Q & A

Q & A
Answers to Questions asked during Smarter Balanced
Webinar on 3/10/2015
Answered in this webinar: See webinar from March 10, posted at
Q: Will there be a MSP proctoring PowerPoint available through OSPI for proctor
training purposes or are we on our own in developing those?
Q: How are outlier Virtual Academy students added?
Q: Are there any additional planned downtimes for the sbac testing system?
Q: On the subject of Science MSP. I heard today that you are pulling TIDE down
April 17-19 to upload the science test, but our entire district is doing summative
tests on April 17. Can you confirm?!
Q: How do you mark accommodations, as well as L2 Basic on the paper/pencil
Q: When will the "pass at level 2" button be available?
Q: Will there be the ability to have scores retro'd to basic after the test window?
Q: Where is the Known Issue log and how do we submit this log?
Covered in previous webinars: See Summary PPT and Q & A, posted at
Q: How should we handle students from Online School Programs who want to
test in our district?
Q: Does the student need to be in TIDE to test?
Q: Can highly capable students take a higher off-grade-level Interim
Q: Will there be further instructions on how to obtain, report and view scores?
Q: Will MSP scores be available in 3 weeks as well?
Q: Where are the grade three test mailed and how?
Q: 3 weeks from completion of the whole test, or of ELA and/or math (online)?
By grade? And by school or does it wait for the whole district?
Q: When will the Q&A from the TIDE, TDS, THSS, ORS webinars be posted?
A: All of the Q & A are posted at http://www.k12.wa.us/SMARTER/Webinars.aspx. A
consolidated Q & A, which addresses topics from all of the webinars prior to March 10 is
also posted.
Q: Please tell me where to access the prompts and stimuli for the Performance Task
Full-Write Baseline Sets that were released from the Pilot test.
A: See slides 39–41. This information is available on the WCAP portal at
http://wa.portal.airast.org/test-administrators/ under Interim Teacher Hand Scoring
System (requires login).
Q: Where can I find DFAs for the Smarter Balanced tests?
A: DFAs are located on the WCAP Portal at
http://wa.portal.airast.org/resources/?section=2. Select Test Administrators then User
Guides and Manuals.
Q: Where do we find the DFA Spanish HSPE Reading and Writing?
A: The Reading and Writing HSPEs are not available in Spanish. The DFA is available
at: Directions for Administration (DFA) HSPE Reading/Writing English [pdf].
Q: Where is the Off grade ELA and Math manuals and DFAs?
A: The DFA for off-grade ELA and math are located on the WCAP portal:
 Directions for Administration (DFA) DAPE Off Grade ES/MS English [pdf]
Q: In the March 8 Washington Assessment Weekly under the Manuals and Guides
section (about pg 25) "TA User Guide" is listed. I do not see this in the Manuals and
User guides folder in WaPortal. Is it different than the TAM?
A: The Test Administrator User Guide is available on the WCAP portal. This user guide
will assist Test Administrators as they navigate the online system interface.
Q: When will the Test Coordinators Manual (TCM) DAPE, HSPE, MSP, EOC be
A: Should be posted no later than Tuesday, March 17.
Q: The Pre-ID Details Document is dated February 22 2015. Is this the updated
3/9/2015 version?
A: The 3/9 date is the date the document posted to the portal. Date stamping the
posting, not the date of the modification to the document. February 22 is the current
Q: The pause time in Washington appears to be 20 minutes but all AIR materials say 30
minutes. This kind of thing puts teachers over the top!
A: AIR confirmed that the information in the document is correct. The TAM states:
If the TA Interface or TA training site browser is accidentally closed while
students are still testing, the session will remain open until it times out after thirty
minutes. Before 30 minutes have elapsed the TA can open the browser and
navigate back to the TA Interface. The TA will be prompted to enter the active
session ID and re-enter the test session.
For the CAT portion of the test, after a pause, the student’s test can be resumed
at any time within the testing window up to forty-five days from the start date. If a
CAT is paused for more than 20 minutes, the student is presented with a test
page containing the test item he or she was last working on (if the page contains
at least one unanswered item) or presented with the next test page (if all items on
the previous test page were answered). If the CAT is paused for less than 20
minutes, the student is presented with the test item or passage he or she was
working on when the test was paused and is permitted to answer previously
shown items within a segment.
Q: We are having a challenge to get text to speech to work on the practice training tests.
Is there a resource that explains step by step on how to do this?
A: I believe that the text to speech is available when using the secure browser and not
the public non-secure.
