Updates 2017-2018

Weekly updates and announcements will be published here.

Alerts with a link to these updates will be emailed to School Test Coordinators once per week.

Week of June 4, 2018

Important Upcoming Dates

Friday June 8 -- Last day for Smarter Balanced and OAKS Science Testing [FINAL WEEK OF TESTING!] Test closes at 11:59 PM on Friday so you have all day Friday to finish testing.


Check Your Test Expirations!

We are in the final stretch for state testing. Both SBAC and OAKS Science close on Friday. Please be sure and check your test expirations early this week. If you need some instruction on how to do that in TIDE, you can watch this video. If you have questions, contact Tom Luba.


Opt-Out Forms

Please be sure and send copies of all opt-out forms to Tom Luba as soon as possible if you have not done so already. The forms are used to make sure these students are coded correctly in the ODE system and we are required to maintain copies for one year in case of an audit. Thanks!


OAKS Science Retest Authorization Forms

If you retested any students who had met the standard on a previous attempt, you need to be sure and send Tom Luba a copy of the parent permission letter. Permission letters may be found on this website in the Forms section.

Week of May 28, 2018

Important Upcoming Dates

Friday May 25 -- ELPA21 Preliminary student scores for tests completed April 1 – 13 available in OAKS Online Reporting System. Scores will be in DCA by Tuesday, May 29.

Friday June 8 -- Last day for Smarter Balanced and OAKS Science Testing [ONE MORE WEEK!]

We have downloaded and organized by school a test completion report. The report is organized by school using tabs in the spreadsheet. For high school, the report pulls both 11th and 12th grade students, so don't be alarmed by the number of students showing as not tested. In addition, students who have transferred out, those not eligible to test because of enrollment date, and opt-out students will also appear in this report. Unfortunately, we can't control how AIR sets up these reports. Click this LINK to access the report. The link will allow you to download a copy of the report to your own Google Drive.


Opt-Out Forms

A reminder to please be sure and send copies of your opt-out forms to Tom Luba. There are a few school that have not sent in any opt-outs and we are a bit suspicious that those schools actually did not have any opt-outs.


Check Your Test Expirations!

Please be sure and check your test expirations at least once per week (twice per week would be better!) If you need some instruction on how to do that in TIDE, you can watch this video. If you have questions, contact Tom Luba.

Week of May 21, 2018

Important Upcoming Dates

Wednesday May 23, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM -- Kindergarten Assessment Training Webinar (see below)

Friday May 25 -- ELPA21 Preliminary student scores for tests completed April 1 – 13 available in OAKS Online Reporting System

Friday June 8 -- Last day for Smarter Balanced and OAKS Science Testing [THREE MORE WEEKS!]

Some Very Cool Testing Spirit-Building at Imlay!

Thanks Alano!

Check Your Test Expirations!

Please be sure and check your test expirations at least once per week (twice per week would be better!) If you need some instruction on how to do that in TIDE, you can watch this video. If you have questions, contact Tom Luba.


Kindergarten Assessment Training and Other Important KA Information [Repeat from last week]

The dates for the ODE provided Kindergarten Assessment training have been released. As in the past, there are a number of opportunities and options for staff who will be administering the Kindergarten Assessment (mostly Kindergarten teachers) to attend mandatory training as follows:

  1. Attend the ODE training webinar on May 23, 2018 – 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
  2. Attend the ODE training webinar on August 14, 2018 – 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
  3. Attend a district in-person training during the Fall in-service in late August (Date and time TBD)
  4. Complete online training in Google Classroom (access information will be available later this month)

Staff MUST complete all training and submit a Kindergarten Assurance of Test Security form before beginning any portions of the assessment with students.

Staff who wish to attend one of the ODE webinars are required to register in advance. To register, go to the following link, select the desired date and time and enter the required information:

https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/1672239927204218627

ODE will email the login information for the selected webinar. That is also how we will be able to verify that staff attended the training so please be sure and register individually. Staff who attend training will be paid 1.5 hours of extended contract, but ONLY if they have individually registered for the ODE webinars. If teachers wish to do this as a group, each person needs to register individually.

Before participating in any of the above training opportunities, participants must complete online modules. The 18/19 modules will be posted on the Assessment Training Materials webpage soon. They will be available in PowerPoint format and will be recorded after the first live webinar to be used for training. The current modules on the site are from 17/18 so please wait until we announce the release by ODE of the 18/19 versions before viewing the modules.

ODE has not yet announced the official testing dates for the KA but it is likely to be early August. Our district window will be the same as last year with the first day of testing being the first day of school, which is the day after Labor Day. This year that is September 4, which is two days before Kindergarteners start. The window will likely close on or around October 19. More on the HSD closing date once ODE announces the official state window.

Please share this information with your Kindergarten teachers!

If you will be the School Test Coordinator next year, you are also required to complete the training. If you have any questions, contact me, Tom Luba.

Week of May 14, 2018

Important Upcoming Dates

Friday May 18, 5:00 PM - Sunday May 20, 7:00 PM -- OAKS Online Test Delivery System (including Practice Tests), TIDE, and Online Reporting System (ORS) offline for scheduled maintenance.

Wednesday May 23, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM -- Kindergarten Assessment Training Webinar (see below)

Friday May 25 -- ELPA21 Preliminary student scores for tests completed April 1 – 13 available in OAKS Online Reporting System

Friday June 8 -- Last day for Smarter Balanced and OAKS Science Testing


Kindergarten Assessment Training and Other Important KA Information

The dates for the ODE provided Kindergarten Assessment training have been released. As in the past, there are a number of opportunities and options for staff who will be administering the Kindergarten Assessment (mostly Kindergarten teachers) to attend mandatory training as follows:

  1. Attend the ODE training webinar on May 23, 2018 – 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
  2. Attend the ODE training webinar on August 14, 2018 – 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
  3. Attend a district in-person training during the Fall in-service in late August (Date and time TBD)
  4. Complete online training in Google Classroom (access information will be available later this month)

Staff MUST complete all training and submit a Kindergarten Assurance of Test Security form before beginning any portions of the assessment with students.

Staff who wish to attend one of the ODE webinars are required to register in advance. To register, go to the following link, select the desired date and time and enter the required information:

https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/1672239927204218627

ODE will email the login information for the selected webinar. That is also how we will be able to verify that staff attended the training so please be sure and register individually. Staff who attend training will be paid 1.5 hours of extended contract, but ONLY if they have individually registered for the ODE webinars. If teachers wish to do this as a group, each person needs to register individually.

Before participating in any of the above training opportunities, participants must complete online modules. The 18/19 modules will be posted on the Assessment Training Materials webpage soon. They will be available in PowerPoint format and will be recorded after the first live webinar to be used for training. The current modules on the site are from 17/18 so please wait until we announce the release by ODE of the 18/19 versions before viewing the modules.

ODE has not yet announced the official testing dates for the KA but it is likely to be early August. Our district window will be the same as last year with the first day of testing being the first day of school, which is the day after Labor Day. This year that is September 4, which is two days before Kindergarteners start. The window will likely close on or around October 19. More on the HSD closing date once ODE announces the official state window.

Please share this information with your Kindergarten teachers!

If you will be the School Test Coordinator next year, you are also required to complete the training. If you have any questions, contact me, Tom Luba.


May 1 Cutoff for Testing

This is a reminder that any student who enrolls in HSD after May 1 is not required to test. That pertains to ALL students, not only EL students.


Reopening Expired Test

There are certain circumstances where we can request that expired tests be reopened. The two most common situations are:

  • Tests showing as submitted (reported) due to an error in the test delivery system (we have had a few of these this year)
  • Student has been chronically absent or absent for an extended period of time due to accident or illness (excused absences)

Under these two categories, we can file a testing impropriety/irregularity report and request that the test be reopened. If you experience one of these and wish us to request that a test be reopened, please complete the form linked HERE. It usually take 24-36 hours for ODE to respond with a decision once a report has been submitted.


Graph Paper on Math Test Clarification

This information is a bit hidden and cryptic in the OAM. On page 12 of the OAM, it says, "Scratch paper to make notes, write computations, or record responses may be made available. Plain paper or lined paper is appropriate for ELA. Graph paper is required beginning in sixth grade and can be used on all math assessments. A whiteboard with marker may be used as scratch paper." The question has come up as to whether or not students at grades 3-5 may be provided with graph paper. The answer is YES! There are not restrictions regarding making graph paper available at any grade level. However, for grades 6, 7, 8 and 11, you are required to provide graph paper to students during the Math test.


Reminder – TAs Should Pause All Tests Prior to Ending the Test Session

All Test Administrators (TAs) should ensure that all student tests have been paused prior to ending the TA test session to ensure a secure testing environment. In particular, all tests on Chromebooks should be paused before the Chromebook lid is closed. TAs can use the pause button on the TA test session screen. The TA pause button is located next to each student’s assigned test to pause in cases when the student did not select the pause button on the student screen. For more information on maintaining a secure testing environment, please refer to the guideline within the Test Administration Manual.

Week of May 7, 2018

Important Upcoming Dates

Tuesday May 8 -- ELPA21 Preliminary Student Scores for tests completed March 1 – 31 available in OAKS Online Reporting System

Friday May 11 --Data entry for Extended Assessment closes.

Friday May 18, 5:00 PM - Sunday May 20, 7:00 PM -- OAKS Online Test Delivery System (including Practice Tests), TIDE, and Online Reporting System (ORS) offline for scheduled maintenance.

Friday May 25 -- ELPA21 Preliminary Student Scores for tests completed April 1 – 13 available in OAKS Online Reporting System

Friday June 8 -- Last day for Smarter Balanced and OAKS Science Testing


ELPA21 Test Scores

As mentioned above in the upcoming dates section, the second batch of ELPA21 scores for students who tested between March 1 - 31 have been released. It takes 24 hours after the release of scores for them to be available in DCA. That means you should be able to see scores on May 9. If you expect to see a certain student's score and it is not there, please contact Tom Luba.


Extended Assessment Score Entry Deadline

Don't forget that the last day for entering Extended Assessment scores into the system is this Friday, May 11. If you are a Qualified Assessor and have any questions about entering student data, please contact one of your Qualified Trainers, Cheryl Burnor, Veva Sims-Cochran, or Sandy Maines.


Test Expirations

This is another reminder to please check your student testing progress often and regularly to make sure you test all eligible students and so that student tests do not expire. The Performance Task has a 20 day expiration, which is calendar days including weekends and holidays. If you have a student whose test has expired due to documented chronic absenteeism due to illness or injury, please contact Tom Luba. In some cases we can request that an expired test be reopened for the student. To learn how to check upcoming expirations, check out my short video:


2018-19 Kindergarten Assessment Trainings and Modules

The Oregon Department of Education requires that all District Test Coordinators, all School Test Coordinators, and Test Administrators who will be administering the Kindergarten assessment watch the appropriate Kindergarten Assessment Training Modules. These modules are posted to on the Assessment Training Materials webpage. Currently, they are available in PowerPoint format, but will be recorded after the first live webinar to be used for training district staff.

If you plan to attend one of the two webinars listed below, you must register to attend one of the ODE provided Kindergarten Assessment webinar trainings:

  • May 23, 2018 at 3 PM
  • - OR -
  • August 14, 2018 at 9 AM

Contact Holly Dalton at ODE at 503-947-5927 with questions.


The OAM is Your Go-To Place About Supports and Accommodations!

