SMARTER BALANCED READY: Big Idea #6
Communicate Early and Often
District staffs found that communication with school principals and test coordinators needed to be frequent, regularly scheduled, and inclusive to engage all members of the implementation team. Key messages about the goal and purpose of the assessment system were important to build stakeholder confidence in the validity and value of the assessments. As these examples show, most districts enhanced their communication systems from 2015 to 2016 to include more staff and stakeholders. Some districts used formal communication networks to ensure all stakeholders were included.
The awareness campaign encouraged various district stakeholders to engage in discussions of the CAASPP (California Assessment System of Performance and Progress). Both administrators and teachers communicated with parents about the administration of interim assessments through auto-dialer messages, newsletters, Parent-Teacher Organization meetings, School Site Council meetings, and site websites. The district supported the campaign through the district website and the Superintendent’s Council meetings. More in-depth information about the campaign is available in the CAASPP in Action Report on the California Department of Education website.