Q: I'm not seeing the DAPE Science demo on the Portal either
A: The DAPE Demos are posted to the portal under the TA User Card. Select the
Module page. http://wa.portal.airast.org/resources/?section=2
The mathematics and science (MSP, WAAS-DAPE, and EOC) assessments are translated into
seven languages: Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. The
Translated Mathematics and Science CDs are considered an accommodation for students
receiving English Language services. The purpose of this demo is:
Translated DAPE
ES Demo
Translation DAPE
MS Demo
The student can practice the functionality of the technology and ask questions about
navigating the tool prior to the test window.
The IEP and 504 teams can review the Demo to see how the accommodation will be
Translated Tool
The Tool Button sheet provides students with the translation of each English labeled tool
Button Tip
Test Administrators (proctors) must read aloud the Test Proctor Supplemental Directions to
the student prior to beginning the assessment.
Test Proctor Supplemental Directions:
Arabic, Chinese, English, Korean, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese
Q: Would we be able to manually enter students into TIDE?
A: No – adding students manually, just like bubbling on booklets, inevitably leads to bad,
incomplete, or inconsistent information.
Q: How do we assign accommodations for a student with an IEP in reading, but not in
writing or vice versa?
A: the WAAS office may be able to provide more guidance, but as it pertains to testing,
the IEP should address the subject being assessed (ELA).
Q: Will there be an Excel student pre-id roster posted to the EDS site for HSPE, Science
DAPE & MSP and EOC exams?
A: Rosters existed to accommodate a world in which Pre-ID was a series of static
snapshots of students, and as booklets have no ink-jetting, there cannot be a roster that
links students to booklets provided in advance. Pre-ID is now an ongoing process to
accommodate the year long process of interim assessment and the twelve week
summative window. Use the interface in “WAMS > Assessment Operations> Pre-ID >
Smarter Balanced Pre-ID” for a rolling list of students in your district and their test
assignments (SBA and MSP do not have flags assigned as test requirements are based
on the student’s grade).
Q: Where in WAMS can I find the list of shared and/or dual primary SSIDs for review?
A: In WAMS, select “Assessment Operations> Pre-ID > Smarter Balanced Pre-ID” to
navigate to the correct page and select ‘duplicate SSID not sent’ from the dropdown.
Q: Where do we mark accommodations/designated supports for DAPE Science & HSPE
A: In TIDE by subject (Science and ELA respectively in this case).
Q: We need to learn what label template is used
A: The Avery 5663 template
Q: Currently to the best of our knowledge we cannot order blank labels. Will this be
made available and/or can we get the correct format of blank labels so we can order
through a vendor?
A: Labels should be ordered by calling/emailing the AIR Help Desk.
Q: what is the label format for purchase? I need to buy more labels and need to know
what kind to purchase?
A: Labels should be ordered by calling/emailing the AIR Help Desk.
Q: If we need more blank labels, can we purchase them from a office supply house?
What is the size of the label?
A: Labels should be ordered by calling/emailing the AIR Help Desk.
Q: What is the size of the Pre-ID label? So we can order additional labels?
A: Labels should be ordered by calling/emailing the AIR Help Desk.
Q: When you speak of "Overage Labels" are you referring to the preprinted labels? Not
the blank labels?
A: Probably misspoke during the webinar, but additional blank labels are included in
each shipment (generally between 30-100 labels)
Q: Label Questions- Will additional labels be provided?
A: Blank labels are included in each shipment (generally between 30-100 labels).
Q: Can you discuss a little more about where we find the directions on how to print
labels out of TIDE.
A: The instructions are in the “Printing Testing Tickets and Pre-ID Labels” section of the
TIDE user guide.
Q: The label maker in TIDE is very restrictive. If we need three labels for one student
we currently have to print three separate times...this was the recommendation from AIR.
Also, it would be helpful if the labels were in a word format in addition to the pdf.
A: Point taken. We’ll let AIR know.
Q: Our pre-id labels did not have bar codes on them.
A: If this is in reference to labels printed from TIDE, we are getting some reports of
labels being printed with numbers instead of a barcode, but we have yet to consistently
replicate the problem. Typically, trying to generate the labels a second time resolves the
issue, but AIR is looking into what’s causing the intermittent variation in label production.
If this is in reference to labels included in an initial order (not the extra blank labels),
contact OSPI.
Q: Who do I contact to correct shipping labels? Boxes were delivered directly to
schools, instead of district office. One label didn't even have a street address on it...
A: OSPI’s Assessment Operations office is working to address with our vendors the
shipping errors experienced thus far and should be the main point of contact for
maintaining correct delivery addresses.
Q: Will there be a way to see if a new student has completed a test in another district in
A: No, the district will not have access to another district’s records.
Q: Will there be records reconciliation window in TIDE similar to that which we have
been able to do in July in the past....specifically the coding of Basic.
