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Series 601.4AR - Student Assessment

Adopted: July 1993
Revised: February 2016

1.    Student Assessment – Assessment allows for comparisons of the achievement of students with their own growth over time, with state and district standards and with the performance of other students.

1.1 Assessment will encompass a variety of methods, including teacher observation; projects, portfolios of collected student work and student essays; and short-answer and multiple-choice tests. 

1.2 Teachers responsible for the education of students with disabilities with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or a Section 504 accommodations plan (504 Plan), students in the English learner (EL) program with an Individual Graduation Plan (IGP) or other students whose special circumstances might make test results invalid, will take these circumstances into account in determining the extent to which the students will participate in district assessments. Accepted district and state modifications in testing procedures will be established and communicated to teachers.

1.3 The district will have a method of reviewing and recommending any district assessment measures. Teachers, administrators and the School Board will have the opportunity to review the measures for content coverage and appropriateness, including possible gender, racial or other bias. The review process must protect the security of the assessment measures to ensure their validity.

2. Minnesota Standards-based Accountability Assessments - The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) and an alternate assessment, Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS), are the statewide tests that help districts measure student progress toward Minnesota’s academic standards and meet the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Most students take the MCA, but students who receive special education services and meet eligibility criteria may take the MTAS.

2.1 MCAs or MTAS in reading will be administered to students in grades 3-8 and grade 10. There is no required passing score.

2.2 MCAs or MTAS in mathematics will be administered to students in grades 3-8 and grade 11. There is no required passing score.

2.3 MCAs or MTAS in science will be administered to students in grades 5, 8 and high school. There is no required passing score.

2.4 Appropriate assessments for academic standards in social studies, the arts, health and physical education, vocational and technical education, and world languages.

3. Academic Standards – Students in District 196 will be taught and assessed on the following academic standards in a comprehensive academic school curriculum. All state academic standards for students will continue to be offered in the curriculum, as required by law.

3.1 Language Arts;

3.2 Mathematics;

3.3 Arts;

3.4 Science;

3.5 Social Studies;

3.6 Health/Physical Education;

3.7 Career and Technical Education;

3.8 World Languages, and

3.9 English Language Development (ELD)

4. Interventions – The district will provide intervention programs to eligible students in non-Title I elementary schools and all middle schools as described below:

4.1. Students who are not making sufficient progress toward mastering required content standards, after receiving instruction designed to enable the student to make progress toward mastering the required content standards in a regular classroom setting, and

4.2 Students who, based on the professional judgment of a classroom teacher or a team of licensed professionals, demonstrate a need for alternative instructional strategies or interventions.

5. Advising Students, Parents and Guardians – Students, parents and guardians shall be periodically advised of the student’s progress, achievements, choices and opportunities for achieving learning and graduation goals, and post-secondary and career goals.

6. Use of Assessment Results

6.1 District 196 will examine its practices in light of data and modify those practices when needed.  The district is committed to:

6.1.1 Create systems to regularly collect information on student learning and report this information to parents, teachers, students and the community;

6.1.2 Design systems to measure student learning;

6.1.3 Establish systems to collect information on the various inputs to learning, such as professional development and degree of program implementation, and combine this information with data on student achievement to give a complete picture of effectiveness;

6.1.4 Train teachers and administrators to interpret and use information to guide students and evaluate the effectiveness of curriculum structures and instructional programs, and

6.1.5 Design assessment methods using the highest standards of professional practice. 

6.2 Data gathered from student assessments will be considered when aligning the curriculum by: 

6.2.1 Establishing the standards of performance students must meet in order to graduate, in accordance with graduation requirements;

6.2.2 Setting up sample assessments;

6.2.3 Analyzing any discrepancies between student achievement, instruction and the curriculum that is taught, and

6.2.4 Adjusting the emphasis of what is taught as needed.

7. Reporting

7.1 Individual test results will be reported to teachers, principals and parents of the tested students.

7.2 Aggregate test results, including the following, will be reported annually to district administration, School Board and the public through “World’s Best Workforce – Our Learning Play” on the district website;

7.2.1 The number of students enrolled at each grade level, 9-12, according to the end-of-the-year Minnesota Automated Reporting Student System (MARSS) report, and

7.2.2 The number and results of students in grades 3-8, 10 and 11 taking each state-required assessment.

8. Test Security – Appropriate security measures will be taken for state-required tests.  Security measures will be influenced by test security guidance issued by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and by the following parameters.

