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CAASPP Update, Issue 150

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress e-mail update, April 20, 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.

Sample Student Score Report for 2015–16 Available Online

A sample 2015–16 CAASPP Student Score Report is now posted on the California Department of Education (CDE) CAASPP Student Score Report Information web page. The new report shows sample student data from two years, 2014–15 and 2015–16.

New Parent Communication Resources

Three new resources designed to help schools and districts better communicate with parents about the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments are now available on the CDE CAASPP Communications Toolkit web page. These resources—a template letter to parents, a parent checklist, and guidance on shifting and refining the assessment-related messages delivered to parents—can be customized to suit the needs of the local educational agency (LEA) or individual school.

Additional Translations of the 2015–16 Parent Notification Template

The 2015–16 Smarter Balanced Assessments Sample Parent and Guardian Notification Letter has been translated into Eastern Armenian, Hmong, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. Links to the templates are available on the CDE CAASPP System web page, under the “Coordinators & Admins” tab.

Reminder: The sample letter serves as a notice to parents of the year’s statewide assessments and does not satisfy a district’s obligation to notify parents of their right to exempt their child from statewide assessments under Education Code Section 60615.

STAIRS E-mail Settings: Safe Senders List

When a test security incident is reported in the Security and Test Administration Incident Reporting System (STAIRS), an e-mail containing a case number and the next steps to be taken will be sent to the submitter (and to the LEA CAASPP coordinator, if the incident is reported by the CAASPP test site coordinator). If a STAIRS email response is not received:

  • Check the junk mail or spam folder.
  • Add the e-mail address STAIRS@cde.ca.gov to the safe senders list.

Reporting an Accidental Submission in STAIRS

If a student has accidentally submitted an assessment before he or she has completed it, the following steps should be taken:

  1. The LEA CAASPP or test site coordinator reports the issue in STAIRS, under the testing issue category of “Expired Test.”

  2. The coordinator is then directed to another screen and asked to select a description that best applies to the kind of test expiration issue that occurred. The coordinator should select “A student started a test unintentionally and was unable to complete the test before it expired, or a test was accidently submitted prior to completion.”

  3. The coordinator will receive an e-mail from STAIRS@cde.ca.gov directing him or her to submit a “re-open a test” appeal request to allow the student to access and complete the test.

California Alternate Assessments: New Videos

More California Alternate Assessment (CAA) videos are coming soon! Visit the CDE YouTube web page External link opens in new window or tab., under the CAA playlist, and watch this video library grow over the next few weeks as the CDE CAASPP Office continues its development of CAA videos, which will focus on the specific features and functionalities of the CAAs. Current videos include:

  • “CAAs—2016”
  • “CAAs—2016” (Spanish version)
  • “CAA Drag and Drop Functionality”

Meet an SNE Member!

Photo of Travis Burke April’s featured State Network of Educators (SNE) member is Travis Burke, a 12-year veteran of the education profession who currently serves as a teacher on special assignment in the Santa Maria-Bonita School District. He joined the Smarter Balanced Digital Library SNE last summer to learn more about the way assessment is changing and to encourage other educators to embrace the formative assessment process.

Since joining the SNE, Travis has participated in two SNE collaboration workshops hosted by Smarter Balanced, submitting and reviewing resources for the Digital Library. He has vetted more than 20 resources and submitted 12 of his own. His favorite, "The Better Alphabet Song—Brain Based Kindergarten Teaching" External link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required), was written by Katie Garner, education consultant. This resource provides educators with a significant body of brain research and a high-quality model for young learners. In this version of the alphabet song, students produce all sounds associated with letters and begin to discuss and analyze the letters as parts of words.

Travis and his grade six students are featured in the video “Using Ratios to Solve Real-World Problems,” which is the second in the CDE Formative Assessment in Action video series and was highlighted in last week’s CAASPP Update.

To learn more about Travis and other California members of the SNE, visit the CDE Meet an SNE Member web page!

Next Week: April Digital Library Spotlight Forum—Illustrative Mathematics Fluency Module

As announced in Issue 149 of the CAASPP Update, the Spotlight Forum for the Digital Library resource "Illustrative Mathematics Fluency Module" External link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required) will run April 25–29. More information about this forum is available on the CDE Spotlight Webinar and Forum Series Web page.

Digital Library Spotlight Webinar and Forum, May 2–6: Including All Students in Assessments

On May 2 at 11 a.m., Dr. Martha Thurlow, Senior Research Associate and Director, National Center on Educational Outcomes, will host a webinar on Smarter Balanced universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations and provide suggestions for making appropriate decisions for individual students. Registration is required for this one-hour webinar, but a Digital Library account is not.

Immediately following the Webinar, Dr. Thurlow will facilitate a Spotlight Forum External link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required) that will run through May 6. During the forum, Dr. Thurlow and participants—educators from Smarter Balanced member states—will discuss how to use the Smarter Balanced Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines and the Individual Student Assessment Accessibility Profile to include all students in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics assessments. Take advantage of this opportunity!

This event’s corresponding Digital Library resource, "Including All Students in Assessments of ELA and Mathematics" External link opens in new window or tab. (Digital Library account required), features a student case to illustrate the process and provides further resources.

Please share this email with any educators in your local educational agency who would be interested in or benefit from this information. To join the email list, send a blank email message to subscribe-caaspp@mlist.cde.ca.gov. 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 | caaspp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, September 11, 2018
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