ASSA Questions & Answers
The following questions and answers are a compilation of e-mailed requests for assistance that were received by the department in recent years. They all concern inputting data correctly into 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, we suggest using the find command on the above menu bar and try searching for the specific term in question.
Grouped below in categories:
- Charter Schools
- DCF Day Training
- Free/Reduced Lunch
- Home Instruction
- Home Schooled
- Out of State Facilities
- Parent Paid
- Regional Day Schools
- School Register
- Self Contained Classes
- Sent / Received Students
- Special Education
- State Facilities
- Student Death
- Unapproved Nonpublic Schools
- Vocational Schools
Q: A charter school is sending a special education student to the county ESC. When the charter school called the district, they indicated that it was okay. Where should the student be reported?
A: The public school district that the child would attend if not attending a charter school reports the student as sent to the county ESC.
#2 Charter Schools
Student sent on to private school
Q: A charter school child study team has determined that a student should be placed in a private school for the disabled. Our district must pay for this. The district obviously wouldn't want to be paying the charter school as well as the private school for the disabled. How should this child be reported in the ASSA?
A: If the child does not attend the private school for the disabled 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 the disabled on the October count date, the district should report the student on the 'Private Schools for the Disabled' screen.
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.
Q: Can a district report a DYFS placement student as enrolled in the DCF Regional School? The district pays no tuition. If so, where is the student reported?
A: If the student is district responsible, then the district reports the student on "DCF Day Training Program" line on the Students Sent "Misc" screen. If the student is state responsible, then the district does not report the student.
Q: I have a question regarding the free and reduced lunch counts….Child nutrition has changed their "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?
School districts can choose to certify their ASSA Low Income count supported by carryover applications and current year applications received as of October 15, 2013. Alternatively, school districts can choose to update their free/reduced counts through the date of final certification of their ASSA (no later than December 16, 2013). If they choose to update their low income free/reduced counts through the date of final submission using the current year applications for those students, then no carryover applications should be included. Regardless of which option is selected, the final ASSA submission must reflect only students that were counted as "on roll" at October 15, 2013. Where a district opts to update their classifications through the date of final submission of their ASSA, the updated low income free/reduced lunch counts must be supported by ASSA workpapers and a supporting audit trail maintained for audit.
Q: A student that would normally be in the Education Service Commission School is presently on home instruction. How does the resident district record the ASSA data?
A: There is not a separate screen for home instruction students. They are reported as on-roll.
#7 Home Instruction
Student in drug rehab
Q: We have a classified student in the 10th grade and in drug rehab placement. Instruction is being provided by the CSSD. Is this considered Home Instruction? If not, where should the student be reported?
A: The district reports the student as sent to the CSSD. The CSSD reports the student as on-roll and received from district. Home instruction students are reported on the on-roll screen. However, if the district pays for instruction in a private rehab center, then it reports the student on the "Other Placement" line on the Sent "Misc" screen.
#8 Home Instruction
Student in rehab center
Q: A student was incarcerated, and in October he was released to a rehabilitation center for drug treatment. The district should not include students receiving home instruction in juvenile detention, but what about the rehabilitation center since the district is paying for his instruction?
A: If the rehab center is a state facility then the student is reported on the state facilities count. These students are counted separately and added to the district count at a later time.
#9 Home Instruction
Student in juvenile detention
Q: We have a classified student in the 9th grade. The student is placed in the Juvenile Detention Center. Instruction is being provided by the CSSD. Is this considered Home Instruction? If not, where should the student be reported?
A: Students in a Juvenile Detention Center are reported on the state facilities count and are not reported on the ASSA. As information, here 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 Division of Finance by the individual state facilities and are added by us to the district ASSA counts. They will appear on district ASSA Summary Reports that will accompany the State Aid Notices.
#10 Home Instruction
Through the CSSD
Q: We have a Special Ed student. He was terminated from a private school placement. The following week, he was hospitalized by the family. We have been providing home instruction during this hospitalization period through the CSSD. A new private school placement has been obtained for the student, but he will not be starting there for a few more weeks. In the meantime, he remains hospitalized, and continues to receive home instruction. Should we record him as a student in a private/out-of-district placement, or in CSSD placement?
A: You should report the student as sent to the CSSD. The CSSD should also report the student as on-roll and received from you. Remember, Home Instruction students are reported as on-roll students at the district providing the home instruction.
