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TEA Correspondence

A Microsoft Word version of this letter is available for download and PRINTING.

2008-09 School-Start Window Extended To
October 24, 2008

September 25, 2008


SUBJECT:  Extension of the School-Start Window for Returning Students

The Texas Education Agency has declared Hurricane Ike a state education-related crisis. As a result of the crisis declaration following Hurricane Ike, the 2008-09 School-Start Window for returning students is extended and remains open through Friday, October 24, 2008. The extension of the window is effective statewide to accommodate both the closing of some districts and the enrollment of students displaced as a result of the hurricane into other Texas public schools throughout the state. The end of the school-start window is the day that students served in the prior year must return to school to not be considered leavers.

Since the implementation of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) dropout definition in 2005-06, students have been required to return to school by the last Friday in September to not be considered leavers from the prior year. Districts are reminded that 2008-09 is the third year the return to school date, or the school-start window, is the last Friday in September. Because a school leaver provision will not be applied for the 2009 state accountability ratings, some districts have increased their community-wide efforts this year to ensure parents and students are aware of the importance of returning to school at the beginning of the year. The school-start window will return to the last Friday in September for the 2009-10 school year.

Extending the school-start window requires the following changes to Section 2: Data Submission Requirements of the 2008-2009 PEIMS Data Standards:


  1. Districts must take appropriate measures to ensure that prior year students who are "no shows" in the current year are not "rolled over" in the student system and reported as enrolled students in the district's PEIMS Submission 1.  If this happens, these students may be on the district's underreported student listing the next year.  If a student was in grade 7-12 during the prior year, does not enroll in the district within the school-start window, does not enroll in another Texas public school, does not receive a General Educational Development (GED) in Texas by August 31st, and is not accounted for by other state reconciliation processes, then a 203 record is reported. The school-start window extends from the first day of school through October 24, 2008  the last Friday in September (see 203 SCHOOL LEAVER DATA).


  1. The school-start window extends from the first day of school through October 24, 2008.  the last Friday in September.

Information on 2008-09 leaver reporting can be found in the 2008-2009 PEIMS Data Standards (http://www.tea.state.tx.us/peims/standards/index.html).

For questions about school leavers and the school-start window, please contact the Division of Accountability Research. For questions about PEIMS reporting of the codes used for returning students, please contact the Division of Enterprise Data Management.

Contact Information
Texas Education Agency
Office of Assessment, Accountability, and Data Quality, Criss Cloudt, Associate Commissioner
Division of Accountability Research, Linda Roska, Director (512) 475-3523
Division of Enterprise Data Management, Sharon Lewellyn, Manager (512) 463-9795


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