SCCOE Accountability Newsletter

September 2019

LCAP Advisory Services

The LCAP Advisory Services Department serves to provide technical assistance and support to Santa Clara County districts and schools. We support areas around State and Federal Programs, Assessment and Accountability.

Visit the LCAP Advisory Services Page to access resources.

SBE takes a First Look at the New LCAP Template Prototype

On Wednesday of last week, the CDE presented its first draft of the new LCAP Template prototype to the State Board of Education for comments. For the most part, the template was well received and the SBE commended the CDE for their efforts to make the document more transparent while reducing the length. Over 20 people from the audience shared concerns and comments regarding the new template. The SBE also shared their feedback to the CDE team. Directions for completing the template were not included and those will go to the SBE in a memo in October. The SBE will vote to approve the template in November. If you are interested in seeing the Board agenda item along with template prototype please click here

Some significant changes were made to combine the Annual Update and Goals, Actions, and Services sections to reduce the need to flip back and forth while reading the LCAP. In addition, all of the budgetary details are now captured in “summary tables” at the end of the LCAP instead of tied to the individual Actions and Services narratives.

Our LCAP Advisory Services team will be scheduling individual district team meetings during the months of September-November to discuss the new changes, provide suggestions, and offer support. We look forward to building on the strong partnerships established last year.

Improvement Science: A Framework for How to Improve!

Have you been asked by your Board, advisory groups, or other stakeholders, "What are we doing to address these issues in our data?" Each year schools and districts have to write plans (LCAPs, SPSAs, etc) to respond to areas of need that are highlighted through student and staff outcome data. Often these change ideas in our plans do not go through a rigorous testing and learning process to even answer the question, "How will we know this change idea will result in improvement?" We scale up too fast only to find out that what we thought would improve results doesn't really address the area of need we identified.

In Improvement Science, we hold to the belief that "All systems are perfectly designed to achieve the results they get." If we want to improve our results we must understand what about our system is currently holding our problems in place and then test change ideas on a small scale that ultimately scale up to systemwide improvement. Improvement Science is a process of disciplined inquiry, where the goal is "fail fast to learn fast" so we can constantly iterate towards the improvement we desire.

We would like to invite district and site level teams to consider attending this 4 day Introduction to Improvement Science training. During these 4 days, teams will learn about the Improvement Science Framework and a number of tools that will help them develop processes and routines for learning their way towards improvement.

October 15-16 & November 19-20, 2019

Getting Started with Improvement Science:

Check out the flyer for more information

Don't Forget to Sign Up for our AAN/SF Network Meetings

We have scheduled the Assessment and Accountability/State and Federal Lunch and Learns again this year following the Assistant Superintendents Meetings. These meetings are designed to update you on things from the world of assessment, accountability, and State and Federal compliance and also give you a dedicated space to network and learn from each other. Please mark your calendars with the following dates and times. Use the links below to register if you are planning on attending so that we can plan for lunch.

For a portion of our September 26th meeting, we have invited a representative from the CDE to provide information on FPM, Title I and Title III.

September 26, 2019- 11:15 am - 3:00 pm (Extended because we will have a rep from CDE speaking)

October 24, 2019- 11:15 am - 2:00 pm

November 21, 2019- 11:15 am - 2:00 pm

January 23, 2020- 11:15 am - 2:00 pm

March 26, 2020- 11:15 am - 2:00 pm

April 23, 2020-11:15 am - 2:00 pm

May 21, 2020- 11:15 am - 2:00 pm

2019-20 Reclassification Guidelines Letter

Copy of the 2019-20 Reclassification Letter from CDE

CDE has released their annual letter for Reclassification Guidelines for 2019-20.

The criteria includes:

  1. English Language Assessment/ELPAC where students have an Overall Level 4
  2. Teacher evaluation
  3. Parent consultation
  4. Comparison of performance on basic skills with English Proficient students of the same age

Please assure that your LEAs Reclassification Guidelines are up-to-date and documented along with your reclassification process.

Let me know if you need any support or have questions for this process.

