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Assessment System Overview

Oregon's State Assessment System (OSAS) results help inform instructional decisions from the classroom to the state level. Educators and administrators use state tests, performance assessments, and other forms of assessments to measure how well the education system is serving students and determine how best to support them moving forward.

A balanced assessment system employs a variety of measures and types of assessment to provide the most useful information to everyone involved in improving the education system - teachers, administrators, students, parents, legislators, and the public.

  • Formative assessments provide immediate usable feedback on student learning.
  • Interim (or benchmark) assessments serve as “checkpoints” for longer-term student progress.
  • Summative assessments (also referred to as "state tests") allow a look back at the entirety of the instructional period. They provide valuable information for planning the next instructional year and beyond.


Opt-Out/Exemption Information

Summative assessments are administered annually by subject matter and grade (see above for the annual test schedule). Oregon public schools test students in English language arts and math in grades 3 through 8 & 11 and science in grades 5, 8, & 11. Additional required assessments include an English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA) for English learners (ELs) and the Oregon Extended Assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities. ORS 329.479 establishes a Student Assessment Bill of Rights permitting parents to annually opt their student(s) out of statewide summative assessments in English Language Arts and Mathematics. This right applies to both general and alternate (Oregon Extended) assessments.  The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) has provided the  "Opt-out Form” for this purpose (see links below).

The term “opt-out” refers to the legislatively created process that applies to the ELA and Math assessments only. For all other required statewide assessments (OSAS Science, ELPA Screener, ELPA Summative, Alt ELPA, and the OR Extended Science Assessment), parents may request that their student be exempted from state testing based on either disability or religion. (see link below)

OAR 581-021-0009: Exemptions allows school districts to excuse students from a state required program or learning activity, including state testing, to accommodate a student’s disabilities or religious beliefs. For a school district to excuse a student from testing under this rule, the student’s parent must submit a written request to the school district, listing the reasons for the request and proposing an alternative individualized learning activity for the student that meets the same goals that would be accomplished by participation in state testing. Appropriate school personnel must evaluate and approve the parent request, taking into consideration if any testing accommodations might be made to  use of those chosen during testing are most appropriate and might address the parent’s concerns, allowing the student to participate in testing. 

It is important to note that the OSAS evaluates systems, not individual students. They are meant to measure student group learning , so that meaningful assertions can be made about how well schools, districts, and the state are fulfilling their responsibility to provide all students with high quality grade level educational opportunities. Results from statewide summative assessment are used to make decisions about resource allocation and state educational priorities for groups of students, not to evaluate students. Assessment data are also used to identify and remedy inequities in the educational system. Finally, states are required to annually report student participation and performance in the areas of mathematics and reading, and on student participation in the area of science to the U.S. Department of Education as part of the federal educational accountability system.


Smarter Balanced Assessment FAQs 
2023-24 Annual Notice for Statewide Tests
2023-24 Opt-out Form- Statewide Summative Tests -English Language Arts/Math Only

2023-24 Annual Notice-SEED Survey (Student Educational Equity Development)
2023-24 Opt-out Form-SEED Survey

NSSD Parent Request for Exemption from *State Testing
*Science (general and extended) and English Language Proficiency only 


Smarter Balanced Assessment FAQ 
2023-24 Annual Notice-Statewide Tests 
2023-24 Opt-out Form-Statewide Summative Tests -English Language Arts/Math Only

2023-24 Annual Notice-SEED Survey (Student Educational Equity Development)
2023-24 Opt-out Form-SEED Survey

NSSD Parent Request for Exemption from *State Testing
*Science (general and extended) and English Language Proficiency only 

Assessments are an integral part of education in our state; in fact, they are included in the state’s definition of instruction in OAR 581-022-0102(30)(a). At their most basic level, assessments are the tools and practices we use to collect and interpret the information we need to make decisions in everyday life. Each assessment or assessment practice within the OSAS has a unique purpose, but all support stakeholders in understanding student achievement.

In North Santiam School District, staff are deeply committed to ensuring each and every student in school has the support they need to achieve at high levels and graduate prepared for the next steps. The district's ultimate goal is to make sure that all students are set up to be successful from grade to grade. Parents are encouraged to reach out to their child’s teacher(s) with any questions about assessments and about their student's progress. In addition, ODE provides this informational flier regarding statewide assessments, that can be found on their website