Information and Communication Systems (ICS) is the department within Charlotte County Public Schools that manages all student and staff data and is responsible for state reporting and financial information.

ICS works closely with all other divisions to support those who require student, staff and financial data. This talented group of people is lead by Darrell Milstead, Director of ICS. If you have any questions about how data is collected or processed in Charlotte County Public Schools you can reach him at 941-255-0808.

The range of information that needs to be managed within a school district is immense and the ICS Department is one large container for several smaller key components. For instance, all mass mailings are processed by Operations through FOCUS using the information entered at each individual school by Data Entry personnel. This is why it is vital that information given to Data Entry personnel be accurate.

Here is a list of individuals to contact and their respective areas of expertise:

ICS Staff

Darrell Milstead
Bi-Tech Support

Kristy Jones
Trish Sloughfy
Scott Weedo

FOCUS Support

Michelle Holt

Testing Support

Denny Croyle
Lyn Beers

Janine Cahoo
State Reporting
Susan Dutery
Sarah Dugan
Record Retention
Diana Story
Aron Brown
Website Administrator
Aron Brown

Protecting Your Privacy

While correspondence within the district is of public record, sensitive individual staff and student data is not to be made public. According to the Overview of Florida Law Relating to Open Government, any communication between two or more individuals related to government business is a matter of public record.

Additionally, computer transmissions are a matter of public record.

"The use of computers to conduct public business is becoming increasingly commonplace. While there is no provision generally prohibiting the use of computers to carry out public business, their use by members of a public board or commission to communicate among themselves on issues pending before the board, is subject to the Sunshine Law. Op. Att'y Gen. Fla. 89-39 (1989). See also, Op. Att'y Gen. Fla. 96-34 (1996) ("E-mail" is a public record)."

To avoid misuse of information, ICS does not use email to transmit sensitive data that could later be a matter of public record. Therefore, requests for confidential information cannot be transmitted via email and will be handled in a manner more appropriate for the situation.

Finally, Charlotte County Public Schools reserves the right to release "directory" information without prior permission of the parent or guardian as detailed in the following categories: School publications, yearbooks, programs for school events, handbills, rosters, and school news to media. Such information will be limited to the student's name, address, grade level, age, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of athletic teams, dates of attendance, graduation date, and awards and honors received.

Parents objecting to this use of "directory" information must notify the school principal in writing that this information about their child is not to be released.

Disaster Recovery Plan

The ICS Departments has a disaster recovery plan and a contingency plan in place. The Disaster Recovery Plan is evaluated by the ICS Steering Committee on a yearly basis and upon recommendations from the committee, the Plan is tested for proper functionality. ICS Personnel are trained on Disaster Recovery procedures and their individual responsibilities during the test phase of the Disaster Recovery Plan.

The Disaster Recovery Plan includes:

  • An offsite storage location.
  • An offsite Access Control procedure for data security.
  • A written emergency plan addresses of all vital locations.
  • Suitable backup procedures which can reproduce all data functions.
  • Critical applications are Sungard Public Sector (Bi-Tech) and FOCUS. Others are not considered critical in the operation of District functions.
  • Priority of application processing will be Payroll, HR functions, Inventory, Purchasing and Student Data - in this order. All other function will take secondary priority.
  • The vendors assisting ICS with Disaster Recovery are:
    • Digital Controls Corporation
    • FOCUS School Software

The ICS Contingency plan is in place to allow recovery in the day to day events that may interrupt data processing. The Contingency Plan includes the following:

  • Data and Program files are backed up nightly by the night Computer Operator or established automated procedures.
  • Servers are backed up nightly.
  • Remote storage of backup tapes at the Special Projects building in Punta Gorda are exchanged weekly.

FOCUS was implemented in Charlotte County Public Schools as our new student information system in July, 2010. FOCUS provides service solutions for attendance, schedules, grades, billing, student data, staff data, state reporting, and discipline.

Currently all CCPS schools use FOCUS for attendance, student scheduling, grade reporting, discipline reporting, and state reporting. The Moodle integration for the gradebook will be implemented during the 2011-12 school year. FOCUS can be integrated with e-Learning, formative assessment, accounting, cafeteria, and library management software. CCPS currently integrates with food service, media and transportation on an hourly basis. FOCUS is completely web-based, and easily integrated with most other systems; it is infinitely scalable and accessible to parents & students.

A tutorial for students and parents can be viewed at

Please contact Michelle Holt if you need assistance.

About Sungard Public Sector (Bi-Tech)

Sungard Public Sector, (formerly Bi-Tech) is the software vendor that provides the necessary software to manage the financial information for Charlotte County Public Schools. SungardPS uses BusinessPLUS software called IFAS (Integrated Financial & Administrative Solutions) to provide accounting solutions to their K12 client base. This software provides such functions as human resources, payroll, purchasing, accounts payable, general ledger, and work orders. It also houses the staff information needed for state reporting.

ICS staffs three talented programmers to manage the financial software; they are Kristy Jones, Trish Sloughfy and Scott Weedo.

Requests for Development

There is a formal system in place for requests concerning development and maintenance of the programs and software. In order to be assigned properly, all requests should be made through Darrell Milstead, Director of ICS. Once a request has been submitted and is approved, it will be assigned by the Director to the appropriate party for production. Upon completion of program changes and updates, all interrelated systems are tested to insure quality and data integrity before the changes are released to end users.

