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Smarter Balanced Assessment Fall 2021 Update

Summary: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) for Spring 2021 was postponed until this fall.

Posted: October 5, 2021

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual spring Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) was postponed until this fall.

Students in grades 4-12 will have the opportunity to take the SBA. The testing window is open until November 10. This assessment will be administered through student laptops during the school day and each section takes about 45-75 minutes, although students will not be timed. Your child’s school will contact families about specific testing date(s).

The SBA will cover math, language arts and science (if applicable). Students will test at the grade level from their previous year (i.e., 5th grade will take the 4th grade assessment).

We recognize the impact of the pandemic on teaching and student learning. Data collected from the SBA will not only help us determine your child’s academic development, but it will also provide us with a snapshot of what your student learned during remote instruction. Furthermore, this valuable data will help inform educators on where your student may need academic support and where they succeeded in the virtual classroom.

The SBA is only one measure used to support and enhance educator practice and student academic development. Scores will not affect the student’s transcript or grades in any specific class, nor will it have a negative impact on their graduation requirements. Students will be provided accommodations in alignment with 504 plans and Individualized Education Plans (IEP).

Exemptions for the English Language Arts portion of the assessment are available to students who are:

  • actively enrolled in an English Language Learner (ELL) program,
  • and they are in their first U.S. school,
  • and arrived in the U.S. within 365 days of the assessment.

If a student uses the new ELL exemption for the Fall SBA, they will not be exempt from the Spring 2022 SBA.

A student who has a major medical event preventing participation during the testing window may also be exempt.

Families can choose to opt a student out of the test using a district form linked on the SBA webpage. We have compiled a helpful FAQ containing answers to any questions you may have.

We highly encourage all eligible students to take the assessment. Please visit our webpage for more information about SBA.

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