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Table of Contents

  • School Website Updates 
  • Curriculum News
  • Assessment News
  • Washington DC Trip News
  • Tiger Tribune

Dates to Remember

February 7: All Staff Meeting, School Office and Resource Centers Closed
February 8: All Staff Meeting CW Resource Centers Closed
February 13: LCAP Advisory Meeting
February 15: Deadline to Join CJSF, CSF, NHS
February 22: High School Orientation Meeting

CWCS February 2019 Newsletter

School Website Updates

 Website Under Construction

Website under Construction: As you may have noticed, there are some missing pieces on our schools'’ websites.  Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires us to address our access for people with physical, sensory, or cognitive disabilities.  In order to do that we need to make our website “508 compliant” which means that we need to have many items removed and modified or our school may get fined. This is a huge undertaking so we appreciate your patience.  During this time of transition, feel free to contact the department specialist for any missing documents.

Curriculum Department News

Flower Heart Drawing

We ask that all students in grades 3-8 and grade 11 to complete the Smarter Balanced Practice and Training Tests at home with their parents. Use of the Smarter Balanced practice and training tests for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics will help familiarize students and their families with the testing interface, the format and type of questions, and the available accessibility resources. The practice tests may also form the foundation of a good “family conversation” and may help you create instructional materials to use at home with your students. Students who complete the practice test and know what to expect have less anxiety and feel more confident on test day, helping them perform better overall.

Quick Reference Guides are available online for Training and Practice Tests.

Starting a Practice Test Video

To learn more about how to start a training or practice test, and to view scoring guides, visit the Test Administrator and Test Examiner Resources for the Online Practice and Training Tests webpage.

The Practice Tests provide students with grade-specific testing experiences with content.

The Training Tests provide students with the opportunity to become familiar with the testing tools.

Smarter Balanced Practice and Training Tests


Practice Tests

Training Tests


Provide students with a grade-specific testing experience similar in structure and format to the summative assessments.

Provide students with an opportunity to quickly become familiar with the software and interface features. There are no performance tasks.

Grade Levels

One test for each of grades 3 through 8 and grade 11

One test for each of three grade bands: 3-5, 6-8 and high school


Approximately 30 items each in ELA and Math per grade level, as well as one performance task for each subject per grade level.

Approximately 15 items per test (6 in ELA and 8–9 in math); no performance tasks are included.


Results are not scored, but answer keys and scoring rubrics are available.

Results are not scored; no scoring rubrics or answer keys are available.

Universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations are available on all practice and training tests.


Have you signed your student up for the “Grasp the CAASPP” contest yet?

We are excited to announce our First Annual “Grasp the CAASPP” contest. We want to encourage all of our 3-8th and 11th grade students to actively participate. Students can win prizes, and most importantly, can increase their state assessment scores, all while having fun!

Students attend live “gaming” sessions online via Moodle where they will participate in games to practice their grade level skills. Games include Kahoot!, Trivia, Jeopardy and more.  Students will have fun practicing for the state assessment and earn raffle tickets to try to earn prizes. 

For more information and to sign up, visit our Grasp the CAASPP website.

Click on the Live Session Schedule Tab on the website to find your grade level session dates, topics and links to join the Live Sessions.  Students automatically earn “virtual tickets” when in the join live sessions by completing an attendance form (provided by the instructor-facilitator) at the end of the session. 

Spotlight on Curriculum

Looking for a way to make math meaningful? Check out this cool website. Yummy Math takes real life current events and challenges students in grades 3-12 with problem solving that is engaging and meaningful. Best of all, it’s FREE (and did we mention it’s yummy?)!

As always, if you have any questions regarding curriculum, please feel free to contact me via phone or e-mail at any time. You can reach me, Shoni Johnson, Curriculum and Assessment Director, at or call me at 209-874-1119.

Assessment Department News

Monthly Moby Max Contests

Did you know that monthly contests have been set up in your student’s complimentary Moby Max account?  Contests run from the beginning of each month to the end of each month during the months of February and March to help get your student prepare for CAASPP testing.  Be sure to let your ES know the time your student has spent in the program so they can provide virtual raffle tickets to the Grasp the CAASPP contest as well!  Moby Max is a program for students in grades TK-8 that has been provided at no cost to our families courtesy of LCAP funding.  New to our school, don’t have an account, or don’t know your student’s login info?  Please contact your ES you today!

Online CAI Programs

Would you like additional support on your student’s Computer Adaptive Instructional (CAI) program?  I can provide additional clarity and/or assistance for Let’s Go Learn reading and math, iReady reading and math, Ascend Math, Study Island, Moby Max, or Education Galaxy.  Let’s make sure your student is using their program to the max and getting the absolute most of every minute spent!  Email Jamie Ulloa, RtI Coordinator, at or call Monday through Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at (209) 874-1119, ext. 296.


Washington, D.C. Trip

Let’s go to Washington, D.C.!  This trip is open to all students of Connecting Waters Charter Schools.  Students in grades 7-12 may travel on their own and students’ grade 6 and below must travel with a parent or a chaperone.  I’ll be hosting a second mandatory online informational meeting on Thursday, February 21 at 6:00 p.m. PST for all families interested in traveling as representatives of our schools during Spring Break of 2020.  Please mark your calendar and keep your eyes peeled for the RSVP link sent via Parent Square.

Please contact Jamie Ulloa at or (209) 874-1119, ext. 296 for additional information.

Zoom Log in Meeting info can be found below:

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+17207072699, 414169358# US

Meeting ID: 932 244 032