8.1 Managing Secure Test Materials

8.1.1 Receipt of Test Materials

8.1.1.1 Materials are shipped to district or school as determined by assessment coordinator.

8.1.1.2 Test contacts will be immediately informed that materials have arrived and will secure all materials.

8.1.1.3 The applicable Assessment Manual and Procedures Manual will be read and any clarifying questions asked of the MDE assessment contact (contacts are listed in the front of the Procedures Manual).

8.1.1.4 Those who have access to the secured area, inventory materials and complete security checklists are test contacts.  Those who have access to secure online testing systems and student login information are assessment coordinator, test contact, and tech contact.

8.1.1.5 Each year every person with access will sign an Assurances of Test Security and Non-Disclosure before handling materials or accessing online systems, including individuals in leadership roles, like principals and superintendents, and custodial and support staff who may have keys, and therefore access, to secure test materials.  Assurances of Test Security and Non-disclosure must be signed each school year and are kept on file at the district for two years. 

8.1.1.6 The test contact will inventory materials immediately using the security checklists.  Security checklists are kept at the district for two years following testing.

8.1.1.7 Test materials will be kept in a secure locked location, until the time of distribution.

8.1.2 Distribution of Materials to School(s)

8.1.2.1 Assessment Manuals and Test Monitor and Student Directions will be distributed in advance of sending the secured test materials.

8.1.2.2 The process for distributing materials to the school(s) will be completed by the assessment coordinator.

8.1.2.3 Immediately upon arrival of test materials, the test contact will use the security checklists to inventory and prepare materials for distribution to classrooms.  Any discrepancies will be reported immediately to the assessment coordinator.  Security checklists are kept at the district for two years following testing.

8.1.2.4 The school(s) will keep the test materials secure in a secure locked location, until the time of testing.  Any student login information for online testing systems must be kept in a secure location until the time of testing.

8.1.2.5 A record of person(s) having access to the secure area, inventorying materials and completing security checklists will be kept by the test contact.

8.1.3 Distribution of Materials to Test Monitors or Test Administrators and Test Administration

8.1.3.1 The assessment coordinator will be responsible for training the test monitors and test administrators prior to the test administration.  Annual training for test monitors and test administrators must be documented and kept on file at the district for two years following testing.

8.1.3.2 The test contact and assessment coordinator make arrangements for the logistics of test administration, which includes ensuring appropriate student-to-test monitor and test administrator ratios and scheduling computer labs.

8.1.3.3 All accommodations must be documented in the student’s IEP or 504 plan prior to test administration and communicated to the test contact and/or tech contact to document on the answer document and/or in online testing systems.

8.1.3.4 All accommodations for English learners must be identified and documented prior to test administration and communicated to the test contact to document on answer documents and/or in online testing systems.

8.1.3.5 All accommodations will be communicated to the test monitors administering the assessments by the test contact.  Any additional training required to administer accommodations will be provided by the assessment coordinator.

8.1.3.6 All test assignment changes (e.g., MCA, MTAS) must be identified prior to test administration and will be communicated to the test monitors administering the assessments by the test contact.

8.1.3.7 The assessment coordinator will ensure the guidelines referenced in Chapter 8 of the Procedures Manual are followed in terms of what materials are allowed during test administration, calculator use guidelines, what help a test monitor can give, covering materials in the classroom and setup of computer labs and testing rooms.

8.1.3.8 The test contact will oversee distribution of all test materials to the test monitors or test administrators.  The procedure for the distribution of all test materials (including online test materials) to the test monitors and test administrators will be determined by the test contact.

8.1.3.9 The test contact and assessment coordinator will ensure that Assurances of Test Security and Non-disclosure are signed by all test monitors and test administrators.  Assurances of Test Security and Non-disclosure must be signed each school year and are kept on file at the district for two years. 

8.1.3.10 Test monitors who are in charge of administering an assessment receive Test Monitor and Student Directions in advance of test date(s).  Test monitors are responsible for reviewing and complying with all information in the Test Monitor and Student Directions.

8.1.3.11 Test monitors will administer the assessment strictly according to the requirements of the Test Monitor and Student Directions.

8.1.3.12 Test monitors and test administrators will inventory their materials immediately upon receiving their tests.  Discrepancies in materials will be reported immediately to the test contact.

8.1.3.13 Test monitors will sign the Test Monitor Test Materials Security Checklist for the test materials they take to their classroom.  Any discrepancies will be reported immediately to the test contact.  Test Monitor Test Materials Security Checklists are kept at the District Office for two years following testing.

