How can I ensure my school is considered for nomination?

All Florida public schools are automatically considered for nomination and checked against the eligibility criteria.

Last Updated: 10/31/2016

How do Florida schools qualify for nomination?

Each state must develop a nomination plan annually that includes, at a minimum, the eligibility criteria outlined by the U.S. Department of Education (USED), which can be found at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/eligibility.html. Additional USED-established criteria can be found in the front matter of the application itself. Schools are nominated by the Florida Department of Education based on the criteria outlined in the USED-approved nomination plan.

Last Updated: 10/31/2016

How many Florida public schools can be nominated each year?

Florida can nominate up to 13 schools each year; although, due to the strict criteria, fewer than 13 schools may be eligible. At least one third of the nominated schools must have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Last Updated: 10/31/2016

What is the timeline for the program?

The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) nominates eligible schools in the winter and then nominated schools receive a formal invitation from the U.S. Department of Education (USED) to apply for the award. The application deadline is in the spring. After a rigorous application review process by USED and certification by the FDOE, award recipients are announced in the fall by the Secretary of Education. The detailed timeline, which varies slightly each year, can be found at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/applicant.html.

Last Updated: 10/31/2016

Are private schools eligible for nomination? If so, how are these nominations determined?

Yes, the Council for American Private Education (CAPE) nominates schools that meet the criteria for recognition. Non-public schools interested in being nominated should contact CAPE directly at brs@capenet.org; additional information can be found at www.capenet.org/brs.html.

Last Updated: 10/31/2016

What is the "Unearned Points by Student" chart?

The "Unearned Points by Student" chart represents lost opportunity in statewide assessments and helps us identify the greatest opportunity for improvement among the school grading formula cells. The taller the bar, the greater the number of points “left on the table” per student in a denominator of the school grade.

Each vertical bar represents a ratio. The numerator is the number of points unearned (out of 100 possible points) for a given grading formula cell (e.g., reading proficiency, math learning gains, etc.), while the denominator is the number of students in the cohort tested for a cell. The chart is intended to inform allocation of resources and strategic goal choices in those situations where resources are scarce.

Additional information about the academic outcomes charts in Step Zero is available at https://www.floridacims.org/downloads/108.


Last Updated: 7/12/2015

How can I print the data charts from Step Zero?

Look for the small gray menu icon (three horizontal stacked lines) in the corner of each chart. When you click on the icon it will give you a quick print option as well as a menu of download formats.
Last Updated: 7/12/2015

Why is there no data appearing for my school in Step Zero?

Schools that receive a school improvement rating or did not receive a school grade in prior years (e.g., schools that only serve students in non-tested grade levels and new schools) are not included in the Step Zero data visualizations. For the time being, Step Zero is only populated with data from the School Grades file.

Schools with no data appearing in Step Zero should use data available at the local level to engage in problem identification. The resources available for problem analysis and goal formulation, especially the CIMS Offline Worksheet - Step Zero, will still be useful and can be found in the Problem Solving Toolkit.

Last Updated: 7/12/2015

As a district user, when I access Step Zero through a school improvement plan, why don't I automatically see the data visualizations for that particular school?

A district user has access to school grades data in Step Zero for all schools in the district that receive a school grade. Therefore, regardless of how a district user accesses the Step Zero module, they will always find the full list of schools in the district that fit within the parameters established by the teal filters at the top of the Academic Outcomes page. 
Last Updated: 7/22/2015

Why do I have to add each point person responsible for carrying out action steps or monitoring activities as users in CIMS?

The field type for the Who in Steps 5-8 of Problem Solving changed in 2014-15 from a text box to a drop-down menu, which is populated with all Level 1 and 2 users for school problem solving, and with all Level 3 and 4 users for district problem solving. This change was made both to encourage the inclusion of multiple stakeholders in the planning and implementation processes, and in preparation for upcoming project management features that will be incorporated into CIMS, such as automated reminder messages to point persons identified in Problem Solving.  Note: Many times, these point persons are also members of a leadership team within the school or district. If a user was already added to the system during the completion of Part I of the SIP or DIAP, their name will appear in all drop-down menus throughout the plan; they will not need to be added again.

