March 14, 2018
March 14, 2018

Dear Parents/Guardians of 11th Grade Students,

Mark your calendars! March 26th - 28th your child will be participating in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments in English/Language Arts and Math. These assessments provide important information on your child’s college and career readiness.

Why should my child participate in the CAASPP System?

Results from the CAASPP assessments benefit your child in many ways. One major benefit is state recognition/awards upon graduation. Students who meet the score requirements may earn the following:

  • The State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB) - Recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing one or more languages in addition to English. The SSB will be awarded by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction in accordance with specified criteria set forth in the legislation. To earn this seal, the student must earn a score of at least the “Standard Met” achievement level on the ELA/Literacy portion of the assessment and meet additional requirements for their second language.
  • Golden State Seal Merit Diploma (GSSMD) – Recognizes graduates who have demonstrated mastery of high school curriculum in at least six subject areas. The GSSMD is awarded jointly by the State Board of Education and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
  • College Readiness Indicator via the California State University’s Early Assessment Program (EAP) - Results from the grade 11 Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments also serve as an indicator of readiness for college - level coursework in English and mathematics and are used by the California State University (CSU) and participating California Community Colleges (CCCs) to determine Early Assessment Program (EAP) status. Students have the option of releasing their results upon completion of each assessment.

We are required to reach a 95% participation rate. Last year, fewer than 20% of our students participated. As a result, those students who would have qualified for state recognitions/awards were not honored. We are proud of our students and want to honor their incredible talents. Help us help your child shine!

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.

Where can I learn more?

Visit the PAUSD Assessment webpage to learn more about the test and opt out procedures for your child.

We wish all of our students the best of luck on this important assessment.


Karen Hendricks, Interim Superintendent

Pancho Rodriguez, Acting Principal Palo Alto High School

Kathleen Laurence,  Principal Gunn High School