Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

SARC Preparation Guide for Public Schools

A School Accountability Report Card (SARC) Coordinator's guide for preparing and publishing a public school SARC.

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 nonpublic, nonsectarian 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 is 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.

The CDE will contact the district and direct funded charter school administrators regarding any confidential and sensitive SARC information (i.e., usernames and passwords to access the online SARC Web Application).

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 approximately 90 percent of the data pre-populated from the CDE, and allows LEAs to modify this data and input the remaining information.

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. Visit the SARC Web Application External 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. County/District Superintendents are each provided with a district-level user account (i.e., username and password) to access the online SARC Web Application for his/her district, respectively. Direct Funded Charter (DFC) School Administrators are each provided with school-level user accounts to access the online SARC Web Application for his/her school, respectively. User accounts for County/District Superintendents and DFC School Administrators have the capability to create other user accounts, modify user accounts, and delete user accounts for his/her district/schools, respectively. If you are the person designated to develop the SARC for your district and/or school and need a username and password, contact your County/District Superintendent or DFC 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 Playlist External 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 and the 2019–2020 Downloadable SARC Data Files 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 LEA/school website.

All options require the LEAs to populate specific SARC tables and data elements with local information. The CDE pre-populates specific tables and data elements with data that the school provided to the CDE during the school year. The blank SARC template specifies which tables and data elements the CDE intends to pre-populate (data provided by the CDE [DPC]), and which tables and data elements remain for the LEAs to populate (data provided by the LEA [DPL]). 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.
Step 4: Post SARCs to the district and/or school website.

The intention of the CDE Find a SARC web page External 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 CDE recommends that LEAs also post their SARCs on each school's website.

Step 5: 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 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