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Assessment Spotlight for July 31, 2019


Focusing on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System and English Language Proficiency Assessments of California (ELPAC)—and including, when timely, updates on California's other statewide assessments.

Accessing Individual Student Score Reports in TOMS

Local educational agency (LEA) CAASPP and ELPAC coordinators can access, print, or save an individual 2018–19 Student Score Report (SSR) through the Test Operations Management System (TOMS). To download an individual SSR:

  1. Log on to TOMS.
  2. Search for an individual student.
  3. Select the magnifying glass icon in the Actions column.
  4. Select the Reporting tab on the Student Profile page.
  5. Select the link to the SSR PDF, which will appear at the bottom of the page if the student's SSR is available.

Note that the individual SSRs for the 2018–­19 administration year will be available in TOMS only until September 1, which is when the system will roll over to the 2019–20 test administration year. After September 1, LEAs needing to download SSRs for 2018–19 can use the bulk download option, under the Reports tab.

Questions can be directed to the California Technical Assistance Center by phone at 800-955-2954 or by email at .

California Alternate Assessment for Science Preliminary Indicator Communication Toolkit Web Page—Just Updated!

For the 2018–19 California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for Science field test results, California will again report preliminary indicators, which consist of a percent correct score and an indicator category description. In preparation for this release, we have updated our Preliminary Indicator Communication Toolkit web page. On this web page, you will find a link to the CAA for Science Key Messages, which was developed to help LEAs and school sites communicate about the preliminary indicators. Also included on the CAA for Science Preliminary Indicator Communication Toolkit web page are links to:

  • Helpful timelines about the reporting of the science assessment results and the transitioning of the science assessments to operational status.
  • Letter templates in English and Spanish to assist LEAs in communicating to parents/guardians information regarding individual student scores.
  • Frequently asked questions about the science assessments.

Be sure to visit the updated web page to learn more about the preliminary indicators for the 2018–19 CAA for Science field test and prepare for the release of the results.


Meet our 700th member!


Say Hi to Aida Wong Gamba, an employee of Brisbane School District.  Aida just happened to be our 700th member, so we sent her a complimentary SchoolTechnologyLeadership mug.  Hi Aida!  Welcome aboard!

(You gotta have a little fun with this stuff . . . . :)



CASDAAP Meet and Greet


On the last Friday of each month the California Assoc. of School Data, Assessment, and Accountability Professionals holds an informal "meet and greet" session. Hear about the organization's mission, goals, and projects. Learn about how your organization (vendor, school district, non-profit) can benefit from our work.

If you are interested in learning more about us, please register for our CASDAAP Meet and Greet on Jun 28, 2019 10:00 AM PDT


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

-Chris Moggia,

Executive Director, CASDAAP


Assessment Spotlight - June 26, 2019


 Assessment Spotlight

Focusing on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System and English Language Proficiency Assessments of California (ELPAC)—and including, when timely, updates on California's other statewide assessments.

CAASPP Post-Test Guide Available on CAASPP Portal

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

"The Results Are In … Now What?" Webcast Now Available!

Congratulations to LEA and school site staff as the school year comes to a close! With the 2018–19 CAASPP testing season almost finished and the delivery of SSRs under way to students and families, you may be asking yourself … so now what?

Fortunately, we have something for you—this year's webcast of the workshop "The Results Are In … Now What?" Gather some colleagues, download the materials, and learn from this webcast as education leaders like yourself come together to discuss how a protocol for data analysis can help support your team in examining the CAASPP results and developing concrete action plans that lead to improved teaching and learning.

The webcast and accompanying materials are available on the CAASPP Portal Summative Assessment Videos and Archived Webcasts web page, under the Training tab.

Attention New LEA Coordinators: Register Now for In-Person Training

Registration is now open for in-person training designed especially for new coordinators. These trainings will be held in August on the two days preceding the California Department of Education's annual Assessment Information Meeting. Staff can attend the training and meeting on consecutive days, and then start the school year with the most current information about California's assessment systems.

August is just around the corner, so visit the registration site today to find all the details and to hold your spot!

Initial ELPAC Testing Window Closes June 28

The 2018–19 Initial ELPAC testing window closes this Friday, June 28. LEA ELPAC coordinators are asked to complete testing and enter student raw scores into the Local Scoring Tool (LST) by that date, as the Test Operations Management System will be unavailable during a planned system downtime that will begin at 6 a.m. on Monday, July 1. At that point, LEAs will no longer be able to enter 2018–19 Initial ELPAC raw scores in the LST.

The 2019–20 Initial ELPAC testing window opens on July 1, 2019. The LST will be available once again when the system resumes at 8 a.m. on July 8, 2019.

Questions regarding the LST can be directed to the California Technical Assistance Center by phone at 800-955-2954 or by email at .

Smarter Balanced Members Voted to Approve Updates to UAAG

Smarter Balanced members recently voted to approve updates to the Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines (UAAG) for the 2019–20 school year. The following motions were approved:

  • Motion 1—New policy for illustration glossaries (embedded designated support)
  • Motion 2—New policy for illustration glossaries (non-embedded designated support)
  • Motion 3—Clarification to existing policy for braille (embedded accommodation)
  • Motion 4—Clarification to existing policy for medical supports (non-embedded designated support)

The updated UAAG will be available on the Smarter Balanced website on June 27.

