Before you begin importing using the Renaissance Single-School File import, we strongly recommend that you examine the files to make sure the data is formatted properly and that there are no errors which could cause problems during the import. This topic outlines the features a file needs to have in order to be a valid Single-School import file. Note: Only .csv file types can be imported.
How can I update the files in Microsoft Excel®?
If you plan to use Excel to update your files, be careful to follow these steps to avoid introducing formatting issues that would cause data to import incorrectly. Repeat these steps for each file you update.
- Rename the extension of your file from .csv to .txt.
- Open Excel.
- In Excel, browse for the file you renamed and open it. The Import Text Wizard will appear.
- Under Choose the file type..., select Delimited. Then check the My data has headers box. Select Next.
- In step 2 of the Import wizard, check the comma box as the delimiter and remove any other selected delimiter. Select Next.
- In step 3 of the Import wizard:
- Under Data preview, click in the header of the first column to select it, and then hold down the Shift key; scroll to the right and click the header of the last column in the file to select all the columns.
- Under Column data format, select Text to change the format of all the column headers from General to Text.
- Select Finish.
- Your file will open and you can update it. Make any changes (following the instructions in this topic) and save the file.
- When you are done and the file is ready to import, change the file name extension back from .txt to .csv.
- Continue with the import.
The following resources will also help you prepare a file of your data:
There are 28 types of data that can be included in an import file. These 28 types of data fall into three categories: student data, personnel data, and class data. Not every type of data needs to be present in a record being imported, but for each category, certain information is required; that information is in bold in the lists below. (For personnel and class and course data, note that the bold information is only required when that type of information is included in the records.)
|Student Data||Personnel Data||Class and Course Data|
Student State ID
Student First Name
Student Middle Name
Student Last Name
Student User Name
Teacher State ID
Teacher First Name
Teacher Middle Name
Teacher Last Name
Teacher User Name
|Course ID (see notes in the tip below)
Class ID (see notes in the tip below)
Class Name or Section Number
Notes regarding COURSEID and CLASSID:
COURSEIDs in your file are imported, but will not appear in your course information in Renaissance. COURSEIDs are used "behind the scenes" for matching purposes during the import (and can also be used for sharing data with our Growth Alliance Partners). For Course IDs to appear in your course information in Renaissance, you must enter course codes manually.
CLASSIDs in your file are also imported, but will not be shown anywhere in Renaissance. Like COURSEIDs, CLASSIDs are used "behind the scenes" for matching purposes during the import (and can also be used for sharing data with our Growth Alliance Partners). Do not reuse class IDs from previous school years.
COURSEID and CLASSID should generally be left blank.
Data in Excel files is arranged in a grid, with one record per row and each row broken up into several columns. Each cell has a single piece of information in it, and all these pieces together compose a record. (Only .csv is accepted for the import, so be careful to save your file as .csv before importing.)
In comma-separated values (.csv) files, there are rows for the data, but no columns. In order to separate the pieces of information in a row from one another, you need to have a delimiter after each piece, either a tab or a comma. The presence of a delimiter means "this is the end of this piece of data; another piece follows." Multiple delimiters are equivalent to empty cells; for example, if you are using a comma as a delimiter, Adams,,,11/3/01 would be the equivalent of having an Excel file with two empty cells between the last name and date. Whichever delimiter you use in a file, it is advisable to use the same delimiter throughout the entire file.
The first row in your data file should be a header row. This row does not have any student, personnel, or class data in it; instead, it has codes that identify the data in each column.
Codes to use in the header to identify the information in your data files:
|Codes for Student Data||Codes for Personnel Data||Codes for Class and Course Data|
If you are using Excel, each header item should be in its own cell at the top of the appropriate columns. (Only .csv is accepted for the import, so be careful to save your file as .csv before importing.) In .csv files, add the delimiters you are using between the header items.
If the records you are importing do not have a certain type of data, you do not need to include a header item/column for that type of data. For example, if you had records that only contained students' first names, last names, user names, and grades, the header would only include SFIRST, SLAST, SUSERNAME, and SGRADE.
Each of the 28 types of data has its own rules for format, maximum characters allowed, abbreviations used, and so on. Select one of the categories below to see the requirements for that data. Note: To avoid duplicate student records, it is a good idea to have student records include birthdays or IDs.
Student Data Specifications
|Code (Data)||Max. Length||Format||Required if student data present?||Notes|
|SID (ID)||20||character or numeric||No, but recommended||If not in the file, the user name is used.|
|SSTATEID (Student State ID)||50||character or numeric||No, but highly recommended||May be required if you share data with your state.|
|SFIRST (First Name)||35||characters||Yes||None|
|SMIDDLE (Middle Name)||35||characters||No||None|
|SLAST (Last Name)||35||characters||Yes||None|
|SGRADE (Grade)||5||character or numeric||No (see note)||Grades aren't required for import, but they are required for Star tests and when you add/edit student information. Grades also help you make the most of Schoolzilla Starter reporting capabilities. Grade codes accepted:
|SGENDER (Gender)||1||character||No (see note)||Adding gender helps you make the most of Schoolzilla Starter's reporting capabilities.
