Student Race & Ethnicity Data Collection Requirement
Student Race & Ethnicity Data Collection Requirement

Dear Monroe School District families,

Recently, there was a change in federal and state law that affects how student ethnicity and race data is collected by school districts. This change now requires schools to have this data recorded for every student.

For many years, school districts in Washington have been required to report student data by ethnicity and race categories to the state's Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Federal law requires the state to report the total number of students in various categories in each school to the federal government. These reports help keep track of changes in student enrollment and various other statistics, such as graduation rates, to ensure that all students receive the educational programs and services to which they are entitled. No individual student data is provided to the federal government.

Ethnicity and race categories are the same in all Washington school districts. The categories are set by the federal government, the state Legislature, and the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

Recently, the federal government and OSPI have changed the reporting categories for student race and ethnicity data. As a result of the new categories, we are required to ask you to verify your child as either Hispanic/Latino or not Hispanic/Latino AND by one or more of 217 racial groups. If one parent identifies with one race and the other parent with another, you will be able to check both races for your child.

Family Access will require your response to the two ethnicity and race questions before allowing you to access other student information for your child. Families objecting to offering this data may request in writing to "opt out." Families may email: familyaccess@monroe.wednet.edu to make that request. The request should include your student's legal name.

While families are not required to respond, the federal government is now requiring schools to have this information for every student. Effective in the 2021-22 school year, all public schools in Washington must have an ethnicity or race category identified for each student. We will make two attempts to reach families with the request to submit their child's ethnicity and race category. If there is no response, schools are required to make the ethnicity and race selection for the student. Please see OSPI Observer Identification guidelines at https://www.k12.wa.us/sites/default/files/public/cedars/pubdocs/guidelinesobserveridentification-newethnicityracecodes.pdf

For more information about the student data reporting categories for ethnicity and race please view the OSPI's guidelines at https://www.k12.wa.us/sites/default/files/public/cedars/pubdocs/guidelinesparentstudentselfidentification-newethnicityracecodes.pdf or call the District Administartion Office at 360.804.2500.

Sincerely,

Dr. Justin Blasko
Superintendent