Please share this email with any educators in your local educational agency who would be interested in or benefit from this information. To join the email list, send a blank email message to . Are you a new subscriber? Visit the CDE Assessment Spotlight web page to find previous issues.


Illuminate Education Joins Forces with FastBridge Learning


June 25, 2019

Acquisition unites proven assessments, assessment platforms, data analytics, intuitive reporting, curated item banks and pre-built assessments, and support services

IRVINE, Calif. and MINNEAPOLIS (June 25, 2019) — Illuminate Education, the leading K-12 student performance system, has acquired FastBridge Learning, a research-driven assessment platform that transforms the way teachers measure and monitor student progress. Together, the companies comprise educator-driven Illuminate Education. The company provides effective formative assessments and assessment platforms, data that informs instruction, and the ability for educators to build strong systems of support within their districts.

The combination formalizes a long-time partnership between Illuminate Education and FastBridge Learning, aligning the technology, people, and processes required to support the whole child through data and a tiered instructional model.

"FastBridge Learning has a remarkable history of adding research-driven innovation to assessments while consistently providing exceptional attention to districts," said Christine Willig, CEO of Illuminate Education. "They share our enthusiasm for sustainable MTSS, support for educators, open standards and interoperable solutions. We welcome FastBridge to the Illuminate family."

Nearly one year ago, Illuminate Education transformed the assessment space and took a giant step toward its vision of supporting educators by providing "a holistic view of the child on a single pane of glass" when it merged five companies serving approximately 15 million K-12 students. The FastBridge Learning acquisition puts the finishing piece in place to realize Illuminate Education's vision to simplify formative assessments for teachers, saving them time and guiding them through evidence-based student instruction and data-driven intervention. These capabilities empower educators in understanding the unique needs of each student, equipping them with the tools needed to serve the whole child.

"This past school year has demonstrated to us the power and benefit of using solutions from both FastBridge Learning and Illuminate Education," said Crystal Steinmetz, Director of Curriculum and Assessment at Garden City Public Schools USD #457. "The amount of time spent collecting data has been drastically reduced which allows our teachers more time to analyze student performance, collaborate with other professionals and collectively develop a plan of support for students. The prospect of further innovations fueled by deeper integration between the companies is exciting news for Garden City Public Schools. We look forward to the opportunity to use the combined solution for years to come."

Founded in 2015, FastBridge Learning was invented by Dr. Theodore J. Christ and Dr. Zoheb Borbora, with scholarly contributions from leading educational researchers from the University of Minnesota and colleges of education around the country. The organization, serving nearly 2 million educators and students across 45 states, including a statewide implementation in Iowa, is committed to building knowledge and improving educational assessments. Its Formative Assessment System for Teachers (FAST™) is the only K-12 solution that combines Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM) and Computer-Adaptive Testing (CAT) for reading, math and social-emotional behavior.

"Through this collaboration with Illuminate Education, we're able to extend the reach of our research-driven innovation model, accelerating our mission to transform the way educators assess and address the learning needs of students," said Terri Soutor, CEO of FastBridge Learning. "Together, we'll bring broadened capabilities to support a district's sustainable, successful tiered instructional model, enabling greater educator and student success."

To learn more about Illuminate Education, please visit http://illuminateed.com.

About Illuminate Education

Illuminate Education is the leading provider of integrated K–12 technology systems. Illuminate's innovative tools bridge the gap between instruction, assessment, and data analytics, transforming the potential of teaching and learning. With all the data available within a single platform, teachers can assess learning and link to the right resources, while district leaders can receive a holistic view of students. Headquartered in Irvine, California, Illuminate's team of experienced educators and technology specialists serve 12 million students across all 50 states.

About FastBridge Learning

FastBridge Learning is the brainchild of the leading educational researchers in the country, including those from the University of Minnesota — the birthplace of CBM and CAT methodologies. At FastBridge Learning, we believe teachers deserve the best tools to help students stay on track, and we strive to transform the way teachers assess and address the learning needs of students by providing one simple solution for faster results that are proven effective. To learn more, visit fastbridge.org.

Media Contact
Illuminate Education


Charter Task Force Report Released

California Department of Education News Release

California Department of Education
News Release

Release: #19-45
June 7, 2019

Contact: Kindra Britt
Phone: 916-319-0818

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond yesterday released the much-anticipated Charter Task Force Report of Recommendations to the Governor and his team ahead of the July 1 deadline. In late February, Governor Gavin Newsom requested that Superintendent Thurmond convene a group of experts to closely examine the impact of charter school growth on district budgets and to provide a report with recommendations by July 1, 2019. The task force has been meeting regularly since early March and has culminated with a report that has both recommendations that were unanimously agreed upon by the task force members as well as discussed proposals that, although they did not meet full consensus, provide opportunities for future efforts.

