Bringing AzMERIT in for a landing

Thank you for your tireless efforts with the Spring 2016 AzMERIT testing. Things continue to run smoothly with very few hiccups along the way. Please see below for some end of testing window updates.

When is the last day for testing?

  • The last day of testing (including make-up testing) is Friday, May 6.

How many tests have been administered in SUSD?

  • We are unable to provide a precise count of the number of ELA and Math test that have been completed, but as of this morning the district has administered a total of 54,317 computer-based test parts/sessions. The average student would be taking five test parts/sessions.

ELA = 3 parts:     Writing and Reading Parts 1 & 2

Math = 2 parts: Math Parts 1 & 2

School Count of Individual Test PARTS Completed
Apollo Middle School 2,903
Billy Lane Lauffer Middle School 3,606
Challenger Middle School 3,986
Craycroft Elementary School 2,158
Desert View High School 7,890
Drexel Elementary School 1,819
Elvira Elementary School 1,424
Esperanza Elementary School 1,668
Gallego Intermediate Fine Arts Magnet 3,023
Gallego Primary Fine Arts Magnet 760
Liberty Elementary School 2,115
Los Amigos Elementary School 1,889
Los Niños Elementary School 1,543
Mission Manor Elementary School 1,890
Rivera Elementary 1,757
S.T.A.R. Academic Center 510
Santa Clara Elementary School 1,995
Sierra 2-8 School 4,413
Summit View Elementary 1,554
Sunnyside High School 7,406
Sunnyside Online Success Academy 8
Grand Total 54,317

As of 04/28/16

Do we need to test students who are just now enrolling?

  • According to the Arizona Department of Education

“We are recommending that you test all new students if there is adequate time. New students will not receive an ELA score since the Writing window closed.“

  • If you contact Bernadette Martin (x2162) she will  check TIDE or contact the student’s previous school to see if the student has already tested.

What do we do with AzMERIT testing materials when we are finished testing?

  • Test Coordinator’s Manuals and Test Administration Directions should be discarded by placing them in the school’s recycling bin or trash.
  • All used scratch paper is considered secure and should be destroyed/shredded.
    • You may box and send used scratch paper to the Assessment Team c/o Hans Schot for shredding, if desired.

Do we still need to turn in the Test Security Agreements (TSA)?

  • We need to keep TSA on file for six years. If you haven’t already done so, please forward your school’s TSA to Hans Schot. (TSA must include the Principal, School Testing Coordinator(s), and all staff who could have contact with either AIMS Science or AzMERIT.)

What do we do with the Testing Incident Forms that we completed?

  • Testing improprieties involving test administration errors or individual student incidents should have been immediately reported to the District Testing Coordinator, Hans Schot. Any required documentation will have been completed by him.
  • Technology glitches should have been recorded on the testing incident form so the school would have the necessary details to resolve the issue. The forms do not need to be submitted and can be placed in the school’s recycling bin.

AzMERIT Pauses

How long can a student pause an AzMERIT test before they are locked out of completing it?

 After a student’s test has been paused for 20 minutes, the student may not be able to return to previous test pages and will resume the test on the page where he or she paused. (TCM p.14)

After a student’s test has been paused for 90 minutes, the student may not be able to resume testing

AzMERIT Updates 04-11-16

Some students get fewer items/questions compared to other students taking the same test and the  TA dashboard shows only the larger number of questions.

According to AIR Support, this is normal; the number of questions each student receives is not universal. The TA interface will display the maximum possible questions, but the actual number that a student gets is the correct amount for his/her individual test. Students will only be graded on the questions they received.

A student’s test locks up or freezes(white screen) during the audio check…

Try to have the student log out and then back in with the Test Administrator approving them. If the problem persists, have the student join a different testing session. (with a different TA or after the other students have completed testing and the TA is able to close the original session)

A student is unable to log in and gets an “inactive” test message and can’t log into another session…

When the other students in the original session have completed testing, have the TA close the session and wait 15 minutes or so. If the student still cannot log into a new session, contact Hans (x2164) to ask ADE to reopen the student’s test the following day. The student will not lose any responses.

Browser sends an “invalid session please update your browser” message…

On Windows devices, this would indicate that the old version (7.2) is installed; in which case, the browser would need to be manually updated by your tech. If a Chromebook user gets this message, check the device OU container on the Google Dashboard. If the problem persists, relocate the device to a new OU container after powerwashing.

AzMERIT- Deadlines, SAIS ID, and more FAQs

Welcome to week two of AzMERIT testing. To date we have administered and submitted 12,628 test parts. Based on what we are hearing, testing is running smoothly with only a few issues here and there.

Below are some reminders and responses to frequently asked questions.

What should we do if a Chromebook “drops” a student from enterprise enrollment?

We have seen this occur in isolated incidents and it impacts testing since the secure browser cannot be launched unless the device is included in district enrollment.  If this happens, the student device can be added back to the enterprise dashboard by clicking “ctrl + alt + e”  BEFORE logging the student back in (following a device PowerWash).  If you observe a Chromebook that has dropped from enrollment, please submit the device serial number and student name to the HelpDesk so that we can follow-up with Google.

