Sometimes it seems as if the way educators talk is meant to confuse, not enlighten, parents and other members of the public. We speak in acronyms: IEPs, ADA, GATE, EL, SST, SPSA … the list goes on and on. About five years ago, a new acronym was added: SBAC. Every spring for the past five years, our 3rd-6th grade students have taken the SBAC – the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium assessment that measures student competencies in Mathematics and English/Language Arts. The assessments are Common Core State Standards-aligned tests that are taken on the computers in the lab (3rd graders) or on the tablets in the classrooms (4th-6th graders). In addition to these once-yearly summative assessments, this year our 3rd-6th grade students are taking interim benchmark SBAC tests twice during the year to measure progress made toward meeting the year-end standards. You will receive more information soon about our testing schedule which will start after the April break.
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We frequently find ourselves scrambling to staff classes when teachers are sick or out of the classroom to attend meetings or professional development. There is a chronic shortage of substitute teachers in our district, which has caused us to have to send students to other classrooms on occasion when a substitute cannot be found. If you have a teaching credential, please sign up to become a substitute. If you are a college graduate, or know someone in our community who is, you (or they) can get an emergency credential which allows you to become a substitute teacher by taking (and passing) the CBEST (California Basic Educational Skills Test). The test is available year-round by appointment, and information can be found at: https://www.teacherstestprep.com/CBEST-test-dates. Substitute teaching is a great way to help out our school and you can even earn some money in the process!
For those who are interested, here are the meanings of the acronyms in the first paragraph: IEP: Individualized Education Plan; ADA: Average Daily Attendance (or Americans with Disabilities Act); GATE: Gifted and Talented Education; ELL: English Learner; SST: Student Success Team, SPSA: Single Plan for Student Achievement.