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What Every Parent Should Know About the Smarter Balanced Assessments and the Hawai‘i State Science (NGSS) Assessments
 
Which assessments will my child take?
If your child is enrolled in grades 3–5, your child will take the Hawai‘i Smarter Balanced English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics Assessments. The Smarter Balanced English Language Arts/Literacy Assessment consists of a computer adaptive test (CAT) as well as a performance task (PT). The Smarter Balanced Mathematics Assessment consists of a computer adaptive test (CAT) only. If your child is enrolled in grade 5, your child will also take the Hawai‘i State Science (NGSS) Assessment.
 
When will the assessments be administered?
Your child will take the Smarter Balanced English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics Assessments once for each content area between March and the end of the school year. Your child's teacher will inform you of the class testing schedule and when your child will take each content area. 
 
How much time does each assessment take?
The Hawai‘i State Science (NGSS) Assessment will take approximately two hours. The Smarter Balanced English Language Arts/Literacy Assessment will take approximately 2 to 3 1/2 hours. The Smarter Balanced Mathematics Assessment will take approximately 1 to 2 hours. Your child may be given additional time to complete each assessment. Your child may exit an assessment and return on another day to complete it. The online testing system keeps track of the questions that your child has answered and will present the remaining questions when your child resumes the assessment.

What computer skills will my child need for the assessments?
The assessments include questions that will require your child to select one answer from a set of possible answers, draw and move objects, and type responses directly into the testing system. Your child can use the mouse or keyboard or both to take the online assessments, but your child is not required to be an expert computer user or typist.
 
Students may also choose to use some online tools to help them during the assessments. Students can:
  • zoom in on both text and graphics;
  • highlight important information;
  • strike out incorrect answer choices; and
  • mark questions for review.
 
We encourage students to practice answering the types of questions included in the assessments. Content area practice and training tests for each grade level or grade level band and assessment are available at alohahsap.org

When will families get the results of the assessments?
Your family will receive a paper score report with your child’s final scores at the beginning of the next school year during the month of September.

How can I help my child prepare for the assessments?
You can best help your child prepare by providing the consistent support that will help your child do well in school every day. Make sure your child gets adequate sleep, eats a nourishing breakfast, completes homework, and attends school every day. The Smarter Balanced Assessments and the Hawai‘i State Science (NGSS) Assessments measure how well your child is meeting the comprehensive content area standards that help guide your child’s daily instruction throughout the school year.

You can also help your child become familiar with the types of questions he or she might be asked to answer by reviewing the Smarter Balanced Assessments and the Hawai‘i State Science Assessments Parent Information Booklet with him or her and visiting alohahsap.org to answer additional content area practice and training test questions.

What accessibility supports are available for my child?
The assessments offer accessibility options to help all students, including English language learners and those with disabilities, demonstrate what they know and are able to do on the state tests. Accessibilities supports such as separate setting, text-to-speech, and a Spanish version of the mathematics assessment can help to provide student access to test questions and answer options. For more information on accessibility options, go to alohahsap.org and navigate to the Resources section.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me at rching@kes.k12.hi.us or 733-8455 x233.
Thank you!