Annual Parent Notification

Link to English CDE sample

Link to Spanish CDE Sample

This is just a reminder of the Title III requirement for Parent Annual Notification.

From the CDE page:

Each local educational agency using funds under this part (Title I), or Title III, to provide a language instruction educational program as determined under Title III shall, not later than 30 days after the beginning of the school year, inform parents of an English learner identified for participation or participating in such a program (20 United States Code Section 6312).

This letter is a sample annual notification to inform parents of their child's continued identification as an English learner in a California school, and provide all the required information to meet Federal Title I or Title III requirements.

A sample Initial Parent Notification in English and Spanish is available through the Test Operations Management System (TOMS)

Translation Requirement for 15% or above

Just a reminder to check your districtschool percentage for translation.

California Education Code Section 48985(a) requirement to notify parents in languages other than English if 15% or above in your district/school site.

DataQuest Page to find 15% for Translation:

OPTEL (Observation Protocol for Teachers of English Learners) UPDATE

The OPTEL is a standardized protocol that will assist teachers in reclassifying students to Fluent English Proficient. The OPTEL is being designed to meet the requirements of ESSA, which requires states to have standardized exit criteria.

An updated draft of the OPTEL was recently piloted August 12–September 4, 2019, in districts throughout the State. Any refined version of the OPTEL will be field tested in early 2020.

Upon completion of the OPTEL in June 2020, professional development will take place in order to provide instruction to school districts, COEs, and charter schools on how to use the protocol.

For questions regarding the OPTEL, contact Nicole Hamlin, Education Programs Assistant, LPLO, by phone at 916-319-0443 or by email at

Title III Funding Update

Here is an update on Title 3 Funding:

  • Can still apply for 2019-20 funding until January 3, 2020

  • There was a reduction by Federal Ed. Dept.

  • EL:$105.25/student

  • Immigrant: $95.53/student

**17-18 carryover must be spent by September 30, 2019/must be obligated or expended and LEAs have until December to complete (90 days)

Data Reporting: Consolidated Application and Reporting System (CARS) 2019–20 Winter Release

The next expenditure reporting period is during the CARS Winter Release, which is from January 15 through February 28, 2020. Title III expenditure reporting will include:

2017–18 Title III, Part A, Immigrant End-of-Year (EOY) Expenditure Report, 27 Months Title III, Part A, EL EOY Expenditure Report, 27 Months

2018–19 Title III, Part A, Immigrant Expenditure Report, 18 Months Title III, Part A, EL Expenditure Report, 18 Months

2019–20 Title III, Part A, Immigrant Expenditure Report, 6 Months Title III, Part A, EL Expenditure Report, 6 Months

Expenditure Reports LEAs report Title III, Part A, EL and Immigrant expenditures on CARS during the reporting window.

End of Year Expenditure Reports: The CDE requests that LEAs submit their EOY reports (27 months) during the CARS Winter release. The CDE will invoice LEAs who report a balance of unexpended funds.

For fiscal or consortium questions regarding Title III EL and Immigrant Student Programs, contact Kevin Webb, Associate Governmental Program Analyst (AGPA), LPLO, by phone at 916-323-6257 or by email at

2020 Innovating for Equity Summit

The former Accountability Leadership Institute for English Learners (ALI) will now be included in the Innovating for Equity Summit as part of a combined effort with the following offices: Title I, Title II, Title III, Title IV, Special Education and System of Support. The Summit will be held on February 11–12, 2020. The Innovating for Equity Summit will be held at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.

The CDE will provide more information regarding the Summit in the near future. Look for a the new web page to be linked from the previous ALI page.

21st Century California School Leadership Academy and Educator Workforce Investment Grant Webinars

Flyer for the Webinars

The California Department of Education (CDE) and the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) invite stakeholders to provide input on “critical areas” of professional learning for educators through the 21st Century California School Leadership Academy (21 CSLA) and the Educator Workforce Investment Grant (EWIG) initiatives during scheduled webinars in September.

Webinar dates and times for each initiative are shown below. An overview of each initiative and additional details to log into the webinars can be found in the attached handout. Please feel free to distribute to others who may be interested in participating.

