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SARC Preparation Guide for Nonpublic Schools

A nonpublic nonsectarian school guide for publishing a School Accountability Report Card (SARC).

Pursuant to Chapter 914, Statutes of 2004 (Assembly Bill 1858), and pursuant to Education Code (EC) Section 56366(a)(9), all nonpublic, nonsectarian schools (NPS) are required to prepare a SARC in accordance with EC Section 33126. This requirement applies to NPS schools but does not apply to NPS agencies. The law became effective January 1, 2005.

For the purposes of the SARC program, an LEA is defined as local educational agencies (Districts and County Offices of Education), direct funded charter schools, and NPS schools.

Step 1: Register as a SARC Coordinator.

To ensure timely receipt of important SARC information, 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 will be 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.

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 has provided an electronic 2019–2020 SARC template available on the online SARC Web Application. This electronic SARC template contains some district data and the state data pre-populated from the CDE, and allows LEAs to modify this data and input the remaining information. For any table that does not apply to your school, select the "Do not display this section to the public" box, 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 electronic SARC template, via the SARC Web Application, also provides the LEAs the flexibility to upload a photo of the school's principal and provide 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 NPS schools, the CDE pre-populates in the electronic SARC template some district data and the state data. While the CDE provides data where data are available, LEAs are responsible for the completion of the entire SARC and the accuracy of all SARC data made available to the public. Visit the SARC Web ApplicationExternal link opens in new window or tab..

Designated SARC Coordinators will require a case sensitive username and password to access the online SARC Web Application. NPS School Administrators are provided with school-level user accounts to access the online SARC Web Application for his/her school, respectively. User accounts for NPS School Administrators have the capability to create other user accounts, modify user accounts, and delete user accounts for his/her school, respectively. If you are the person designated to develop the SARC for your school and need a username and password, contact your NPS School Administrator to create a user account for you.

The CDE has also prepared a training tutorial for you to familiarize yourself with the SARC Web Application system, as well as highlight the key features available on the application. Visit the SARC Web Application Training Tutorial YouTube PlaylistExternal link opens in new window or tab. (Videos), also available on the CDE SARC web page.

For those LEAs not interested in using the electronic 2019–2020 SARC template available on the online SARC Web Application, the CDE has also provided a blank 2019–2020 SARC template in Word available on the CDE SARC web page.

If the LEA relies on a vendor to create their SARC or creates their own SARC, the SARC Web Application also serves as the mechanism for each LEA to provide CDE with an active uniform resource locator (URL) of the website address where their SARC has been posted on their school website. The CDE does not collect electronic or paper copies of SARCs via email. All options require the LEAs to populate specific SARC tables and data elements with local information.

Step 4: Determine the data elements that must be reported for your school and prepare the SARC.

In determining how to prepare a NPS school report card, review the template with two considerations in mind.

  • First, if a particular reporting element is not applicable (such as graduation rate data for a school whose mission does not involve "graduation" in the conventional sense), this reporting element does not need to be included in the completed report card.

  • Second, if there are no data or other information available for a particular reporting element (such as state assessment results in a case where the students are not required to be tested), this reporting element does not need to be included in the completed report card.

For most NPS schools, the report card should include at least contact information, a school description and mission statement, a narrative about opportunities for parental involvement, a description of the school's facility conditions and safety plans, information about staff qualifications, and a description of the educational materials that are used at the school. Additional information about the school that might be of interest to parents and the community may be added.

Step 5: Post SARCs to the school or agency website.

The intention of the CDE Find a SARC web pageExternal 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 NPS schools with access to the Internet must make their current SARCs available through the Internet. The CDE recommends that NPS School also post their SARCs on their school's website.

Step 6: Notify parents about the SARC.

Notify parents about the purpose and availability of the 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's office and at public forums, such as parent information events.

Questions: SARC TEAM | sarc@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0406 
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, October 27, 2020
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