Whenever you have questions about what student supports are allowed during testing and which ones are not allowed, your first stop for information is the Oregon Accessibility Manual (OAM.) For example, let's say you are unsure if you can make hand held calculators available to students during the math test. The OAM specifically references hand held (non-embedded) calculators during testing. In the case of these devices, they are ONLY allowed for students who have a visual impairment that would prevent them from being able to access the calculator built in to the test AND it is an accommodation so it must be written into the student's IEP or 504 plan.


Smarter Balanced Participation and Scoring Rules for 2017-2018: Reminder

Participation and scoring rules remain unchanged for the 2017-18 administration of Smarter Balanced. To be considered a participant in 2017-18, a student must respond to:

  • at least FIVE items on the computer adaptive (CAT) portion of the assessment; OR
  • at least ONE item on the performance task (PT) portion of the assessment.

Students who do not meet this threshold will be considered non-participants. This does not affect the participation rules for the statewide Science assessment or for the statewide Alternate (Extended) Assessments.

All students who are participants on a Smarter Balanced assessment will be assigned a performance level. Students who complete at least five items on the CAT portion of the assessment AND at least one item on the PT portion of the assessment will receive an overall score. Students who are participants but did not respond to a sufficient number of items to receive a score will be assigned a performance level of 1 with no recorded score. Note: claim scores are provided only if a student completed the CAT and responded to at least one item on the PT.

Week of April 30, 2018

Important Upcoming Dates

Tuesday May 8 -- ELPA21 Preliminary Student Scores for tests completed March 1 – 31 available in OAKS Online Reporting System

Friday May 11 --Data entry for Extended Assessment closes.

Friday May 18, 5:00 PM - Sunday May 20, 7:00 PM -- OAKS Online Test Delivery System (including Practice Tests), TIDE, and Online Reporting System (ORS) offline for scheduled maintenance.

Friday May 25 -- ELPA21 Preliminary Student Scores for tests completed April 1 – 13 available in OAKS Online Reporting System

Friday June 8 -- Last day for Smarter Balanced and OAKS Science Testing


Check Student Testing Status Regularly!

Now that we are deep into both OAKS Science and Smarter Balanced testing, it is a good idea to regularly (once or twice per week, at a minimum) check student testing progress. In an earlier Update, I posted a link to a short instructional video on how to do this. Here is a repeat of that update:

How to Use OAKS Online Reporting to Monitor Student Testing Progress

This 9 minute video provides a tutorial on how to use the Online Reporting System (ORS) in TIDE in the OAKS Portal to monitor student testing progress. The video demonstrates a variety of reports that can be configured. This information and link is also posted on the Resources section of this website.

Week of April 23, 2018

Important Upcoming Dates

Thursday April 26 -- Extended Assessment testing window closes.

Friday May 11 --Data entry for Extended Assessment closes.


General Reminders

  • Be sure and cover all subject matter-related content in classrooms where testing is taking place. Please err on the side of caution. If in doubt, cover it up!
  • When assigning designated supports, such as stacked translations, please make sure that the support is assigned based on individual student need and that it is a support that the student normally receives in the classroom. Also, be sure and provide opportunities for students to become familiar with supports by providing opportunities to take practice tests with the supports in place.
  • Use the reporting tools in the OAKS portal to check student test progress and to make sure that student tests do not expire. Remember that the PT has a 20-day expiration, which includes weekends and holidays. For instructions on how to check student testing progress, click this LINK for a short tutorial.
  • Smarter Balanced student scores will begin arriving in the OAKS portal on April 24. Scores will be available in the DCA 24 hours after arriving in the portal. From now until the end of testing, Smarter Balanced scores will be available approximately 10 days after a student completes both portions (CAT and PT) of a test.

Week of April 16, 2018

Important Upcoming Dates

Wednesday April 18 @ 5:00 p.m. - Monday April 23 @ 6:00 am. - The OAKS Online Reporting System (ORS) will be offline to support the deployment of the 2017-2018 Smarter Balanced Score Reports

Thursday April 26 -- Extended Assessment testing window closes.

Friday May 11 --Data entry for Extended Assessment closes.


Smarter Balanced Score Release Timing

The first Smarter Balanced ELA and Math assessment results are slated to be available on April 24. ODE must run the assessments through quality control validations before they can be posted and that takes some time. The assessments that have the CAT and PT portions both completed by about April 13 should load on April 24 and other assessments will begin loading daily after that time.

The Smarter Balanced assessments take approximately 10 days to score once the CAT and PT portions are complete, and we should see a 10 day turn-around after April 24 when results begin posting.

Scores will be available in DCA 24 hours after they are released.


Allowable Resources?

We received a question about what resources students are allowed to use during testing. For example, on the OAKS Science test, can students use a "paper thermometer" during testing? All of the allowable resources are listed in the Oregon Accessibility Manual (OAM.) You may find them under "Universal Tools." That section lists all allowable resources, both those embedded in the test and those that may be used outside of the test (non-embedded.) So, for example, the OAM lists "Thermometers with numbers on scale (for Science)" in the OAKS Science section. Bottom line? If it isn't in the OAM, it is not allowed.


Check Student Testing Status Regularly!

Now that we are deep into both OAKS Science and Smarter Balanced testing, it is a good idea to regularly (once or twice per week, at a minimum) check student testing progress. In an earlier Update, I posted a link to a short instructional video on how to do this. Here is a repeat of that update:

How to Use OAKS Online Reporting to Monitor Student Testing Progress

This 9 minute video provides a tutorial on how to use the Online Reporting System (ORS) in TIDE in the OAKS Portal to monitor student testing progress. The video demonstrates a variety of reports that can be configured. This information and link is also posted on the Resources section of this website.

Week of April 9, 2018

Important Upcoming Dates

April 10 -- Batch 2 of ELPA 21 scores available

Friday April 13 -- ELPA21 testing window closes. -- That's this Friday!

Wednesday April 18 @ 5:00 p.m. - Monday April 24 @ 6:00 am. - The OAKS Online Reporting System (ORS) will be offline to support the deployment of the 2017-2018 Smarter Balanced Score Reports (these will mainly be 12th graders' scores who were able to begin testing back on February 2.)

Thursday April 26 -- Extended Assessment testing window closes.

Friday May 11 --Data entry for Extended Assessment closes.


ELPA21 Window Closes This Friday

Please be sure and check test progress for your active EL students to make sure all eligible students are tested. Work with your EL case managers to ensure that your lists match. Also, don't forget that AIR does NOT remove students from TIDE during the year. So, students who have been withdrawn from the district will continue to show up in TIDE. I know this is a big pain and we complain about it every year to ODE.


Imlay Assessment Website and Motivational Video

Check out the awesome website that Imlay put together for students, staff and parents. Also, check the motivational "movie trailer" video they put together for each class. Thank you, Principal Ciliberto for sharing!


Translations (stacked Spanish/English translations) and Text-to-Speech

Please be aware that if the language is set to Spanish on SBAC and text-to-speech (TTS) is turned on, the TTS will not work at all. You cannot have both of these supports on at the same time.


Where is Stacked Translations?

There have been some questions about where to find "stacked translations" in TIDE. While the OAM uses "stacked" to describe this support, TIDE does not. In TIDE, it is called "Presentation (Translations or Braille Accommodation)". See the screen shot below for details. Remember that this support is available for SBAC math and OAKS science. It is not available for SBAC ELA.

Items, Passages and Stimuli — What’s the Difference?

Items are the questions and answers. Stimuli (also referred to as passages) are the longer narratives that are usually on the left side of the screen in the test. A simple example of an item would be:

Question

Clouds contain:

Answers

a) water, b) automobiles, c) presidential candidates, d) horses

Passages/stimuli are the longer narratives that we see in the test. For example, the text below is from the 6th grade SBAC ELA assessment practice test. The passage below is considered a “stimuli” and, therefore, would not, for example, be available for the text-to-speech support unless it was written into an IEP or 504.

Week of April 2, 2018

Important Upcoming Dates

Monday April 2 -- TODAY! -- Smarter Balanced Assessment window opens.

Friday April 13 -- ELPA21 testing window closes.

Thursday April 26 -- Extended Assessment testing window closes.

Friday May 11 --Data entry for Extended Assessment closes.


Communicating with Parents About Smarter Balanced Testing!

Please do your best to get letters, emails and/or other notifications out to parents about Smarter Balanced testing. Let parents know when their students are likely to be tested so that they can help get them ready for testing. Template letters and parent flyers are available for download in the Resources section of this website. Please use them. You are also encouraged to use your school website to post information about testing. Put something in the announcements section. Use the calendar section of your school's website to post when testing will take place.


Click the link above for the list that was shared during School Test Coordinator training.


This 9 minute video provides a tutorial on how to use the Online Reporting System (ORS) in TIDE in the OAKS Portal to monitor student testing progress. The video demonstrates a variety of reports that can be configured. This information and link is also posted on the Resources section of this website.


As Smarter Balanced fires up, we are likely to have an increase in suspected improprieties. To help streamline the process of reporting improprieties, School Test Coordinators should use this form to report all known or suspected testing improprieties. All fields are required. This report must be made within 24 hours of the incident. If you have questions, contact Tom Luba, District Test Coordinator. Please note that all potential testing improprieties or irregularities must be reported to the HSD District Test Coordinator using this form or an email. ODE Test Security will not accept reports directly from schools. PLEASE CLICK THE LINK AND BOOKMARK THE FORM.


School Bandwidth and Testing [REPEAT -- VERY IMPORTANT]

Although we have upgraded all school's to have plenty of wireless Access Points, that does not solve the issue of schools having a limited amount of actual bandwidth to the Internet. This situation is one that will be addressed with our bond. However, at the current time, all elementary schools have a 200 Mbps pipe. A check this week of bandwidth usage statistics showed that most elementary schools are regularly maxing out their available bandwidth. This is most likely because of the increased use of student devices in classrooms. This has serious implications for state testing, especially once we start SBAC and will be doing significantly more classroom testing on Chromebooks. This is not a wireless connection issue. It is about the size of the Internet pipe to your buildings.

Here are some suggestions for making sure you do not saturate your available bandwidth and bring testing to a screeching halt!

  1. Make sure your testing schedules are built to stagger classroom testing. In other words, do not have 5 classrooms of 30 students testing simultaneously. Instead, try and stagger testing so that no more than one or two classrooms are testing simultaneously.
  2. Make sure that when testing is in progress, that other classrooms are not engaged in bandwidth-heavy activities such as having many students on devices doing Internet-based work.
  3. Ask your staff to disconnect extraneous devices (such as their personal devices) from the school wi-fi connection.

If you have any questions about this, please start with your Site Technology Coordinator. It might be a good idea to share the chart below with your Site Tech. Incidents of the secure browser crashing (often referred to in schools as getting "kicked out" of the browser) can indicate over-saturated bandwidth.

Using Dragon Naturally Speaking for the Speech-to-Text Support

Shannon Henry of the HSD Assistive Technology team has produced a short (11 minute) instructional video demonstrating how to use the Dragon NaturallySpeaking software on a PC during testing for students who require the speech-to-text (S2T) support. S2T is available on iPads without using any external software and on PCs with Dragon NaturallySpeaking installed. Click this LINK to access the YouTube video. I have also posted this information in the "Supports" section of this website.


Test Status Code Report [UPDATE]

Apparently, this report is only visible to the District Test Coordinator. Tom and Monique will be using this report to assist you in monitoring test progress in your school. Sorry for any previous confusion regarding this report.

There is a new report in TIDE that summarizes testing progress. Find it in TIDE under Monitoring Test Progress. We have exported the current status for all ELPA21 assessments in the schools and placed it in a Google sheet. Find your school on the tabs. Click this LINK to access the Google sheet. For a key to the report categories, go to pages 73-74 of the TIDE User Guide. Contact Tom or Monique if you have questions.

