Starting next week, students will participate in our annual state tests in English-Language Arts and Mathematics. New this year, we will be piloting the California Science Test (CAST), an assessment in Science for 8th grade only.
Teachers at Sierra Vista Junior High School are helping students learn and presenting course information in new ways. We are using challenging tasks that require students to provide reasoning, support arguments with evidence, and persevere in solving problems. These are the skills that colleges and employers say our students need to succeed.
The next step is measuring our progress by participating in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). These statewide tests for students in grades 3-8 and grade 11 are an academic check-up in English language arts/literacy and mathematics. These tests provide better information to help improve teaching practices and target learning.
Some highlights include:
- Computer Based: Some questions are interactive, and a greater variety of supporting tools can be provided to eligible students, such as magnification of text, and text-to-speech read-aloud of questions.
- Computer Adaptive: Students receive test questions that help pinpoint what they know and can do. A correct answer is followed by a more difficult question, and an incorrect answer is followed by an easier question. This provides a more precise estimate of student understanding.
- Realistic Context for Tasks: Knowledge is assessed in context—for example, students are asked to select a word of the same meaning to replace a word in a paragraph, rather than to choose a synonym for a word standing alone. In addition, students will need to provide open-ended answers for some questions, rather than selecting from multiple options, and will be asked to write short essays that will need to be scored by hand.
- No Time Limits: Students can take the time they need to do their best.
Check in with your child after he or she has completed testing, and ask him or her to share with you some of their experiences with this approach. Check out these helpful links for more information.
- Take a Practice Test
- Smarter Balanced Computer Adaptive Testing Information
- Parent Guides to the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments
Students will arrive and end school at their regularly scheduled time; however, period rotation and instructional time will be altered slightly during the testing window to accommodate students taking the tests. Next week, eighth-graders will complete the CAST pilot-test during their regular Science period. The seventh grade does not test in Science. Students will be given time to complete the ELA and Math portion of the CAASPP during their English and Math classes beginning next week as well. The testing schedule can be viewed below.
Starting May 16, students will report to a special TEAM testing room on their assigned day to complete the Performance Task portion of the CAASPP ELA and Math assessments. Eighth-grade students will complete Performance Tasks on May 16 & 18; seventh-grade students will complete Performance Tasks on May 17 & 19. Only the first couple of hours of the day will be dedicated to testing. The rest of the day, students will attend classes as usual.It is important to attend school on test days to prevent the need to pull the student from other class periods to make-up portions of the assessment what was missed.