Category Archives: Uncategorized

AZMERIT Test Certification Reminder

TEACHERS:  When logging in to the AzMERIT portal to complete your Test Administrator Certification remember that you MUST first log in to the TIDE DASHBOARD using your username and password (the link on the dashboard shown below will take you directly to your log-in page)…

You should NEVER attempt to access the Test Administrator Certification materials by simply Googling the link.  If you access the TA Certification Page without first logging in to your TIDE Account, your certification will not be recorded and you will have to take your session again prior to the AzMERIT test.

AzMERIT- All New FAQs!

Thanks to everyone who has already taking the time to complete your Test Administrator Certification  with your staff as well as those who have scheduled your practice test sessions.

Posted below are some Frequently Asked Questions which folks have been sharing to help make this process go a bit smoother.

  • Why are some teacher names not printing out on their Test Administrator Certification once they have completed the course?

A blank certificate does not necessarily mean that there was a problem with the TA Certification.  Checking the TIDE Dashboard status is the best way confirm that test administrator certification has been completed (these directions are outlined on slide #4 of the AzMERIT training deck linked here).

As long as you are seeing a in the TA Certification column in TIDE for that user, you can be sure that they’re good to go.

If a teacher completes the course and still is NOT showing up as completed in the TIDE dashboard, this could mean that the teacher either lost connection or had their session time out at some point during the course.  Please have the teacher run through the Test Administrator Certification again and remind them that if they have to step away from the course at any point during the training, they should be sure to PAUSE the course and refresh the page when they return.

If you have taken the steps posted above and teachers still are not appearing as TA Certified in the TIDE dashboard, please submit specific details (including teacher name, site name, browser used and specific time which the certification was completed) to http://helpdesk.susd12.org  and we will follow up ASAP.

  • Is there a way to print out Student Test Tickets not just by teacher or by specific EOC Course, but by class period or section number?

Yes.  Although test tickets printed via the TIDE dashboard only sort by teacher or by EOC course, you can use the following steps to print test tickets based on PowerSchool rosters.

  1. Log in to your http://powerschool.susd12.org/admin account and search for the section or period you would like to print.
  2. From the Class Roster page click on the Make Current Student Selection button along the bottom of the page.
  3. Under the Printing heading, select Print Mailing Labels option.
  4. Select AzMERIT Test Tickets from the drop down menu and then click the Submit button at the bottom of the page.

Tickets will list student names as well as the SAIS/Az ID number which will allow them to log in to their AzMERIT test.

  • Will students need headphones/earbuds for the AzMERIT test?

Just about all of the AzMERIT tests have some sort of audio element included in one or more of the questions.  For this reason, students will need to have a pair of earbuds or headphones on testing day.  Sites should remind students and parents that they are responsible for coming prepared on testing day with a simple and inexpensive pair of earbuds which can be obtained at most dollar stores.

For students who do not bring their own earbuds, sites can order up to 10% of your testable student enrollment by submitting a request to http://helpdesk.susd12.org.

As we mentioned in our AzMERIT Training Presentation materials, it is EXTREMELY important that teachers don’t simply guide students to the practice tests, but that test administrators take the time to LAUNCH the practice test via the AIR Secure Browser (as outlined in the directions linked above).   By replicating testing conditions as closely as possible during the practice sessions, you are much more likely to discover potential problems with student credentials, student log-in error, and test administrator dashboard errors.

For this reason, while at school students will only be able to access the AzMERIT practice test via the AIR Secure Browser.

  • What if the AIR Secure Browser is not launching on a student device?

Failure to launch the AIR Secure Browser on the day of testing is generally the result of one of TWO issues; either the student DEVICE is not correctly joined to the enterprise district domain OR the student ID is not correctly nested within the correct school unit in the Google directory.

If your IT Tech has already launched the secure browser at your site and students are still not getting the AIR Browser to launch when they restart their device, please have your IT Technician look into the problem ASAP.

  • If there is a problem with a student computer, can we give the AzMERIT test on paper?

No.  Unless your classroom has received a specific exemption from the District Testing Coordinator (Mr. Hans Schot) or a specific student has a previously established exemption within their IEP, all students are require to complete their AzMERIT testing using the online testing option ONLY.  This means that it is extremely important that student laptops are operational, charged, and on hand during testing days.

Please begin reminding your students now that they need to get their laptops repaired BEFORE the start of testing and make sure that your site has a plan in place to test students who may not have a device on hand when testing begins.

