Required State Testing Notification to Parents

  • Dear Families,

    This spring, your child will participate in state assessments that provide your child’s teachers and you with important information about how your child is progressing. These assessments help educators know how to best support your child to ensure they are ready for the next grade level and, ultimately, success in life. The tests are one of several indicators, in combination with report cards, teacher feedback and classroom work, that create a complete picture of your student’s progress in school.

    For English/ language arts and mathematics, students in grades 3 – 8 take the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC). Educators from Delaware and around the country helped create and improve this test by writing questions and reviewing the assessments for content, bias/ sensitivity, and accessibility. These online, adaptive tests are designed so that students, including those who are learning English or have special needs, can demonstrate what they know and can do. Your child’s teacher receives results in about three weeks after students take the assessment; family reports are mailed home statewide in the summer.

    In high school, students complete the digital PSAT in grade 10 and the digital SAT in grade 11. Both of these assessments include a Reading Test, a Writing and Language Test, and a Math Test. These assessments measure a student’s ability to use words in context, to interpret, synthesize, and use evidence found in a wide range of sources in their written responses, to read a passage and explain how an author builds an argument to persuade an audience, and to work in-depth in three essential areas of math: Problem Solving and Data Analysis, Heart of Algebra, and Passport to Advanced Math. 

    Students in grades 5, 8 and enrolled in high school biology, take the DeSSA science assessment. This assessment asks students to demonstrate their progress toward mastery of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  Delaware redesigned its social studies assessments for grades 4, 7, and 11 focusing on student’s understanding of the Delaware social studies standards. As with the SBAC and PSAT/ SAT, teachers will use the results of the DeSSA science and social studies assessments as one of many measures to determine your child’s progress in those contents. Those scores will be included with other measures to identify strengths and opportunities for growth in your child’s learning pattern to identify ongoing strategies to best meet the needs of your child.

    Students identified as English Learners will also take the ACCESS assessment to measure their English Language Development across four domains- reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Teachers will use the results to make decisions about students' English academic language and to facilitate their language development.

    Delaware also offers alternate assessments in English language arts (ELA), mathematics, and science for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. These assessments are designed to assess what students with disabilities know and can do based on Delaware state standards. Teachers use the results of the DeSSA alternative assessment as one of many measures to determine your child’s progress in those contents. Those scores will be included with other measures to identify strengths and opportunities for growth in your child’s learning pattern to identify ongoing strategies to best meet the needs of your child.

    The SBAC English language arts, SBAC math, and DeSSA science and social studies assessments focus on thoughtful questions that challenge students to come up with their own answers, show their work, and explain their thinking. The assessments include real-life performance tasks connected to classroom instruction, matching the skills across multiple content standards to increase critical thinking abilities. The assessments are connected to classroom instruction, matching the skills and content students are learning and practicing in their classrooms.  

    For parent resources about these assessments, please visit https://www.doe.k12.de.us/Page/3814.

    On December 10, 2015, the Every Students Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) was signed into law. Section 1112(e)(2) of ESSA states that parents of students in Title I schools have a right to know about state or district policies regarding student participation in any assessments mandated by ESSA, including any policy, procedure, or parental right to opt students out of such assessments. 

    If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Jennifer Martin, District Test Coordinator, at 302-698-4800 or Jennifer.Martin@cr.k12.de.us.