As a program of a California public school, Excel Academy must adhere to the same state testing requirements as all other public schools. Students enrolled with Excel Academy are required to take state and local assessments, including the assessments listed below. Students who do not participate in the required assessments set by Excel Academy are subject to earn a Progress Improvement Notification (PIN). Students are allowed two PINs during the school year. Upon receiving a third PIN, the student could be subject to an involuntary withdrawal from Excel Academy. Students begin each new school year with zero PINs.
It is important to Excel Academy that our students are participating in the required assessments (i.e. i-Ready or grade level appropriate pencil/paper assessments, and state testing), so that we can set our students and school up for long term success. PINs are also given to students who complete 70% or less of the learning that should have occurred for that learning period, as determined by the credentialed teacher, or misses a school appointment, including any mandatory assessment date, special education service appointment, learning period meeting, or any other required meeting.
Why should my child participate in assessments?
Excel Academy wants our authorizing districts to know all the incredible learning that is fostered in our personalized learning model of independent study. The state of California requires all public schools that receive state and federal funding to have methods of evaluation in place to show student progress in grade level expectations and standards. Our authorizing districts require board updates noting the same student progress. Our goal to have substantive student data reflected by full student participation in assessments for each board update, our annual SARC (School Accountability Report Card for the State of California) and LCAP. The LCAP is an important component of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). Under the LCFF all school districts/charters are required to prepare an LCAP, which describes how they intend to meet annual goals for all pupils, with specific activities to address state and local priorities identified pursuant to EC Section 52060(d). The LCAP is a three-year plan, which is reviewed and updated as required.
At Excel Academy, we hope your vision aligns with the expectations we must meet as a California public school. Please remember participation in assessments is an important life skill for your children and results can be very helpful in early intervention as well as guiding parent choice in curriculum and instruction.
In our effort to ensure our families are informed about testing, we have provided you with quick links for easy access to assessment related items. Having everything in one location can simplify things, especially when the requirements vary from grade level to grade level. Please remember the best resource you have available to you is your Teacher of Record.
i-Ready Benchmark Assessments – Computer Based Assessments
i-Ready Benchmark Assessments are administered in September and March
- Grades 2 through 11 - tests are administered by the parent or the Teacher of Record
- Grades K and 1 - paper/pencil benchmark assessments are administered by the Teacher of Record (Students in K and 1 can take the i-Ready assessments per parent request.)
The I-Ready benchmark assessment is an online adaptive diagnostic test that adjusts questions to suit individual student performance. This assessment serves to indicate mastery and identify learning needs in students in grades second through eleventh. The purpose is not to give students a score or grade, but instead to determine concepts students have mastered and where students need the most support.
This required assessment will be administered once a semester, each academic year: First, in September to provide the Teacher of Record and parents pertinent knowledge to assist with academic support and guidance, and again in March to determine growth and goals.
Teachers of Record will review the assessment results with individual families at an LP meeting. Additional support and resources including extension activities can be provided with the support of the TOR in order to help guide future instruction. The optional individualized instruction plan created through i-Ready is another great resource tool for parents and students.
Kindergarten and first grade students will be given a paper/pencil assessment that will be administered by the TOR during an LP meeting in place of the online i-Ready diagnostic.
“I like having the iReady because it provides a pulse on how his learning is going outside from my own opinion as his main educator and allows me to see spots he and I can both improve upon immediately.“ - Jennifer B., Irvine, CA - homeschool mother of 1
The frequency of required state testing varies by test and grade-level.
ELPAC (English Language Proficiency Assessments for California)
Please visit this link to access current online ELPAC practice tests. Simply login as a GUEST and choose your student's GRADE LEVEL to get started. This link will provide access to CAASPP (Smarter Balanced) state practice tests in pink and ELPAC practice tests in gray (be sure to scroll down). Click on the tests (i.e. listening, speaking, reading, writing) and have your student get started today.
The English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) is aligned with the 2012 California English Language Development Standards. The ELPAC is comprised of two separate ELP assessments: one for the initial identification of students as English Learners (ELs), and a second for the annual summative assessment to measure a student’s progress in learning English and to identify the student’s level of ELP (cde.ca.gov).
- Grades K-12
- English Learners Only
- Test Administration
- Initial Identification - When student enrolls with Excel Academy - Dates and Locations TBD (Assessment will be administered by trained proctors.)
- Annual Summative Assessment - Beginning in February
- Results are provided by the California Department of Education and sent to the school. Once received, results are mailed to the parents with a letter explaining student scores.
English Learners (EL) are targeted for ELPAC testing when the Home Language Survey indicates that their primary home language is a language other than English and are tested during the school year.
CAASPP - California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress
Please visit this link to access current online CAASPP practice tests. Simply login as a GUEST and choose your student's GRADE LEVEL to get started. This link will provide access to CAASPP (Smarter Balanced) state practice tests in pink. Click on the tests (i.e. ELA Practice Test, ELA Performance Task, Math Practice Test, Math Performance Task). Students in grades 5, 8, 11 and 12 can scroll down to the highlighted gray box titled California Science Test (CAST) Practice Test as well.