Friday Before Spring Break

Important Upcoming Dates

Monday April 2 -- Smarter Balanced Assessment window opens.

Friday April 13 -- ELPA21 testing window closes.

Thursday April 26 -- Extended Assessment testing window closes.

Friday May 11 --Data entry for Extended Assessment closes.


Culture of Testing and Practice Tests

With Smarter Balanced looming on the horizon, it is extremely important that everyone is on board with regard to creating and maintaining a positive testing culture in your buildings and making sure that students have an opportunity to spend some time with practice tests before starting the operational test. There are resources for you in various locations on this site. The Resources section has flyers, parent letter templates and other related materials. The Training section has links to the materials used for your Test Coordinator training. The training slide set includes multiple ideas for setting up a successful testing culture.


ELPA21 Domain Exemptions

We had a situation this week where domain exemptions for a student were not turned in and the student began the test. This constitutes a testing impropriety. In this case, the student had answered more than 5 questions when the error was detected and the test was paused. The result was that ODE invalidated the test. Now the school must use alternate methods to determine the student's level. Please be sure and get those domain exemptions turned in so that this does not happen. Also, instruct your TAs to double-check the student screen when they start testing to make sure supports and exemptions are in place before the student begins testing.


School Bandwidth and Testing [VERY IMPORTANT]

Although we have upgraded all school's to have plenty of wireless Access Points, that does not solve the issue of schools having a limited amount of actual bandwidth to the Internet. This situation is one that will be addressed with our bond. However, at the current time, all elementary schools have a 200 Mbps pipe. A check this week of bandwidth usage statistics showed that most elementary schools are regularly maxing out their available bandwidth. This is most likely because of the increased use of student devices in classrooms. This has serious implications for state testing, especially once we start SBAC and will be doing significantly more classroom testing on Chromebooks. This is not a wireless connection issue. It is about the size of the Internet pipe to your buildings.

Here are some suggestions for making sure you do not saturate your available bandwidth and bring testing to a screeching halt!

  1. Make sure your testing schedules are built to stagger classroom testing. In other words, do not have 5 classrooms of 30 students testing simultaneously. Instead, try and stagger testing so that no more than one or two classrooms are testing simultaneously.
  2. Make sure that when testing is in progress, that other classrooms are not engaged in bandwidth-heavy activities such as having many students on devices doing Internet-based work.
  3. Ask your staff to disconnect extraneous devices (such as their personal devices) from the school wi-fi connection.

If you have any questions about this, please start with your Site Technology Coordinator.

Opt-Out and IEPs

A situation came to our attention this week where SpEd case managers were having parents sign opt-out forms during IEP meetings but not sharing those with School Test Coordinators. This is a dangerous practice in that you may not know a family has opted out and may inadvertently test an opt-out student, which would constitute a testing impropriety, not to mention infuriate parents! Please check in with your SpEd case managers about this issue. Here is some guidance:

  1. Talk with your SpEd case manager(s) about making sure you are provided with a copy of opt-out forms (which you then provide to Tom at the AC)
  2. Talk with your SpEd case manager(s) to make sure they understand that opt-out cannot be encouraged by school staff nor decided by school staff under any circumstances. Parents may only be informed of the option, but the choice should entirely be the parent’s alone. We cannot have a situation where case managers are saying to parents that since their student has a disability, they should just opt them out.
  3. Once you have a valid opt-out form, be sure and block the subjects in TIDE and send a copy of the opt-out form to Tom Luba.


Test Status Code Report

There is a new report in TIDE that summarizes testing progress. Find it in TIDE under Monitoring Test Progress. We have exported the current status for all ELPA21 assessments in the schools and placed it in a Google sheet. Find your school on the tabs. Click this LINK to access the Google sheet. For a key to the report categories, go to pages 73-74 of the TIDE User Guide. Contact Tom or Monique if you have questions.

Week of March 19, 2018

Important Upcoming Dates

Monday April 2 -- Smarter Balanced Assessment testing window opens.

Friday April 13 -- ELPA21 testing window closes.

Thursday April 26 -- Extended Assessment testing window closes.


Logging Into Tests on Chromebooks

Cathy Farley, the Media/Library Assistant at Evergreen Middle School, has put together a couple of great documents to help people get into the secure browser on Chromebooks. She graciously shared them with me. Thanks Cathy!


First Batch of ELPA21 Scores Available

The first batch of scores for ELPA21 have been released. These are for students who tested in January, 2018. You can access the scores in DCA.


Listening Portion of OAKS Science

Just a reminder that the OAKS Science assessment has some embedded audio/video this year so students will need to have headphones or earbuds.

Week of March 12, 2018

Important Upcoming Dates

Monday April 2 -- Smarter Balanced Assessment testing window opens.

Friday April 13 -- ELPA21 testing window closes.

Thursday April 26 -- Extended Assessment testing window closes.


SBAC Assessment Plan 2017-2018

It is now mid-March and below are some activities that should be completed according to our District SBAC Assessment Plan:

  • Training of Staff (Complete by Feb 1) - January
  • Schedule completed no later than February 1 - January
  • Schedule includes ELA testing first. Turn in testing calendar to Tom and level director - January
  • Students taking the practice tests online - Jan/Feb

Please access the link below to review the full plan:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1b0w5CyCu1OjP-V70DzR5B_Q4hutucnXPBbettqHiDU4/edit?usp=sharing


Headsets for ELPA21 Testing

As mentioned in a number of previous communications, there is one model of headsets (headphones with a microphone) that currently will not function on Chromebooks. OSP agreed to pay to replace those headsets. We have filled orders for replacement headsets for 19 schools. We do have a small inventory of extra headsets in case you missed earlier communications and need to replace faulty headsets. They are the Plantronic model 655. Please scroll to the January 29 update below for details. If you discover that you have these headsets and have not yet requested replacements, please be sure and do so by contacting Tom Luba.


AT Account Lockouts

We have received a number of calls from school staff who find themselves in a situation in their computer lab where testers are locked out of the AT account on workstations (this does not apply to Chromebooks -- only PCs in labs that use school AT accounts.) The reason for the lockout is that users attempted to enter an incorrect password more than 10 times. If staff or students enter a bad password more than 10 times, the AT account for the entire school will become locked. To avoid this, please be sure and provide students with the correct password BEFORE they attempt to log in. If you do not know your school's AT account password, contact your Site Technology Coordinator or the Technology Services help desk. If you find yourself in a test session and locked out, call the HSD Technology Services help desk.


Testing Calendars

So far we have received testing schedules from 22 schools. We are making great progress but are still missing schedules for 13+ schools. Please be sure and share your testing schedules with Tom Luba as soon as possible.


Non-Test Administrator Guidance

We have received a number of questions regarding who can be in the room during testing and what training or documentation is needed for these people. The basic rule of thumb is to make sure that only authorized individuals enter the room during testing. To ensure test security and confidentiality, district staff and volunteers who may observe or have access to secure test materials or student information must sign a statement of non-disclosure and assurance of test security form before commencing any work exposing them to an Oregon Statewide Assessment. Untrained district staff and volunteers must never be alone in a room with students during state testing. Only test coordinators and test administrators (teachers, classified staff, or volunteers who have received training) may supervise student testing. Untrained district staff must not agree to supervise student testing even for brief periods. Untrained district staff or untrained volunteers must not interact directly with students during state testing other than to determine the cause of a technology problem for the purpose of ensuring access to Smarter Balanced, OAKS Online Science and Social Sciences, or ELPA21.

Copies of Non-Test Administrator Assurance of Test Security forms should be sent to Tom Luba.


Parent Letters - SBAC

Now is a good time to start sending letters to parents about upcoming Smarter Balanced testing. There is now one week before spring break and then the SBAC window opens April 2, the first day after break. We encourage you to send both a letter from your school along with a copy of the Smarter Balanced Parent Flyer one-two weeks before the date that you start your SBAC testing. A school letter template, which you can easily customize, and the parent flyer are both linked and ready to download in English and Spanish in the "Resources" section of this website.


Covering Walls for Testing in the Classroom

With the infusion of Chromebooks into buildings (thank you bond voters!) our district is doing a lot more testing in classrooms this year as opposed to computer labs. As a result, we have received questions about what needs to be covered in the classroom when testing. The basic strategy is to make sure that any academic content that students could possibly use to help them answer test questions should be covered. Things like motivational posters, student art, schedules and calendars, sign-up sheets, and other non-academic content does not need to be covered during testing. In addition, you don't need to cover non-test related content. For example, if you are administering the Smarter ELA test, you do not need to cover math or science content.

A great idea to add some motivation value to covering walls is to have students decorate the paper you use to cover walls with testing motivation art!

PS: Don't forget to roll up those alphabet rugs during the ELA test!

Test Direction Languages

For those of you needing student test directions in languages other than English, they are available for download from the Resources section of the OAKS Portal. Once in the Portal, click the Translated Test Directions (SB and ELPA21) link. You do not need to be logged in to the portal to access the resources. The language choices for ELPA21 are fairly limited. Fortunately, Portland Public SD has translated the directions into a number of other languages and they are available for us to access. Find them here: English/Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Somali, Swedish, Vietnamese


Stacked Translations Guidance

English/Spanish stacked translations are available as a designated support in the Smarter math and OAKS science assessments. For students whose primary language is Spanish and who use dual language supports in the classroom, use of the stacked (dual language) translation may be appropriate. Students participate in the assessment regardless of the language. This support will increase reading load and cognitive load. The use of this support may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment. Please remember that designated supports such as this should never be used in an all class blanket manner but, instead, should be based on individual student need.

Stacked translations must be set in advance of testing in TIDE. Find this support in the "Embedded Designated Supports" section of each student's record. The support is titled, "Presentation (Translations or Braille Accommodation)" in TIDE. Click the dropdown under the appropriate test subject and select "Spanish (Designated Support)", then be sure and click "Save."


SBAC Prep and Motivation Resources from Reedville ES

Reedville Elementary School has developed some great resources aimed at increasing test motivation and getting students ready for the test. See the links below and many thanks to Robin Farup-Romero, Melissa Hancock and Felicia Giambrone for developing and sharing these great resources!

SBAC Prep Sheet

SBAC Assessment Motivation


Gamification of Attendance from Rosedale ES

Michelle Edwards at Rosedale ES has developed an eight week challenge that uses gamification to encourage positive attendance habits, but sell the mission rather than just talk about attendance. Each grade level is on a mission to create the best community they can on a planet beyond Earth named Prideah. There are two ways to improve colonization on this planet:

  1. achievements earned daily
  2. leveling up each week

This is a great idea for incentivizing positive attendance and would certainly have applications for testing. Michelle kindly shared her idea and materials with us. Find a detailed description with multiple links HERE, and thank you Michelle and team!


Laurie Corliss, the District Test Coordinator at Corvallis School District, has graciously shared with us some great resources to help teach students how to take the online tests using the training tests. The resources are a series of grade level-specific scavenger hunts for Smarter Balanced and OAKS Science. These resources are fairly self-explanatory once you take a look at them. Feel free to download them and use them as part of your practice test sessions and thanks Laurie!


Announcement From ODE

Line Reader Tool Must be Turned on Manually

It has come to ODE and Air’s attention that the Universal Tool Line Reader is incorrectly set to a default of OFF for all assessments. AIR is working on a fix so that the Line Reader is default to On and will provide an update as soon as possible. In the meantime, Test Administrators will need to manually turn the Line Reader tool ON in the Test Administrator Interface when approving students for testing for any students who need the Line Reader. If a student discovers they need the Line Reader after they have already started a test, the Test Administrator can turn it on by pausing the student’s test and turning the Line Reader on approving the student to log back into the test. AIR apologies for any inconvenience this workaround may cause.