Last Updated: 9/12/2014

Why can't I select more than one person to be responsible for each action step or monitoring activity?

Often times when multiple people are assigned to oversee an activity, deadlines are missed because one point person assumed the other point person was handling that aspect of the project, compromising the fidelity of implementation. For this reason, CIMS only allows users to identify one point person from the drop-down menu for each action step or monitoring activity.

If multiple point persons are necessary, we recommend that a main point person is selected to serve as the "central contact" for that step or activity, with the intent that the central contact would oversee the action steps or monitoring being done by other internally-noted point persons.
Last Updated: 10/9/2014

Who is required to complete the Mid-Year Reflection?

Any school that is required to complete Florida's SIP template pursuant to Rule 6A-1.099811, F.A.C., which includes Focus, Priority, and Former F schools, is also required to complete the Mid-Year Reflection for all goals in the SIP. SIG Cohort 3 schools, regardless of SI category, are required to complete the Mid-Year Reflection for all goals in the SIP in order to earn participation points for the annual renewal process. 

Districts with SIG Cohort 3 schools are required to complete the Mid-Year Reflection for any goals in District Problem Solving that are tagged to SIG in order to earn participation points for the annual renewal process.
Last Updated: 7/23/2020

Does CIMS have an end-of-year closeout/reflection tool?

The Reflection module can be used multiple times throughout the year, if desired. For example, a school may wish to complete an end-of-year reflection to close out the year before starting on the next year's School Improvement Plan. To do this, make sure the previously entered Reflection for each goal listed has been been marked Complete and the entire Reflection recorded (by using the green Record button). If the responses have been recorded you will see a date in the Last Recorded column of the Reflection Index page. You will also find a PDF version of the recorded Reflection saved on the plan's Tracking page.

Once recorded to the Tracking page, users may overwrite the responses in the Reflection module without fear of losing the old information. Simply click the View button for each goal and change the green Complete status at the top-right corner back to Editing. Then you may change the responses and toggle back to Complete. After all goals are marked Complete, make sure to click that Record button again so a new PDF is saved to the plan's Tracking page.

A detailed Reflection How-to Guide for Schools is available at https://www.floridacims.org/downloads/149 and a Reflection How-to Guide for Districts is available at https://www.floridacims.org/downloads/150.

Last Updated: 5/4/2016

What is a School Advisory Council (SAC)?

The School Advisory Council (SAC) is a school-based group intended to represent the school, the community, and those persons closest to the students. The group shares responsibility for guiding the school toward continuous improvement. The district school board is responsible, by Florida law, for establishing an advisory council for each school in the district and shall develop procedures for the election and appointment of advisory council members. Each SAC shall include in its name the words "school advisory council." For further information, please see Section 1001.452(1)(a), Florida Statutes.
Last Updated: 6/1/2016

What is the role of the SAC?

The School Advisory Council is responsible for final decision making at the school relating to the implementation of the provisions of the annual School Improvement Plan (SIP). The SAC assists in the annual preparation and evaluation of both the SIP and the school's annual budget. For further information, please see Section 1001.452(1)(a), Florida Statutes

Last Updated: 6/1/2016

Who serves on the SAC?

A SAC should be composed of the principal and an appropriately balanced number of teachers, education support employees, students, parents, and other business and community citizens who are representative of the ethnic, racial, and economic community served by the school.  Certain members are elected by their peers, while business and community members are appointed, and the principal automatically serves.  Only students in secondary schools serve on a SAC.  It is also a requirement that the majority of the members of the School Advisory Council are persons who are not employed by the school district.  For further information, please see Section 1001.452(1)(a), Florida Statutes.

Last Updated: 6/1/2016

How much funding is allotted to each SAC?

