SAC Newsletter

March 18, 2016

Technology Issues


We have experienced significant connectivity issues on Monday, Thursday and Friday this week. In the process we have discovered that desktops, laptops and iPads and computers outside the APS firewall were not impacted. It appears the issue is with students who were testing on Chromebooks.

We realize how frustrated you, your teachers and your students have been and I greatly appreciate your patience as IT and Pearson have been working on solving the problem.

At this point, we believe the problem has been identified and resolved.

Please plan on testing Monday with positive thoughts that things will go smoothly.

CMAS: PARCC ELA/Math and Science/Social Studies Update

Important Administration Reminders

Please review the following reminders to ensure that your district is well positioned for a successful CMAS administration:

Ensure that Test Assignments are Accurate for ELA, Math, Science and Social Studies

Please verify the assignment of form-dependent accessibility features (i.e., color contrast, text-to-speech) and accommodations on the Students in Sessions screen in PearsonAccessnext before students begin testing. A Personal Needs Profile (PNP) Report is available on PearsonAccessnext to help verify that the following information is correct:

  • Accommodated CBT forms are appropriately assigned.
  • CBT accessibility features are indicated, as needed.
  • Only students with approved Unique Accommodation Requests are indicated as having Human Scribe for Constructed responses for ELA, text-to-speech for ELA, Human Reader for ELA, or Calculator for non-calculator sections of math.

The PNP Report is available in PearsonAccessnext at the following location: Reports > Operational Reports > Students & Registrations > “PNP Report - Accessibility Features and Accommodations for Student Tests”.

In addition, make sure your students are assigned the correct test prior to testing (i.e., 8th graders are assigned to the correct math test).

Ensure that Students Submit Tests Correctly

Students should not submit tests unless they have finished testing in each unit/section. Please try to be sure that Test Administrators and students are aware of the language in the Test Administrator Say Directions that states “Once you have exited the test, you may not log back in.” Students should not select the Submit Final Answers button until they have completed the unit/section.

Allow Devices for Medical Monitoring

Phones and other devices used to monitor medical conditions are allowed in testing environments. Ringers and access to outside Internet need to be turned off during testing. Students should be closely monitored to ensure they are not using functions that violate a security or standardized testing administration procedure, such as recording, picture taking, or calculator functions.

Review ELA Field Test Guidance (Computer-Based Testing)

For schools and grades participating in the ELA field test, Unit 3 will function similarly to Unit 1 of the high school math tests where two sections are included in the same unit. In high school math units with two sections, students continue to the next section, while for the ELA test, students will stop after the first section has been submitted. Please remind Test Administrators to actively monitor students. Once a student submits responses to 3A, the student will advance to the 3B section start page. The student should be directed to log out of TestNav, or to turn the monitor off so that a break can be taken prior to administration of Unit 3B.

Upcoming Science and Social Studies Activities

  • Now-April 11th
  • Verify assignment of form-dependent accessibility features (i.e., color contrast, text-to-speech) and accommodations on the Manage Student Tests screen in PearsonAccessnext – update through UI or SR/PNP file import
  • Assign students to test session

Updated Spanish SAY directions:

Prevent Misadministrations

Reminders for you and your test administators:

  • Students should not have cellphones and other electronic devices (with the exception of the medical devices noted above) in the testing environment.
  • Make sure your students have not logged into YouTube or other music streaming websites before they start testing. A few other districts have reported that students were able to log in to YouTube prior to getting into Test Nav and were streaming music during testing.
  • Active Proctoring: Kids are creative and can thinking of ways communicate with the outside world, or each other--even during testing. We have had students with cell phones, a few who were using the notepad within Test Nav to write to each other and a few creative students who chose to switch Chromebooks with each other. Make sure your test administrators are able to move freely in the testing room and actively monitoring the test sessions.
  • Let us know immediately if something happens during a test session. We can not resolve an issue if we don't know about it. When in doubt, call us anyway. We are here to help and support you!

