pays for the transportation of the student and the State of NJ pays the tuition to the out-of-district school. How does the Special Services District report this student?

A: The County Special Services District reports this student as on roll and received from "State" screen (Received > Misc). The group home district does not report this student on the ASSA.

#43 Sent / Received Students

District Responsible Student in Group Home

Q: A high school district has a resident student who was placed in a group home in another district. Does the district report this child as a full time student that is sent to the other district?

A: The high school district is the resident district and reports the student as sent to the district where the group home is located. The group home district reports the student as on-roll and received from the high school district.

#44 Sent / Received Students

Private school student sends shared time to district school

Q: The Department of Children and Families placed one of our district's resident students with Ranch Hope. Recently, Ranch Hope began sending this student part time to another district's high school. We do not contract with this high school. We have a tuition contract with Ranch Hope. How is this student reported on the ASSA?

A: Even though the other district's high school does not have a send/receive relationship with your district, they must report that they are receiving the Ranch Hope student shared-time from you. Therefore, that high school reports this student as on-roll shared-time and received shared-time from your district.

If you want to receive aid for this student then you must report this student as sent shared-time to the high school district and sent shared-time on the "Private School for Students with Disabilities" screen (Sent > Misc).

#45 Special Education

Timing of the IEP

Q: Our district held an eligibility conference for a fifth grade special education child on October 11 and completed the child's IEP on that date. The program is not scheduled to start until October 17. Is this child counted as a special education or as a regular education student?

A: This child is reported on the ASSA as a special education student.

#46 State Facilities

Arthur Brisbane School

Q: A child was placed in the state operated Arthur Brisbane School for severely emotionally disturbed students on October 15th. Where is this child reported?

A: A student on-roll in a state facility such as the Arthur Brisbane School on October 15 is part of the state facilities count and is not reported on the ASSA.

#47 Student Death

How is aid calculated?

Q: A district has a resident student who died on November 3rd and questions whether tuition expenditures and district aid will cease from the state since this student was placed in the CSSD.

A: The tuition for this student will be prorated for the actual number of days attended. State aid is determined by the ASSA count.

#48 Unapproved Nonpublic Schools

Q: The parents of a special education child in our district have unilaterally taken the child out of school and placed the child in the Winston School in Short Hills. The Winston School is not an approved private school for the disabled. The district is contesting the placement. Does the district count the student?

A: If this special education student was placed in an unapproved nonpublic school (Winston School) pursuant to Chapter 152, Laws of 1989 (NAPLES) or the district was court-ordered to pay for this placement, then the district reports the student as sent on the "Private School for the Students with Disabilities" screen (Sent > Misc).

#49 Vocational Schools

Relationships with an ESC

Q: A district sends three students to the county Educational Services Commission. This ESC then sends these students shared-time to the county vocational school. The district states that it only contracts with the ESC. However, an ESC cannot send to another district. How are these students reported?

A: The district reports the students as:

  • Sent shared-time to the Educational Services Commission
  • Sent shared-time to the vocational school

The ESC and vocational school both report the students as:

  • On-roll shared-time
  • Received shared-time from the district.

#50 Vocational Schools

Student in alternative program takes vocational class

Q: A student attends the Alternative Program at a high school on a full time basis but also take a class at the county vocational school during the day. How is this student counted?

A: Attending one class at the vocational school does not constitute shared time status. A student must attend a school for a minimum of 4 hours of time in order to be counted as shared time on the ASSA. In this case, the high school counts this student as on-roll full time.

#51 Vocational Schools

Programs with the UMDMJ

Q: Some post-secondary programs are hosted by a vocational school in collaboration with UMDMJ.

The programs are recognized as verified occupational programs by DOE. The vocational school provides all the facilities and a portion of the costs of instruction, student support, equipment and supplies. How are these students reported?

A: If this is a valid vocational post-secondary program, the vocational school reports the student as on roll in the county vocational post secondary program and received from county vocational post-secondary (Received > Misc).

#52 Vocational Schools

Home schooled student attends vocational school shared time

Q: The county vocational school has a home schooled student who attends the vocational school shared time. This student is not registered in a district school. How is this student reported and by whom?

A: The county vocational school reports the student as on roll shared time and received shared time from "Non-Public" (Received > Misc).

#53 Vocational Schools

½ day resource center student, ½ day vocational school

Q: A district receives a resource center student for 1/2 day, and then the student attends vocational school for the other 1/2 of the day. How is this student reported by both receiver district and the sender district?

A: Report the resource center student as Elementary, Middle or High School Special Education depending on the child's grade level:

  • District A (the sender) reports the student as sent shared-time to the receiving district (B).
  • District A also reports the student as sent shared-time to the vocational school.
  • District B (receiver) reports the student as on-roll shared-time and received shared-time from A.
  • The vocational school reports the student as on-roll shared-time and received from district A (the resident district).

#54 Vocational Schools

On roll & received students must be equal

Q: Our vocational school is having a problem when they enter the received and the on-roll information for their students and run their edits. A warning edit appears as follows: 
County Vocational-Regular Total: Received FT must = On-Roll FT 0.0 >397.0 
Why does this happen when the on-roll and received data is entered correctly?

A: All students in a vocational school must be received from another district. Thus, the number of students on-roll must equal the number of students received.

#55 Vocational Schools

Students in RDS program

Q: Our district has a child who attends a regional day school shared time and a vocational school program shared time. Both programs are operated by the county vocational school. How is this student counted?

A: Count this student as sent full time on the applicable regional day school screen (Sent > Misc).

#56 Vocational Schools

Student sent shared time to an out-of county vocational school

Q: District A has a send/receive agreement with District B. One District A student who is sent to District B also attends an out-of-county vocational school on a shared time basis. Which district reports this student as sent shared time to the vocational school?

A: The resident district must report as sent a student that attends any out-of-district placement. In this case, District A (the resident district) reports the student as sent shared time to District B and sent shared-time to the out-of-county vocational school. District B reports the student as on roll shared time and received shared time from District A.