What is the best way to handle errors in the student class assignment file?

The student class assignment file is used in the process of setting up a new year for a school. At a minimum, it contains the student name, the school year, and the student’s homeroom assignment. It can also contain dob, sex and other information for helping to identify the student.

The student assignment import process assumes that all of the students listed in the file are already in the database. The goal is for the only errors to be associated with students that are truly new to the school.

Here is a sample error messages:

  • No student was found with the same first and last names. The following may be possible matches: Carter Jones (2008-2009 Grade2); Chynna Jones (2009-2010 Grade8); Hannah Jones (2009-2010 Grade6, 2010-2011 Grade7); Jawan Jones (2008-2009 Grade6); Johnny Jones (2009-2010 Grade6, 2010-2011 Grade7); Juwan Jones (2009-2010 Grade7, 2010-2011 Grade8); Kevin Jones (2008-2009 Grade5); Leroy Jones (Carter) (2009-2010 Grade3, 2010-2011 Grade4); Michael Jones (2009-2010 Grade6, 2010-2011 Grade7); Mikiah Jones (2009-2010 Grade8); Myles Jones (2008-2009 Grade1, 2009-2010 Grade2, 2010-2011 Grade3); Quintin Jones, Jr., (2009-2010 Grade7, 2010-2011 Grade8); Ruth Jones (2009-2010 Grade3, 2010-2011 Grade4); Ryan Jones (2009-2010 Grade8); Sydney Jones (2009-2010 Grade6); Travis Jones, Jr (2010-2011 Grade6)
  • No student was found with the same first and last names.
  • No student was found with the same first and last names. The following may be possible matches: John Tinawin (2009-2010 Grade6, 2010-2011 Grade7)

It is quite likely that on import you will get errors. These can be for several different reasons, but here are the most likely

  1. The name in the file is spelled differently than in CP. Perhaps a middle name is included in the first name field. Or the file has the full name and CP has a nickname
  2. The student is being held back or skipping a year. CP assumes that to be a match, the student needs to have been in the previous year in one lower grade than the grade being assigned in the file.
  3. Student is returning to the school after being away for the year.
  4. The student is new to the school

Here are the steps that have been most successful in using the errors returned by CP to clean up any errors in matching students when the student really exists in the CP.

The error file will be formatted exactly the same as the imported file, with one additional column appended to the end containing the import error explanation for that row.

  1. Download the error file. It is a tab delimited file with an “TXT” extension.
  2. Open excel
  3. Open the tab delimited file. Excel should recognize it is delimited and the Text File wizard should open allowing you to select the type of delimiter (tab).
    1. VERY IMPORTANT – Once you have selected the tab as the delimiter and clicked next, but before you finish and close the wizard, be sure to select the column containing the Class Code and change the type to Text from general. If you don’t do this, any value in the column that looks like a date (01-02, for example) will be converted to a date. This is also true for numbers (00982 will be changed to 982). Selecting Text will keep the values as text values and not lose their formatting.
    2. Now finish and close the wizard, and your file should be imported to excel
  4. Now format the excel file to make it easier to work with.
    1. Select the column containing the error messages and format it to wrap
    2. Position excel so you can see the students name, class code and the error messages.
  5. Using the error messages, the student name, and class code, try to figure out whether the student already exists in CP, but CP could not find it. For these, you should manually promote them and remove them from the import file.
  6. You can also correct names or other information in the file and re-import.
  7. Once you have an error file that only contains information on students that are not in CP, you can re-format it to use it as a student/parent import file, even if you have no parent information in the file.

Categories: students, imports