Frequently Asked Questions

The following is a list of frequently asked questions and responses related to implementing and reporting on the OSPI-Developed Assessments or other strategies in Social Studies, The Arts, Health, Physical Education, and Educational Technology.

Background Information

Which RCWs address assessments in Social Studies, The Arts, Health, Physical Education, and Educational Technology?
In response to requirements in RCW 28A.230.095, districts will report their administration of assessments or other strategies in Social Studies, The Arts, Health, and Physical Education through The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction's (OSPI) iGrants system. In addition, RCW 28A.655.075 requires districts that use the state's assessments for Educational Technology to notify OSPI.

Is reporting required?
School districts are required to annually submit an implementation verification report to OSPI via iGrants for Social Studies, The Arts, Health, and Physical Education.

When is the final date for submission to Grants?
School districts are required to complete their implementation report in iGrants no later than June 30.

What are the OSPI-Developed Assessments in Social Studies, The Arts, Health, Fitness, and Educational Technology?
In response to the 2004 HB2195, OSPI has developed assessments that can be used in the classroom and throughout the school year by classroom teachers to gauge student understanding of the learning standards (EALRs/GLEs). These assessments are commonly referred to as the Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs) and Classroom-Based Performance Assessments (CBPAs).

The assessments are multi-stepped tasks or projects aligned to specific state standards which target subject area skills and knowledge. Completing an assessment at a proficient level requires students to demonstrate that they have met specific grade level expectations by applying their understanding of content knowledge, concepts, and skills.

In addition, as a response to Senate Bill 1906 in 2007, OSPI has developed assessments that can be used to determine student progress toward Washington's standards for Educational Technology. Designed for the elementary, middle and high school grades, these assessments integrate science, math, health, English language arts, social studies and the arts.

Why are assessments being used?
Validity: Given the broad, conceptual nature of the standards, the assessments are a valid way to assess the learning of these standards and to help students gain the knowledge and skills.
Coherence: District programs will have a greater coherence if assessments are included in course units. The common rubrics ensure that students will be asked to meet rigorous expectations as they move from elementary school to middle school to high school as well as from district to district.
Balance: The assessments are designed to ensure accountability to the state's standards while still maintaining a local district's control over specific content.
Integration: The assessments are another way teachers can target other important standards in their instruction.
Accountability: The assessments and the reporting on the use of these assessments are one way the state is asking districts to ensure that all students have opportunities to meet the standards.

Are the OSPI-developed assessments formative or summative assessments?
Summative. While the assessments can be used as both summative and formative within the class, the assessment that is reported to the district and eventually to OSPI should be used as a summative assessment.

What subjects are included?
OSPI-developed assessments are now being used to make sure students are getting key skills and knowledge in Social Studies, The Arts, Health, Fitness, and Educational Technology.

What are they based on?
OSPI-Developed Assessments are built from the state's learning standards. Committees of full-time, practicing Washington state teachers, in conjunction with state curriculum specialists, create tasks and questions that model good assessments and provide these to local school districts.

Who gives them?
These assessments are given in the classroom by a teacher.

What is the role of the district?
The four State Learning Goals articulated in the state's Basic Education Act provide a foundation by which our state has developed learning standards and assessments to support school districts and student learning in the Goals. To provide students an opportunity to learn in Social Studies (including civics), The Arts, Health, and Fitness (State Learning Goal Two), school districts are required to have in place in elementary, middle, and high schools assessments or other strategies to assure that students have an opportunity to learn the standards in these areas. Additionally, to support student learning and application in the area of educational technology (State Learning Goal Three), school districts that use any of the OSPI-Developed Educational Technology assessments must notify OSPI of this use.

What constitutes "participation" in an assessment or other strategy?
Participation means that students have had adequate time to engage in responding to one of the OSPI-Developed Assessments or other strategies in the given subject area. The purpose of this law is to ensure that all students have opportunities to learn the standards in Social Studies, The Arts, Health, Fitness, and Educational Technology. Therefore, participation should, at a minimum, include time for students to have these opportunities. Preferably, students will have enough time to demonstrate that they have met the relevant state standards when responding to a particular assessment or other strategy but RCWs 28A.230.095 and 28A.655.075 do not require students to reach proficiency. 

