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Fun Facts
  1. Staying in school makes you smarter!  Each month you stay in school helps bolster your IQ.
  2. You're probably "smarter" than your grandpa.  At least, as measured by IQ tests.  If you could turn back time 50 years and take an IQ test, more than 90% of today's scorers would rate "genius", while our grandparents' scores compared to today's would tend to put them in one of the lowest brackets.  Does this mean we're actually smarter?  Not so much.  Rather, we have better nutrition, more schooling, better-educated parents, and lifestyles that have been enriched by computers and toys that boost that particular kind of intelligence. 
  3. What you put in your mouth can affect your brain.  A study of 1 million students in New York City revealed that students did 14% better on IQ tests after preservatives, dyes, and artificial flavors were removed from their lunches.  The weakest students benefited the most from healthier food.

Could you pass the 8th Grade Final Exam, Salinas, KS - 1895?  Here are some sample questions:

  1. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no modifications.
  2. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
  3. Who were the following:  Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
  4. What are the following, and give examples of each:  Trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
  5. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.

Teens typically watch 5 hours of TV daily.  According to a recent study, more than 70% of children said they had a TV in their bedroom, and these children scored between seven and nine points lower on standardized Math, Reading, and Language Arts tests than those who didn't have a TV in their bedroom.  The study also showed that children who had access to home computers scored higher on these tests than those who didn't have access to a computer at home.

Student Testing & Assessment

The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or CAASPP, which has replaced the Standardized Testing and Reporting, or STAR Program, is the new state academic testing program. CAASPP is a system intended to provide information that can be used to monitor student progress and ensure that all students leave high school ready for college and career. The CAASPP includes computer-adaptive tests in English–language arts and mathematics for grades 3-8 and 11, as well as science tests for grades 5, 8, and once in high school.

The summative California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for English language arts/literacy (ELA), mathematics, and science are administered to eligible students. The CAAs are for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities and whose individualized education program (IEP) team has designated the use of an alternate assessment on statewide summative assessments.

To learn about the types of questions on the computer-based test, you and your child can view the practice test online at the California Department of Education (CDE) Smarter Balanced Practice Test Web page 

Following the spring 2018 testing, students will receive individual score reports. Student score reports will be sent home to parents and will include an overall score, a description of the student’s achievement level for English–language arts and mathematics, and other information. It is important to note that these scores cannot be compared to scores that your child previously received on the STAR tests because this test is based on the new California State Standards, involves different types of test questions, and will not be reported using the STAR Program reporting categories.

If you would like more information, please visit the Parent/Student tab of the CDE CAASPP Web page 

District-Level Testing

The English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) is the successor to the California English Language Development Test (CELDT).  Beginning in 2017-18, the ELPAC is the required state test for English language proficiency (ELP) that must be given to students whose primary language is a language other than English.  The California Department of Education (CDE) expects to be fully transitioned from the CELDT to the ELPAC as the state's assessment of ELP by 2018-19.

State and federal law require that local educational agencies administer a state test of ELP to eligible students in kindergarten (or year one of a two-year kindergarten program, sometimes referred to as "transitional kindergarten") through grade twelve (ages 3-21).  The ELPAC is aligned with California's 2012 English Language Development Standards, and is comprised of two separate ELP assessments:

  1. Initial Assessment (IA) - an initial identification of students as English learners
  2. Summative Assessment (SA) - an annual summative assessment to measure an English Learner's progress in learning English and to identify the student's ELP level

ELPAC Test Blueprints
The Summative Assessment ELPAC blueprints (PDF) and task types (PDF) were approved and adopted by the State Board of Education on September 14, 2017.  The ELPAC is aligned with California's 2012 English Language

The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills are a set of procedures and measures for assessing the acquisition of early literacy skills from kindergarten through sixth grade.  They are designed to be short (one minute) fluency measures used to regularly monitor the development of early literacy and early reading skills.

DIBELS were developed to measure recognized and empirically validated skills related to reading outcomes.  All of the measures have been thoroughly researched and demonstrated to be reliable and valid indicators of early literacy development and predictive of later reading proficiency to aid in the early identification of students who are not progressing as expected.  When used as recommended, the results can be used to evaluate individual student development as well as provide grade-level feedback toward validated instructional objectives.

i-Ready Diagnostic & Instruction begins by giving students an adaptive assessment in reading or math.  An adaptive assessment is a test that automatically adjusts the difficulty of the questions according to each student's performance in order to determine his or her abilities in reading or math.  i-Ready is a different kind of test that presents students with questions that are both too easy and too hard.  It is designed to do this until the assessment finds exactly the level at which the student is performing.  Therefore, your child will certainly see some items above his or her level.  

Each time a student gets an item incorrect, he or she will be presented with a simpler question until the diagnostic finds the grade level at which the student is performing.  The assessment efficiently assesses students across multiple grade levels, allowing for identification of root causes of students' struggles or for identification of areas where a student is ready for further challenge.  This information will then provide the teacher with a "road map" to instructional remediation.

Once your child completes the test, he or she will be assigned online instruction to support his or her progress in mastering each skill.

California Physical Fitness Test
By law (Education Code Section 60800), All school districts in California are required to administer the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) annually to all public school students in grades five, seven and nine.  The PFT provides information that can be used by (1) students to assess and plan personal fitness programs; (2) teachers to design the curriculum for physical education programs; and (3) parents and guardians to understand their children's fitness levels.  This program also provides results that are used to monitor changes in the physical fitness of California students.  The FITNESSGRAM is composed of the following six fitness areas, with a number of test options provided for most areas:

Aerobic Capacity
PACER (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run)
One-Mile Run
Walk Test (only for ages 13 or older)

Abdominal Strength and Endurance
Modified Pull-Up
Flexed-Arm Hang

Body Composition
Skinfold Measurements
Body Mass Index
Bio-electric Impedance Analyzer

Trunk Extension Strength and Flexibility
Trunk Lift

Back-Saver Sit and Reach
Shoulder Stretch