Annual Spring State Assessments for Elementary and Middle School

A Message from the Department of Teaching and Learning
This spring, students in grades 3 through 8 and high school in Bellingham Public Schools will again take the annual state assessments. 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.

Your school will be sending follow-up information with specific testing dates and times. For more information about what these tests measure and why we give them, please see our website or the state’s website at

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.

Results from these tests will be available throughout the spring and summer, and we will notify you when they are available in your student’s Portfolio on Skyward Family Access. You may also request a paper copy of test results by calling your school.

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