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SARC Preparation Guide for Nonpublic Schools

A nonpublic nonsectarian school guide for publishing a School Accountability Report Card (SARC).

Pursuant to Chapter 914, Statutes of 2004 (Assembly Bill 1858), and pursuant to Education Code (EC) Section 56366(a)(9), all nonpublic, nonsectarian schools (NPS) are required to prepare a SARC in accordance with EC Section 33126. This requirement applies to NPS schools but does not apply to NPS agencies. The law became effective January 1, 2005.

For the purposes of the SARC program, a local educational agency (LEA) is a school district or a county office of education or a direct funded charter school or a nonpublic nonsectarian school.

Step 1: Register as a SARC Coordinator.

To ensure timely receipt of important SARC information, you may 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 listserv is used to send emails 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, direct funded charter school administrators, and nonpublic nonsectarian school administrators regarding any confidential or sensitive SARC information (i.e., process to obtain 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 does not accept SARCs via email. The online SARC Web Application system serves as the mechanism for each school/LEA to provide the CDE with its completed SARC. A username and password are required to access the SARC Web Application system. There are two methods available for schools/LEAs to submit their SARCs to the CDE: (1) use the online partially pre-populated SARC template located on the SARC Web Application to complete and post the SARC or (2) provide an accurate uniform resource locator (URL) to the website address where the SARC has been posted on the school/LEA website.

There is a new streamlined SARC User Account Registration process which requires each County Superintendent, District Superintendent, Direct Funded Charter (DFC) School Administrator, and Nonpublic Nonsectarian (NPS) School Administrator to annually register on the SARC User Account Registration web page to obtain a secure user account (i.e., username and password), then using his/her new secure user account can immediately log onto the SARC Web Application system.

Once logged on the SARC Web Application, the registrant can create additional user accounts in the SARC Web Application system for his/her designated SARC Coordinators, if needed. Note, it is the responsibility of the authorized registrant to provide his/her designated SARC Coordinators with the username and password that the authorized registrant established when creating the additional user account.

For security purposes, the User Account Registration system will only recognize registration by the authorized registrants (i.e., County Superintendents, District Superintendents, DFC School Administrators, and NPS School Administrators, as listed on the California School Directory).

If you are the person designated to develop the SARC for your district and/or school and need a username and password, refer to your County/District Superintendent or DFC/NPS School Administrator to create a user account for you.

The electronic 2020–2021 SARC template is available on the online SARC Web Application External link opens in new window or tab.. This electronic SARC template is partially pre-populated with some district and all state data. The electronic SARC template allows schools/LEAs to modify the pre-populated district data and input all remaining data, and provides the schools/LEAs the flexibility to upload a photo of the school's principal and a custom principal's message. Additionally, this application provides graphical displays of some of the data shown on the SARC, and provides an electronic, real-time translation of the information provided on the SARC in over 70 languages for those viewing the SARC.

For any table that does not apply to your school as a result of grade-level, you may select the "Do not display this table to the public" checkbox located at the top of each electronic table, then select the "Save" button. For example, an elementary school with grades kindergarten through grade six do not need to complete the Dropout Rate and Graduation Rate (Four-Year Cohort Rate) table as it pertains to high school grades nine through twelve. Therefore, the Dropout Rate and Graduation Rate (Four-Year Cohort Rate) table can be restricted from the public view, respectively.

The CDE has prepared a SARC Web Application Training Tutorial which provides instructions on how to: (1) complete/populate the electronic SARC template available on the SARC Web Application, (2) post the electronic SARC template, and (3) upload a uniform resource locator (URL) of the website address where the SARC is posted on the school website. Visit the SARC Web Application Training Tutorial YouTube Playlist External link opens in new window or tab. (Videos). A hyperlink to the Training Tutorial is also available on the CDE SARC web page.

For schools/LEAs that are not interested in using the electronic 2020–2021 SARC template, the CDE has also provided a blank 2020–2021 SARC template (in Word) available on the CDE SARC web page.

The blank SARC template (in Word) contains the letters DPC (data provided by the CDE) or DPL (data provided by the LEA) in of the data cells. Please delete these letters from your blank SARC template and populate all required data elements. These letters do not apply to NPS schools. The CDE pre-populates a portion of the public school electronic SARC templates using the data that the public schools/LEAs are mandated by law to provide to the CDE during the school year. The NPS schools do not provide the CDE with data, therefore, the CDE does not have data to populate a portion of the NPS school SARCs.

The schools/LEAs are responsible for the completion of the entire SARC and for the accuracy of all SARC data made available to the public.

Step 4: Determine the data elements that must be reported for your school and prepare the SARC.

In determining how to prepare an NPS 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 does not need to 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 does not need to be included in the completed report card.

For NPS schools, the report card should include at minimum the school's 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 website.

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, guardians, and community members. After SARCs are locally prepared and approved by the school's local governing board, LEAs must submit their SARCs to the CDE via the SARC Web Application (populate online or upload a URL). The NPS schools with access to the Internet must make their current SARCs available through the Internet. The CDE recommends that NPS schools also post their SARCs on their school's website.

Step 6: Notify parents about the SARC.

Notify parents about the purpose and availability of the school's 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's office and at public forums, such as parent information events.

Questions: SARC TEAM | sarc@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0406 
Last Reviewed: Monday, October 4, 2021