Assessments

VVUHSD teachers conduct both formative and summative assessments each year. Teachers refine and update their annual common formative assessments(CFAs) in ELA and math. Summative Assessments are state or national tests.

Assessment Calendar 2020-2021
This document provides information on dates of these state tests for advanced planning purposes.

Why do schools conduct Formative Assessments?
The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by instructors to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning. More specifically, formative assessments:

  • help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work
  • help faculty recognize where students are struggling and address problems immediately

Formative assessments are generally low stakes, which means that they have low or no point value. Examples of formative assessments include asking students to:

  • draw a concept map in class to represent their understanding of a topic
  • submit one or two sentences identifying the main point of a lecture
  • turn in a research proposal for early feedback

Summative Assessment:
The goal of summative assessment is to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark.
Summative assessments are often high stakes, which means that they have a high point value. Examples of summative assessments include:

  • a midterm exam
  • a final project
  • a paper
  • a senior recital
  • Information from summative assessments can be used formatively when students or faculty use it to guide their efforts and activities in subsequent courses.

State and national tests such as AP tests, ELPAC and CAASPP are the annual summative tests.

Advanced Placement:
AP gives students the chance to tackle college-level work while they're still in high school and earn college credit and placement. Click here for more info.

ELPAC:
The English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) is the mandated state test for determining English language proficiency (ELP). It must be given to students whose primary language is one other than English. California and federal law require that local educational agencies administer a state test of ELP to eligible students in kindergarten—or year one of a two-year kindergarten program, also referred to as transitional kindergarten—through grade twelve. The ELPAC is aligned with the 2012 California English Language Development Standards and is comprised of two separate ELP assessments: The Initial ELPAC, and the Summative ELPAC. Click here for more information.

Smarter Balanced Assessments: 
Students in grades three through eight and grade eleven will take the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics. These assessments are administered online. A student may be exempted from taking the Smarter Balanced assessments in the following three situations:

  • The student is taking the CAAs.
  • The student has been designated as an English learner and is within his or her first 12 months of enrollment in a U.S. school as of April 15 of the previous year. (This exemption applies only to the ELA portion of the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment.)
  • The parent has expressed in writing that his or her student should be excluded from taking the summative assessments. Click here for more info.

Universal Screening Assessments - STAR Renaissance ELA and Math:
Universal screening is the process of providing a brief assessment to all students to identify those who may experience lower than expected academic outcomes. It is a component of response to intervention, which involves a strategic approach to providing tiered, evidenced-based strategies for students who are at risk for falling below grade-level expectations. Universal screening is the first step in identifying those students who may be at risk in both academic and behavioral categories. Starting 2020-2021, all students will participate in the beginning of the year and end of the year assessments using STAR. Students who are struggling will be provided access to 24-7 intensive Tutoring support and priority summer school reading and math camps. For your child's results in this assessment, please contact your site Principal or cfoote@vvuhsd.org. Click on this link to learn more about this assessment and access your child's scores. 

Math Diagnostic Testing Project ( MDTP) Assessments:
MDTP diagnostic readiness tests are used formatively in classrooms, departments, and schools to promote and support student readiness and success in college mathematics courses. Teachers use MDTP diagnostic tests to inform and enhance their classroom teaching practices. Departments and schools use MDTP diagnostic tests to collectively shape instruction, assessment, support and intervention, and policy.
VVUHSD conducts this assessment for placement purposes in the 6th and 8th grade. Students entering middle and high school benefit from this as math placement options include courses which are available for students struggling in math. Click on this link to learn more about MDTP.