A: There will be a means of coding ‘Basic’ in TIDE as well as non-attempt codes
(absences, refusals, etc.), that ought to be utilized prior to the end of testing. Any
demographic or biographic information attached to students for assessment reporting
should be cleaned up in CEDARS.
Q: Can we place a label on the paper/pencil tests somewhere to identify the proctor the
student is testing with? Not the pre-id label but a label we generate in district with
proctor name on it.
A: We are checking with the vendor.
Q: Our paper ELA test for third graders mentions a listening CD. We did not receive
CDs. When I spoke with the WA Help Desk, they didn’t know anything about a CD
A: Audio CDs are not available. The Listening portion of the grade 3 ELA is scripted and
read by the Teacher Administrator.
Q: Should we have received our 10th Grade ELA paper/pencil materials already?
A: No, they are due in districts April 27-28.
Q: What do districts do when they are unable to order additional materials due to being
locked out of the additional order icon in TIDE?
A: Contact the Help Desk at [email protected]
Q: We have not received our Read Aloud CD accommodated kits for HSPE and ordered
them through WAMS. Are these coming?
A: Materials should have been pre-ID from the student registration within WAMS and
delivered on March 9. Send an email to the [email protected] inbox so that the
material order can be researched.
Q: What about 10th ELA exit exam/SBA paper and pencil? We haven't received any.
A: That delivery is later to correspond with the assessment window. Due in district April
Q: We selected paper and pencil for just 10th ELA a long time ago. Just making sure
they will be shipped soon.
A: Due in district April 27-28.
Q: Does districts need to contact UPS for pick-up of test administration? Can districts
ship HSPE and DAPE be sent back together?
A: Districts will schedule the pickup of materials. Shipping information was provided in
the Return Shipping envelope packaged in box 1 of the district box. Materials must be
returned within one week of conclusion of testing for each school. HSPE and DAPE
must be packaged separately but can be shipped at the same time.
Q: I have 20 HSPE Reading Assessment booklets for 1 student doing the HSPE retake
in reading. What should I do with all the extra booklets and why did I get 20 HSPE
booklets with 10th grade labels?
A: Packing algorithm and booklet pack size caused issue with smaller n counts.
Correction has been made for future shipments.
Q: FYI - we are still missing DAPE and cannot get info about the shipment. Frustrated
with no help in tracking orders, etc.
A: Send an email to the [email protected] inbox and OSPI will work directly with
AIR and MI to troubleshoot material order and shipment issues.
Q: When does the window close for ordering additional materials for HSPE/DAPE and
A: per KD I do not have the TIDE AO schedule approved at this time. I’ll research to see
if I can gain access to that before these are released.
Q: Will the pick-up dates for paper/pencil test booklets be posted to the EDS site or in
another location?
A: Districts will schedule the pickup of materials. Materials must be returned within one
week of conclusion of testing for each school.
Q: Will printed copies of EOC be sent...or do we just download them?
A: EOC test booklets will be printed and shipped to districts.
Q: I just downloaded the TAM. Will we get paper copies, or do I make copies of this
A: Paper copies will not be printed/distributed. Please print copies or sections, as
Q: Just an fyi, we received HSPE booklets for our kids who have approved out of state
waivers...will that be corrected for EOC?
A: We would need to know which students were affected in order to verify the specific
reason(s) why they received booklets.
Test Security
Q: Where can we find the Test Security Assurance Document and a Test Security
Incident Log? We are training on final SB administrative procedures tomorrow before
testing next week. We need those forms ASAP!
Q: For us newbies out here, is there a comprehensive list of test 'breaches'?
A: No, there is no comprehensive list. Please see the TAM, section 4.1, Table 6.
Q: Is the EOC Math/Biology online? The survey requested to be filled out in the WAW
asks if we are doing it online. Did I miss something major?
A: No, the EOCS are paper only.
Q: If we have students from online/off site schools coming to us for the classroom
activity as well as the PT, do we need to go into TIDES and set the PT for these
students or will they automatically get the correct PT because they are logging into our
specific test session?
A: Confirm which CA/PT are to be administered at the test site and assign that to the
student in TIDE at least 24 hours prior to administration of the PT.
Q: In the past we have had forms for Irregularities, will we have forms for data entery
into Appeals in TIDE?
A: Yes, TIDE will capture all required information.
Q: Where is the Test Security Incident Log? The TAM says it is on the Portal, but I
cannot locate it.
A: The incident log can be found in TIDE.
Q: Where can we find the Non-Disclosure form?
A: OSPI does not develop a non-disclosure form. Confidentiality Agreements are
available and maintained at the district.
Q: I'm feeling pretty dumb with all my questions. I know of the training module at the
Portal. Is there another presentation that needs to be done with proctors about
procedures, ethics, etc.? The Portal gives a GREAT overview of how to test, but I
would like to cover the other topics mentioned above.
