Find information here about the Minnesota Department of Education's (MDE) transition to Ed-Fi data reporting. Ed-Fi technology general information, technical documentation, and data user guides are available for the following data elements and/or systems:
  • MARSS/Ed-Fi: Includes Minnesota Automated Student System (MARSS) data, Early Childhood Student Enrollment (ECSE) through grade 12 student demographics and enrollment data, Ancestry and Ethnic Origin (AEO) data, Students with limited interrupted formal education (SLIFE) data, and Student Support Data Collection (SSDC) data.
  • EE/Ed-Fi: Includes Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) and School Readiness (SR) for Early Education (EE) data.
  • MCCC/Ed-Fi: Includes Minnesota Common Course Catalogue (MCCC) data.
  • Digital Equity: Includes Student-level digital access data.
The following table is designed to help district staff, Regional Management Information Center (RMIC) staff, and student information system (SIS) vendors locate appropriate Ed-Fi materials.

Ed-Fi Documentation Index Table

DocumentAudienceDescriptionMARSS/Ed-FiEE/Ed-FiMCCC/Ed-FiDigital Equity
Implementation Schedulen/aN/A2018-19 Pilot Year
2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22 - Phased rolled out to districts
2020-21 Pilot Year
2021-22 Roll out to districts
2021-22 Pilot year
2022-23 Roll out to districts
2021-22 Roll out to districts
On-boarding guideDistricts RMICsOn-boarding step-by-step guide for districts to not only successfully sync data but also obtain access to the Ed-Fi applications and the various reports.Ed-Fi On-boarding GuideEE/Ed-Fi On-boarding GuideComing soonDigital Equity parent survey
Training WebinarsDistricts
Six one-hour sessions of a module series set up to train districts to on-board to Ed-Fi.Ed-Fi On-boarding WebinarsEE/Ed-Fi: Welcome to EEComing soonComing soon
ManualDistrictsThis is a data element or system-specific document covering the data elements involved, the district reporting requirements, and the data submission errors and corrections.
While we may have some EE elements posted in the translation guide as it relates to EE data coming in via Ed-Fi, we also have a district user EE guide.
MARSS/Ed-Fi ManualEE/Ed-Fi Manual  
MDE Translation GuideDistricts
This document describes the technical specification and definitions used when extracting information out of the Ed-Fi Operational Data Store (ODS) and translating into the data used by the Minnesota Automated Reporting Student System (MARSS).MDE Translation Guide

Ed-Fi Data Guide
Vendor Test PlanVendorsMarkdown files that describe how SIS vendors can engage with MDE and their districts to support Ed-Fi for the upcoming school year. A test plan overview and sandbox certification scenarios are included.2021-2022 SIS Vendor and District Test Plan2021-2022 SIS Vendor and District Test Plan2021-2022 SIS Vendor and District Test Plan2021-2022 SIS Vendor and District Test Plan
Certification ScenariosVendorsMarkdown files that describe scenarios that vendors need to develop and execute when becoming certified for Ed-Fi support.See MARSS and AEO Certification Scenarios and Student Program AssociationsSee EE Enrollment Certification ScenariosSee MCCC Certification ScenariosSee Digital Equity Certification Scenarios
Data Mapping MatrixVendorsSpreadsheet that describes all data elements used in MDE’s Ed-Fi implementation. Includes tabs for each Minnesota-specific descriptor and valid values.2021-2022 Data Mapping Matrix (Click Download to obtain a copy.)2021-2022 Data Mapping Matrix (Click Download to obtain a copy.)2021-2022 Mapping Matrix (Click Download to obtain a copy.)2021-2022 Mapping Matrix (Click Download to obtain a copy.)
Certification DocumentationDistrictsThis document describes in detail the data and reports (MARSS local reports, comparison report and dynamic reports) that are available for comparison purposes when making the transition to get off dual submission. Districts should review all reports mentioned to determine if Ed-Fi data submissions provide data consistent with those in the data source of MARSS A/B files. The goal of this documentation is for districts to verify readiness for reporting MARSS via Ed-Fi only.MARSS/Ed-Fi Certification Documentation   


In 2016, the Minnesota Legislature passed changes to existing statutes that require school districts, including charter schools, to collect and report more detailed demographic information about graduation and assessment results for students who are American Indian and students of color. We refer to these new requirements as data disaggregation. This legislation is referred to as the “All Kids Count Act,” and the more detailed reporting is called data disaggregation. Read the full text of the legislation: Minnesota Statutes, sections 120B.31, subdivision 3a, and 120B.35, subdivision 3.

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Minnesota Information Technology agency (MNIT) sought to understand school districts’ capacity to meet this new requirement. They began to fully understand the complexities and magnitude of the tasks ahead of them, at the state and school district levels.

MDE and MNIT requested and received funds to help understand the situation better. They studied the feasibility of school districts carrying out the new data disaggregation requirements. They spoke with stakeholders (people who would care about this and/or be affected by this) and learned that there is a need for a more flexible and streamlined system for school districts to use to report their data. And they realized that, although the purpose of the new data collection is to allow for more detailed analysis of educational data for more specific groups of students, the changes that result would impact other areas at the state level that use student demographic data, such as school finance.

MDE and MNIT had two important tasks ahead of them:

  1. To find a way to use technology to minimize the burden on school personnel and to better connect different data sources at the state level as the new requirements are implemented; and,
  2. To communicate the new requirements in a way that is culturally sensitive and respectful, but also is clear, and results in collecting the most accurate information. You can read more about the requirements for the new data disaggregation and considerations for communicating these changes with families, schools and other stakeholders. Visit the Counting all Students webpage.

Data Systems

What exactly is happening, and when?

The technology changes will happen in two ways.

First, the vendors that provide current Student Information Systems (SISs) used by school districts will work with MDE to make changes to how data is provided to MDE and will add the necessary data elements to comply with state law. These changes will assist in collecting the new and current data while improving flexibility and efficiency. Second, at MDE, this new technology called Ed-Fi is being implemented to help connect the various data systems used in MDE, to minimize disruption to necessary day-to-day work, like calculating and distributing school funding, and sharing data with testing companies.

Ed-Fi is being implemented in phases.

In the first phase, five pilot districts will implement some aspects of the new system in the 2018-19 school year. The aspects they report will include the new race ethnicity categories required by the “All Kids Count Act”, plus a subset of the MARSS data. During this pilot phase, the five school districts and all of the Student Information System (SIS) vendors in the state will meet regularly to share their experiences and learning so they can be a resource during statewide implementation. (These meetings have already begun.)

Phase two will start in 2019-20, when all school districts will be invited to start using Ed-Fi, but will be asked to also continue to report through MARSS the same way they do now. School districts will be required to do dual reporting for the first year. Any school district that does not have its data certified through Ed-Fi will need to continue dual reporting for an additional year to work through issues.

Implementation will continue in school year 2020-21 with 50 percent of Minnesota school districts reporting all MARSS data using Ed-Fi while also submitting their MARSS data through the legacy AB file submission, thus dual submission. During school year 2021-22, the goal is for these Minnesota school districts to report all MARSS data using only Ed-Fi.

School year 2021-22 is the last year for a district to do dual submission before Ed-Fi reporting for all MARSS data becomes mandatory in school year 2022-23.


Frequently Asked Questions