8.1.3.14 If students are taking the tests on multiple days, your building’s plan for keeping test materials (including online test materials) secure between test sessions includes the tech contact and test contact.

8.1.3.15 All test materials are secure and cannot be reproduced in any form.

8.1.4 Return of Materials from Test Monitor and Test Administrator

8.1.4.1 The test monitor and test administrator will return all test materials (including any materials used as scratch paper and student authorizations for online tests) to the test contact and/or tech contact immediately after testing.

8.1.4.2Test Monitor Test Materials Security Checklists will be signed by the test monitor indicating that all materials have been returned.  The Test Monitor Test Materials Security Checklists will be returned to the test contact.

8.1.4.3 Test materials will be inventoried immediately at the time they are returned to the test contact to ensure that all materials have been returned.

8.1.4.4 Test materials will be placed in a secure locked location immediately upon their receipt from the test monitors and test administrators.

8.1.4.5 Test materials will be returned to the test contact.

8.1.4.6 Student login information and any other online test materials must be securely destroyed within 48 hours from the end of test administration.

8.1.4.7 The test contact will prepare the materials for their return to the district (if applicable) or the service provider according to return instructions in the applicable Assessment Manual.

8.1.5 Return of Materials to Service Provider

8.1.5.1 All test materials will be inventoried a final time by the test contact.

8.1.5.2 All student responses for applicable online assessments and all student scores for MTAS will be entered according to procedures in the applicable Assessment Manual by the child study secretary or the test contact and tech contact.

8.1.5.3 The test contact will follow instructions provided in the applicable Assessment Manual for the return shipping of test materials.

8.1.5.4 Test materials will be kept in a secure locked location until picked up for return to the service provider.

8.2 General Security Procedures

8.2.1 Chain of Custody for Test Materials

8.2.1.1 The test contact ensures that test materials (including online test materials) are inventoried upon arrival and kept in a secure locked location until distributed to test contacts and test administrators.

8.2.1.2 Test materials will be organized for each test monitor and test administrator, including Test Monitor Test Materials Security Checklists and student logins for online testing systems.

8.2.1.3 Upon receipt of materials, the test monitor ensures that all the test materials listed on the Test Monitor Test Materials Security Checklist are accounted for prior to handing out the test materials to the students.

8.2.1.4 The test monitor is responsible for the test materials during the test administration until their return to the test contact.

8.2.1.5 When the test materials are returned to the test contact, they will again be inventoried and kept in a secure locked location until shipped back to the service provider.  Student logins and any other online test materials must be securely destroyed at the end of test administration.

8.2.2 Staff Test Administration and Security Training – Training should include the following actions:

8.2.2.1 Completion of Assurances of Test Security and Non-disclosure.

8.2.2.2 Review of test security requirements for before, during and after test administration.

8.2.2.3 Review of test monitor responsibilities, printed Test Monitor and Student Directions and any special instructions for a particular test given including any annual training such as the online Test Monitor Certification Course or MTAS Training for Test Administrators.

8.2.2.4 Review any accommodations to be given to students in the test monitor’s test administration.

8.2.2.5 Discuss active monitoring of the test session and the district’s expectations for test monitors.

8.2.2.6 Review of policies and procedures for situations that may arise during testing, including situations related to online tests.

8.2.2.7 Review procedures to follow if a discrepancy in the test materials occurs.

8.2.2.8 Determine a process to contact the test contact if a problem arises during testing without leaving students unattended.

8.2.2.9 Determine a process for inventorying test materials upon receipt and return and completing the Test Monitor Test Materials Security Checklist.

8.2.2.10 Determine a process for when and how test materials are returned to the test contact.

8.3 Breaches in Test Security – If there is a concern that test security may have been breached, the district assessment coordinator will notify MDE within 24 hours of the time of the alleged breach and submit the Test Security Notification (TSN) Form with any documentation within 48 hours.  The Test Security Notification Form is available on the Test WES Dashboard.

