SBAC Letter to Parents
February 9, 2018
Dear Parent or Guardian:
I am writing to inform you that the Connecticut state-wide tests will be conducted this Spring. All students in grades three through eight will take the Smarter Balanced Assessment in math and language arts. The tests will be administered online and will adapt to each student’s ability, giving teachers and parents/guardians information to help students succeed. The Smarter Balanced Assessment is aligned to the Connecticut Core Standards and is designed to assess student progress toward attainment of these standards. Connecticut adopted the Connecticut Core Standards several years ago. These standards set challenging expectations for all students in English language arts (ELA) and math. They demand critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. Our students need these real-world skills to succeed.
Connecticut recently adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Like the Core Standards in English and Math, the Science standards emphasize critical thinking more than memorizing facts or terminology. In an NGSS classroom, students investigate natural phenomena and real-world problems like scientists and engineers do. All students in grades five, eight, and eleven will take the new Connecticut NGSS Science pilot. The tests will be administered online as well. The Connecticut state-wide ELA and Math test for grade eleven students is the SAT; also administered in the spring.
Groton Public Schools will administer the state-wide tests to students during the following testing window:
- Grades 3-5: ELA and Mathematics: Smarter Balanced: April 30 – May 25, 2018
- Grade 5: Connecticut NGSS Science Field Test: April 30 – May 25, 2018
- Grades 6-8: ELA and Mathematics: Smarter Balanced: April 30 – May 25, 2018
- Grade 8: Connecticut NGSS Science Field Test: April 30 – May 25, 2018
- Grade 11: Connecticut State Assessment – SAT: March 21, 2018; Makeups 4/24 & 4/25
- Grade 11: Connecticut NGSS Science Pilot: March 26 – 4/13/2018.
Please keep in mind that although the entire testing window covers several weeks, each student will be tested on only three (3) test sessions for the Smarter Balanced Assessment and one (1) test session for the Connecticut NGSS Science Pilot.
We think of assessments like academic checkups. They help teachers and parents see students’ academic growth year to year. The results can reveal areas where students excel and where they need support. They also indicate areas where we can improve curriculum and instruction. The tests are taken on computers. Computer testing enables assessment of more complex skills efficiently.
To find resources for parents and guardians, including ways to help our children at home, please visit www.ctcorestandards.org . For more information about the statewide testing in Groton Public Schools, please visit www.ct.gov/sde/SmarterBalanced .
As always, we ask for your assistance as we encourage our students to do their absolute best. It is important that our children come to school well rested and nourished in order to perform optimally.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Susan Austin, Assistant Superintendent and District Test Coordinator, at (860) 572-2175, or contact your student’s Building Principal.
Thank you for your cooperation and support.
Michael H. Graner, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools