Boulder Valley School District

BVSD encourages students to ‘Take the Test’

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Randy Barber

In the coming months school districts across the State of Colorado will be administering state tests, including Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS), PSAT or SAT. BVSD is encouraging everyone to 'Take The Test' because of the benefits in the classroom, schools and district.

TEST DATES: Click here for a general schedule of these assessments in the Boulder Valley School District, including the grades affected

“With your child’s participation, these tests can provide our educators with powerful data that will help our students grow, while also bolstering the reputation of our schools and the entire Boulder Valley School District for years to come,” said Superintendent Dr. Rob Anderson.

Over the past few years students in BVSD participated in state testing at a much higher rate than before.  

Related Story: BVSD students participate in testing, outperform the state

“I am thankful for everyone’s effort to increase participation, so that we have useful data.  I also know, that in previous years, many parents across the state and here in Boulder Valley School District have allowed their children to skip the tests. I certainly can understand the sentiment -- given the fatigue caused by overtesting and -- in many cases -- the lack of clear impact on a student’s learning or future,” Anderson said. “While the state’s assessments still aren’t perfect, they do provide BVSD with an important data point that is used in a variety of ways.”

Testing data provides teachers, schools and districts with important insight
BVSD teachers receive valuable information about the performance of our students, allowing them to individualize supports for each child. 

Related Story: How BVSD educators use test scores to support individual student learning

At a district-level, the tests provide an apples-to-apples comparison with other Colorado school districts. This is used to determine whether our curriculum and instructional practices are working, helping to direct resources and professional development.

Additionally, the results are used to in the rankings issued by US News & World Report and Niche. When only a fraction of our students take the test, these rankings and grades do not truly reflect our students or our schools.

“I believe that we, together, must consider the consequences if we do not take the state’s tests seriously,” explained Anderson. “These test scores impact the data parents and community members use to compare our schools with neighboring districts. We need you and your student’s help to show how well your school and the Boulder Valley School District are performing.”

Additional information about the assessments is available at and 

Opting out
As provided for in state law and district policy, parents may excuse their students from taking CMAS and state college preparatory and college admissions examinations. Contact your principal no later than March 5 if you are considering excusing your student from specific state tests, so that you may make an informed decision with regard to the impact non-participation may have on your school and district.  

During the tests, schools will once again be focused on supporting students who are participating in the assessments.  Families with children who will not be participating in the testing are asked (though not required) to arrange an excused absence from school on testing days.  


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