Testing Requirements for EL Students

The table below is from pages 96-97 of the Test Administration Manual. It details what tests EL students are required to take based on their enrollment date. At this point in the year, it is important to note that if a student enrolled in ANY U.S. school for the first time between the dates of 5/2/2017 and 3/29/2018, they are NOT required to take the SBAC ELA test. See the table for details on all enrollment date categories for incoming EL students.

Week of March 5, 2018

Important Upcoming Dates

This is a reminder of the previously scheduled maintenance downtime for Friday March 16, 5:00 PM PT – Sunday March 18, 7:00 PM PT. TIDE, TDS, and ORS may be unavailable during this period. The full list of Scheduled Downtime is available at oaksportal.org.


Logging in to the OAKS Secure Browser on a Chromebook is a little different than on regular desktop or laptop computers. Click this LINK for a detailed description of how students log in to the secure browser on a Chromebook.


Using Embedded Designated Supports

Question: Can students turn on their own embedded designated supports for their test session?

Answer: No. Students can ONLY control Universal Tools themselves. It's a good idea to point out Universal Tools to students when they take a practice test so that if they want to change any of those settings, they get some practice doing so in a practice test session.

Question: Can TAs turn on embedded designated supports in the TA interface when they start a test session?

Answer: Most embedded designated supports can be turned on in TIDE and/or by the TA in the TA interface when they start a test session. However, not all designated supports can be activated in the TA interface. Text-to-Speech and Item Type Exclusions must be set in TIDE and may not be edited via the TA Interface. The rest of the designated supports can be activated in the TA interface. This should not be a regular school practice, however, but rather supports should be set up in advance using TIDE.

Question: If a student was supposed to receive an embedded designated support and starts the test without the support enabled, can the TA pause the test and activate the support?

Answer: TAs can modify most test settings after a student pauses the test. However, they cannot modify the following settings once a student begins a given test opportunity:

  • Presentation (including Spanish and Braille)
  • Foreign language glossaries
  • ELPA21 Domain Exemptions
  • Item Type Exclusion

If any of these four test settings are incorrect when a student first selects a test, the TA must deny the student from testing and report a test impropriety to their Test Coordinator who then reports the impropriety to the District Test Coordinator.


Supports and Accommodations Refresher

As we get deeper into testing, many questions surface about when it is appropriate to provide supports to students. So, here is a refresher:

  • Designated supports may be provided to students based on teacher and/or instructional team decisions. Students should NEVER be provided with a support for the very first time on the test. The support must reflect what the student receives during regular instruction.
  • Accommodations are provided to students based on an IEP or 504 plan. Students should not receive accommodations unless they are spelled out in IEPs/504s. As with designated supports, students should NEVER be provided with an accommodation for the very first time on the test. The accommodation must reflect what the student normally receives during regular instruction.
  • Embedded designated supports and accommodations are those which are part of the actual electronic delivery of the test. All embedded supports should be set up in TIDE in advance of testing. TAs should double-check supports when they start a test session to make sure students are receiving the proper supports.
  • Non-embedded designated supports and accommodations are those supports that are outside of the electronic delivery of the test. For example, read-aloud and scribe are non-embedded supports. Don't forget that the "accommodations flag" must be set in TIDE for both embedded and non-embedded accommodations.

For more details about student supports, wander over to the Supports section of this website.


Announcement from ODE Regarding OAKS Science

OAKS Science Sound and Video Playback Check

This year the OAKS Science assessments contain items with video content. In order to check that the testing device plays video without error, the test includes a Sound and Video Playback Check. The OAKS Science assessments contain video only. There is no recorded audio. We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this has caused. If districts have questions or concerns, please contact the OAKS Help Desk.

Week of February 26, 2018

Important Upcoming Dates

March 13 - First batch of ELPA21 Preliminary Student Scores available in OAKS Online Reporting System pending comprehensive quality control. Scores will be available in DCA shortly thereafter.


Testing Schedules

Copies of your testing schedules have been trickling in, however, we still have not received schedules from most schools. We have posted them on the Schedules section of this website. Once you have your school testing schedule in place, please share it with Tom Luba. You can email it or, if it is in Google, simply share it. If you believe that you sent one to Tom already, please let him know. Thanks!


Extended Assessments Reminder

A reminder for your Extended Assessment Test Administrators: They must complete their annual Extended Assessment training as well as modules 2, 3, and 4 of the regular TA training, an in-person training with you, and sign the Test Assurance form in the Exit Ticket. Only after all of these steps are completed, and the STC has verified it through approving their Assurance form, will they be verified to be able to use the tablet administration and receive access to the ODE Extended Assessment Site. Finally, if they plan to give any or all of the assessments on the tablet, they need to read the Extended Assessment Tablet Administration User Guide . Please contact Monique Holt if you have any questions.


ELPA21 Test Approval Weirdness

In past years, TAs were required to re-approve students to proceed to the speaking portion of the ELP21 test. When ELPA21 first opened this year, that step had disappeared. According to reports from the field, the feature seems now to be back. So, if you have not yet started ELPA testing, nothing should seem different this year compared to last year. For those who have started, your TAs should expect to be required to approve students to proceed to the speaking portion of the test.


OAKS High School Science Scores Now Available at End of Test (from ODE)

On February 21, ODE communicated that, due to inadvertent changes in test configuration for the 2017-2018 testing year, OAKS High School Science scores were not appearing when a high school student submitted a test. AIR implemented a fix to this issue overnight, so scores will now appear correctly upon submission of the High School Science test. For those students who completed and submitted their OAKS High School Science test during the period of January 9 - February 21, 2018, districts can retrieve scores through the Score Reports and Retrieve Student Results modules in ORS. For more information, see the Online Reporting System User Guide.


Read-Aloud Clarification

We have received some questions about when the Read-Aloud designated support may be used. Read-Aloud is a designated support for Math stimuli and items and ELA items (only). It is an accommodation (requires IEP or 504) for ELA reading stimuli (A227). Stimuli are the longer reading passages on the test. See pages 17 and 22 of the OAM for details.


Questions and Answers

Q: One of my students started a state test and then the parent sent in an opt-out form after he was half-way through the test. What do I do?

A: Parents can opt their student out of testing at any time. If you receive an opt-out form after a student has started testing, stop testing the student, block the subject in TIDE and send the opt-out form to Tom Luba.

Q: I see home school students who come to my school for special services in TIDE. Am I obligated to test these students?

A: Private school and home school students who receive their primary instruction in tested subjects at Oregon public schools are required to take the Oregon statewide assessment in those subjects. Private and homeschool students who do not receive primary instruction in a subject are exempt from taking the Oregon statewide assessment in that subject (e.g., students receiving supplemental instruction or instruction in a non-tested subject.) Schools are under no obligation to test these students. Your District Test Coordinators will code these students in Student Centered Staging at the end of the year to exclude them from accountability reporting. If parents of home school students have questions about meeting their testing requirements, refer them to Northwest Regional ESD. The ESD handles all home school support and accountability for our district.

Week of February 19, 2018

Important Upcoming Dates

February 16, 5:00 PM – February 18, 7:00 PM - OAKS Online Test Delivery System (including Practice Tests), TIDE, and Online Reporting System (ORS) offline for scheduled maintenance.

March 13 - First batch of ELPA21 Preliminary Student Scores available in OAKS Online Reporting System pending comprehensive quality control. Scores will be available in DCA shortly thereafter.


Extended Assessment Support

We have received a few questions regarding School Test Coordinator support for the Extended Assessment. The primary support that you, as a School Test Coordinator, need to provide to the staff who have completed the Extended Assessment Qualified Assessor (QA) initial or refresher training is to make sure that they also complete your regular TA training. The only difference for these people is they must complete modules 2, 3 and 4 of the training but do not need to complete any of the additional assessment modules (unless they are also administering one or more of the other, regular assessments.) Most support for these folks should be provided by HSD Student Services by way of the Extended Assessment Qualified Trainers. There are four of these in the district and the QAs should know who their go to QT is. If you have additional questions about this, please contact Monique Holt.


Opt-Out

A reminder that copies of opt-out forms must be sent to Tom Luba at the AC. You can scan them to an email or send them in interoffice mail. Remember to block the subjects in TIDE that the student has opted out of. Opt-out forms may be downloaded on this site. They are located in the Forms section.

Week of February 12, 2018

Important Upcoming Dates

2/15/2018 -- Extended Assessment opens. Please make sure that the staff who will be administering the Extended Assessment have completed their regular TA training. See the section below with details on this.


Print-On-Request and Chromebooks

It has come to our attention that in schools where all regular computing workstations are to be removed from labs and replaced with Chromebooks, there could be an issue when a testing student has print-on-request as a support. Print-on-request requires the Test Administrator to print portions of a test for a student during the test session. As you know, Chromebooks are, essentially, designed as cloud-based devices and are not enabled to print on local printers. So, if your TA is planning to use a Chromebook to administer a test session, he or she would not be able to print from the Chromebook.

In order to deal with this issue, please be sure and follow these instructions:

  1. Make sure that your Test Administrators know in advance of any students who will require this support BEFORE testing.
  2. Ensure that your Test Administrator is using a Windows PC/laptop or a Mac PC/laptop as their computer for the test session if they will need to print (most teachers have either a MacBook Air or Dell PC.)
  3. Ensure that the computer that the TA is using has been configured to print on the printer that is in the testing room.
    1. This is something that you should enlist your Site Technology Coordinator or Technology Facilitator to help set up in advance of testing.
    2. If your plan is to use a printer elsewhere in the building, please be aware that there must be a person who is either a trained TA or has signed a Non-Test Administrator Assurance of Test Security form waiting at the printer at the time of printing in order to maintain security of testing materials.

If you have any questions about this, please let Tom Luba know. For more detailed information about the process for print-on-request, please see page 23 of the Test Administrator User Guide.


ELPA21 Headsets -- An Important Reminder

As mentioned in previous updates, the Plantronics Audio 655 headset will not work at all on Chromebooks. If your school has these and were planning to use them for ELPA21 testing on Chromebooks, it is very important that you send me an email with the number of headsets you will need to be replaced. OSP has agreed to pay to replace these headsets if you needed them for testing on Chromebooks.


Extended Assessment Training Reminder

Your Test Administrators who will ONLY be administering the Extended Assessment are required to complete modules 2, 3 and 4, the required reading in the TAM and OAM, take the exit quiz and submit an Assurance of Test Security form. They must also attend your in-person session. So, the only difference between these TAs and your other TAs is that they do not have to watch any of the test-specific modules. They receive additional training for the Extended through another website and process, which is mostly managed by Student Services. Please be sure and monitor your TAs who are administering the Extended Assessment as not all of them are registering the messages they have been receiving about their training requirements. If you have questions or concerns, talk to Tom Luba.


The Oregon Smarter Balanced ELA Practice Test Scoring Guides provide details about the items, student response types, correct responses, and related scoring considerations for the Oregon Smarter Balanced Practice Test items. The items selected for the Practice Test are designed to reflect:

  • a broad coverage of claims and targets.
  • a range of student response types.
  • a breadth of difficulty levels across the items.

The items in these guides are representative of the kinds of items that students can expect to experience when taking the Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) and Performance Task (PT) portions of the summative assessment. Links to the scoring guides may be found on this website in the Resources section.


Questions and Answers

QUESTION: I heard that the ELA PT Assessment is different this year; what will students see when logging in to the ELA PT Assessment?

