Ethnicity & Race FAQs
Why am I being asked to report the race and ethnicity of my child?
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the California Department of Education (CDE) require school districts to collect and report data on ethnicity and race using a two part question. The first part of the question asks about a ethnicity (Hispanic or Latino) and the second part asks about race (African American/Black, Asian, Native American, white, etc.). Menlo Park City School District gathers this information as part of the enrollment process to comply with various state and federal laws (e.g. Education Code Sections 60640, 56601 and 56602).
How should I answer these questions?
Self-identification is the preferred method for collecting this data. When answering each part of the question, respondents are asked to report whether he/she would consider his/her student Hispanic/Latino by answering ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. The second part of the question asks respondents about race. You may select as many of the race categories that you feel apply. The federal definitions for each category may help in answering these questions. The definitions are provided below.
Do I have to answer the race and ethnicity question?
Yes. School districts must make every effort to collect and report this data to state and federal agencies. If you do not answer the question, the MPCSD’s registrar may need contact you to collect the information. If an answer is still not provided, federal agencies will default to “two or more” race as the identified category.
How is the information used?
At the federal level, the information is used to ensure compliance with civil rights laws, grants and various programs. At the state level and local level this information is used as part of our accountability system, California School Dashboard.
For more information on race and ethnicity collection, please refer to the California Department of Education’s web page.