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Parents Guide to School Accountability Report Card
A Parent's Guide to the SARC
Description of the requirements and information contained in the School Accountability Report Card (SARC).
What is a School Accountability Report Card (SARC)?

Since November 1988, state law has required all public schools receiving state funding to prepare and distribute a SARC. A similar requirement is also contained in the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The purpose of the report card is to provide parents and the community with important information about each public school. A SARC can be an effective way for a school to report on its progress in achieving goals. The public may also use a SARC to evaluate and compare schools on a variety of indicators.

What information does the SARC contain?

Although there is great variation in the design of school report cards, they generally begin with a profile that provides background information about the school and its students. The profile usually summarizes the school's mission, goals, and accomplishments. State law requires that the SARC contain all of the following:

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
Fiscal and expenditure data
How often must a SARC be updated?

School report cards must be updated annually and published by February 1.

How are schools required to distribute the SARC?

State law generally encourages schools to make a concerted effort to notify parents of the purpose of the report cards and to ensure that all parents receive a copy of the report card for the school their child attends. Specifically, schools are required to notify all parents about the availability of the SARC and to provide parents with instructions about how the SARC can be obtained both through the Internet (if feasible) and on paper (upon request). If 15% or more of a school's enrolled students speak a single primary language other than English, state law requires that the SARC also be prepared and made available to these parents in the appropriate primary language.

How can a parent obtain a SARC?

Parents with Internet access can go to the Empire Union School District web site. Each school's SARC can be found within the Parent Resources / Parent Involvement Link. This Web page contains SARC Reports that have been provided to the California Department of Education (CDE) by the district.

If you have questions or need information about a specific school, you can call or write to the school or the district office. You can also schedule an appointment to visit the school and meet with the school's administrators and staff.