A: From the information on the Portal, districts can develop customized training for
school and teacher administrators. Templates or examples developed by districts across
the state are available at http://wa.portal.airast.org/resources/?section=3
Q: Do you have any examples of high school schedules for Smarter Balanced? We are
having some real issues with only one computer lab and not wanting to disrupt our
entire high school schedule. We have asked nearby Districts, but many of them have
more than one lab. Is there someone to whom you might direct us?
A: Unfortunately, OSPI does not have sample schedules. The TAM provides information
on recommended testing times and sessions. The variability across districts with regard
to technology infrastructure and resources and the flexibility of the test administration
window and test sessions allows districts significant latitude in developing a schedule.
Q: What is the difference in the Coordinator's Manual that is not in the Administrators
Manual or the User Guide?
A: The Coordinators Manual provides assistance for the administration of tests other
than Smarter Balanced, including EOC, HSPE, and MSP. The TAM and User Guide are
specific to Smarter Balanced.
Q: The training guides and the exemplars in the IAB for Informational text at grades 6
and 8 do not match the CR student items. We reported this several weeks ago,
received no response, and the situation has not been corrected to date.
A: No, but they can refer back to the Global Notes that they took in Part 1. (digital
notepad and highlighting from Part 1 are NOT saved.)
Q: Building Test Coordinators are asking if there will Power Points posted for them to
use in training teachers (test proctors/test administrators) like there have been in past
A: Yes, there are resources already created by districts across the state and made
available at http://wa.portal.airast.org/resources/?section=3. These can be used as is or
modified to fit your district’s needs.
Q: Where can we access the Consolidated PPT?
A: The summary PPT and Q/A can be found at
http://www.k12.wa.us/SMARTER/Webinars.aspx, under Summary of Updates header.
Q: Re: the consolidated ppt and Q&A - Brilliant idea. I am just hoping the "find"
command for word searches will work. It seems sometimes it does not find keywords
on the Q&A's that were posted (and that is the best way to search for an answer is to be
able to do a Find keyword search - especially on a large document).
A: Yes, the Find feature is enabled and there is a table of contents.
Q: We have not heard anything back on our inability to print the certificate. Staff clicks
button to go to certificate, and screen goes blank.
A: We are checking with AIR.
Performance Tasks
Q: As I listen and read information from others and OSPI and AIR and WCAP I
understand that the Performance Task for our students is whatever the Classroom
Activity we choose to do before the Summative PT. Is this true or does the summative
PT have nothing to do with the classroom activity we choose.
A: Each student is assigned a performance task based on the grade/site where they are
enrolled. The classroom activities are also assigned by grade/site and are accessed
through the ‘PT Classroom Activities’ tab in TIDE. You should only reassign classroom
activities in the instance of off-grade testing or with the cooperation of online/ALE
programs if necessary.
Q: 11th graders that are taking off-grade level will take 2 performance tasks and 2
CATs. Will the scores stay separate because the grade level is different?
A: Yes.
Q: For 11th grade off-grade level testers, we are selecting an off-grade level
performance task, will we need to go back and select the 11th grade performance task
when it is time to take the 11th grade SBA?
A: Yes, or you could test them on the 11th grade first and reassign the lower grade level
after the on-grade, but either way, it must be set to match the grade of the test prior to
administering the test.
Q: So, is a Performance Task part of the summative test?
A: Yes. It is also part of an interim test.
Q: Should a teacher click on performance tasks for all the grade levels or just the one
for the teacher's classroom activity?
A: Just the grade(s) of the students in the test session, and ONLY ones that say
‘Summative’ at that grade if the summative test is administered.
Q: Does the CA set in TIDE determine which PT a student has access to? Scenario: a
student has a last minute move between buildings in a district. The school forgets to
check the CA assigned in TIDE, and it is not the same CA used at the new school. The
student participates in the CA with other students at the new school, and the PT test
session is set to match the CA at the new school. Will the student be able to access the
PT test session at the new school without changing the CA assigned in TIDE?
A: If the student’s record in TIDE has been moved to the new school, no action would be
necessary in that scenario. If the student’s record moving to the new site is lagging
behind the student actually being enrolled at the new site, the PT would need to be
assigned manually.
Q: The SBAC CA Admin Guidelines states that some ELA class activities require
students to have a computer. Please no! Can you confirm?
A: Not true (answered in webinar #1).
Q: Different 10th grade activity and 11th activity?
A: No; 10th graders should take the Grade 11 Classroom Activity and Performance
Task. WA’s classroom activities lists in TIDE were cloned from Idaho’s pages and we
are working with AIR to make them more intuitive for WA.
