CAASPP testing at South Lake


Dear Parent/Guardian:

California’s academic standards—the things we want students to know and be able to do—are designed so students graduate ready for college and a career. One way we measure student progress is through the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) assessments.

Each spring, students in Irvine Unified School District participate in CAASPP assessments to provide information about their skills in English-language arts/literacy (ELA), mathematics, and science. These tests measure the skills called for by the academic standards, including the ability to write clearly, think critically, and solve problems. Given online, the tests are computer-adaptive, allowing for more precise measurement of individual skills. Like class assignments and report cards, these assessments provide one piece of information about student progress. Assessment results should always be interpreted as one of multiple measures of a student’s skills.

Based on your child’s grade level, they may take one or more of the following tests this year:

Balanced Assessments (Grades 3-8 and 11) May 7th – May 18th in English and Math classes.

The Smarter Balanced ELA and mathematics tests reflect California’s rigorous academic standards and allow students to demonstrate analytical writing and critical thinking skills as well as their knowledge of facts. In early fall, individual student score reports are sent home to parents with information about their child’s performance on these assessments. These reports include an overall score, a description of the student’s achievement level for English–language arts and mathematics, and other information.

Science Test—Field Test (Grades 5, 8, and High School) April 12th and 13th in Science class.

California’s new state standards for science call for students to think and work like scientists and engineers—asking questions and learning through hands-on investigation and discovery. This year, students will participate in a field test of the new California Science Test (CAST), which has replaced the old California Standards Test, or CST. The CAST is a computer adaptive test that emphasizes scientific thinking and reasoning. This year’s field test is an important step in developing an assessment that will fairly and accurately measure how students are achieving on the new science standards.


California Alternate Assessments May 7th – May 18th

Students in grades three through eight and high school who have an IEP that designates the use of an alternate assessment are eligible to take the California Alternate Assessment (CAA) in ELA, mathematics, and science. The goal of the CAAs is to ensure that students with the most significant cognitive disabilities attain increasingly higher achievement levels and leave high school ready for academic or career options. Students will receive scores on the CAA for ELA and mathematics, but no scores will be reported for the CAA for science this year since this is a practice run of the science test. The CCCs identify priorities in each content area to guide the instruction for students in this population and for the alternate assessment.

To learn about the types of questions on the computer-based tests, you and your child can view the practice tests on the California Department of Education (CDE) Smarter Balanced Practice Test web page at you would like more information about the assessments, please visit the IUSD Statewide Testing website at or the Students & Parents tab at the bottom of the CDE CAASPP web page at If you have any questions regarding your child’s participation, please contact Mrs. Dietz, Testing Coordinator, at



Belinda Averill