Determinations

Exceptions are not necessarily misassignments; there are multiple reasons why an educator may be otherwise legally authorized for an assignment outside of their credential area.  Because of this, there are several different determination options available to justify exceptions.  CalSAAS users can review exceptions and select the determination best describing the nature of the assignment.  They can also provide documentation and comments as evidence for the selection.  Monitoring Authorities may consider this information during their monitoring process.  As well, they can request additional information if they require more evidence.

Note: If no determination is logged for an exception by the end of the monitoring cycle, it will be automatically determined as a misassignment.

Predetermined Exceptions

The following exceptions will be predetermined in CalSAAS depending on the CALPADS Coding of the assignment or Local Education Agency.  All of these can be reviewed for accuracy by the Monitoring Authority prior to completing and submitting the exception.

1. Local Assignment Options

  • Local Assignment Options reported in CALPADS will transfer into CalSAAS
  • College Credit courses will be predetermined as Education Code §76004
  • Staff developer courses (6010 and 6011) will be predetermined as §80020.4

        Note that in most cases, only full credential holders are able to use Local Assignment Options.

2. Core Assignments

  • Core Assignments reported in CALPADS will transfer into CalSAAS

3. 999 SEIDs

  • Generic 999 SEIDs will be predetermined as Vacancies - the Local Course Code/Class ID/and Corse Section reported in CALPADare noted as a history entry on these exceptions so users can review the assignment and confirm the determination.

Hidden Predetermined Exceptions

Furthermore, elective courses in which the Commission does not issue a credential in the content and Independent study courses, alternative school assignments, and select online courses will be predetermined, and not displayed as exceptions in the system.  The total number of these will be available on reports.

If there is an exception in an elective course does occur without predetermination, it is most likely due to the document of the holder not meeting LAO requirements (e.g. an emergency or intern permit).

For information related to how to view the predetermined Local Assignment Options that are hidden from the CalSAAS user interface, refer to the CalSAAS Reports webpage.

Determination Process

Determinations travel through a hierarchy.  At the first level, local education agencies will review and determine exceptions.  They will provide the bulk of the determinations, though nothing in the system precludes Monitoring Authorities from also participating in this process. 

The Monitoring Authority is ultimately responsible for verifying and submitting all of the final determinations.  Though not required, we recommend that Monitoring Authorities audit, at least, a sizable percentage of the determinations.  However, the monitoring practices are at the discretion of the Monitoring Authority. 

If the Monitoring Authority audits a determination, and finds insufficient evidence to accept it, they may return it to the LEA who logged it.  At that point, the LEA may resubmit it with additional evidence, or change the determination.  
LEA users have 60 days to make their initial determinations, but can use the full 90 days to address exceptions requiring more information from the Monitoring Authority. 

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Types of Determinations

The system currently has eleven different determinations available for justifying exceptions.  Below you will find a list of them, in addition to suggested information to provide with them.

1. Appropriate Assignment

This determination is selected if the educator holds the appropriate authorizations with the Commission to serve in the position.  

This determination does not take Local Assignment Options into account - those are addressed in another determination option. 

An exception can be triggered for a number of reasons. There may be instances in which the credential authorizations are not yet noted as authorizing service in a course or position. The following are some examples of appropriate assignments, which will appear as exceptions in the system:

  • Older documents: older authorizations, including documents with a Subject of "NA", do not conform to the structure of the system's "decoder"
  • Supplementary Authorizations and Subject Matter Authorizations in grade 9: there is no grade 9 standalone in reporting this year, so courses reported as grade 9 are grouped into Secondary (9-12)
  • Local Level Decisions: The Commission has designated the use of some authorizations to be local level decisions (e.g. allowing an educator holding  Supplementary Authorization in Introductory Math to teach Computer Science)
  • CALPADS course codes that result in automatic exception: Some courses require evaluation of the course content by the LEA and Monitoring Authority and therefore produce an automatic exception in the system. Such courses include CALPADS course code 9222-NA (Applied STEM-Multiple or Not Applicable) and 9236 (Elementary or Middle School Career Pathway Exploration), among others which can be identified in this resource.
  • Co-Teaching Assignments: CalSAAS does not currently have a way to accurately determine appropriateness of co-teaching assignments. 