The annual General Appropriations Act provides each SAC with up to $5.00 per unweighted, full-time enrolled (FTE) student to be used for implementing the School Improvement Plan.  If funds are insufficient to provide $5.00 per student after the distribution of school recognition funds, the available funds will be prorated.  The money is sent by FDOE to each district, which forwards allocations to each local school’s SAC.  For further information, please see Section 1001.42(18)(d), Florida Statutes and s. 24.121(5)(c), F.S.

Last Updated: 6/1/2016

Where can I find more information about SACs?

Most school districts provide information about their schools' SACs on their district and/or the school websites. There's also a more expansive FAQ located in the CIMS Toolkit. The Bureau of School Improvement is working to provide clearer and more robust guidance on SAC laws and requirements, including the development of presentations to be used as training tools for SAC members.
Last Updated: 5/18/2017

Which Florida Statute authorizes School Improvement (SI)?

Section 1008.33, Florida Statutes, provides the State Board of Education with the authority to enforce public school improvement through a statewide system of supports and intervention, and authorizes Rule 6A-1.099811, Florida Administrative Code, which establishes differentiated intervention and support strategies for traditional public schools, delineates the responsibilities of the school, district, and Department of Education, sets timelines for intervention and support strategies, prescribes reporting requirements to review and monitor progress of schools, and sets forth submission and approval criteria for turnaround implementation plans.
Last Updated: 7/23/2020

Are charter schools subject to School Improvement under section 1008.33, Florida Statutes?

No, charter schools are exempt from this statute, pursuant to section 1002.33(16), Florida Statutes. If a charter has a current grade of D or F, they must follow the accountability requirements of Rule 6A-1.099827, Florida Administrative Code.
Last Updated: 7/23/2020

Does the Florida Department of Education have the discretion to modify a requirement of the Turnaround Option Plan (Form TOP-2)?

Yes. A district may request to modify the requirements of the plan, and the State Board of Education has the discretion to approve the request. Form TOP-2 is incorporated in Rule 6A-1.099811, F.A.C.  As part of the instructions, this form provides as follows:

“Modification of the Common and Option-Specific Requirements of this form may be approved based upon the following:

1.       The request is made on this form.

2.       The request includes evidence that the modification will not impede school improvement.

3.       The request includes evidence that the modification is not contrary to statutory requirement.” 

Last Updated: 7/23/2020

What is the timeline for submission of turnaround option plans (TOPs)?

Pursuant to Rule 6A-1.099811, F.A.C., the following timeline provides dates of deliverable's required for districts with schools identified with a Turnaround Status of Planning (Year 1) or Implementing (Year 2 and 3 only).

  • Step 1: Submit TOP Phase 1 to bsi@fldoe.org. Districts must work with their regional executive director (RED) to review the needs assessment and turnaround options prior to submitting Phase 1.
  • Step 2: Complete survey to provide baseline data for subsequent progress monitoring data reviews. 
  • Two weeks after school grades are posted or by July 31, whichever comes first: Submit TOP Phase 2 to bsi@fldoe.org on behalf of all schools included in Phase 1 that do not improve the school grade in 2017. Note: A TOP Companion Guide is available to support this process. Districts must work with their RED on the development of Phase 2 prior to its final submission.
The above dates and deliverables are subject to change based upon the timing of school grades release and requests by the State Board of Education. District contacts will be notified of any changes.
Last Updated: 7/23/2020

Are all public schools in Florida required to have a school improvement plan (SIP)?

No. Section 1001.42, Florida Statutes (F.S.), requires districts to annually approve and require implementation of a SIP for each school in the district which has a school grade of "D" or "F". This includes virtual schools and alternative centers such as DJJ or ESE facilities.  

Charter schools are exempt from this requirement, pursuant to section 1002.33(16), Florida Statutes, unless they have a grade of D or F, in which case they must follow the requirements of Rule 6A-1.099827, Florida Administrative Code.

Last Updated: 12/28/2017

Are all public schools in Florida required to use the department's SIP template in CIMS?

