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SBUSD Superintendent McNamara's Spring 2014 Newsletter Message

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.
Dear SBUSD Parents, Guardians and Community Members,

South Bay Union is one of many school districts in the country participating in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Field Test this spring. Schools in 22 states will administer the online assessment in mathematics and/or English language arts starting in April.

The Smarter Balanced assessments are aligned to our new academic standards that support student success in college and careers. They will measure real-world skills like critical thinking and problem solving more than paper and pencil tests ever could. In addition, they will provide information to give teachers and parents a better picture of where students are succeeding and where they need help. This year, in April, we will administer the field tests to evaluate the testing software, ensure the quality of test questions, and evaluate the effectiveness of the test administration and training materials. This will provide teachers and students an opportunity to preview the types of questions that will be part of the Smarter Balanced assessments.  We are grateful to participate in the field testing so that next year students are more comfortable and prepared knowing results will be reported. 

The Smarter Balanced tests will be taken on computers. There are Smarter Balanced Practice Tests available that provide a good idea of what the new tests will look like at the California Department of Education . There is a Practice Test for both English Language Arts and Math. Each Practice Test has about 30 questions, as well as an answer key. I encourage you to explore the Practice Tests with your child and discuss them with each other. Your child will also be able to use the Practice Tests on our school computers.

If you would like more information about Smarter Balanced, please visit the Smarter Balanced Website . If you have any questions regarding your child's participation, please contact your school principal.

Thank you for your understanding and support during this transition.  We appreciate that you are the key to your child's success!


Katie McNamara, Ed.D.

District Superintendent

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