Category Archives: Uncategorized

Universal Screener Update

Thank you for your patience and persistence as we worked through several issues from MindPlay for the first benchmark of the  Universal Screener (previously RAPS 360). Please see below for updates and reminders.

Testing Window

The window for testing grades 1 – 8 runs until Thursday, August 25. We hope to be able to pull the results on Monday, August 28. The testing window may be extended if additional issues arise.

Making Changes

We have been experiencing students and classes being created in MindPlay by other than district users. Unfortunately, the MindPlay system will not allow us to block users from editing school, class, and student information such as creating classes and students.

Please inform your staff that under no circumstances should anyone at a site make changes to test, school, or student settings even if they see they are available on their screen. Doing so will impact the enrollment process and runs the risk of contaminating data for the student, school, and district. Contaminated data cannot be retrieved.

Student Enrollment

MindPlay enrollments are updated each morning based on PowerSchool changes (entries and withdrawals) made the prior school day. If an expected change has not occurred or is inaccurate, please contact the HelpDesk at

Class Rosters

The system will only allow a student to be enrolled in a single MindPlay class with one teacher (the teacher of record in PowerSchool) linked to that class. Setting a class as “shared” will allow all users in the school to see those students and their results which would be a FERPA violation. In cases where student results need to be viewed by another teacher, a site leader or the teacher of record will need to share the information. It is a violation of district policy to give share a user’s password. (The MindPlay exception is the site administrator account shared under the principal’s discretion.)
User Accounts

Teacher user accounts have been set up to log in with their district usernames with their employee numbers as the password. Teacher login issues may be sent to the HelpDesk.

Each school has one Site Administrator account that allows access to all classes and students. Principals may share the account at their discretion with staff members who may need school-wide access such other administrators, SPED resources, and Instructional Coaches. Information regarding the Site Administrator account was sent to the building principal on Aug 8. If the message did not get through, contact the District Testing Coordinator. (


Directions on accessing Universal Screener reports as well as other information are available through the Resources section of the MindPlay system.  DO NOT USE THE NEW MINDPLAY MANAGER TO GENERATE REPORTS. USE THE LEGACY MANAGER. Reports being requested through the new manager are causing errors in uploads.

The New MindPlay Manager is still in beta testing . The Legacy interface should be used for results and reports and can be accessed by clicking on the Legacy Manager icon at the lower left corner after logging in. DO NOT USE THE NEW MINDPLAY MANAGER TO GENERATE REPORTS. Reports being requested through the new manager are causing errors in uploads.

Reporting Glitch

According to MindPlay Support

“There was a issue on our end with how the results where being displayed. We corrected the issue and all current results that you are viewing are displaying correctly. There was no issue with the assessment it’s self only with how we where showing the Universal Screener Results. Because it was and issue only with how the result where displayed there is no impact on the students.”

If you experience any anomalies, please contact the District Testing Coordinator. (

2017-2018 Key Assessment Dates Revised 8/16/17

The recent passage of Senate Bill 1131 requires ADE to reduce the state-wide AzMERIT window to four (4) weeks. In addition, ADE finalized the testing window for AIMS Science and modified the reporting timeline for Move On When Reading (MOWR).
Because of the changes, we need to make adjustments to the SUSD Key Assessment Dates for 2017-2018.
The revisions include:
  • AIMS Science will take place 3/27/18 OR 3/28/18. Each school will select which day they will be using. (Note: AIMS Science will be a computer-based test this time.)
  • Administration of Spring AzMERIT for grades 3-8 has been moved up one week to 4/9/18 through 4/20/18 and will coincide with the High School EOC window.
  • An early Spring AzMERIT window has been scheduled for Homebound students and paper-based testing 4/3/18 through 4/6/18.
  • Universal Screener #1 for kindergarten has been moved up to 9/11/17 through 9/15/17.

Contact Hans Schot, District Testing Coordinator (, if you have any questions.

Single Sign-On via Illuminate

We are pleased to announce that staff members can now log in to their Illuminate account using their Google Credentials (see above).  This means that all users (particularly new staff members) will no longer to manage or resent a different password for Illuminate access.

Users simply need to make sure that they are logged into their district Gmail on the browser and click the red Sign in with Google button.

If staff members experience any problems logging in using this method,  please follow the trouble shooting steps below…

  1. Make sure that your district profile ( is the ONLY user profile on your browser (click here for directions).
  2. Clear your browser cache and log back in to your profile (click here for directions).
  3. If you have tried both of the above methods and you still can not access the system, please submit a ticket to

Please note that this log-in protocol is currently only for STAFF MEMBERS and not for Students.  Students will continue to log in via their own portal using their standards district username and password for the time being.

Summer Testing 2017

Please be aware that due to the fact that summer school students are not set within traditional section rosters within PowerSchool, summer school teachers and administrators who plan to use Illuminate for student testing during the month of June 2017 must be aware of the following…
1. Rosters in Illuminate during the month of June 2017 must be set up using the Quick Roster method (directions are linked here).  
2. Students testing in Illuminate during the month of June 2017 should not use the standard Illuminate log-in.  Instead, please have them use Quick Authorization URL link at 
3. Teachers should have the same level of assessment visibility which they were provided during the normal school year.  Please keep in mind however, that because summer rosters are not set up within PowerSchool, teacher permissions will be limited to the visibility set at their home school during Semester 2.  