21 CSLA Webinars

September 16, 2019 9–10 a.m.

September 19, 2019 3–4 p.m.

September 20, 2019 3–4 p.m.

EWIG Webinar

September 25, 2019 1:30–4:30 p.m.

Additional information regarding these initiatives may be found on the CDE 21 CSLA web page and the CDE EWIG web page.

Questions about webinars for both initiatives may be directed to

California Education for a Global Economy Initiative Implementation Handbook

The CA Ed.G.E. Initiative Implementation Handbook for School Districts and County Offices of Education is available to the public. This handbook provides information and guidance for local educational agencies (LEAs) as they continue to implement the provisions of the law. To download and view the handbook, visit the California Department of Education (CDE) CA Ed.G.E. Initiative web page at

For questions regarding the CA Ed.G.E. Initiative or multilingual programs, contact Lorrie Kelling, EPC, LPLO, by phone at 916-319-0386 or by email at

English Learner and Multilingual Data Collection

California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) Currently, LEAs are required to report program participation and instructional services in CALPADS for each English learner. LEAs may also report the language in which students receive instruction.

Beginning July 2019, for non-English learner students, LEAs have the option to report multilingual program participation and the language of instruction in CALPADS. Reporting in CALPADS for all students (English learners and non-English learners) who are placed in multilingual programs assists LEAs with ongoing program evaluation data for continuous improvement. This data will also be used to include schools in the statewide multilingual program directory.

Multilingual Programs Listed in CALPADS:

• Developmental Bilingual

• Dual-Language Immersion

• Heritage or Indigenous Language

• Newcomer Program

• One-Way Immersion

• Transitional Bilingual

CALPADS File English Learners Non-English Learners Student Program File Required: Report the language instruction program and language of instruction if participating in a multilingual program

Report the language instruction program and language of instruction if participating in a multilingual program

For additional information, visit the CDE CALPADS web page at, or call the CALPADS Office at 916-324-6738, or email at

California Practitioners’ Guide for Educating English Learners with Disabilities

In July 2019, the CDE released the groundbreaking California’s Practitioners’ Guide to Educating English Learners with Disabilities. The guide provides educators with information and strategies for identifying and supporting English learners with disabilities in transitional kindergarten through grade twelve. It is designed to assist classroom teachers in identifying, assessing, supporting, and reclassifying English learners who may qualify for special education services and students with disabilities who may be classified as English learners. The guide will also assist local leadership in developing and implementing policies and practices related to English learners with disabilities. The guide is available for download at

***The document has 400+ pages. Download and view before printing!

Dashboard Awareness Week

The state is launching a week-long awareness campaign for the California School Dashboard and asking for your help to get the word out to principals, teachers, and site staff.

September 16-20 is #CADashboardWeek. CDE is hoping that you will use your social media, flash newsletters, and any other effective communications channels at your disposal to encourage teachers and site administrators to check out the Dashboard. Each day, a new topic —Dashboard Basics, Community Empowerment, Mobile App—will be featured.

The success of “local control” hinges on all local stakeholders being fully engaged and invested in the outcomes for our students. The Dashboard, which reports these outcomes and highlights performance gaps among student groups, is a critical tool for this engagement. Below is a post that can be shared with site administrators and teachers in your district.

Teachers use more than just test scores to determine how well a student is doing because test scores alone don’t tell the whole story. And the same is true for schools – test scores are only part of a bigger picture of school success. That’s why the California School Dashboard contains a range of easy-to-use, color-coded gauges designed to give families a complete picture of a school or district. The Dashboard includes meaningful data on graduation rates, college/career readiness, attendance, English learner progress, suspensions and more. The state has created several videos – translated into Spanish – to help you learn about the Dashboard and how to use it. Find them on the California Department of Education’s YouTube channel!

Local Dashboard Indicators Deadline is November 1

Reminder: The deadline for submission of the local indicators to the Dashboard is November 1, 2019. LEAs that do not complete and upload the local indicators by November 1 will default to Not Met (or Not Met for Two or More Years if this is the second straight year of not uploading the local indicators).