In these cases, Monitoring Authorities review the determination, and if they verify that the educator does in fact hold the correct authorization for the assignment, then they can submit feedback via the CalSAAS Authorization Additions survey. The Commission will review the survey entries at the end of each year's monitoring cycle, and adjust the system's coding prior to the beginning of the next monitoring cycle.

When selecting this determination, a comment field is available to communicate the basis of the assignment.  The authorizations that the educator held on census date will be displayed in the modal window below the exception.  

When selecting this determination, we also recommend:

• Checking the educator’s authorizations to make sure they were valid on census date.

• Noting which authorization makes the assignment appropriate in the comment area. 

2. Core Setting

This determination is selected if a teacher is assigned to teach in a core setting on the basis of a credential that authorizes service in a self-contained classroom (Multiple Subject or Standard Elementary Teaching Credentials). 

The criteria for an appropriate core assignment is provided by Education Code §44258.1.  It allows a Multiple Subject Credential holder to teach two or more subjects to the same group of students in the same day. Core assignments also allow for educators to be assigned a “hanging” period which allows an educator to teach one of the subjects already being taught in their core.  There is additional criteria that can be found in the following resource:

Starting in the 2019-20 school year, core assignments will be collected through CALPADS.  In these cases, the exceptions will appear in the system as pre-determined exceptions.  This preserves the Monitoring Authority’s ability to view and audit them. 

Note, "Core Setting" determination is only available for "CALPADS Code" exception type.

When selecting this determination, we recommend:   

• Verifying the educator holds a credential that authorizes service in a self-contained classroom.

• Attaching the educator’s course schedule, and noting the core groupings, hanging fifth periods, and the student count for each course.

3. Local Assignment Option

This determination is selected if a teacher does not hold an appropriate credential authorization for the position, but is otherwise legally authorized to serve through options available in California’s Education Code or Title 5 Regulations.  

Picking this determination will require the selection of a specific Local Assignment Option. There are 17 Local Assignment Options available to select.  These include: 
EC §35029
• EC §44256(b)
EC §44258.2
EC §44258.3
EC §44258.7(b)
EC §§44258.7(c)(d)
EC §44263 (Self-Contained)
EC §44263 (Departmentalized)
EC §44332
EC §44831
EC §44865
 EC §48800
• EC §76004 
T5 §80005(b)
T5 §80020.4
T5 §80020.4.1(a)

These assignment options are available in certain scenarios, if specific criteria is met. Local educational agencies are responsible to thoroughly review relevant Statutes and Regulations and determine the appropriateness of an assignment at the local level. For information on these Local Assignment Options, please see the link below:

Common Local Assignment Options

Starting in the 2019-20 school year, Local Assignment Options will be collected through CALPADS.  In these cases, the exceptions will appear in the system as pre-determined exceptions.  This preserves the Monitoring Authority’s ability to view and audit them. 

NOTE: If a board authorization for an LAO was issued after census date, the exception should be determined as a Corrected Misassignment.

Note, "Local Assignment Option" determination is only available for "CALPADS Code" exception type.

When selecting this determination, we recommend:   

• Verify the criteria provided by the Education Code or Title 5 Regulation is met by the educator, including holding the appropriate credential, preparation, or governing board action. 

• If governing board action is necessary, include a copy of the agenda in which board action was taken.

4. CALPADS Error

This determination is selected if imprecise or incorrect reporting of the assignment in CALPADS is the reason for the exception. This determination should only be selected if: 1) The CALPADS course code/English Learner Service Type/Special Education Instructional Strategy (700) selected during reporting does not accurately reflect the true nature of the assignment, and 2) the educator holds the appropriate Credential Authorizations.

