All students, including those with Individual Education Programs (IEPs), must participate in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) program. This is a system of assessment that holds schools and districts accountable for how their students are learning and growing in the Core Curriculum.
As a Special Education Case Manager, it will be your role to assist the IEP team in determining how your student(s) will participate in each of the mandated assessments. Even if the parent indicates they want their child to "opt out" of state testing, the IEP must indicate the supports they would need if they were to participate. There may be Designated Supports or Accommodations, or an alternate test. These supports will be noted on the Participation in CAASPP page of the IEP. Any designated supports or accommodations provided for state testing must also be necessary in the classroom. Once the supports are specified on the IEP, it will also be your responsiblility to ensure that those supports are available to the student at the time of testing.
Once it is determined which supports your student(s) will utilize when participating in state assessments, it is also your responsibility to assure that your students practice accessing those supports in the classroom, in preparation for taking the actual test. For example, if they are to use large print or text to voice, the student should have access to activities and assignments in which those tools are available to them. There are Tools for Teachers provided by the California Department of Education to assist you in developing formative assessments that will prepare your students to take the annual tests. There are also Practice Tests for the CAASPP which are available to orient your students to the format of the test.
See the California Assessment System Chart.
Your district will have specific testing windows in which all your students who are eligible for that test must be assessed.
ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN MATH AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS:
Assessment in Math and English Language Arts is required of all students in grades 3-11 each school year. The test is called the Smarter Balanced Assessment System. The tests are administered online.
Smarter Balanced Assessment Fact Sheet for ELA and Math
Students with IEPs may need designated supports and/or accommodations to assist them in successfully accessing the Smarter Balanced tests. The IEP team will determine the needed accommodations and supports. Only those accommodations and supports on the following charts may be utilized.
Students with severe cognitive disabilites may participate in an alternative test called the California Alternate Assessment (CAA). The decision about which test the student will take is made by the IEP team. There is a Decision Making tool provided by the CDE for documenting the IEP team's decision for a student to take the CAA.
ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN SCIENCE:
The California Science Test (CAST) is required for students in grades 5, 8 and at the end of high school science courses. Students with significant cognitive disabilities in those grades may participate in the CAA in Science, as determined by the IEP team.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT:
All students who are identifed as English Learners (ELs) are required to be tested to determine progress in English Language Development. This includes all students with IEPs. The first one is administered upon initial entry into California public schools and is called the Initial ELPAC.The Initial ELPAC is available between July 1- June 30 every year. Then the test is administered again every year in the spring and is called the Summative ELPAC. The majority of students will take the regular English Language Proficiency Assessments of California (ELPAC). The IEP team will indicate any designated supports or acccommodations the student may need in order to access the test.
Initial ELPAC Fact Sheet
Summative ELPAC Fact Sheet
Students with significant cognitive disabilities may be assessed using the Alternate ELPAC, as idenitifed by the IEP team.
Initial Alternate ELPAC Fact Sheet
Summative Alternate ELPAC Fact Sheet