Prior to submitting the local indicators to the Dashboard LEAs must report the results at a regularly scheduled public meeting of the local governing board. As a best practice for stakeholder engagement, LEA’s are encouraged to provide the local indicator information to the governing board as an agenda item for public comment rather than as a consent item on the agenda.

For complete details of the local indicators’ prompts and reflection tools and narratives, please see the data collection sheet below.

ESSA Implementation Stakeholder Session

CDE held an ESSA Implementation Stakeholder Session webinar on September 13th. Topics covered included:

•21st Century California School Leadership Academy

•ESSA reporting requirements: per pupil expenditures

•ESSA State Plan proposed amendments

•ESSA participation rate

More information on these topics will be forthcoming.

Initial ELPAC

Reminder: The 2019–20 Initial ELPAC administration window opened on July 1. Pursuant to California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 11518.5(d), LEAs are required to administer the Initial ELPAC to newly enrolled students whose primary language is not English within 30 calendar days of enrollment.

ELPAC Technology Readiness Checker for Students

To support the transition to the computer-based ELPAC, the Technology Readiness Checker for Students (TRCS) helps educators gather useful information regarding students’ technological familiarity with online interactions. The TRCS is an optional interactive online tool that can be used to evaluate whether a student may need technological support in taking the online assessment, such as through a technology navigation assistant—a universal tool—or designated interface assistance—a designated support. Access to the TRCS tool will be available on the ELPAC website home page very soon.

ELPAC Primary Test Materials Ordering Window

Because of the ongoing administration of the ELPAC field test in October, the Summative ELPAC Primary Test Materials Ordering Window for the K–2 Writing domain will open on November 1.

  • Primary Materials Ordering Window: November 1–December 20, 2019 (Materials to arrive the week of January 6, 2020)
  • Supplemental Materials Ordering Window: January 15–May 15, 2020 (Materials to arrive 10 to 14 business days after order has been placed)

Please check that the shipping address in TOMS is correct before ordering to ensure that materials are delivered to the appropriate location. The shipping address must be a physical location; materials cannot be shipped to a post office box.

Changes to the ELPAC Home Page

Changes have been made to the ELPAC website ( to support the administration of the fall 2019 computer-based ELPAC field test, 2019–20 Summative ELPAC, and 2020–21 Initial ELPAC, which will all be administered online. The following buttons have been added to Home page navigation to provide easy access to all the functions coordinators and test examiners need to administer the computer-based assessments:

  • Test Operations Management System (TOMS)—a one-stop-shop for adding users, placing any test materials orders, viewing pre-identification (Pre-ID) label information, using the Local Scoring Tool, applying student test settings, and reporting test security incidents
  • Secure Browsers—a list of supported operating systems and access to download the secure browser for online testing
  • Test Administrator Interface for All Online Assessments—access for test examiners to generate a test session ID, start or stop a test session, and view student testing progress
  • Data Entry Interface (DEI)—access for staff to enter student Speaking domain scores, student responses for paper-pencil exams, and special versions such as braille and large print
  • Practice and Training Tests—opportunities for students and test examiners to become familiar with the online testing environment and the item task types before taking an actual online assessment
  • Training tests are available
  • Practice tests will be available in November 2019
  • Technology Readiness Checker for Students (coming soon)—an optional resource for teachers and test examiners to check their students’ level of technology familiarity in preparation for online testing; a useful tool in working with students who may not have experience with an online testing environment
  • Digital Library—access to the Smarter Balanced Digital Library to support educators with the formative assessment process; all TOMS users will have access to the Digital Library

Questions about changes to the ELPAC website and the computer-based ELPAC can be directed to the California Technical Assistance Center by phone at 800-955-2954 or by email at

The ELPAC Communications Toolkit

The ELPAC Communications Toolkit is available to help LEAs with outreach efforts to parents and guardians about the transition to the computer-based ELPAC and the Alternate ELPAC.

LEA ELPAC Coordinator Checklist

An updated LEA ELPAC Coordinator Checklist is available on the ELPAC website’s ELPAC Resources web page under “Resources for ELPAC Coordinators.” This document is meant to assist LEA ELPAC coordinators in understanding the tasks and other activities necessary to ensure the successful administration of the ELPAC.

