Spring 2021 Assessment Information 5.12.21

Spring 2021 Assessment Information 5.12.21
Posted on 05/12/2021

May 12, 2021

Dear UCHS Parents and Guardians,

As Mr. Olivero alluded in his call out Tuesday night, the month of May is testing and survey month.  As background and information, please see below.

The 2020-21 school year has introduced new ways of teaching and learning and pushed us all to take on new challenges all while not giving up on our students or ourselves. The 2021 Summative Assessments mandated by the state will provide us with another new opportunity--an opportunity to administer assessments that are closer to students and instruction and that will provide actionable feedback for teachers. 

As many of you may be aware the California Teachers Association and the National Education Association together with many large urban districts in California urged the California Department of Education to submit a waiver for standardized testing for the 2020-21 school year to the US Department of Education. The waiver did not remove the requirement to administer assessments, but does permit districts some flexibility to use local assessments as long as they meet the state requirements as outlined below.

State Requirements: California will continue to provide all the Summative English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) and California Alternate Assessments (CAAs). For Smarter Balanced English Language Arts (ELA) and math statewide assessments, where COVID circumstances do not make the statewide assessments a viable option, LEAs may use a locally administered assessment that meets the following criteria:

  1. Are aligned with California Common Core State Standards for ELA and mathematics.

  2. Are available to assess students in grades three through eight and grade eleven.

  3. Are uniformly administered across a grade span, school, or district.

  4. Provide results that can be reported to parents/guardians, educators about individual students, and to the public by school and by district and are disaggregated by student group.

(Source: California Department of Education, April 2021 2020-21 Spring Summative Assessment Administration Flexibility Guidelines)

San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) has a strong history of working toward equitable outcomes for students and we believe that exercising our options to use local assessments whenever possible is in the best interest of our students. We believe it is important for teachers, site leaders, parents, and communities to know how our students are doing in terms of academics as well as their social-emotional well being; therefore we are expanding our local assessments to include more students and also to include a social-emotional screening assessment.

District Plan: In addition to the Summative ELPAC and CAA, the mandated assessment plan for SDUSD will provide ELA and mathematics assessments that are aligned with California Common Core Standards and meet all of the criteria set forth by the state. The district plan will

  1. Use local assessments for ELA and mathematics for grades 3-11

  2. Use a social emotional screening assessment for all students grades 4-12

  3. Provide immediate results of electronically scored responses to educators.

  4. Provide parent reports for all students for ELA and mathematics by June 30, 2021.

  5. Provide opportunities for grade 11 students to take the SBA for ELA and mathematics in order to take advantage of the Early Assessment Program (EAP) for math and English placement in the CSU system. This assessment opportunity is not in lieu of the local reading, math and SEL assessments. It will be given on an opt-in basis for students, who in consultation with their parents and school counselors, elect to participate.

   Table 1. Spring 2021 Summative Assessments

Name of Assessment

Grade Level(s)

Estimated Total Test Time

Subject Area(s)

Testing Dates

FAST (Fast Track Reading)


45 minutes


Now-June 15

District Essential Math Indicators (DEMI)


30-40 minutes


May 10-21

Social Emotional Screener


25 minutes


May 24-June 15

Smarter Balanced Assessment


(Opt in)

140 minutes (70 per subject)

ELA, Math

To Be Determined

Summative ELPAC


Varies by grade level and domain


Now-May 27

California Alternative Assessments for ELA, Math and Science

3-8, 11

Mod/Severe if in IEP

Varies by grade level by student

ELA, Math, Science

Now-June 15

Additional Resources:

FAQ from CDE regarding 2021 Spring Summative Assessments

FAQ from the District regarding 2021 Spring Summative Assessments
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