“It’s important to include both the areas where a consensus was reached, as well as the areas where a majority was reached, in order to show the depth that members were willing to go and the challenging and difficult conversations that occurred throughout this process,” said Thurmond. “The public deserves a transparent report, and one that also reflects honestly that there is more work to be done. The California Department of Education, under my leadership, will lead the efforts to provide solutions to the issues surrounding current standards, guidelines, and authorization processes. We will continue working with the Governor, legislators, and stakeholders, as well as welcome the opportunity for public input, as we lead this next phase.”

The full report includes a central focus on the fiscal impact that charter schools have on traditional public schools as well as the inconsistencies in how charter schools are authorized throughout the state. Recommendations were made to alleviate concerns in these areas and provide specific ways to address fiscal impact and authorization challenges. View a copy of the full report (PDF).

# # # #

Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Monday, June 10, 2019

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Sarah Neville-Morgan—New CDE Deputy Superintendent


California Department of Education News Release

California Department of Education
News Release

California Department of Education
News Release

Release: #19-44
June 6, 2019

Contact: Cynthia Butler
Phone: 916-319-0818

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that he has appointed Sarah Neville-Morgan as Deputy Superintendent for the Teaching and Learning Support Branch at the California Department of Education (CDE).

Neville-Morgan is the former Director of the CDE Early Learning and Care Division. In that role she provided leadership and support to the early learning community, providers, and contractors statewide.

“Sarah is an advocate and champion for learners of all ages throughout the state,” said Thurmond. “Her background and collaboration with partners in the field of early learning and care is unparalleled, and she brings those skills to her new position. Under Sarah’s leadership and strategic focus, her branch will continue the work that ensures students from birth to age twenty-two have access to a quality and equitable public education.”

Neville-Morgan started her career at CDE as a Child Development Consultant in 2011. In 2013 she left to become the Deputy Director of Program Management at First 5 California. There, she managed a team and funding focused on closing the achievement gap and supporting quality early learning. Neville-Morgan also worked as the Deputy Executive Director of the Governor’s Early Learning Advisory Council during the Schwarzenegger and Brown administrations and as an Academic Child Development Specialist at the University of California, Davis Center for Child and Family Studies. She also has worked in a child care resource and referral agency, with foster care education programs, and has supported school teen parent programs. She returned to the CDE in 2017 to lead the Early Learning and Care Division.

As the Deputy Superintendent for the Teaching and Learning Support Branch, Neville-Morgan will oversee a branch that is responsible for helping all students—from early learners to adults—reach their academic potential and goals by providing the necessary support to early educators and providers, teachers, administrators, school and district leaders, and community-based organizations. She will continue the work of the Teaching and Learning Support Branch to ensure that inclusion practices are established during classroom hours, before and after school, and in early learning and care programs, and that the programs and instructional resources and supports reflect diversity, accessibility, and equity.

Neville-Morgan earned a B.A. in Psychology at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, and a M.S. in Child Development at the University of California, Davis.

Neville-Morgan replaces former Deputy Superintendent Tom Adams. She started in her new role on May 31.

# # # #

Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Thursday, June 6, 2019


Launch of Mobile App for CA Content Standards

California Department of Education News Release

California Department of Education
News Release

Release: #19-42
June 4, 2019

Contact: Scott Roark
Phone: 916-319-0818

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond has announced the release of the California Department of Education’s (CDE) first-ever mobile app for the California Content Standards, a powerful tool that provides quick, targeted access to standards related to the arts, computer science, health education, history–social science, and mathematics.

 Content standards are utilized by educators to design the knowledge, concepts, and skills that students should acquire for subject areas at each grade level. The California Standards app, designed entirely by CDE staff, can search, filter, and sort content standards to isolate specific content, identify standards that are common across disciplines, and inform decisions around instruction and assessment.

“This app is an incredible tool for our educators and parents, empowering them with access, knowledge, and understanding of these content standards, which are an essential element to the academic success of each and every one of our students in California,” said Thurmond.

The launch of the California Standards app is phase 1 of a multiphase plan put in place by CDE. This phase includes 5 of 12 California content standards. In subsequent phases, additional content standards will be included, as well as additional features that will enhance the usefulness of the application to California educators.

The California Standards mobile app can be found on the iOS App store, the Android Play store, and the Microsoft store by searching the term “CA Standards.” More information about the app and links to the app stores are on the CDE California Standards Mobile Application website.

More information aboutCalifornia Content Standardscan be found on the CDE website.

# # # #

Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Tuesday, June 4, 2019


Thurmond Asks Parties to Negotiate to Avoid Strike

California Department of Education News Release

California Department of Education
News Release

California Department of Education
News Release

Release: #19-36
May 13, 2019

Contact: Kindra Britt
Phone: 916-319-0818

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond is working quickly to avoid a potential teachers’ strike at the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) and to help the district identify ways to reduce expenses in order to avoid state receivership.

Thurmond has called all parties to the table to find a resolution, including the Sacramento City Unified Superintendent, Sacramento County Superintendent, Sacramento City Teachers Association (SCTA), and the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT).

“The timing for the request from SCTA aligns with what I am already working on, which is getting all of the necessary and major players to the same negotiating table,” said Thurmond. “The call has been put out. All of these entities have agreed to be in the same room. We need them to come together to find a resolution so we can avoid another strike and identify ways that they can avoid a state receivership.”

