East Liverpool City Schools

   Overview of EMIS


Established by law in 1989, the Education Management Information System (EMIS) provides the architecture and standards for reporting data to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). School districts, data processing centers operated by Information Technology Centers (ITCs), formerly Data Acquisition Sites (DA-Sites), and other EMIS reporting entities are linked for the purposes of transferring data to ODE.


EMIS is the statewide data collection system for Ohio’s primary and secondary education. Staff, student, district/building, and financial data are collected through this system. Staff data include demographic, attendance, and course information. Demographic, student attributes, attendance, program, course, and test data are submitted to ODE at the student level. General school district and school building data, including financial data, are also reported through EMIS. 


The source data for Ohio’s accountability and funding systems are the EMIS data files. In addition, these files are utilized for many other state and federal requirements. There are four major functions of EMIS:


1.       State and Federal Reporting

Originally designed almost exclusively as a data collection mechanism, many of the system’s functions and most of the required data elements are statutorily defined. The EMIS provision in law (Ohio Revised Code section 3301.0714) requires that certain student, staff, and financial data elements be collected and maintained by school districts and subsequently submitted to ODE. One of the primary functions of EMIS is to streamline state and federal reporting requirements for school districts.

2.       Funding and Distribution of Payments

EMIS provides a streamlined system for districts to report information required to receive state funding and to determine eligibility for federal funding. EMIS automates the complexity of the funding formula calculations specified in Ohio law so that districts do not have to interpret the legislation to calculate and report total counts of students. Districts report specific information on each student, such as various student demographic attributesstatus data, percent of time educated, attendance/absence days, disability condition, etc. EMIS aggregates and compiles the data to determine funding.

3.       Academic Accountability System

EMIS is at the heart of Ohio’s academic accountability system for students, schools, and districts. It allows ODE to collect, analyze, and report data to a variety of audiences, such as policymakers, educators, administrators, and the general public, who need data to gauge the performance of their students. EMIS also serves as the mechanism for school districts to report test results – these academic assessments are at the core of the state’s accountability system and are the basis of the local report card. EMIS enables both ODE and school districts to comply with state law and federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements.

4.       Generates Statewide and District Reports

ODE collects, analyzes, and reports data to a variety of audiences, such as policymakers, educators, administrators, and the general public via EMIS. EMIS does provide data for the generation of state reports. Examples of statewide reports include: accountability reports, the local report card, and the Teacher Supply and Demand Report. Other statewide reports are produced from EMIS data for the following: legislators, education organizations, and policy and research needs. School districts also receive data verification reports, after every EMIS processing, in order to validate data submitted to ODE.


EMIS Process

School district personnel, student software vendors, ITC staff, SSID (Statewide Student Identifier) third party vendor, staff, and representatives from the Ohio Department of Education each participate in a significant part of the EMIS process. The roles of the above units will be further discussed in later portions of this chapter. Below is an overview of how each of these units functions together, in each aspect of the EMIS Process.


Data Collection and Extraction

Data originate at the school district or EMIS reporting entity. Each entity may choose to report data, for operational purposes, using any student information software of their preference. However, EMIS data is to be reported and submitted according to the data definitions, requirements, and rules as instructed in Chapters 2, 3, 4, and 5 of the EMIS Manual. Once the data have been reported into the software system, local software extracts EMIS files and transfers the records to the ITC.


EMIS Maintenance Screens have been developed by the SSDT (State Software Development Team). These screens allow school districts to bypass their local student software systems and edit/update their EMIS data files at the ITCs. 


Data Validation

Prior to submitting the EMIS data to ODE, reporting entities have the opportunity to review their data, which is checked for accuracy and completeness. After EMIS data have been extracted, they are validated through several routines called “aggregations”, which are found in the EMIS state software. Derived from the business rules at the Department of Education, the aggregations will either allow data to be submitted to ODE[1], or disallow data from being submitted in the form of a fatal error. EMIS reporting entities have the opportunity to produce validation and error reports.


Data Submission

Once the ITC has aggregated, compiled, and formatted the data, data files/records are submitted to ODE. Each file is submitted according to its file layout as described in Chapter 5 of the EMIS Manual. Calculations for state and federal requirements are applied at ODE. The data are then used for funding, accountability, and reporting.


Data Verification

After each EMIS processing, ODE releases data verification reports to the ITCs, which then make these verification reports accessible to the school districts. The data verification reports are tools which the school districts, and ITCs, can use to ensure that data have been reported accurately and completely to the Department of Education.


[1]Data that receive a warning message are still accepted at ODE. However, the warning message may indicate a problem with how the data was reported.

Last Modified on January 20, 2009