What is CAASPP and CAST?

04/12/2021 IMPORTANT UPDATECAASPP and CAST Testing has been CANCELLED. Please see our letter to families.

The CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress) and the CAST (California Science Test) are online tests that measure what your student knows and is able to do. The tests include many different types of questions that allow students to interact with the test questions. Results help identify gaps in knowledge or skills early on so your child can get the support needed to successful in school. 

This year, students will take the following test(s) depending on their grade level: 

  • CAASPP for English language arts/literacy and mathematics in grades three through eight and grade eleven
  • CAST in grades five and eight and once in high school

For the 2021 spring administration of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) for English language arts/literacy (ELA), mathematics, science, students will be able to take their assigned tests remotely. Our priority is to keep our students and educators safe by following state, county, and local health and safety requirements associated with the current pandemic. Testing will run April 5, 2021-May 5, 2021.

Preparing a Device for the Test

In order to take the test remotely, the Secure Browser must be installed on the device the student will use to take the test.  The Secure Browser app is compatible  with most Windows, Mac, Chromebook computers and iPads.  We appreciate your assistance in downloading the secure browser to the student's device.  This browser is provided by the CA Department of Education.  It can be uninstalled once tests are complete.  Please find below, directions to install the browser yourself. 

  • If the student has a Mac: PDF | Video
  • If the student has a Windows: PDF | Video
  • If the student has a Method Chromebook: PDF | Video
    • The Chromebook instructions require you to restore your device to factory settings.  If your Chromebook is personally owned (not loaned to you by Method), please do not follow these instructions if you do not wish to.  Contact your homeroom teacher instead.

Scheduling the Test

Your homeroom teacher will contact you with instructions to schedule the test.  Test sessions are offered in 2-hour increments.  Students should schedule 3-4 sessions in order to complete all components of the test. 

How Long will the Test Take? 

Because of the adjustment to online administration, the Department of Ed has adjusted the test length significantly.  Please see below for the estimated testing time provided by the California Department of Education.

Test Taking Guidelines

Students will take the test from the safety of their homes. The test administrator or examiner will connect with each child by computer. To make sure that each student receives the most accurate score, we are providing the following guidelines for student testing:

  • A parent/guardian or learning coach may assist your child with setting up the technology used to enter the test session.  See the above information on setting up the secure browser on their school device. 
  • To keep the test fair for all students, we ask that parent/guardians, learning coaches and students do not talk about the questions on the test or any materials for the test with anyone before, during or after the test. 
  • No one may record the test, or use a camera or another device to take pictures of the test questions or of the student taking the test.  This helps to keep the questions confidential.
  • We need to know that the test is being completed by the student without any help.  To verify compliance, a web camera and microphone will be used to observe your child while taking the test. The camera is only used to observe the student and will not record the session.
  • Please follow all instructions given by the test administrator or examiner to place the camera where the student and the student's immediate surroundings can be observed.
  • If the student cannot use the computer's camera, microphone, and speaker or headphone during remote testing, you may contact your homeroom teacher for another way to administer the test to your child - for example, in-person test administration- when it can be done safely following state, county, and local health and safety requirements.

Other Resources

For additional information, please review this Parent Information Sheet or visit the Parent Resource Page which is continually updated.

To learn more about the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments or the CAST, go to the California Department of Education Parent Guides to Understanding web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/parentguidetounderstand.asp.

You also can look at sample test questions on the practice tests, which can be found on the CAASPP Web Portal at http://www.caaspp.org/practice-and-training/index.html.


Thank you for making sure your student is ready to test. With your help, we can ensure that each Method student, as well as all students in California, are provided with the best opportunity to succeed and show what they know.

If you have questions, reach out to your homeroom teacher or Jade Fernandez, Head of Schools.


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