Currently, the SCUSD is in a severe fiscal deficit and is facing the prospect of entering a state receivership, as well as a second one-day strike. The district will be releasing their third-quarter interim budget this Thursday. “We look forward to seeing that update as it will be the most current snapshot of the financial status of the district to help us make informed decisions,” said Thurmond.

# # # #

Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100



State Board of Education meeting links

Meeting recordings and agendas of the California State Board of Education.


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November 2015
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November 2014
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Last Reviewed: Monday, May 13, 2019






Dear LEA Representatives,

CALPADS will have a notable change after the regularly scheduled maintenance on Tuesday, May 7th.

The SSID Enrollment (SENR) file will have 6 new data elements to capture the postsecondary/transition status indicator and five work-based learning indicators.

It is highly recommended that LEAs finish processing any existing SENR jobs before May 7.

SSID Enrollment jobs that are currently "In Review" or "Ready for Review" should be posted prior to the May 7th release. That said, jobs in these states can still be posted after the release.

Note however that the CALPADS Team prefers and strongly recommends that everyone start fresh with the new SENR file format on May 7.


Six School Districts Selected to Help Spearhead Statewide Community Engagement Efforts

Ana Tintocalis
CCEE Senior Communications Manager
916-666-2274 mobile

Christine McGrew
SBCSS Chief Communications Officer

Thursday, May 2, 2019


Six School Districts Selected to Help Spearhead Statewide Community Engagement Efforts

SAN BERNARDINO – The statewide Community Engagement Initiative (CEI) has selected six school districts to join the groundbreaking effort to build capacity for meaningful community engagement in California's public schools.

The CEI is an integral part of California's new System of Support, a key component of the state's accountability system.

The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE), San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools (SBCSS), the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE), and Families In Schools (FIS) jointly lead the CEI.

The six districts selected will compose the CEI's inaugural Peer Leading and Learning Network, which will identify and analyze models, metrics, and practices of community engagement in order to help schools, districts, and their communities across the state build their engagement skill and knowledge.

Each district possesses a deep, systemic commitment to community engagement and the ability to help the CEI strengthen the capacity of school districts and communities to authentically engage each other in difficult conversations and build trusting relationships.

Below are the six districts selected, an example of the many community engagement initiatives they spearhead in their school communities, a quote from the district's leader or school board member, and contact information should the media or public like more information from one of the districts:
Example: AUHSD's family and community engagement specialists (FACES) develop student and family leadership.

"AUHSD is honored to be selected as a CEI participant as it highlights our commitment to our families and broader community." --Michael Matsuda, AUHSD Superintendent

AUHSD contact: Patricia Karlak,

Example: AUSD's Parent Advisory Committee, known as the "PAC+," gives families and local stakeholders a strong, institutionalized voice in the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).

"The Azusa Unified School District is honored to be part of the CEI's PLLN, we value the authentic engagement of our community, and we look forward to building greater capacity for this work in our district and other districts statewide." --Linda Kaminski, AUSD Superintendent

AUSD contact: Anjelica Garcia Juarez,

Example: CVUSD's support and engagement of refugee students and their families.

"The Cajon Valley Union School District is excited to share our success in authentically engaging all families in cultivating 'Happy kids, engaged in healthy relationships, on a path to gainful employment' with this network of leaders to advance family engagement across our great state." --Dr. David Miyashiro, CVUSD Superintendent

CVUSD contact: Sandra Candler,

Example: ESUHSD's success focuses on student engagement and student empowerment.

"East Side is excited to collaborate as a member of the Community Engagement Initiative to further establish how we include student and community voice to develop equitable communities in our district and across the state." --Chris Funk, ESUHSD Superintendent

ESUHSD contact: Linda Ornelas,
Example: OMSD's ability to use community-based organizations to provide true wrap-around services for its students.

"Community engagement remains a top priority for OMSD and we are proud to have been selected as a Peer Leading and Learning Network district. We look forward to working collaboratively to ensure all students are prepared to successfully access college and career pathways." --Elvia M. Rivas, OMSD Board President

OMSD contact: Jana Dupree,

Example: OSD's newcomer program and its "No Me Llames Oaxaquita" resolution helps ensure all students and their families feel welcome at school.

"OSD is excited to contribute to the collaborative as we all share best practices and stimulate exponential parent engagement practices statewide." --Dr. Cesar Morales, OSD Superintendent

OSD contact: Marlene Batista,
"These district teams and their communities have clearly demonstrated their strength in engaging together and we look forward to learning from their experiences in doing so," said Tom Armelino, CCEE Executive Director.

Each of the six districts that make-up the CEI's inaugural Peer Leading and Learning Network is comprised of:
  • District staff and leadership
  • School site staff and leadership
  • Students and/or family members
  • A representative from the county office of education
  • A representative from a community-based organization
"By lifting up the promising practices of these six districts, we will deepen our knowledge and understanding of authentic community and family engagement and its value and importance to student success," said Oscar Cruz, Executive Director of Families In Schools, one of the four organizations overseeing the statewide CEI.

Jan Gustafson-Corea, CEO of the California Association of Bilingual Education, echoed that sentiment. The association is partnering with the CCEE, SBCSS, and FIS in overseeing the statewide CEI.

