Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium

Spring has arrived and with it comes our state assessments for 3rd-5th graders (called Smarter Balanced). These assessments are designed to show how students perform on our learning standards in English language arts and mathematics. They provide one measure of student learning for our students, teachers, families and community. Each of the English language arts and mathematics assessments has two sections.  One section is in a more traditional test format while a second section is called a “performance task”. These performance tasks combine research, reading, and writing skills in English language arts and realworld problem solving in math.  In an English language arts performance task, for example, students might be asked to read multiple passages and combine that information to answer questions or complete a writing task.

If you would like to see what these assessments look like, you can try the practice tests at this link:

While the best “test prep” is simply the learning already occurring at school, here are a few tips for families to make sure your child is ready to do their best:

  • Make sure your child has had a good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast before testing.
  • Be sure that your child is present (see our test calendar below) and on-time to school. Tardies can be especially disruptive during testing.
  • Have your child practice their keyboarding skills. All students have access to an online keyboarding program called Typing Agent that students can use at home. Please talk to your child’s teacher for login information.
  • Talk with your child about the assessments being another opportunity to show what they’ve learned while not overemphasizing them. This can help students to go in with the right mindset and have a more pleasant experience.

The Smarter Balanced test window for Alki will run from April 19th through May 19th as follows:

  • Apr. 19 – 22:  3rd Grade

  • Apr. 25 – 29:  3rd & 5th Grade

  • May 2 – 6:  3rd & 4th Grade

  • May 9 – 12:  3rd & 4th Grade

  • May 16 – 19:  4th & 5th Grade (Science)

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