[BHS Etree] ADMIN: 11th grade state testing

BHS Etree bhs at lists.lmi.net
Fri Apr 26 09:56:10 PDT 2019

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Dear BHS Eleventh Grade Families,

Every day educators are assessing student learning and the effectiveness of our instructional programs. This spring all public schools in California are participating in a statewide student assessment program. Students will have computer-based Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) that are designed to assess learning of English Language Arts and Math for Grade 11, as well as the California Science Test (CAST).

Testing Period

Berkeley High School will be testing 11th grade students May 28 - 30, 2019. The tests will take place during regular class hours. If students are absent on one or more testing days, we will make arrangements for them to make up the section(s) they missed on May 31, 2019.

Information about the State Assessments

This is the fifth year that our students are participating in testing that is part of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) program. These online tests include some special features which are different from the old “bubble-in-the answer” paper tests.  The assessment program:

	-Uses “computer-adaptive” technology which changes the level of difficulty based on student answers, allowing for a more precise and individualized measurement of student achievement;
	-Includes a varied set of questions and prompts that allow students to demonstrate research, writing, and analytical skills;
	-Removes visual, auditory, and physical access barriers, and includes tools especially helpful to students with disabilities, and assistance to English language learners; and
	-Provides data on student achievement at the end of a course of study and shows growth over time for parents, teachers, principals, and other local and state leaders. 

The results of these state tests provide useful data on how well we are serving our students, and I encourage all students to fully participate. The data also provides us with an opportunity to see how our students’ learning of the California State Standards compared to that of students across the state.  

In addition to these state tests, we use multiple measures to assess student learning in our district, including teacher observation and local assessments that are administered throughout the year. Feedback about what students know and are able to do helps us to improve our teaching and identify how best to serve our students.

State Seal of Biliteracy and CSU/CCC use of SBA Results

For 11th graders, it is important to note that SBA results are used for the following:
	-State Seal of Biliteracy: The State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB) recognizes high school students who have demonstrated proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing, in one or more languages in addition to English. To qualify for the SSB, high school graduates must meet a number of criteria: passing the SBA for English Language Arts, in grade eleven, at or above the “standard met” achievement level; completing English Language Arts requirements for graduation with an overall grade point average of 2.0 or above in those classes; and achieving proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English, demonstrated in a variety of methods.
	-CSU/CCC indicator of readiness: English Language Arts and Mathematics scores on the SBA provide an indicator of a student's predicted readiness to take college-level English and mathematics. SBA results are one of several options used by CSUs and Community Colleges to assess student readiness. We encourage students to fill the "bubble" at the end of the exam that will allow the California State University and participating California Community Colleges to receive a student's grade eleven English and/or mathematics results. Depending on a student's achievement level score, he/she may be exempt from taking the CSU or participating CCC placement tests, and can move directly into college-level courses upon enrollment. NOTE: The results will not have an effect on admission the CSU or CCC, and the benefit will be the savings of time to obtain copies of the scores and forwarding them onto the college institution. 

Additional Information

For more information about SBA, we invite you to visit one of the following websites:
	-California Department of Education <http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/documents/sbparentgde11.pdf> 
	-California PTA <http://capta.org/focus-areas/education/student-assessments/> 
	Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium <http://www.smarterbalanced.org/parents/> 
	-Finally, if you are interested in trying out the SBA, click here

<https://login3.cloud1.tds.airast.org/student/V154/Pages/LoginShell.aspx?c=California_PT&v=154>  to access a training test.

Preparing Your Child

You can help us to make this time run smoothly for everyone by avoiding any unnecessary tardies and school absences. You should also know that, as a parent/guardian, you have the right to exempt your child from taking the CAASPP tests (California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 852). Parents/Guardians must annually submit a written request to Vice Principal Carrie Berg and specify the tests (ELA, Math, Science) and/or sections from which you wish your child to be exempted. 

More information is also available under the Parent/Student tab at www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/ - the California Department of Education web page. If you have any questions regarding your child’s participation, please contact Carrie Berg at carrieberg at berkeley.net or 510-644-6259.


Erin Schweng

Principal, Berkeley High School
Nicole Chee, Marguerite Fa-Kaji, Jenny Fosket, and Dylan Kaufman are the parent-volunteer facilitators of the Etree; please direct any questions about the Etree to them at bhs-owner at lmi.net.

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