"We are thrilled to learn with these districts what impactful community engagement looks like to bring about the ultimate goal of student success—particularly for communities of linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds," she said.

The first meeting of the CEI's Peer Leading and Learning Network takes place today. The six district teams will be connected virtually.

"This is important work for our state, and we look forward to seeing the results in the coming years," said Ted Alejandre, leader of the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, one of the four organizations overseeing the statewide CEI.

New Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative Chair


California Department of Education News Release

California Department of Education
News Release

California Department of Education
News Release

Release: #19-31
May 1, 2019

Contact: Jonathan Mendick
Phone: 916-319-0818

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that he has appointed Ryan Smith as the new Chair of his statewide Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative. Smith’s work will align with the initiative’s goals, which include addressing ways to close the achievement gap and improving educational outcomes for all California public education students.

“Ryan is a leader in the efforts to close the achievement gap, and specifically in how we can use policy, advocacy, and research to make change,” said Thurmond.
“I can’t think of anyone better to lead these efforts for our state, which is one of the priorities of my office.”

Thurmond launched his Closing the Achievement Gap initiative with a forum in February focusing on schools throughout the state that have shown success in closing the gap for African Americans and other students of color. He followed that up with a second forum in April to address recruitment and retention of teachers of color. Smith’s appointment is the next step in assuring that these efforts continue with the highest priority and level of expertise.

Smith is currently Chief External Officer of Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, which launched in 2007 as a collaboration between the Los Angeles Unified School District, donors Richard and Melanie Lundquist, the City of Los Angeles, and other public and private partners, to accelerate achievement for students across the district. He was formerly Executive Director of The Education Trust-West, a research and advocacy organization focused on education justice and the high academic achievement of all California students, particularly students of color and those living in poverty. His projects included the Black Minds Matter report, which focused on supporting the educational success of black children in California, as well as the study, “The Majority Report: Supporting the Success of Latino Students in California”.

# # # #

Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Thursday, May 2, 2019


CALPADS Course # Changes - A free online discussion & Q&A


Join us for an informal "Coffee and Donut" discussion about the upcoming changes to the CALPADS course numbering system. We'll give a brief overview of what we believe the changes are, invite questions and comments from the participants, and end on a discussion of the status of SIS vendor's progress in making the updates.

Join the meeting: join.me/186-237-588

Thursday, May 9, 2019 10:00 AM 


Chris Moggia, Ed.D., Executive Director, CASDAAP

Alex Wilson, Coordinator of Student Information Systems, Norwalk La Mirada USD


Classified School Employees of the Year Announced

California Department of Education News Release

California Department of Education
News Release

California Department of Education
News Release

Release: #19-30
April 29, 2019

Contact: Jonathan Mendick
Phone: 916-319-0818

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today honored six outstanding classified school employees for their dedication to California’s public school students.

“Meeting students’ basic needs, as well as their social and emotional needs, is essential to ensuring that every student can learn,” said Thurmond. “These dedicated employees make sure that kids have healthy meals, safe transportation on school buses, and have someone to talk to during difficult times in their lives—allowing California’s students to reach their greatest potential.”

The annual program honors six outstanding classified school employees from the following categories: Child Nutrition; Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities; Office and Technical Support; Para-Educator and Instructional Assistance; Support Services and Security; and Transportation. This year’s recipients were chosen from more than 100 nominations statewide.

The 2019 Classified School Employees of the Year, who will be honored by Thurmond at a luncheon in Sacramento on Thursday, May 23, are (information contained in the following biographical sketches was excerpted from their nomination forms):

Child Nutrition: Deborah Watkins, Food Service Cook, Westminster School District, Orange County. 24 years in current position.
Debbie has an incredible work ethic and goes above and beyond to ensure the cleanliness standards in the kitchen are impeccable and that all rules and regulations are followed. Debbie is responsible for planning, cooking, and distributing 7,500 meals to Westminster Elementary school sites each day. In the 24 years she has worked for the district, there has not been a single day that students have not received a meal. Debbie is one of the most reliable, hard-working individuals at the district.

Maintenance and Operations: Kim Bramsen, Director of Maintenance and Operations, Ballard Elementary School, Ballard School District, Santa Barbara County. 21 years in current position.
Beyond taking great care of the school, Kim is an integral part of the community at Ballard School. An elementary school with around 120 students, Kim gets to know each child by name and establishes relationships with them. He is always a willing participant in the hijinks of the kindergarten classroom, whether it involves leprechauns and their mischief or regaling the children with historical tales of the school house.

Office and Technical: Michelle Brobak, School Secretary, Del Rey Elementary, Orinda Union School District, Contra Costa County. Seven years in current position.
Michelle runs the Del Rey front office with heart. Students trust her and feel safe. She is calm and reassuring, particularly when dealing with injured students and their concerned parents. On many occasions, teachers and staff report escorting a crying child to the office during yard supervision and witnessing Michelle quickly assessing the situation, providing necessary first aid, and ensuring the student feels safe and as comfortable as possible.