Are students required to pass assessments in these subjects to graduate?
While districts are required to ensure all students have an opportunity to learn the State Learning Standards in Social Studies, The Arts, Health, Fitness, and Educational Technology, the requirements related to assessments are not considered "graduation requirements". In other words, the state is not requiring individual students to pass an OSPI-developed assessment in order to graduate.

Will our school district need to report student scores and provide samples of scored student work?
Currently, student scores and student samples are not collected at the state level. OSPI has developed an online reporting form to assist districts with the required submission of the implementation verification report. Districts must report if they completed or did not complete assessments or other strategies to assure that students had the opportunity to learn the state's standards in Social Studies, the Arts, Health, and Fitness. Additionally, if districts use Educational Technology assessments then they must notify OSPI of their use.

Are districts required to store assessments or other strategies?
The law does not require districts to store assessments or other strategies. Instead, districts must submit an implementation verification report through iGrants in order to meet the requirements of the law. Some districts may choose to retain copies of the assessment documentation to meet the requirements of the school district (such as rubrics, lesson plans, student scores, and number of students assessed). Assessments are subject to audit. For more information including management of districts records, visit

Recommendations for Implementation

How should districts support implementation?
Throughout the school year, school districts are encouraged to develop a system to support the implementation of assessments in these areas, as well as the collection and retention of assessment data. Sample actions include:

  • Establish an assessment system, including schedules, training plans, and data collection for each school building.
  • Encourage consistency when scoring students' assessments.
  • Ensure all appropriate accommodations are provided for eligible students engaging in assessments in accordance with state and federal regulations.
  • Implement appropriate quality control measures in accordance with the directions for administration for any assessment used.
  • Encourage professional development in scoring training, instructional strategies, state standards, and best practices.
  • Develop a policy to include reporting of assessments on individual student report cards.

Who at the district should fill out the iGrants reporting forms? How will this person get data from all of the participating schools in her/his district?
One iGrants report should be submitted by each school district. As mentioned above, it is recommended that the district designate a staff member to complete the iGrants reporting form related to RCWs 28A.230.095 and 28A.655.075. To collect school-level data, OSPI suggests downloading the teacher worksheet forms found on the OSPI-developed assessment Web site, emailing these forms to participating teachers, having these teachers complete and return the forms, and then using the information gathered to fill in the iGrants report. The teacher worksheets are also available on the individual assessment Web sites for each content area.


What accommodations can be made when students are completing an OSPI-developed assessment or other strategy?
While the flexibility of the OSPI-developed assessments already enables accommodations to be made without any formal guidelines, OSPI does have some recommendations on how to help all students reach proficiency on the assessments. First, all students are eligible for certain accommodations. For example, students may have as much time as they need to complete the task. In addition, students with limited writing skills may type their responses, and students with limited English-language skills may have the prompts read aloud to them. Such assistance should not include suggested responses. All students who remain productively engaged in the task should be allowed to finish their work. In some cases, a few students may require considerably more time to complete the task than most students; therefore, you may wish to move these students to a new location to finish. In other cases, the teacher's knowledge of some students' work habits or special needs may suggest that students who work very slowly should be tested separately or grouped with similar students for the test.

Second, a comprehensive list of possible accommodations for students participating in assessments is located at OSPI's Washington State's Accommodations Guidelines for Students with Disabilities.

Finally, WAC 392.172A.03090 provides additional guidelines related to individualized education programs and assessment procedures for students in special education.

What should a district do if students are enrolled in courses through Running Start or online education courses?
If a student is participating in Running Start or an online education course, it is presumed that the district has ensured that the courses taken allow them to meet the State Learning Standards in these subject areas, consistent with the State Learning Goals. Should the district decide to complete the optional reporting section of the iGrant 408, the assessments used to measure the learning of these students in these subject areas would be reported there.

How can the results of the assessments be used to help improve teaching and learning?
Assessments can inform instruction to improve teaching and learning. Questions might include: What did the teacher learn from the student responses? How can this be used to improve future classroom instruction? The information that is acquired through classroom assessment should be actively used to improve future instruction and assessment.


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   Updated 12/22/2016

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