PSAT 10 and ACT

Grade 10 PSAT and Grade 11 ACT

PSAT 10 Test Administration Training and Q & A Session

Today’s live test administration training for school Test Center Supervisors held from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. will be recorded. This recording will be posted on the College Board’s Colorado PSAT website on March 21st for anyone who was not able to attend the live session. This recorded webinar will cover the policies and procedures for administering the PSAT 10. All Test Center Supervisors must complete test administration training and ensure that their test day staff have also been trained. The College Board is also creating a pre-recorded training video on test day activities that Test Center Supervisors will be able to use to train their staff. This video will be posted to the website beginning March 21st.

The College Board will host a live Q & A session for Test Center Supervisors on April 12th from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. via live webinar. School PSAT Test Center Supervisors can register for the live training using the links below. District Assessment Coordinators are welcome, but not required to attend these sessions.

ACT Accommodations

The current status of ACT-approved accommodation requests can be seen by school accommodations coordinators in ACT’s Test Accessibility and Accommodations (TAA) online system. Instructions for test coordinators to complete an advanced search in TAA for examinees who will receive ACT-approved accommodations are available here. Accommodations coordinators have through Friday, March 25th to submit reconsideration requests for ACT-approved accommodations in TAA online. The window for school test coordinators to order non-college reportable (formerly “state-allowed”) accommodations materials through PearsonAccessnext is March 21st - April 1st. To order non-college reportable accommodations materials, test coordinators will need to change the administration in the upper right corner from “April 2016” to “Non-College Reportable 2016” as shown. The test coordinator will then be able to order non-college reportable materials through the edit enrollment counts tab

Please contact Will Morton at with questions about the CO ACT.

Pre-Test Activities for the PSAT 10 and the ACT

Both the PSAT 10 and the CO ACT include pre-test activities for students. Filling out the non-test portions of the answer documents for the PSAT and the ACT can be completed in approximately 45 minutes. During the pre-test session, students are asked to provide additional information about their educational background, experiences and interests, college and career plans, and outside school activities. Completing most of this information is optional and voluntary on the part of the students, but the opportunity to do so must be provided by the school. Some portions of the pre-test session are required for all students.

The ACT requires that the non-test portion of the answer document be completed during a separate session prior to test day – students who have not completed this session prior to April 19th will not be allowed to take the ACT on the initial test date, and must complete the non-test portion in preparation to take the ACT on the May 3rd make-up date. For the PSAT 10, the College Board allows schools to schedule additional time to complete the non-test portion of the answer document on test day, but encourages a separate session.

Upcoming Dates

· March 18th – April 1st: PSAT state-allowed accommodations ordering window

· March 28th: CMAS: Science/Social Studies test content proctor caching begins

· Week of April 4th: ACT non-secure and secure materials in school

· Week of April 4th: PSAT non-secure and secure materials will begin arriving in school (standard testing materials and materials for accommodations requests submitted prior to March 11th).

· April 11th – 29th: Official CMAS testing window for ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies

· April 11th – 29th: Official CoAlt: Science/Social Studies testing window

· April 12th: 3:00 – 4:00 p.m., PSAT 10 Q & A session for Test Center Supervisors via live webinar

· April 19th: Administration of 11th Grade CO ACT assessment

· April 19th: ACT make-up tests ordered by school Test Coordinator

· April 19th or April 20th (district choice): Administration of 10th Grade PSAT assessment

· April 20th-April 29th: Makeup for 10th Grade PSAT assessment

· April 20th: Pre-scheduled pickup of completed ACT materials

· April 20th – 29th: Window for schools to schedule shipment to return completed PSAT answer documents.

· May 2nd: Deadline to schedule UPS pickups for scorable CMAS materials (including ELA, Math, CSLA, Science and Social Studies)

· May 3rd: Makeup for 11th Grade ACT assessment

· May 4th: Pre-scheduled pick-up of completed ACT make-up materials