Preparing Epicenter for Next School Year

 Are you getting ready to finish up this school year and prepare for the next? Below are six recommended actions for success. At the bottom, you will find a recording of our Preparing Your Epicenter for Next Year webinar and in the attachments section, you will find the PowerPoint from that webinar.

1) Addressing Past Due Requirements
If your schools/boards have any past due requirements, the dashboard on the tab in  Compliance Center will let you know. To view a list of which requirements are past due, click on the blue area of the "Past Due" donut chart. This will take you to a  tab list of all the past due requirements. Next, we recommended completing the following:
  • Follow up with the responsible area to determine why the requirements have not been submitted. Some reasons might include: 
    • Entity is not required to submit the requirement (possibly the entity has since been deactivated)
    • Responsible user is unsure of how to submit the requirement
      • User changes
      • Training issue
  • If the responsible area will not be submitting the requirement, you can:
    • Forgive the requirement (this makes the requirement no longer due for the entity, but still shows that the entity was originally scheduled to submit it):
      • From the  tab, select the  icon for the requirement.
      • On the Single Entity Adjustment page, check the " Forgiven" checkbox.
      • You might also want to write a note in the Notes area explaining why you are forgiving the requirement (only users with the permissions to edit requirements will see this note)
    • Delete the requirement (only if no entities will be submitting it):
      • From the  tab, select the  icon for the requirement.
      • On the Single Entity Adjustment page, select the  button.
      • On the Compliance Master page, click the  button.
    • or Exclude the entity from the requirement (makes it appear as though the entity was never scheduled for the requirement):
      • From the tab, select the  icon for the requirement
      • On the Single Entity Adjustment page, select the button
      • On the Compliance Master page, scroll down to the Individual Entity Requirement Adjustments section and click the entity's  icon.

 *Note: the statistics default to only showing the current school year. If you might have unsatisfied requirements from previous school years, you can have the tab display those results, too:
  1. On the  tab, click the  filter

  2. Select the "Return past due outside of selected dates " checkbox.

  3. Click .

  4. The statistics now include all past-due requirements (not just those from this school year).

  5. To see a list of them, click on the blue portion of the Past Due donut chart.

 
2) Review Submission Resources
Every year it's a good idea to look through your submission resources to see if any of them need to be revised or removed.
Tip: If you have a resource file that doesn't change every year, keep its name general (e.g. "Annual Budget Template") instead of a time-specific name (e.g. "2018 Budget Template"). That way you don't need to change the title every year. If you have a resource that changes every year you can use the filename as a way of flagging that you need to revise it at the end of the year (and knowing which ones have been revised).

To review your resources:
  1. Go to: https://my.epicenternow.org/Documents/SubmissionResource.aspx (if you have access to more than one Epicenter site, you will want to do this for each site)
  2. Scroll through your list, looking for resources that need to be revised or removed.
  3. Remove resources by clicking the  icon.
  4. Revise resources by clicking the  icon. (Here you can update the filename and upload a replacement fie. Click  when you are done.)

3) Completing Review Pending/Approval Pending Tasks
The end of the school year is also a good time to see the number of submissions that are pending review and/or approval.  You can celebrate your team's successes or discuss areas for improvement. This can include evaluating who is reviewing/approving each submission as sometimes submissions types and/or security might need to be updated if individuals have left your organization.  There are two ways to see the submissions that are pending review or approval:
  1. Compliance Submissions Only: From the Home page, select Compliance Center. If there are submissions pending review or approval, you will see both lighter blue sections within the Complete donut chart of the tab.  Also, the counts and status names for the submissions that are pending review and/or approval will be listed below the donut charts.  You can select either the donut chart or the actual counts to view those submissions.

  2. All Submissions: Compliance Center will only show you compliance submissions that are pending review and/or approval.  To see all submissions, including non-compliance submissions that are pending review and/or approval, follow the steps below:
    1. From the Home page, enter  Document Center.
    2. On the Document Center page, click the Advanced Search link.
    3. Click the top-level check box to select all entities (consider selecting the Display Deactivated Entities checkbox)
    4. Click  to move to Content.
    5. Click  to move to Submission Types.
    6. Click the top-level check box to select all submission types (consider selecting the Display/Include Deactivated Submission Types)
    7. Click  to move to Timeframe.
    8. Click  to move to Submitted Date and Status.
    9. Select the " Review Pending" and " Approval Pending" checkboxes (if your organization has renamed these statuses, select the appropriate ones.
    10. Click .


