renaissance-place

Preparing Files for Data Import

Before you begin importing information using Renaissance Place, 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 import file.

The following resources will also help you prepare a file of your data:

There are 25 types of data that can be included in an import file.

Not every type of data needs to be present in a record being imported, but for each record type, certain information is required; this information is in bold in the lists below.

Student Data:

  • Student Birthdate
  • Student Characteristics
  • Student Ethnicity
  • Student First Name
  • Student Gender
  • Student Year
  • Student ID
  • Student Language
  • Student Last Name
  • Student Middle Name
  • Student Password
  • Student Region ID
  • Student User Name

Personnel Data:

  • Personnel First Name
  • Personnel Gender
  • Personnel Last Name
  • Personnel Middle Name
  • Personnel Password
  • Personnel Position
  • Personnel Region ID
  • Personnel User Name

Class Data:

  • Class Name or Section Number
  • Class Subject
  • Course Name

Data Automatically Generated If Not Present in Records


For student records:

  • Student User Name: The program will create the user name using the student's first initial and the first four letters of the student's last name. If there are duplicates, a number is added until a unique user name is found. Example: Jane Smithers would be jsmit; John Smithers would be jsmit2.
  • Student ID: The program will use the student's user name for the ID. If there are duplicates, a number is added until a unique ID is created. Example: Mark Watson is already in the database with user name mwats and ID mwats2. If Mary Watson is then imported with no user name or ID, her user name would be mwats2, and her ID would be mwats3.
  • Student Password: All students without passwords will be given the same default password: abc.

For personnel records:

  • Personnel User Name: The program will create the user name using the person's first initial and the person's entire last name. If there are duplicates, a number is added until a unique user name is found. Example: Ralph Jones would be rjones; Rhonda Jones would be rjones2.
  • Personnel Password: Personnel members use their user names as the password the first time they log in to Renaissance Place. They will be asked to create a new password at that time.

Delimiters

Data in Excel files (.xls or .xlsx) 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.

In plain-text (.txt) and 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.

Headers

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.

Data Codes for Student Data:

  • Student Birthdate: SBirthday
  • Student Characteristics: SCharacteristics
  • Student Ethnicity: SRace
  • Student First Name: SFirst
  • Student Gender: SGender
  • Student Year: SYear
  • Student ID: SID
  • Student Language: SLanguage
  • Student Last Name: SLast
  • Student Middle Name: SMiddle
  • Student Password: SPassword
  • Student Region ID: SRegionID
  • Student User Name: SUserName

Data Codes for Personnel Data

  • Personnel First Name: TFirst
  • Personnel Gender: TGender
  • Personnel Last Name: TLast
  • Personnel Middle Name: TMiddle
  • Personnel Password: TPassword
  • Personnel Position: TPosition
  • Personnel Region ID: TRegionID
  • Personnel User Name: TUserName

Data Codes for Class Data:

  • Class Name or Section Number: Class
  • Class Subject: Subject
  • Course Name: Course

In Excel files, each header item should be in its own cell at the top of the appropriate columns. In .txt or .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 student's first names, last names, user names and years, the header would only include SFirst, SLast, SUserName and SYear.

Data Specifications

Each of the 25 types of data has its own rules for format, maximum characters allowed, abbreviations used and so on. Click 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:

  • Maximum length: 10
    Format: dd/mm/yyyy
    Required if student data is present? Yes

  • Maximum length: 1,000
    Format: dash (-) separated character string
    Required if student data present? No

    Characteristic codes accepted:

    • DY (for Dyslexic)
    • EAL (for English as an Additional Language)
    • FM (for Free School Meals)
    • GT (for Gifted and Talented)
    • LDIF (for Learning Difficulties)
    • PD (for Physical Disabilities)
    • SE (for Special Education Needs)
  • Maximum length: 2
    Format: character
    Required if student data present? No

    Ethnicity codes accepted:

    • BA (for Black African)
    • BC (for Black Caribbean)
    • BD (for Bangladeshi)
    • C (for Chinese)
    • IN (for Indian)
    • M (for Mixed)
    • O (for Other)
    • OA (for Other Asian)
    • OB (for Other Black)
    • PA (for Pakistani)
    • W (for White)

    If no code is entered, "None Specified" will be selected for ethnicity.

