Gasp! It’s CAASPP
April 16, 2019
Next week, juniors will be doing CAASPP testing while freshmen, sophomores, and
seniors participate in select activities during the testing block. Juniors will be doing Math
assessments on Monday and Tuesday, followed by English CA testing and Performance Tasks
on Wednesday and Thursday in order to meet California state requirements.
Additionally, juniors will finish with the CA Science Test on Friday, along with seniors
to fulfil the “…mandate…that every student needs to be tested in science before they graduate,” said Assistant Principal Katie Bendix. Seniors did not take the Science test last year, so they will be taking it this year. Seniors will either be taking the test on Thursday or Friday, depending on their last name.
The testing block will start at 9:05 everyday and end at 11:20 when students are
dismissed for lunch.
Freshmen, sophomores, and seniors – for the days they are not testing – will be
participating in activities. Every student will report to their assigned classroom once the testing block starts at 9:05 regardless of the activity that day. Classrooms were assigned based on last name and the assignment sheets can be found posted on the windows of the Mosaic Cafe, Mustang Commons, and Assistant Principal’s office.
The activities will be as follows: On Monday half of the students will be watching a
movie titled “Angst,” a 2017 documentary about teen anxiety. The other half of the students will do a “leadership and connectedness activity,” said Bendix. “Then the next day you switch. So if you viewed ‘Angst,’ then you’re going to be doing the activities on the next day. And vise
On Wednesday, there will be a career fair organized by the counseling and foundation
departments. “That will be the first hour and 15 minutes of the activities block.” There will be
over 30 guests at the fair doing panels and mock interviews. Then students will return to their
classrooms for a career exploration activity.
On Thursday, half of the seniors will be participating in Senior Tiles while the other half
does their testing. On Friday they will switch roles. For 9th and 10th graders, there will be a
guest speaker in the gym. The grades will be divided in half and the first group will observe the presentation while the other half participates in a making decisions lesson with their teachers. In the second hour the groups switch activities.
And finally on Friday the 9th and 10th graders will go through rotations based on
physical wellness. There will be athletic equipment on the field and time to engage with fellow
students. Bendix says, “It’s more of a ‘Friday lets get out and move.’”
The information resulting from the CAASPP tests is reported to the California state
dashboard to help give insight to the school’s performance. “The purpose behind [CAASPP
Testing] is both to gain some data about individual performance,” said Bendix. “And what that does is it helps us, as a school, place [students for] next year, and also kind of give us a big picture of where we’re performing as a school.”
The provided insight from the test results can help in adjusting the curriculum. “Perhaps
if there’s a large group of students who aren’t meeting standards in…English, then we [the
school’s administration] know, okay, where are we aligning our curriculum with California
standards, and how can we help support our students?” said Bendix. “It definitely informs our instruction here.”
The CAASPP scores can also serve schools in student placement for college courses.
“For individual students…they can select whether they want to release their assessment results to CSUs [California state schools] and community colleges, which they [the schools] would then use, if you enroll…to place you in their courses,” said Bendix. “A lot of schools, like the CSUs, will give you a placement test…[and] they can use these [CAASPP] scores to then place you [in appropriate classes]…We encourage students to do it just so you don’t have to take that placement test.”