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Maine Education Data Management System
MEDMS On-line User Manual

 

Unit 1: MEDMS Overview

About This Manual
Maine Education Data Management System (MEDMS) User Manual (Version 1.0) provides an overview of the functionality, from an end user's perspective, of MEDMS.

This manual is designed to answer the questions that end-users of MEDMS might have and is intended for use by school staff, SAU staff, and Maine Department of Education (MDOE) staff, who are working with MEDMS. This manual does not include considerable technical detail in order to remain accessible to the typical User.

If you need more information about MEDMS that is not provided online, contact your local administrator or the MEDMS Help Desk.

MEDMS Logon Help
Please contact your local MEDMS administrator
OR
If your local MEDMS administrator is not available contact:
MEDMS HelpDesk
Telephone: 624-6896
Email: medms.helpdesk@maine.gov

 

Comments and suggestions regarding the content, layout and usefulness of this manual are encouraged. Please provide input by contacting the Help Desk noted above.

Welcome to MEDMS
MEDMS is an information management system that links the MDOE, SAUs, and schools throughout the state, enabling them to gather valuable information in order to meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. MEDMS also enables the MDOE to:

  • Manage an internal database and information flow that combines data from schools, SAUs and the MDOE;
  • Manage data for state and federal regulatory and assessment compliance; and
  • Integrate federal, state, and public reporting.

While MEDMS was designed to meet various requirements of the NCLB Act and will aid in the collection of data required for Federal funding, it was also designed to support the Maine Learning Results Initiative (a local and state effort to improve the education system in Maine).

Project History
MEDMS was initiated in the winter of 2003 with a contract between the Maine Department of Education and xwave New England. The MEDMS initiative began in response to the Maine Department of Education's need to meet reporting needs and data management issues associated with the following Federal and State requirements:

  • The federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLBA);
  • Maine Department of Education Regulations Chapter 125 Basic Approval Standards: Public Schools and School Administrative Units (Chapter 125);
  • Maine Department of Education Regulations Chapter 127 Instructional Program, Assessment, and Diploma Requirements (Chapter 127);
  • Maine's proposed adequacy-based school funding formula, known as Essential Programs and Services (EPS);
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA);
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA); and
  • All other legislation guiding the MDOE

User Groups
The following user groups represent the key people who will access the MEDMS:

  • MDOE Administration - MDOE Administration will manage the overall system and use the system to generate reports for funding purposes, etc.
  • SAU Staff - SAU staff will access MEDMS to input data for students / teachers / schools and report on educational results for their jurisdiction. They will be able use MEDMS to report at the SAU or individual school level in their SAU.
  • School Staff - School staff will access MEDMS to input Student data, and report on Student progress. School staff, assuming that the responsibilities have been granted by their SAU, may also access MEDMS to input data for students / teachers / schools and report on educational results for their jurisdiction.

MEDMS Features
The following is an overview of various features of the MEDMS system:

  • Web-based Application - MEDMS is a web-based application that can be used by any PC or MAC, running Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 5.0 or later existing releases, Safari and Firefox, which has a public Internet Connection and 128-bit Encryption. Unlike traditional desktop software, there is nothing to install or upgrade on your workstation. All users need is a Username, Password and assigned Role (MDOE or SAU level).
  • SAU Administrators - SAU Administrators will access the MEDMS system to review data on students / teachers / schools and create reports on educational results for their jurisdiction. They will be able to report at SAU or school level within the SAU
  • Security - While anyone with a computer and the URL can view the MEDMS logon page, you will need a username and password to gain access into the functionality of the MEDMS system. For more information regarding access to MEDMS, contact the MEDMS Help Desk at 207-624-6896 or by email at medms.helpdesk@maine.gov.
  • Accessibility - The State Accessibility Standards and Policies & Computer Program Accessibility Standards have been met.

User Roles
To accommodate the different needs of the various user groups, MEDMS provides the flexibility for User Roles to be defined and created. These User Roles allow groups of users with common needs to have access rights to selected modules or functionality. Web functionality is available based on the User's access rights and permissions.

A User may have multiple roles within a school or SAU. For example, a teacher who is also a principal within a school has principal access rights as well as teacher access rights. Furthermore, a User associated with multiple roles in more than one SAU will have their access rights limited to the role for each respective SAU. For example, a teacher who is a school board member in a different SAU could have teacher access rights in the SAU where they are employed and school board access rights in the SAU where they sit on the school board. In this case two sets of logon information are required in order to provide the functionality necessary to perform each role.

