Understanding Data

Dictionary of Data Terms

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Safe and Supportive Schools

Attendance Rate

The percentage of time enrolled students were present during each district's required instructional days per year. The state mandates a minimum of 180 days.

Safe and Supportive Schools

Chronic Absenteeism

The percentage of students who missed 10% or more school days during the year. This calculation only includes students who were enrolled at least 90 days in a given school or district.

Safe and Supportive Schools

Four-Year Graduation Rate

Graduated within 4 Years: The percentage of students who enrolled in the 9th grade and graduated from high school four years later.

Dropped Out: The percentage of students who enrolled in the 9th grade, but withdrew from school or exited for unknown reasons. In 2012 the Legislature raised the legal age at which a student could formally withdraw from 16 to 18 years of age. Therefore, the data will be inconsistent after the 2012-13 year because those previously recorded as "dropped out" will now be considered "absent."

Received General Equivalency Diploma (GED): The percentage of students in a "cohort," defined as those who entered the 9th grade together, who chose to obtain a GED instead of earning a conventional high-school diploma.

Still in School: The percentage of students who stay in school longer than four years to complete their high school diploma.

Safe and Supportive Schools

Five-Year Graduation Rate

The total percentage of graduates adding together those who graduated on time with their original 9th grade cohort and those in the same cohort who graduated a year later, after five years in high school.

Graduated within 4 Years: This is the percentage of students who enrolled in the 9th grade and graduated from high school four years later.

Graduated in 5 Years: This is the percentage of students who graduated high school five years after they first enrolled in the 9th grade.

Graduated within 5 Years: This is the percentage of students who enrolled in the 9th grade and graduated from high school either four or five years later.

Safe and Supportive Schools

Incidents of Suspension - Rates

Total Students Enrolled: The average number of students enrolled during the school year — aka Average Daily Membership. This is different than other counts of students you see on the site, which counts the number of students enrolled as of October 1st of each school year.

Average Daily Membership (ADM): The average number of students enrolled on any given day. This is calculated by adding up the total number of days each student was enrolled during a school year and dividing this by the number of days in a school year.

Total Students Suspended: An unduplicated head count of the number of students who were suspended at least once.

Total Days Suspended: The sum of the total number of days students spent in suspension, forĀ all incidents.

Suspensions per 100 Students: The number of incidents of suspensions per 100 students enrolled. The rate is calculated by dividing the total number of suspensions by the total number of students enrolled and multiplying this by 100.

Total Suspensions: Total number of individual incidents, no matter how long the suspension.

Safe and Supportive Schools

Incidents of Suspension - Consequences

Out-of-School Suspension: The temporary dismissal of a student from school by duly authorized school personnel in accordance with established regulation. Students serve their suspension outside of school. According to 2012 RI legislation, students may no longer be suspended out-of-school for attendance-related offenses.

In-School Suspension: The temporary dismissal of a student from class by duly authorized school personnel in accordance with established regulation. Students serve their time in these suspensions under supervision during school hours.

Interim Alternative Educational Setting (IAES): The removal of a child with a disability to an alternative educational setting, following a serious disciplinary infraction, usually involving weapons or serious bodily injury of another person. This category was added at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.

Alternative Placement: Placed in an alternative program for disciplinary reasons. Discontinued after the 2012-2013 school year. Most of these are now coded as In-School Suspensions; a few may be coded as placements in an Interim Alternative Education Setting.

More information can be found in the Rhode Island Compilation of School Discipline Laws and Regulations (pdf).

Safe and Supportive Schools

Incidents of Suspension - Infractions

Alcohol: Possession, use or sale of intoxicating alcoholic beverages. Includes being under the influence of alcohol on school grounds or at school events.

Arson: To unlawfully and intentionally damage, or attempt to damage any real or personal property by fire or incendiary device.

Assault/Battery of Student: An actual intentional touching or striking of another student against his or her will, intentionally causing bodily harm. Includes an attack with a weapon or threat with a weapon. Used only when the attack is very serious. Renamed from "Assault of a Student by a Student" in 2012-13. Redefined to specify "includes an attack with a weapon or threat with a weapon" in 2012-13.

Assault/Battery of Teacher: An actual intentional touching or striking of a teacher or staff member against his or her will, intentionally causing bodily harm. Includes an attack with a weapon or threat with a weapon. Used only when the attack is very serious. Renamed from "Assault of a Teacher or Other School Staff by a Student" in 2012-13. Redefined to specify "includes an attack with a weapon or threat with a weapon" in 2012-13.

Attendance - Cut/Skipped Class: Absence from class. Per state law, this infraction may not result in an out-of-school suspension. Redefined for legal change in 2012-13.

Attendance - Cut/Skipped Detention: Absence from detention. Per state law, this infraction may not result in an out-of-school suspension. Redefined for legal change in 2012-13.

