Clever’s SFTP instructions will help you create your five required CSV files for uploading data to Clever. All CSV files should follow Clever’s file formatting requirements, regardless of which applications you use. We encourage you to read the SFTP Instructions thoroughly - you’ll find lots of helpful info you need about how to format your files! Check out this article for CSV formatting errors.
CSV stands for “comma-separated values.” CSV files store a line of text for each data record, where the field values for that record are separated by commas. Here’s what comma-separated values look like:
This data can also be represented in a table format, which is what you see when opening the file in a spreadsheet application like Excel. Here’s the same data represented as a table:
The best way to generate the five files you’ll upload to Clever is to export data directly from your Student Information System (SIS) in CSV format. Typing data by hand or manipulating data once it’s exported can lead to unexpected file formatting errors, which can prevent your data from being processed in Clever.
Excel is commonly used to view CSV files, but it often imposes formatting that skews data and results in SFTP Upload Errors. For error-free viewing and saving CSV files, we recommend using an application built for CSV compatibility, such as CSVEdit, Sublime Text, Apache OpenOffice, TextEdit, or Notepad. For more information about troubleshooting file format issues, see this help article.
The filenames for the CSV files should be the following:
It is important that the filenames are consistent in case (upper/lower case) in each upload. Uploading "Schools.csv" vs. "schools.csv" in two separate uploads will result in two different files being stored in the district's SFTP box and can result in sync errors.
Our SFTP Instructions include all possible fields you can upload and indicate whether each is required by Clever (marked “YES” or “NO” under “Required”). The screenshot below shows some of the possible fields for schools.csv, where ‘School_id’ and ‘School_name’ are required, but ‘State_id’ is not required.
Optional fields may be left blank, or you can leave them out of the CSV altogether. However, Clever recommends including as many fields as possible to take full advantage of reporting features in current applications, and to ensure compatibility with future app connections.
Depending on which applications you connect your Clever account to, additional fields may be required beyond Clever’s minimum required fields. Check your district’s personalized SFTP instructions on your Sync Settings page to learn which fields are required by your connected applications.
Please Note: ‘Nces_id’ is no longer an accepted field.
See the screenshots below for examples of how each file should look. Yellow highlighted areas represented the minimum required fields for each file. Please note, the screenshots below do not show all possible fields for each file. Please refer to Clever’s SFTP Instructions to confirm all accepted fields. You can also download example files from the Web Upload page.
Please see our note under “How should I create my 5 CSV files?” - if you view files in Excel, we recommend closing without saving to avoid formatting errors.
If you would like to sync more than one guardian/emergency contact for each student, you can list the student record multiple times in the students.csv file. Each row must have the same student information (student_id, name, etc) but the contact columns will have different information for each contact. Even though the student_id is listed multiple times, the student records will not receive a "duplicate id error" in the Sync Report for this particular instance. Please note - if providing student contacts, 'Contact_type' and 'Contact_name' columns are required.
Below is what student contacts look like in the students.csv file:
How do I upload teachers that teach at multiple schools?
Teachers can be associated with multiple schools in Clever. Here's how that is done!
Each teacher should have only one record in the teachers.csv file. That will be the teacher's primary school association. Additional school associations will be processed from the sections.csv file. Just add the teacher's teacher_id to the appropriate section in the sections.csv file - regardless of the school it is tied to. Clever will process all of the teacher's sections, giving them access to sections at multiple schools.
If you have any additional questions please feel free to open a support request and our team will be glad to help further!