Students in the Santa Paula Union High School District undergo several mandated standardized tests throughout the school year. Santa Paula Union High School District is committed to provide safe, high-performing schools. Student testing and assessment provides essential data necessary to evaluate student academic growth. Student Acheivement is best measured by evaluating multiple acheivement measures for students and groups of students. Program effectiveness also is determined using multiple acheivement measures. Relevant, reliable and reputable measures provide a valid basis for analyzing and evaluating the effectiveness of programs and the degree of student achievement. Standards that are aligned to the high values of the California Content Standards are the academic criteria for all students and schools.
California' Student Testing and Reporting Program (STAR)
Each Spring, California students in grades 9 through 11 must take a series of tests that comprise the state's STAR (Standardized Testing and Reporting) program. This series of tests must be completed 10 days before or after 85% of a school's year has passed. Testing generally takes place sometime between March 15th and May 15th of each year.
- California Standards: These tests were developed specifically for California public schools. These tests are aligned to state-adopted content standards in reading, writing, mathmatics, history/social science, and science. California Standards are more rigorous than the typical national curriculum. English-language arts and math exams are adminstered to grades 9-11. History/social science exams are administered to grades 10-11. Science exams are administered to grades 9-11.
- CAPA: In order to meet the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA and the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), California must show evidence that all students are included in the statewide assessment and accountability system. In response, the California Department of Education (CDE) has developed an alternative assessment for students with disabilities who cannot take part in the general statewide assessment program. The California Alternative Performance Assessment (CAPA) is an alternative to California's Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) and will meet the requirement for an alternative assessment
- Aprenda 3: The Apprenda 3 was designed to assess Spanish-speaking students for the Primary Language Assessment component of the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program. The Aprenda 3 tests in the areas of reading, language and mathematics. This assessment was developed for Spanish-speaking students who are designated English Learners (EL) and have been enrolled in a U.S. public school for 12 months or less or those students receiving instruction in their native language
Individual student results for the California Standards and CAPA are mailed to the parents/guardian sometime between July 15th and September 15th. Individual students results for the Aprenda 3 are mailed out to the parents/guardian sometimes between June 15th and July 31st.
California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE)
Beginning with the graduating class of 2006, all students in California public schools will have to pass the CAHSEE in order to receive a high school diploma. The exam is composed of two major parts: English-langauge arts and mathematics. All students, beginning in their 10th grade year, will be required to take the CAHSEE. They may take the examination during each subsequent administration, until each section has been passed. Students will have many opportunities throughout their high school years to take and pass the CAHSEE.
The English-langauge arts portion addresses the State Board of Education (SBE) adopted standards through grade 10. The test consists of multiple-choice questions and written essays. The reading portion of the test covers vocabulary, informational reading, and literary reading. The writing portion covers writing strategies, applications and conventions. The test will also have a written response to literature or an informational passage and another written response to a writing prompt.
The mathematics portion of the test addresses the SBE adopted standards through Algebra I. The mathematics test includes statistics, data analysis and probability, number sense, measurement and geometry, mathematical reasoning, and algebra. Students will be asked to demonstrate a strong foundation in arithmatic, including work with decimals, fractions, and percents. The math test consists of all multiple-choice questions.
Once the individual student results of the CAHSEE are calculated by the California Department of Education (CDE) and sent to the district, they will be mailed out to the parents/guardian.
California English Language Development Test (CELDT)
The California English Language Tests (CELDT) is the testing format adopted by the California Department of Education (CDE) to satisfy the public school's responsibility to: (1) identify students who are English Learners (EL); (2) determine levels of English proficiency; and (3) assess progress toward acquiring English proficiency in listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Parent "Opt Outs" are not allowed for the CELDT.
All new enrollees, who have a home language other than English are to be initially assessed within 30 days of enrollment in a California public school. Annual assessments are conducted during the months of July, September, and October. All identified English Learners (EL) are assessed in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The test is aligned with state English language development standards adopted by the State Board of Education (SBS).
Individual student results of the CELDT testing will be mailed to the parents/guardian.
Advanced Placement Exams (AP)
Advanced placement courses are demanding college-level classes made available to high school students. They offer students the opportunity to study subjects in-depth, at college level, to better prepare themselves for college work.
At the conclusion of an AP course, the student has the opportunity to take the corresponding AP Exam. The Exams are two to three hours long, given in May, made up of multiple-choice and free-response (essay) questions. They are graded on a scale of 1 to 5, with 3 considered a "qualifying" score. Qualifying scores on AP exams can benefit students in several ways:
- They may provide for advanced placement or course credit at the vast majority of colleges and universities in the United States
- At more than 1,400 institutions in the United States, a full year's credit may be granted to students with satisfactory grades on enough AP Exams. These students receive what is called "sophomore standing" at the receiving college
- Scholar Awards are available to students for outstanding performance on AP Exams. This acheivement is noted on the AP transcript and recognized by colleges
- Combined with other qualifying factors, high scores on both a math and a science AP exam could earn additional scholarship money through the Governor's Scholarship Program
There are fees associated with the AP Exams, but fee reductions may be available for those in financial need.
Physical Fitness Test
The Santa Paula Union High School District is required annually to assess all 9th grade students for physical fitness. The Physical Fitness Test measures the three components of physical fitness that have been identified as being important because of their relationship to overall health and optimal function. The three components are aerobic capacity; body composition and muscular strength; endurance and flexibility.
The primary objectives of the Physical Fitness testing program are to provide information to teachers, students, and parents about individual student fitness levels and to provide information for program evaluation.
The Physical Fitness testing window begins February 1st and ends May 31st of each year.