Common Core Testing at JLS (Letter from Sharon Ofek)

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Dear Parent/Guardian:

This is an exciting time for everyone at JLS.

As you may already know, we, along with thousands of schools across California, are participating in a field test of a modern assessment system designed to help shape teaching and learning in the classroomBlow Up Tent. Known as the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress – or CAASPP – these computer-based tests replace the STAR program.  These tests are also called Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA).

These tests are aligned to the Common Core State Standards for English and math, which California adopted in 2010 to describe what knowledge and skills students need to be well prepared for college and careers, no matter where they come from or where they live.

Part of the goal of the field test this year is to determine how well individual questions allow students to demonstrate what they know and still need to learn. We are also taking this opportunity to see how well our technical capabilities meet the demands of computer-based assessments and to see what resources our teachers and school may yet need. For an excellent video describing additional rationale for participating the SBA field tests from a student’s perspective, please click here:

Finally and importantly, this year gives us an opportunity to try out the new system without consequences. All of this combined means that there will no scores this year. Instead, we will use what we learn from this field test to help ensure a successful full launch of the system in the 2014-15 school year.  AB 484 requires all California districts to participate in the field test. Students in grades 3-8 are expected to participate. We look forward to students and staff supporting us in this important effort and opportunity.

Our next step in that transition is to administer the field test to 6th through 8th grade students from April 16th through April 25th. If you want to see what types of questions students will be asked or how the test will be presented, there is a practice test available online at

If you would like more information, please visit the California Department of Education Smarter Balanced Web page at

If you have any questions regarding your child’s participation, please contact me.  Thank you for your support.


Sharon Ofek


FAQ –Smarter Balanced Assessment

What does the Smarter Balanced field test mean?  Why are we participating?

The participation requirement for this field test is laid out by AB484 on October 2, 2013. Watch the high school students in this video describe the rationale for participating in the Smarter Balanced Field test. (

Our students will participate in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Field Test so we can: 1) test our infrastructure for administering online assessments to 400+ students at the same time, 2) give our educators a better sense of how college readiness and the Common Core State Standards will be measured, and 3) allow students the opportunity to experience this new online test and to provide important feedback about the process.

What is the Smarter Balanced assessment?

The Smarter Balanced assessment replaces the STAR test in English-Language Arts and Math in 2014-15 and in the future.  There will be no scores generated during this first field test year because the test is still under development; that is, the purpose of the field test is to ensure quality of test questions, evaluate testing software, evaluate effectiveness of test administration and training materials, and establish scoring and reporting levels.  In effect it is a “dress rehearsal”.

Does my child need to study for the Smarter Balanced assessment?

No.  We only ask students to try their best and give it an honest effort.

Instructions for CURRENT 6th and 7th grade students to request courses on Infinite Campus for the 2014-2015 School Year

Students will receive the course catalog and be given an explanation of the process by one of their teachers on Wednesday, February 5th.

This lesson will demonstrate how to request courses for the following year.

This info is for CURRENT 6th and 7th graders. Registration begins Wednesday Feb 5th. Signed forms due Feb 10th.

Before logging onto the computer, use the Course Catalog (paper packet or online course catalog) to choose 7 courses you’d like to request.

Please note, when registering online it is essential that you select your courses in the order of preference (starting with 1st choice)

Start by logging into Infinite Campus. Note: the Infinite Campus Portal login is



1) Select Registration 13-14 Jane L Stanford Middle S.

Notice required courses and start course search.



1) Select Course Search to begin the process.

2) Note: Required courses are pre-filled. All students will be pre-assigned to the regular math lane. Changes to math lanes will be made at a later date (May/June), once teacher recommendations have been made.

Bring up list of courses



1) Leave course name and number fields blank

2) Select Go

Note: Choose courses in order of preference (starting with 1st choice)!!

3) Click on course name to display description.

Select Course and Read course description


1) Select the course to read its description

Request course.



1) Read description of course. Please note if any prerequisite is listed as well as the length of course (semester or year.)

2) Click on Request this Course.

3) Course will appear under Requested Courses.

Confirm course request.



1) Confirm that requested course appears in list.

2) If a mistake was made or if you want to delete a course from the list, click on the course name and choose Drop This Request

Delete course if you made a mistake


Note: Only do this if you need to delete a course:
1) Select the course
2) Select “Drop This Request”

Select the correct number of requested courses.


Repeat process until you have requested:

Four semester-long courses (as pictured in #1)
One year-long course and two semester-long courses (as pictured in #2 )
Two year-long courses (as pictured in #3)

Note: Courses are displayed here sorted by course code. When you print the “Request Summary” courses will be sorted by preference (based on the order you selected them.)

Do not request too many!


The system will not prevent you from requesting too many courses. Be sure that you only request:

Four semester-long courses
One year-long course and two semester-long courses
Two year-long courses.

Request alternate courses.


Once you have requested 1) Four semester-long courses, OR 2) One year-long course and two semester-long courses, OR 3) Two year-long courses, please select alternates (in order of preference) for a total of seven courses.

1) Read description of course.
2) Click on Request as an Alternate.
3) Course will appear under Alternate Courses.
Note: Courses displayed here are sorted by course code. When you print the “Request Summary” courses will be sorted by preference (based on the order you selected them.)


Repeat process until a total of seven courses have been chosen.


Print the “Request Summary”


1) Select Print Request Summary from the top right menu bar.

Have a Parent or Guardian sign the Request Summary and return to the Guidance Office by February 10th, 2014.


Note: If your courses are not listed in order of preference (starting with 1st choice) go back and “drop” the requested courses and rechoose them in your order of preference.

You have now completed the registration process.

Science Fair Registration Open Until January 18th – and…Calling for Parent Volunteers

****Students Register Online ****

Science Fair Info and Registration is available online (here). Deadline to register is January 18th. Students can ask their science teacher if  they have further questions.

**** Call for Parent Volunteers ****

The JLS Science Fair is hosted and organized each year by a core team of parent volunteers working with a staff representative. Other supporting parent and outside volunteers assist with the event and reviewing the projects. If you are a parent, please consider getting involved as a general volunteer, interviewer or member of the organizing committee. Sign up to volunteer here.

More info about volunteering, contact one of the Science Fair Parents Volunteer Chairs:
– Stephanie Youngquist: yoyo2000 at
– Marjorie Sayer: 3marjorie14 at
– Jeannette Cheng: chencer at

Family Giving Tree’s Holiday Wish Drive

Be someone’s elf this holiday! Every year the JLS community makes a difference by donating gifts and clothing to low income children through the Family Giving Tree Holiday Wish Drive.  Just go to the Counselor’s office and choose a wish card.  Bring your unwrapped gift with wish card and a toothbrush securely attached, and return it by December 6th, 2013.  You can also donate directly through our virtual giving tree by going to:

8th Grade Parent Yearbook Ads

8th grade parents! Would you like to do something special for your graduating 8th grader? You can publish a full color ad for your child to congratulate him/her in June in our yearbook! You can submit baby pics, family pics, and add a poem or special message for your son or daughter. It is all online – click here to submit your pictures and message.

FAQs and prices are listed there. THE DEADLINE IS NOVEMBER 7! If you have further questions, please email Sealed Air