ANSWER: The ELA PT Assessment will be comprised of two segments. In Segment 1, students will see either one machine scored item (Matching Item, Multiple Select, etc.), or one Short Answer (“Brief Write”) item. In Segment 2, students will complete a Writing Extended Response (“Full Write”). Please refer to Oregon’s ELA Test Specifications and Blueprints for more information.

QUESTION: I have heard that Short Answer responses will now be scored by a machine. Is this true?

ANSWER: No. If a student receives a Short Answer “Brief Write” item during the ELA PT Assessment, it will continue to be hand scored using the Smarter Balanced Scoring Rules.

Week of February 5, 2018

Important Upcoming Dates

2/6/2018 -- Smarter Balanced 12th grade retake opens.

The 12th grade retake is for high school seniors who either have not met Essential Skills or need a better score for college entrance. Scores earned with a retake do not change the student's original 11th grade score in the state accountability system. This is not subject to the April 2 test window as for the 11th grade regular test.

2/15/2018 -- Extended Assessment opens


Headsets for ELPA21 Testing [VERY IMPORTANT]

As mentioned in last week's Updates, there is one model of headsets with microphones that no longer will function on Chromebooks. It is the Plantronics Audio 655 model. The model number for these headsets is on the underside of the headband near one of the earphones (scroll down for a photo of the model number location.) We need each of you to take an inventory of the headsets that you plan to use for ELPA testing on Chromebooks and let us know if you have any of this model and, if so, how many. OSP has said they will pay to replace these headsets.


Change in ELPA 21 Test Delivery

As some schools have started ELPA testing, it has been noticed that the previous requirement for the TA to approve starting segment 2 of the test is no longer in place. That means that students can immediately move to the speaking portion of the test. Please keep this in mind when testing, especially if you prefer that students take a break between the two test segments.


TIDE and ORS Training Videos Posted

ODE has posted updated training videos on the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) and the Online Reporting System (ORS.) You may access the videos below and they are linked on the Training page of this website. You are encouraged to review these videos and encourage your TAs to do so as well.


TA Training Reminder

Please remember or process for TA training this year:

  1. TA completes online training
  2. TA takes and passes the online quiz (16/20 is a passing score)
  3. TA attends in-person training in their building led by the School Test Coordinator
  4. TA returns to the online course and submits their Assurance of Test Security form

As an alternative, School test Coordinators have the option of doing all of the training in-person using the videos and other resources in the TA Google Classroom website.

We will be checking your TA assurance form submissions and will email you lists of your TAs who have submitted forms. We will not create accounts until it has been approved by you to do so. As your TAs submit forms, Tom will email you with lists of names asking if they are good to go. Being “good to go” means they have completed all training, including an in-person session with you, and have passed the online quiz.

Week of January 29, 2018

Important Upcoming Dates

2/6/2018 -- Smarter Balanced 12th grade retake opens.

The 12th grade retake is for high school seniors who either have not met Essential Skills or need a better score for college entrance. Scores earned with a retake do not change the student's original 11th grade score in the state accountability system.

2/15/2018 -- Extended Assessment opens


Issues With Chromebooks

As mentioned in an email this week to Test Administrators, we are experiencing two issues with some Chromebooks. One is that the AIRSecureTest secure browser is not working on new Chromebooks. We have determined that this is most likely because the setup process administered before deploying the devices failed to update the Chrome OS from version 59 to 62. The secure browser on a Chromebook will not work under version 59. Our techs have subsequently pushed version 62 to all Chromebooks. You are encouraged to reboot your Chromebooks at least 2 times so that the new version will be installed. Work with your Site Techs to test your Chromebooks before administering any assessments so that you are sure they will function properly. If you have issues, please be sure and submit a ticket to the help desk.

The second issue has to do with headsets for ELPA21 testing. One USB headset that is no longer working on any Chromebooks is the Plantronics Audio 655 model. I have included photos of this model headset below. Please be sure and not attempt to use this headset with Chromebooks for testing as they will not function.

Good News About The New Chromebooks

After the above, it is nice to be able to give you some good news. The good news is we were able to include mice with the new Chromebooks purchased with bond funds. For schools receiving new Chromebook carts, you will also be receiving 40 mice per school. This will be of particular help to elementary schools using Chromebooks to test the little ones! Many thanks to Don Wolff, Hillsboro School District's CIO for making this happen!


Oregon Extended Assessment Administration

The Oregon Extended Assessment Administration and Data Entry Window opens on Thursday, February 15 (test materials are available for download beginning February 8). Qualified Assessors must complete all required training prior to administering these assessments. This includes QA training and completion of modules 2, 3 and 4 of the regular TA training plus reviewing the appropriate sections of the TAM and OAM. Extended Assessment test administrators must also submit to Tom Luba, their completed and signed Assurance of Test Security Form.


Questions and Answers

QUESTION: Since the ELA Assessment is going to be shorter this year, does that mean the students will only need to read one article for the ELA Performance Task?

ANSWER: No, the ELA Performance Task will still have multiple sources in all grade levels. These sources will be utilized in Segment 1, as well as during the writing extended response, “full write,” in Segment 2. Teachers can access practice tests in OAKS Portal to view samples.

QUESTION: Will the ELA CAT Assessment still contain short answer written responses?

ANSWER: The ELA CAT Assessment will not contain short answer written response items. Please refer to Oregon’s ELA Test Specifications and Blueprints located on the ODE website for more information about the number of items and depth of knowledge for each assessment target.

Week of January 22, 2018

Important Upcoming Dates

2/6/2018 -- Smarter Balanced 12th grade retake opens.

The 12th grade retake is for high school seniors who either have not met Essential Skills or need a better score for college entrance. Scores earned with a retake do not change the student's original 11th grade score in the state accountability system.

2/15/2018 -- Extended Assessment opens


Online Reporting System Webinars

ODE and AIR have scheduled two optional webinars focusing on how to use the newly-redesigned Online Reporting System (ORS.) This webinar is particularly useful for helping you better understand how to track student completion of assessments during the testing window. You are urged to attend, if possible.

  • Tuesday, January 23 from 9 to 10 AM PT
  • Thursday, January 25 from 3 to 4 PM PT

The same material will be covered in both trainings. While these webinars are open to any ORS user role, you must register in advance if you want to attend a webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about how to log into the webinar.


LEP Flags!

As the ELPA21 window is now open, it is very important that LEP flags are correctly set in Synergy. The Synergy LEP flag for active ELs is part of the data that travels to ODE on a regular basis and is incorporated into student records in TIDE. You are encouraged to touch base with your EL case manager(s) to make sure they have their LEP flags up to date in Synergy. Your EL case managers should direct questions regarding active/inactive ELs to Maggie SainzFarro at the district office.


Questions and Answers about Student Assessment Supports

Common Questions and Answers about student supports for testing follow:

  • Q: What is the difference between designated supports and accommodations?
  • A: Designated Supports are access features of the assessment available for use by any student for whom the need has been indicated by an educator (or team of educators with parent/guardian and student). They are either provided as digitally delivered components of the test administration system or separate from it. Designated supports should be provided on a student-by-student basis (never used as a blanket support for groups of students) and should only be used if the same type of support is provided to the student during regular classroom instruction.

Accommodations are changes in procedures or materials that increase equitable access during the statewide assessments. Assessment accommodations generate valid assessment results for students who need them; they allow these students to show what they know and can do. Accommodations are available only for students with documented Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) or Section 504 Plans. .

  • Q: What is the difference between embedded and non-embedded supports?
  • A: Embedded supports are supports that are part of the digital delivery of the online assessment. Embedded supports MUST be entered in TIDE. Non-embedded supports are supports that are outside of the digital test delivery system. For example, scribe or read-aloud are not part of the digital delivery of the assessment and so are considered "non-embedded." Non-embedded supports do NOT need to be entered in TIDE.
  • Q: Are there other supports that students can choose and use on their own?
  • A: Yes. These are called Universal Tools. Most universal tools are automatically available to students but can be turned off for a student either by the TA at the start of a test session or students may adjust these on their own. One example of a universal support that can be turned on for or by a student is to change the mouse pointer color and/or size. This tool change could be helpful for very young testers, especially those using Chromebooks.
  • Q: If a student has a non-embedded accommodation listed in his or her IEP, is there anything I (School Test Coordinator) need to do in TIDE to indicate that?
  • A: Yes. For both embedded and non-embedded accommodations, the "Accommodations Flag" must be set in TIDE. If a student has ONLY non-embedded accommodations, the Accommodations Flag is the ONLY thing that must be set in TIDE for that student.
  • Q: I have a student who has "speech-to-text" listed in their IEP as an accommodation. What do I do?
  • A: Speech-to-text is for students who have a disability that would prevent them from being able to use a keyboard and mouse on the test. There are two methods to provide this support. One is to place the student on a computer (not a Chromebook) that has Dragon NaturallySpeaking installed and ready to go. The other is to place the student on a iPad. Those are the ONLY two ways in which speech-to-text may be made available to students. Please contact the Assistive Technology folks in Student Services for support using this accommodation. You should also check in with your Site Technology Coordinator to make sure Dragon is installed and/or there is a properly configured iPad available for students requiring this accommodation. There currently ar NO options available for speech-to-text on a Chromebook. If a student will be using an external application for assistance (such as Dragon), Permissive Mode must be set in TIDE in advance of testing.
  • Q: I have a student whose IEP indicates that he or she needs to be exempted from certain domains (reading, writing, speaking, listening) on the ELPA21 assessment. What do I do?
  • A: ELPA21 domain exemptions may ONLY be set by the District Test Coordinator (Tom Luba or Monique Holt.) There is a form that must be completed and sent to Tom, preferably at least two weeks before the students' test date. The form is also linked in the "Forms" section of this website.
  • Q: Is it acceptable to turn on the "Stacked E/S Translation" designated support on the SBAC Math and OAKS Science assessments for all testing students in a dual language program class?
  • A: Yes and No. It does make a certain amount of sense to provide this support to all students in a DLP class. However, it is still highly advisable to select this support on a student-by-student basis. For example, there would be no good reason to make this support available to a native English speaking student regardless of being in a dual language classroom. You should use this support for struggling English learners who may need access to Spanish in order to level the playing field for them on those assessments.

Click HERE for a comprehensive Q/A document on supports and accommodations.


Week of January 15, 2018

Important Upcoming Dates

2/6/2018 -- Smarter Balanced 12th grade retake opens.

The 12th grade retake is for high school seniors who either have not met Essential Skills or need a better score for college entrance. Scores earned with a retake do not change the student's original 11th grade score in the state accountability system.

2/15/2018 -- Extended Assessment opens


School Test Coordinator Training Completed!

We have completed all School Test Coordinator training. Many thanks to all of you for your attendance, participation and contributions to the good of the order. Please do not hesitate to contact Tom Luba (office extension: 5817 -- mobile call or text: 503-957-2408) with any and all questions and support needs. We are here to help you be as successful as possible with state testing. Good luck completing all of your Test Administrator training. We understand what a big job that is and want to support you any way that we can.


TA Training Reminder

Your process for TA training this year should be as follows:

  1. TA completes online training
  2. TA takes and passes the online quiz (16/20 is a passing score)
  3. TA attends in-person training in their building led by the School Test Coordinator
  4. TA returns to the online course and submits their Assurance of Test Security form

As an alternative, School test Coordinators have the option of doing all of the training in-person using the videos and other resources in the TA Google Classroom website.