Para-Educator and Instructional Assistance: Maria Arroyo, Behavior Specialist, Daly Academy, Chula Vista Elementary School District, San Diego County. 12 years in current position.
There is not a single “hat” that Maria doesn’t wear at Daly Academy. The work that Maria does on any single day is nearly unmatched—it takes a special type of person to do it all with a smile and a desire to do it well so that students have an amazing day. Maria understands trauma-informed care and never takes things personally. The children immediately know they will be loved, cared for, and educated. This allows for an environment of grace which helps our children thrive.

Support Services and Security: Benito Torres, Police Officer, Stockton Public Safety Academy, Stockton Unified School District, San Joaquin County. 19 years in current position.
During his 19 years of service with the Stockton Unified School District Police Department, Officer Torres has worked in many capacities. He exudes the definition of role model and mentor for the students. He is passionate about so many things, especially making a difference in the lives of others. That includes taking a call on his personal cell phone at 1 a.m. from a scared cadet whose house was just shot at; helping a family who can’t afford medication for their child; and simple everyday actions that make everyone he encounters feel safe, heard, and important.

Transportation: Ramon Moreno, Bus Driver, Greenfield Union School District, Monterey County. 12 years in current position, 20 years with the district.
Ramon is a bus driver for special education students who get services in other school districts in Monterey County. He is always conscientious about students’ feelings and well-being. There are times where his routes result in very long journeys due to traffic or delays. During these times, Ramon engages with students when they become irritable or sad. He is in constant communication with parents during these delays. He personally communicates and informs parents of transportation time changes in his route. These are tasks that he does not have to perform but is willing to do to ensure students are comfortable and parents have peace of mind.

Please visit the California Department of Education’s Classified School Employee of the Year web page for more information. The program is co-sponsored by the Classified School Employees Association and our Presenting Sponsor, San Mateo-based California Casualty. California’s Classified School Employee Week, established as an official week of statewide recognition in 1986 through Senate Bill 1552, will be celebrated from May 19 to May 25, 2019.

# # # #

Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Tuesday, April 30, 2019


Assessment Spotlight April 25, 2019


Focusing on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System and English Language Proficiency Assessments of California (ELPAC)—and including, when timely, updates on California's other statewide assessments.

New for CAASPP and ELPAC: "Get Involved" Web Pages!

Are you interested in getting involved in the continuing development of the CAASPP and the ELPAC? We need input from California educators, and it is now much easier for you to find out about the activities the California Department of Education (CDE) has scheduled and to let us know which ones hold your interest! To learn about upcoming activities, visit our new Get Involved web pages:

  • CAASPP Opportunities to Get Involved web page. Find opportunities related to the California Alternate Assessments, the California Science Test (CAST), and the California Spanish Assessment here, including item writing (with training beforehand), item review, review of range achievement level descriptors, data review, standard setting, range finding, and braille item review.    Local educational agencies (LEAs) will be reimbursed for the cost of a substitute teacher (if needed) or participants will be paid an honorarium of $150.00 per day (if on non-contract days).

  • ELPAC Opportunities to Get Involved web page. Find opportunities related to the ELPAC and Alternate ELPAC here, including item writing (with training beforehand), content review, bias and sensitivity review, field test threshold score review, range finding, data review, item review, and ALD development.

    As with the CAASPP opportunities, LEAs will be reimbursed for the cost of a substitute teacher (if needed) or participants will be paid an honorarium of $150.00 per day (if on non-contract days).

In addition, these pages include qualification information, application instructions, and links to create an account and submit your application.

Educational Testing Service, in partnership with the Sacramento County Office of Education, developed the Get Involved web pages to facilitate educators' participation in upcoming workshops for 2019–20 and beyond. These web pages will be updated throughout the coming months, so please check back often for the latest developments. Remember, your participation and input provide important support in the development of our state assessments!

If you have questions about how to get involved in these educator opportunities, please contact the CAASPP and ELPAC Project Team by phone at 916-228-2682 or by email at .

Focus on Test Security—Pause Rules and Grace Period Extensions

This week, in our focus on test security, we look at the pause rules and grace period extensions. If a test is paused for more than 20 minutes during the Smarter Balanced computer adaptive test (CAT) portion or during the CAST discrete item blocks, the following will apply:

  • The student will be required to log back on to the student interface, using the student's logon information (name, Statewide Student Identifier, and test session).
  • The student will be presented with the page containing the item(s) the student was working on when the assessment was paused if the page contains at least one item to which there is not a complete response; if, however, all items on the page were answered, the student will be presented with the next page.
  • The student will not be permitted to review or change any previously answered items, even if they are marked for review (with the exception of items on a page that contains at least one item to which there is not a complete response).

Any highlighted text will be saved regardless of how long the test is paused; notes entered on the digital notepad, however, will not be saved. For a performance task (PT), no pause restrictions apply. If a PT is paused for more than 20 minutes, the student can return to the section and continue entering responses.

Grace period extension (GPE) appeals are only for situations in which one of the following occurs during a Smarter Balanced CAT portion or the CAST:

  • A technical issue beyond the control of the test administrator results in the expiration of the 20-minute pause rule.
  • The 20-minute pause rule expires through no fault of the student; for example, because of a fire drill, illness, or technical difficulty. (A GPE extension will not be granted for student breaks such as recess or lunch lasting for more than 20 minutes or for students who misunderstood the pause rules.)

