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Second year of CAASPP testing begins in April


The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) will be given to students in grades 3rd through 8th between April 18 and May 27. Each school site will provide  specific days and times of testing within this window. This will be the second year of CAASPP testing.

The CAASPP testing system consists of the following:

  • Smarter Balanced online assessments in Math and English Language Arts (Grades 3 to 8–based on the California Common Core Standards)
  • CST Science paper and pencil assessment (Grades 5 and 8–based on the former California State Standards)
  • CAPA Science (Grades 5 and 8–for some Special Education students and based on the former California State Standards)
  • CAA (now Cal Alt) California Alternate Assessment for some Special Education students 3-8

Each individual student will receive a score report, and the results of this spring’s Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment (ELA and math) will be one measure to help teachers, parents and students gauge proficiency on grade-level standards. Additionally, CAASPP results will inform teacher instructional practice resulting in deeper, richer and more relevant instruction for every child.

Some other important details regarding these assessments:

  • They are aligned with California’s new content standards for ELA and mathematics.
  • They reflect the critical thinking and problem solving skills that students will need to be ready for college and the 21st century job market.
  • They are taken on a computer and are adaptive, which means that during the test, the questions will become more or less difficult on the basis of how the student performs. If the student answers a question correctly, the next question may be a bit more challenging; if the student answers it incorrectly, the next question may be less difficult.
  • They provide many more supports for students who need them, including students learning English and students with disabilities.

There are many ways to help and support your student on the Smarter Balanced on-line assessment. The Smarter Balanced website contains resources and information for parents. In addition, you can take the Practice Test by logging onto to help familiarize yourself with the assessment and what will be expected of students.

In addition, there are helpful Parent Guides in English and Spanish on the California Department of Education website, as well as on our district website using the “State Assessments” link located in the “Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment” section.

News Brief by Dorothy Abreu-Coito, Director of Instructional Services, Sunnyvale School District


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