Q: How is a student counted on if he is home-schooled for the academic portion of the day and goes to vocational school on a shared time basis?
A: The vocational school should report the student as received, shared-time, misc. and "Non-Public."
Q: How should districts report homeless students from out-of-state?
A: The determination of residency should be initially done by Chief District Administrator and district's homeless liaison officer. Homeless students from out of state are normally 'state' responsible and should be counted on roll and received from the state.
In what district do they reside?
Q: Two students have been declared homeless and are attending a school in our district. How should the district report these students in both ASSA and on their register?
A: If the students were declared homeless, the county superintendent must determine which district is responsible for them. That is the resident district. It is that district which would report the students as sent to your district.
Living in a non-operating district
Q: I have a situation with homeless students, a non-operating district, and with sending/receiving contracts. Here is the situation:
- We have 5 homeless students whose last known residence was in District A.
- They will be attending District B schools.
- District B doesn't want to prepare the tuition contracts or show these students as received.
- A non-operating district that normally sends to District B doesn't mind preparing the contracts. But they are an non-operating district and so they cannot show these students as received.
- The homeless students now reside, temporarily, in the non-operating district.
Who should therefore be shown as the receiving district?
A: The districts involved should be reporting these 5 homeless students as follows:
- District A should report the students as sent to District B.
- District B should show the students as on-roll and received.
- No entries are made by non-operating district, even though the students temporarily reside there. The last known residence determines homeless a student's place of residence
Q: The district has a classified student who is 18 years old and is placed in an independent living school (boot camp) located in California. Where should this student be counted?
A: The district has to 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 would be reported on the "Private School for the Disabled" screen. A court ordered placement is considered as 'approved' whether or not the school appears on the list.
Q: District A has 3 parent paid students sent to it from District B. Would District A report them on the students received, misc., parent paid screen or just as students received from District B?
A: These three students would be reported by District A as Students On Roll and as Students Received, Misc., and Parent Paid. District B does not report the students.
Q: The school district operates half day pre-school handicapped program in both the AM and PM. One student attends both sessions. How should the student be listed?
A: The receiving district reports student as on-roll full-time on the Sp Ed elementary line. The resident district also needs to report the student as sent to the receiving district. A FT disabled preschooler is defined by us as having 10 hours of instruction per week (2 ½ hours per day)
½ pre-school – ½ day nursery school
Q: A pre-school disabled child is enrolled in the district program for the morning session. The child is then sent to a nursery school in the PM session as part of directive from the DOE to offer regular education settings. The district pays the tuition. Is the child on roll Sp Ed share time and also sent Sp Ed shared time?
A: Report the Sp Ed pre-school disabled student as on roll shared-time and sent to Private School for the Disabled shared-time.
Low income pre-schoolers
Q: Do pre-schoolers get included in the low income count?
A: Yes, both regular pre-schoolers and classified preschoolers are reported as low income (free or reduced lunch separately). In sending /receiving relationships both districts must have the low income status documented and the service must be provided to the student by the receiver.
½ day to the ESC
Q: If a district has a pre-school handicapped child on roll in the morning and sends the student to the ESC in the afternoon, is the student listed as Sp Ed Elementary on roll shared time or as Sp Ed Elementary sent shared time to ESC?
A: Report the student as both on-roll shared time in Sp Ed Elementary and sent shared-time to ESC on the Sp Ed Elementary line. Even if the student meets the 10 hour qualification for a full time preschool disabled student in both of the half day program you cannot count the student as FT in both places. Nor can the student be reported as both FT and ST. The student can only be reported as ST in both. The student is also counted on the resident enrollment detail screen and, if low income, on the low income out of district screen. (ST at the ESC)
½ day pre-schoolers
Q: Our district has pre-school 1/2 day students that are special education. 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. Where do I report the student who is half day pre-school and is also special education?
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 pre-school children. The half day classified pre-schoolers are reported as shared-time on the Sp Ed elementary line if the program is less than 10 hours per week of instructional time.
5 year old pre-schoolers
Q: Where does a district report a 5-year old who is still in pre-school?
A: Report the five-year-old regular pre-school student on the four-year-old line. If the student is classified, then report the student on the Sp Ed elementary line.
