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California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP)


Each spring, students in Capistrano Unified School District participate in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP).   Students in grade 3-8 and 11 take part in this statewide administration of the (CAASPP). These computer-based tests replaced the former paper-based, multiple-choice assessments in English/language arts and math know as Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program.  These new tests are fundamentally different from the old tests and comparisons cannot be made.  Therefore, last year’s results establish a baseline for the progress we expect students to make over time.


Students in grades 3-8 and 11 will take tests in English-language arts and mathematics online using a computer. These tests are also known as the Smarter Balanced Assessments. Students in grades 5, 8, and 10 will also take an online science test made up of multiple-choice questions. In the next few years, other subjects like history-social science, art, and technology will also be added to online testing.


The CAASPP system is designed to give information to teachers, students, and their families about what students know and are able to do and whether they are on track to be ready for success in college or career when they graduate from high school.  Test results will help identify and address gaps in knowledge or skills early on so students get the support they need to be ready for success in higher grades. 


CAASPP is California's umbrella assessment system that replaced the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) System in 2013-2014. Assessments under CAASPP are:

  • Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA): These are computerized adaptive tests for English language arts/literacy and mathematics in grades 3-8, and 11. They were developed to align with the new state standards in English language arts/literacy and mathematics. SBAs are designed to measure student progress toward college and career readiness.
  • California Alternate Assessments (CAA):  This is for English–language arts (ELA) and mathematics to be administered to students in grades 3–8 and 11 whose individualized education program (IEP) teams have determined that the student’s cognitive disabilities prevent him or her from taking the online CAASPP Smarter Balanced assessments. This population of students has, in previous years, been assigned to take the California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) for ELA and mathematics.  Like the CAPA, the CAA are delivered one on one by a qualified CAA Test Examiner familiar to the student.
  • California Standards Test (CST) in Science: This Science test is for students in grades 5, 8, and 10. They are multiple choice tests designed to assess students’ mastery of California’s science standards.
  • California Modified Assessment (CMA) in Science: This Science test is a multiple-choice science assessment for students in grades 5,8, and 10, who have an individualized education program (IEP) and are receiving grade-level instruction. The purpose of the CMA science test is to allow students with disabilities greater access to an assessment that helps measure how well they are achieving California’s science standards.
  • California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) in Science: This is an individually administered performance assessment in Science for students who have significant cognitive disabilities and are unable to participate in the CST or CMA versions of the test, even with accommodations, modifications, or designated supports.
  • Standards-based Test in Spanish (STS) is optional and Capistrano did not administer this test.

The CST, CMA, CAPA, and STS will eventually be phased out once replacement assessments that align to the new state standards in these subject areas are developed.

Parents can access additional resources by clicking on the Parent Resources link. There, Parent Guides, Student Score Report Guides, Common Definitions, and Frequently Asked Questions are available.


Click here to view the California Smarter Balanced Test Results for Spring 2016.


For your convenience, the California Department of Education 2016–17 California Assessment System Web page is now available to provide a quick overview of all assessments administered to be in California in 2016–17.


Non-Discrimination Statement

The Capistrano Unified School District prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in all district activities, programs, and employment based upon actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, ethnicity, color, religion, ancestry, nationality, national origin, ethnic group identification, sex, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, pregnancy, age, physical or mental disability or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Reference: AR 1312.3, BP 1312.3 and BP 5183.

Rich Montgomery, Executive Director, Human Resource Services/Compliance
33122 Valle Road, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 234-9200

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