AzMERIT Request and Reminders

We’re approaching the final days of testing and, except for some hiccups here and there, things are going well. As of noon today, we have administered over 10,600 tests in grades 3-HS. (Each part is counted as a test.) Well done!


Friday, April 28 is the last day for AzMERIT 3rd grade testing, including entry of 3rd grade DEI for special paper-based tests.  All 3rd grade tests will be unavailable after that date because the results are needed early for Move On When Reading.

The last day for all other tests, including DEI entry is Thursday, May 4. 

Some sites have recently modified their testing schedule to allow students more time for testing. Please review the last tab of the linked schedule and let Hans Schot ( know if your school’s dates do not reflect any changes. (Maintenance is aware of the schedule as listed, so if Hans doesn’t receive notice of changes you may have workers show up mid-testing.)

AzMERIT Study Item Activities in ELA Tests


ADE has responded about two issues that students may encounter during the ELA AzMERIT tests. We continue to dialog with them regarding math items.

From ADE:

These are related to our two studies. The first issue is the glossary study information page and the second is the passage survey. There really are only 18 items in that session for those students. They don’t take the field test items. Here is some general information about these that you can share with teachers:

We have two possible studies that students might encounter. These students are randomly selected and have the “custom” label in TIDE:

Activity 1: The Passage Survey: Students participating in this survey will receive a reading passage followed by a series of questions about interest level, fairness, and appropriateness. The Passage Survey is embedded in Reading tests in grades 3-8 and EOC. Students will see a message saying their test is completed at item # 18. They might see a question in the survey that mentions items 44-45 or 47-48. This refers to the item position from both parts of the ELA test; students can ignore the number and put in their response.

Activity 2: The Glossary Tool: Students who receive the glossary tool may encounter one or more test questions that contains a word that has been glossed. If the word has been glossed, then a glossary tool will be made available to the student so that they can see the definition of the word along with an audio clip that reads the definition aloud. Some students may encounter words that have an English glossary with audio, while other students may encounter words that have both an English and Spanish glossary with audio. Glossaries may be encountered in both math and reading tests in grades 3-8 and EOC.

We’ll keep you updated as information becomes available.

AzMERIT Item Cannot be Answered

We continue to receive reports where some forms of the AzMERIT tests have informational/direction items with no information requested and no response is possible, yet the system is prompting students that the item is unanswered.
We continue to express our scoring (and student/TA stress) concerns to ADE and they are looking into it. If you have it occur at your site please provide Hans Schot, District Testing Coordinator ( with some details as listed below so that we can forward them to ADE. You do not need to document every occurrence, just a sample so that we can determine which tests are experiencing the issue.
  • Grade
  • Test including Part
  • Session ID
  • Item #
  • Brief description of issue
  • SAIS ID of one or two students experiencing issue

AzMERIT Item that cannot be answered

Schools are reporting that some AzMERIT tests contain an an item that has directions/information only but is being treated as a question. The reports are based on students bringing it to the attention of the Test Administrator of the session.
When students review to confirm they have responded to all questions, the system prompts that item as an unanswered question. Reports so far is it has only occurred in some versions of the math tests.
ADE’s response to the issue was:
“That is expected. There is no response requested or possible on that page.”
If/when it occurs with any of your students, the Test Administrator should advise the student to ignore the prompt and continue.

AzMERIT Accommodation Clarifications

If a student is ELL or has an accommodation listed on the IEP, s/he automatically gets accommodations, right?

Not necessarily. ADE is explicit when they say, “no accommodation may be put in place for an AzMERIT test that is not already used regularly in the classroom.” (AzMERIT Testing Conditions, Tools and Accommodations Guidance, February 2017, p. 5) For example, if the student doesn’t have math items read to her/him during instruction or class tests, s/he shouldn’t have text-to-speech enabled for AzMERIT math. Because of this, there may be a significant reduction in the number of students actually receiving testing accommodations.

Who marks the accommodations in TIDE?

Unfortunately, the AzMERIT system does not allow us to import the accommodations so changes must be made individually for each student. Each site is responsible for entering the accommodations for students who will be using them during testing.

School level personnel must have the role of School Test Coordinator (STC) in order to make any changes to student information in TIDE, including accommodations. School leaders such as Principals, Asst. Principals, and AzMERIT Test Coordinators should already have this role assigned to them. Additional staff that are approved by the Principal may be given the STC role by requesting it through the Bernadette Martin ( or x2162).

Can a student’s accommodation settings be changed while the student is testing?

Changing a test setting in TIDE after the test starts does not update the student’s test setting if the same test setting is available in the TA Interface. In the case that a student has already started a test and needs a new setting, the student must log out, and then the TA can change the setting in the TA Interface when the student logs back in.

Student Test Completion Report in AzMERIT

Please be aware that there are some slight changes this year to the process for reviewing student test completion rates 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…

  • Step 1: Chose What:  These fields allow you to select the name of the grade level or subject area test.
  • Step 2: Chose Who: Select the name of the school (if applicable).
  • Step 3: Get Specific:  Select the STATUS of the student by searching for students who have not completed (or have not started) the test you have selected.

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.

Once the fields have been completed, you can click the Generate Report button to get a .pdf list of student names and I.D. numbers OR you can use the Export Report button to export an Excel File to view later.

Please be aware that during periods of high testing volume (such as during AzMERIT weeks), students data may take up to an hour (approximately 60 minutes) to reflect on the TIDE dashboard.

If student test results to progress status does not appear within 60 minutes of students completing their assessment, please submit details to to allow us to follow up.