Spring 2021 Testing Update

OSPI has made the decision to not administer the Smarter Balanced Assessments or the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science this spring. Instead, the testing window will move to fall 2021. The link below will take you to a Fact Sheet for the Fall 2021 Assessment Plan put out by the communications department at OSPI.

Fact Sheet: Fall 2021 State Assessment Plan


State Testing Schedule 2020 - 2021

Smarter Balanced Assessment Details:
How to help your child succeed

Welcome to the Assessment Department website for the Issaquah School District. This site provides information about state, district and college-readiness assessments.

Assessment Philosophy

The Issaquah School District believes that an effective system for improving K-12 learning requires implementation of a comprehensive assessment system. A comprehensive assessment system connects curriculum, instruction and assessment by aligning instruction to curriculum standards and by using assessments to determine students’ status and progress on these standards.

The Issaquah School District’s assessment system is designed to serve two major purposes: instructional support and educational accountability. Current research and discussions of assessment approaches have led to a distinction between these two purposes as assessment of learning and assessment for learning. This distinction among assessments is based on the function they serve. State, district, building level, and classroom assessments may be formative or summative depending on how the information is used. While it is convenient to describe the components of a comprehensive assessment system separately, the effectiveness of the system depends on the interconnections of the parts.

For more information click here to read "Improving Learning Through a Comprehensive Assessment System".

State Testing

Overview-Smarter Balanced State tests

Smarter Balanced state tests are aligned to the Common Core standards in math and English language arts. 

Which tests do students usually take?

Washington students are tested regularly by the state to assess their progress as they move through school. State tests include:

  • Smarter Balanced tests: English language arts (ELA) and math for grades 3-8 and 10 
  • Washington Comprehensive Assessment in Science (WCAS) will be given in grades 5, 8, and 11

More information on state testing requirements can be found at:

Grad RequirementsThe state legislature passes laws that determine graduation requirements. One of the pathways students can use to demonstrate post-secondary career or college readiness is passing the state assessments. A student's expected year of graduation is four years after the student enters the 9th grade. (For example, if entering 9th grade in the 2018-19 school year, the student is in the Class of 2022.)

 More information on newly enacted legislation (E2SHB 1599) and what requirements are in place for each year can be found on the Washington State Board of Education website Washington State Board of Education website


About one percent of students participate in the Washington Alternate Assessment System (WAAS) a challenging program for students in special education. More information about the alternative assessment system can be found at:

Other State Assessments

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP):

NAEP is a national assessment that allows educational achievement to be compared across states.  Federal law requires every state to give the NAEP in reading and math at grades 4 and 8 every two years. States and school districts that receive Title I federal funding to aid educationally disadvantaged students in high poverty areas must participate in these assessments.

Second Grade Fluency and Accuracy Assessment:

The second grade reading assessment law (RCW.28A.300.320) mandates that every student in the state of Washington be assessed at the beginning of second grade using a grade-level equivalent or oral reading passage.  Students whose performance is found to be “substantially below grade level” must be given an intervention plan that involves the student, parents, and school.

English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA 21):

ELPA21 is an assessment based on the state-adopted English Language Proficiency Standards. The test measures the language proficiency of English language learners and is administered to students on-line. Four language domains are assessed: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. For additional information on required assessments