No. Some school districts require their schools to complete the department's SIP using CIMS. Otherwise, only schools identified for School Improvement (SI) and/or recipients of the school improvement grant 1003(g) are required to complete the department's template. 
Last Updated: 7/23/2020

Who approves school improvement plans?

Pursuant to Section 1001.42(18), Florida Statutes, it is the responsibility of each district school board to approve school improvement plans. "D" or "F" schools are required to submit their school improvement plans through CIMS for the review and feedback of a regional executive director (RED) in advance of the SIP publication deadline; however, the RED does not formally approve the plan.
Last Updated: 12/28/2017

Who is required to complete a SIP Mid-Year Reflection?

All schools are welcome to use the Reflection module in CIMS to complete a Mid-Year Reflection. However, a Mid-Year Reflection for each SIP goal is required for "D" or "F" schools (as identified on the SI List). Check out this FAQ for information on the Mid-Year Reflection deadline.

For step-by-step instructions on completing and recording a Reflection, please review the Reflection How-to Guide for Schools located in the Navigation Guides tab of the Toolkit.
Last Updated: 7/23/2020

When is the school improvement plan (SIP) due?

Please see the most recent years timeline for important SIP dates. 

https://www.floridacims.org/downloads?category=timeline

Last Updated: 7/23/2020

When is a mid-year Reflection due?

Once a plan has been published, the Reflection module opens for use. Schools on the School Improvement (SI) and/or schools that are members of the School Improvement Grant 1003(g) Cohort 3, must log-in to CIMS, complete the Reflection questions for each SIP goal, and Record the Reflection within 30 days of the release of the district's mid-year assessment data.

For step-by-step instructions on completing and recording a Reflection, please review the Reflection How-to Guide for Schools located in the Navigation Guides tab of the Toolkit.

Last Updated: 7/23/2020

What type of assistance is provided by the department to help schools complete the school improvement plan (SIP)?

The Bureau of School Improvement provides the following support for SIP development:

  • The CIMS Toolkit includes how-to guides for navigating the SIP survey, Step Zero, and Problem Solving, as well as worksheets and other resources to guide the planning process
  • The CIMS e-learning library includes e-learning courses for general CIMS navigation and assistance using Step Zero for needs assessments
  • Blue guidance tabs on each page of the SIP survey and Step Zero provide assistance in the context of that page 
  • School Improvement (SI) regional teams provide facilitated team-planning opportunities and support to districts throughout the year
  • The Intercom button in the bottom right of each page allows logged in users to request technical assistance and provide feedback
Last Updated: 7/23/2020

Are schools allowed to upload a Word version of their SIP to the Bureau of School Improvement (BSI) website?

No. Starting in 2013-14, all schools that use the department's SIP template must submit the plan using the online reporting platform. Word uploads will not be accepted in the system.
Last Updated: 8/14/2014

What should I do if team members are not appearing in the drop-down menu in the School Leadership Team and Literacy Leadership Team sections?

In order for the members to appear in the drop-down menu, they must be registered CIMS users. To add new users, click the Manage Users button at the top-right corner of the screen. If that button is not displayed, you may also click Account > Manage Users and then the green + New User button. Enter the information requested, including a temporary password, and then click the blue Update button. Note: If a user does not need editing rights, you may set them as a Level 1 user and click the Read Only slide bar to display the check mark.

More information on user management can be found in the User Management Guide in the Toolkit.

Last Updated: 10/30/2014

Why do I have to add each member of the School Leadership Team and Literary Leadership Team as users in CIMS?

The field type for these questions, as well as the Who in Steps 5-8 of Problem Solving, changed in 2014-15 from a text box to a drop-down menu, which is populated with all Level 1 and 2 users registered for the school.  This is to acclimate Level 2 users to the user management process in preparation for upcoming project management features that will be incorporated into CIMS, such as automated reminder messages to point persons identified in Problem Solving.  Many times, these point persons are also members of a leadership team within the school so it seemed a logical decision to change the field type of these questions as well.  Note: Once a user is added to the system, their name will appear in all drop-down menus throughout the SIP; they will not need to be added again.