Gender codes accepted:
|SBIRTHDAY (Birth Date)||10||mm/dd/yyyy||No||None|
|SRACE (Ethnicity)||1||character||No (see note)||Adding race helps you make the most of Schoolzilla Starter's reporting capabilities.
Ethnicity codes accepted:
|SLANGUAGE (Language)||3||character||No||Language codes accepted:
|SCHARACTERISTICS (Characteristics)||755||dash (-) separated character string||No (see note)||Adding the characteristics that are starred (*) in the list below enables you to make the most of Schoolzilla Starter's reporting capabilities.
Characteristic codes accepted:
|SUSERNAME (User Name)||50||character or numeric||No, but recommended||If not in the file, a user name is automatically generated using the student's first initial and the first four letters of the last name (e.g., jsmit for Jane Smith). If that user name is already used, a number is added (e.g. jsmit2). Students' user names cannot be exactly the same as their passwords, and user names must be different for each user.|
|SPASSWORD (Password)||20||case-sensitive character or numeric||No, but recommended||If not in the file, all students will be given the same default password: abc. Requirements: 2-character minimum, with uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and/or special characters (!#$%-_=+<>*). Students' passwords cannot be exactly the same as their user names.|
Personnel Data Specifications
|Code (Data)||Max. Length||Format||Required if personnel data present?||Notes|
|TID (ID)||20||character or numeric||No||If not in the file, the person's user name is used for the ID.|
|TSTATE (Personnel State ID)||50||character or numeric||No, but highly recommended||May be required if you share data with your state.|
|TFIRST (First Name)||35||characters||Yes||Required only if personnel information is included.|
|TMIDDLE (Middle Name)||35||characters||No||None|
|TLAST (Last Name)||35||characters||Yes||Required only if personnel information is included.|
|TEMAIL (Email Address)||255||characters or numbers||Yes||Required only if personnel information is included. Email addresses must be unique on your site - each email address can only be associated with one user.|
|TGENDER (Gender)||1||character||No||Gender codes accepted:
|TPOSITION (Position)||1||character||No||Position codes accepted:
|TUSERNAME (User Name)||50||character or numeric||No||If not in the file, a user name is automatically generated using the first initial and entire last name (e.g., rjones for Robert Jones). If that user name is already used, a number is added (e.g., rjones2). Personnel user names cannot be exactly the same as their passwords, and they must be different for each user.|
|TPASSWORD (Password)||20||case-sensitive character or numeric||No||By default, at least one number is required in staff passwords. If passwords aren't in the file, personnel use their user name as the password when they first log in to Renaissance software.|
Class Data Specifications
|Code (Data)||Max. Length||Format||Required if class data present?||Notes|
|COURSEID (Course ID)||265||character or numeric||No||Must be unique across all schools on the site. See the tip box about course and class IDs above. Leave the course ID blank.|
|COURSE (Course Name)||100||character or numeric||Yes||Required only if class and course information is included.|
|CLASSID (Class ID)||265||character or numeric||No||Must be unique across all schools on the site. See the tip box about course and class IDs above. Leave the class ID blank. Do not reuse class IDs from previous school years.|
|CLASS (Class Name or Section Number)||50||character or numeric||Yes||Required only if class and course information is included.
Note: If a student is in more than one class, enter more than one row for the student, using the same student information but a different class name in each row. The student will be enrolled in both classes.
|SUBJECT (Subject)||11||character||No||Subject codes accepted for courses:
Additional Preparation Instructions
For Your Files
- Every row of data in the file must be a single record.
- There can only be one header row for a set of records, and every item in the header row must be unique. If you have accidentally included more than one header row, the first one in the file will be chosen as the header. If that is not the correct row, you can select the correct row during the import.
- If the files have columns of data that can't be imported because it isn't from one of the 28 types allowed, you can either remove that data from the files or use a "fake" header item for that data (such as XYZ or DoNotImport) and instruct the program to ignore that column during the import.
- It is possible to combine different types of data (student, personnel, or class) into one record. You can't do this with the same types of data; for example, a record could have a student and class in it, but not a student and another student. (Note that adding class data to student and/or personnel data will affect the options you can choose during the import process.)
Examples of combined records
Example of a record with student data and class data (header and one record):
This would be interpreted as a student record for Timothy Roberts, who is enrolled in Creative Writing, a class in the English course.
Example of a record with personnel and class data (header and one record):
This would be interpreted as a personnel record for Sally Andrews, who is assigned as a teacher to the Creative Writing class in the English course.
