iLEAD Exploration Remains Open Virtually for Learners

iLEAD Exploration continues to operate its independent study model in an entirely virtual format. Click here for resources.

Aug 23, 2020 @ 01:00


Our News & Events

Fall MAP Testing

Fall MAP Testing iLEAD Exploration

We wanted to remind you that our MAP testing window is coming to a close on October 30. We hope you take this opportunity to gather information regarding your learner’s progress.


Fall Webinars

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Interested in learning about your child’s learning modalities? Join us for a webinar on October 21 at 12:00 p.m. Register here.

Updated Webinars flyer with links

Update: PFT Test


On September 18, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law SB 820. SB 820 prescribes that, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to comply with state and local health guidelines, the yearly administration of the Physical Performance Test (PFT) for 5th, 7th and 9th grades shall be suspended for the 2020-21 school year. Therefore, iLEAD will not administer the PFT in the spring of 2021.

Fall Webinars

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Have college application questions and need answers? Join us for our next College Application Q&A webinar on October 9 at 10 am. Register here:

Updated Webinars flyer with links

Fall Webinars

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Fall webinars are here! Please click the event title on the flier to register for each webinar. Please join us this week on Wednesday, September 23, at noon, to learn more about how to use MAP results to guide learning. You can register here for this webinar!

Updated Webinars flyer with links

College Testing Update

SAT Updates iLEAD Exploration

Due to COVID-19, PSAT/NMSQT has been canceled for fall 2020. We will keep families updated if alternative testing options become available. It is important to note that UC/CSU schools will not be requiring SAT/ACT test scores to be submitted for fall 2021 applicants. Many more colleges across the country are becoming test-optional as well. Please set up a Calendly appointment with our college advisor, Laura Kazan, if you have questions about your college path!

College Update

SAT Updates iLEAD Exploration

Due to COVID-19, PSAT/NMSQT has been canceled for fall 2020. We will keep families updated if alternative testing options become available. It is important to note that UC/CSU schools will not be requiring SAT/ACT test scores to be submitted for fall 2021 applicants and many more colleges across the country are becoming test optional. Please set up a Calendly appointment with our College Advisor, Laura Kazan, if you have questions about your college path!

Fall MAP Testing

Fall MAP Testing iLEAD Exploration

We are excited to announce that the fall MAP testing window is now open. This assessment is conveniently taken in the comfort of your home and is a great way to start off the year. Results are quickly generated and will help target your learner’s specific areas of need. Please contact your educational facilitator for more information.


MAP Testing Window is Open

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The MAP (Measured Academic Progress) testing window is now OPEN! Your EF is ready to set up those dates and times that work best for your family’s schedule.

Challenge of the Week

Challenge of the Week

In case you missed the very informative CAASPP parent webinar last week, here is the link to the Powerpoint that was presented: CAASPP Parent Information Webinar 2020. At the time the video was created, March testing was available, but that is not the case now due to the cancellation of in-person meetings.
With regards to CAASPP testing, the state expects learners to test once schools resume. Please register as soon as possible for your CAASPP spots in April and May so you are sure to get the location you prefer! In the meantime, please know that we are closely monitoring Coronavirus updates and will notify you if things change.
Learners who complete all of their CAASPP testing will be invited to attend an end-of-year OPT In Celebration at a fun, local place to celebrate completing the test! This will be a SUPER fun time to celebrate their hard work on the test!

CAASPP Testing Webinar


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Challenge of the Week

Challenge of the Week

Scratch paper is your friend!

This week’s challenge involves the habit of using scratch paper on a regular basis while working through your learning process! Scratch paper is so helpful, not just for figuring out math problems (a must!) but also for creating a “rough draft” in language arts. If a learner is taking a test and accidentally erases their answer on the computer (happens every year!), they have not lost their brainchild! If they use paper and pencil to first draft their response, they can type it again from the answer they wrote on scratch paper. To practice this skill, encourage this habit on a daily basis leading up to the test.

Challenge of the Week

Challenge of the Week

To help your child feel more at ease with testing, try a practice test this week! Some may find it challenging (most do)! Use that feeling of being challenged to help them try tactics like “best guessing” and “deep breaths.”

Practice Tests

The practice tests available online will greatly assist in preparation for these tests. They will allow learners to clearly understand the types of questions they will see on the test and will help them better navigate the online test. We appreciate your efforts to help your child prepare for these statewide assessments by using the practice tests available. Below are the steps to access them.

