New Federal Guidelines for Reporting Ethnicity and Race Data for ACPS Students
The U.S. Department of Education requires all states to collect information on the race and ethnicity of public school students. The federal government has developed a new way to report ethnicity and race that includes new categories. The changes should provide a more accurate picture of the nation’s ethnic and racial diversity. Beginning in the 2010-11 school year, families of all students will be asked to fill out a brief form to update the reporting of their children’s ethnicity and race.
In past years, Virginia public school students were limited to selecting one race/ethnicity. These new requirements will enable individuals to more accurately identify their racial/ethnic heritage.
Information regarding a student’s race and ethnicity is requested at the time of enrollment in Appomattox County Public Schools (ACPS). To satisfy these new guidelines, ACPS has developed an updated form for currently enrolled students to complete. This new form will also be used for all newly enrolled students starting in September 2010. These updates will ensure our compliance with the new standards in collecting, maintaining, and reporting individual student race and ethnicity data.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. If I have already provided this information to the school system, why must I provide it again?
In the past, forms for reporting race and ethnicity to the federal government allowed individuals to be identified in only one racial category. The new form enables individuals to be identified in ethnic and racial classifications and in more than one racial category. The federal government is requiring that ethnic and racial information for all students and staff members be reported in this new way in order to reflect the nation’s diversity more accurately.
2. How will the information be used?
The data with the new ethnicity and race categories will be used in the same manner that racial and ethnic data are currently used. The new categories will replace the existing categories for use in all state and federally sponsored statistical data collections that include data on ethnicity or race. Some examples include student record cards and test results.
3. Who provides the information?
Parents will complete a brief form to identify their children’s ethnic and racial identity.
4. When and how will the new information be gathered?
Appomattox County Public Schools will follow the new federal guidelines beginning in the 2010-2011 school year. The families of newly enrolling students AND of all current students will be asked to provide the new information.
5. What changes have been made?
§ There is now a two-part question on ethnicity and race. This allows individuals to report their heritage more accurately.
§ The term "Hispanic" has been changed to "Hispanic or Latino."
§ The racial category "Asian or Pacific Islander" has been separated into two new categories—"Asian" and "Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander."
§ Individuals will be able to select one or more races from the five racial groups.
6. What are the ethnicity and race categories?
The first part of the two-part question asks whether or not the respondent is Hispanic or Latino. The second part asks the respondent to select one or more races from the following five racial groups:
§ American Indian or Alaska Native
§ Black or African American
§ Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
7. How are the new ethnicity and race categories defined?
§ Hispanic or Latino. A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
§ American Indian or Alaska Native. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) and who maintains a tribal affiliation or community attachment. § Asian. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
§ Black or African American. A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa. § Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
§ White. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
8. What are the next steps?
Beginning in September, 2010, families of all students will be asked to complete a brief form to update the reporting of their children’s race and ethnicity.