4) Evaluating Compliance Performance
Using the  Dashboard in  Compliance Center, you can evaluate how your schools and internal staff are doing in regards to the compliance requirements. For a better understanding of the statistics, read this article.
  • If your organization was utilizing Epicenter for all of the previous school year, you can compare the statistics to the current school year. You can use the https://ncsi.desk.com/customer/portal/attachments/760353 filter to view a whole school year at a time.  You can use the filter to sort the statistics by requirement. You can also export the statistics into a CSV spreadsheet by selecting the https://ncsi.desk.com/customer/portal/attachments/769077 button (found towards the bottom of the page). This will allow you to more easily compare the school years.

  • Review each entity's "On-Time," "Accurate," and "Past Due" numbers and their star ratings to better understand how each school is performing with regard to their compliance requirements.
    • If you would like to adjust what gives an entity 0, 1, 2, or 3 stars, please contact our Epicenter Support Specialists.
    • Contact entities whose percentages are less than desired.
      • If necessary, have them put together an action plan on how they will improve their compliance performance next year.
    • Recognize entities whose percentages are exemplary.
      • Contact the entity and praise and/or reward them for their performance.
         
  • Review the "Complete" percentage (overall and/or by an individual school and board) to understand how your team members have handled their review and/or approval duties.
    • Meet with your team to praise them and/or discuss expectations.


5) Copying forward compliance requirements into Next Year
If you are interested in having your compliance requirements copied into the next school year, please contact our Epicenter Support Specialists by emailing support@epicenternow.org. The Epicenter’s Support Team will ask you a few questions regarding the requirements that will be copied forward and when the procedure should be completed. This is a time saver so you do not have to re-enter your calendar of requirements every year.
  • Prior to copying your requirements, it is recommended that you set up any new schools or boards and/or deactivate any schools and/or boards.

  • To allow more flexibility and save time with copying requirements, each Submission Type Setup page includes a checkbox within the Compliance section labeled
    " Allow copy forward". This checkbox will be selected by default. If unselected, any requirements scheduled for that submission type will not be copied forward. You can exclude requirements such as individual board meeting submissions, application, startup, reauthorization, probation, and closure requirements that do not repeat at the same time every year, so they are only appropriate for the school year for which they have been scheduled.

  • Once your requirements are copied forward, we recommend editing every compliance requirement and completing each of the actions below; starting immediately with those due in July and August that will be queued first.
    1. Is the requirement still required? If not, delete it.
    2. Are the correct entities assigned to the requirement? *Note that only the entities assigned to the requirement in the school year that was copied forward will be included. If you have added any new boards/schools, you will need to (https://ncsi.desk.com/customer/portal/attachments/753105) include them in the appropriate requirements for the upcoming school year. 
    3. Is the Requirement Title correct? For example, do you need to add the quarter, month or school year that might be helpful when searching for the requirement? 
    4. Are the submission tags accurate? *Note that we recommended reviewing your School Year (fiscal year, year, etc..) submission tag within the Submission Tag administration page and delete out any historical years for which you are no longer uploading submissions. Epicenter will automatically add the necessary future school years to your tags. 
    5. Are the Event Date, Notification Date, and Due Date correct?
    6. Is the Due Date falling on a weekend or holiday? If so, a warning message will be displayed. 
    7. Are the submission instructions correct?
    8. Do you need to update any submission resources?
    9. If this is a requirement that might not be applicable to all schools/boards, consider enabling the narrative feature on the submission type.


6) Reviewing Active User Accounts
The end of a school year is also a great time to review the users who have access to your Epicenter and delete users who are no longer active. This includes team members from your organization as well as the schools, boards, and management organizations. Below are tips for completing this process. [You will need permission to manage your Epicenter's security for either of these methods.]
  1. On the Home page, select   Administration

  2. On the Admin page, in the Security and Permissions section, select User Security

  3. On the Users page, click the All users... link. [This loads a list of all your Epicenter Users.]

  4. Go through the list and for any user(s) who should no longer have access to your Epicenter

  5. Select his/her name

  6. On the User Account Detail page, click .

  7. Repeat 4-7 as many times as needed.  
     

 
  • If you want to see a list of when each user last logged in to Epicenter, click the button, expand the + Security Information section, and open the User Sign-In Activity report.

  • If you need to reach out to each school or management organization to verify the users, you can utilize the User Organizations Structure report in that same section. You can expand a user group and copy the usernames into an email to verify if everyone at the school or management organization still needs access to Epicenter.



Webinar Video: Preparing Your Epicenter for Next Year
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Attachments

May_2019_Preparing_Epicenter_Webinar_Handout.pdf May_2019_Preparing_Epicenter_Webinar_Handout.pdf

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