Thanks and as always, please be sure to let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

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

Frank McCormick (979-9648),  Technology issues

Bernadette Martin (545-2162), TIDE enrollment

AzMERIT Practice Testing Error

Please note the following information which has been posted on the AzMERIT/TIDE Test Administrator’s Page…

“AzMERIT tests have a new feature called Paginated Stimuli which allows students to view passages using page-turning navigation rather than a vertical scroll bar. Currently, this feature is not working correctly for Chrome users. While AIR continues to work with Google to resolve this issue, the Paginated Stimuli must be turned off for students who are accessing the Sample Tests…”

To turn off the Paginated Stimuli feature, please follow the directions posted below…

  • From the Test Administrator Page, click on the Approvals button in the top-right corner of the page.

  • Click on the Test Settings option next to the student name.

  • Turn off the Paginated Stimuli option before clicking Set & Approve…

Failure to turn off the the Paginated Stimuli option could result in sections of the reading passages being hidden from student view under normal testing conditions.

AzMERIT 2017- Where to Start

Testing window for the Spring AzMERIT state assessment will be returning (like the monarch butterfly and the Marvel Universe) in April 2017. Here are just a few things to keep in mind regarding this process…

  • ALL testing within the district will be delivered online using student devices.
  • Site Instructional Staff will be responsible for reviewing the AzMERIT Training Slides (linked here) with teachers who will be administering both the practice as well as the AzMERIT test.
  • All sites should make sure that AzMERIT test administrator certifications are completed by no later than Friday, March 10th.
    All teachers who will be administering the AzMERIT test MUST complete the online test administrator certification via the TIDE website (linked here) before they will be able to access the TIDE Administrative Test Dashboard.
  • In order to insure that you have adequate technical and network support during your April testing window, we ask that you please complete the District AzMERIT Scheduling Form by no later than Friday, March 3rd.
  • Sites should plan to deliver the SAMPLE TEST version of AzMERIT by no later than Friday, April 7th.
  • Remember to remind students that they are responsible for making sure that laptops are charged and they have earbuds available for testing. Site may request additional testing earbuds for students (no more than 10% of your testable student population) by submitting your request through the http://helpdesk.susd12.org
  • You can find a variety of other helpful resources including the complete testing guides and training videos on the AzMERIT Test Coordinator Resource Page

Important Dates to Remember

  • Monday, February 27th-  First available day to administer the AzMERIT PRACTICE Test
  • Friday, March 3rd-  Deadline to complete the District AzMERIT Scheduling Form to insure I.T. and Hardware support during testing.
  • Friday, March 10th- All test administrators should have completed the AzMERIT certification process
  • March 13th- March 27th-  Intersession/Spring Break
  • Friday, April 7th-  All test administrators should have completed AT LEAST ONE Practice Testing Session
  • April 10th-13th: AzMERIT Writing Test Window (HIGH SCHOOL)
  • April 17th-  AzMERIT Writing (Grades 3-8)
  • Friday, April 21st- State deadline for submitting ALL writing tests
  • Friday, April 28th-  State deadline for submitting Math & Reading tests FOR GRADE THREE ONLY
  • Thursday, May 4th- State deadline for submitting ALL REMAINING TESTS for all other grade levels.

Thanks and as always, please let us know if you have any questions to make this process go smoothly.

Out of District Civics Test Results

Starting in 2017, all graduating (non-SPED) students are required by Arizona State Law to pass the AZ Civics Exam with a score of 60% or better.  Students who have completed the civics test from any out of district school should have the results of their test printed on their transcripts.  These results will need to be manually entered into our testing database when the student enrolls by following the directions below

  1. Click on this link to go to the Assessment and enter results
  2. Type the student matric number into the box in the upper-right corner of the page to pull up the student record (see below)
  3. Click on the Edit icon to the left of the student matric number
  4. Under Q1, enter P to designate that the student has passed.  If the out of district transcript has a testing date, enter it under the Date Take field.  If there is not a date on the transcript, leave the date the same as the date entered .
  5. Remember to click the blue Save button along the bottom of the page when you are done.

Checking Civics Test Scores in Illuminate

From the Illuminate dashboard, click on the Reports tab at the top of the page.  

After clicking the Clear button, search for 2016-17 AZ Civics Exam Results + School Name and click on the report.  

The DEFAULT setting of this report is to show students who have NOT passed the CIVICS test and who are NOT SPED flagged (i.e. EXEMPT).   

