Pursuant to Chapter 914, Statutes of 2004 (Assembly Bill 1858), all nonpublic, nonsectarian schools are required to prepare a SARC in accordance with Education Code (EC) Section 33126. This requirement applies to nonpublic, nonsectarian schools but does not apply to nonpublic, nonsectarian agencies. The law became effective January 1, 2005.
Step 1: Register as a SARC Coordinator.
To ensure timely receipt of important SARC information, register or update your contact information as a SARC Coordinator on the California Department of Education's (CDE) Accountability Report Card Listserv Web page. This is a user managed unrestricted listserv available to the public.
Step 2: Become familiar with the SARC Web pages.
Read and become thoroughly familiar with the content found on the CDE SARC Web pages. In particular, the following links will provide valuable background information and will answer most of the questions you have as you are completing the SARC:
- 2012–13 SARC Template in Word (DOC)
- Frequently Asked Questions
- SARC Legislation
- Data Element Definitions (DOC)
- Williams Settlement and the SARC
Step 3: Download the SARC template.
To assist nonpublic schools in complying with state law, the CDE maintains a blank 2012–13 SARC Template in Word (DOC) that is available for downloading on the CDE 2012–13 SARC Web page. LEAs are not required to use the CDE SARC template approved by the State Board of Education. However, pursuant to the EC Section 33126.1(j), LEAs are required to report the data for their SARCs in a manner that is consistent with the definitions; and the CDE SARC template does contain all the reporting elements required under both state and federal law. The CDE SARC template may also be redesigned to suit the school's design preferences (i.e., background color, reorder of the tables, etc.).
Step 4: Determine the data elements that must be reported for your school or agency and prepare the SARC.
In determining how to prepare a nonpublic school report card, review the template with two considerations in mind.
- First, if a particular reporting element is not applicable (such as graduation rate data for a school whose mission does not involve "graduation" in the conventional sense), this reporting element should not be included in the completed report card.
- Second, if there are no data or other information available for a particular reporting element (such as state assessment results in a case where the students are not required to be tested), this reporting element should not be included in the completed report card.
For most nonpublic schools, the report card should include at least contact information, a school description and mission statement, a narrative about opportunities for parental involvement, a description of the school's facility conditions and safety plans, information about staff qualifications, and a description of the educational materials that are used at the school. Additional information about the school that might be of interest to parents and the community may be added.
Step 5: Post SARCs to the school or agency Web site.
The intention of the SARC program is to make SARCs easily available for parents. After SARCs are locally prepared and approved by the local governing board, LEAs must post their SARCs to the Internet. The CDE recommends that LEAs post a SARC on each school's Web site.
Step 6: Provide the CDE with the Web site link(s) to the SARC(s).
Provide the CDE with the school's Web site address listing the SARC links by way of the CDE Update Your SARC Web Site Link Web page. The CDE does not collect electronic or paper copies of nonpublic school SARCs.
Step 7: Notify parents about the SARC.
Notify parents about the availability of the SARC. Provide instructions about how the SARC can be obtained both through the Internet and on paper (upon request). The CDE recommends that schools have copies of the SARC available in the school office and at public forums, such as parent information events.