  • Maximum length: 35
    Format: characters
    Required if student data present? Yes

  • Maximum length: 1
    Format: character
    Required if student data present? No

    Gender codes accepted:

    • M (for Male)
    • F (for Female)
    • U (for Unassigned; this is also the default if no code is specified for a student)
  • Maximum length: 5
    Format: character or numeric
    Required if student data present? No*

    * Years are not required when you import student information, but years are required before students can take Star tests and when you add or edit student information.

    Year codes accepted:

    • N/A (Not Applicable)
    • N (Nursery)
    • R (Reception)
    • 1 (Year 1)
    • 2 (Year 2)
    • 3 (Year 3)
    • 4 (Year 4)
    • 5 (Year 5)
    • 6 (Year 6)
    • 7 (Year 7)
    • 8 (Year 8)
    • 9 (Year 9)
    • 10 (Year 10)
    • 11 (Year 11)
    • 12 (Year 12)
    • 13 (Year 13)
    • None (None - this is also the setting if you enter no code or a code other than the ones specified above)
  • Maximum length: 20
    Format: character or numeric
    Required if student data present? No

  • Maximum length: 3
    Format: character
    Required if student data present? No

    Language codes accepted:

    • ARA (Arabic)
    • BEN (Bengali)
    • CHI (Chinese)
    • CRO (Croatian)
    • CZE (Czech)
    • ENG (English)
    • FRE (French)
    • GAE (Gaelic)
    • GER (German)
    • GRC (Greek Cypriot)
    • GRE (Greek)
    • GUJ (Gujarati)
    • HMG (Hmong)
    • JPN (Japanese)
    • KOR (Korean)
    • LAO (Lao)
    • MAY (Malay)
    • OTH (Other)
    • POL (Polish)
    • PUN (Punjabi)
    • RUS (Russian)
    • SCC (Serbo-Croatian)
    • SOM (Somali)
    • SPA (Spanish)
    • TAG (Tagalog or Filipino)
    • TUR (Turkish)
    • URD (Urdu)
    • VIE (Vietnamese)
    • WEL (Welsh)
    • YOR (Yoruba)
    • YUG (Yugoslavian)
  • Maximum length: 35
    Format: characters
    Required if student data present? Yes

  • Maximum length: 35
    Format: characters
    Required if student data present? No

  • Maximum length: 20
    Format: character or numeric
    Required if student data present? No

  • Maximum length: 50
    Format: character or numeric
    Required if student data present? No

  • Maximum length: 50
    Format: character or numeric
    Required if student data present? No


Personnel Data Specifications

  • Maximum length: 35
    Format: characters
    Required if personnel data present? Yes

  • Maximum length: 1
    Format: character
    Required if personnel data present? No

    Gender codes accepted:

    • M (for Male)
    • F (for Female)
    • U (for Unassigned; this is also the default if no code is specified for a personnel member)
  • Maximum length: 35
    Format: characters
    Required if personnel data present? Yes

  • Maximum length: 35
    Format: characters
    Required if personnel data present? No

  • Maximum length: 20
    Format: character or numeric
    Required if personnel data present? No

    Note: By default, Renaissance Place requires at least one number in staff passwords.

  • Maximum length: 1
    Format: character
    Required if student data present? No

    Position codes accepted:

    • T (Teacher)
    • P (Head Teacher)
    • S (Other School Staff)
  • Maximum length: 50
    Format: character or numeric
    Required if personnel data present? No

  • Maximum length: 50
    Format: character or numeric
    Required if personnel data present? No

Class Data Specifications

  • Maximum length: 50
    Format: character or numeric
    Required if class data present? Yes

  • Maximum length: 6
    Format: character
    Required if class/course data present? No

    Subject codes accepted for courses:

    • ENG (English)
    • ELA (English/Language Arts)
    • LA (Language Arts)
    • MATH (Maths)
    • RDG (Reading)
    • RE/WR (Reading/Writing)
    • SE (Special Education)
    • WR (Writing)
  • Maximum length: 100
    Format: character or numeric
    Required if class data present? Yes

