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Snapshot Preparation: Graduation for Public Schools

Snapshot Preparation: Graduation for Public Schools

graduation cap icon


This page includes an overview of WISEdata snapshot preparation tasks for public school districts to ensure data quality for graduation data.

Optionally, you can use this document to create a printable checklist for graduation snapshot data as you complete these tasks.

Click the links below to navigate to different sections of this page:


WISEdata and WISEdash

  • The WISEdata Portal allows you to view export files of graduation and high school completion data, but not the graduation rate and individual students’ Exit and Credential types.
  • WISEdash for Districts allows you to view the graduation rate, including 5-, 6-, or 7-year graduates, review the status of individual students, and review graduation cohorts.

Data may differ between the WISEdata Portal and WISEdash. This primarily occurs because of timing and error resolution.

  • Data is updated real time/on demand in WISEdata vs. nightly in WISEdash.
    • It is recommended to have all data synced to WISEdata no later than 9 pm to increase the likelihood that it will be validated and loaded to WISEdash that night.
  • Critical data reporting errors (L2 errors) may cause data values to be nulled or rejected from loading into WISEdash. In rare cases, an entire student record may be rejected.

Reviewing Validation Messages in WISEdata

On the Validation Messages screen, you can use the options under the Filters section to filter for "High School Completion," "Year End Exit," and "High School Graduation" validation messages.

Filtering for graduation data in WISEdata Portal validation messages

  • Use the High School Completion filter to review validation errors related to high school completion data.
  • Use the High School Graduation filter to review validation errors related to high school graduation plan data.
  • Use the Year End Exit filter to review validation errors related student exit data.

Key Data Properties

Graduation Cohorts

A student is assigned to a graduation rate cohort based on two factors:

  • School year of the student’s first high school enrollment period in Wisconsin.
  • Student’s grade level placement at the time of first high school enrollment period.

To be counted as a graduate under the four-year adjusted cohort rate, a student must earn a regular diploma on or before the summer following their fourth year of high school. This includes early graduates.

To be counted as a completer under the four-year adjusted cohort rate, a student must earn a regular diploma, high school equivalency diploma, or other high school completion credential on or before the summer following their fourth year of high school. This includes early completers.

Data Elements

Required graduation data elements include:

  • Credential Type (Diploma Type): The kind of completion certificate earned by students completing high school.
  • Exit Type: Reasons for a student's exit from a school. For completers, this should be "HSC."

Check Data Quality

Correct Errors and Warnings

In your student information system (SIS), correct the data containing validation errors and warnings.

  • Visualize the numbers of errors & warnings on the Data Quality page and utilize the metrics to look for odd or unusual patterns.
  • Prioritize critical errors. Data with critical validation errors may not be loaded to WISEdash or otherwise will have a large impact on your resulting data.
  • In the WISEdata Portal > Validation Messages page, use the Validation Category filter to focus on validations relating to topics the snapshot is capturing for the selected School Year.

For more information on correcting errors and warnings, refer to the WISEdata Mini Tutorial and Validations Mini Tutorial.

Review Data in WISEdash for Districts

Use WISEdash for Districts to review your active and future graduation cohorts by cohort year, especially the newest cohort created in the prior year made up of students in grade 9. To view graduation cohorts by cohort year, go to the dashboards icon WISEdash for Districts dashboard icon > Topics > Graduation > HS Completion > High School Completion Rates.

Image of high school completion cohorts in WISEdash for Districts

You can also use WISEdash for Districts to review graduation cohorts for incoming grades and transfer students by going to the dashboards icon WISEdash for Districts dashboard icon > Topics > Graduation > HS Completion > Grad Cohorts.

Image of graduation cohort crosstab in WISEdash for Districts

If, when reviewing data on WISEdash, you think your total number of completers vs. non-completers is incorrect, click on a metric to review the list of individual students. Then, check with your SIS to see if these students were submitted correctly.

Common Validation Issues

  • Ensure that your Special Education graduate total is correct. Often, administrators end students’ SPED records before exiting enrollment. If the SPED record ends prior to enrollment, the student will be counted as a graduate, but not as a special education graduate.
  • Critical - Missing Diploma (Validation Rule 6493)

    Student identified as a High School Completer, but either the credential is missing from the student Academic Record resource or the student Academic Record itself is missing. To fix the error, verify if the student has completed high school. If so, submit the credential/diploma on the student Academic Record. If not, change the Exit Type to something other than High School Completer (HSC). In WISEdata diploma type is submitted on /studentAcademicRecord resource for current school year SAR record​s.

  • Missing Exit Withdraw Date (Validation Rule 6606)

    Exit Withdraw Date for the student's enrollment is required at the end of each school year, even for students continuing in the same school in the next school year. This rule runs once a school year has ended.

  • Special Education Record ends before enrollment (Validation Rule 7161)

    This error appears when a student's special education record (sSEPA) has an end date before the student's enrollment end date. To fix the issue, refer to the student's Reason Exited Special Education to determine if the student is continuing in special education, exiting the district, or exiting special education for another reason.

  • Required field is missing: 'Exit Type'. (Validation Rule 7062)

    Exit Type must be submitted for Primary Enrollment types if Exit Date is provided.

  • Term Completion Indicator is Yes In District (Validation Rule 6569)

    Term Completion Indicator (a.k.a. Completed School Term) is 'Yes' in multiple enrollment records in your school or agency.

  • Term Completion Indicator is Missing (Validation Rule 6571)

    Identification of whether a student completed the school term is required for every enrollment period with an exit date.

Data Flow and Troubleshooting

If your data is flowing incorrectly, work backward to find where things went wrong. The following topics explain the flow of data: if you have an issue with one tool, look to the previous step in the data flow to make changes.

Data Flow for Snapshot

Data is:

  • entered into your vendor tool (SIS, for example)
  • pushed to WISEdata and run through data quality checks (validations)
  • validated in the system on the day and time of the snapshot, will be loaded to WISEdash, and snapped for reporting purposes

Users can use WISEdata Portal validation results to go back to their vendor tool to make corrections and push the corrected data to WISEdata.

For WISEid data flow:

  • LEA user enters info to WISEid (weekly) and into local SIS
  • The data from the SIS and from WISEid flows into WISEdata via a nightly sync job.
  • WISEdata runs a validation to check for sound and accurate data, then rejects or reports errors and warnings accordingly back to LEA user.
  • LEA corrects and modifies data in SIS and WISEid until accurate and current.
  • Info in WISEdata is collected (via snapshots and otherwise) into data warehouse and into WISEdash.

Refer to the diagrams below for a visual representation of WISE data flow:

WISE data flow diagram

WISE data lifecycle diagram

Data Privacy

For resources on data privacy, refer to the Student Data Privacy page.

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