Course Code Reporting Errors: Note that identifying the primary course content is always a local level decision, made between the Local Educational Agency (LEA) and the agency's Monitoring Authority (MA). Furthermore, the CALPADS course assignments code should be selected based entirely upon the content and only after the course content is determined.

For more information on determining appropriate course assignments, please see the following resource:

English Learner Services Errors: The level of English Learner Service is recorded through CALPADS in the Education Service Code field. There are six different codes that can be attributed to a course. They include:

  1. Primary Language Instruction and Designated and Integrated English Language Development (ELD) Instruction
  2. Designated ELD Instruction Only
  3. Integrated ELD Instruction Only
  4. Designated and Integrated ELD Instruction But Not Primary Language Instruction
  5. No English Learner Services
  6. Other English Learner Service

The code should be selected based on the students being served in the class. Please note that: 1) the presence of just one English Learner student in the classroom requires that it be designated as an EL course, and 2) the course's Education Service Code should be selected based on the student(s) requiring the highest level of services.

Special Education Instructional Strategy Errors: If an Instructional Strategy of 700 is reported for an assignment, CalSAAS uses student disability data, instead of the course code, to determine the appropriateness of the assignment. This CALPADS issue can manifest in 2 ways: 

  1. If an SPED educator's assignments are producing course code exceptions, this instructional strategy was not selected during reporting
  2. If a GEN ED educator's assignments are producing special education exceptions, this instructional strategy was selected.  

When selecting this determination, we recommend:

• Note the nature of the error in great detail; include the CALPADS course code and course title, or English Learner Service level that should have been reported.

• For course code reporting errors, attach a copy of the course description to the exception so that the monitoring authority can verify that the new course code is appropriate for the content being taught.

5. Alternate SPED Placement

This determination is selected if the assignment is made on the basis of either a student's: 1) alternate placement aligned with their Individualized Education Program's (IEP) assessment and goals for the student's secondary disability areas, or 2) placement in a general education classroom on the basis of their IEP's direction to serve them in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).

At this time, CalSAAS is only able to identify appropriate assignments based on the primary disability area of students served. Because of this, placements based on secondary disability areas or LRE principles will need to be addressed through this determination.

Note: Alternate SPED determination should only be selected if the student's needs related to their disability area are being met, often by another appropriately authorized individual providing pull-out or push-in services. If a student is in an alternate placement but is not receiving the additional supportive services required in accordance with their IEP the exception should instead be determined as a Misassignment.

Note, "Alternate SPED" determination is only available for "Special Education" and "CALPADS Code" exception types.

When selecting this determination, we recommend:

If placement is based on a secondary disability area: Identifying the student and disability area the assignment is based upon, and identifying the appropriately authorized individual who is providing services related to the student's primary disability area.

If placement is based upon LRE: Identifying the student, the additional supporting instructional services the student receives in conformity with their IEP, and identifying the appropriately authorized individual who is providing services related to the student's primary disability area.

• Attaching a letter from the head of the LEA's Special Education program that verifies the student's alternate placement was based on their IEP

6. Misassignment

This determination is selected if a teacher 1) did not hold the appropriate credentials for the assignment, 2) was not otherwise legally authorized, and 3) the misassignment has not been corrected  prior to the start of monitoring activities (prior to the exceptions report being generated in CalSAAS).  

Picking this determination acknowledges that the assignment was inappropriately staffed. Pursuant to Education Code §35035(g), Superintendents are required to assure that each employee of the school district in a position requiring certification qualifications has a valid certificated document registered as required by law authorizing him or her to serve in the position to which he or she is assigned.  This responsibility extends beyond Fall 2 census date, throughout the entirety of the school year.  

When selecting this determination, we recommend:   

• Note the misassignment, and make a plan to assure that is does not reoccur in the following school year. 

