HB 2655 SmarterBalance Opt Out

Dear Parents and Guardians;
In 2014 - 2015, Oregon adopted new state assessments in English Language Arts and Math, called Smarter Balanced. The assessments move away from previous fill-in-the bubble exams that focused on rote memorization, to a format which asks students to explain their reasoning and write out their answers. These new assessments measure more complex, real-world skills such as critical-thinking, writing, and problem solving so that your child can successfully transition from grade to grade and be prepared for his or her next steps after high school.
2016-2017 Smarter Balanced Statewide Assessment Windows
Smarter Balanced English Language Arts & Math Assessments
February 7 – June 9, 2016
Oregon Extended Assessments for English
Language Arts & Math February 16 – April 27, 2016

State Level Assessment Windows Link
Specific assessment windows by site:

High School

Apr 3 – Jun 9


March 20-24: 5th Grade Science
April 10-14 Olson Testing Math & ELA
April 17-21 Schmeling Testing Math & ELA
April 24-28 Preskenis Testing Math & ELA
May 1-5 Carnes Testing Math & ELA
May 8-12 Gates Testing Math & ELA
May 15-19 Palmesano Testing Math & ELA
May 22-30 Finish Testing in needed

Middle School

Lang. Arts: April 5 – May 11
Math: May 15 – June 2


April 3-June 9

Willow Wind

April 10 - 14        5, 8 OAKS Science
April 17 - 21        6, 7, 8 ELA
April 24 - 28        3, 4, 5 ELA
May 8 - 12           6, 7, 8 Math        
May 9 - 14           3, 4, 5 Math



John Muir




The assessments are not timed so each student can take as long as he or she needs to fully demonstrate what he or she knows and can do.

We know that an end-of-the-year assessment cannot possibly tell us everything about a child’s academic progress. However, the results do act as a snapshot of each child’s strengths and areas for improvement and can be used as a way to ensure he or she is getting the supports he or she needs. Additionally, the assessments help Ashland School District’s efforts to equitably distribute resources and support student learning. When fewer students take the assessment, we are left with an incomplete and inaccurate picture of how our students are performing, and this limits our ability to address issues, better serve students, and continue to improve our educational system.

Below this message are links to a form that allows parents to opt a child out of Smarter Balanced assessments for the 2016-17 school year. If you are considering opting out, please print the form and discuss opting out with your child’s building principal so you can make an informed decision.  Completed forms should be initialed by a building administrator and returned to Student Services at 885 Siskiyou Blvd..  More information on the rights of parents is located here: Http://tinyurl.com/OR-HB2655

In Ashland School District, we are deeply committed to ensuring each and every student in our schools has the supports he or she needs to achieve at high levels and graduate prepared for his or her next steps. Our ultimate goal is to make sure that all students are set up to be successful from grade to grade and that will remain the focus of our district throughout the rest of the school year.

If you want additional information, there are several links of interest below this email.  We encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher(s) with any questions you may have about your student’s progress.


Samuel J. Bogdanove
Director of Student Services

Parent Opt-Out Form - English
SmarterBalanced InfoGraphic
Patty Michiels
Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Parent Opt-Out Form - Spanish
SmarterBalanced InfoGraphic - Spanish

SmarterBalanced FAQ
Information on opting out of other state assessments is available through District Student Services at 885 Siskiyou Boulevard in Ashland. Other state assessments include OAKS Science, OAKS Social Science, ELPA and Kindergarten assessments. OAKS Science, Social Science and ELPA Form    Kindergarten Assessment Form

Additional information about these assessments can be found here

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