  1. Click the practice test link. Take the Practice or Training Test.

  2. Make sure the guest user and guest session boxes are set to “ON” and click the green “Sign In” box.

  3. Select your child’s grade.

  4. The pink and purple boxes are for the language arts and math practice tests. If available, the orange is for the science practice test.

  5. If your child has an IEP with testing accommodations, you now have a chance to select any accommodations that you would like to have included in the practice tests. Scroll to the bottom and click the green “Select” box to move to the next page.

  6. Make sure you can hear sound with the sound check.

  7. Click “Continue” and then click “Begin Test.”

  8. Language arts and math practice test answers may be manually checked at this link: Go to the Guides!

  9. A scoring guide for the CAST training test can be found at this link: Scoring Guides. The guide provides information on alignment with the California Next Generation Science Standards, correct answers, and sample responses for constructed response items.

Challenge of the Week

Challenge of the Week

Before taking the real or practice tests, please have your kids watch this short video, and remind kids that every child tests at their OWN PACE. Encourage them to tune out those around them by creating their own BUBBLE OF PEACE and work in that, paying no mind to what is happening around them.
Additionally, hard questions on the MAP test can actually mean strong test performance. To learn more, visit here: WHAT IS ADAPTIVE TESTING?

Challenge of the Week

Challenge of the Week

The CAASPP assessments for English Language Arts (ELA) and math are comprised of the computer adaptive test (CAT) and the performance task (PT).

The performance task requires students to answer a set of questions that are centered on a common theme or problem. To prepare, here are some helpful videos on narrative, opinion, explanatory, and informative writing. Graphic organizers are another great tool for prewriting activities.

Test Taking Skills and English Language Learners


The road to becoming proficient in speaking the English language can be a vibrant and life-giving experience. Bilingual learners are typically exposed to a myriad of creative learning opportunities that include theatre, music, cooking, comedy, books, videos, games and social projects. However, much of this acquisition is informed by regular examinations and proficiency tests. This has the potential to be the source of much frustration and anxiety. Students who are expected to participate in this endeavor can find themselves in a place of vulnerability and apprehension. Likewise, this anticipation is felt by parents who feel helpless about testing results. Understanding how to prepare for testing events and how to process the results are key steps toward feeling confident about the task.

Did you know that bilingual learners are more aptly disposed to take tests?

Studies have shown that those who are learning to speak more than one language demonstrate a higher level of performance across all subject areas. According to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, these students will also score significantly higher on standardized tests than their monolingual peers due to the neural pathways their brains have established. This is encouraging data since standardized testing is a reality of higher education and most career paths!

Good test takers know that the best preparation is an interweaving of the material in everyday life. ELPAC holistically tests in the areas of reading, speaking, listening and writing. Proficiency in academic language is an important area of focus since it is more descriptive and formal than conversational English. In addition, parents ought to emphasize literacy skills. This will increase the learner’s exposure to academic language and integrate actual concepts and questions they will see on the test.

Parent Today provides some fantastic tips to bring your English learner more confidence in a testing situation:

  1. Use the language as much as you can at home and in everyday routines.
  2. Attend events where the language is reinforced in authentic social situations.
  3. Collect multimedia, books, and music to support acquisition in creative ways.
  4. Use repetitive strategies and differentiate the ways they are being learned.
  5. Try to learn in shorter blocks of time more often, rather than cramming in a lot of information in a session.

Reviewing the results is almost as important as preparing for them! If given the opportunity, reflect on the questions that fell flat in an effort to address knowledge gaps. Determine what techniques might be helpful, and plan for how they will approach the next test. If the results aren’t what you were hoping for, celebrate that every test is a learning experience and an opportunity to improve. It is meaningful enough that the child is engaged in the process at all. Every experience truly contributes to the growth and future excellence; test-taking is a key part of the journey!


What is the Summative ELPAC?


Beginning in March, English language learners will take the Summative ELPAC. The English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) is California’s assessment system that is used to determine the English language proficiency of learners whose primary language is not English. The ELPAC assesses four domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The Summative ELPAC measures how well a learner is progressing with English development in each of the four domains.

The summative assessment is given to learners in grades TK–12 who have been identified as English learners. EL learners continue to take the assessment annually until they are reclassified as fluent English proficient. In order to be considered proficient in English and reclassify, a learner must score a 4 on each of the four domains AND score a 50% or higher on the MAP test or SBAC Language Arts test.

Parents/guardians cannot opt their child out of the ELPAC. State law (California Education Code section 313 and California Education Code section 60810 ) and federal law Titles I and Ill of the Every Student Succeeds Act) require that all students whose primary language is other than English be assessed for English language proficiency.