Attending other school
Q: How do you count a pre-school disabled child who is attending 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. How is it handledA: Report the student as sent shared-time to CSSD and sent shared-time to private school for the disabled.
Attending a private school as well
Q: The pre-schooler attends the district's pre-school handicapped program 3 days a week and is also enrolled in a nonpublic pre-school 2 days a week. Should the child just be identified as on roll in their Sp Ed elementary?
A: Report the pre-school disabled student as on-roll shared-time and sent to private school for the disabled shared-time on the Sp Ed elementary line. The school should either be on the approved list of private schools or meet the NAPLES criteria (see ASSA manual).
Attending a community college program
Q: We have a district that sends pre-school disabled students to a program at the community college. Is that treated the same as private schools for the disabled?
A: If this is an approved program or meets the NAPLES criteria (see the ASSA manual), then report the students on the "Private School for the Disabled" screen.
Attending a private school
Q: A student classified as pre-school disabled attends district's pre-school disabled class one day a week. Other four days, she attends a private regular pre-school program. The district pays the tuition.
A: Report the student under Sp Ed elementary as on-roll shared-time and sent to private school for the disabled shared-time.
Q: A district sends a student to Regional Day School and pays for a full 5 day tuition there. However, this same student also attends a vocational rehabilitation program two days a week. Is the student still just listed as sent full time to RDS? The resident district is paying for 5 days a week at RDS as well as the tuition to the vocational program for two days.
A: The student is only reported on the "Sent to RDS" screen.
#28 Regional Day Schools Student part time to RDS
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 regional day school for only the 3 day program and also pays employment horizons directly. Does the resident district only report 0.5 to the RDS and send in a special circumstance letter?
A: The district should report the student as sent shared-time to RDS and sent shared-time to private school for the disabled. No letter is required.
#29 Regional Day Schools
Student in both RDS & State Facility
Q: We have a student in a state facility that is being sent by the state facility to a Regional Day School. How would the resident district code this child?
A: A student cannot be counted on both the State Facility count and the ASSA. This student is only reported on the State Facility count.
Q: A district wants to count foreign exchange students who are living in the district and attending various programs. Do they need any additional paperwork as backup for these students?
A: If the foreign exchange students were on the school register on the October count date, they are counted on the ASSA as residents of the district in which they reside in.
Special Ed determination of student from Canada
Q: A district has a student that has just transferred into district from Canada and is classified autistic. The district has his IEP from his prior school but will not be able to complete their evaluation in time for October 15th. Can they still count the child as a Special Education based on the existing IEP?
A: You can use previous IEP in this case. If you cannot finish evaluation before the October count date, you must have the written record of previous one. The student must also be receiving the services called for to be counted as Special Ed.
Family lives in one district, student lives in another
Q: The DYFS has placed two students into our school system although the family is living in another district. How do we report these students?
A: If the students' legal guardian resides in the other district, then that district is the resident district and reports the students as sent to your school system. Your district then reports the students as on-roll and received from the students' (& their legal guardians) district of residence.
Parents live in district, student in another state
Q: Parents are residents of our district. They placed a child in a residential placement in a school in California. They have received a judicial ruling over a dispute with the school. The ruling took effect last April. The child was never evaluated by the Child Study Team. The district must pay $30,000 per annum for the child's education. How do we account for this student?
A: If the student is classified, report the student on the "Private School for the Disabled" screen. If the student is not classified, report the student on the Students sent screen as FT, Misc., Other Placement.
Moving in from another state - maybe
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 the school until November. The district would like to know if the student could be counted on their October 15th enrollment as a resident student?
A: If the student is not on-roll in the school on the October count date, he cannot be reported on the ASSA.
What is exact date of residence
Q: A student registers in new district on October 15th but parents show a actual move-in date to their apartment of October 7th. Obviously the former district wants to count this child. Registration occurred at 12 noon on the 15th. In which district does the student have residence?
A: If the student is registered in the new district on the October count date, then that district should report the child on the ASSA. The student should be also dropped from the old district's school register before this date.
Q: I have a student that is a resident in my district that is placed in a group home in another county and in another district. Since the student is in a group home, which district is the student a resident of, mine or the district of the group home?
A: Your district is the resident district and therefore you get the aid for the student. If the student attends school in the other district, then you should report the student as sent to them. They then report the student as on-roll and received from you.