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 cannot be imported because they are not from one of the 25 types allowed, you can either remove that data from the files or use a "false" 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 cannot 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.)
  • Example of a record with student data and class data (header and one record):

    SLast,SFirst,Course,Class
    Roberts,Timothy,English,Creative Writing

    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):

    TLast,TFirst,Course,Class
    Andrews,Sally,English,Creative Writing

    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):

    SLast,SFirst,TLast,TFirst,Course,Class
    Roberts,Timothy,Andrews,Sally,English,Creative Writing

    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, enrol 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)

    SLast,SFirst,TLast,TFirst
    Roberts,Timothy,Andrews,Sally

    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.

For Renaissance Place

  • One of the first steps during an import is to select a school year to import data into; later in the process you can narrow this down to a specific marking period if you have added any marking periods and you are importing class data.

Examples of File Preparation

.txt or .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 Place for each row during this import: a student record and a personnel record.

Knight,Bethany,Lynn,F,January 10 2003,NNM15K,Hendricks,Shelley,Anne,TZP27N
Bass,Chancellor,Herbert,M,08/13/2003,HOT80F,Nolan.Julie,Johanna,JCZ10O
Sharp,Aretha,Christina,01/31/2002,GWJ54C,F,Justice,Wyatt,Kevin,MEU82T
Johns,Holly,Olivia,F,04/26/2004,MIR71A,Talley,Jason,Humbert,LJS85M
Ware,Kylie,Erasmus,M,03/09/2004,ZKT47K,Wiley,Kylan,Alan,
Osborn,Ila,Dierdre,F,06/10/2004,ZQV90O,,Warren,Hannah,Huntington,BLX83T

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.

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:

SLast,SFirst,SMiddle,SGender,SBirthday,SID,TLast,TFirst,TMiddle,TID
Knight,Bethany,Lynn,F,01/10/2003,NNM15K,Hendricks,Shelley,Anne,TZP27N
Bass,Chancellor,Herbert,M,08/13/2003,HOT80F,Nolan,Julie,Johanna,JCZ10O
Sharp,Aretha,Christina,F,01/31/2002,GWJ54C,Justice,Wyatt,Kevin,MEU82T
Johns,Holly,Olivia,F,04/26/2004,MIR71A,Talley,Jason,Humbert,LJS85M
Ware,Kylie,Erasmus,M,03/09/2004,ZKT47K,Wiley,Kylan,Alan,
Osborn,Ila,Dierdre,F,06/10/2004,ZQV90O,Warren,Hannah,Huntington,BLX83T

.xls,.xlsx, .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.

SFirst SLast SBirthday SYear Gender TFirst TLast Gender Course Class
Kyra Barrera 03/04/2003 1st F John Cantu M Reading Young Readers I
Colt M. Pollard 12/14/2002 2 M Hanae Steele F Math Add It Up!
Yvonne Sims 04/13/20003 1 M Dora Shepard F Reading Story Share
Kiayada Benson 09/07/2003 1 F Johnny Cantu M Reading Young Readers I
Martin Mann 10/13/2004 K M Dora Shepard F Reading "Story Time"
Nyssa Howard 05/09/2002 2 F Alvin Beasley M Math Productivity
Chad Estes 10/22/2002 2 M Brent McKay M Math
Divide and Conquer!

The file has the following problems:

  • In the header row, two of the fields are identical ("Gender" in columns 5 and 8).
  • Kyra Barrera's record should have a numerical year (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.

Here is the corrected file:

SFirst SLast SBirthday SYear SGender TFirst TLast TGender Course Class
Kyra Barrera 03/04/2003 1 F John Cantu M Reading Young Readers I
Colt Pollard 12/14/2002 2 M Hanae Steele F Math Add It Up!
Yvonne Sims 04/13/2003 1 M Dora Shepard F Reading Story Share
Kiayada Benson 09/07/2003 1 F John Cantu M Reading Young Readers I
Martin Mann 10/13/2004 K M Dora Shepard F Reading Story Time
Nyssa Howard 05/09/2002 2 F Alvin Beasley M Math Productivity
Chad Estes 10/22/2002 2 M Brent McKay M Math Divide and Conquer!