Example of a record with student data, personnel data, and class data (header and one record):
This would be interpreted as a student record for Timothy Roberts, who is enrolled in Creative Writing, a class in the English course with Sally Andrews as the assigned class teacher. This is the best type of file because it allows you to import students and personnel, enroll students into classes, and assign personnel to classes all at once.
Example of a record with student data and personnel data (header and one record)
This would import a student record for Timothy Roberts and a personnel record for Sally Andrews. The result would be the same as importing two separate records, one for the student and one for the personnel member, since there is no class data associated with either record that would join the two in any way.
- Every row must have the same number of items in it, in the same order as the header row. If some information is unavailable for a record, use placeholders (empty table cells, commas, or tabs depending on your file) to make the number of items in each row the same. One of the ways the software determines if a row of data should be imported is by counting the number of items in every row and seeing how many the majority of rows have. This is considered the "standard" number of items, and any record with more or fewer items will be ignored during the import.
- One of the first steps during an import is to select a school and a school year to import data into.
Which School Year? You can import into either the current school year or a future school year. If you choose a future school year, be very careful that the grades of the students in your import file will match the grades they will be in during the future school year.
Examples of File Preparation
.csv File (in Plain-Text Editor), Comma-Separated Values
The sample file below requires some corrections. In this example, each row has two types of data: a student and a personnel record. Since there is no class data included, two separate, unrelated records will be created in Renaissance for each row during this import: a student record and a personnel record.
Knight,Bethany,Lynn,F,January 10 2011,NNM15K,Hendricks,Shelley,Anne,TZP27N
The file has the following problems:
- The file doesn't have a header row.
- In the first row (Bethany Knight), the student's birth date is formatted incorrectly.
- In the second row (Chancellor Bass), a period is used instead of a comma to separate Nolan from Julie. This will prevent the program from seeing the names as separate, and when the items in each row are counted to determine the "standard" number, these two names will be counted as one, throwing off the item count for the row (9 instead of 10).
- In the third row (Aretha Sharp), the gender is in a different place - after the ID instead of before the birth date as in the other rows.
- In the last row (Ila Osborn), there is an extra comma after the first ID (ZQV90O). The program will count this as an "empty cell," which will make it count an extra field in this row (11 fields instead of 10). Since the program will find 10 fields in most rows, it will ignore any fields after 10 in rows that have more.
- Teacher emails are missing - when teachers are imported, their email addresses are required.
Watch out for extra delimiters at the end of rows. In the fifth record above (Kylie Ware), note that there is a comma at the end of the row. In this case, the comma is correct because the record has no value for the last ID (teacher ID), so the comma will be interpreted as an "empty cell" and included when the items in the row are counted. If the record had an ID, and the comma was included by accident, it would mean that this row had one too many fields.
Here is the corrected file:
.csv File in Microsoft® Excel®
The sample Excel file below also needs a few corrections. In this example, each row has three types of data (student, personnel, and course/class). This means that three separate records will be created from each row during the import - a student record, a personnel record, and a course/class record. Also, the student will be enrolled in the class, and personnel member will be assigned to the class. (Only .csv is accepted for the import, so be careful to save your file as .csv before importing.)
|Kyra||Barrera||03/04/2011||1st||F||John||Cantu||M||Reading||Young Readers I|
|Colt M.||Pollard||12/14/2010||2||M||Hanae||Steele||F||Math||Add It Up!|
|Kiayada||Benson||09/07/2011||1||F||Johnny||Cantu||M||Reading||Young Readers I|
Divide and Conquer!
The file has the following problems:
- Kyra Barrera's record should have a numerical grade (1) as in the other records, not "1st."
- In the third row (Colt), a middle initial has been included with the first name; it should be removed to make this record like the others.
- In the fourth row (Yvonne), the students' birthday (SBIRTHDAY) has an extra "0" in the year.
- If the teacher "Johnny Cantu" in Kiayada's record is the same as "John Cantu" in Kyra's record, then either "John" or "Johnny" should be used in both records.
- In the sixth row (Martin), the name of the class has quotes around it. All characters in a cell will be included in the import, so make sure there are no unintentional punctuation marks or word spaces.
- In the seventh row (Nyssa), the teacher's first and last name are in a merged cell instead of separate cells.
- In the last row (Chad), the class name has a return before it. This may cause a problem during import.
- Teacher emails are missing - when teachers are imported, their email addresses are required.
Here is the corrected file:
|Kyra||Barrera||03/04/2011||1||F||John||Cantu||Mfirstname.lastname@example.org||Reading||Young Readers I|
|Colt||Pollard||12/14/2010||2||M||Hanae||Steele||Femail@example.com||Math||Add It Up!|
|Kiayada||Benson||09/07/2011||1||F||John||Cantu||Mfirstname.lastname@example.org||Reading||Young Readers I|
|Chad||Estes||10/22/2010||2||M||Brent||McKay||Memail@example.com||Math||Divide and Conquer!|