Attendance - Cut/Skipped In-School Suspension: Absence from in-school suspension. Per state law, this infraction may not result in an out-of-school suspension. Redefined for legal change in 2012-13.

Attendance - Left School Grounds: Leaving school grounds without permission. Per state law, this infraction may not result in an out-of-school suspension. Redefined for legal change in 2012-13.

Attendance - Tardy/Late: Repeated tardiness/late arrival at school or class. Per state law, this infraction may not result in an out-of-school suspension. Renamed from "Tardy" in 2012-13. Redefined for legal change in 2012-13.

Attendance - Truant: Absent for the day without authorization. Per state law, this infraction may not result in an out-of-school suspension. Redefined for legal change in 2012-13.

Bomb Threat: Any threat to bomb or use other substances or devices for the purpose of causing damage to a school property, or to harm students or staff.

Breaking and Entering: The unlawful entry into a school building or other property with the intent to commit a crime. Discontinued after the 2011-12 school year.

Cheating/Plagiarism: Any act of academic dishonesty or breaking the rules to gain academic advantage, including cheating on tests or other assignments and appropriating another's work as one's own without the required citation or attribution. Created in 2012-13.

Communication/Electronic Devices: Having on one's person or unauthorized use of a paging device, cellular telephone, or other electronic communication device that violates the Code of Conduct.

Controlled Substances - Sale of/Possession with Intent to Sell: The sale of-or possession of, with the intent to sell-any controlled drug or narcotic substance or equipment and device used for preparing or taking drugs or narcotics. Category includes over-the-counter and prescription medications if abused by students. Prior to 2012-13, this was split into separate infractions: "Controlled Substances-Sale of" and "Controlled Substances-Possession with Intent to Sell."

Controlled Substances - Possession or Under Influence: The unlawful use, purchase, possession, or transportation of any controlled drug or narcotic substance, or equipment and device used for preparing or taking drugs or narcotics. Category includes over-the-counter and prescription medications if abused by the student. Includes being under the influence of drugs on school transportation, at school-sponsored events or at school. Redefined to not specify "cultivation," "manufacture," or "distribution" in 2012-13.

Disorderly Conduct: Any act which substantially disrupts the orderly conduct of a school function. This includes behavior which substantially disrupts the orderly learning environment or poses a threat to the health, safety, and/or welfare of students, staff, or others. This includes incidents which occur on the school bus at school-sponsored events, or on school grounds. Redefined to specify "If the action results in a more serious incident, report in the more serious incident category" in 2012-13.

Extortion: Unlawfully obtaining money, property, or any other thing of value, either tangible or intangible, through the use or threat of force, misuse of authority, threat of criminal persecution, threat of destruction of reputation or social standing, or through other coercive means. Discontinued after the 2011-12 school year. Combined with "Threat/Intimidation."

Fighting/Physical Altercation: Participation in a fight involving physical violence. Includes minor physical altercations and tussles, but does not include verbal confrontations. Very serious incidents are coded as Assault/Battery. "Renamed from "Fighting" in 2012-13. Redefined such that fighting is not necessarily mutual in 2012-13."

Fire Regulations Violation: Causing a false fire alarm or otherwise causing others to believe that there is a fire without reasonable belief that there actually is a fire or emergency; possession of matches or lighters.

Forgery: Forging or tampering with school-related documents.

Gambling: To unlawfully bet or wager money or something else of value; assist, promote or operate a game of chance; tamper with the outcome of a sporting event or contest to gain a gambling advantage.

Gang Activity - Non-violent Incident: Participation in activity that is not violent, per se, but is characterized by membership in or affiliation with a gang. A gang is a group of recurrently associating individuals with identifiable leadership and internal organization, identifying with or claiming control over turf, and engaging in violent or other illegal activity. Includes wearing or displaying gang symbol, dress, or colors. Renamed from "Gang Activity" in 2012-13. Redefined to include non-violent incidents only and to specify gangs as groups "engaging in violent or other illegal activity" rather than only groups with turf concerns and symbols in 2012-13.

Harassment - Stalking: Threatening by following or watching the victim or placing her/him in fear of receiving bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement, or restraint. Includes stalking carried out through the use of technology or any electronic device. Redefined to specify "Includes stalking carried out through the use of technology or any electronic device" in 2012-13.

Harassment - Sexual: Unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature which is offensive and objectionable to the recipient, causing discomfort or humiliation. Includes sexual harassment carried out through the use of technology or any electronic device. Redefined to remove "interfering with school performance" qualification and to specify "Includes sexual harassment carried out through the use of technology or any electronic device" in 2012-13.

Harassment - Verbal/Physical: Verbal or physical conduct relating to an individual's membership in a class — including, but not limited to, perceived race, religion, color, sexual orientation, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, political beliefs, marital status, age, social and family background, linguistic preference, or disability that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment. Discontinued after the 2011-12 school year. Combined with "Threat/Intimidation."

