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State Program Assessment Tools

California schools and local educational agencies (LEAs) that are not meeting academic achievement goals are frequently required or recommended to administer state program self-assessment tools. These tools include the Academic Program Survey (APS) at the school level and the following district-level tools: the District Assistance Survey (DAS), the English Learner Subgroup Self Assessment (ELSSA), and the Inventory of Services and Supports (ISS) for Students with Disabilities.

In September 2009 the California Department of Education, in conjunction with the California County Superintendents Association (CCSESA), the California Comprehensive Center (CA CC), and various district organizations and associations, completed a review and revision of four school and district program self-assessment tools. Each of the four tools underwent key changes for greater internal consistency, coherence, and alignment with one another.

The SBE-approved Essential Program Components (EPCs) [] is the underlying context for each of the state assessment tools.

The tools identified below are required for use in LEAs in Program Improvement (PI) Year 1 and are strongly encouraged for use in any underperforming school or LEA. The tools should be used by any underperforming school or LEA and their support providers, in conjunction with student achievement data [] to inform collaborative school and district planning.

Introduction to State Tools []

Academic Program Survey (APS)

The Academic Program Survey is designed to help a school analyze the extent to which it is providing a coherent instructional program to support improved student achievement. Organized into three grade-span specific surveys, each APS measures the presence of the nine EPCs associated with improved student learning. The APS is to be used in conjunction with the DAS, ELSSA, and ISS for school and district analyses.

Introduction to the APS Tool []

Academic Program Surveys

  • Elementary School Tool [] (DOC; Updated May-2016)
  • Middle School Tool [] (DOC; Updated May-2016)
  • High School Tool [] (DOC; Updated May-2016)

APS Citations

District Assistance Survey (DAS)

The District Assistance Survey is designed to guide LEAs and their technical assistance providers in assessing the nature and alignment of district operations and the district’s capacity to support a rigorous and multi-tiered instructional system at all schools and for all students. The DAS is organized around seven broad areas of district work codified in California Education Code (EC) Section 52059(e)(1):

  1. Standards-based Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
  2. Professional Development
  3. Human Resources
  4. Data Systems/Data Analysis/Ongoing Monitoring
  5. Parent and Community Involvement
  6. Fiscal Operations
  7. Governance and Leadership

English Learner Subgroup Self Assessment (ELSSA)

The English Learner Subgroup Self Assessment serves as a district level tool for LEAs to analyze outcomes and program services for English learners (ELs) while preparing LEA plans and addenda to meet requirements under Title I and Title III. This refers specifically to LEAs developing Title III Year 4 Action Plan Needs Assessments, Title III Year 2 Improvement Plan Addenda, and Title I Program Improvement plans related to the EL student group. All LEAs may benefit from using the ELSSA in local planning. The ELSSA helps LEAs focus on the attainment of linguistic and academic standards EL students as well as to identify issues regarding EL instructional programs.

Inventory of Services and Supports (ISS) for Students with Disabilities

The Inventory of Services and Supports for Students with Disabilities (SWDs) is designed to help districts examine their policies, procedures, and practices to gain a deeper understanding of SWDs learning needs. The tool is designed to provide a framework for the District Leadership Team to use that will enhance and deepen their understandings about this student group.

Questions: District Innovation & Improvement Office | | 916-319-0836 
Last Reviewed: Thursday, May 19, 2016
Related Content
  • Academic Program Survey Introduction
    This update to the Academic Program Survey (APS) reflects some changes to the landscape for school accountability in California.
  • District Assistance Survey Introduction
    An instruction to the purpose, assumptions, administration, and liminitation on the use of this tool.
  • Essential Program Components
    Nine essential program components supporting academic student achievement.
  • ISS for SWD
    Resource tools for technical assistance providers working with districts in Program Improvement under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
  • State Tools Introduction
    This Web page provides an overall insight to the function of the four state assessment tools, the assumptions, and next steps.
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