7. Corrected Misassignment

This determination is selected if a teacher 1) did not hold the appropriate credentials for the assignment, 2) was not otherwise legally authorized, and 3) the misassignment was discovered and corrected prior to the beginning of the start of monitoring activities (prior to the exception report being generated in CalSAAS). 

Picking this determination acknowledges that the assignment was inappropriately staffed, but action was taken at the local level to correct it.  Exceptions marked with this determination will still be counted as misassignments, but will be differentiated in the Commission’s data and reports to acknowledge that the district and/or county had taken measures to correct the assignment.  

When selecting this determination, we recommend: 

• Note how the misassignment was corrected.

• Upload any documentation to support the comments (e.g. if a new document was issued to authorize the educator’s assignment, upload a screenshot of its authorizations).

• Note the misassignment, and make a plan to assure that is does not reoccur in the following school year.

8. Short-Term Waiver

This determination is selected if an educator is assigned on the basis of a Short-Term Waiver. 

Employing agencies may grant a short-term waiver as described under California Code of Regulations, Title 5, §80120(a) without prior approval by the Commission, provided that a short-term waiver may be issued one time only for any individual, and one time only for a given class. The requirements in Title 5, §80123 must be met in order for a short-term waiver to be a legal assignment.  Note that CCR, Title 5, §80123 provides that the Commission may rescind the authority of any employing agency to grant a short-term waiver upon a finding that the agency has intentionally violated any the aforementioned regulations. 

When selecting this determination, we recommend:   

• Addressing how the requirements in CCR, Title 5 §80120 and §80123 were met.

• Upload any supporting materials that supports the claim.


9. Vacancy

This determination is selected if a certificated employee has not been assigned to a position at the beginning of the year or, if the position is for a one-semester course, a position to which a single-designated certificated employee has not been assigned at the beginning of a semester. 

Note that these will be counted as misassignments in the Commission’s final reporting. Assignments that meet the definition above on census date must be determined as a Vacancy regardless of whether the misassignment was corrected prior to assignment monitoring.  

Please find additional vacancy information in this resource.

When selecting this determination, we recommend: 

• Note the vacancy, and make a recruitment plan to assure that is does not reoccur in the following school year. 

10. 2019-20 Charter Teacher

Pursuant to Education code §44258.10, monitoring authorities are not required to correct misassignments of educators who were already employed during the 2019-20 school year. These educators must earn the appropriate credential for their assignment by July 1, 2025.

Please note that: 1) exceptions with this determination will be counted as misassignments in the Commission's final reporting, and 2) it can be applied to certain course code exceptions. Refer to the charter school assignment resource for more information.

Note, "2019-20 Charter" determination only available for "CALPADS Code" exception type.

When selecting this determination, we recommend:   

• Keeping documentation of the individual's employment history on hand for uploading if the Monitoring Authority requests it.

• Reviewing the Commission's Misassignment Corrections webpage for information on legally authorizing these educators.

11. Other LAO

This determination is selected if 1) a teacher does not hold an appropriate credential authorization for the position, but is otherwise legally authorized to serve through options available in California’s Education Code or Title 5 Regulations, and 2) the section of Statute or Regulation is not available as an option in the Local Assignment Option determination.

Note the commonly used sections of Statute and Regulations are available to select in the Local Assignment Option determination, and Other LAO should only be selected if the educator is employed on the basis of a section that is not available as an option.

When selecting this determination, we recommend:   
• Verify the criteria provided by the Education Code or Title 5 Regulation is met by the educator, including holding the appropriate credential, preparation, or governing board action. 
• If governing board action is necessary, include a copy of the agenda in which board action was taken.

Determination Hierarchy

There may be instances in which several determinations could apply to an exception. In the case that multiple determinations could apply the following determinations should be selected over others:

  • Misassignment
  • Corrected MA
  • 2019-20 Charter
  • Vacancy
  • Local Assignment Option
  • Short-Term Waiver
Updated August 08, 2022