State Reporting

Because the school district is a governmental agency, CCPS must provide information to the State of Florida throughout the year to ensure we receive the funding necessary to cover classroom and district expenses.

FTE stands for Full Time Equivalency and is the process whereby student and staff information are reported to the Department of Education for State and Federal Funds. FTE is extracted from specific data elements required by DOE and is transmitted electronically.

FTE reporting periods are referred to as Surveys. The number of Surveys the District must submit on a yearly basis is six (6). The schedule is as follows:

Survey 1 July Summer School and DJJ Data

Survey 2

October ALL Site Data
Survey 9 November ESE Student Data
Survey 3 February ALL Site Data
Survey 4 June Summer School and DJJ Data
Survey 5 August ALL Data for the prior school year

For specifics related to Surveys please contact Susan Dutery at extension 3140.

FTE Audits

Periodically, the Auditor Generals Office in Tallahassee will audit FTE Data submitted by the District. We are required to retain documentation up to three (3) years or until all applicable audits are complete. The following is a list of items that should be retained for three years in the event of an audit for Surveys 1-4 Only:

  • Bell schedule documented on letterhead.
  • A copy of Master Schedule on Date Certain for each survey.
  • Daily absence listing; print one copy for each day of the 11 day attendance window including all absence types.
  • Print a class attendance summary for teacher verification.
  • Attendance Certification signed by the principal or principal designee for EACH survey.
  • District School Calendar.
  • Pupil Progression Plan.
  • Course Code Directory.
  • Time Cards for OJT Students.
  • FTE Class Rolls signed by teacher. The FTE class rolls must be printed ON DATE CERTAIN for each survey.
  • Student files for all special programs (ESE - IEP, ESOL - LEP Plan, DOP - Type of Program Placement Forms, 504 - 504 Plan).

Record Retention

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), parents and students over the age of 18 are provided certain rights regarding the student's education records. For a detailed outline of these rights, please visit the United States Department of Education Website at:

Parents or legal guardians have the right to review records maintained on their child; a right to the record and a right to contest information contained in the records. Requests for appointments to review or to contest student records should be made to the principal or her/his designees.

Copies of a student's record may be sent to a school outside of the Charlotte County Public School system upon receipt of an official written request which can be obtained by clicking HERE (Note: you must have Adobe Acrobat to view this file. You can download it for free at Adobe's website). Such requests will be honored by the schools if attendance occurred within the previous 3 years. Parents and eligible students have a right to inspect records sent to other schools. Requests for records from all other sources require written permission of the parent/guardian.

Verification of identity is required for any requests to be sent anywhere other than a college or university. The signed request form and a copy of legible identification can be mailed, faxed or emailed to:

Charlotte County Public Schools
Records Management
1445 Education Way
Port Charlotte, FL 33948
fax 941-255-7574

School transcripts are available through the last school of attendance if graduation or attendance occurred within the last 3 years. After 3 years, records are forwarded to ICS for storage and are maintained indefinitely. For information relating to school transcripts, please contact the most recent school of attendance. For information older than 3 years, please contact the Records Retention office at 941-255-0808 ext 3057.

Records Stored at District

The procedure for preparing records for filming includes the following:

  • A list of student files should be electronically prepared and transferred with the records either by disk or email to the Records Retention office along with a completed Records Storage Request Form.
  • All staples should be removed.
  • All files should be alphabetized and duplicate documents removed.
  • All records should be boxed appropriately in banker boxes with removable lids (10 x 12 x 15 ) and labeled using the Records Storage Labels
  • After three years, records should be sent to ICS located at 1445 Education Way via internal mail delivery.
  • Records to be filmed and retained include:
    • Most recent Request for Records
    • Most recent Withdrawal form and/or declaration to terminate
    • Most recent registration form showing address
    • Final transcript - including date of graduation and diploma type if graduated
    • All previous grade level year-end report cards not on the transcript
    • Final standardized testing results if not on the transcript
    • Copies of the following ESE documents (if applicable)
      • Initial consent/placement form
      • Most recent psychological eEvaluation
      • Most recent IEP
    • Census cards (if applicable)
    • Legal documents indicating a name change
    • Copy of birth certificate
    • Social security card/number for adult students (if applicable)
    • Immunization record
  • Please DISCARD the following:
    • All duplicates of the above information
    • All registration materials except the most recent
    • Discipline reports
    • Absentee exucses and parent notes
    • Emergency information
    • Reassignment forms
    • Attendance records
    • Teacher comments or miscellanieous notes
    • Free lunch applications
    • Custody papers/court orders

About Operations

Operations is the group within ICS that manages day-to-day data functions of the district. Computer Operators are responsible for backups of system data, monitoring system performance, printing checks and production of large quantity items such as mass mailings and creation of labels.

Operations also produces regular reports for the district regarding headcounts and reports student attendance to the Florida Department of Education .

If you have questions related to operations and its functions, please do not hesitate to contact Janine Cahoo.

Data Handling Procedures

District's Data Loss Prevention and Procedural process for data incident handling and reporting.
(Note: you must have Adobe Acrobat to view this file. You can download it for free at Adobe's website)