To filter this report, click on the Filters link along the top of the page.  If you would like to see a list of students, for example, who have NOT taken the civics test at all, change the Civics Results field from “is less than” to “is empty”.

You can add additional filters (for grade level, counselor…etc) by clicking on the GREEN PLUS SYMBOL in the lower-right corner of the filters page and adding the filter you would like to see.

Creating Student Groups from Results

Once you have created a student filter list based on criteria (e.g. Re-Test, No Score…etc), you can then SAVE this list to follow up later by following the steps below…

  1. Click the Advanced tab along the top of the page and select, Create Student Group
  2. Give the group a name which you will recognized by including the DATE the data was pulled as well as the descriptor (e.g. “Civics Re-Tests, Gr. 12, Nov 14”)  
  3. Selecting “Yes” for the Visibility Group will allow you to pull up this list of students at any point you would like to check on their progress.
  4. Within ANY system report or assessment, you can view this list of students by selecting the Student Group option within the student filters (see below)…

Running Form Letters and Mailing Labels

Once you have selected the student list you would like to work with, you can insert all students into a preformatted form letter (click here for an example) to notify parents.

All you need to do is click on the Form Letter link along the top of the page and select Download as the option.  A form letter notification (in English and Spanish) will be automatically created for each student on the list.

You can also print mailing labels for each of the students on the list by clicking the Labels option and selecting Download.  Labels are formatted to print on the standard Avery 5160 Office Labels.  

Testing Status Reminder- Illuminate

As students work to complete their interim assessments, remember to remind them to NOT submit or close out of their test until they are completely finished.  If a student DOES submit their test, remember that teachers are able to reopen Illuminate Assessments on their own following the directions below…
1. From the testing dashboard, click on Online Testing
 
Inline image 1
 
2. From the online roster page, click on Students
 
Inline image 2
 
3.  Scroll down the list to see the status of the student test.  If the test needs to be reopened, click on the Actions button on the left side of the page (see below).
Inline image 3
Current elected representatives will remain on the test through the week of January 16th, 2017.  Following swearing in ceremonies on January 20th, questions will be revised to reflect all new state and national elected officials starting the week of January 23rd, 2017.

Duplicate item on 16-17 ELD Interim Q2 Stage III

There is duplicated item on 16-17 ELD Interim Q2 Stage III. (The AZELLA Stage III Sample Test for grades 3-5) Thank you to those who discovered the oversight and brought it to our attention.
Question W34 is a duplicate of W33 (Writing item #10 from the AZELLA Practice Test). The duplicate item could cause student responses to become offset by one item if students are transferring their responses from a printed answer document rather than entering directly into Illuminate.
When entering their responses into Illuminate, students should be directed to enter the same response for items W33 and W34 or they may leave W34 blank. We are looking to see what measures can be taken to rectify the error behind the scenes for students who have already taken the test.
Please contact Hans Schot, District Testing Coordinator if you have any questions. (545-2164 or hanss@susd12.org)

Inline image 1

This item is a duplicate of W33.

Inline image 2

ELA/ELD Interim Assessments

Below is a summary of the ELA/ELD Interim Assessments for the second quarter based on information from LAD, Curriculum & Instruction, and site feedback. We apologize for any confusion that may have been caused by the original information being distributed from multiple senders and hope that this will help clarify the process and expectations. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.

Do all ELL students need to take the ELD Interims?

Pre-emergent, Emergent, and Basic level students should take the ELD Interims. It is optional for Intermediate level students, but highly encouraged to better prepare them for AZELLA Reassessment.

Which grades will be taking the ELD Interim instead of the ELA Interim?

ELL students in grades 3-11 should take the ELD Q2 Interim Assessments (AZELLA Practice Test). It is also available for 12th grade ELL students at the site’s discretion.

How do we identify our ELL students for the ELD Interims?

SEI, ILLP, and dual identified (SPED/ELL) students are considered ELL. Students who have been withdrawn from ELL by parent request are not considered ELL but are encouraged to participate in the ELD Interims since they will still take the AZELLA Reassessment in February.

LAD has been sending lists to the sites. If you have any questions regarding identified ELL students, please contact your LAD Specialist.

Do students taking the ELD Interims ALSO take the ELA Interims?

ELL students should take the ELD Interims. They may also take the ELA assessment at the site’s discretion.  

When do students take the ELA/ELD Interims?

ELD Interims should be administered before Winter Break. This will allow time to analyze the results for instructional decisions to prepare for AZELLA Reassessment in spring.

ELA Interims for grades 6-11 are administered before Winter Break and grades 3-5 test in January.