A GPE appeal for a CAT portion allows the student to review previously answered questions upon logging back on to the assessment after the expiration of the pause rule. Note that for a PT, having the test administrator open a new testing session may be all that is needed to continue testing.

To review the rules that govern pausing during testing, refer to Appendix E: CAT Pause Rules Scenarios in the Online Test Administration Manual.

New Video––ELPAC Accessibility Resources

The new video "ELPAC Accessibility Resources" demonstrates how the CDE supports accessibility resources (i.e., universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations) for the ELPAC. A useful resource for anyone interested in learning about how to match student needs to the appropriate resources, this video is especially helpful for teachers and parents/guardians.

Please be sure to view this video, approximately 19 minutes in length, to learn more about the process for identifying the appropriate resources to assist students in fully accessing the ELPAC.

Reminder: Registration Is Open for 2019 Summer Institute!

Registration is open for the 2019 Summer Institute, "Analyzing Student Work and Using the Interim and Digital Library Systems to Inform Teaching and Learning." Offered at eight locations throughout California in July and early August, this two-day, in-person professional development opportunity is for classroom teachers, instructional coaches, and teachers on special assignment. Administrators also may find this training useful. The goals of this training are for participants to understand the following:

  • The purpose of different types of assessment and how they work together to support learning
  • The design of Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment items aligned with college- and career-ready standards and the use of hand scoring to analyze student responses
  • How to use interim assessment and Digital Library systems, including accessibility featuresSchools and LEAs may want to consider sending educator teams that divide their participation between the English language arts/literacy and mathematics content areas.

Visit the CAASPP 2019 Summer Institute registration website for online registration, details about the workshop, and a workshop flyer. Questions about this training should be directed to the California Technical Assistance Center by phone at 800-955-2954 or by e-mail at .

All About Accessibility

Spanish stacked translation is an embedded designated support that provides the student with the full translation of each test item. The translation appears above the original item. This designated support is available for students whose primary language is not English and who use dual language supports in the classroom. Caution is advised when considering this resource for students who are not fluent in Spanish. The following questions can help guide the decision:

·Are the student's skills in speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish appropriate for this resource?

·Has the student had an opportunity to try the practice test with the Spanish stacked translation?

·Has the student or parent/guardian provided input on the use of this support?

·If the student does not have strong reading skills in Spanish but still needs translation, should read aloud in Spanish be assigned?

More information on the use of Spanish stacked translation can be found in Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium: Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines, available on the Smarter Balanced website, and the Accessibility Guide for CAASPP Online Testing, available on the CAASPP Portal. In addition, short video tutorials are available on the CAASPP Portal. Find them on the Embedded Universal Tools, Designated Supports, and Accommodations Video Tutorials web page.

Please share this email with any educators in your local educational agency who would be interested in or benefit from this information. To join the email list, send a blank email message to . Are you a new subscriber? Visit the CDE Assessment Spotlight web page to find previous issues.


OTUS Assessments adds Desmos Integration


Otus is a single platform for teachers that combines an LMS, an assessment management system, a data warehouse, and a collection of classroom management tools in one place- making teachers more efficient than they can be when all of these systems are disconnected. 

Otus is excited to be releasing an integration with Desmos within the next few weeks. Watch a 45-second video here.

Since the majority of state-level assessments expect students to use the Desmos calculators on the math portions of their tests, integrating the same tools within Otus assessments will allow students to use the tools throughout the year on district, building, or teacher-created formative and summative assessments.

The use of Desmos through Otus is included with every Otus subscription! 


Instructure acquires MasteryConnect


SALT LAKE CITY — April 17, 2019 — Instructure, Inc. (NYSE: INST) today announced it has signed an agreement to acquire MasteryConnect, a longtime partner and innovator in the design and delivery of formative and interim assessment that supports personalized and mastery-based learning. Through this acquisition, Instructure will accelerate the shift occurring at the state level as they replace high-stakes, end-of-year testing with innovative assessment models. This new approach uses formative data to provide actionable insights for teachers and students.

"Today's educators are trying to move away from archaic, end-of-year testing and looking for more intuitive evaluation models," said Dan Goldsmith, CEO of Instructure. "Together, Canvas and MasteryConnect will place valuable data in the hands of our teachers, not once, but throughout the year so they can focus on activities that increase student learning."

MasteryConnect is designed to quickly identify student levels of understanding, target areas for personalized growth, and give teachers the data they need to direct each student's learning. MasteryConnect has worked with Dr. Jonathan Templin, Professor and E .F. Lindquist Chair in the Educational Measurement and Statistics program at the University of Iowa, to create statistical models that provide reliable student data around mastery of standards through shorter formative evaluations. These models pin-point what students know, letting schools redefine assessment, integrating it more closely with curriculum and instruction.

Teachers in more than 14,000 U.S. school districts use MasteryConnect including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (NC), Oklahoma City Public Schools (OK), and Alpine School District (UT), with many districts nationwide already using both MasteryConnect and Canvas together.

"At Hall County Schools, we consider Canvas and MasteryConnect valuable tools for teaching and learning since they provide teachers the information they need to create a dynamic and engaging blended learning environment," said Gregory Odell, e-Learning Specialist at Hall County Schools in Georgia. "Our students benefit from both products, and we will benefit overall from these companies coming together to help K-12 students learn and grow."

