How To... For Parents of Multilingual StudentsA list of resources for parents of multilingual students available within the California Department of Education, as well as, external organizations.
Locate a School?
California School Directory
The California School Directory contains information about California public schools, private schools (including nonpublic, nonsectarian schools), school districts, and county offices of education. The directory allows parents to locate a school by county, district, school name, city, zip code, and more.
The link above goes to the main California School Directory web page that provides a simple search option. Enter the preferred district or school name in the “Enter Search Criteria” field and click the “Search” button. However, if you do not know a specific district or school name, click the “Advanced” button and additional fields will be provided to search based on the county, city, zip code, and more. Once the information is entered in the available fields and the available options are selected, click the “Search” button. Once the “Search” button is clicked, for either the simple or advanced search option, a list of results will appear based on the information entered. For more detailed information for each result, click on one of the available links under the District or School column.
Access Data and Statistics about California K-12 Public Schools?
DataQuest is the California Department of Education (CDE) web-based data reporting system for publicly reporting information about California students, teachers, and schools. DataQuest provides access to a wide variety of data and statistical reports, including accountability, assessment, enrollment, graduation and dropout rates, and post-secondary enrollment at various levels (e.g., state, county, district, school, etc.).
To access data, click on the drop-down list under the “1. Select Level” field to select a level (e.g., state, county, district, school, etc.). Then click on the drop-down list under the “2. Select Subject” field to select a subject (e.g., Annual Enrollment Data, English Learner Data, etc.). Finally, click on the “Submit” button under the “3. Select Submit” field and DataQuest will generate a data report based on the selected information.
Access School Performance and Accountability Reports?
California School Dashboard and System of Support
The California School Dashboard is the state’s accountability and continuous improvement system. It provides information about how local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools are meeting the needs of California’s diverse student population. The California School Dashboard is an online tool that shows how LEAs and schools are performing on the state and local measures. The link above provides access to the California School Dashboard, the California School Dashboard Navigator, a how-to guide, frequently asked questions (FAQs), parent resources, and informational flyers translated in different languages.
Click on the "California School Dashboard" link located under the Reports section to access the dashboard website. Once there, enter a school, district, or county office of education in the “Find” field. In the “Near” field, enter a city or county name. Then select a year (2017 and onward) from the drop-down list. Click on the magnify glass button to access a school or district performance data. To read the information on the dashboard in another language (e.g., Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Chinese), scroll up to the top right corner. Click on the “Select Language” option and then select one of the available languages from the drop-down list.
School Accountability Report Card (SARC)
The purpose of the report card is to provide parents and the community with important information about each school, such as the school’s mission, goals, and accomplishments. The SARC is updated and published annually by February 1. The SARC includes the school’s demographic data, school safety and climate for learning information, academic data, school completion rates, class sizes, teacher and staff information, curriculum and instruction descriptions, postsecondary preparation information, and fiscal and expenditure data.
The link above goes to the main CDE SARC web page. To find a SARC for a specific school or district, click on the “Find a SARC” link which then goes directly to the SARC website. Once there, enter the school, district, or county office of education in the “Find school or district” field. In the “Near city or county” field, enter a city or county name. Then select a school year from the drop-down list. Click on the magnify glass button to search. A list of results will appear based on the information entered. For more detailed information for each result, click on one of the available school names. For the full SARC, click on the “View Full SARC” button on the left bottom corner on the school’s SARC Summary web page.
To access the Parent’s Guide, click on the link above to go to the main CDE SARC web page and click on the “A Parent’s Guide to the SARC” link.
Learn about Assessments?
Parent Guides to Understanding
The Parent Guides to Understanding web page provides flyers written in easy-to-understand language that answer key questions (what, why, who, how, and when) about California's assessment programs. These include the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System, English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC), and other important assessments. Information is also included about how parents can support their student for success.
The two-page flyers are available in English and in many other languages. To access the English version, click the first link for each bulleted item. To access the flyers in other languages, click on the second link for each bulleted item that starts with “Other translations of the…” to access the Clearinghouse for Multilingual Documents (CMD). Once on the CMD web page, click on one of the available links with the language of your choice to access the translated document. On the following web page, located the “Translated Document” field and click on the link to download the translated version of the document.