Q: Can the Performance Task session go across a weekend from the Classroom
A: If it is a standard weekend and the performance task is administered within 3 days of
the classroom activity that is within Smarter’s guidance.
Q: I noticed in the classroom activities in TIDE there are grade 11 classroom activities
assigned to 10th graders. Is that right? Will we need to set those 10th graders to an off
grade level summative test to access the 11th grade test?
A: 10th graders should take the Grade 11 Classroom Activity and Performance Task. No
special off-grade assignments are necessary.
Q: Two of our schools are doing paper and pencil and the CA/PT that are in TIDE do not
match the test books. Where do we get the CA/PT to match the paper & pencil test
A: With one exception (grade 3 ELA), all of the classroom activities for paper tests are
assigned to sites testing online. You should be able to retrieve the classroom activities
in TIDE if they are assigned anywhere in your district. OSPI is working with AIR to post
the paper/pencil classroom activities as a standalone
Q: If we switched an 11th grade students in-class activity to another grade for Off Grade
testing, do we need to go back in and Manually change that back to 11th grade when
they take the test for accountability or how does that work?
A: Yes (answered above).
Q: Our third graders are doing the paper SB ELA and Math. For the Performance Task,
it says to administer in two sessions, Part 1 and Part 2. Can they finish it the next day?
A: Yes.
Q: If a student is struggling as does not finish part 1 in the 120 minutes, can they start
Part 2 with the rest of the class and then come back to finish part 1 later?
A: No. The PT is presented in two parts. Students can take breaks within Parts 1 and 2;
however, once a student moves to Part 2, he or she will not be able to review or revise
items in Part 1.
Students from Out of District
Q: How do we accommodate students wanting to test from another school district?
A: The details should already be defined within the inter-district agreement. Work with
the student’s enrolled site directly to finalize the details.
Q: If the student is tied to another district due to exit dates, Will that prohibit the testing?
A: No. So long as a student has a record in TIDE they can test anywhere so long as they
are given the session ID generated by the TA at the time of testing.
Q: How will we know which PT the student took in another district?
A: Within ORS, select “Plan and Manage Testing” from the homepage. On the plan and
manage testing screen, configure the “Test” dropdown in the “Step 1: Choose What”
section to “Smarter Summative” and the test name to “All”. Under “Step 3: Get Specific”,
select the top radio button with the dropdowns configured to ‘students who have
completed 1st opportunity’. Click ‘Generate Report’ at the bottom of the page. All
summative performance tasks include “Summative-Perf” in their names; if the student
appears in the list as having completed a “Summative-Perf”, they should not be
administered any additional performance tasks.
Q: We have students who are testing with us who are enrolled in online schools across
the state. I'm quite sure we will have to give the classroom activity piece here. Can
they just do the same ones our kids are doing, or are there school specific?
A: Check with the online/ALE program – if that program cannot administer the classroom
activity to their students, it is their responsibility to arrange with you to do the classroom
activity and assign the correct performance task.
Q: You said that the CEDARS system updates the TIDE system each hour. We still
have two students that have moved from my district and we have exited from CEDARS
that still show up in TIDE. Is there something that we need to do to get the student
removed from our class list?
A: No, but unless they test in your district, there will be no impact to accountability. We
have a goal for next year to make the process of removing kids from TIDE simpler once
we can verify that no data tied to those students would be lost.
Q: When will directions go out on getting homeschooled students an SSID and into
TIDE for testing?
A: They are posted:
Q: Is there going to be a way like there was in the past for Private or non-District
students to test? Or do we have to create a temporary profile for them in our student
information system(s) so that they get into CEDARS? In the past students were able to
log in to the OSPI website and create a temporary account and then able to test with us.
Is there going to be something similar?
A: See portal:
Off-Grade Testing, Accommodations and Sp Ed Alternatives
Q: Where do we send questions that our test coordinators have about test
accommodations or designated supports that we cannot answer for them?
A: Please send questions to [email protected]
Q: I was asked if there is any reason why universal tools wouldn't be appropriate, and
would need to be turned off.
A: There may be unique student instances where the proctor or teacher feel leaving the
tools turned on would be an added distraction for a student that does not require them.
Q: Does the paper MSP use the same tools, supports, and accommodations as online?
Mainly thinking of the human reader option as a support. Thanks
A: The intent is to generate similar access for student irrespective of the testing format.
Obviously, that cannot be accomplished for all instances, but the guidelines are
structured to get as close to that ideal state as possible; in the guidelines document, the
tables for each category of access feature reflects supporting online testing and
paper-pencil testing. OSPI acknowledges that in attempting to provide similar access
an available accessibility feature may require more of a particular resource than others
(e.g., human readers for paper-pencil versus text-to-speech for online).
