How is a student's attendance tracked for funding purposes at Method Schools?
Method claims Average Daily Attendance (ADA) based on student attendance and activity. Per Method policy, which is board approved and auditor recommended, this includes collecting work samples and recording actual logged online attendance. Method uses the SmartFox SIS attendance tracking module to accomplish this. The most recent update to the Method attendance policy was 3/12/2019.
The attendance module populates California state attendance reports (P-1, P-2, and P-annual) directly, along with a data report that can be exported to excel and then reconciled against the attendance reports. These reports are part of the Method SmartFox platform and are audited by Method’s external auditing firm.
Method internally reconciles attendance by comparing the appropriate official report (for example P-1) to the attendance module reports. Then, the school’s independent back office provider completes a similar reconciliation. The reports are then sent to the school districts that authorize Method, and also to the San Diego County Office of Education and Los Angeles County Office of Education. Finally, the reports are sent to the CDE for further analysis and recording.
Eventually, external auditors analyze and confirm the reports match attendance using random sampling and by tying raw attendance data to submitted reports. This process ensures not only true segregation of duties from an accounting perspective but provides multiple opportunities for third-party review.