Harassment - Prejudice/Hate Crimes: An action motivated by hostility or hatred due to some characteristics or perceived characteristics of the victim. Any act, or attempted act, to cause physical injury, emotional suffering or property damage through intimidation, harassment, racial/ethnic slurs and bigoted epithets, vandalism, force, motivated all or in part by hostility to the victim's real or perceived race, religion, color, sexual orientation, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, political beliefs, marital status, age, social and family background, linguistic preference, or disability. Includes prejudice-related harassment or hate crimes carried out through the use of technology or any electronic device. Renamed from "Harassment-Prejudice" in 2012-13.

Hazing: Method of initiation into any team, organization, group, club, etc., which causes or is likely to cause bodily danger, harm, personal degradation, disgrace, humiliation, or mental harm.

Insubordination/Disrespect: Refusing a directive of a teacher, administrator or other staff member.

Kidnapping/Abduction: The unlawful seizure, transportation and/or detention of a person against his/her will, or of a minor without the consent of his/her custodial parent(s) or legal guardian.

Larceny/Theft: The unlawful taking, carrying, leading or riding away of property of another person without threat, violence or bodily harm. Renamed from "Larceny" in 2012-13.

Obscene/Abusive Language toward Student: To direct obscene, offensive, indecent, disgusting, abusive, harsh, injurious or insulting language or gestures, verbally or in writing, to a student, repeatedly or excessively.

Obscene/Abusive Language toward Teacher: To direct obscene, offensive, indecent, disgusting, abusive, harsh, injurious or insulting language or gestures, or in writing, to a teacher or other staff member.

Other: Any school conduct violation/incident resulting in short- or long-term suspension not classified in other required codes. Discontinued after the 2012-13 school year.

Robbery: The taking of, or attempting to take, anything of value that is owned by another person or organization under confrontational circumstances by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear. Created in 2012-13.

Sexual Assault/Battery: A sexual act committed on another person without their consent or ability to consent. Causing another person to engage in an unwanted sexual act by use of force or threat of force. Includes rape (oral, anal, or vaginal), fondling, forced kissing, and child molestation. Created in 2012-13.

Sexual Misconduct: Any act of a sexual nature which substantially disrupts the orderly conduct of a school function. Includes sexual activity, indecent exposure, and displaying pornographic imagery. Serious, non-consensual offenses are coded as Sexual Assault/Battery. Created in 2012-13.

Technology - Unauthorized Use of Computers/Other Tech Unauthorized or inappropriate use of technology; willfully causing or attempting to cause damage to technology or data. This includes any violation of local technology policies but does not include cyber bullying.

Threat/Intimidation: To unlawfully place another person in fear of bodily harm through verbal threats without displaying a weapon or subjecting the person to actual physical attack. This also includes bullying.

Bullying: Written, verbal, electronic or physical behaviors or gestures, which target a specific victim. Behaviors may include, but are not limited to, verbal or written abuse, physical abuse, damaging property, threats, harassment, ethnic or gender slurs.

Tobacco: Where applicable, the possession, use, distribution or sale of tobacco products on school grounds, school-sponsored events and on transportation to and from school or other school transportation. Renamed from "Tobacco" in 2012-13.

Trespassing/Restricted Area: To enter or remain on a public school campus or restricted area without authorization or invitation and with no lawful purpose for entry. May include breaking in with the intent to commit a crime. Renamed from "Trespassing" in 2013-14.

Vandalism: The willful and/or malicious destruction, damage or defacement of public or private property, real or personal, without the consent of the owner of the person having custody or control of it. This category includes graffiti.

Weapon Possession: The possession of any weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of causing, bodily injury on another person. Includes firearms, bombs and other explosive devices, knives, other sharp objects, blunt objects, or harmful chemicals, as well as realistic replicas. Includes use of a weapon in which no other individuals were injured, threatened, or frightened.

Safe and Supportive Schools

Stability Index

The proportion of the total student enrollment who stayed in the same school throughout the school year. The rate is calculated by taking the number of students who are members of a school for 170 days or more and dividing by the total number of students enrolled in the school during the year.

Safe and Supportive Schools

Mobility Index

The rate of student turnover, or the percentage of students who moved into or out of the school during the school year. The rate is calculated by taking the total number of students entering or leaving a school between October 1st and June 1st divided by the average daily membership in the school during the school year.

Note: The stability and mobility indicators measure different phenomena and are not inverses of one another. The mobility index measures the rate of flow through the non-stable portion of the student body. Together, the two indicators describe the degree of turnover in the school and its potentially disruptive effect on the classroom environment.

A note on InfoWorks data reporting: To ensure confidentiality, data are not reported for groups with fewer than 10 students, so that no individual student is identifiable. Where this is the case, InfoWorks reports "too few data." Also, "no data" is used to point out instances where data are not available for a particular state, district, or school indicator.