Q: The accommodation for scribing doesn't clarify how a student can continue to dictate
answers to the scribe through the end of the assessment because the answers need to
be completed on each day, or the test won't go on to the next page. The directions say
they must complete the test before the scribe enters it in the computer.
A: The guidelines do not give any direct reference to completing the test before entries
can be made to the online system so I do not know of this reference. The scribe must
input student responses before the next test question is presented.
Q: For 11th graders who are eligible for the off-grade ELA and math assessments, since
they also need to take the on-grade assessment this year for accountability, how do we
administer both on-grade and off-grade tests? Do we leave the off grade testing setting
in TIDE as “None”, administer the test, then change their off grade testing setting to the
IEP team determined testing grade, and then administer the test again?
A: When the “Off Grade Testing” is set to a specific grade in TIDE, the student is then
able to take the tests at that grade as well as their enrolled grade. Students in Grade 11
must take the High School assessments in both ELA and math regardless of any
additional lower grade tests they may take to fulfill graduation requirements as specified
in their IEP.
Q: Off-Grade question: So we administer the off-grade to an 11th grader who has to
also take the 11th grade SBA. You said that the Off-Grade level and the PT indicated
below it in TIDE need to match. At what point does that student get a PT assigned then
for the 11th grade SBA tests?
A: The PT is assigned by the system to the student at the appropriate grade, both
on-and off-grade, by the Teacher Administrator.
Q: Will the ELA and math off-grade assessments be available for students to take in
November like the reading, writing, and math DAPE has in the past?
A: OSPI and AIR are working on fall retesting protocols, but the intent is to have
off-grade available twice a year.
Q: Has there been a change to the Off-Grade testing window? Did it extend from the
aforementioned March 10-26 for Off-Grade ELA and Off-Grade Math?
A: Yes – the window for off-grade ELA and Math is now March 10 through June 15.
Q: Who can take an off grade level test?
A: 10th, 11th and 12th graders who need to fulfill an assessment graduation
Q: Is Off-Grade just for HS students?
A: Yes
Q: When will the Accessibility and Accommodations Module and the Embedded
Universal Tools and Online Features Module (referenced on pages 11-12 of the TAM)
be available?
A: We are working to develop this module. Due date will be published on the Portal.
Q: Are there no Translated Student Directions in Spanish. I see lots of other languages
but no Spanish. Please advise.
A: A: That is my understanding. For online Smarter Balanced assessments there are no
Spanish translations of the directions. I believe that it has something to do with the
stacked translations.
Q: Are IEP kids taking grades 3-5 math tests (either OGL or IEP at those grade levels),
if their IEP calls for them to have a handheld calculator, can that be allowed?
A: The new math assessments in grades 3-5 are constructed such that the items do not
require calculators for students to respond. As such the guidelines for accessibility are
structured with the parameter that calculators (embedded in the test delivery platform or
non-embedded technology identified for specific student needs {sight impaired}) when
the items dictate the allowable use. If building or district administrators believe a
student needs a calculator (or any access feature) when the guidelines do not address
allowance then a non-standard accommodation request form should be submitted to
OSPI for consideration as a temporary, one-time allowance. OSPI will evaluate each
submission on a case-by-case basis. The request form can be found on the OSPI
website at the following link:
Q: Has there been any reconsideration of the participation requirement for Off Grade
Level testers in 11th grade? Are they still requiring them to in essence "double test"
After they take their Off Grade Level test which has been identified as appropriate for
them, the state is still requiring them to take the Grade Level test for 11th grade to
identify participation? I do not understand a requirement for a student to take the test a
second time at a grade level which has been identified as out of their ability.
A: No – off-grade level testing is for fulfilling a graduation requirement (high stakes for
the student); on-grade testing in Grade 11 is for accountability (high stakes for the
system {building, district, and state}).
Q: Special education indicated some possible changes in allowable read aloud
accommodations. Is that official?
A: The Smarter Balanced consortium recently approved – and Washington adopted allowing read aloud accommodation in Grades 3-5 for documented students’ needs with
respect to reading the ELA passages; other portions of the ELA, and the entirety of the
Math and Science tests already allowed read-aloud as a designated support.
Q: When talking about L2 Basic, absences, refusals, etc. has to be entered prior to the
end of testing, is that in reference to the end of the testing window or when each
particular student completes their test?
A: The end of the test administration window
Q: Flagging students has to be done before test is finished or testing window is
A: The end of the test administration window.
Q: If we have a student who is signed up for paper/pencil, but are now identified with an
IEP to use an off-grade assessment, can we switch them to online or do they have to
continue using the paper/pencil?
A: Either testing format can be made available based on the student’s access need.
Q: When will the OFF Grade ELA Math Manual be available?
