SBA test requirements questions answered

Monday through Friday next week, certain students will take the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) tests regarding English Language Arts (ELA) and math.

The math tests are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday and the ELA tests are scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

Tests will begin at 7:30 a.m. in designated classrooms and end at 10:10 a.m. Periods 1, 3 and 5 will be on Tuesday and Thursday and 2, 4 and 6 are scheduled for Wednesday and Friday. Period 1 or 2 will begin at 10:20 a.m. following an all school lunch at 11:15 a.m.

The SBA tests are used for state and federal accountability along with meeting Edmonds School District (ESD) graduation requirements, according to principal Greg Schwab.

As for which grade is required to take which test, Schwab sent out a parent email earlier this week explaining both the state and ESD requirements.

“I literally have a hard time keeping it straight,” Schwab laughed.

All sophomores are required to take the ELA SBAs on Thursday and Friday, along with juniors who “have not yet met at Level 3 or higher” for previous ELA SBAs and seniors who have not met the ESD graduation requirements.

Any junior who did not pass the SBA the first time have been communicated with and knows that they are taking the SBA again, Schwab said.

The SBA has two different levels of “passing,” Schwab said, the graduation cut requirement and the “college and career readiness” cut. If a junior has met the graduation cut, but not the college and career readiness cut, they are required to retake the SBA.

This is due to ensuring students are prepared for education after high school and the SBA can replace college placement tests.

All juniors are required to take the math SBAs on Tuesday and Wednesday, along with sophomores in math classes Algebra 2 or higher and seniors who have not met the ESD graduation requirements.

Last year, juniors were not required to take any SBAs and could “opt out” of the test. However, because it was still a state requirement, this counted against MTHS’ requirement for 95 percent participation, according to Schwab.

MTHS was expected to receive two awards from the Washington State Board of Education, but were disqualified due to not having met the participation requirement.

In Schwab’s email, he emphasized the importance of the SBAs.

“Again, I need to stress the importance of these tests -students cannot graduate from high school without meeting standard on them,” he said. “We want [students] to leave [MTHS] with a solid foundation of skills and a future full of opportunities.”