We will be checking your TA assurance form submissions and will email you lists of your TAs who have submitted forms. We will not create accounts until it has been approved by you to do so. As your TAs submit forms, I will email you with lists of names asking if they are good to go. Being “good to go” means they have completed all training, including an in-person session with you, and have passed the online quiz.


Test Delivery System and Online Reporting System Now Open

The statewide test window for OAKS Science and ELPA21 is now open. The online TA and student interfaces are now available for Science, and ELPA21 testing, and the Online Reporting System is also now available. The Online Reporting System User Guide has also been updated for 2017-2018.

A reminder that ODE and AIR have scheduled two optional webinars focusing on how to use the newly-redesigned Online Reporting System (ORS):

  • Tuesday, January 23 from 9 to 10 AM PT
  • Thursday, January 25 from 3 to 4 PM PT

The same material will be covered in both trainings. While these webinars are open to any ORS user role, you must register in advance if you want to attend a webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about how to log into the webinar.

This webinar is particularly useful for helping you better understand how to track student completion of assessments during the testing window.

Week of January 8, 2018

Important Upcoming Dates

1/9/2017 and 1/10/2017 -- Final two School Test Coordinator training opportunities. If you have not yet attended training, please be sure and register if you have not done so already. Also, be sure that you complete your online training and pass the quiz before attending the in-person training.

1/9/2018 -- ELPA21 opens*

1/9/2018 -- OAKS Science opens*

2/15/2018 -- Extended Assessment opens

*Remember, although ELPA21 and OAKS Science open this week, you must have your TAs fully trained and certified before they may administer these tests.


TA Training Reminder

Your process for TA training this year should be as follows:

  1. TA completes online training
  2. TA takes and passes the online quiz (16/20 is a passing score)
  3. TA attends in-person training in their building led by the School Test Coordinator
  4. TA returns to the online course and submits their Assurance of Test Security form

As an alternative, School test Coordinators have the option of doing all of the training in-person using the videos and other resources in the TA Google Classroom website.

We will be checking the assurance form submissions 2 - 3 times per week and create accounts in the portal based on submission of the form. Our assumption will be that if a TA submits the form, they have completed ALL of the required training detailed above in steps 1 - 3. Test Coordinators, please be sure and instruct your TAs that they should not submit an assurance form until they have completed ALL required training.


New Resources Added to This Website

We have added two new resources that may be useful to you for training your TAs and working with your teachers. Find them in the "Resources" section of this site.

  • One provides a link to a Smarter Balanced consortium website that provides details about each test item type. It gives students an opportunity to see how each of the test items function before they start testing.
  • Another provides access a website that lets you browse sample test items based on selecting a grade level, subject, claim and item type. It's a great way to both view different item types and get a preview of the content presented on the test.


Online Reporting System Webinars January 23 and 25, 2018

To support users in the transition to the 2017-2018 Online Reporting System (ORS), ODE and AIR have scheduled two optional webinars focusing on how to use the newly-redesigned ORS:

  • Tuesday, January 23 from 9 to 10 AM PT
  • Thursday, January 25 from 3 to 4 PM PT

The same material will be covered in both trainings. While these webinars are open to any ORS user role, you must register in advance if you want to attend a webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about how to log into the webinar.

This webinars are particularly useful for helping you better understand how to track student completion of assessments during the testing window.


ELPA21 Testing Window Opens January 9

The ELPA21 testing window is scheduled to open on January 9 and will extend until April 13. Remember that schools must send in domain exemptions of any prospective test takers prior to their beginning the test. The form for doing that may be found here. Also, of course, your TAs who are administering the ELPA21 must have completed all training and submitted their Assurance of Test Security form before they will be provided with access to the testing portal.


OAKS Science Testing Window Opens January 9

OAKS Science assessment opens on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 and will close on June 8, 2018.

As a reminder, the 2017-18 OAKS Science Assessment will contain both questions aligned to the 2009 Oregon Science Standards and field test items aligned to the 2014 Oregon Science Standard (NGSS). Field test items are not included in calculating students’ scores. Practice tests are available on the OAKS Portal to help students prepare, including a new item type training test for science. Also, of course, your TAs who are administering the OAKS Science assessment must have completed all training and submitted their Assurance of Test Security form before they will be provided with access to the testing portal.


Logramos Testing

In past years, the Logramos assessment was required for students in grades 3-5 who are in Spanish dual language federal grant programs. For this year, participation is not required. However, ODE will offer Logramos this year for two-way dual language programs, serving English learners, on a voluntary basis. If you have any questions, or if your school is interested in participating in the native Spanish assessment, “Logramos,” this year, please contact Kelly Slater at Kelly.slater@state.or.us

Week of January 2, 2018

Important Upcoming Dates

1/9/2017 and 1/10/2017 -- Final two School Test Coordinator training opportunities. If you have not yet attended training, please be sure and register if you have not done so already.

1/9/2018 -- ELPA21 opens*

1/9/2018 -- OAKS Science opens*

2/15/2018 -- Extended Assessment opens

*Remember, although ELPA21 and OAKS Science open next week, you must have your TAs fully trained and certified before they may administer these tests.


Process and Protocol for Test Administrator Training and OAKS Portal Account Creation

In order for OAKS Portal (TIDE) accounts to be created for Test Administrators (TAs), the following must take place in order:

  1. TA completes online training
  2. TA takes and passes the online quiz (16/20 is a passing score)
  3. TA attends in-person training in their building led by the School Test Coordinator
  4. TA returns to the online course and submits their Assurance of Test Security form

We will be checking the assurance form submissions 2 - 3 times per week and create accounts in the portal based on submission of the form. Our assumption will be that if a TA submits the form, they have completed ALL of the required training detailed above in steps 1 - 3. Test Coordinators, please be sure and instruct your TAs that they should not submit an assurance form until they have completed ALL required training.


Contact Information

Monique Holt continues to be out on leave so, until further notice, please be sure and direct all assessment inquiries to Tom Luba (x5817.)


January School Test Coordinator Training -- REMINDER!

Our last dates for School Test Coordinator in-person training are coming up fast! The two remaining sessions are on January 9 and January 10 (next Tuesday and Wednesday). Please do not forget that you MUST complete the online training and pass the final quiz BEFORE coming to an in-person session. We are monitoring quiz completions to make sure everyone is finished before attending an in-person session.

Here is a direct link to the Test Coordinator training registration form. The link is also inside the online course.


Testing Calendar Reminder

Please be sure and share your school's testing calendar with Tom Luba once you have it in place. We will use your calendars to make sure we are set up to support you from the AC and also as a way to share testing strategies with your colleagues in other schools. Thanks!


OAKS Portal – Update

AIR migrated the OAKS portal (www.oaksportal.org) to a new content management platform on Thursday December 21, 2017. The overall look and feel of the OAKS portal will remain the same, and all existing users who are registered to receive portal update alerts via email will continue to receive them. However, the format of the emails and the process for registering for email alerts will be slightly different. Click here for a brief overview of the changes. To ensure access to the portal is not interrupted after this migration for users in your district and schools, please ensure you are white listing the URLs listed in the overview document.


Who Needs To Be a Trained TA?

We have received some questions about who is required to be trained and who is not. Anyone who “interacts with students during administration” must receive training and sign an assurance of test security form. That would include staff who are working with students who need supports such as scribe, read-aloud and live ASL. Any person (office staff, computer lab support staff, etc.) who has access to or participates in the handling of secure test materials but who does NOT interact with students during test administration is not required to be trained but must sign a Non-Test Administrator Assurance of Test Security form. Parents or guardians who make prior arrangements with the district to observe the testing environment must also sign the non-test administrator form. Even after signing this form, however, the parent or guardian must be seated far enough from students to prevent distraction or other interference with the test. Please be sure and send copies of the non-test administrator forms to Tom Luba at the AC.

Week of December 19, 2017

Important Upcoming Dates

12/15/2017 5:00 PM - 12/27/2017 8:00 AM -- OAKS Portal/TIDE down for scheduled maintenance

1/9/2017 and 1/10/2017 -- Final two School Test Coordinator training opportunities

1/9/2018 -- ELPA21 opens

1/9/2018 -- OAKS Science opens

2/15/2018 -- Extended Assessment opens


State Testing Talking Points for Parents

Follow this link for a one-page document with suggested talking points to use when speaking with parents/families about state testing. This is especially useful with parents who are thinking of opting-out.


Updated Ideas for Creating a Positive Testing Culture and Getting Students Ready to Test

This document, shared earlier and at Test Coordinator training, has been updated to include suggestions from your Principals made during the last K-12 Administrative Meeting.

Week of December 11, 2017

Designated Support and Accommodations Forms (NEW!)

You may use these forms to document designated supports and/or accommodations that are provided to individual students. The forms are provided in Google and PDF formats. The PDF forms may be printed and completed by hand. The Google forms are designed to be completed electronically if you like. The Google forms will prompt you to "make a Copy" to your drive. Once on your Google drive, you can make individual copies for students. These forms are also in the Forms and Supports sections of this website.

Designated Supports (Determined by Teacher or Teacher Team)

Google Doc Version (download to your drive)

PDF Version

Accommodations (IEP or 504 Plan)

Google Doc Version (download to your drive)

PDF Version

Braille and Large Print Order Form for Extended Assessment (time-sensitive)

The order window for Braille and Large Print on the Extended Assessment is November 13, 2017 to January 12, 2018! Please use this form when ordering Braille or Large Print Extended Assessments. This order form will only be processed if it is submitted and signed by the District Test Coordinator during the appropriate order window listed above. Return completed forms to Tom Luba.

Click the title above to download a copy of the dates and times the OAKS portal and test delivery system will be offline.

How to Get Previous Year Smarter Balanced Test Scores for a Classroom

Note: This information has also been posted in the "Data" section of this website.

  1. Using your Web browser (preferably Google Chrome), navigate to DCA -- https://dca.hsd.k12.or.us/
  2. Click the Reports tile
  3. Under "Report Settings" on the right, verify that the "I would like my reports to default to:" dropdown is set to "My Students". If not, use the dropdown to make the change.
  4. Click the desired report and configure the report for your classroom. Note: for a detailed report that includes SBAC claims and student growth percentiles, use the "SBAC by Teacher and Course with Growth Percentiles" report.

How to configure the "SBAC by Teacher and Course with Growth Percentiles" report:

  1. Once the report is open, configure the following parameters:
    • Choose your School Group (ES, MS, etc...)
    • Choose your school
    • Choose the school year (to see how students performed on last year's test, select the current school year.)
    • Check the Teacher box to make sure it is set to your name (if not, close the report, return to the Reports homepage and follow the instructions above for defaulting DCA to your students.)
    • Select the Term
    • Select the course section
    • Select the students' current grade. For example, if you are a 4th grade teacher and wish to see how your current students performed last year, choose your students' current grade level or you may select "All Grades."
    • Select Grade Test Taken. For example, if you are a 4th grade teacher and wish to see how your current student performed last year when they took the 3rd grade tests, choose grade 03.
    • Use the remaining parameters to further filter the report making sure you have selected "Active" under the "Status" dropdown.
    • Click "View Report"
    • To view student performance by claim, click the small + sign to the left of the subject heading.
    • If you had indicated "Yes" to "Include Student Details?" in the report parameters, you can view more details about each student in the list by clicking the + signs in each detail column.
    • To see all test performance of individual students in the list, along with much more data, click the student's name. That will open the full Student Profile for that student. The profile includes an Assessment" tab, which contains the full HSD test history for the student.
    • To export the report to Excel, or another favorite format, click the floppy disk icon and select your desired export format.

