End-of-Year State Testing: What You Need to Know

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Over the past several years, our teachers and staff have been working to implement California’s Common Core Learning Standards in our classrooms. Now, we want to see how well we are doing and whether your children are understanding what they learn.

CAASPP End-of-Year State Tests

The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or CAASPP, is in it’s fourth year of implementation. CAASPP is a state mandated testing program intended to provide information that can be used to monitor student progress and ensure that all students leave high school ready for college and career. CAASPP includes computer-based tests in English-language arts (ELA) and Math as well as CAST computer-based tests for science. These assessments will take place from April 8-19, with make ups being administered until the window closes on May 17th.

Computer-Based Assessments for 11th graders

Most 11th grade  students are required to participate in the SBAC/Smarter Balanced Assessments, or the CAA/California Alternate Assessment of ELA and Math for grades 3-8 and 11.  These assessments will take three to four hours each to complete. Participation is confidential and your child’s grades will not be affected.

New Science Computer-Based Assessments for 2018 for 11th/12th graders

All students in grades 11th/12th will take the CAST/California Assessment of Science Test or the CAA for Science Test. These will take place during the same time as the ELA and Math tests. Students will receive scores this year for the first time and  the school’s performance rating will be affected if students do not participate.

However, the following students will not take these summative tests:  

  • English Learners who are in their first 12 months of attending a school in the United States will not take the ELA portion of the test, but will take Math.

  • Students with IEPs that indicate they take the CAA due to significant cognitive disabilities.

Why We Encourage You to Have Your Student Tested

We encourage you to have your child tested because we believe that test results provide valuable information about your child for both you and the school.  Participation is confidential and your child’s grades will not be affected. Parents/guardians may request their child not be tested with any CAASPP test or any specific content area (English, Math or Science). If you don’t want your child to take one or more CAASPP tests, submit a written request to the school prior to testing, as soon as possible. However, we do want to discourage this as we are required to have a 95% completion rate by the state/district (opts outs count against that rate).  If you do decide to opt your child out, include the child’s/children’s name(s), birth date, grade, teacher’s name, the name of the specific test(s) or content area(s) they are to be exempted and a way to contact you such as your cell phone number or email address. You do not need to provide a reason for your request. Be sure to sign and date the request. Please note that, per state guidelines, if your request is received after testing has begun, any test(s) started before the request is received will be completed, scored and the results reported to you and included in the student’s records. You will be contacted about your request to confirm to ensure that your child is not opting out on their own.

Testing Timeframe

The district’s CAASPP testing window begins in April and ends in May. Our school will administer the SBAC/CAST Summative tests from April 9th to April 17th with make ups being held until the testing window closes on May 17th. CAA Summative tests will take from April 18 to May 17th.

Important Information About Week of April 8

We will have a modified bell schedule the week of April 8 to accommodate the testing in 2-hour blocks. Testing will take place through the English classes.

  • Students who take English periods 1, 3, and 5 should report to their English classes as normal.  These students will be excused from the class periods that follow their English classes if they are verified to be at their testing sites (we will not release students until the 2 hour block is over).

  • Students who take English 2nd period need to report to their English classes testing location at 9:00.  Students who take English 4th period need to report to the English classes testing location at 11:00. And students who take English 6th period need to report to their English classes testing location at 1:35.  These students will be excused from any absences they accrue in the periods they are missing if they are verified to be at their testing sites in a timely manner. To get a sense of what the SBAC tests looks like on your own, you and your child can view the practice test online on the state’s Smarter Balanced Practice Test Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sa/practicetest.asp.

  • 12th grade Students who take the CAST will follow a test on Tuesday, April 9, in their American Gov’t/Econ courses.

Individual student score reports will be mailed home in the fall. Please let us know if you need to update your address as soon as possible so we can support you.

If you have any questions about the California’s academic standards and/or assessments, please feel free to speak to your child’s teacher or to contact Martel Price at 510-450-5400 or martel.price@ousd.org

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