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DASS Application Instructions

Instructions for applying to the Dashboard Alternative School Status (DASS) program for alternative schools of choice and charter schools that serve high-risk students.

The California Department of Education (CDE) DASS Application is a two-part process used by alternative schools of choice and charter schools that serve high-risk students. The DASS criteria requires a school to have an unduplicated count of at least 70 percent of the school's total enrollment composed of the following high-risk student groups: expelled; suspended; wards of the court; pregnant and/or parenting; recovered dropouts; habitually truant or habitually insubordinate and disorderly; retained more than once in kindergarten through grade eight; credit deficient; gap in enrollment; high level of transiency; Foster Youth; or Homeless Youth.

Part 1 is an online survey and Part 2 is the submission of documentation approved by the local district governing board. The application is only intended for schools that are not currently on the DASS list. Please visit the Active DASS Schools list to determine if your school is already enrolled in DASS.

Approval of the DASS Application is contingent upon completion of both Parts 1 and 2.

Part 1: Completing and Submitting the DASS Survey

The 2019 submission window for Part 1 has closed.

Part 1 of the DASS application process is an online survey. To complete the survey, please follow the steps below when the submission window reopens for 2020 Dashboard.

  1. Navigate to the online survey
  2. Complete all fields before submitting the survey (see Important Note)
  3. Wait for confirmation e-mail (will be sent within two business days)

Important Note: When determining a school's percentage of high-risk student for DASS eligibility, please use the school's current enrollment. A student is considered high-risk if he/she meets one of the high-risk criteria approved by the State Board of Education upon first enrollment at the school. If their high-risk status starts after first entry to the school, they cannot be counted as high-risk in this calculation. (e.g., John Doe is currently enrolled at the school as a Foster Youth. However, when he first enrolled, he was NOT a Foster Youth. John Doe may not be counted as Foster Youth on the DASS application.)

Note: Once the survey (Part 1) has been submitted, the person listed as the DASS coordinator will receive instructions by e-mail within two business days for completing Part 2 of the DASS application process. Approval of the DASS application is contingent upon completion of Part 2.

If you do not receive instructions for completing Part 2 within two business days of submitting Part 1, please contact the California Department of Education (CDE) DASS team at DASS@cde.ca.gov for assistance.

If multiple Part 1 forms are submitted for a school, the CDE DASS team will use the most recent form in determining DASS eligibility.

Part 2: Submitting Supporting Documents Approved by the Local District Governing Board

The 2019 submission deadline for Part 2 is August 15, 2019.

The CDE uses Box.com to facilitate submission of all supporting documents for Part 2. Once a school’s DASS coordinator has submitted Part 1, the CDE DASS team will assign a secure, private Box.com folder to that school. At that point, the DASS coordinator will have file upload privileges for their assigned folder.

The DASS coordinator is responsible for uploading the following documents to their school’s Box.com folder before the Part 2 submission deadline on August 15, 2019:

  1. Obtain signatures of the school principal, county or district superintendent or charter school administrator, and local board president on the DASS Eligibility Certification Form, which is located in your assigned Box.com folder.

  2. Submit a copy of the board agenda and minutes that indicates the approval of the DASS eligibility certification. The local district governing board or the charter school board must certify that the school's enrollment meets the DASS criteria as an agendized board item.

Note: If the school's DASS eligibility was certified by the charter school board, a letter must be sent to the charter's authorizing governing board notifying them of their DASS eligibility. A copy of the notification letter must also be submitted to the CDE.

Once all of a school's required supporting documents have been uploaded, CDE staff will send a confirmation e-mail to the school's DASS coordinator. Please note that supporting documents (Part 2) submitted through e-mail or by mail will not be accepted.

Terms of Dashboard Alternative School Status Participation

All DASS participants must maintain documentation of the 70 percent of students reflected on their DASS Application. The CDE will conduct annual reviews and the failure to provide such documentation may result in termination of the school's DASS.

All schools voluntarily participating in the DASS program will be required to re-certify their high-risk student enrollments every three years (i.e., if a school is approved in 2017–18 to participate in DASS for the 2018 Dashboard, this school must reapply in the 2020–21 to continue their participation in DASS for the 2021 Dashboard). If a school fails to re-certify its high-risk student enrollment or the school’s enrollment of high-risk students fall below 70 percent, the school will be removed from DASS.

Questions: DASS Team | dass@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0863 
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, April 17, 2019