- The California Science Test (CAST) is an online test based on the California Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Participation in the CAST is required for all students in grades five and eight, and once in high school (grade 11 or 12).
With new state standards, students are working harder, thinking more critically, and applying their learning to the real world. To measure these new standards, educators from states using Smarter tests have worked together to develop new, high-quality tests in English and math for grades 3–8 and 11. Using computer adaptive technology, the tests are customized to every student (smarterbalanced.org).
Grades 3 - 8 and 11
ELA and Math – Computer Adaptive Tests (CAT)
ELA and Math – Performance Tasks (PT)
SBAC spring testing - Dates and Locations TBD
SBAC - Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium
A computer based test. With new state standards, students are working harder, thinking more critically, and applying their learning to the real world. To measure these new standards, educators from states using Smarter tests have worked together to develop new, high-quality tests in English and math for grades 3–8 and 11. Using computer adaptive technology, the tests are customized to every student (smarterbalanced.org). Testing dates/locations vary in April and May.
Grades 3 -8 & 11
The PFT provides information that can be used by (1) students to assess and plan personal fitness programs, (2) teachers to design the curriculum for physical education programs, and (3) parents and guardians to understand their children's fitness levels. The programs also provide results that are used to monitor changes in the physical fitness of California students. By law (Education Code (EC) Section 60800 public schools are required to administer the PFT annually to all students in grades 5, 7 and 9 (cde.ca.gov).
The PFT is administered by Education Specialists. Testing Includes:
- Aerobic Capacity – One Mile Run
- Abdominal Strength and Endurance – Curl-Up
- Upper Body Strength and Endurance – Push-Up
- Trunk Extensor Strength and Flexibility – Trunk Lift
- Flexibility – Shoulder Stretch
- Recording of Height and Weight
Grades 5, 7 & 9
PFT testing dates vary in February through April
Regular attendance is very important to the success of both your student and our school. Charter schools are funded based on “average daily attendance” or ADA. “Attendance” means when a student is engaged in educational activities required of them by the school, on days when school is actually taught. (5 C.C.R. 11960(a).)
Since our schools are nonclassroom-based instructional programs, ADA is calculated based on the work completed by the student and submitted by the due dates established in the independent study master agreement. The assigned teacher subsequently assesses the student’s work to determine whether the time value amounts to a full day of work. It’s important to stick to a regular work schedule/calendar so your student can clearly identify each school day in that calendar on which he/she engaged in required educational activities to an extent sufficient to constitute at least one day of time value. When determining the time value of a student’s work, the teacher will consider each student individually and may adjust the assignments accordingly.
Students are required to bring a body of work to each learning period meeting. This body of work represents the student’s progress over the course of the previous Learning Period. As a result, students are encouraged to bring enough work to show the concepts learned for each subject or course taken.. All work should be graded or evaluated in some manner. Samples can include any evaluative coursework, including worksheets, argumentative essays, research papers, science-project write ups, etc. The TOR will choose a sample in each subject/course that demonstrates grade level content in a variety of formats. The TOR will file these samples as proof of student attendance and progress. After reviewing the student’s work, the TOR will verify that ample work and/or standards were completed by the student during the learning period, and the TOR and the parent will sign and date the electronic Attendance Grid Log.
In California, each person between 6 and 18 years of age, unless otherwise exempt by law, is required to attend school full-time with regular and punctual attendance, and schools are required to enforce this compulsory attendance law. (See Ed. Code, § 48200 et seq.) A student’s failure to complete assignments on-time may subject the student to discipline, removal from the program, and/or being classified as truant and reported to the proper authorities. Please review the more detailed attendance policy for more information.
Updated testing resources will be distributed to Excel Academy families prior to the time of testing. This information can be shared with families for students to acclimate themselves with the various types of assessments prior to taking the tests.
Students should write down their answers prior to submitting the test. There are four major types of questions that students may see: multiple choice, multiple response, short answer, and performance assessments. Encourage students to explore and discuss the practice tests.
Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)
SBAC practice tests available to the public at
Answers may be manually checked here
LEXILE - Download Apps such as Levelit or Literacy Leveler
CAASPP Test Prep Videos
California Standards Tests (CSTs) for Science: Released test questions can be located here.
The Healthy Fitness Zone standards are available on the CDE and here.
College Test Prep
The College Board Code, also known as the CEEB code, is needed when taking the PSAT, SAT or AP tests. This allows the testing site and College Board to know which school the student attends. Please bring or remember your school’s College Board code when taking these tests.
Excel Academy CS (Warner: Orange, Riverside, and San Diego Counties): 054948
Excel Academy East (Helendale: LA and San Bernardino Counties): 053418