Administration Information for the CAA for Science

Overview of the Assessment

The CAA for Science is an online, summative assessment that is based upon Science Connectors (i.e., alternate standards) derived from the CA NGSS, and is administered to students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. This assessment offers a developmentally appropriate opportunity for these students to be assessed on their science knowledge, skills, and abilities while providing meaningful information about academic performance to both students and teachers.

All LEAs are required to administer the CAA for Science to eligible students in grades five and eight and one time in high school (i.e., grade ten, eleven, or twelve) whom the student’s IEP team recommends to take a science assessment and whose IEP indicates an alternate assessment may be assigned to take the CAA for Science. High school students have only one opportunity to take the CAA for Science. LEAs can elect to administer the CAA for Science to students in grade ten or eleven. Students in grade twelve who have not yet met the science testing requirement will automatically be registered to take the CAA for Science if they are designated as taking any alternate assessment. Students repeating grade twelve are not eligible to test. All students will receive their CAA for Science scores in a Student Score Report after they have tested.

Similar to the CAST, students in grades five and eight and one time in high school (i.e., grade ten, eleven, or twelve) who meet the following eligibility requirements will take the CAA for Science:

  • the student has a significant cognitive disability that is described in the student’s IEP;
  • the student is learning content derived from the California content standards; and
  • the student requires extensive direct individualized instruction and substantial resources to achieve measurable gains in the grade-level curriculum.

The CAA for Science embedded PTs may be administered between September 8, 2020—the date on which the embedded PTs become available—through the final day of the LEA’s instructional calendar or July 15, 2021, whichever comes first.

Embedded PTs

The CAA for Science is administered one on one as four embedded PTs by a trained test examiner throughout the instructional year and shortly after instruction of related science content is complete. A student must sign on to all four embedded PTs to be considered as participating. Directions for administration of each embedded PT is available as a PDF that can be downloaded from TOMS. Each embedded PT measures two Science Connectors from the same domain. Test examiners should use the “No Response” button functionality within the TDS for students who do not respond after being presented with a test question.

End of Performance Task Survey

A five-question student survey is included at the end of each embedded PT.

Testing Window

Test examiners must administer all four required CAA for Science embedded PTs so the student can be counted as participating. These PTs can be administered within the TDS at any time during the normal course of instruction between September 8, 2020, and the final day of the LEA’s instructional calendar or July 15, 2021, whichever comes first.

The CAA for Science is administered one-on-one shortly after the student has received related science instruction in the classroom. While testing should take approximately 60 to 100 minutes per embedded PT, the assessments are untimed, and the amount of time each student needs can vary. Tests may be administered to a student over as many testing sessions and days as required to meet the needs of that student. It is not recommended that students be administered more than one CAA for Science embedded PT per test session.

Test Examiner Resources

Directions for Administration

Directions for CAA for Science administration are specific to the science domain, grade level, and version tested. Note that one of the science domains will have two DFAs (for example, Physical Sciences A and Physical Sciences B). In cases where there are two DFAs for a single science domain, one of the embedded PTs is operational and the other is a field test embedded PT.

These secure documents are to be downloaded from TOMS just prior to administering the embedded PT. DFAs are sorted by grade level and version number in TOMS. Version assignments are found on the CAA for Science Version Assignments web page.

CAASPP test site coordinators or test examiners should download the CAA for Science DFAs by taking the following steps in TOMS:

  1. Select the [Resources] navigation tab on the TOMS top navigation bar.
  2. Select CAA for Science DFAs from the Available Materials list.
  3. Select the button corresponding with the grade being assessed.
  4. Scroll down the page to find the version number assigned.
  5. Select a PDF link to initiate the download process for each embedded PT for the science domain being assessed.

Practice and Training Tests

Training PTs and the practice test for the CAA for Science are linked on the CAASPP Practice and Training Tests Portal web page. Students can take these tests using either a secure browser or a web browser.

Administration Planning Guides

The grade- and version-specific administration planning guides are available to assist in planning and scheduling testing. The guides do not include test content, but they do identify the Science Connectors that are assessed by the CAA for Science during the 2020–21 school year. Use this information to determine the best time to administer each of the four embedded PTs of the CAA for Science over the course of the school year.

The planning guides are linked on the CAASPP CAA for Science Administration Planning Guides web page. They are sorted by grade and version number. Version assignments are found on the CAA for Science Version Assignments web page.

User Responsibilities

Table 1 shows the tasks CAASPP users can perform for the CAA for Science:

Table 1. User Role Participation in the CAA for Science

Role Task
LEA CAASPP coordinator
  • Create the users at schools who will be involved in the CAA for Science
  • Set up test administrations
  • Assign student designated supports, accommodations, or unlisted resources
  • Provide training to CAASPP test site coordinators
  • Review and distribute the CAA for Science Administration Planning Guides
CAASPP test site coordinator
  • Work with the CALPADS coordinator to ensure that students are in the correct grades
  • Assign student designated supports, accommodations, or unlisted resources
  • Designate test examiners
  • Participate in related training provided by the LEA
  • Review and distribute the CAA for Science Administration Planning Guides
  • Provide training to CAASPP test examiners
CAASPP test examiner
  • Receive training by completing the CAA Test Administration Tutorial online learning module
  • Review the CAA for Science Administration Planning Guides
  • Administer the four embedded PTs at the appropriate time for each student over the course of the school year
  • Take the test examiner survey