Computer-based ELPAC Field Test

Additional LEAs that have 15 to 20 EL students enrolled in a grade are needed to participate in the statewide field test, especially with students at grade two and grades nine through twelve, for the new computer-based ELPAC from October 1–25, 2019. One benefit of participating is experiencing the computer-based administration of domains prior to the administration of the computer-based Summative ELPAC, which begins in February 1, 2020.

Participants not already participating in the field test are asked to please consider joining in this effort. Please note, the deadline to sign-up for the grades three through twelve field tests is September 27. Coordinators already participating and who have additional students at these grades available to test, are asked to please contact the ELPAC field test coordinator at the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), Salina Donek, by phone at 916-228-3301 or by email at

Get Ready for the Computer-based ELPAC

Beginning with the 2019–20 administration, the ELPAC will be delivered via a computer-based test delivery platform. The four domains (Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing) will be administered on computer except for the Writing domain for kindergarten through grade two, which will remain on paper. When operational, it will include the following features:

  • K-12 Speaking will continue their one-on-one administration for all grades or grade spans using the computer-based platform. The test examiner will point to pictures on the student’s computer and continue to score “in the moment.”
  • Kindergarten and grade one (K–1) will continue their one-on-one administration, with the option for the test examiner to navigate the student computer. However, the K–2 Writing domain will remain paper-based, similar to the current ELPAC.
  • Grade two Listening, Speaking, and Reading will now be administered one-on-one. Although the writing domain, which will continue to be paper-based, can be administered in small groups, similar to the current ELPAC.
  • Grades three through twelve Listening, Reading, and Writing will be computer-based and may be administered in groups.

NOTE: The Initial ELPAC will become a computer-based assessment for the 2020–21 administration.

Computer-based ELPAC Training Tests Are Here

Computer-based training tests to help LEAs and students become familiar with the test-delivery platform are available to users with TOMS credentials. For LEAs participating in the fall field test, this will provide a timely opportunity to become familiar with the testing platform prior to the start of the field test training (September 30 through October 11, 2019) and will help during the administration of the field test (October 1 through October 25, 2019).

Get Involved

The application deadline for the ELPAC Content Review Meeting and the Bias and Sensitivity Review Meeting is September 20, 2019. The Content Review Meeting will be held February 3–4, 2020, and the Bias and Sensitivity Review Meeting will be held February 5–6, 2020. The selected participants for each meeting will be notified in November.

Applications for the new Alternate ELPAC Item Writer Workshop will close on October 11, 2019, and the workshop will be held February 25–27, 2020.

All applications will be selected though the Educator Opportunities Portal so be certain all information and applications are up to date. If an account has not already been set up, select the request an account link to submit the account holder’s name, email address, and phone number.

Alternate ELPAC

The Alternate ELPAC high-level test design was approved by the SBE in May 2019. A small-scale pilot test with cognitive lab methodologies is scheduled for January 2020. Eight different task types will be piloted in this study.

During the 2019–20 school year, LEAs will continue to administer their locally determined alternate assessments to their EL students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. Individualized education program teams will need to identify their EL students with the most significant cognitive disabilities and plan for them to participate in the statewide census field test in the 2020–21 school year.

New CDE Alternate ELPAC Web Page

The CDE is pleased to announce its new Alternate ELPAC web page, which provides a program overview, a high-level development time line, and information for LEAs on how to begin preparing for the Alternate ELPAC. It also includes resources and communications materials for the assessment.

New for Families: Starting Smarter Websites

CDE, in collaboration with the SBAC and ETS, launched two new websites to help empower parents/guardians and families to become partners in their children’s academic success:

These family-focused websites provide resources to facilitate parents’/guardians’ understanding of the scores presented on their child’s Student Score Reports (SSRs). Using these websites, families can become involved in their child’s educational progress and:

  • Learn more about the performance areas in each subject and grade.
  • See sample test questions.
  • Prepare for parent–teacher conferences with a useful, downloadable guide.
  • Access high-quality resources to support learning at home.

