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2016-17 School Year Student Enrollment Audit and Child Count Handbook

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


The annual student enrollment audit is required by law, under DC Code § 38-1804.02, to determine and develop public education funding and policies. The audit takes place in the fall of each school year and consists of a physical head count of each student enrolled in the following:

  • DCPS;
  • Public charter schools;
  • DCPS or public charter schools but attending private special education schools or programs (“Nonpublics”1); and
  • DC foster care students attending schools in surrounding counties and those registered with the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS).

The audit also reviews student records to determine enrollment and residency status as of Oct. 5 (or the next business day if this falls on a weekend or holiday) of the given school year. For the 2016-17 school year, the date will be Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016.


The six stages of enrollment are a mandated part of every public and public charter school student’s attendance record, per DCMR 5-A2199. Each stage represents a different event in the enrollment process. The six stages are defined in the DCMR as:

  1. Application by student to attend the school;
  2. Acceptance and notification to the student by the school of an available slot;
  3. Acceptance of the offered slot by the student, signified by completion of enrollment forms and parent signature on a “letter of enrollment agreement form”;
  4. Registration of the student in SIS by school upon receipt of required enrollment forms and letter of enrollment agreement;
  5. Receipt of educational services, which are deemed to begin on the first official school day; and
  6. The sixth stage of enrollment takes place on completion of stage four, and is defined as follows: “The LEA’s obligation to determine eligibility for special education services or to provide special education services on an existing IEP is triggered upon completion of registration (stage 4).”

Upon completion of the audit, each LEA receives funding for every student officially enrolled at its school(s), along with any funding allowed for additional related services under the UPSFF. DCPS receives funding based on projected enrollment according to historic audit counts.


OSSE is responsible for generating a state enrollment roster by calculating annual public school enrollment counts for each LEA as of Oct. 5 and contracting an independent auditor to validate the enrollment roster by means of a census-style audit. The enrollment audit roster is generated from the SLED, which is populated by the LEAs’ student information systems, the OSSE SEDS, and the Enrollment Audit and Child Count QuickBase application.

The table below summarizes the data elements originating from each source system. All LEA SIS data will be collected through the Automatic Data Transfer (ADT) tool.

1 A nonpublic special education school or program is a privately owned or operated preschool, school, educational organization, or program, no matter how titled, that maintains or conducts classes for the purpose of offering instruction, for a consideration, profit, or tuition, to students with disabilities; provided that the term “nonpublic special education school or program” shall not include a privately owned or operated preschool, elementary, middle, or secondary school whose primary purpose is to provide educational services to students without disabilities, even though the school may serve students with disabilities in a regular academic setting. (5-A DCMR §2899)

Related Content: Enrollment and Residency