SBE will allow LEAs to continue administering remote assessments
January 24, 2022
LEAs will have the option to continue administering the CAASPP and ELPAC remotely after the State Board of Education approved amended regulations during its January meeting.
The State Board of Education has approved commencing its regulation process to make several amendments to the CAASPP and ELPAC.
According to the January State Board of Education agenda, LEAs were first allowed to test students remotely in the fall of 2020. This flexibility was extended in response to various local factors and circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic; however, remote administration had been a regular request of LEAs prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to more efficiently assess students who are unable to take the state assessments in person.
Reasons that a school may require remote testing vary — from online schools without a physical site to schools whose site cannot support administration, possibly due to natural disasters or other unforeseen causes.
The CDE recommended that remote administration remain an option — for both the CAASPP and ELPAC— to be offered to LEAs who cannot assess students in person. The regulations are being amended to define “remote testing” and make other changes necessary in line with a remote administration.
The proposed regulation is written broadly, but ACSA clarified with CDE and SBE staff that the option for remote test sessions is at the LEA’s discretion depending on student needs (i.e., students will not be able to request remote testing). Additional guidance will be provided in the Test Administration Manual, which ACSA has advocated for the regulations to reference. The regulations will finalize this year and take effect in 2022-23.
Below are several other highlights from the January State Board of Education meeting.
General Board Update
Four of the 10 SBE board members, excluding the student member, reached their term limits and departed from the board. These members were: Ilene Straus, Sue Burr, Patricia Rucker and Ting Sun. The board also elected their 2022 leaders with Linda Darling-Hammond serving as president and Cynthia Glover Woods as vice president.
Physical Fitness Test
SB 820 (2020) requires CDE to study the purpose and administration of the Physical Fitness Test and submit a report by Nov. 1, 2022. In the interim, students are still scheduled to take the PFT in spring 2022, but the administration remains troubled about certain aspects and the effects of the PFT.
In response to negative body perception concerns, CDE proposed and SBE approved emergency regulations to eliminate the Body Composition subtest and related Body Composition Healthy Fitness Zone.
In addition, there are no Healthy Fitness Zones for nonbinary students and no Healthy Fitness Zone alternatives for students with disabilities. To solve for equity, CDE proposed and SBE approved adding a regulatory definition of “results” to indicate that for all students, LEAs will report raw scores (not Healthy Fitness Zone scores) only to the student upon completion of the test, and LEAs will report participation scores only on the SARC and to CDE.
The lack of Healthy Fitness Zone scores will eliminate all students’ ability to satisfy the criteria for the exemption from PE, but alternative options remain. This includes permitting exemption from PE for students who are age 16 or older and have been enrolled in grade 10 for one academic year or longer.
These emergency regulations will only be in place for 120 days, i.e., only for the 2021-22 school year. ACSA supports the emergency regulations on an equity stance.

CA Community School Partnership Program
In 2021, the Legislature allocated $3 billion for the CA Community School Partnership Program (CCSPP). The legislation establishes three different grant opportunities and regional technical assistance centers (TAC) starting in the 2021-22 program year through the 2027-28 year, as follows:
Planning Grants are for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 program years. The grants are up to $200,000 per qualifying entity for LEAs with no community schools. Planning grants have a matching requirement of one-third, with grant periods of up to two years.
Implementation Grants are for the 2021-22 through 2027-28 program years. Annual grants of up to $500,000 per school site are available for new, expanded, or continuing community schools, with a matching requirement of one-third. New community schools are eligible to receive funds for five years.
Coordination Grants are for the 2021-25 through 2027-28 program years. Grants are up to $100,000 annually per community school with a one-to-one matching funds requirement.
Funding is also allocated to contract with LEAs to create a minimum of five regional TACs.
The request for applications for the first rounds of planning and implementation grants will be released in February 2022 and the grant award recommendations will be forwarded to the board for approval in May 2022 ­— to make awards in time for LEAs to incorporate them into their 2022-23 budgets.
There are several eligibility and priority requirements; one of these is “need.” Consideration will also be given to small and rural LEAs.
Additionally, LEAs can apply on behalf of schools, even if the LEA itself does not meet the eligibility criteria. Further, LEAs can partner with other entities, such as a county behavioral health agency, a Head Start or other childcare program, or an agency within a public higher education institution.
Other items
SBE took action on a number of annual items, including: contract extensions, approval of the Executive Summary of the federal fiscal year 2020 Annual Performance Report and Part B of the IDEA, approval of CSI plans for the 2021-22 school year, approval of the 2021-22 ConApps and apportionment funding for three non-classroom based charter schools.
SBE also approved minor changes made to the Student Score Reports and was provided with updates to the CAASPP.
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