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Annual Spring State Assessments for Elementary and Middle Schools

A Message from the Department of Teaching and Learning

This spring, Bellingham Public Schools will again be giving the annual state assessments to students in grades 3 through 8 and high school. English language arts (ELA) and math are measured with Smarter Balanced tests. Science is measured with the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS) in grades 5, 8 and 11. Information about high school assessments can be found on each high school website.

The Bellingham Promise, the district’s strategic plan, guides everything we do for our students, families, community and staff. One of BPS’ core beliefs is to focus on the whole child. State tests are only one benchmark; other measures and evidence are just as important in assessing the development of our kids. We encourage you to keep these tests in perspective of our overall goals.

These state tests assess our learning standards in English language arts, mathematics, and science, which strive for college and career readiness by high school graduation. Please keep in mind that your child’s teachers are the best resource for a complete picture of your child’s academic proficiency.

Preliminary results from the Smarter Balanced English language arts and mathematics tests will be available to schools electronically within three to four weeks after a student completes testing. Results from the science test will be available later this fall. In the fall, the state will provide the official state score reports that we will mail to families.

Don’t forget a good night’s sleep and healthy breakfast are an essential part of every school day. For additional information about state testing and our state learning standards, please visit the state’s website at Your child(ren)’s school(s) will be sending follow-up information about upcoming testing dates.