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Mission: Providing Information and Support to Arizona Schools since 1987

ASCUS has been around for over 25 years. We are run by the people who do your jobs every day so we understand first-hand the information you need to help you be successful. We build relationships with vendors, other school districts and many of the State Agencies in order to provide you with the expertise you need to train you, improve processes and work flows, and get you the help you need.

2014 - 2015 Meeting Dates
Next year's meeting dates are as follows. Click on the dates to RSVP. (You will have to be logged in to RSVP and can only RSVP up to 2 months in advance.)

  Our next meeting will be held on Friday, September 19, 2014 at the following location:
Alhambra Elementary

Please register on the website by clicking the Register link in the top right corner.
Click here to RSVP

Send payments to:
C/O Laura Blanco
PO Box 173
Sahuarita AZ  85629


ASCUS 11/30/2012 Meeting Photo


Latest News

Data Governance Winter Conference - 10/20/2014

The Arizona Department of Education invites you to save the date for the Data Governance Winter Conference. This free and dynamic event will focus on how recent developments in data governance can better improve privacy, security and records retention for Arizona's education system.

If you would like to know more about what data governance is and why it matters, or simply want to meet other people interested in this intersection of education and IT, this is the conference for you. Final program and registration information will be available soon; in the meantime, save the date!

December 5, 2014
Data Governance Winter Conference

Arizona Department of Education
1535 W Jefferson Street – Rooms 311 & 312
Phoenix, AZ 85007
(520) 542-2086

Betty McEntire - Arizona Address Confidentiality Program - 10/4/2014

Click on the following link to view Betty McEntire's presentation from the September 19, 2014 meeting. [PPTX]

Mark T. Masterson - Arizona's Education Transformation - 9/26/2014

Click on the following link to view Mark T. Masterson's presentation from the September 19, 2014 meeting [PDF]

Jerry Kirkpatrick - 9/22/2014
Provided are Jerry Kirkpatrick’s power points and answers to the questions that were presented at the start of his session:

Power Points
1. Do student emails to the teacher need to be archived?
What are the topics of these emails? Are they related to grades? I am trying to figure out what the students typically communicate in these emails, or what their purpose for communicating is, so I can propose a good records series. Right off the top of my head I would think that “General Correspondence” is a good records series.

If so, what is the recommended process to sift through all emails to find these?
The retention period for General Correspondence Records is “After administrative or reference value has been served.” So, if you receive an email from a student, and if it is general in nature, it could fall under this records series. The “reference value” is then up to you to decide. I receive a huge amount of General Correspondence emails (What is the retention period for…? Where can I find the records series for..?). Once I respond to the email, then I delete it because it has served my “reference value” for that email. You probably answer the student emails, I would think? Does this help?

2. Do chat messages between staff members need to be archived?
It would depend upon whether the content / topic of the chat messages is work related or personal. Electronic communications that are personal in nature are not records. (Can we do lunch today? Do you know Principal Skinner is retiring?) Here the heart of the definition of a record:

ARS §41-151.18

If the chat messages meet this definition, if they are business related, then they will need to be retained.

If so, for how long?
Any type of electronic communications (electronic mail messages (E-mail), instant messages (1M), text messages, mobile to mobile (M2M) messages, voice-over Internet Protocol (VoiP) messages and other related records) need to be retained based upon the content of the communication. If the chat message is about the FY15 Budget, then it is a budget records, and needs to be retained as long as any other budget record. If the chat message is about FMLA time off, then it needs to be retained as long as you do any other FMLA records. I’m betting that a lot of the chat messages, if they are records, will probably be general correspondence records, or something like that.

3. Does interaction in educational social learning platforms such as Edmode (?) need to be archived?
I’m not familiar with this format, or the type of interaction that occurs. Is this similar to a webinar or on-line classroom? Is this similar to a wiki or share work space where people interact on a similar project?

4. Essential Records Information:
The first PowerPoint slides are from my presentation today, and have a great summary of what the Essential Records Project is. I would start with that. Next, the second attachment is the slides I used for our Essential Records 101 training, which is a great introduction to Essential Records, and to what is required with the creating and submitting the List Of All Essential Records. If any of you needs something more, please let me know and I will see what I can put together. These slides, however, should be helpful.

Excused Absences for School Closures on September 8, 2014 - 9/9/2014
A letter from the Arizona School Boards Association:

Chris Kotterman of the Arizona Department of Education sent out the message below, and we wanted to make sure you were aware of the news.

ADE is exercising its authority under section 15-806(B)(5) to authorize school closure for flooding or floodwater, so any school that closed today is able to report student absences as excused. School finance posted a notice this afternoon.

Pursuant to A.R.S. §15-806(B)(5), school closure on Monday, September 8th, 2014 is authorized if closure is due to flooding or floodwater and for the safety of persons or property. Students not attending school due to closure, flooding or floodwater, on September 8, 2014 (if September 8th is an instructional day) should be reported as excused absences.

The notice is at and the full text of ARS 15-806 can be found at
[View Archived News]

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