Q: A 13 year-old student is being sent to Galudet 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.
Q: The directions for the ASSA suggest that self-contained students use their age to be classified as they are considered "ungraded". The Newark Public Schools, at the direction of the State, has assigned grade levels for all self-contained students and therefore they are NOT ungraded. Should these graded, self-contained students have their designation of elementary, middle or high school determined by age or by the grade level assigned to them?
A: Students in self-contained classes are usually un-graded. That is why the age is used to determine whether they are considered elementary, middle, or high school. However, if the students in a self-contained class are graded, then use that grade level to assign them to the proper Sp Ed category.
#39 Self Contained Classes
Q: Another district is providing special education services for some of their 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 they be treated as if it was an out of district placement?
A: The self-contained classes that are contracted out but provided within district facilities can be reported on-roll for students in grade level placements.
Contracted kindergarten and preschool programs should be counted with under the 'Students Sent' 'Miscellaneous' screens.
#40 Self Contained Classes
Whether Middle School or High School
Q: We have a classified student in a self-contained class. Student is 15 years old. This would be High School, but the class is actually at a Middle School and most of the students are Middle School kids. Where do we report the 15-year old?
A: Classified students who are in a self-contained class (un-graded) are assigned to a Sp Ed category according to their age as of June 30th of the year AFTER the count. See the ASSA manual for details.
Q: The County Special Services receives a student from a district where he lives in a foster home. He was placed in a foster home there by the Dept. of Human Services. The district informed our office the student is State Placed. The student is attending 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. Does Special Services report him as received from district or under "State" Misc.?
A: The student is reported in the district that gets a tuition payment from the state. He is received from state. Go to the "STUDENTS RECEIVED" screen, scroll down to "MISC" and then on the following screen select "STATE".
#42 Sent / Received Students
Student sent to group home
Q: A high school district has a child that is 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 will report the student as sent to the district where the group home is located. That district will report the student as on-roll and received from the high school district.
#43 Sent / Received Students
Student sent on from a private school
Q: We have a contract with Ranch Hope for a student that we send there full time. Recently, Ranch Hope started sending this student part time to another district's high school. We do not contract with this high school, nor do we intend to. We contract with Ranch Hope based upon a State placement of this student and pay Ranch Hope. How should I show this student on the ASSA?
A: Even though the other district's high school does not have a send/receive relationship with your district, they need to report that they are receiving the Ranch Hope student shared-time from you. Therefore, that high school should report the student as on-roll shared-time and as received shared-time from your district.
If you want to receive aid for this student then you should report the student as sent shared-time to the high school district and sent shared-time to private school for the disabled.
Q: I have a district that is holding an eligibility conference for a fifth grade special education child on 10/11, with the IEP to be developed at that time. The program is not scheduled to start until 10/17. Would this child be counted as a special education or as a regular education student?
A: Even if the child has a completed IEP by the October count date, the child is reported on the ASSA as a REGULAR student. Special education services must have started by the October count date to qualify the student as receiving services.
#45 Special Education
Sent to private school
Q: Our district is court ordered to pay for special education services (aide, therapy, transportation, etc.) for a student who is enrolled in St. Gregory's grammar school. The student is not enrolled in the district. Can they get credit for this student?
A: It is unusual for a district to be court ordered to provide special education services to a student who is not enrolled in the district. Typically, these students would be eligible for Chapter 192 and 193 services and/or for services provided using federal IDEA funds, since the student is enrolled in a nonpublic school by his or her parents. As long as this is a court ordered placement, this special education student should be reported on the appropriate Sp Ed line of the "Sent to Private School for the Disabled" screen.
#46 State Facilities
The Arthur Brisbane School
Q: The child is in the state operated Arthur Brisbane School for severely emotionally disturbed students on October 15th. Where should the child be reported?
A: Students enrolled in the Arthur Brisbane School are part of the state facilities count and are not reported on the ASSA.
#47 State Facilities
Parents in residential rehab
Q: We have a student in a state facility whose only parent is in residential rehab. Where is the student's district of residence?
A: A student in a state facility is not counted on the ASSA by the district.
Q: Another district has indicated that one of their students 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 probably be prorated for the actual number of days attended. State aid is determined by the ASSA count.
