February 21, 2017

Dear Parent/Guardian of PAUSD Seniors:

California’s academic standards—what we want our students to know and be able to do—are designed for students to graduate ready for college and a career. One way we measure their progress is through the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) assessments. Students across California in grades 3–8 and high school take these assessments each spring. Because students participate in CAASPP tests statewide, they provide an opportunity to measure the skills of all students against the same academic standards.

This year, seniors in PAUSD will take The California Science Test—Pilot Test.

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. Working with science teachers, California is developing a new assessment that emphasizes scientific thinking and reasoning. This year your PAUSD senior will participate in the pilot of test items for this future assessment. While this pilot will not provide scores, it is an important first step in developing an assessment that will fairly and accurately measure how students are achieving on the new science standards. For additional information about the new science tests and sample questions, please visit the CDE’s CAASPP Science Assessment Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/caasppscience.asp.

Please mark your calendar as CAASPP testing will take place at Gunn and Paly during the week of March 28th, 2017. Please make sure your child is in attendance and on time on test days.  Students absent of testing days will be required to attend make-up sessions.  The CAST will be administered in one testing session and take less than 90 minutes.

While a 95% participation rate is required, Education Code section 60615 states that parents/guardians may annually submit a written request to the principal of their student’s school to excuse their child from any or all parts of the CAASPP Summative Assessments for the school year.  We encourage parents to contact their child’s school (specifically the site testing coordinator) with any questions they may have about the assessments or their child’s participation.

Sincerely,

Glenn "Max" McGee
Superintendent