Is the window for paper-based testing over?

Yes, testing ended on April 8. All materials are due today and will be picked up today (April 11) by one of the Assessment Technicians so they can be processed and shipped for scoring.

When is the last day for AzMERIT computer-based makeup testing?

AzMERIT computer-based writing must be completed no later than April 15 so they can be scored. The writing test will not be available after that date. All other AzMERIT computer-based tests must be scheduled by May 4 and makeup tests completed by May 6.

Can student teachers or substitute teachers be in the room during testing?

No. Test Administrators and Proctors must be employees of the school or district, and they are the only ones who should be in the room during testing. (except for Test Coordinators and Administrators)

What do we do if we discover a student has been tested using an incorrect SAIS ID or someone else’s SAIS ID?

Call Hans Schot (x2164) as soon as the test impropriety is discovered so he can contact the Arizona Department of Education(ADE) to request a correction. Contacting Hans late could result in a loss of the student’s test score because of the heavy demand on ADE at this time of testing.

Have duplicate students been removed from TIDE?

No. We are still working with the Arizona Department of Education to have them removed. In the meantime, if you discover any duplicates on your roster in TIDE, contact Bernadette Martin to have them relocated to another area in TIDE. (x2162)

Will students who have moved or duplicate students in TIDE count against the school for accountability?

No. TIDE is the testing engine to obtain AzMERIT scores. Any enrollment counts and calculations will be based on what is in PowerSchool/SAIS.

Whom do we contact with questions?

The first resources for questions are the Test Coordinator Manual (TCM), Test Administration Directions (TAD), and District training materials. If there are still questions/concerns, contact the appropriate District staff member.

  • Hans Schot (545-2164)                   Test administration practices, test improprieties
  • Frank McCormick (979-9648)       Technology issues
  • Bernadette Martin (545-2162)    TIDE enrollment

Additional AzMERIT FAQ

Is the window for paper-based testing over?

Yes, testing ended on April 8. All materials are due today and will be picked up today (April 11) by one of the Assessment Technicians so they can be processed and shipped for scoring.

When is the last day for AzMERIT computer-based makeup testing?

AzMERIT writing must be completed no later than April 11 so they can be scored. The writing test will not be available after that date. All other AzMERIT computer-based tests must be scheduled by May 4 and makeup tests completed by May 6.

Can student teachers or substitute teachers be in the room during testing?

No. Test Administrators and Proctors must be employees of the school or district, and they are the only ones who should be in the room during testing. (except for Test Coordinators and Administrators)

What do we do if we discover a student has been tested using an incorrect SAIS ID or someone else’s SAIS ID?

Call Hans Schot (x2164) as soon as the test impropriety is discovered so he can contact the Arizona Department of Education(ADE) to request a correction. Contacting Hans late could result in a loss of the student’s test score because of the heavy demand on ADE at this time of testing.

Have duplicate students been removed from TIDE?

No. We are still working with the Arizona Department of Education to have them removed. In the meantime, if you discover any duplicates on your roster in TIDE, contact Bernadette Martin to have them relocated to another area in TIDE. (x2162)

Will students who have moved or duplicate students in TIDE count against the school for accountability?

No. TIDE is the testing engine to obtain AzMERIT scores. Any enrollment counts and calculations will be based on what is in PowerSchool/SAIS.

Whom do we contact with questions?

The first resources for questions are the Test Coordinator Manual (TCM), Test Administration Directions (TAD), and District training materials. If there are still questions/concerns, contact the appropriate District staff member.

Hans Schot (545-2164), Test administration practices, test improprieties

Frank McCormick (979-9648),  Technology issues

Bernadette Martin (545-2162), TIDE enrollment

Testing Homebound Students

Do we test Homebound students?

  • Homebound students are still required to be tested and are considered part of their home school in the eyes of ADE.
  • Homebound should be coordinating with the site’s Testing Coordinator to arrange for who will be tested and by whom.
  • There may be some situations where the student will not be able to test because of health reasons.

When do they test?

  • Homebound students are not limited to the schedule at their home schools.
  • All AzMERIT Writing must be completed no later than Friday, April 15, 2016
  • The remaining AzMERIT tests must be completed by May 5, 2016.
  • AIMS Science must be completed by March April 18, 2016.

Where do they test?

  • Homebound students should test at their home school whenever possible. Homebound has also been making arrangements for students to test AzMERIT in a computer lab setting at Los Ranchitos.
  • If a student doesn’t have access to Wi-Fi and isn’t able to come in to test AzMERIT, for whatever reason, then that student will show as not tested. No additional paper based tests are available for AzMERIT.

Who does the testing?

  • The site will include the student with regular testing if possible.
  • Homebound teachers who are administering tests still need to be trained and sign Test Security Agreements. This is usually done at the teacher’s regular school but will be done by Homebound if the teacher isn’t part of a regular school.
  • Homebound teachers should coordinate with the student’s home school regarding testing materials for AIMS Science and AzMERIT materials and technology. The Homebound teacher may check out the AIMS Science materials overnight with the condition that they keep them secure.

