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Academics

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP)

Each spring, most students in California participate in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System. The tests in the CAASPP System provide information to teachers, parents/guardians, and students about students' progress and readiness for college and career. In grades three through eight and grade eleven, most students take the Smarter Balanced online tests for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics. However, students who have a significant cognitive disability (as designated in their Individualized Education Program, also known as "IEP") are eligible to take the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs).

For the 2017-18 school year, California students in grades five and eight will take the online pilot CAST Science test, which is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. For high school, the CAST will be administered to students in grades 12.

2017-18 Assessment Dates

Utt Middle School will be administering the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) test beginning May 1, 2018. Please view the complete CAASPP testing schedule for more information.

The California Department of Education (CDE) has developed several resources to help students and parents understand the grade expectations of the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments:

  • The Parent Guides to the Smarter Balanced Assessments (in English and Spanish) are posted on the CDE’s CAASPP web page, under Students and Parents. Separate guides have been developed for each of the three grade spans tested: grades 3–5, grades 6–8, and grade 11. Each guide explains the grade-level expectations for students in ELA and mathematics and provides sample test items.

Citizenship and Work Habit Standards

Do you ever wonder just what “Citizenship” (“CI”) and “Work Habits” (“WH”) marks mean on progress reports and report cards? Below is an explanation of what is involved in “Citizenship” and “Work Habits,” as well as the meaning of marks of Outstanding, Satisfactory, Needs Improvement, and Unsatisfactory for those two areas.

There is a significant correlation between a student’s work habits and grades. Outstanding work habits generally correspond to outstanding grades. If a student receives an “N” or a “U” in “Work Habits” for a subject, the student should review these standards and mark the areas in which improvement is necessary. As students demonstrate improvement in those areas, their academic performance and understanding of material will almost always improve!

Work Habits Standards:

A student with Outstanding (O) work habits…

  • is always prepared.
  • is always on task.
  • follows directions.
  • is organized.
  • actively participates in class.
  • completes all assignments on time.
  • gives all assignments his/her very best effort.
  • shows quality of work which exceeds expectations.

A student with Satisfactory (S) work habits…

  • is prepared for classes.
  • willingly participate in class.
  • is consistently on task.
  • follows directions.
  • is organized.
  • completes assignments on time.
  • shows quality of work which meets expectations.

A student with Needs Improvement (N) work habits will display one or more of the following…

  • is occasionally prepared for class.
  • is disorganized.
  • is missing some assignments.
  • turns assignments in late.
  • avoids class participation.
  • shows quality of work which is occasionally below expectations.

A student with Unsatisfactory (U) work habits will display one or more of the following…

  • is consistently unprepared.
  • is missing most assignments.
  • shows quality of work which is unacceptable.
  • rarely participates in class.

Citizenship Standards:

A student with Outstanding (O) citizenship…

  • respects others.
  • has a positive attitude.
  • pays attention.
  • is cooperative.
  • is on time.
  • dresses appropriately.
  • works independently.
  • is a positive role model for others.
  • helps others.
  • solves problems.
  • always follows class and school rules.

A student with Satisfactory (S) citizenship…

  • respects others.
  • has a positive attitude.
  • pays attention.
  • is cooperative.
  • is on time.
  • dresses appropriately.
  • regularly follows class and school rules.

A student who Needs to Improve (N) his/her citizenship will display one or more of the following…

  • talks excessively.
  • is disrespectful to others.
  • is uncooperative.
  • uses inappropriate language.
  • has a poor attitude.
  • displays a disruptive behavior.
  • has several tardies to class and/or school.
  • is off tasks.
  • dresses inappropriately.
  • receives discipline referrals.

A student with Unsatisfactory (U) citizenship will display one or more of the following…

  • is defiant to school authority.
  • violates school ethics code.
  • intimidate others.
  • is frequently truant.
  • is consistently disruptive.
  • fails to follow class rules.
  • consistently violates school rules.
  • commits a suspendable act.
  • has excessive tardies to class and/or school.

Grade Reports Timeline

Each quarter is composed of approximately a ten-week session. Each student will receive a grade regarding his or her progress every six weeks. Progress reports are provided at the middle of each quarter. Grade reports are provided at the end of each quarter. Grades will reset at the semester for year-long courses. REPORT CARDS will be mailed home approximately one week after the end of each quarter.

  • First quarter ends on October 12, 2018.
  • Second quarter/first semester ends on December 20, 2018.
  • Third quarter ends on March 15, 2019.
  • Fourth quarter/second semester ends on May 30, 2019.

Grades/Social Probation

Each student at Utt will have a seven-period day composed of math, language arts/reading, social studies, and science. In some cases, students may have one or two electives during their school day. Students will receive letter grades at the end of each Quarter/Semester.

Students not meeting appropriate standards in the classroom will be placed on Social Probation and will be excluded from Social Activities on campus (dances, lunch events, etc.). The following criteria will have students placed on to Social Probation:

  • At a quarter or semester grading period:
  1. GPA below a 2.0
  2. 3 F’s
  3. 2 U’s in Citizenship or Work Habits
  • Behavior Contract with the Discipline Office.

Exceptions to Social Probation may be made between grading periods if students show current grades, Citizenship, or Work Habits to be improved – with the approval of Utt Administration only.

Students on Social Probation may attend “Academic Field Trips” regardless of their grades. However, Citizenship and Behavior Contracts may exclude students from attending these types of activities. Utt Administration will have the final approval on whether or not a student may attend field trips that are deemed Academic in nature (not a “Social Activity”).

In order to participate in our 8th grade activities, students will be expected to meet the following criteria:

  • GPA of 2.0 or above or NO Fs
  • Positive behavior (no pattern of major referrals/suspensions)
  • Positive attendance (no pattern of unexcused absences/tardies)

Middle School Course Catalog

The Middle School Course Catalog has been prepared to provide students and parents information regarding the required course of study and elective course offerings available in the Tustin Unified School District’s middle schools. The information contained in this publication should be reviewed and discussed as plans are formed for the student’s 6th, 7th, and 8th grade academic program.

The middle school program represents a very important phase in a student’s educational experience. The goals of the instructional program are to assist students in making the transition from elementary school to high school curriculum. Skills in reading, writing, literature, mathematics, history/social science, and science are further developed in the required course sequence. Elective courses such as foreign language, art, music, industrial arts, and home economics serve to broaden the student’s educational background. Both required and elective courses are described for each course in this catalog.

Beginning with the 2005-06 school year, students are required to pass a high school exit examination in language arts and mathematics to receive a diploma. Preparation for this exam begins in middle school.

Courses in this catalog represent all possible offerings in the Tustin Unified School District. Consult with your middle school guidance department for specific courses being offered at your site. Should you have questions or need additional information, please contact your school’s principal or counselor.

Please view the TUSD 2017-18 Middle School Course Catalog for details.