FAQs – Unique ID

Software Application Questions

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If a student has been active in three local education agencies (LEAsTexas school districts or charter schools) in the same school year, what will happen when I search for the student's Unique ID?

There is only one master record for this student in the TSDS Unique ID system. 

Does the Unique ID system have the capability to restrict which LEA can change demographic data?

If the student is not your LEA's student at this present time, you will not be able to change their demographic data. It is common practice for an LEA that updates a student's demographic data to notify the student's former LEA(s) of the change. 

Will any notes or comments added by a former LEA in the Unique ID system remain in the system when the student moves to another LEA?

Yes. All notes will stay in the Unique ID system for the life of the system. A note applied to a record is represented by a magnifying glass at the top of the screen, which may be clicked to open the note.

If I cancel out of assigning a Unique ID, will the next SIS extract include this individual for assignment of Unique ID?

A student or staff member will continue to appear on the student information system (SIS)/HR system extract file until they are assigned a Unique ID. 

Is "canceling" or "assigning a Unique ID" the best option when there is a partial match?

Only select the Assign a Unique ID option for an individual if you are absolutely sure the person is new to the Texas public school system. Click Cancel when you are unsure about a decision, and you need to research further.

Can the Education Service Centers (ESCs) determine if an LEA has performed any Unique ID loads?

If the ESC logs in as the LEA, they will be able to see the list of batches for the LEA. A search utility using date ranges will allow the ESC to determine how recently the batches were loaded. It should be noted that a single "keyed-in" entry into the Unique ID system also displays as a batch. 

Do I need my extract file to be saved to my desktop in order to load it into the Unique ID system?

No, the file does not need to be saved to your desktop, but it does need to be saved to an accessible location. As long as you can browse and select the file, it can be stored anywhere, such as a network drive. 

Is it okay to enter an invalid social security number (SSN) if I don't have the true SSN or state ID number?

No, the Unique ID system will fail in data validation for the record(s) with invalid SSNs. 

What happens if my file is invalid?

An invalid file may not follow the correct naming convention or have missing header or trailer records. These errors would be showstoppers, and file validation would fail causing no Unique IDs to be assigned. It is necessary to correct the problems with the file. 

Does the local ID have a defined length that I need to adhere to when entering one record at a time into the Unique ID system?

The local ID is of length 9. 

What does the grade level value "Unknown" refer to in the drop-down menu?

The grade level value “Unknown” is used for staff. 

How does eScholar represent the school year, for example 2012-2013?

eScholar always displays the school year as the last two digits of the later year. For example the 2012-2013 school year is displayed as 13. 

Can the "State ID" be re-labeled as "Unique ID", and "Alternate ID" re-labeled as "Local ID" or "Alias ID"? This is confusing.

eScholar/TEA will discuss future re-labeling these fields with the vendor. Currently Texas is using the same labels in Unique ID for these fields as are used in other states.

I find the "Local ID" / "Alternate ID" fields confusing. What do I enter in these fields?

Local ID - If a student is also a staff member, put the local ID from the SIS here.

What is the "State ID"?

This is the Unique ID. 

The group search report is a little confusing. It only displays those individuals who had an exact match. So if my batch had nine students and only four matched and the other five were a near match, how could I find those five near matches?

At the campus level select Extract and Download Batch from the batch search option on the State ID Home Page. Select the Canceled during Search option. This will bring up a report of those individuals who would not be assigned Unique IDs as they were canceled (near matches or no match). Note: the campus could not load a file as a batch to actually assign Unique IDs. 

If an ESC user no longer works at the ESC, would their replacement be able to see everything that has been performed under the original employee's LEA? Is the work tied to the user?

Yes, the replacement would be able to view everything their predecessor did, providing they have access to that LEA. 

Can I edit any individual in the entire TEA database?

No, you can only edit the master record of an individual within your LEA. However, you will be able to search the entire state database. 

How will a student pass from one LEA to another?

Enter Individual Person will allow students to pass between LEAs. Remember that LEA ID is for informational purposes only, and the Unique ID system is not tracking enrollment from one LEA to another. 

Are the Unique IDs assigned sequentially?

No, they are completely random and not assigned sequentially. Texas has its own bank of numbers. 

Double last names, such as Smith-Jones, are handled differently by different SISs. How would the Unique ID system handle them?

The Unique ID system would treat double last names as near matches and first match with the information in the PID system. 

If you are adding a staff member to Unique ID what would you enter for a school for an administrator that is at several schools?

In the Unique ID system, Current School Code is required. It is the nine-digit county-district-campus number. Use 000 for the campus number for staff that are not associated to an instructional campus.

Will Unique-ID campus access users only see student records or will they see staff records too?

Unique ID campus users will see both student and staff records. Likewise, the Unique ID search users will see both student and staff. 

Why would I use batch search and batch load instead of searching for an individual separately? Is there a good scenario that demonstrates that batch search would be useful?

Batch load can be used at anytime. If you only want to assign Unique IDs once every week, you could send the file of all students or staff that have not been assigned an ID as opposed to doing them one by one through the Enter Individual Person. The functionality regarding near matches is the same for batch load as Enter Individual Person.

Batch search would be used when you wanted a download of a group of students with their assigned Unique IDs. 

Our region has several staff members who are hourly or substitutes. In the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS), substitutes would only be reported if they result in being a long-term solution to a problem, such as replacing a deceased teacher. Is it okay for ALL staff, whether they be substitutes or hourly, as well as permanent staff, to be allocated a Unique ID?

Only submit staff that are reported to PEIMS.



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