A There is no special manual for off-grade testing. (?)
Q: Is the Off Grade ELA/Math administered the same way as the summative 11 grade
A: Administration of an off-grade assessment should follow the protocols for the grade
Q: Off-grade level testing- do I as the TA assign the off-grade test level or the actual
student grade level when assigning the test session.
A: Assign the appropriate off-grade level test.
Q: What is the rationale for changing the read aloud for IEP students in grade 3-5 at the
last minute?
A: The decision was made by the consortium on Friday, March 6th. All Smarter
Balanced states had to adjust quickly.
Q: We need to link a Bluetooth hearing aid to a mac computer. Are there instructions
how to do this?
A: Information about pairing specific hearing aid seems to vary based upon the brand of
hearing aid. Here's a few resources that may be helpful:
Q: How do I disable Spaces, launch pad, etc.?
A: Page 22 of the Technical Specifications manual (available on the WCAP portal at
http://wa.portal.airast.org/resources/?section=4) has this information.
Q: Will we be able to use our RAMIS scanners to scan in/out our paper/pencil tests?
A: Yes; OSPI has passed all booklet barcode information available to date for HSPE
and DAPE booklets.
Q: When using the secure browser, there is an error "Another program has started, and
you will be logged out. Internet Explorer Web Browser." Other districts are quarantining
Internet Explorer to get around this. What is your guidance?
A: The random pop-up window that states “Another program has started, and you will be
logged out. Internet Explorer Web Browser" is indeed an issue that has been reported
by several districts. In at least one case, it is believed that this may be related to an
inventory tracking software. AIR is working to either come up with a fix (if that is
technically feasible) or share possible solutions that districts might implement as a
Q: To whom do we report issues to during testing?
A: AIR Helpdesk at 844-560-7366 or [email protected]
Q: Do you have a recommendation on which browser to use? Does this make a
difference on printing labels? I have found that Chrome freezes when I attempt to print
from it. However, Internet explorer has display and access problems - This is an over
simplification as there are multiple versions of each.
A: No specific recommendation. OSPI has experienced no consistent problem using
either IE or Chrome to print tickets or labels.
TDS – Test engine
Q: What can the TA edit in student settings?
A: Highlighter, ASL videos, Mark For Review, Translations (glossaries), Print On
Demand, Strikethrough, Expandable Passages, Masking, Color Contrast, Text To
Speech, zoom, student comments, and the checkboxes for all embedded and
non-embedded accommodations.
Q: Please make it clear that you CANNOT load a summative test by Grade/Subject.
You explained this a little differently but this is an important distinction.
A: That’s not true – they can be loaded by grade subject, but it’s easier to select the
wrong test by using the grade/subject dropdowns than it is by using the category
Q: What is the difference between Grade 03, 04, 05, etc. and Grade 3, 4, 5 on "Grade"
for administering the test?
A: All grades were updated to include leading zeroes in the grade dropdown.
Q: The TAM says that for the CAT, “if a test is paused, no matter the length of time,
students must log back in with a new TA-generated Session ID in order to continue
testing,” (page 25). I don’t see mention of this anywhere else (Student Interface Module,
TA Module, TA User Guide). Is that indeed the case? If so, how do teachers generate
another test session when they already have one in progress for the rest of the class?
A: If a CAT is paused for more than 20 minutes, the student is presented with the test
page containing the test item he or she was last working on (if the page contains at least
1 unanswered item) OR presented with the next test page (if all items on the previous
test page were answered). The student is not permitted to review or change any test
items on previous test pages. If a CAT is paused for less than 20 minutes, the student is
presented with the test item or passage he or she was working on when the test was
paused and is permitted to answer previously shown items within a segment.
Q: Today, our schools who started choose GRADE and Subject to filter tests and only
the Interim comprehensive tests showed up so that's what they gave without realizing
it's the wrong test. That search doesn't even give you the option. You must use
Category to search. This is an urgent warning to other districts. This will cause 4 classes
to have to retest!
A: True, see slide 20.
Q: The TA User Guide says “Students are not permitted to review or change answers
after their test is paused for more than 20 minutes,” (page 4). The pause message on
slide 14 of the Student Interface Module matches this. Slide 15, though, says “For PTs
and for CATs that have been passed for less than 30 minutes, students returning from a
break in testing can revisit any items in the current test segment and change their
answers if desired.” Is the pause limit 20 or 30 minutes?
A: 20 minutes.
Q: Are listening portions on the paper and pencil tests in the tests or somewhere else?
A: Details on administering the listening areas of the paper version of the ELA tests can
be found in the Paper and Pencil TAM
Q: Can interim assessments be paused and restarted?
A: Yes.