Duplicate Students in TIDE Impacting Completion Reports

We are noticing that the still unresolved duplicate students in TIDE are creating “false negative” results when using the Online Reporting System (ORS) to generate a list of students who have not tested. You should have received a message from Bernadette Martin with the names and SAIS ID Numbers of impacted students if any were found at your school. The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) has yet to remove the duplicates from TIDE and we don’t have the ability to do so.

As a temporary fix, we are going to move the duplicates with the incorrect SAIS ID Numbers to a different location in TIDE. This should allow each site to see only the correct students assigned to the school when generating test tickets and running reports. While we are working on moving the students, be sure to check the SAIS ID Number if a student is a duplicate on Test Tickets or when generating lists of who still needs to test. We’ll send out a follow-up message when we have completed the transfer.

DO NOT TEST A STUDENT WITH AN INACURATE NAME, SAIS ID NUMBER, OR BIRTHDATE. Doing so could result in the student having to repeat the test with the correct SAIS ID Number. If it has happened at your site, contact Hans (x2164) so we can work with ADE for a resolution.

If there are additional concerns regarding student enrollment in TIDE or user accounts, please contact Bernadette Martin. (x2162)

AzMERIT- Make-Up Tests

As you may have already heard, after just our second day of Spring AzMERIT testing, our students have successfully completed over 6,484 online tests!  Thanks to everyone for pulling together to make this process flow so smoothly.

Just a couple of quick reminders concerning administering make-up tests which can help to save you time and effort as we make sure that all kids have been tested.

AIR Secure Browser Launch In Kiosk Mode-  Please be aware that it is NOT necessary for you to keep your school devices in kiosk mode during days in which you will only be doing make-up tests (rather than full, grade or subject level testing).  Even when the AIR App AutoLaunch option is not turned on, students can still get to the testing app by following the directions posted below…

  1. Have the student LOG OUT of the chromebook by clicking on their account avatar in the lower-right corner of the screen and clicking the Sign out option.
  2. From the log-in screen on the device (i.e. the screen where they are prompted to enter their password), click on the Apps option in the lower-right corner of the screen (right next to “Shut down”).
  3. Click on AIRSecureTest and the browser should automatically launch.

You will find that this method is far easier than trying to move student devices between OUs in order to facilitate a make-up test.

Searching for Make-Up Students in TIDE

Tide dashboard makes it easy for site test coordinators to get a list of students who have not completed their grade-level or subject area tests by following the directions below…

  1.  From the http://azmeritportal.org/test-coordinators/ page, click on the Online Reporting System option and log in.
  2.  Click on the Plan and Manage Testing  button.
  3. Select the name of the grade level or subject area test as well as the name of your school (if applicable).

4. Select the STATUS of the student under step #3 by searching for students who have not completed (or have not started) the test.

NOTE:  The have not completed option is a good way to check to see if you still have students who have not submitted their tests at the completion of your scheduled testing session.  The have not started option should be used at the start of the day as any students still “in progress” will have already been automatically submitted at the close of the previous day.

AzMERIT- Test Administrator Connections

We have received scattered reports from a few teachers/AzMERIT Test Administrators within the district that when they pause students tests on the AzPortal Dashboard, their session is STOPPING rather than just pausing.

We believe this issue to be related to connection problems at ADE’s end and we will provide you with additional information as soon as it is available.

HOWEVER, it’s important to stress that STOPPING a testing session (either by the user or via  this kind of connection problem) WILL NOT cause any student testing data to be lost or removed.  

If test administrators experience an error of this type, all they need to do is start a new testing session and have students join via the new session ID.   Students will then be entered right back in to their test at the same place in which they left off.

As we continue to work through these types of snags with ADE/AIR, thank you for your patience and for continuing to keep us posted as problems arise.

AzMERIT- Day One Reminders

Congratulations to everyone on an outstanding first day of testing.  Thanks to your hard work and attention to detail, our sites were able to complete over 1,800 online tests today with relatively few problems.

In an effort to continue to that things go smoothly, we wanted to pass along a couple of tips and suggestions for troubleshooting some of the most common glitches.

Problem

  • AIR Testing Browser Doesn’t Load–  Student Chromebook screen just turns white and never loads the browser.
  • Test Does not Submit- When students attempt to submit their test, they get a message that states “answers are not saved”.
  • Connection Error- When student attempts to restart their Chromebook, they are prompted to reconnect to the network and/or renew their network credentials.

Solution

All of the issues posted above are related to connection errors between the student device and the wireless network.  If you experience any of these problems, you should first check the student device to confirm their connection status by…

  1. Closing out of the secure browser (if necessary)
  2. Checking the connection bars in the lower-right corner of the page (see below)

3. If the student has lost connection to the network, you may have to manually reconnect using your site based password (please remember to not share this password with students).

If the steps posted above do not address the problem, contact your site I.T. Tech immediately as they may have to either renew the students’ network connection following a system “powerwash” or the problem may be related to problems with the device settings within the Google Admin Console.