NOTE: Colorado school districts are required by law to adopt a policy on this subject, and the law contains some specific direction as to the content or language. This sample policy contains the content/language that CASB believes best meets the intent of these legal requirements, as follows: (1) policy on use of pencil and paper to complete any portion of a state assessment that students would otherwise complete on a computer; (2) policy to allow parents to excuse their children from participating in one or more state assessments; and (3) policy to ensure appropriate school personnel share with and explain student state assessment results and longitudinal growth information with the student’s parent/guardian. However, the district should consult with its own legal counsel to determine appropriate language that meets local circumstances and needs.
This policy is intended to replace former policies IKAB, Report Cards/Progress Reports; ILBA, District Program Assessments; and ILBB, State Program Assessments.
The Board believes that students will respond more positively to the opportunity for success than to the threat of failure. The district shall seek, therefore, in its instructional program to make achievement both recognizable and possible for students. It shall emphasize achievement in its processes of evaluating student performance.
State assessment system
State and federal law require district students to take standardized assessments in the instructional areas of English language arts, math and science. State law also requires students to take standardized assessments in the instructional area of social studies. Accordingly, the district shall administer standardized assessments pursuant to these state and federal legal requirements.
State law also requires the district to adopt policies and/or procedures concerning the use of pencil and paper on the computerized portion of state assessments; parent requests to excuse their children from taking state assessments; and the district’s assessment calendar. This policy and its accompanying regulation represent the district’s processes to address these requirements.
1. Pencil and paper testing option
The district may determine that a specific classroom or school within the district will use pencil and paper to complete the computerized portions of a state assessment. Factors that will be considered in making this determination include:
the technological capacity and resources of the particular school/classroom;
students’ previous experience with computerized and written assessments;
whether the instructional methodology of the particular school/classroom is consistent with the use of computerized assessments or written assessments; and
the logistics of administering the state assessment in different formats at a particular school or schools.
Prior to making this determination, the superintendent or designee shall consult with the school principal(s) affected by this determination as well as parents/guardians of students enrolled in the district.
For students with disabilities, the use of pencil and paper instead of a computer to complete a state assessment shall be determined by the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) team or Section 504 team, in accordance with applicable law.
2. Parent/guardian request for exemption
A parent/guardian who wishes to exempt his or her child from a particular state assessment or assessments shall make this request in accordance with this policy’s accompanying regulation.
In accordance with state law, the district shall not impose a negative consequence upon a student whose parent/guardian has requested an exemption from a state assessment or assessments.
This policy’s exemption process shall apply only to state assessments administered pursuant to C.R.S. 22-7-1006.3 and shall not apply to district or classroom assessments.
3. Sharing of student state assessment results with parents/guardians
The Colorado Department of Education is required to provide diagnostic academic growth information for each student enrolled in the district and for each public school in the district based on the state assessment results for the preceding school years. Appropriate school personnel, including those who work directly with the student, shall have access to the student’s state assessment results and longitudinal academic growth information and shall share with and explain that information to the student’s parent/guardian.
NOTE: State law requires districts to include a student’s state assessment results in each student’s permanent academic record. C.R.S. 22-7-1006.3 (7)(d). State assessment results must also be included on each student’s final report card for the applicable school year, if the district has sufficient time to process the results after they are released. Id. Districts must also describe each student’s “level of postsecondary and workforce readiness” on the student’s final high school transcript by “indicating the student’s level of performance on the readiness assessments administered to the student pursuant to C.R.S. 22-7-1006.3 in high school.” 22-7-1016 (2)(b).
District assessment system
In addition to the state assessment system, the district has developed a comprehensive assessment system that:
challenges students to think critically, apply what they have learned and gives them the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and knowledge;
includes “early warning” features that allow problems to be diagnosed promptly to let students, teachers and parents/guardians know that extra effort is necessary;
provides reliable and valid information on student and school performance to educators, parents/guardians and employers; and
provides timely and useful data for instructional improvement and improved student learning, including feedback useful in determining whether the curriculum is aligned with the district’s academic standards.
In accordance with applicable law, the district’s assessment system shall accommodate students with disabilities and English language learners.
The district’s assessment results, in combination with state assessment results, will be used as the measurement of student achievement. It is believed these results will provide reliable and valid information about student progress on the district’s academic standards.
Additional assessment information for parents/guardians
In accordance with state law and this policy’s accompanying regulation, the district shall distribute an assessment calendar and related information to parents/guardians on an annual basis to inform them about the state and district assessments that the district plans to administer during the school year.
Classroom assessment system
Classroom assessment practices shall be aligned with the district’s academic standards and assessment program. Assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning process that should occur continuously in the classroom. The primary purpose of classroom assessment shall be to enable teachers to make instructional decisions for students on a continual basis.
Students are encouraged to engage in informal self-assessments as they study and attempt to solve problems, monitor their own progress and improve their learning.
The administration and professional staff shall devise a grading system for evaluating and recording student progress and to measure student performance in conjunction with the district’s academic standards. The records and reports of individual students shall be kept in a form meaningful to parents/guardians as well as teachers. The grading system shall be uniform district-wide at comparable grade levels. Peer grading of student assignments and classroom assessments is permissible. The intent of this practice is to teach material again in a new context and to show students how to assist and respect fellow students.
The Board shall approve the grading, reporting and assessment systems as developed by the professional staff, upon recommendation of the superintendent.
The Board recognizes that classroom grading and/or assessment systems, however effective, are subjective in nature but urges all professional staff members to conduct student evaluations as objectively as possible.
LEGAL REFS.: 20 U.S.C. 6311 (b)(2)(A) (Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires states to implement mathematics, reading or language arts, and science assessments)
20 U.S.C. 6312 (e)(1)(B)(i) (under ESSA, district must provide information to parents regarding child’s level of achievement and academic growth on state assessments)
20 U.S.C. 6312 (e)(2)(A) (under ESSA, district must provide information to a parent regarding district’s opt-out policy for state assessments, at parent’s request for such information)
C.R.S. 22-7-1006.3 (1) (state assessment implementation schedule)
C.R.S. 22-7-1006.3 (1)(d) (district must report to CDE the number of students who will take the state assessment in a pencil and paper format)
C.R.S. 22-7-1006.3 (7)(d) (state assessment results included on student report card if feasible)
C.R.S. 22-7-1006.3 (8)(a) (policy required to ensure explanation of student state assessment results)
C.R.S. 22-7-1013 (1) (district academic standards)
C.R.S. 22-7-1013 (6) (policy required regarding the use of pencil and paper on state assessments)
C.R.S. 22-7-1013 (7) (procedure required concerning distribution of assessment calendar to parents/guardians)
C.R.S. 22-7-1013 (8) (policy and procedure required to allow parents to excuse their children from participation in state assessments)
C.R.S. 22-7-1016 (2)(b) (results of state “readiness assessments” administered in high school must be included on high school student’s final transcript)
C.R.S. 22-11-101 et seq. (Education Accountability Act of 2009)
C.R.S. 22-11-203 (2)(a) (principal required to provide educators access to their students’ academic growth information “upon receipt” of that information)
C.R.S. 22-11-504 (3) (policy required to ensure explanation of student state assessment results and longitudinal growth information)
1 CCR 301-46 (Rules for the Administration of the College Entrance Exam)
CROSS REFS.: AEA, Standards Based Education
IK, Academic Achievement
JRA/JRC, Student Records/Release of Information on Students
[Revised January 2018]
COLORADO SAMPLE POLICY 1992©