Week of December 4, 2017

Ideas for Creating a Positive Testing Culture and Getting Students Ready to Test

Below is a list of ideas for creating a positive culture in your school related to state testing and for getting students ready to test. This list is not exhaustive and we will be adding to it as we hear of or learn about other strategies. If you have ideas for how to do a better job in schools getting students ready for testing, please email them to Tom Luba and he will share them here.

  • Cover the content (standards) -- teachers do their best to cover as much testing content as possible before test days
  • Review the content before testing -- review most important math and ELA concepts (standards) before testing
  • Always be positive...positive...positive with students about state testing
  • Develop a school theme — unifying concept
    • I Can!
    • We Can
    • Beat the Test
    • We Got This!
  • Emphasis on growth and “doing your best” rather than "passing the test"
  • Decorations, motivational posters, bulletin boards, school announcements
  • Friendly competition (internal or external) - “Let’s beat last year’s 6th grade scores!”
  • Use your data —Principals use and share data regarding test performance
  • Talk growth over achievement
  • No one “passes” or “fails” state tests. Talk about showing what you know.
  • Positive classroom talk
    • “I can't wait to see how well you all do.”
    • “You all are so amazing!”
    • “You know so much about this topic.”
  • Never threaten students regarding state tests
  • Positive interaction during testing -- TAs should talk up the test
  • Allow breaks -- no marathon testing
  • Mitigate anti-testing teacher beliefs/attitudes. Don't let teachers bad-mouth testing in public.
  • Build testing familiarity — practice tests at school and at home
  • Simulate testing environment and practice -- use training tests
  • Prepare testing environment -- make it work for testing
  • TAs stand up and move around the testing room during testing
  • Snacks and water (gum…) Bring healthy snacks to testing. Let students chew gum. It helps concentration
  • Don’t rush students
  • College prep for 11th grade students
  • Plan for early finishers -- make sure you have something for them to do when they finish
  • Testing as prep for life as a motivator (driver’s license, college entrance, military, certifications…)
  • Prepare parents — positive, practice tests, sleep, breakfast, child ready
  • Offer breakfast or lunch to all testing students
  • Homework passes as an incentive to participate
  • Door prizes (attendance)
  • Test in the classroom (eases anxiety)
  • Pep rallies and student assemblies
  • T-shirts
  • Don’t call it “testing”, call it “Brain Olympics”
  • Adopt a classroom (one class encourages the other with cards, letter, visits before testing)
  • You're a SMART cookie (small bag of cookies with paper that says):
    • S - stay focus
    • M - mark the right choice
    • A - always do your best
    • R - recheck your work
    • T - take your time
  • Motivational bulletin board (student led)
  • Motivational letter from parent (sealed envelope)
  • Quote of the day
  • Testing flashmob
  • Motivational student and teacher-made videos. Here is an example for high school. Here is another example for younger students.
  • Ideas from HSD staff during test Coordinator training:
    • Have students do goal-setting and reflections
    • Talk "show what you know..."
    • Practice breathing
    • Chair yoga to relax

If you would like a two-page handout for staff at your school, click this link.


ELPA Domain Exemptions Reminder

  • Students are allowed no more than 3 (of the 4) exemptions
  • Domain exemptions need to be in an IEP or 504 plan
  • Staff must complete the exemption form and submit it to the DTC (Tom Luba)
  • Forms must be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to testing a student
  • Only the DTC has rights to domain exemptions in TIDE
  • Parents who wish total exemption for their child must opt-out -- opt-out may not be written into IEPs
  • There is a form for ELPA21 opt-out on the this website
  • School staff should not encourage opt-out


2017-2018 STC In-Person Training Materials

We have started our Test Coordinator training. There were two last week. The next sessions are on December 13 and 14. The final sessions are on January 9 and 10. If you have not already signed up for training, please reserve your space as soon as possible. You may sign up from the online course Exit Ticket module or here:

https://goo.gl/forms/PB97aBzp0xJlOUYK2

Below are copies of the paper materials you will receive at training:


OAKS Portal Login

As we begin the process of creating accounts for Test Coordinators and Test Administrators, it is very important to understand the new security protocol that AIR has put in place regarding account verifications. as follows:

  • AIR has implemented new account creation security measures. While in the past users had up to 30 days to activate their accounts after receiving the login email from AIR, this year users will be given 15 minutes to activate their accounts. Obviously, most of our TAs will not be sitting at their computers when they are issued an account so, for most, the 15 minutes will expire. Here is the official announcement from AIR/ODE which contains a link to a document describing how to deal with the 15 minute timeframe:
    • AIR is implementing new processes to manage account activation and password resets in the 2017-2018 testing year. The purpose of the changes is to better protect client data in the event of a cyber-attack. The document, Fact Sheet: New TIDE Password Reset Policy, is available on oaksportal.org under Resources: Other and describes the new process in detail. For any questions about the new process please contact the OAKS Help Desk.

Week of November 27, 2017

November School Test Coordinator Training -- FINAL REMINDER!

Our first dates for School Test Coordinator in-person training are coming up fast! The first two sessions are on November 28 and November 30 (next Tuesday and Thursday) and there are already about 30 of you registered for one or the other of those dates. Please do not forget that you MUST complete the online training and pass the final quiz BEFORE coming to an in-person session. We are monitoring quiz completions to make sure everyone is finished before attending an in-person session. Thanks!!

Week of November 20, 2017

Oregon Smarter Balanced ELA Assessment 2017-2018 Changes

The Oregon Department of Education will implement a streamlined Smarter Balanced test blueprint at grades 3-8 and high school beginning this school year (2017-18). The purpose of streamlining the ELA/Literacy test blueprint is to reduce the testing time while retaining comparable validity and reliability of the full test. Testing times are projected to reduce by approximately 1 hour for ELA in all grades. The Oregon Smarter Balanced ELA Blueprint provides complete information about the number of items and depth of knowledge for each assessed target. A side by side comparison of the changes has been posted to the Test Specifications and Blueprints webpage.

OAKS Science Transition Update

The science assessment this year (2017-2018) will contain new embedded NGSS-aligned test items, which are part of ODE's initial field test toward the transition away from the 2009 Oregon science standards and toward a fully NGSS-align assessment. ODE has adjusted the number of questions on the science assessment this year so that the test will not take any additional time to complete because of the addition of NGSS items to the test. Scoring of this year's test will not include the field test items. The test will be scored only on the test items that are aligned to the old standards. Next year (2018-2019) ODE will implement a full field test of the new NGSS-aligned assessment. Students will not receive scores immediately after testing. The scores will be released later in the year and ODE will use the overall results to refine and adjust the test for final release in 2019-2020. ODE has provided a practice test in the OAKS portal so that students and teachers have an opportunity to become familiar with the new test item types. You don't need an account in the OAKS Portal to access the new test items practice test. Just click on the "Students" link and navigate to a grade 5, 8 or 11 training test and you will see a link to the new test items.

Test Administrator (TA) Training Reminder

The Office of School Performance is asking that all School Test Coordinators meet in-person with their Test Administrators this year in addition to completing the online training. You do not need to show the ODE videos during those sessions (although you certainly can do all of the training in-person instead of using the Google Classroom training site if you wish.) Whether you use the training site or not, the in-person time should also be a time to talk with your TAs about testing processes and protocols in your building, testing calendars, testing best practices, setting up test sessions and how to establish a culture of positivity for students regarding testing. It is also a good time to reinforce process regarding test security so that improprieties are kept to a minimum. Our recommendation is that you follow a similar model to the one we use for you (School Test Coordinators) if you choose to use the online training:

  1. Provide TAs with access to the Google Classroom training site (code: 0237yxz)
  2. Set a deadline for them to complete their online training based on your in-person meeting scheduled date
  3. Require TAs to complete the online training and take and pass the final quiz in the online course before attending your in-person training
  4. Use the in-person time to enhance testing knowledge, culture and fidelity

SBAC Parent Flyer

We have created a flyer for you to hand out to parents to help them better understand how and why we administer state tests and to help them prepare their student for test day. The flyer is also posted on the HSD website, school websites and in ParentVue. Here is a link to a folder containing the flyers in English and Spanish in MS Word and PDF formats. Please use these flyers as a way to communicate with parents about testing in your school. Thanks!!

OAKS Portal Open and Populated with Students

The OAKS Portal and TIDE are now open and populated with this year’s students. Test Coordinators and Test Administrators will receive accounts once they have completed training and submitted Assurance of Test Security forms. If you or other staff at your school need access to the portal for purposes of running reports, for example, if you have transfer students and you need to know their ELPA21 scores from last year, please let Tom Luba know. He will create a School Report Viewer account in the portal.

Your School Test Coordinator Training!

Our first dates for School Test Coordinator in-person training are coming up fast! The first two sessions are on November 28 or 30 and there are already about 30 of you registered for one or the other of those dates. Please do not forget that you MUST complete the online training and pass the final quiz BEFORE coming to an in-person session. We are monitoring quiz completions to make sure everyone is finished before attending an in-person session. Thanks!!

Extended Assessment Training Site Open

Please remind your special education staff that every school must have a trained person in order to administer the Extended Assessment. An annual review of training is required, even if someone was trained in a previous year. School staff who were a Qualified Assessor or Trainer last year should log in at https://or.k12test.com/ with their email address and password from last year. Staff who are a new user to the site, or you did not retain their Qualified Assessor or Trainer status last year, must register as a new user on the site.

Important Opt-out Information

As we slide into testing season, it’s important that we have consistent and unified messaging about opting out of state tests. We want to make sure that parents who are considering this route have all of the information they need to make a rational and informed decision. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

  • Please do your best to make sure parents who ask to opt-out have an opportunity to speak with you, a teacher and/or a school administrator about state testing and why we do it. The aim is to state the facts about testing, dispel misconceptions about the test (of which there are many) and to encourage parents to allow their students to participate. We need to project a positive and professional attitude about testing and help parents see the value it brings to schools and to their student. For a list of “talking points” to use with parents, click this link.
  • Additional state testing information, including opt-out information, may be found on the “Standards and Assessment” section of the HSD website including an FAQ about opting out and access to opt-out forms in English and Spanish. This section of the HSD website is also replicated on your school websites. The link can be found in the “Academics” section. This is a good place to direct your parents to for detailed information about state testing at HSD.
  • Parents MUST use the 2017-2018 opt-out forms for Smarter Balanced (English / Spanish). If a parent turns in a form from a previous year, you will need to ask them to fill out a form for the current year.
  • The ODE opt-out forms are for Smarter Balanced ELA and math ONLY! If parents wish to opt-out of OAKS Science or ELPA21, they may not use the Smarter Balanced forms (we had some families last year that amended the SBAC form.) Instead, for those assessments, parents can either write a letter to the school principal requesting the opt-out based on either religion or a disability or schools may use the district form linked below:
    • OAKS Science/ELPA21 Opt-Out Form (English)
    • OAKS Science/ELPA21 Opt-Out Form (Spanish)
  • All forms and letters must be sent to the District Test Coordinators (Tom or Monique.)
  • Please print out some opt-out forms and keep copies in your main office so that your office staff can provide them to parents if they ask. However, be sure and instruct office staff to have a licensed staff or administrator speak with them about opting out first.
  • Once a student opts out, Test Coordinators are advised to block the opt-out tests in TIDE so that a student is not inadvertently tested.
  • It’s a good idea to keep a copy of the opt-out form or letter in the student’s CUM file. You can keep the original, if you prefer, and send a copy to Tom Luba.

Assessment Website Changes and Additions

Check out the additions and improvements on this site. As mentioned before, this is a work in progress. We have added new resources in many areas, especially in the “Forms”, "Technology" and "Accommodations" sections. Please email Tom Luba with any suggestions for improvements.