Last Updated: 8/29/2014

How do I print the SIP if it isn't published to the public site?

Logged in users may print an unpublished SIP through its Plan Dashboard. Click Plans in the main menu bar, click the teal Dashboard button next to the plan you wish to print, and then click the green PDF Export button. This will generate a PDF file that may be saved to your computer and/or printed. If you recently worked in the plan, then you can quickly access the Plan Dashboard by clicking the link in the Recently Accessed pod on My Dashboard.

Last Updated: 8/7/2015

Where can I find FAQs related to Step Zero?

FAQs related to Step Zero can be located in the Problem Solving tab of the CIMS FAQ.
Last Updated: 8/17/2014

Where can I find FAQs related to 8-step planning and problem solving?

FAQs related to 8-step planning and problem solving can be located in the Problem Solving tab of the CIMS FAQ.
Last Updated: 8/17/2014

How do the early warning systems (EWS) requirements, passed in Senate Bill 850, affect the school improvement plan?

Section 1001.42(18)(a)2., Florida Statutes, adds the requirement that schools with grades 6, 7 or 8 include the following EWS information and data in their school improvement plans:

  • Information about the system, which must include a list of indicators used, the number of students by grade level that exhibited each indicator in the prior year, the number of students exhibiting two or more indicators in the prior year, and a description of intervention strategies implemented to improve performance of identified students
  • Description of the specific strategies used by the school to implement the instructional practices emphasized by the district’s professional development system.

More information on the implementation of EWS requirements can be found on pages 6-9 and 12-13 of the department’s Senate Bill 850 Technical Assistance Paper.

Last Updated: 9/23/2014

Are all schools required to complete the Early Warning Systems (EWS) section of the school improvement plan?

No, this section is only required for schools with grades 6, 7, or 8, pursuant to section 1001.42(18)(a)2., Florida Statutes. However, as the monitoring of EWS data is a research-based best practice, this section was left “open” to all schools. If this section is not required for your school and you do not wish to complete it, you may mark the page status in the upper right corner as “N/A.”

Last Updated: 8/14/2014

What early warning systems (EWS) data are schools required to provide in the school improvement plan?

Schools with grades 6, 7 or 8 are required to provide, at a minimum, the number of students in grades 6, 7 or 8 by grade level who exhibit each of the following early warning indicators in the prior year:
  • Attendance below 90 percent
  • One or more suspensions
  • Course failure in English language arts or mathematics
  • Level 1 on statewide assessment in English language arts or mathematics
  • Two or more of the indicators above
Schools should also report data for any indicators included in their EWS that are not listed above.
Last Updated: 8/14/2014

What data, current or prior year, should be used to complete the Early Warning Systems (EWS) section of the SIP?

The purpose of recording EWS data in the SIP is to look for trends to inform the needs assessment process prior to determining strategic goals and action plans for the coming school year; therefore, summative data from the previous school year should be used.

This practice is not to be confused with the ongoing use of the EWS throughout the year to identify and support students who become off track. For year-round monitoring, school teams should continue to review the most current data available.

Last Updated: 5/27/2016

Are charter schools required to have a school improvement plan (SIP)?

Only charter schools (including virtual charter schools) that have received a grade of D or F in the most recent grades release are required to develop and submit a school improvement plan to the sponsor, following the requirements of Rule 6A-1.099827, Florida Administrative Code.
Last Updated: 10/24/2014

What is required to be in the SIP for charter schools with a current grade of D or F?

