Academics » SBAC


April 10, 2019


Dear Walnut Grove Parents/Guardians of 3rd to 5th Grade Students,


During the months of April and May, your child will be participating in the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment Consortium (SBAC), which are part of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System.


Why is this test important?

This test was created with teacher input to…

  • Measure how well your child has mastered the skills and content in mathematics and English language arts at his or her grade level.
  • Align with the instruction that takes place in the classroom everyday.
  • Match the learning goals of each grade level.
  • Assess critical thinking, analytical writing, and problem solving skills, which are needed for success in college and a 21st century career.

The test has different kinds of questions, including traditional multiple-choice questions as well as ones that require students to explain their answers, show their work, and compose essays.


What should I expect after my student takes the test?

As you may remember from last year’s score report, each subject will be broken down into areas. The report shows how students are doing in each area and where they need help. Depending on the student’s needs, teachers can use this information to provide targeted help to students to address their needs.


But remember, the results from this test aren’t meant to tell the whole story. Your child’s scores are meant to be one of several ways for you and your child’s teacher to see how your student is progressing in school. Test scores, along with student report cards and teacher’s observations of your child’s performance in the classroom, are used together to form a complete picture of your child’s achievement.   All test scores will be mailed home to families in late summer/early fall.


California Science Test This year, the CAASPP exams also include the new California Science Test (CAST). The CAST will be administered to students in grades 5, 8 and one time during high school.  


Where can I learn more?

For additional information about the SBAC and CAST tests, I encourage you to take a look at a practice test for your child’s grade level. The practice tests are posted on the California Department of Education’s Smarter Balanced Practice Tests Web page at To find out more details about the Smarter Balanced test, visit the “Be a Learning Hero” Web site at  


As the parent or guardian, you have the option of excusing your child (“opt‐out”) from all or any part of the CAASPP exams.  If you would like to excuse your child, you must submit your request in writing to the school’s principal. Please contact your child’s teacher for the dates of when the CAASPP tests will be administered. If your written request is received after the CAASPP exams have begun, any exam(s) completed before your request is submitted will be scored and results reported to you and included in the student’s records. [California Code of Regulations, Title 5, § 852.]


At Walnut Grove Elementary School, our goal is for all students to achieve their full potential. The Smarter Balanced tests are just one way that we are able to better understand if we are meeting that goal. Thank you for all you do to partner with us in your child’s education.


Thank you,


Chris Connor

Chris Connor