If you have not been granted access to a MEDMS module that you require, contact the MEDMS Help Desk at 207-624-6896.

Public Access
The general public will not access the MEDMS application. MEDMS will be used to capture information which may be summarized for the general public. However, this information will be segregated in a data repository separate from the MEDMS application database. Furthermore, access to this information for the general public will be provided through a distinct web portal separate from the MEDMS application portal.

Before You Logon

By now you have a general understanding of why MEDMS was developed and it is now time to start to learn how the system operates. There are several things to be aware of as you begin to use MEDMS, such as:

  1. System Guidelines: Hardware and software required to use MEDMS;
  2. Enabling Java Script: Instructions on how to enable Java Script;
  3. Caching in Internet Explorer: Disabling caching to refresh forms;
  4. MEDMS Access: Account access request processes;
  5. Process Map: Description of MEDMS (Phase I) Information Flow;
  6. Navigating Online Menus: Details on how MEDMS online menus are structured;
  7. System Modes: Explains how a specific area of the system is displayed and its functionality.

System Guidelines
There are no specific hardware requirements to use MEDMS. MEDMS is a web-based application that can be used by any PC or MAC, running Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 5.0 or later existing releases, Safari or Firefox, which has a public Internet Connection and 128-bit Encryption.

To determine what version of IE you are using for a PC:

  • Open IE
  • Select Help >> About Internet Explorer from the Menu Bar
  • The image below will be displayed on your screen

About Internet Explorer Information Box (showing Version 6.0)
About Internet Explorer Information Box (showing Version 6.0 with 128-bit encryption)

To determine what version of IE you are using for a Mac:

  • Choose About Internet Explorer from the "apple" menu (the rainbow-colored apple icon in the upper left corner).
  • The first image below will be displayed on your screen
  • Select the Support.. button, to open the "Support Information" window
  • The second image below will be displayed on your screen

About Internet Explorer Information Box (showing Version 6.0)
About Internet Explorer Information Box (showing Version 5.1 with 128-bit encryption)

In the above example, the user would be able to use MEDMS because the browser (Internet Explorer) is an acceptable Version with 128-bit Encryption. If your version of IE is not version 5.0 or or a later existing release, you will need to upgrade your browser software in order to use MEDMS. If your version of IE does not have 128-bit Encryption, you will get an error page similar to the one shown below when you try to use MEDMS.

Error Page - Browser Needs 128-bit Encryption
Error Page - Browser Needs 128-bit Encryption

For more information regarding upgrading your browser, contact the MEDMS Help Desk at 207-624-6896.

Enabling JavaScript
MEDMS uses JavaScript to enhance the interactivity of forms. You will need to ensure that JavaScript is enabled in your browser in order to use the application. To verify that you have JavaScript enabled follow the directions below:

For PC Users:

  1. Select Tools from the toolbar at the top of browser
  2. Select Internet Options from the dropdown menu (a)
  3. Click on the Security tab at the top of the Internet Options window (b)
  4. From the list of zones at the top of the Security options, select the Internet icon (c)
  5. Click the button near the bottom that reads Custom Level (d)
  6. In the new window that pops up, scroll down to the item that reads Active Scripting
  7. Select the option marked Enable (e)
  8. Click on the OK button at the bottom of the Security Settings window (f)
  9. Click on the OK button at the bottom of the Internet Options window (g)

Enabling JavaScript
Enabling JavaScript on a PC

For Mac Users

  1. Click on the Edit pulldown menu on top of the screen. (a)
  2. Select Preferences... (b)

  1. The Internet Explorer Preferences panel or console is displayed.
  2. Click on the Security Zones subsection. (c)
    • Select Custom (for expert users) by clicking on the radio button next to it. (d)
    • Click on the Settings button. (e)

  1. The Internet Zone panel is displayed. Scroll down until you see the Scripting section. (f)
  2. Enable both Execute scripts and Execute scriptlets by selecting Enable from the pull-down menu next to them. (g) Click OK. (h)

  1. You are now returned to the Internet Explorer Preferences panel.
  2. Click OK and you are all set! (i)

Caching in Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer (IE) will cache (or store) pages in an effort to decrease page loading time. You will need to set the browser to 'No Cache' to ensure that pages refresh in your browser in order to use the application more efficiently. To verify that you have set IE to no cache, follow the directions below:

For PC's

  1. Select Tools from the toolbar at the top of browser.
  2. Select Internet Options from the dropdown menu.
  3. Select the General tab at the top of the Internet Options window. (a)
  4. From the temporary Internet Files in the middle of the General options, select the Settings… button. (b)
  5. In the new window, select the Every visit to the page option. (c)
  6. Select the OK button at the bottom of the Settings window. (d)
  7. Select the OK button at the bottom of the Internet Options window. (e)