Starting Smarter web pages for the California Spanish Assessment and California Science Test are coming soon!

New Public Web Reporting Website Coming Soon

This fall, users will be able to explore CAASPP and ELPAC data through a new public web reporting site. The redesigned website will provide a single home for all CAASPP and ELPAC assessment results. Data will be organized in a clean and intuitive format. New reports, including statewide achievement gap reports, have been added to facilitate comparisons among different entities. More filters for student group and school type have been added as well. Quick Reference Guides can be found on the CDE website at

LEA CAASPP coordinators were provided a preview of the site August 19–21. A second preview, with more complete results for the Smarter Balanced Assessments for ELA and math and for the CAAs for ELA and math, is scheduled for October. You may share the embargoed preview data with your public information officer for local planning purposes.

Results for the California Spanish Assessment and the California Science Test will be posted in the winter.

Alternate Assessments and the 1 Percent Threshold

Changes are coming to the 1 percent justification process for the California Alternate Assessments. CDE was notified that California exceeded the 1 percent threshold on alternate assessments, and, as a consequence, the reporting requirements and procedures are changing.

All LEAs will now be required to report the percentage of students who were identified for alternate assessments—regardless of whether the 1 percent threshold was reached. An updated justification form and information on the process will be available soon; watch for the upcoming announcement.

CAASPP Post-Test Guide Available on CAASPP Portal

The 2018–19 CAASPP Post-Test Guide has been posted on the CAASPP Portal, both on the Manuals and Instructions web page and the Score Reporting web page. This guide provides an overview of each assessment, information and guidelines for interpreting and comparing results, and descriptions of the features of the SSR for each subject area as well as additional resources for understanding assessments and scoring.

2019–20 LEA CAASPP Coordinator Checklist

The 2019–20 LEA CAASPP Coordinator Checklist is now available. If you’ve ever thought that not much goes into a successful CAASPP testing year, CDE has produced this checklist for LEA CAASPP coordinators to assist them in understanding the tasks and other activities necessary to ensure the successful administration of the CAASPP assessments. Tasks are listed for the months in which they are most likely to occur; however, the timing may need to be adjusted to best fit local schedules. The checklist can be found on the CAASPP Portal Manuals and Instructions web page.

Updated Science Test Administration for High School Students Flyer

The updated flyer “Science Test Administration for High School Students,” reflecting the recent changes made to high school science test registration, is now available! This resource assists LEAs in determining whom to test in high school and presents information for planning the administration of the high school California Science Test (CAST) or the California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for Science, including the recommended high school grades in which to test students (i.e., in grade ten, eleven, or twelve). Be sure to check out this flyer to prepare for the various high school science testing scenarios you may encounter this school year.

CAST Standard Setting

ETS successfully conducted the CAST standard setting workshop in Sacramento July 31–August 2. Forty-five educator panelists participated in this workshop. All of the educators were familiar with the California Next Generation Science Standards and experienced in teaching science to students in grades three through twelve, with an emphasis in grades five and eight and high school. Also present at the workshop to observe the process were CDE staff and the California State Board of Education (SBE) Vice President Ilene Straus.

The CAST standard setting workshop resulted in the educators’ recommendations for the CAST threshold scores at the following three levels: Level 2 (Standard Nearly Met); Level 3 (Standard Met); and Level 4 (Standard Exceeded). The CDE will review these recommendations, along with other data, to inform the proposed CAST threshold scores to be brought to the SBE in November 2019 for approval.

2018–19 CAST Results

Upon the SBE’s approval of the CAST threshold score, LEAs will receive the 2018-19 CAST electronic SSRs to send to parents/guardians and students in January 2020. In December 2019, the CDE will provide a preview and public release schedule for the CAST. After the LEAs’ preview of the summary results, the 2018-19 CAST summary results will be made available on the public reporting website. For more information on reporting CAST results, please see the Reporting Science Assessments Results Time Line on the CDE web page at To assist LEAs in providing consistent key messages about CAST results, the CDE has created a CAST—Key Messages web page. That web page is located at

2019–20 CAST Administration

For the 2019-20 administration, the CAST will continue to use the 2018-19 operational administration format. The CDE and ETS are conducting the multistage adaptive test study and the screener study to inform the CDE and the SBE on the efficacy of these components of the high-level test design, which was approved in March 2016 by the SBE. Given the time required to prepare for an online assessment, the implementation by the CDE of any recommended changes to the 2019-20 test forms prior to a January 14, 2020 launch is not feasible.