Q: On the paper or online test, if a student missed a question entirely, i.e., no answer,
accidentally skipped, can the test administrator suggest that the student “go back and
complete question #2”.
A: The online test requires a student to answer the test question before the next item is
presented. A student can then mark the item for review and return to it before ending the
test, but they must provide an initial answer. For the paper/pencil, students are
instructed to complete section of the test. Students may choose to skip questions within
a section and return to complete a question before the end of the test session. Only
students who are testing can view items. Students who are not being tested or
unauthorized staff or other adults must not be in the room where a test is being
administered. Based on the item type (i.e., performance tasks), trained Test
Administrators (TAs) may also have limited exposure to items in the course of properly
administering the assessments; however, even TAs and other trained staff may not
actively review or analyze any items.
Q: Will the downtime start at 5:00pm on 4/17 or will everything be down all day on 4/17?
A: Downtime will begin at 9 p.m. PT on Thursday, April 16.
Q: Please clarify the down time. Does this mean that no SBA testing can take place on
April 17th?
A: Correct, the Test Delivery System (TDS) will be unavailable on April 17th.
Q: Will the down time in April start Friday after school is out rather than during the
school day?
A: The system will be unavailable all day Friday, April 17.
Scoring and Reporting
Q: Do we hand score the pencil/paper tests as well?
A: Teacher hand scoring is only needed on interim tests, and there are no paper/pencil
interim tests. Human scorers hired by the vendor will score items that must be hand
scored on the summative tests.
Q: Do we hand score the tests for our ALE students who test in their Resident District?
A: Teacher hand scoring is only needed on interim tests, and there are no paper/pencil
interim tests. Human scorers hired by the vendor will score items that must be hand
scored on the summative tests.
Q: Is it possible to see students' IA scores if they are not rostered?
A: For TAs: no. for School Coordinators and district level staff: yes.
Q: If the scores for summative testing will be in ORS 3 weeks after testing is completed,
is testing considered complete when a student, school or district submits the tests?
A: Student
Q: Can DACs get access to the Training Guide (within the THSS)? As far as I can find,
you have to have administered a test in order to see anything.
A: ELA materials will be available on a tab in TIDE starting next week. Brief-write and
reading with access to the stimulus and sources that accompany them. This is unique to
ELA as teachers will need more time to prepare for scoring the ELA interims (possibly
up to 10 hours).
Q: We've had trouble with student names disappearing within the THSS, but no
response back from AIR yet.
A: We have asked AIR to look into this and will provide feedback once we have it.
Q: Can a teacher have two sets of rosters - one for testing and one for practice?
A: Rosters only impact which students’ results a teacher can see. There is no need for a
‘testing’ roster within the AIR application suite. Tracking who tests when, where, and
with whom is a local responsibility.
Q: When will winter EOC results be available?
A: By Monday, March 23rd.
Digital Library
Q: Is there a plan to connect the Digital Library password to the other MAAC/TIDE
A: The hope is to do so for next school year.
Q: When were the new welcome/password reset emails sent for the digital library?
A: Beginning March 8 and into the next week.
Q: So if we already uploaded files to Digital Library but the email wasn't set, will that
now happen automatically or do we have to reload the files of teachers who did not get
their email?
A: Many were sent automatically. If they were not received, it may be wise to try
resetting a password for a user who has had trouble getting access.
Q: Is the online MSP Science test required to be completed in one sitting, or can it be
taken over multiple days like the Smarter tests?
A: MSP Science is a one day administration. The MSP science online takes
approximately 70-90 minutes for grade 5 and 90-110 minutes for grade 8.
Q: I do want to mention something - I did mention this to Lance in passing - I did write to
AIR about it but never heard back. When you use streamlined interface in conjunction
with TTS for ELA CAT passages and items, it appears that you cannot get TTS to
function for the passages, whereas it will work if you have streamlined off. I am hoping
someone will look at this.
Q: Future considerations - Lucas, please talk more slowly. You covered a tremendous
amount of information and it is hard to follow when delivered so fast – Thanks
Q: Thank you for the advanced notice of April downtime!
Q: A big thank you to Robin for the keynote she did at the WERA SBA Symposium. I
gave a version of that to my principals today and they found it VERY helpful.
Q: Kudos for the huge work on the comprehensive PPt.
Q: Good luck to you Lance!
Q: Thank you, Lance. Good luck!
Q: We will miss you Lance!! Thank you for everything you've done.
Q: REALLY going to miss Lance and cannot believe that we are saying good-bye to
him. Thank you Lance for all you have done!
Q: Lance (you traitor!) - Thank you for everything you have done - you have been
Q: Sorry to hear Lance is leaving. He has been awesome to work with!! Thanks Lance
for all your help.
Q: Thank you for the update.
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