Superintendent's Community Update, April 30, 2021

April 30, 2021



Dear Albany Community,


With the beautiful warm weather we have been enjoying, thoughts turn to summer vacation and graduation. At Albany High, our school’s administrative and student leadership teams have been working closely with the PTSA to plan a safe and celebratory prom and graduation ceremony. According to the current plan, Cougar Field will be the site of the Albany High School Graduation Ceremony on June 11. Graduating seniors will parade in with the traditional music, walk across the dais to receive their diplomas, and a limited number of spectators will be able to attend to cheer the graduates. I’ll provide updates on the promotion ceremonies at AMS and the elementary schools in a future Community Update. 


Standardized Testing Is Different This Year

The U.S. Department of Education recently approved California’s request to waive certain federal testing, accountability, and reporting requirements for spring 2021.

As a result, AUSD will not administer Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments in English/language arts and mathematics in grades 3–8. Instead, we will continue to administer FastBridge assessments in reading and mathematics to students in grades 3–8. 


The FastBridge assessment system was adopted by the district in September 2020 to provide a timely view of student progress, as these assessments are administered at multiple times throughout the year. AUSD sees Fastbridge as an important new tool to improve all students’ achievement, as it provides teachers with multiple points of feedback so that learning can be accomplished during the school year, with prompt interventions, rather than relying on an end-of-year score. FastBridge will continue to be a key tool in the District’s efforts to promote achievement for all students and close gaps.


Students in eleventh grade will take the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment (SBAC) in English language arts and mathematics, in lieu of FastBridge. One component of SBAC for eleventh grade students includes testing that assesses readiness for college and allows for the potential waiver of college entrance examinations within the California State University system. We want to provide this advantage to Albany students.


All assessments will be administered in person or remotely in the month of May. Assessment results will be communicated to parents in summer 2021. Watch for communication from your school for more information. 


Stay hopeful and encouraged,


Frank Wells

Dr. Frank Wells 

Superintendent of Schools

Albany Unified School District

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