2019–20 CAA for Science Operational Administration

The first operational 2019-20 CAA for Science launched on September 3. During this administration, test examiners must administer four embedded performance tasks. These performance tasks can be administered at any time and in any order throughout the instructional calendar year.

2018–19 CAA for Science Results—Preliminary Indicators

For the 2018–19 CAA for Science field test results, the CDE will again report preliminary indicators, which consist of a percent correct score and an indicator category description. In January 2020, these results will be available for LEAs in the downloadable student-level data file in TOMS. The CDE will not produce 2018-19 CAA for Science SSRs because this assessment is not yet operational.

In preparation for this release, the CDE has updated its Preliminary Indicator Communication Toolkit web page at LEAs are responsible for providing information about their students’ results to parents/guardians. To aid LEAs in the release of these results, the Preliminary Indicator Communication Toolkit web page includes links to:

  • The CAA for Science Key Messages
  • Two time lines about the reporting of the science assessment results and the transitioning of the science assessments to operational status
  • Letter templates for LEAs to use in communicating to parents/guardians information regarding individual student scores
  • Frequently asked questions about the science assessments

Research files for the CAA for Science will be provided to the public on the CDE CAASPP Results website at a future date. For more information on the CAA for Science preliminary indicator results, please see the Reporting Science Assessments Results Time Line on the CDE web page at

New CAA for Science Resources on the CAASPP Portal

New CAA for Science resources are posted at Schools are assigned one of four versions. The same version number should be used for both the DFAs and the Administration Planning Guides and the version is not grade specific.

  • The 2019-20 Directions for Administration (DFA) were available September 3, 2019, and can be found under the “resources” tab in TOMS.
  • The 2019-20 Administration Planning Guides have been posted on the CAASPP Portal CAAs web page. The updated Test Examiner Tutorial for Science
  • A NEW video—How to Administer an Embedded Performance Task (forthcoming)

Smarter Balanced Releases 2019–20 Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines

On June 28, Smarter Balanced released an updated edition of the Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines (UAAG) for the 2019–20 school year. The new UAAG contains the following updates:

  • The addition of illustration glossaries as an embedded designated support for mathematics
  • The addition of illustration glossaries as a non-embedded designated support for mathematics
  • The addition of UEB Technical Code for braille as an embedded accommodation
  • Clarification to existing policy for medical supports as a non-embedded designated support

While the addition of illustration glossaries and UEB Technical Code will impact only the Smarter Balanced assessments for mathematics, the change of “medical device” to “medical support” will be applied to the non-embedded designated supports for all CAASPP assessments. The updated UAAG is now available on the Smarter Balanced website.

Reporting System Sandbox Training Tool

As we reported last month, Smarter Balanced has launched a resource called the “Sandbox.” This training tool was developed to help LEA staff become familiar with the Interim Assessment Reporting System. The Sandbox is available on a public website, so no log-on credentials are needed for access. Simply go to and select a role such as teacher, school administrator, or district administrator to enter the Sandbox and view it from the perspective of that role. A link to the Sandbox is featured on the CAASPP Portal Interim Assessment Administration Resources web page at

Interim Assessments Overview Document and Blueprints

The 2019–20 Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments are available for students and teachers to take advantage of for free! To help staff in planning their use of the interim assessments during the new school year, Smarter Balanced has developed the 2019−20 Interim Assessment Overview, which includes the following:

  • A description of the ways in which the interim assessments can support teaching and learning
  • A chart comparing the features of Interim Comprehensive Assessments (ICAs), Interim Assessment Blocks (IABs), and focused IABs.
  • A listing of the ICAs, IABs and focused IABs available for each grade

For more details about each available interim assessment, including the claims and targets assessed and the number of items, refer to the assessment blueprints on CDE’s Interim Assessment web page.

