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SOARS System Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to the Student Online Accountability Record Status (SOARS) System.

The Student Online Accountability Record Status (SOARS) system is an online portal that allows the California Department of Education (CDE) to share student-level accountability data with authorized users at local educational agencies (LEAs) and charter schools.

Note: Access to the SOARS system is limited to authorized LEAs and charter schools. Education researchers must pursue the formal Data Request Process to request student-level data files.

What is SOARS System?

The SOARS system is an online portal that allows the CDE to securely share student-level accountability data with authorized users at LEAs and charter schools.

Which entities have access to the SOARS system?

Access to the SOARS system is limited to authorized users at LEAs and charter schools. Non-charter schools should contact their LEA for the data related to their school at the LEA's discretion.

What data is available in the SOARS system?

The CDE populates SOARS data on an as-needed basis and makes this data available for a limited amount of time. The download expiration date can be found in the download section after the user logs in for access.

This initial release of the 2021 SOARS data will include measures from the College/Career Indicator (CCI) to specify which students are included or excluded from the various CCI measures. Because the data provided in the SOARS system may contain sensitive student-level information, LEAs and charter schools can only access data related to their district/school.

Why doesn't my LEA/charter school have a SOARS report?

The first release of the data is specific to the CCI. If your LEA did not have students enrolled in grade twelve during the 2020–21 school year, the data being released at this time does not apply.

Will there be more data available in the future?

With future Dashboard releases, the CDE will continue to explore the possibility of providing more student-level data for the remaining State Indicators.

I work at a LEA/charter school, how can I gain access to the SOARS system?

In order to keep the information secure and confidential, access instructions were sent to Accountability Coordinators. Please check with your Accountability Coordinator for the communication email. If your LEA/charter school does not have an Accountability Coordinator, please contact aau@cde.ca.gov on how to sign-up.

I am a researcher; how do I gain access to this information?

Because data in the SOARS system may contain personally identifiable information (PII), all researchers must submit a formal data request. Please contact the Research Requests and Partnerships Office at CDEdatarequests@cde.ca.gov for more information.

I noticed that the Smarter Balanced Assessments results were not included. Will this data be included for future cohorts and releases?

Yes, this is a possibility as we continue to refine the data made available through SOARS. Assessment results were not included due to the suspension of testing in 2020 in light of the outbreak of COVID-19.

Would it be possible to add a field for the student’s overall College/Career Indicator (CCI) preparedness level (i.e., prepared, approaching, or not prepared)?

We hope to provide this information with future SOARS releases.

What counts as "one college course" and "two college courses" in the 2021 CCI student-level data file?

The fields "one college course" and "two college courses" use a comprehensive count of all college coursework reported into the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS). These college courses include both Career Technical Education (CTE) College Credit and Dedicated Academic College Credit.

The definitions of "one college course" and "two college courses" both were defined as:

  • One College Course: One semester, two quarters, or two trimesters
  • Two College Courses: Two semesters, three quarters, or three trimesters

The definitions were taken from the Prepared and Approaching Prepared criteria in the CCI, in that "two college courses" is equivalent to the criteria needed to earn Prepared. Likewise, "one college course" is equivalent to the criteria needed to earn Approaching Prepared.

 

Questions: Academic Accountability Team | aau@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0863 
Last Reviewed: Monday, April 11, 2022