MasteryConnect was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in Salt Lake City. Its solution will continue to be sold as a standalone offering. In addition, for customers interested in combining assessment with learning, MasteryConnect will be further integrated with Canvas LMS, helping districts scale personalized learning, increase student achievement, and support professional learning. MasteryConnect and Instructure have been partners in education since 2016.

"This acquisition brings together many years of partnership and synergies with Instructure," said Mick Hewitt, Co-founder and CEO of MasteryConnect, who will join Instructure as General Manager of MasteryConnect. "It highlights the alignment of our shared mission to transform learning while expanding our reach both domestically and globally."

The acquisition is expected to close within the next seven days and is subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including approval by MasteryConnect stockholders.


Instructure, Inc. is the leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology company that helps people grow from their first day of school to their last day of work. Its software solutions include Canvas, the learning management platform that simplifies teaching and elevates learning, and Bridge, the employee development and engagement solution for people-focused companies. To date, Instructure has connected millions of educators and learners at more than 4,000 educational institutions and corporations throughout the world. Learn more about Canvas for higher ed and K–12 and Bridge for companies at www.Instructure.com.


MasteryConnect is a K-12 assessment and curriculum platform supporting educators as they drive student growth through formative and benchmark assessment, curriculum planning, and collaboration. We enable teachers to identify levels of understanding in the moment through a variety of assessments, so they can immediately target interventions and evaluate their own practice. For more information, visit masteryconnect.com.

This press release contains "forward-looking" statements which are subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding Instructure's potential acquisition of MasteryConnect and Instructure's growth and future application releases. These statements are not guarantees of future performance, but are based on management's expectations as of the date of this press release and are subject to uncertainties, risks, and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements include risks associated with new application introductions and Instructure's ability to develop and deliver innovative applications and features, Instructure's ability to successfully implement and achieve cost synergies and otherwise integrate MasteryConnect following closing, and other risks and uncertainties detailed in Instructure's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, its Form 10-K and other reports on Forms 8-K and 10-Q, all of which can be obtained on the SEC website at www.sec.gov. Instructure assumes no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements contained in this release, except as required by law.


Keaton Godfrey
Director, Investor Relations
(866) 574-3127


Instructional Quality Commission Meeting Webcast for March 28, 2019

Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) Meeting Webcast for March 28, 2019.

2018-2019 Enrollment Data for California Schools

California Department of Education News Release

California Department of Education
News Release

California Department of Education
News Release

Release: #19-27
March 28, 2019

Contact: Scott Roark
Phone: 916-319-0818

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today the release of 2018–2019 enrollment data for California’s K–12 public schools. The data breaks down enrollment by ethnicity and grade, along with English Language Acquisition Status, and can be sorted by county, district, or school.

“This data provides a critical snapshot of all students in California, highlighting trends that show areas where students are improving, where they’re struggling and where additional resources are needed,” Thurmond said.

One important category updated for 2018–2019 is school-level data for Free or Reduced Price Meals, which is an effective indicator of student poverty. All data is utilized for state and federal reporting purposes, including determinations for supplemental grant funding through the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). Important findings include:

  • Enrollment by Race/Ethnicity (Multi-Year): Overall enrollment is down from 6,235,520 in 2014–15 to 6,186,278 in 2018–19 a decrease of 0.8 percent. Also during that time, the percentage of white students decreased from 24.6 percent to 22.9 percent and the percentage of African American students decreased from 6 percent to 5.4 percent. However, between 2014–15 and 2018–19, the percentage of Hispanic/Latino students increased from 53.6 percent to 54.6 percent.
  • English Language Acquisition Status (Multi-Year): Between 2014–15 and 2018–19, the percentage Hispanic/Latino students classified as English Learners decreased from 83.2 percent to 81.3 percent. Overall, between 2015–16 and 2018–19, the percentage of students who are English learners decreased from 22.1 percent to 19.3 percent, while the percentage of students who are Reclassified Fluent English Proficient increased from 16 percent to 18.3 percent during that same time period.
  • Enrollment for Charter and Non-Charter Schools (Multi-Year): While overall enrollment non-charter schools is decreasing between 2014–15 and 2018–19, enrollment in charter schools has increased from 9.2 percent to 10.6 percent of the public school population statewide.
  • Charter and Non-Charter Subgroup Enrollment (2018–19): Charter schools tend to have a smaller percentage of their enrollment who belong to disadvantaged student subgroups, such as English learners, foster youth, homeless youth, migrant students, students with disabilities, and socio-economically disadvantaged. The difference is most pronounced for the English learner subgroup. In 2018–19, 15.1 percent of charter school students are identified as English learners, while 19.8 percent of non-charter school students are similarly identified.

The data is compiled by the California Department of Education from data submitted by Local Educational Agencies to the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS). The updated enrollment data is available on the CDE’s Data Quest website.

Additional resources:

Downloadable files to support the Data Quest reports

Downloadable files containing school-level data for Free or Reduced-Price Meals

# # # #

Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Thursday, March 28, 2019

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