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    Assessments and Testing

    The SPS Assessment Department collaborates with an array of stakeholders to implement and support a balanced assessment framework that includes academic as well as social-emotional measures. We promote the student-centered improvement of teaching that engages, empowers and educates all students with a specific focus on African American children and adolescents; as well as best practices for assessment literacy and data-driven decision making.

    Assessments are used in Seattle Public Schools to help educators and families measure how students are meeting academic goals and grade level standards.

    State Summative Testing Dates for Fall 2021 Administration

    The Washington State education agency, OSPI, has recently announced dates for the fall 2021 summative testing window which was postponed from this spring.  During this fall administration, students will take the tests for their 2020-2021 school year grade.  For example, if a student is in sixth grade next fall, they will take the fifth grade assessments.  The tests will be shorter than normal in the fall.  While OSPI establishes the statewide testing window, exact test dates will vary by school in SPS.  Please contact your child's school in September for additional information about schedules and participation, and you can also contact the SPS state assessment coordinator, Will Hodges, with any questions or concerns.

    Smarter Balanced English/Language Arts and Math-  September 27 to November 10

    Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science-  September 27 to November 10

    Updated June 7, 2021


    Assessment calendars*

    *Please note the window for ELPA21 and WIDA has recently been changed to March 22-June 4.

    *Please note the window for WA-AIM has recently been extended to April 30.

    Download our 2020-2021 assessment calendars (grades K-8 or 9-12):

    *The assessment calendar was developed during spring/early summer when there was an expectation that districts could be back to in-person instruction in the fall. District-wide administration of district assessments is suspended while Seattle Public Schools in a fully remote learning environment. Any changes and/or updates to state assessment will be made by OSPI and communicated out accordingly.

    District Assessments

    District assessments are typically given during the school year to help teachers see progress toward College and Career Readiness Standards in subjects such as math and language arts. Teachers can use the information from these assessments to work collaboratively with their colleagues to plan lessons and provide support for individual students.

    In Seattle Public Schools, teachers use different types of formative assessments. The SBA interims will be available for use. Content and grade level recommendations for these interims align with the 2019-24 Strategic Plan. Data collected from these assessments will help inform classroom instruction and remediation and/or extension activities to meet the needs of all students. 

    For detailed information on MAP, please see our Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) page:

    State Assessments

    State assessments are required for federal accountability and also provide a common measure of student progress at the school, district and state levels. Our educators examine the results and use them to help determine which resources and supports are needed to close achievement gaps. For detailed information, please see the pages below:

    Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction Resources

    College-readiness assessments

    Seattle Public Schools administers the SAT and PSAT assessments free of charge during a regular school day.

    Summary of Assessments 2020-2021

    Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKids)

    • State required
    • Grade level: Kindergarten

    WaKIDS provides a snapshot of the school readiness of students as they enter kindergarten.

    Fountas and Pinnell (F&P)

    • District and state required
    • This tool is not available for use in remote learning environment
    • Grade level: Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th

    F&P assessment identifies student’s independent and instructional reading levels.

    SPS Interim Assessments

    • Available to schools
    • Grade Level: 3-8

    Interim assessments support educators to monitor progress towards state standards and adjust instruction.

    Measures of Academic Progress

    • District required; District-wide administration currently suspended
    • Available to schools
    • Grade level: K-8

    MAP is a computer-based adaptive assessment. MAP results provide baseline data and to show student growth. This data can also be used by teachers to adapt instruction to student needs.

    Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) or WA-AIM

    • State required (OSPI applied for a waiver for 2020-21)
    • Grade level: 3rd-8th, 10th, 11th and 12th (if needed)

    Determines students’ progress toward graduation and college, career readiness in English language arts/literacy and math.

    Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS) or WA-AIM

    • State required (OSPI applied for a waiver for 2020-2021) 
    • Grade level: 5th, 8th, 11th

    The WCAS measures the proficiency that Washington students have achieved based on the Washington State 2013 K-12 Science Learning Standards.

    Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)

    • Not mandatory: PSAT is provided to students during the school day free of charge. (Cancelled for 2020-21 due to COVID-19)
    • Grade level: 10th, 11th

    The PSAT helps juniors prepare for the SAT and is used to qualify students for scholarships and advanced learning opportunities.

    Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

    • Not mandatory: SAT is provided to students during the school day free of charge.
    • Grade level: 11th

    The SAT is the most widely used college admission test in the country. The test can be used as a substitute graduation requirement if the student didn’t meet passing scores on other assessments in ELA or math.

    English Language Proficiency Assessment for the

    •  21st Century (ELPA-21) or WIDA
      State required ELL eligible students only 
    • Grade level: K-12

    The ELPA-21 assessment system measures a student’s language proficiency relative to the English Language Proficiency standards. Any student whose primary and/or home language is other than English is required by the state to test. Student progress is assessed every year to until they reach a level of ‘proficient’.