Learning Support Services

 English Language Learner Program (ELL)

Christine Cloutier, ELL Program Coordinator 
(858) 521-2748




What is the STAR (Standardized Testing and Reporting) testing program?

The STAR tests are the California state tests that we are required to administer to ALL students in grades 2-11, including English learners and special education students, to determine if students are meeting grade-level content area standards.  All students in grades 2-11 take the English language arts test.  Additional assessments in math, science, and history/social science are administered at specific grade levels.  Alternative or modified assessments are available for some special education students, as determined by the student’s IEP (Individualized Education Program).  In addition, Spanish-speaking English learners who have been in U.S. schools for less than 12 months or are participating in a bilingual (waiver) program must also take the Standards-based Tests in Spanish (STS) in Spanish language arts and math.  These tests are administered in the spring each year.  Parents receive the scores in August or September.  In addition to monitoring individual student progress, the STAR tests are used as part of the state’s accountability system for districts and schools.


Are Beginning level English learners required to take the STAR tests in English?

Yes, ALL students are required to take the STAR tests.  However, we realize that English learners are working toward English proficiency.  At the district and school levels, we focus on the growththat our English learners are making toward meeting grade level standards. 



What is the CAHSEE (California High School Exit Exam)?

The CAHSEE is a requirement for high school graduation in the State of California.  The two sections of the CAHSEE are English Language Arts and Mathematics.  The purpose of the exam is to ensure that high school graduates are able to use mathematics and read and write in English effectively and competently. Students must pass both sections of the exam before they can receive a high school diploma, in addition to other graduation requirements. A passing score is 350 or higher on each section. (Scores range from 275 to 450.)

When do students take the CAHSEE?


Students first take the test at the beginning of their sophomore (10th grade) year. The test is administered in two days. The first day, the students take the English Language Arts section of the test.  The second day they take the Mathematics section.

Do parents receive the CAHSEE scores for their students?

School districts receive students’ score reports about two months after the date of the exam. One copy is kept in the student’s permanent record and the other is mailed home.


What happens if a student does not pass the CAHSEE?

If a student does not pass either section of the test, the student will retake the section or sections they have not yet passed.  Students have up to eight test opportunities before the end of their senior (12th grade) year.  If, by the end of their senior year, a student has not passed the CAHSEE, they will receive additional support from the district to help them pass this exam.  Of course, English learners at the lower levels of English proficiency will need additional time and support to pass the CAHSEE.


Do special education students take the CAHSEE?

If a student has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 plan, their plan should describe any special accommodations or modifications the student is entitled to while taking the exam.




What is MAP testing?

MAP is a testing program used by the Poway Unified School District to help teachers determine student growth and areas of need in specific language arts and mathematics skill areas.


Which grade levels participate in MAP testing?

All elementary and middle school students participate in MAP testing.  Some 9th grade students also take the MAP tests.


How are the MAP tests administered?

The MAP tests are individually administered on a computer.  This technology allows the test to be adjusted to meet each individual student’s appropriate testing level.

How often do students take the MAP tests?

Students take the tests three times each year (fall, winter, and spring) so that learning goals and classroom instruction can be adjusted, based on a student’s most current level of performance.

How do parents receive the results of their child’s MAP testing?

MAP testing results are shared with parents at conferences and are usually sent home at each grading period. 

Where can parents and students get more information about MAP testing?

K-1 student practice tests and orientation is available at:
2nd through 9th grade student orientation PowerPoint is available at:



The Poway Unified School District (PUSD) is an equal opportunity employer/program and is committed to an active Nondiscrimination Program. PUSD prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived ancestry, age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or association with a person or a group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. For more information, please contact the Title IX/Equity Compliance Officer, Associate Superintendent of Personnel Support Services, Poway Unified School District, 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128-3406, 858-521-2800, extension 2761. View Annual Notification of Parents’/Students’ Rights | Annual Notification of Employees’ Rights

POWAY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT | 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128 | (858) 521-2800