Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) testing for juniors began last week and will proceed until May 28. Students will only be allowed on campus after having been tested for COVID-19. Testing will be taking place in the small gym and Room 302 (the former art room). Administration will be providing a school Chromebook and any other material needed to take the exam.
The day each student will need to test is determined by the first initial of their last name. The schedule is:
A-F: May 4-7
G-M: May 11-14
N-S: May 18-21
R-Z: May 25-28
The schedule for SBAC testing was announced on April 27, and there was an assembly on April 30 answering very few questions regarding how testing will be handled at school. Not many students were happy about the abrupt announcement even with the benefits that would come with taking the test. These benefits include being enrolled in a raffle for HHS gear or even a yearbook and many other prizes.
“I feel overwhelmed. I’m supposed to be studying for my AP exam and now I have to be worried about the SBAC. It’s already hard trying to balance homework, studying for both AP exams and the SAT, and extracurriculars,” said Tiyrah Miller, SAS junior. “Now we have to figure out how to do all of that along with finding a way to get to school, get tested for Covid and take the SBAC. The fact that it’s so unorganized makes me feel like the district doesn’t care about the Class of 2022. Our mental health is at risk because of their poor planning.”
This year, only high school juniors will be taking the SBAC. For elementary and middle school students the test has been cancelled. Due to this there has been a lingering question amongst juniors, “Is this test mandatory?” According to a California waiver from federal school accountability, the law says that students who do not participate can not be penalized.
Some students didn’t even know this test existed until it was announced. “I had talked to my older brother about the SBAC and he didn’t know what it was either, this whole test just seems kind of unnecessary,” said Jazmin Garcia, TCA junior.
The SBAC’s original purpose is to see if students are mastering the common core state standards. But this year, the California Department of Education says that this time around the scores will be used to “align resources to student supports.” Even though that sounds less stressful, juniors are still nervous about the state test.