Week of November 13, 2017

School Test Coordinator Training (REMINDER)

Please don't forget to finish your online training before coming to an in-person training at the AC. Your online training is ready and available to you in Google Classroom. To access the training (if you have not already done so), follow these instructions:

  1. Log in to your HSD Google Drive account in your Web browser (preferably Google Chrome) Note: If you are not logged in to your Google Drive account, you will not be able to access the course.
  2. Navigate to classroom.google.com
  3. Click the plus sign (+) in the upper right portion of the screen
  4. Select “Join Class”
  5. Enter the following class code: [email Tom Luba for code] and click “Join” If the "Join" button is greyed out, that means you are not logged in to your Google Drive account.

You will then land on the course homepage in Google Classroom. From this point forward, you will no longer be required to enter the class code. Simply navigate to classroom.google.com and click on the course icon. Once inside the course, please begin by reading the “Start Here” message and the “Course Overview” document. Those contain all the instructions for completing your School Test Coordinator training. Please remember that you must complete the online course including the final quiz before attending an in-person session. The link to sign up for a session is inside the course under “Exit Ticket” and below:

https://goo.gl/forms/PB97aBzp0xJlOUYK2

Please sign up for one (1) session as soon as possible. All sessions will be held at the AC in the computer lab on the second floor. Extended contract will be provided for non-administrators.

Finally, if you have not used Google Classroom and need a quick tutorial, click the G Suite Training question mark in the upper right corner of the screen while inside the course and select “Classroom 101 for Students.”

Practice Tests Now Available in the OAKS Portal

Practice tests are now available in the portal and open to all including parents and students at home. Please encourage your teachers and TAs to begin working with students so they have as many opportunities as possible to practice. Also, please encourage parents and students to access the practice tests from home. To access the practice tests, users should:

  • Go to http://oaksportal.org/
  • Click on "Students"
  • Click on "Practice Tests"
  • Leave all sign-in information as "Guest" and click "Sign In"
  • Select a grade level and click "Yes"
  • Select the desired practice test from the list
  • Select settings as desired and click "Select"
  • Click "Yes" if the settings are correct
  • Check audio and then click "I heard the sound"
  • Click "Begin Test Now"

Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) Webinars

TIDE opened for the 2017-18 school year on Tuesday, November 7. The Oregon Department of Education and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) have scheduled two optional webinars:

  • Tuesday, November 14 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. PT
  • Thursday, November 16 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. PT

These webinars are a good refresher for experienced and new School Test Coordinators regarding how to use TIDE to set up supports for students. The same material will be covered in both trainings. While these webinars are open to any TIDE user role, you must register in advance if you want to attend a webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about how to log into the webinar.

Week of November 6, 2017

This first update has a lot of very important information. Please be sure and read it all so you do not miss important updates!

New Assessment Website?

You have landed on the "Updates" page of our new Assessment website. This site is a work in progress as new resources to help support state testing in our district are added and modified. Please take some time to click around the site. If there are specific resources that we feel testing staff (Test Coordinators, Test Administrators, building administrators, teachers, etc.) should be accessing and using, we will direct you to those in these weekly updates.

Smarter Balanced Flyer for Parent Conferences

We have created a flyer for you to hand out to parents at parent-teacher conferences this year. We will also post the flyer on the HSD website, school websites and in ParentVue. Here is a link to a folder containing the flyers in English and Spanish in MS Word and PDF formats. Please do your best to make sure all parents coming to your school for conferences get a copy of the flyer. Thanks!!

Training Your Test Administrators

The Office of School Performance and the Assistant Superintendents are asking that all School Test Coordinators train their Test Administrators in-person this year, rather than relying solely on the web-based training, so that TAs have an opportunity to interact and discuss test administration strategies and receive direct coaching on testing culture and fidelity. This year you will use the TA Google Classroom training site to administer your training in the building and then TAs will need to take the final quiz and submit their assurance of test security form from the Google Classroom site in order to receive their OAKS Portal account. We will discuss this further during your training, and giving you teacher access to the TA Google Classroom site, but we wanted to give you a heads-up so you can begin planning and scheduling your in-person training sessions.

New OAKS Portal Account Log-in Process

AIR has implemented new account creation security measures. While in the past users had up to 30 days to activate their accounts after receiving the login email from AIR, this year users will be given 15 minutes to activate their accounts. Obviously, most of our TAs will not be sitting at their computers when they are issued an account so, for most, the 15 minutes will expire. Here is the official announcement from AIR/ODE which contains a link to a document describing how to deal with the 15 minute timeframe:

  • AIR is implementing new processes to manage account activation and password resets in the 2017-2018 testing year. The purpose of the changes is to better protect client data in the event of a cyber-attack. The document, Fact Sheet: New TIDE Password Reset Policy, is available on oaksportal.org under Resources: Other and describes the new process in detail. For any questions about the new process please contact the OAKS Help Desk.

School Testing Schedules

The Office of School Performance is asking that all schools share their testing schedules with the District Test Coordinators in advance of testing. Once you have your testing schedule finished, please submit a copy (or share in Google drive) to Tom or Monique. We will share those back to everyone so all schools can see when testing will occur across the district and, perhaps, learn from one another about effective test scheduling. Ideas about effective scheduling can be shared during our School Test Coordinator training as well.

What Happened???...

As many of you know, our 2016-2017 test scores declined compared to the 2015-2016 school year. There were some pockets of improvement (grade 6 and 11 ELA scores improved and grade 6 math scores improved) but, overall, our scores declined across most subjects and grade levels. In addition, although we continue to see steady growth in performance between grade levels in ELA, our performance in math between grade levels continues to decline. Diagnosing what happened is something we hope to spend some time discussing during Test Coordinator training this year. While there may have been instruction-related factors that were reflected in student test performance, it is our belief that the larger factors had little to do with instruction. Instead, we believe there are a number of testing fidelity factors that had a larger impact on student test scores. Here are some ideas and observations about how testing went last year with possible reasons for the decline:

    • Weather-related closures affecting instruction and timing of test administration resulting in a rush to complete and late testing
    • Calendars/scheduling challenges due to closures and other school pressures
    • Faulty monitoring of test completions — there was a sharp increase in partially completed and timed-out tests compared to previous years
    • Inadequate test prep for students including practice tests, test items explanations and practice, test directions, test-taking strategies, etc.
    • Order of testing — administering math before ELA and Performance Tasks (PT) before Computer Adaptive (CAT)
    • Extended amounts of time between CAT and PT
    • Chromebooks — mice (elementary) — are we asking 3rd grade students to use a Chromebook touchpad?
    • Testing duration (elementary) — how long are we sitting 3rd, 4th and 5th graders in front of a computer to test?
    • Technical glitches with AIR/ODE test delivery systems
    • 11th grade Essential Skills -- students just click through the test because they already met ES
    • Culture and attitude related to taking state tests
    • Political turmoil

During School Test Coordinator training, we will be discussing and presenting some changes we intend to make this year in the testing process that we hope will make a difference. Part of that effort is reflected in this new assessment website, which is intended provide you with a "one-stop-shop" of resources for improving testing practices, procedures, culture and fidelity. A summary of the planned activities this year aimed at improving scores follows:

Instructional Focus and Improvement:

    • Focus on Rigor and Language
      • Training and professional development support higher level, scaffolded tasks
      • Build teacher leadership
    • Equity- SIPS, access, data monitoring
    • Exposure and familiarity with directions, language from SBAC
    • Continue to focus on Informational Text and Close reading
    • Reinforcement of high leverage strategies (monitored in walkthroughs)

Teacher support

    • Standards and pacing guides
    • Use of data and interventions k-12
    • Math:
      • Purchased new curriculum materials grades 3-5.
      • Data digs and trainings for all 7-12 math teachers with Dayle and Audrea
      • HS measure 98 additional 1.0 FTE for intervention/support
      • HS data tracking/PLC work and intervention plans
      • TOSA hire for HS Math/Science
      • Kelly continue to work with k-6 add 7-8 for CPM

School Testing Coordinator Training:

    • Share best practices in testing environment
    • Scheduling and calendaring
      • ELA then Math -- IN THAT ORDER
      • Student developmental “sitting time”
    • Culture and attitude about testing: Teacher and student -- Make it POSITIVE
    • Monitoring of process and completion
    • Technology use

Preparing students for the test

    • Talk about previous test scores with students and discuss growth vs. achievement.
    • Support students in making personal goals for growth and achievement.
    • Mouse and touchpad use especially at lower grades
    • Keyboarding skill building for lower grades
    • Direct instruction on SBAC test item types and how to use them
    • Increased time for students to engage in practice tests
    • Parent communications about testing -- parent/teacher conference, etc.

Technology supports

    • Inventory tech utilized and access
    • Provide mice for Chromebooks

School Test Coordinator Training

Your online training is now ready and available to you in Google Classroom. To access the training (if you have not already done so), follow these instructions:

  1. Log in to your HSD Google Drive account in your Web browser (preferably Google Chrome) Note: If you are not logged in to your Google Drive account, you will not be able to access the course.
  2. Navigate to classroom.google.com
  3. Click the plus sign (+) in the upper right portion of the screen
  4. Select “Join Class”
  5. Enter the following class code: fmqn6m and click “Join” If the "Join" button is greyed out, that means you are not logged in to your Google Drive account.

You will then land on the course homepage in Google Classroom. From this point forward, you will no longer be required to enter the class code. Simply navigate to classroom.google.com and click on the course icon. Once inside the course, please begin by reading the “Start Here” message and the “Course Overview” document. Those contain all the instructions for completing your School Test Coordinator training. Please remember that you must complete the online course including the final quiz before attending an in-person session. The link to sign up for a session is inside the course under “Exit Ticket” and below:

https://goo.gl/forms/PB97aBzp0xJlOUYK2

Please sign up for one (1) session as soon as possible. All sessions will be held at the AC in the computer lab on the second floor. Extended contract will be provided for non-administrators.

Finally, if you have not used Google Classroom and need a quick tutorial, click the G Suite Training question mark in the upper right corner of the screen while inside the course and select “Classroom 101 for Students.”

Practice Tests (Guest Mode Only)

The 2017-2018 practice tests are now available; however, while TIDE is offline for the rollover to the 2017-2018 version (to be deployed November 7), district and school level users will not be able to log in to set up proctored practice test sessions. During this time, practice tests will be accessible in guest mode only. Following the launch of TIDE on November 7, district and school level users will be able to administer proctored practice tests once they have received training and their District Test Coordinator has created their 2017-18 user account in TIDE.

TIDE Webinars

TIDE opens for the 2017-18 school year on Tuesday, November 7. The Oregon Department of Education and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) have scheduled two optional webinars:

  • Tuesday, November 14th from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. PT
  • Thursday, November 16th from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. PT

The same material will be covered in both trainings. While these webinars are open to any TIDE user role, you must register in advance if you want to attend. To register, go to https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/3961818957478163457 . After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about how to log into the webinar. In addition, AIR has posted an updated TIDE User Guide on the OAKS Resources page.

Register for OAKS Portal Updates

Did you know that you can register to receive updates emails from ODE/AIR? We will try and filter updates from them and post them here on a weekly basis. However, if you want to know it all in terms of things going on related to the portal, you can register HERE to receive regular updates on issues, changes, etc.

ODE Assessment and Accountability Updates

Did you know that you can sign up to receive the weekly update newsletter from ODE's Assessment and Accountability office. We try and filter updates from there and post them here on a weekly basis. However, you can register to receive the weekly newsletter from ODE HERE on their website.