Challenge of the Week

Challenge of the Week

Learning how a test is formatted and understanding the content will help you ensure your learner feels confident and does well!

The CAASPP assessments are comprised of two components:

  1. CAT: Computer Adaptive Test for ELA and Math
  2. PT: Performance Task for ELA and Math

This week, we are taking a closer look at the ELA (English Language Arts) Performance Task. This section is typically more challenging and learners would benefit from having more time to explore the content of this portion.

For targeted practice, find your learner’s grade level and break the performance task parts down into manageable, bite-sized sessions to help them become familiarized with the format.

3rd Grade Performance Task/Example/Practice (Informational)

4th Grade Performance Task Example/Practice (Informational)

5th Grade Performance Task Example/Practice (Opinion)

6th Grade Performance Task Example/Practice (Narrative Writing)

7th Grade Performance Task Example/Practice (Explanatory Writing)

8th Grade Performance Task Example/Practice (Argumentative Writing)

11th Grade Performance Task Example/Practice (Argumentative Writing)

Challenge of the Week

Challenge of the Week

This week, we are reminding learners to tackle those math testing challenges with “good old-fashioned” paper and pencil!

If learners are attempting a math problem that requires calculation, they should always try to work it out on paper before choosing their answer. Many young testers get so focused on the computer screen that they forget to pick up a pencil and use it to work out the problem! (Please note that there is also a feature on the CAASPP for writing and notes. However, using pencil and paper is best for solving math problems.) On test day, every child will be provided with paper and pencil. If their pencil tip breaks, learners should raise their hand and ask for a new one!

Here’s your chance to try it out! Click on this link to simple math problems to have your learner practice working out problems on paper first and then selecting their answer on the computer. If you stay with the quiz, it will show results at the end.

Challenge of the Week

Challenge of the Week

As you and your family talk about 2020 New Year’s resolutions, one idea might be to add “Strengthening the ability to make logical guesses” to your child’s list of resolutions! Here are some tips to discuss with them and help them when tackling multiple-choice-type questions.

Remind your child that for multiple-choice questions, they should slowly and carefully read through the question, then think through the answer.

Look to see if the answer they came up with on their own is listed as an option, and then choose it! If it’s not listed, then reread the question with even more focus.

Keep your eye out for the silly answers that can be mixed in to test if you’re paying attention.

Lastly, look through the answer options and simply choose the one that makes the most sense!

Try playing some guessing games at home to build good guessing stamina!

Challenge of the Week

Challenge of the Week

Big challenges are best tackled in small doses!

Here’s another tip to help your learner climb the testing mountain with small steps to success! Instead of trying to complete pages of practice or large chunks of time on test prep, try weaving in a few questions for exposure each week. Use a small reading passage with a few comprehension questions to check for understanding. One suggestion is to utilize a free resource like Super Teacher Worksheets. Simply scroll down (within each grade level) to locate the highlighted “Free” tag above the selected passage and discover the corresponding questions with an answer key.

Curious to know more? Here’s an awesome article with additional creative support!

Challenge of the Week

Challenge of the Week

MobyMax subscriptions are provided for free to iLEAD learners. MobyMax test prep is a comprehensive adaptive review used to improve content knowledge and address gaps in learning for grades K-8.

Your challenge this week is to try the test prep practice questions:

  • Log in to MobyMax

  • Enter the username and password provided by your EF (this was sent at the beginning of the school year if you requested the complimentary subscription; if not, please check with your EF)

  • Click on the books icon

  • Click on the test prep icon

  • Select a subject and begin

Challenge of the Week!

Challenge of the Week

This week’s challenge speaks to a technical aspect of testing. Our learners take most standardized tests on laptops with touchpads. By familiarizing them with the touchpad, we can help them be more confident taking the tests.

Many younger learners need practice with this feature, DRAGGING and dropping their answers. By starting with these basic tech tools, we know this will help them prepare and reduce anxiety related to the testing experience.

Here are more LEARNING games that your child can PLAY to become more familiar with the touchpad on a laptop.

Happy clicking!

Challenge of the Week

Challenge of the Week

Looking for a new workout routine? This week’s challenge will help you keep your brain in shape! Research has shown that using brain teasers strengthens your mental muscles and builds problem-solving skills in all learners, especially children! We challenge you to work through some brain teasers with your family and notice the positive potential of playing with puzzles to bolster critical-thinking skills.

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