8.4 Before the Test

8.4.1 The district assessment coordinator is the main contact with MDE, the test company and the school test contacts. The district assessment coordinator must ensure that:

8.4.1.1 Proper test administration and test security is read and understood from the Procedures Manual, District and School Assessment Coordinator Manuals and the Test Monitor Directions provided by MDE;

8.4.1.2 The number of students with disabilities who will need accommodations, the appropriate accommodations for each student, the number of each accommodation needed and the number of special accommodations that require special ordering for all schools in the district is ascertained and documented collaboratively with school test contacts and special education and English learners (EL) staff;

8.4.1.3 The identification of students who will need an alternate assessment has been determined with the assistance of the district’s special education teachers;

8.4.1.4 Test materials will be ordered and schools will be notified of the expected shipment date;

8.4.1.5 Schools establish a procedure for students who may continue to the next segment after completing a segment, if there are multiple segments in a testing session;

8.4.1.6 Schools establish a procedure for students for use of the restroom while taking a test and what to do if a student becomes ill during testing;

8.4.1.7 Training is provided to school test contacts in proper test administration and test security;

8.4.1.8 Each school test contact has a plan for training test monitors;

8.4.1.9 Accommodations are set up for students as described in the Procedures Manual;

8.4.1.10 Assurances of Test Security and Non-disclosure are signed and get others to do so as needed;

8.4.1.11 Test materials are received, checked-in and stored in a previously identified secure area, and

8.4.1.12 Additional test materials from the “District Overage” are distributed or ordered, if necessary.

8.4.2 The principal’s role is to designate the school test contact and make sure that all staff receive the proper training for administering the tests. The principal must ensure that:

8.4.2.1 A school test contact has been designated;

8.4.2.2 Adequate, secure storage space is provided for all testing materials from the time they arrive in building until they are returned to the test company or the district Assessment Center;

8.4.2.3 There are certified school personnel directly responsible for supervising any non-certified school personnel who have access to secure test materials;

8.4.2.4 No person views the contents of the test book before, during or after test administration unless specifically instructed to do so by the procedures outlined in the manuals;

8.4.2.5 All tests are administered in strict accordance with the instructions contained in the state’s Procedures Manual, District and School Assessment Coordinator Manual and Test Monitor Directions, and

8.4.2.6 No person reviews student responses during or after test administration without specific permission from the district assessment coordinator.

8.4.3 The school test contact is the main contact with the test monitors and the district assessment coordinator. The school test contact is the person responsible, in conjunction with the district assessment coordinator, for the implementation of test administration procedures at a test site that maintains the integrity of the state test.  The school test contact is also responsible for 8.4.1.7 and 8.4.1.8 above and must ensure that:

8.4.3.1 Test materials are checked in when they arrive at the school site and a copy of the packing list, with signature, is sent to the Assessment Center. The test company will be contacted with discrepancies;

8.4.3.2 The School Test Materials Security Checklist and Test Monitor Security Checklist is completed;

8.4.3.3 A process for distributing materials to test monitors on the day of testing and keeping documents secure between testing sessions has been developed and communicated;

8.4.3.4 All testing personnel at the school are trained before handling secure materials, and

8.4.3.5 Procedures are followed on how to contact the school test contact during testing if any test-related issues or questions arise.

8.4.4 The test monitor’s role is to know test administration procedures and be responsible for the security of the assigned testing materials until they are returned to the school test contact. The test monitor also ensures that students follow the written directions for the test administration so that the testing environment supports the integrity of state tests. The test monitors must ensure that:

8.4.4.1 Proper test administration, procedures and test security are understood and followed;

8.4.4.2 The Assurances of Test Security and Non-disclosure is read and signed;

8.4.4.3 The procedure for contacting the school test contact during testing, if any test-related issues or questions arise, is followed;

8.4.4.4 The location for picking up and returning test materials is known;

8.4.4.5 The building’s plan for keeping documents secure between testing sessions is followed;

8.4.4.5 The test sessions that will be administered each day is known;

8.4.4.6 Students with an IEP or 504 Plan have appropriate accommodations, and

8.4.4.7 Prohibited materials in the classroom such as visual aids that directly relate to test content are removed or covered.

8.5 During the Test

8.5.1 The district assessment coordinator is the main contact with MDE, the test company and the school test contacts. The district assessment coordinator must ensure that:

8.5.1.1 Questions from school test contacts are answered, and

8.5.1.2 Testing irregularities are reported to MDE, if necessary.

8.5.2 The principal’s role is to designate the school test contact and make sure that all staff receive the proper training for administering the tests. The principal must ensure that:

8.5.2.1 All directions, test administration procedures and requirements in the Procedures Manual, District and School Coordinator Manual and Test Monitor Directions provided by MDE are followed.