Peruse these helpful planning documents, and watch for announcements of additional interim assessment reference documents that will be available from CDE in the coming weeks to further assist educators.

Digital Library Update

Smarter Balanced provides educators with Digital Library instructional resources that are linked directly to the interim assessments, including more than 100 Digital Library Connections Playlists, one for each Interim Assessment Block (IAB). New additions—73 of them—have been made to 28 Connections Playlists for ELA and mathematics. These playlists help teachers save time by quickly pointing to Digital Library resources on the basis of students’ performance on the IABs. These quality resources are available on the Smarter Balanced Digital Library website (Digital Library account required).

California Spanish Assessment

In September 2019, the SBE approved the proposed CSA preliminary threshold scores. The CSA SSRs will be made available to LEAs late this fall.

Special Education Data Collection in CALPADS

Now that CASEMIS has been retired, CDE sent out a CALPADS Update Flash on September 10th that provides a high level overview of the new functionality of uploading Students with Disabilities data to CALPADS. The update includes:

- Key highlights
- Special Education Reporting and Monitoring Overview
  • Federal Reporting
  • Monitoring
- Determining the LEA Responsible for Reporting Students with Disabilities (SWD) Data and the District of Special Education Accountability
- Determining When to Obtain an SSID and Enrolling/Exiting SWD in CALPADS
  • Determining When to Obtain an SSID
  • Enrolling SWD in CALPADS
- Exiting SWD in CALPADS
- Special Education Data Submitted to CALPADS
- Roles of CALPADS Users
  • CALPADS Administrator Role
  • Special Education Data Coordinator Role
  • SELPA Director Role
- Certification Process
- Addressing Data Discrepancies in Local SIS and SEDS
  • Student Enrollment
  • Student Demographic
- Charter School Reporting of Special Education Data

California Student Data Day Conference October 14

Don’t miss this full-day statewide conference by the Santa Clara County Office of Education focusing on the use of data to advance educational equity goals and improve outcomes for all students. The keynote speaker is Ryan J. Smith, Chair of the California Department of Education’s Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative.

  • Learn from national and local experts
  • Hear success stories from districts making a difference
  • Explore powerful data tools to improve student achievement
  • Sessions include topics for: Superintendents, School and District Administrators/Leadership Teams, Teacher Leaders, and Counselors

Preparing Technology for 2019-20 CAASPP and ELPAC Online Testing

On Tuesday, September 24, 2019, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., ETS, on behalf of the CDE, will present a webcast that includes information about preparing your LEA’s technology for the following online assessments:

  • 2019–20 CAASPP testing;
  • The October 2019 ELPAC computer-based field test;
  • The computer-based Summative ELPAC which begins February 1, 2020

The webcast also will provide information about supported operating systems and secure browsers required for the administration of for all the online assessments.

You may view the webcast on the CAASPP Live Webcast or the ELPAC Live Webcast web pages. This webcast is open to everyone and requires no preregistration or logon account. A PowerPoint and an archive of the webcast will be available on the CAASPP Archived Webcasts and ELPAC Archived Webcasts web pages.

Tuesdays@2 Webinar: Local Indicators and LCAP Template Redesign

The CDE will be hosting a Tuesdays@2 webinar regarding the reporting of LCFF Local Indicator outcomes in the California School Dashboard and an update regarding the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) Template Redesign project on September 24, 2019 at 2 p.m. We intend to record and share the webinar.

Upcoming Events

October 14, 2019

California Student Data Day

October 15-16, 2019

November 19-20, 2019

Getting Started with Improvement Science

October 16-18, 2019

California Assessment Conference - Oakland, CA

November 6, 2019

LCAP 101 - Session 2

December 11, 2019

New CAASPP Coordinator Training

December 17, 2019

New ELPAC Coordinator Training

January 7, 2020

LCAP Reboot

February 26, 2020

LCAP Writing Session

March 25, 2020

LCAP Writing Session

April 27, 2020

LCAP Writing Session

May 14, 2020

LCAP Writing Session