Q: A school district student is listed on the middle school roll. The parents have unilaterally taken the child out of the district 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 and if so, how (on roll, or out of district)?
A: If the classified student was placed in an unapproved nonpublic school (Winston School) pursuant to Chapter 152, Laws of 1989 (NAPLES) then the district should report the student on the sent to "Private Schools for the Disabled" screen.
Q: A 17 year-old student dropped out of her high school last year. Her mother enrolled her in the vocational school's adult evening high school. The student was then arrested and sent to a drug rehab facility that provides an educational component. She was in the rehab on October 15. Which district, if any, is responsible for paying for the education of this student?
A: If the rehab is a state facility, then the district should not count the student. If it is not, you can put the student either 'On roll' or 'On roll - adult high school' if she is there on the October count date. You cannot put her in both places. Payment responsibility is not a ASSA issue.
#51 Vocational Schools
Relationships with a ESC
Q: How does a district report shared time students that are sent to county vocational school by the Educational Services Commission. The instructions indicate that an ESC cannot send shared time to Vo-Tech. Only a regular district can.
A: An Educational Service Commission can only receive students. If a resident district is sending shared-time to an ESC then it should report the student on the 'Students Sent' screen as Shared Time. If a resident district is also sending shared time to a vocational district then it should report the student on the 'Sent Shared Time to the Vocational' screen.
#52 Vocational Schools
Relationships with a ESC
Q: A district sends three students to the county Educational Services Commission. This commission then sends these students shared-time to the county vocational school. The district states that it only contracts with the ESC. However, a ESC can not send to another district. How are these students reported?
A: This is the same situation as the previous question.
The district should report the students as:
- Sent shared-time to the Educational Services Commission
- Sent shared-time to the vocational school
The ESC and vocational school should both report the students as
- On-roll shared-time
- Received shared-time from the district.
#53 Vocational Schools
Students also in Alternative Programs
Q: Please advise the proper way to record students who attend 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.
A: A 'class' is not a shared time student for a vocational school. There is a minimum level of instructional time required for a vocational school to claim a shared time student. They must attend the vocational school for a minimum of 4 hours of time in order to claim ST status.
#54 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 the students to be reported?
A: If it is a valid vocational post-secondary program, the vocational school will reported the student as on roll in the county vocational post secondary program and as received, misc., county vocational post-secondary.
#55 Vocational Schools
With home schooled students
Q: The county vocational school has three students going there part time that are home schooled the rest of the time. How should they be counted and by whom? They are not registered in the county regional school.
A: The county vocational school should report the students as received, shared time, misc., & "Non-Public".
#56 Vocational Schools
Reporting a ½ day resource center student
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 either Elementary, Middle or High School Special Ed depending on their 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 (that is, from the resident district who is the sender)
#57 Vocational Schools
On roll & received from students
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 somewhere. Thus, the number of students received must equal the number of on-roll students. The vocational school must report the correct number of students received on the 'Students Received' screens as they reported on the 'Students On Roll' screens.
#58 Vocational Schools
Students in RDS program
Q: We have a child going to a regional day school for ½ of the day and then attending the vocational school program the other half. Is this student counted as a full time student to regional day school? Both programs are operated by the county vocational school?
#59 Vocational Schools
Students sent to one district, sent on again to another
Q: District A has a sending/receiving agreement with District B. District B then sends District's A students to an out-of-county vocational school on a shared time basis. Should District A show sending students shared time to District B and also as shared time to a out of county vo-tech?
A: We direct your attention to example #15 in the ASSA manual. It is the resident district that must report the student's movements to his final educational placement. District B reports the student as received and on roll shared time from the District A. District A reports the student as sent shared time to District B AND also sent shared-time to the out-of-county vocational school.
#59 Vocational Schools
Student in ½ day charter school program
Q: We have a situation where a K-8 school district has a sending/receiving relationship with another district for its high school students. One of the sent 9th grade student attends a charter school for ½ of a day and the county vocational school for the remainder of the day. What are the entries for the resident district, receiving district and for the vocational school?
A: The resident district reports the student as sent shared-time to the district where the student would attend high school if not attending a charter school.
Then, the receiving high school district would report the student as received shared time and on roll shared time under the charter school option.
The resident sending district would also show the student as sent shared-time to the vocational school.
The vocational school would show the student received, shared time, from the sending resident district.