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Assessment Spotlight, Issue 85

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, March 18, 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Main Web Page

Focusing on the CAASPP System and English Language Proficiency Assessments of California (ELPAC)—and including, when timely, updates on California’s other statewide assessments.

Update on COVID-19 and the Suspension of Statewide Testing

If your school is closed due to the unprecedented circumstances surrounding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), you should not worry about any statewide testing this school year. The California Department of Education (CDE) is doing the following:

  • Suspending all CAASPP testing

  • Suspending Summative ELPAC testing

  • Placing the Physical Fitness Test on hold until students return to school

  • Canceling the California High School Proficiency Examination test administration for the weekend of March 21st. All March test takers have been reregistered for June or provided information on how to request a refund. Additional locations and space within current locations will be increased to accommodate this change.

  • Placing high school equivalency testing on hold until testing centers are reopened

In addition, if a school is back in session, the expectation is that the Initial ELPAC will be administered to students for initial identification, as required by California Education Code Section 313(a). However, Senate Bill 117 extended the timeline to conduct the Initial ELPAC by 45 days. Local educational agencies should continue to assess newly enrolled students whose primary language is not English when they return to school. This will ensure that new students who are English learners can receive the appropriate instruction and services. The CDE will continue to make available the following resources to support teaching and learning:

  • Practice tests, training tests, interim assessments, and Digital Library formative assessment tools and resources for CAASPP

  • Practice tests and training tests for ELPAC

The CDE is working with the California State Board of Education to seek waiver authority afforded by the US Department of Education to waive federal testing requirements. We will keep you updated as we have more information.

High School Equivalency Summer Convenings in August

Registration External link opens in new window or tab. is now open for the August 2020 High School Equivalency Summer Convenings. These meetings, presented by the CDE, are designed for high school equivalency chief examiners and test site administrators and will be held at six locations throughout the state. Updated information will be presented by the GED® Testing Service, High School Equivalency Test—Educational Testing Service, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and the CDE. Be sure to register today to reserve your spot!

All About Accessibility

Expandable items and expandable passages are on-screen presentation universal tools for both CAASPP and ELPAC:

  • Expandable items. For this universal tool, each stimulus in the left pane and the question(s) in the right pane can be expanded to take up a larger portion of the screen when the student selects one of the two horizontal arrows between the passage and the question(s).

  • Expandable passages. For this universal tool, each passage or stimulus can be expanded to take up a larger portion of the screen when the student selects one of the two arrows in the passage pane.
    More information on these universal tools can be found in Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium: Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines, available on the Smarter Balanced website External link opens in new window or tab.. In addition, short video tutorials are available on the CAASPP website, Embedded Universal Tools, Designated Supports, and Accommodations Video Tutorial web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Please share this email with any educators in your LEA who would be interested in or benefit from this information. To join the email list, send a blank email message to Are you a new subscriber? Visit the California Department of Education Assessment Spotlight web page to find previous issues.

Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office | | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, October 5, 2021
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