Rule 6A-1.099827, Florida Administrative Code, outlines the requirements for a charter school SIP, which must include, at a minimum, the following components:

  1. Mission statement of school

  2. Academic data for most recent three years, if available

  3. Student achievement objectives included in the charter contract or most recent sponsor approved school improvement plan

  4. Analysis of student performance data including academic performance by each subgroup

  5. Detailed plan for addressing each identified deficiency in student performance, including specific actions, person responsible, resources needed, and timeline

  6. Identification of each component of school’s approved educational program that has not been implemented as described in the school’s approved charter application or charter contract

  7. Detailed plan for addressing each identified deficiency (required in number six above), including specific actions, person responsible, resources needed, and timeline

  8. Identification of other barriers to student success, with a detailed plan for addressing each barrier including specific actions, person responsible, resources needed, and timeline

  9. Specific student achievement outcomes to be achieved
Last Updated: 10/30/2014

Does the department have a SIP template for charter schools?

No, the department does not provide a separate SIP template for charter schools. Districts may develop their own template for charter schools or use the standard SIP survey provided in CIMS.
Last Updated: 10/24/2014

Are charter schools with a current grade of D or F required to submit their school improvement plan by the SI deadlines?

No, unless the district has required the same deadline. While charter schools are required to have a school improvement plan, they are not subject to the requirements of School Improvement. If a charter school has a current grade of D or F, they must follow the accountability requirements of Rule 6A-1.099827, Florida Administrative Code.
Last Updated: 7/23/2020

Are charter schools required to have their SIPs reviewed by the SI regional executive director prior to district approval?

No. While charter schools with a current grade of D or F are required to have a school improvement plan, they are not subject to the requirements of School Improvement. Charter schools must follow the accountability requirements of Rule 6A-1.099827, Florida Administrative Code.
Last Updated: 7/23/2020

Are Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) programs required to have a school improvement plan (SIP)?

Yes. Section 1001.42, Florida Statutes (F.S.), requires districts to annually approve, and require implementation of, a SIP for each school in the district, which includes alternative centers such as DJJ or exceptional student education (ESE). 
Last Updated: 8/6/2014

Are virtual schools required to have a school improvement plan (SIP)?

Yes, some virtual school types are required to develop and submit a SIP pursuant to section 1001.42, Florida Statutes (F.S.). Florida Virtual School (FLVS) Full-Time K-8 and FLVS Full-Time 9-12 as well as FLVS district franchises and full-time district virtual instruction programs are required to have a SIP. Virtual instruction programs managed by an approved provider, as described in section 1002.45 F.S., are only required to submit a SIP if the school has received a grade of D or F in the most recent grades release. 
Last Updated: 8/14/2014

Why won't the Budget page save the budget line amount I entered? The amount keeps reverting back to zero.

The budget amount fields in CIMS do not accept the dollar sign, so make sure to enter numbers and decimals only before saving. Refresh your browser after saving new budget lines to update the total amount that appears in the tab at the top of the page.

Last Updated: 9/6/2016

Why is my school’s FRL rate showing a lower number than expected?

Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools were eligible for this meal option for first time in 2013-14 (pilot year). The poverty rate of schools participating in CEP only includes students who are identified as eligible for free meals based upon the Direct Certification determination (or the extension of eligibility to the household due to eligibility of an identified direct-certified student). This causes the school’s poverty rate to appear lower than in previous years when the rate included students eligible for free and reduced-priced lunch. For more information about the CEP, see http://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/community-eligibility-provision

Last Updated: 6/29/2016

Where do I find information about Step Zero?

Please go to https://www.floridacims.org/faqs?category=problem-solving#faqSub3-0 for information about Step Zero.
Last Updated: 9/7/2014

My school's information is listed incorrectly in CIMS. How can I correct this?

The following school information is populated to CIMS from Florida's Master School Identification (MSID) file:
  • School Name
  • School Address
  • School Website URL
  • Principal Name
  • Active/Closed Status
  • School Type and Grades Served
  • Primary Service Type
  • Charter Status
To correct information on the MSID file, please email askeias@fldoe.org to make the request.
Last Updated: 10/28/2016

What is the maximum file size I can upload in CIMS?

The maximum file size allowed for uploads is 10MB. 

Last Updated: 5/28/2015

Which file formats are supported for uploads in CIMS?

Although PDF is preferred, the following formats can be uploaded in CIMS.

