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CAASPP Update, Issue 143

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, March 2, 2016.

Focusing on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System, including the Smarter Balanced assessments—a major component of CAASPP—and the California Alternate Assessments and science assessments.

Countdown to March System Downtime

March 18 at 5 p.m. through March 20 at 7 p.m., the Test Operations Management System will be undergoing system maintenance and will not be accessible.

Planning Ahead: April Downtime

April 7 at 4 p.m. through April 10 at 9 p.m., system downtime is scheduled for the Test Delivery System and the Online Reporting System. See Issue 139 for details.

New Look for the Smarter Balanced Website

The Smarter Balanced website External link opens in new window or tab. has a brand new look! Be sure to visit the redesigned site and check back often to get the most current updates and newest resources available on the summative and interim assessments and Digital Library.

2015–16 Parent Notification Letters

The Parent and Guardian Notification Letter templates for statewide assessments have been revised for 2015–16 and are now available on the CDE CAASPP System web page under the Coordinator/Administrators tab. These customizable templates can be used by local educational agencies (LEAs) to fulfill the requirement under the California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 852(a), to notify parents or guardians of their child’s participation in the CAASPP tests.

Please note that the templates do not address a parent’s right to exempt their child from testing. LEAs may choose to add language to the templates to inform parents of that option, or they may use other channels to communicate that information.

Now Available—Batch Roster Uploads

The Manage Rosters functionality of the Online Reporting System (ORS) allows LEAs to create custom groups of students and render a group’s results viewable to users with the appropriate role. This functionality allows LEAs to restrict access to student assessment results to designated users (e.g., educator-school role) only.

The full version of the Roster Management System is now available and allows users to download a template and upload larger groups of students in a batch file. The upload functionality can be accessed by selecting the “Manage Rosters” link in the ORS labeled “Click here to upload your roster via the Roster Management System."

STAIRS and Appeals

Please note that under the online CAASPP Security and Test Administration Incident Reporting System (STAIRS):

  • Appeals will not be considered for the interim assessments.

  • For the summative assessments, the California Department of Education (CDE) will process appeals only after LEA or site coordinators complete the STAIRS form.

Digital Library Featured Resource—Conceptualize Critiquing and Revising Authentic Work for K–3 Students

This month’s featured Smarter Balanced Digital Library resource is “Conceptualize Critiquing and Revising Authentic Work for K–3 StudentsExternal link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required). This resource consists of a lesson plan and a seven-minute video, “Critique and Feedback—The Story of Austin’s Butterfly,” that is used as the lesson. The developmentally appropriate video engages young students in practicing constructive oral communication, as peers, to improve personal work. It demonstrates the power of feedback and perseverance in helping peers revise their work, and it can be easily applied to a range of subjects and grades.

Kindergarten through grade three teachers are encouraged to consider using this resource in their classroom! Teachers who use this or any other resource from the Smarter Balanced Digital Library External link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required) are invited to write a review for the benefit of colleagues who are considering using the resource.

New! Digital Library Professional Learning Series Web Page

The CDE has launched its Digital Library Professional Learning Series web page. The series are collections of resources, primarily located in the Smarter Balanced Digital Library, that connect educators to specific topics intended to develop a progression for learning. Each series is presented in a flyer format that contains embedded hyperlinks to recommended resources. Please note that a Digital Library account is required to access any Digital Library resource.

Currently, series for the following topics are available:

Explore the wealth of rich professional learning offered by these series! Collections for additional topics are under development, so watch for new postings!

State Network of Educators Web Pages

To provide information on the State Network of Educators (SNE), the CDE has added the following new pages to its Web site:

  • The Digital Library SNE web page, which describes the role and responsibilities of the SNE and highlights resources featuring SNE members

  • The Meet an SNE Member web page, which features a California SNE member each month (An abbreviated version of the monthly feature is included in the third CAASPP Update of each month.)

CORRECTION to the February 24 CAASPP Update: The article on the new SNE web page was incorrectly linked to the Meet an SNE Member web page.

Science Assessments Are a Component of the 2015–16 Test Administration

For the current test administration, the science assessments for California students are the California Standards Test (CST) for Science, California Modified Assessment (CMA) for Science, and California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) for Science. These tests are administered in grades five, eight, and ten.

California Education Code Section 60640 requires the administration of the CST, CMA, and CAPA for science until an assessment aligned with the California Next Generation Science Standards is implemented.

If you have questions about the materials or administration of these tests, please contact CalTAC at 800-955-2954 or

California Alternate Assessments: Training Tests and More

The California Alternate Assessment (CAA) training tests are now available through the CAASPP portal web page External link opens in new window or tab.. From the portal, these tests can be accessed in four quick steps:

  1. Select the “Practice and Training TestExternal link opens in new window or tab. button.

  2. Select the green button marked “Student Interface.”

  3. Select the “sign in” button.

  4. Select a grade from the drop-down menu. (The CAA training tests are not grade specific; select any grade except ten or twelve, as the CAAs are not available in these grades.)

These training tests offer opportunities for both students and teachers/test examiners. Students try out the universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations, helping teachers/test examiners determine the best testing scenario for the students. The Directions for Administration for the CAAs can be found on the CAASPP CAAs web page External link opens in new window or tab..

In addition, now is the time to hold individualized education program (IEP)/Section 504 meetings for any necessary updates to the information on state testing. Please schedule and hold those meetings as soon as possible so CALPADs can be updated accordingly.

Finally, in this week’s CAA news: Watch for the new CDE CAAs Web page, containing guidance for parents/guardians and IEP teams, coming soon to replace the current CDE CAAs web page. Note that the URL will not change.

Please share this e-mail with any educators in your local educational agency who would be interested in or benefit from this information. To join the e-mail list, send a blank e-mail message to Are you a new subscriber? Visit the CDE CAASPP Update web page to find previous issues.

Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office | | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, March 25, 2020
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