Come spring, students in the Darien Public Schools will be prepping for a new standardized test and -- for the most part -- saying goodbye to the Connecticut Mastery and Connecticut Academic Performance tests.

"We'd like to proceed with the Smarter Balance testing," said acting Superintendent Tim Canty at Tuesday's Board of Education meeting.

Students in grades three through eight, as well as high school students, will take the Smarter Balance tests. However, fifth- and eighth-graders, as per state mandate, are still required to take the CMT science testing.

High school juniors will be tested in English language arts and math. Students in grade 10 will be required to take the CAPT science test.

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Canty recognizes that this is not "the perfect situation for a range of reasons."

Sophomores who took the CAPT in the 2012-13 school year will be expected to take the Smarter Balance test in the spring.

The Smarter Balance Assessment Test -- which is designed to be administered in line with the Common Core State Standards -- must be administered in all schools in spring 2015.

The Common Core State Standards is a new testing model that is designed to change the focus in the classrooms from a teacher-centered learning environment to a learner-centered model.

The Smarter Balance assessments will be taken on computers, which allows for a broader test administration period from February to June as opposed to just March, as with the CMT and CAPT.

The state Department of Education contacted schools Oct. 7 and were provided options for 2012-13 test administration. Schools could have chosen to administer the CMTs and CAPTs or the Smarter Balance Assessment or administer both tests.

Darien is not the only town to move toward Smarter Balance for the upcoming test season. It will join Greenwich, Stamford, Weston, Wilton, Ridgefield, New Canaan, Fairfield and Trumbull. Shelton and Weston have opted to continue distributing the CMT and CAPT.

mspicer@bcnnew.com; 203-330-6583; @Meg_DarienNews