Images

  • png
  • jpeg
  • gif

Documents

  • pdf
  • txt
  • doc, docx
  • xls, xlsx
  • ppt, pptx
Last Updated: 5/28/2015

Why is my CSV file not uploading correctly?

To ensure the CSV file uploads correctly, please review the following tips:

  • The file must be a CSV (i.e., comma-separated values) format file. The file downloaded from CIMS originally was in this format. Any other format, such as a full Excel spreadsheet, will not be understood by the system; think of it as a format that speaks a different language than the system. If you have been working in Excel, be sure to save your data as a CSV file and then upload that version to CIMS.

  • If you have been working in Excel, keep in mind that Excel tends to change grade spans (e.g., 6-8) into dates (e.g., June 8). You can avoid this by entering a single-quote (') ahead of the grade span (e.g., '6-8). This tells Excel that you would like the content of the cell to be evaluated as text only. Again, be sure to save your data as CSV file when you are ready to upload that version.

  • Be sure that any quotation marks used are straight up-and-down single quotes (i.e., ' ). Quotation marks that tilt in one direction or another (aka “curly quotes") cause problems for computer programs and should not be used in your data file.
Last Updated: 8/4/2015

Can several people work on the plan at the same time?

It can be done, but it is only recommended with reservations, due to the high risk that one person will over-write the work of another.

Web applications work via requests. You send a request to a web page to view it, then you fill out a form and send another request to submit that information to the server and get back a response. The web is stateless, which means one request does not know anything about previous or future requests made by you or any other user. We have also implemented an auto-save feature in our application - when you click the "Next" or "Previous" buttons, for instance, the application automatically saves your page - which complicates matters further.

So what can possibly happen goes like this:

  • Person A requests a plan page
  • Person B requests the same plan page
  • Person A makes changes and submits the page
  • Person B clicks the "Next" button
    • Auto-save kicks in, which submits the original page data
      • This results in over-writing the changes Person A made

We have implemented some features and steps you can take to help to prevent accidental over-writes.

  • Each user should have his/her own login account
  • Each user should become familiar with the use of Read Only mode (see https://www.floridacims.org/faqs/180)
  • Each user should stay in Read Only mode unless intending to edit something on the page
  • If multiple people are working simultaneously in the same plan, make sure that each user is working in completely different sections

Last Updated: 9/7/2014

What is Read-Only mode?

Read Only mode is a temporary, user-controlled setting that allows the user to move around in a survey without inadvertently changing anything via the auto-save feature.

The Read Only button is located at the top of the left navigation tree in any given plan. If it is red, you are in read only mode. Click the button to toggle into edit mode. Click it again to go back to read only mode. It is a good rule of thumb to leave the button toggled to Read Only until you are ready to make edits to a given page.
Last Updated: 9/7/2014

What should I do if a team member’s name is not appearing in the drop-down menu?

In order for team members to appear in a drop-down menu, they must be registered CIMS users. To add new users, click the blue Manage Users button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. If that button is not displayed, you may also click Account > Manage Users and then the green + New User button. Enter the information requested, including a temporary password, and then click the blue Update button. Note: You must have Level 2 or 4 access in order to manage users. If a user does not need editing rights, you may set them as a Level 1 user and click the Read Only slide bar to display the check mark.

More information on user management can be found in the User Management Guide in the Toolkit.



Last Updated: 9/14/2014

How do I publish my plan so that it is available to the public?

In order for a plan to be published, it must go through an approval process in CIMS, which varies based on the survey and whether the respective school or district is subject to the requirements of School Improvement. In all cases, the process ends with a district contact who has "Can Approve" access clicking the Approve button in Tracking.

Once a plan is approved, it will be published by an automated process that runs on a regular schedule throughout the day. After approval, but before publishing, the plan will be locked to editing. Once a snapshot of the plan is published, the plan is reopened for editing. For more detailed information about the approval processes, see the SIP Submission How-to Guide located in the Navigation Guides tab of the Toolkit.
Last Updated: 7/23/2020

Why is the content in my PDF running off the right side of the page?