(A schedule is listed below and as an attachment. )

How are the ELA/ELD Interims administered?

ELA Interims are administered totally online through Illuminate. Because of the number of items that are online only and do not print, paper tests are not appropriate.

ELD Interims are administered using the paper AZELLA Practice books and students will enter their responses online through Illuminate. Students may mark their responses in the booklets or bubble sheets before transferring their responses or enter as they progress through the tests. (Unfortunately, we are not currently set up for scanning answer sheets.)

AZELLA Practice Tests for elementary grades should have already been delivered to the sites. Additional copies may be made at the site, if needed.

Middle and high schools received materials last year and may reuse them. Additional copies for middle and high schools may be downloaded using the ADE website link provided to them by Kristel Foster.

Do ELD Interims need to be administered with the same procedures as AZELLA Placement or Reassessment?

No. The ELD Interims do not need to be administered at the same level of security or timing as AZELLA Placement or Reassessment. The sub-tests for the ELD Interims (Listening, Reading, Writing) do not need to be administered during the same session/day.

Who may administer the ELD Interims?

Certified staff members and classified staff who are qualified to administer the AZELLA Placement or Reassessment may administer the ELD Interims.

Do all four portions of the ELD Interim Assessments(AZELLA Practice Test) need to be administered?

No. Students should be administered the Listening, Reading, and Writing portions of the AZELLA Practice Test, but the Speaking portion is optional.

Do booklets or bubble sheets need to be sent back to LAD or Assessment?

No. Student responses will be entered directly into Illuminate. Tests should be stored at the site until the end of the year and then destroyed.

Quarter 2 Interim Schedule
Inline image 2
Thanks for your patience. Please contact Hans Schot (hanss@susd12.org or ext. 2164) if you have additional questions.

Reviewing Civics Test Results

Although school sites do not have access to set rosters or enter scores on the AZ State Civics Exam due to security requirements,  teachers and instructional staff can still review student performance results in real time by following the steps posted below.

1. From the Illuminate Dashboard click on the Reports tab along the top of the page and select List Reports.
2. Search for the 2016-17 AZ Civics Exam Results (or just click on this link to go straight to the report)
3. To locate the names of students who need to retest (or who haven’t taken the test) click on the sort arrows at the top of the comprehensive percent correct column.  This will allow you to see students who have not completed the test (the column for these students will show up as blank).
The steps above can be used for BOTH classroom teachers as well as site administrators to quickly identify which students were absent, may have not have correctly submitted their test, or will need to retest at a later date.
Because of the test level security mentioned above, teachers and site administrators also do not have the ability to grade the one constructed response question on the test.  Students who score 59% on the test will have their scores reviewed at the end of each testing week and district office will send a notification to the site instructional coach notifying them of students whose correct response on the question has moved their score to passing.
Thanks to everyone for your hard work and support in preparing our students for this graduation requirement.

Filtering By Student Groups in Illuminate

As interim assessments approach once again, remember that you can sort your student data results in a variety of different ways by using the Student Groups function we viewing assessment results.

Student Groups functions can be set in two different ways.  First, there are student groups which have already been set at the district level that everyone can see.  These include…

  • ELL- SEI Students (Structured English Immersion)
  • ELL- FEP 1 (Fluent English Proficient- Level 1)
  • ELL- FEP 2 (Fluent English Proficient- Level 2)
  •  AVID Students
  • SUN Students
  • SPED Students

You can filter for these students when reviewing data by using the Filter option on the test overview page and selecting the appropriate Student Group from the list (see below).

Inline image 1

The second way you can utilize student groups is by creating your OWN groups to review data and follow up later.
For example, let’s say you want to keep tabs on how your students who did not do so well on an assessment are progressing.  All you need to do is follow the steps below…
1. Select your minimally proficient students by clicking on the Overall Performance band on the Overview page of the test.
Inline image 2
2. Click the blue, create custom report button along the bottom of the page.
3. Click the Advanced tab along the top of the page and select Create Student Group.   
 
4. Give the group an appropriate name so that you will know where they came from (e.g. 16-17 ELA Interim Q2- FFB).  
 
5. The final step is make sure that your Student Group is visible by checking “yes” and then saving the changes
Inline image 3
You can now track the progress of those specific Minimally Proficient students from one assessment to the next to see if they are making progress by following the same directions as those posted above.
To learn more about creating and managing student groups within Illuminate click on the Student Group Overview link posted here for lots of great ideas on reviewing differentiated data.