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Science and Math Institute

Smarter Balanced

New state tests happening this spring; tips to support your child
This spring, our students are taking a new state test called Smarter Balanced, which will measure real-world skills, such as analytical reading, persuasive writing and problem solving, in English language arts and math.
This new state-mandated test replaces previous year-end tests. Instead of using paper and pencils, the tests will be taken on computers. Our teachers have been familiarizing students with the new format to ensure they have the necessary technology skills to take the tests and can successfully demonstrate their understanding of the state’s new learning standards called Common Core.
 
Test dates
The test will take place during the school day, in the morning, on May 18th - May 21st.  Students will attend periods 1 & 2 on Monday afternoon, periods 3 & 4 on Tuesday afternoon, periods 5 & 6 on Wednesday afternoon, and periods 7 & 8 on Thursday afternoon.  Students who are not testing are expected to attend school and will be participating in alternative activities. 
 
Tips to prepare your student for state testing
  • Become familiar with Common Core standards specific to your child’s grade level with the national PTA parent guides and OSPI's Your Child's Progress guide.
  • Monitor your child’s progress with school work and ask teachers for activities to do at home to help prepare for tests and improve proficiency.
  • Explore the practice tests.
  • Explain to your child that the tests might initially be more challenging than previous tests and that they’re designed to help them succeed after graduation.
  • Provide a quiet, comfortable place for studying at home and make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep before a test day.
 
Learn more
Find out more about the state’s new learning standards, the new test and parent resources, including short videos explaining
Common Core and Smarter Balanced, at www.tacomaschools.org/commoncore.
 
Thank you for continuing to support your student at home. For more information, call our main office at 253-571-2300
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