It's important to remember that PDF documents generated by CIMS are really just PDF renderings of specific HTML pages. When you click the PRINT PREVIEW button for a particular document, you are seeing the same HTML page on-screen that will ultimately become the PDF document when you get the PDF export.

Unlike a word processor, which will cut content right in the middle in order to wrap to the specific size settings that you have specified, a web browser will generally only line-break content at recognized end-of-content markers: spaces, punctuation marks, etc. If a string of content does not have any of the normal end-of-content markers, then the web browser will instead usually expand the box wrapping the content to fit the content. When that happens, you can get a ripple effect throughout the document such that all content expands to match the one box that has been outsized.

Very long URLs for links are a common source of content that runs to multiple lines without any of the normal end-of-content markers, and are the most common cause of PDF layout in CIMS going awry and running off the right side of the page.

To fix this problem, find any very long URLs in your content and, using a link shortening service such as http://bit.ly or http://tinyurl.com, substitute a shorter URL for the original one. Once you have done this, refresh the Print Preview and you should see everything line up correctly. Then you can generate your PDF and it, too, will be laid out without the run-off issues.
Last Updated: 8/4/2015

How do I delete a user from CIMS?

If you have Level 2, 4 or 6 access, you may remove users from your list by going to Account > Manage Users. Click the teal Edit User button beside the name of the user you need to remove. Next, un-check all schools, districts, or regions for which they currently have access. Then, set the user's Role to Level 0 and click the blue Update button. This will limit the user to the level of access of a public visitor and remove them from your lists. See related FAQ: https://www.floridacims.org/faqs/170.
Last Updated: 8/20/2016

How do I switch a user from one school to another?

Although school leadership (i.e., Level 2 users) can modify accounts for users already attached to their school, they cannot switch a user from another school to their own. Therefore, a district contact (i.e., Level 4 user) will need to either (1) make the change for the school, or (2) make the user a Level 0 so school leadership can find the account and attach it to their school. Instructions for Level 4 users needing to make these changes can be found in the User Management Guide.

Once a user account is made a Level 0, a Level 2 user for the school can locate the account by navigating to Account > Manage Users and changing the Access Level filter to Level 0. This will display all Level 0 users in the system alphabetically. Scroll down to locate the account that needs to be updated and make the necessary changes. You may also search for an account on the Users page by typing a user name in the User field.
Last Updated: 8/20/2016

Why am I receiving an "email has already been taken" error message when I try to add a new user?

If you receive this error message, it means that the user you are trying to add already has an account. However, because the user is not assigned to your school, you cannot see him/her in your Manage Users list.

It is likely that the user was previously assigned to a different school and his/her access has been deactivated, or set to Level 0. If this is the case, you can locate the account by navigating to Account > Manage Users and changing the Access Level filter to Level 0. This will display all Level 0 users in the system alphabetically, so you can scroll down and find the account you need to update.

If the user's name appears on the Level 0 list, click the Edit button for that account, set the user's access to the appropriate level, and attach them to your school. If the user's name does not appear on the Level 0 list, then the account is still active and attached to another school. In this case, you will need to reach out to your district school improvement contact (found on your SIP's Tracking page) to change the account, as they have access to all schools in your district and will be able to make the necessary changes.
Last Updated: 8/20/2016

What should I do if a drop-down menu does not contain the job title I need? Can new titles be added to the menu?

The job title menus in CIMS are populated with data from Appendix J: Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Line Numbers of DOE Information Data Base Requirements: Volume II - Automated Staff Information System. Since the options in the list cannot be altered, please select the job title that most closely matches.
Last Updated: 8/20/2016
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The FAQ page contains the most commonly asked questions, organized by category and then subcategory. Select a category followed by a subcategory; then, click the desired question to reveal the answer. You will also see the last updated date for the FAQ.

Tip: To quickly search available resources for a keyword or set of words, use the search field at the top-right corner. This will yield results from both FAQ and Toolkit.