Resources for Communication with Parents
The CAASPP System was established in 2014 and replaced the Standardized Testing and Reporting Program. The CAASPP System provides teachers, students, and parents with information about how students are performing in academics, as well as what students know and demonstrate. The CAASPP System consists of the following assessments:
- Smarter Balanced English language arts/literacy and mathematics
- California Alternate Assessments for English language arts, mathematics, and science
- California Science Test
- California Spanish Assessment
The link above goes to the CAASPP Resources for Communication with Parents web page, which includes practice and training tests, an informational video, and informational flyers available in English and Spanish. This web page also includes the link to the Starting Smarter web page, which provides more information about the CAASPP, test questions, and practice test for students. The Starting Smarter web page also includes resources and tools for parents to support their child, and contains planning tools for parent-teacher conversations.
Find Information about Nutrition and Food Programs?
The California Department of Education (CDE) Nutrition Services Division provides information about child nutrition programs that offer meals and snacks in schools, as well as information about child care and adult care centers, day care homes, parks, and other community agencies. The link above goes to the CDE Nutrition Services Divisions main web page that provides more information on program news, meal programs, and other resources.
- For information regarding meal and milk programs, click on the “School Nutrition Programs (SNP)” link under the Meal Programs section on the main CDE Nutrition Services Divisions web page.
- For information on summer meal programs, click on the “Summer Food Service Programs” link under the Meal Programs section on the main CDE Nutrition Services Divisions web page.
- For information on free and reduced-price (F/RP) meals or free milk program eligibility, contact the school or school district directly. Local educational agencies (LEAs) are required to include the application and instructions for F/RP meals or free milk with a letter to households and must distribute these materials near the beginning of each school year.
Support for Students with Disabilities?
Family Involvement & Partnerships
The California Department of Education (CDE) Special Education Division Family Involvement & Partnership web page provides information and resources to support parents, guardians, and families of children with disabilities. This web page includes information and resources about the Complaint Support Unit, the rights of parents and children, The Notice of Procedural Safeguards (available in English and many other languages), the individualized education program, and more.
Learn about Data Privacy?
The Data Privacy web page provides information regarding student data privacy which includes the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, tips about online safety, and many other resources for parents to help protect their student’s data. The link in this section goes to the main Data Privacy web page. To access resources and tips curated for parents and families, click on the “Privacy Resources for Families” link under the Student Records & Privacy section on the main Data Privacy web page.
Find Preschool Resources?
Resources for Parents and Families
The Early Education Division manages the California State Preschool Program (CSPP) serving preschool age children and the Transitional Kindergarten program, serving children the year before kindergarten. The California Department of Social Services oversees other child care and development programs in California for children from birth to age twelve including early learning and after-school services for babies, toddlers, children in preschool, and children in kindergarten through sixth grade. The link in this section goes to the Early Education’s Division Resources for Parents and Families web page that provides a list of information for parents and families about early childhood education including toolkits, guides, child care services providers, parental involvement, and more.
Find Back-to-School Information and Resources for the 2021-22 School Year?
This link provides back-to-school information and resources related to the 2021–22 school year as schools open for safe, in-person instruction, and stay open even within the changing public health conditions, wildfires, smoke, and other challenges. Parents can access health and safety guidance as well as information regarding connectivity and devices initiatives under the Families section.
Find Information about High School Graduation Requirements?
The link above outlines the state mandated requirements for high school graduation, the University of California requirements for freshmen admissions, and the California State University requirements for freshman admissions by subject area. Check with local schools, districts, or county offices of education for those specific requirements as local educational agencies (LEAs) may have additional requirements.
File a Complaint?
Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP)
The UCP is a written and signed statement alleging a violation of federal or state laws or regulations, which may include an allegation of unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying. Complaints can be made anonymously and can be filed on behalf of an individual student, by the student, or by the student's duly authorized representative. Select federal and state laws governing educational programs are covered by the UCP.
The link in this section goes to the main UCP web page. Click on the “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Parents and Guardians” tab to access FAQs, links to additional FAQs, and the UCP Pamphlet.
Find Other Resources for Parents?
The link goes to the general California Department of Education (CDE) Parents web page that provides general information, hot topics, and resources to help parents support their child’s education.
- The “How To...” tab has information on how to learn about a school's performance, make reports or complaints, learn more about student testing performance, and connect to other general information.
- The “Hot Topics” tab has links to resources on California School Dashboard and System of Support, transitional kindergarten, bullying, tests, Common Core State Standards, and other programs.
- The “Resources for Parents” tab has links to information on various topics including nutrition education, charter schools, special education, and more.