8.5.3.1 The school test contact is the main contact with the test monitors and the district assessment coordinator. The school test contact is the person responsible, in conjunction with the district assessment coordinator, for the implementation of test administration procedures at a test site that maintains the integrity of the state test. The school test contact must ensure that:

8.5.3.2 The administration of tests at a school site is coordinated;

8.5.3.2 All questions from test monitors are answered;

8.5.3.3 Testing irregularities are reported to the district assessment coordinator, if necessary, and

8.5.3.4 Test Monitor Directions are followed.

8.5.4 The test monitor’s role is to know test administration procedures and be responsible for the security of the assigned testing materials until they are returned to the school test contact. The test monitor also ensures that students follow the written directions for the test administration so that the testing environment supports the integrity of state tests. The test monitors, before students arrive, must ensure that:

8.5.4.1 Secure materials are signed out from the school test contact;

8.5.4.2 Tests listed on the Security Checklist are verified;

8.5.4.3 Enough test and answer books/documents are available and documented on the Security Checklist and that students receive the items assigned to them, and

8.5.4.4 If an emergency arises, predetermined procedures are followed. The test monitors, during the test, must ensure that:

8.5.4.5 All students are monitored during testing;

8.5.4.6 Test monitor directions are strictly followed;

8.5.4.7 Questions about sealing or format of the test are answered;

8.5.4.8 The Test Administration Report, if necessary, has documentation on students who are absent or cheating or any unusual circumstances during testing, and

8.5.4.9 Testing irregularities, if any, are reported to the school test contact.

8.6 After the Test

8.6.1 The district assessment coordinator is the main contact with MDE, the test company and the school test contacts. The district assessment coordinator must ensure that:

8.6.1.1 School test contacts follow procedures for returning test materials as outlined in the district and school assessment coordinator manuals;

8.6.1.2 Assurances of Test Security and Non-disclosure are collected with other security documents. These documents are kept for from the end of the academic school year in which testing took place, and

8.6.1.3 Corrections are made to student test and accommodation codes and demographic information during the early correction window for each test administration.

8.6.2 The principal’s role is to designate the school test contact and make sure that all staff receive the proper training for administering the tests. The principal must ensure that:

8.6.2.1 All boxes containing the school testing materials are in a location known to appropriate school office staff and that test materials are secure and ready for pick up on the designated dates, and

8.6.2.2 All test materials are returned to the Assessment Center if directed by the district assessment coordinator.

8.6.3 The school test contact is the main contact with the test monitors and the district assessment coordinator. The school test contact is the person responsible, in conjunction with the district assessment coordinator, for the implementation of test administration procedures at a test site that maintains the integrity of the state test. The school test contact must ensure that:

8.6.3.1 Testing materials are kept in a locked, secure location after testing;

8.6.3.2 Test materials from the test monitor(s) are collected after each testing session and returned to a secure location;

8.6.3.3 The Security Checklist is used to verify receipt of all test books and answer books/documents from the assigned test monitor after each session;

8.6.3.4 Any answer book/documents without pre-coded student information will have all student information hand-bubbled in;

8.6.3.5 Student answers from accommodated materials to a scannable answer book/document are transcribed;

8.6.3.6 Student answer books/documents are placed under the correct school/grade identification sheet and that the sheet is completed accurately;

8.6.3.7 All Assurances of Test Security and Non-disclosure and other security documents are given to the district assessment coordinator, and

8.6.3.8 Return procedures outlined in the District and School Assessment Coordinator Manual are followed.

8.6.4 The test monitor’s role is to know test administration procedures and be responsible for the security of the assigned testing materials until they are returned to the school test contact. The test monitor also ensures that students follow the written directions for the test administration so that the testing environment supports the integrity of state tests. The test monitors must ensure that:

8.6.4.1 Test materials are collected after each testing session;

8.6.4.2 The Security Checklist is used to verify receipt of all test books and answer books/documents from the assigned students before they leave the room;

8.6.4.3 The school test contact is notified immediately if any materials are missing;

8.6.4.4 Test materials are kept secure after the testing session, and

8.6.4.5 Secure materials are returned to the school test contact and a signature verifying the process will be provided by the test monitor.

References:

  • Minnesota Statute 120B.021, Required academic standards
  • Minnesota Statute 120B.11, School district process for reviewing curriculum, instruction, and achievement 
  • Minnesota Statute 120B.30, Statewide testing and reporting system      
  • Minnesota Statute 120B.31, System Accountability and statistical adjustments
  • Minnesota Statute 124D.66, Assurance of mastery programs
  • Minnesota Department of Education – Procedures Manual for the Minnesota Assessments

Regulations/601.4AR/2-10-16