Each spring students in grades 3-5 take the Smarter Balanced Assessment in Math and English Language Arts (ELA). Students in fifth grade will also take the Washington Comprehensive Assessment (WCAS) in science. The WCAS is administered like Smarter Balanced assessments so students are allowed to attempt the WCAS over multiple days.

The Smarter Balanced assessment system provides educators, students and parents meaningful results with actionable data to help students succeed. The assessment is aligned to Common Core State Standards and consists of three major components, all designed to improve teaching and learning.

As in the last few years with Smarter Balance Assessment (Math and ELA), 4th -5th graders will receive information on their progress in comparison to previous years. This will not be the case for 3rd grade students as this will be the first year they take the assessment. The purpose of these assessments is to give a more accurate picture of whether student is on track to be college or career ready after high school.

State tests provide a snapshot of how your child performed during testing and are not the only indicator of academic achievement. Classroom performance should be the primary measure of your child’s skills and knowledge. As with any assessment, we consistently encourage students to do their best-just as they do with any task they are presented with.

Attendance plays a critical role in a child’s success at school. This is especially important during assessment time. We ask that you look at the testing schedule. Please make sure your child is present on assessment days. We recognize children do get sick and emergencies arise, so make up days have been built into the schedule. 

We encourage you to have conversation with your child around the upcoming testing days and remind them to do their best. Report to Parents provides ideas from the National Association of Elementary School Principals to support your child in test preparation both physically and emotionally. (Informe a los Padres proporciona ideas de la Asociación Nacional de Directores de Escuelas Primarias para apoyar a su hijo en la preparación de exámenes tanto física como emocionalmente.)

Most students will take the test online. Canyon Creek students are scheduled to take the tests April 16th -May 31. For more information regarding the tests visit

Thank you for continuing to work with us to ensure your child is successful. Please do not hesitate in letting us know if there is anything we can do to better support your child. We want all students to build a strong foundation of skills so their future is full of opportunities!

Learn more by visiting the Smarter Balanced website.

Washington State Assessment Resources