Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo
California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
October 15, 2019

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

2019–20 Data Collections: Annual Back-to-School Letter

This letter kicks off the 2019–20 data collection season for the following major data collections:

  • California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS)
  • California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS)
  • Consolidated Application and Reporting System (CARS)

The 2019–20 certification and amendment window deadlines for these data collections are posted on the California Department of Education (CDE) CALPADS, CBEDS, and CARS Submission Calendar web page at


CALPADS data are used for many functions critical to the mission of local educational agencies (LEAs) and the state. Therefore the active involvement of superintendents and charter school administrators is critical to ensuring the accurate and timely submission of CALPADS data. LEA executive leadership should establish policies, processes, and timelines that foster staff collaboration resulting in ongoing CALPADS updates and the review and certification of submissions by the published deadlines. For the first time, in 2019–20 CALPADS data will be used:

  • To enable the CDE to meet federal reporting requirements, and to monitor whether students with disabilities (SWDs) are receiving a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  • To enable the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and monitoring authorities to ensure certificated staff have the appropriate credentials for their assignments.
  • To report, as required by recently enacted legislation, counts of incidents in which students were restrained (physically or mechanically) or secluded.

The data that LEAs submit to CALPADS will also continue to be used:

  • To calculate the accountability metrics on the California School Dashboard.
  • To calculate LEAs’ concentration and supplemental grant funding under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).
  • To register students for statewide assessments, including the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), and the English Language Proficiency Assessment for California (ELPAC).
  • To enable the CDE to monitor whether English learner (EL) students receive appropriate instruction and services as required by state and federal law.
  • To meet federal reporting requirements, ensuring federal funding to California.
  • To meet state reporting requirements and provide the public with information about the state’s public schools.

When LEAs update CALPADS on an ongoing basis, CALPADS data also help LEAs in their efforts to support students by:

  • Identifying students who are automatically eligible for free or reduced priced meals under the National School Lunch Program.
  • Identifying students who are foster youth.
  • Identifying dropouts, enabling LEAs to efficiently target resources to recover those students.
  • Providing immediate information on incoming transfer students, such as whether they are EL or SWD, or whether they have already been assessed with the ELPAC, enabling the appropriate provision of services or avoidance of unnecessary testing.
  • Providing feedback on 12th grade completer college-going rates.

During the coming year, executive leadership should pay particular attention that:

  • Staff are collaborating with the LEA’s Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) partner(s), because certification of LEAs’ Fall 1 and End-of-Year
    (EOY) 4 data submissions require SELPA approval of the LEAs’ special education data. It is absolutely critical that LEAs approve their data submissions a few weeks before the certification deadline in order to provide the SELPA(s) time to review and approve the special education reports by the deadline.
  • Human resources, curriculum and instruction, and student information system (SIS)/CALPADS staff are collaborating in submitting certificated staff data during the Fall 2 submission, and later in addressing potential mis-assignments identified by the CTC’s California State Assignment Accountability System (CalSAAS).
  • Policies and processes are in place, and site staff have been trained on the collection and reporting of the use of restraint and seclusion of students. As described in previous communications, LEAs are now required to annually collect and submit behavioral restraint and seclusion data to the CDE for all students. The CDE will collect these data as part of the EOY 3 collection. LEAs, however, should be collecting these data now, as incidents occur. Detailed information on the collection of these data is included in Flash #159 posted on the CDE CALPADS Communications web page at

Other Updates and Educational Data Management

The Changes to the Fall 2019 California Basic Educational Data System letter, dated May 2, 2019, highlights changes to the CBEDS collection. The letter is available on the CDE CBEDS web page under the “Correspondence” heading, at:

The 2019–20 Consolidated Application Program Guidance and Instructions are available in the “What’s New” section of the CDE Consolidated Application web page at

Through the Educational Data Governance (EDGO) program, the CDE continues to engage in activities aimed to support LEA data management efforts. For LEAs who are interested, data governance resources are available on the CDE’s EDGO web page: LEAs are also encouraged to follow @cdeprivacy on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and to visit the CDE Data Privacy web page at for resources and information on data privacy mandates and best practices.

In Summary

Thank you in advance for your efforts in submitting quality and timely data to the CDE.
I appreciate your ongoing support of your staff, particularly LEA CALPADS Administrators and their staff, who through their work are playing a key role in so many critical functions. Keeping CALPADS updated with student enrollments and exits, and certifying accurate data during the submission windows, has become increasingly important because of the use of the data in mission critical functions and for high stakes purposes. Please remember that there will be no opportunity for LEAs to revise data once the final certification deadlines have passed.

If you have any questions about this letter, please contact the CALPADS/CBEDS/CDS Operations Office by phone at 916-324-6738 or by email at, or Karen Singh, Administrator, by phone at 916-319-0529 or by email at

Thank you for your support.


Jerry Winkler, Director
Educational Data Management Division


Last Reviewed: Thursday, October 17, 2019

Recently Posted in School Performance

  • CALPADS Update Flash #182 (added 30-Jun-2020)
    Topics include: Important Reminders Before Certifying Homeless Data in CALPADS Reports 5.4 and 5.5, Reminder of LEA End-of-Year Roll Over Activities, Preparing for Direct Certification Counts During July and August.
  • CALPADS Error List v11.11 (added 12-Jun-2020)
    This document contains descriptions for each error generated when submitting given data to CALPADS.
  • ACT Data From Prior Years (added 10-Jun-2020)
    ACT results from prior years which measure high school students' achievement.
  • AP Data from Prior Years (added 10-Jun-2020)
    AP results from prior years which measure high school students' achievement.
  • SAT Data from Prior Years (added 10-Jun-2020)
    SAT results from prior years which measure high school students' achievement.