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Principal's Pen

   CAASPP Parent Checklist

Every spring, students in Grades 3 through 8 and Grade 11 take the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English-Language Arts Literacy (ELA) and mathematics. These assessments are part of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System. Results from these assessments are just one piece of information to help teachers, parents and students understand how well a student is meeting the grade-level expectations. Here are some suggestions to help you better understand what your child will be tested on and how you can prepare your child for the assessments.

  • FIND OUT THE FACTS. To start, students will take the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments between April 10 and May 19. Students usually take the ELA and mathematics tests on different days. Since the test includes questions that measure critical thinking and problem solving they do take longer than “fill in the bubble” tests given on paper. However, the tests are untimed, so students will have plenty of time to finish. For more information about the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments, please feel free to ask your child’s teacher or visit
  • TAKE A LOOK AT THE PRACTICE TEST. This will help you better understand the types of questions your child will be answering. You may want to walk through the test with your child to help familiarize him or her with the test format and features and answer any questions. To see a practice test, visit the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Smarter Balanced Practice Tests website at

  • KNOW WHAT YOUR CHILD SHOULD BE LEARNING IN ELA AND MATHEMATICS. To find out the learning expectations of your child’s grade level in both subjects, take a look at the CDE’s Parent Guides to the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments at The guides explain the skills and knowledge your child is expected to learn each year. You can also see samples of test items that appear on the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments. Separate guides have been developed for Grades 3 to 5, Grades 6 to 8 and Grade 11.

  • USE YOUR CHILD’S TEST RESULTS FROM LAST YEAR TO IDENTIFY AREAS WHERE HE OR SHE MIGHT NEED ADDITIONAL SUPPORT. Talk with your child’s teacher to see what types of supplemental activities you can do at home. Find activities that match your child’s performance in both subjects in the Be a Learning Hero Skill Builder at

  • PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE! Homework is a great way to reinforce the skills and content your child learns everyday in the classroom and that the tests measures. In addition to the state tests, it is another measure you can use to see how well your child is progressing throughout the year. To get homework help in both subjects, visit For sample problems and questions along with solutions and answers, visit

Lori Neiman