No Caching in IE
Setting No Cache in IE for PC's

For Macs

  1. Select Preferences... under the Edit menu to open "Internet Explorer Preferences" window.
  2. Select Advanced under Web Browser from the scrolling menu. (a)
  3. Under Cache, select the Update pages: Always radio button. (b)
  4. Select OK to save your preferences and close the window. (c)

No Caching in IE
Setting No Cache in IE for Macs

MEDMS Access - Before Logging On
Every account that is set up to use MEDMS has a profile. Creating a profile includes setting up access rights for a specific account. An account can be established to access only the data that a user has permission to Change, Add, Read and/or Disable. If the User has:

  • Change access, they have access to change existing data;
  • Add access, they have access to add new data;
  • Read access, they have access to view existing data but will be unable to make changes to the data;
  • Disable access, they have access to disable (make inactive without deleting as that would interfere with historical integrity) existing data.


Users can have any combination of access rights (Change, Add, Read and/or Disable) for each area of functionality within the system. Hence, a user may have:

  • Read access to SAU User functionality;
  • Change, Add, and Read access to Staff and Student functionality;
  • Change, Add, Read, and Disable access to Class functionality.

 

If you are a new user or if your job responsibilities change and require you to view or modify additional data in MEDMS, contact the MEDMS Help Desk (624-6896 or email medms.helpdesk@maine.gov).

The MEDMS Help Desk will setup the username and password for your initial logon to MEDMS. It will take two days for your account to be set up after receipt of your request. After the account is set-up, the Help Desk will notify you via email of your username and password.

Your account will identify you to the system and regulate your access rights and permissions to the various components available in MEDMS. Each account will have a unique username and password combination. Passwords are security measures to prevent others who may know your username from using your account. Do not let anyone know your password.

If you believe someone else may know your password, change it at once. An individual who shares his/her password is responsible for any transactions, whether willful or accidental, entered into the system.

Process Maps
Phase I of the MEDMS application will manage DOE data relating to:

  • Infrastructure - SAUs, Schools, Buildings;
  • Staff - Staff Profiles, Assigned SAUs, Assigned Job Functions;
  • Students - Student Profile, Demographics, Address, Contact Information, Enrollment, Program, Status;
  • Truancy - Truancy Incidents;
  • Limited English Proficiency (LEP) - LEP Status;
  • Safe & Drug Free (SDF) - Safe & Drug Free Status.

Process Flow - MEDMS Phase I
Process Flow - MEDMS Phase I

Navigating Online Menus
MEDMS provides application navigation through a menu header with two (2) dropdown list boxes and three (3) static functionality options (Help, Logoff, and Change Password). The user can navigate through the application functionality in an intuitive manner. Hyperlinks and function buttons on the actual screens will allow the user to navigate to the next layer of a form while the Cancel button and menu navigation returns the user to previous forms. Users should not use the Internet Explorer navigation controls (Back and Forward).

MEDMS features a navigation system with two (2) dropdown list boxes:

  • Application (a) - features a list of the primary components (ie. Staff, SAU Users, Student, SDF, etc.) offered to the user based on their access rights and permissions. The User will select an Application(b). The Action dropdown list box to dynamically load the acceptable Action options.
  • Action (c) - features the functionality relating to the component selected in the Application based on the user's rights and permissions (i.e. STAFF >> View, Add, Update - as shown below). The User will select an Action and then select GO (d). Selecting GO causes the MEDMS to load the appropriate screen.
  • Static Functionality Options:
    • Help - dynamically loads the online help manual to the application area that you are using (i.e. if you are completing an infrastructure screen the help link will take you to the infrastructure section of the manual).
    • Logoff - returns the user to the Logon screen.
    • Change Password - takes the user to the Change Password screen.

Sample Navigational Menu
Sample Navigational Menu

System Modes
As you add and update information within MEDMS, the application will present the screens in different modes or states:

  • Add mode: after selecting the 'Add' menu option - all text fields are blank and can be filled (some fields may be disabled based on system functionality);
  • Edit mode: after selecting the 'Update' menu option or after saving newly added or modified information - all previously set fields are filled by the database and can be modified (some fields may be disabled based on system functionality); and
  • Read-only mode: after selecting the 'View' menu option - all previously set fields are filled by the database and are grayed-out, so they cannot be modified.

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