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2017 Smarter Balanced Assessment - Everything You Need to Know

Dear Parent/Guardian,

This is an exciting time for everyone at the Virgin Islands Department of Education!

We aim to ensure that your child receives an education that prepares them to thrive in a global economy and civic life.  The testing window for the Smarter Balanced English language arts and mathematics assessment will be open from March 13, 2017 to June 16, 2017. The Smarter Balanced tests measure how well your child has mastered the skills and content in math and English language arts at his or her grade level. It is important to remember that these tests are aligned to the instruction that takes place in the classroom every day and were developed with teacher input, so they are consistent with the learning goals in each grade level. 

The Smarter Balanced test focuses on real world skills, including critical thinking, writing and problem solving. It has a variety of questions ranging from traditional multiple-choice questions to ones that require students to explain their answers, show their work and compose well-organized essays.  As you may remember from last year’s report, each subject will be broken down into categories of skills to show where a student is doing well or needs some extra help. Teachers can use this information to provide more targeted supports or additional challenges depending on the student’s needs.

The results from this test aren’t meant to tell the whole story. They are meant to be one of several measures that illustrate how a student is progressing. Test scores should be used along with in-class performance, report card grades, and teacher reports to form a complete picture of a student’s achievement.   

Please contact your child’s school for information about the specific dates and times when your child will take the test in each subject. I also encourage you and your child to take a look at a practice test, available at To find out more details about the Smarter Balanced test, visit

In the Virgin Islands Department of Education, our goal is for every student to achieve his or her full potential. The Smarter Balanced tests are just one way that we are able to better understand if we are meeting that goal. Thank you for all you do to partner with us in your child’s education. 

Thank you,

Alexandria Baltimore-Hookfin

State Assessment Director


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