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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, 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 using the data that the public schools/LEAs submitted to the CDE during the school year. The electronic SARC template allows schools/LEAs to modify the pre-populated data and input the 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 for: (1) completing the electronic SARC template available on the SARC Web Application, (2) posting the electronic SARC template, and (3) uploading a uniform resource locator (URL) of the website address where the SARC is posted on the school/LEA 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) specifies which tables and data elements the CDE intends to pre-populate (data provided by the CDE [DPC]), and which tables and data elements remain for the schools/LEAs to populate (data provided by the LEA [DPL]). While the CDE provides data where data are available, 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: Post SARCs to the district and/or school 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 CDE recommends that LEAs also post their SARCs on each school's and/or district's website.

Step 5: 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 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