California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) - Individuals
The link above goes to the DHCS Services Individual website. This website provides information about Medi-Cal, a program that offers free or low-cost health, dental, and/or vision coverage for California residents who meet eligibility requirements. It also includes links to Medi-Cal beneficiary information as well as other services and resources. Some of the information and resources includes children and adolescent health, mental health and substance use disorder services, as well as early and periodic screening, diagnostic, and treatment services for Medi-Cal beneficiaries under the age of 21.
California Department of Social Services (CDSS) – Benefits and Services
The link above goes to the CDSS Benefits and Services website, which provides the following information and resources for programs offered by CDSS:
- Cash Assistance
- Food & Nutrition
- Child Services
- Foster Parents, Youth and Families
- Deaf Access Program
- Blind Services
- Housing and Homelessness Programs
- Refugee Resettlement Program
- Immigration Services
- and many other services
California Department of Public Health (CDPH)
The link above goes to the main CDPH website. Click on the “I am looking for” option for a drop-down list of information and resources about COVID-19, family health, diseases and conditions, personal health and preventions, and more.
Click on the “Programs” option for a drop-down list of different CDPH programs including, but not limited to:
- Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention
- Emergency Preparedness
- Binational Border Health
- Refugee Health
- Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health
- Women, Infants, and Children
- and many other programs
California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) - Parents
CABE is a non-profit organization that promotes bilingual education and quality educational experiences for all students in California. The link above leads to the CABE Parents website. The links on the left side of the CABE Parents web page provides resources about immigration resources, conferences, family engagement and leadership development programs through their Project 2 Inspire, and other resources.
The link above leads to the Californians Together website, which is a statewide advocacy coalition of organizations that strive to better educate English Learners by improving California's schools and promoting equitable educational policy. Click on the “Areas of Focus” and “Publications” links to access English learner information and resources. Parent can also access parent professional development information by clicking on the “Areas of Focus” link then the “The Alas y Voz” link.
Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center – For Families
The ECTA Center is led by a consortium of national experts from multiple organizations that provides technical assistance related to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act programs for young children with disabilities and their families. The link above goes to the ECTA Center – For Families website, which has a directory of parent centers as well as a list of other resources. The ECTA Center also provides practice guides to support families in areas related to assessment, environment, family, instruction, interaction, teaming and collaboration, and transition.
First 5 California
First 5 California was established in 1998 through the passage of Proposition 10. First 5 California’s mission is to improve the lives of California’s young children (prenatal through age 5) and their families through a comprehensive system of education, health services, childcare, and other programs. Each county in California has its own local First 5 county commissions to serve the local community.
Click on the link above to go to the First 5 California’s website which offers information and resources on available services, topics by age groups, videos, activities, downloadable free books, a California parent guide, and more. The parenting website is available in English and Spanish.
Keep Learning California
Keeping Learning California is a collaborative initiative developed by Attendance Works, Families In Schools, and the Parent Institute for Quality Education in order to serve the needs of California families. This initiative is intended to empower low-income, English learner, immigrant, and Black urban/rural families with the tools and resources to keep elementary school age children learning either at home or at school through remote, in-person, or hybrid instruction.
Click on the “For Families” button to access information and resources such as a list of commonly used words, list of things parents can do to help their child learn at home, parent and student rights, and strategies to manage the social emotional health of the parent and child. The website also provides a list of questions parents to ask teachers or principals for services.
Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE)
The PIQE is a national organization with local offices throughout California to support parent-school collaboration. PIQE focuses on evidence-based programs to engage, empower, and transform parents to actively engage in their child’s education through information, skills development, and support systems.
The link above goes to the PIQE main website.
- To learn more about the different programs PIQE offers to parents in California, click on “Our Works” then select “California Programs” from the drop-down list.
- To access information and resources related to COVID-19, educational resources, virtual tours and museums, public charge, and more, click on “Resources” then select one of the options from the drop-down list.
- For the contact information to the eight regional offices and additional local information, click on “About Us” then select “PIQE Offices Near You” from the drop-down list.
Instructional Leadership Corps Webinar Resources
The Instructional Leadership Corps was created by the California Teachers Association, the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, and the National Board Resource Center at Stanford University. The link above provides handouts and recordings of past webinars to support distance and hybrid learning in the following areas: curriculum development, self-care, supporting students, and technology training.
Beginning on page seven, you can access the webinar handouts and recordings. Click the “Recording” link then click the pop-up link to watch the webinar video. Click “Handouts” link then click the pop-up link to access webinar informational materials through Google Drive.