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SARC Preparation Guide for Public Schools

A School Accountability Report Card (SARC) Coordinator's guide for preparing and publishing a public school SARC.
For the purposes of the SARC program, an LEA is defined as local educational agencies (Districts and County Offices of Education), direct funded charter schools, and nonpublic, nonsectarian schools.
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. This listserve will be used to send e-mails regarding general, non-confidential, non-sensitive SARC information. To subscribe or unsubscribe to this accountability listserv, follow the directions listed on the Accountability Report Card Listserv Web page.

The CDE will contact the district and direct funded charter school administrators regarding the confidential and sensitive SARC information (i.e., usernames and passwords to access the online SARC Web Application).

Step 2: Become familiar with the SARC Web pages.

Read and become thoroughly familiar with the content found on the CDE SARC Web page []. In particular, the following links will provide valuable background information and will answer most of the questions you may have as you are completing the SARC:

Step 3: Prepare the SARCs.

The CDE has provided an online SARC Web Application of the 2014–15 SARC template. This SARC Web Application contains approximately 75 percent of the data pre-populated from the CDE and allows LEAs to input the remaining information.

The SARC Web Application also gives the LEAs the flexibility to upload a photo of the school's principal, provide a custom principal's message, as well as graphical displays of some of the data shown on the SARC. Additionally, this application provides an electronic, real-time translation of the information provided on the SARC in over 70 languages for those viewing the SARC. Visit the SARC Web Application [] External link opens in new window or tab..

SARC Coordinators will need to use a case sensitive username and password to access the SARC Web Application. Each district superintendent and direct funded charter school administrator has designated one or two staff as the LEA Secure Accountability Coordinator to receive a username and password required to access the 2014–15 SARC Web Application.

If you are the person designated to develop the 2014–15 SARC for your school(s), please contact your district's designated LEA Secure Accountability Coordinator and request that a school-level user account be created for you. If you do not know the name of your LEA's coordinator, you may contact the SARC Team by e-mail at or by phone at 916-319-0406.

The CDE has also prepared a training tutorial for you to view to familiarize yourself with the SARC Web Application, as well as highlight the key features available on the application. Visit the SARC Web Application Training Tutorial [] External link opens in new window or tab. .

Once you have reviewed the training tutorial and logged in, the first step for the LEA Secure Accountability Coordinator should be to change their CDE-provided password to a personalized password.

For those LEAs not interested in using the SARC Web Application to populate their SARC data, the CDE has also provided a blank 2014–15 SARC template, Data Layout, and Downloadable Data Files located on the CDE SARC Web page [].

If the LEA relies on a vendor to create their SARC or creates their own SARC, the SARC Web Application also serves as the mechanism for each LEA to provide CDE with a copy of its LEA-created or vendor-created SARC. LEAs that use this option are required to log in and upload a .PDF copy of its completed SARC on the SARC Web Application in order to comply with the state law.

LEAs also have the option to upload on the SARC Web Application their Web link to the school or district Web site where their SARC(s) is located.

All options require the LEAs to populate specific SARC tables and data elements with local information. The CDE pre-populates specific tables and data elements with data that the school provided to the CDE during the school year. The blank SARC template specifies which tables and data elements the CDE intends to pre-populate and which tables and data elements remain for the LEAs to populate. While the CDE provides data where data are available, LEAs are responsible for the completion of the entire SARC and the accuracy of all SARC data made available to the public.
Step 4: Post SARCs to the district or school Web site.

The intention of the CDE Find a SARC Web page [] External link opens in new window or tab. is to make SARCs easily available for parents and community members. After SARCs are locally prepared and approved by the local governing board, LEAs must submit their SARCs to the CDE via the SARC Web Application (populate online or upload a .PDF). The CDE also recommends that LEAs post a SARC on each school's Web site.

Step 5: Notify parents about the SARC.

Notify parents about the purpose and 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 their SARC available in the school office and at public forums, such as parent information events.

Questions: SARC TEAM | | 916-319-0406 
Last Reviewed: Friday, October 16, 2015
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