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What's New?

All of the file download links in this web manual have changed as a result of a new website and web server at Heartland. Any old bookmarks or favorites for file templates are now obsolete. All of the file links in this manual have been updated to point to the files on the new server.

A new version of HEART has been installed with several updates and new features. The main new features in this revision are the return of the individual and group growth graphs. The growth graphs will now work with many assessments in HEART. There is also a new import for MAP data files exported from NWEA's new web-based version of the MAP tests.  Click the following links for updated directions for Individual and Group growth graphs and MAP imports.

There are new FAQs regarding seasonal data and what to do when data are missing from an import. There are also some additions and changes to the DIBELS import directions.

Happy New Year! Click Here to view our first attempt at a training video for the Quadrant Report. If this works OK, we hope to begin the work of adding training videos, to be embedded in the manual and available on EduVision. Or, click here to go to the video embedded in the Quadrant Report directions in this manual.

The left side navigation bar for this manual has been rearranged - thanks to accidentally deleting the whole darn thing! Sorry for any confusion this may cause. The content is all still there, but it might not be in the spot you are used to. Please explore. As always, please feel free to provide feedback on this manual, and on the HEART application itself.

There are new directions for cleaning student demographic data in the DIBELS Data System prior to export. This cleanup work is recommended to avoid repeated cleanup work in HEART each time DIBELS data are added. Your local AEA HEART support staff may be able to offer more assistance. Directions for downloading data from the DIBELS Data System have also been revised. Both of these documents will continue to be revised as we learn about the process.

The new DIBELS upload/import has been installed on the AEA 11 HEART server. This upload and import will read data from the DIBELS Data System Data Farm, for DIBELS-6, DIBELS Next, and EASYCBM Math. Please check in before trying the new upload. Some setup and changes may be needed for your district. After some testing this new release will be installed on the other AEA servers. Also new in this release of HEART are: a redeveloped individual student report for the Iowa Assessments that handles the Iowa Assessments and displays percentile ranks or standard scores; slight revisions to the district summary report.

Changes in the DIBELS data system are causing some concerns and confusion. The U of Oregon-based DIBELS data system has posted different benchmarks, and suggested not using the benchmarks (cut scores) recommended by the DIBELS authors (Good & Kaminski). Use your own discretion about the cut points you choose to use. You may use either, or cut points of your own choice in HEART. To change cut points, upload a new test setup file containing the desired cut points. When the file is imported all previous data will be reinterpreted based on the new cut points.

We are also in the process of designing a new import that will accept data directly from the export of the data farm on the DIBELS site. It is our intent to have this import ready to use well before the old DIBELS export is no longer available. If the import works as planned it will be able to handle older DIBELS 6 data, DIBELS Next data, and even EasyCBM Math data stored in the DIBELS website. Watch here for news about this import.

It is time to start the new school year. Make sure to upload a fresh K-12 student demographic file to update student information in HEART. Also remember to tidy up user records. Delete user accounts for people no longer in the district and make sure that the permissions are as intended. Please let your HEART administrator know if there have been building changes in your district (restructuring, opening or closing buildings).

The trend reporting feature has been updated to handle situations where the test administration season changed over the years. Be aware that all available years/seasons for all grades are visible in the year/season selector. It is possible to select a combination of grade, year and season that does not have data. If you are not sure what to select, check the "available data" link at the bottom of the page to help identify the correct year/season for the desired grade.

The trending feature on the graphs allows us to see the variations in performance from the old test to the new one. Across Iowa, on the new Iowa Assessments many (but not all) schools tended to experience somewhat lower performance in the elementary and middle grades, and stable or slightly higher performance at the upper levels. Changes in local student achievement, changes in the test content, norm group, as well as a 10-year change in student achievement between the old norms and new norms may all be at play in the observed changes in performance. You may want to try the cross-sectional biennium average option on the proficiency trend graphs to smooth out some of this variation.

We are pleased to announce the latest release of HEART. There are numerous new features, bug fixes and enhanced features in this version. As always, with a new version, please help us spot any remaining bugs, unclear documentation, etc. Here is a quick description of the major changes:
  • Trend reporting has been enabled between Iowa Assessments and ITBS/ITED for the three and single level proficiency graphs and the multi-test display. (Select the Iowa Assessment and the desired number of years, the database will trend backwards whenever it is appropriate.)
  • There is a new Quadrant report in the Group Achievement Reports (use the format selector to access)
  • New cut point schemas (named "proficiency") for the multi-test display are now automatically created for all tests based on test setup file proficiency definitions.
  • There is a new reporting option for the Behavior System Status report aligned with PBIS data request (0-1, 2-5 and 6+ vs. 0-2, 3-5, 6+ grouping for referrals)
  • FAY coding is now supported as a disaggregation variable on graphs. (Be aware that FAY codes in HEART may differ from DE-calculated FAY information used for accountability.)
  • Sample Multi-Test cut point schemas will eventually be available to copy/adapt. (This feature is enabled, but it will take time to build and distribute samples to the various AEA servers. Watch for announcements here. This is going to take time.)
  • A previous compromise that displayed Iowa Assessment tests with no proficiency cut points as if 100% of students scored in the advanced range has been resolved by the addition of a new "N/A" proficiency descriptor.
Check out the new Frequently Asked Questions page.

A page has been added to this manual detailing HEART manager responsibilities, skills and workflow. Please consider reviewing the information with your district leadership team to make sure all management tasks are being attended to as appropriate. Also, make sure district staff know who to contact within the district for assistance with their login information.


Remember that composite scores on the Iowa Assessments are not computed unless all of the component tests are administered. Use the "Available data" option to see which assessments have been administered in your school. A document describing the makeup of composite scores can be found here.
  • We strongly recommend that the Iowa Assessments data file NOT be opened and resaved in Excel prior to upload. Excel automatically alters some of the data fields, destroying the data contained in those fields. Please refer to the Iowa Assessments upload page for more details on uploading the file as well as specific directions for safely opening and resaving the files in Excel if necessary.