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Washoe County School District A Primer for Testing: Policies and Professional Expectations. 2007-2008 Public Policy, Accountability & Assessment. Mandatory Training for ALL School Personnel Involved with Testing.

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washoe county school district a primer for testing policies and professional expectations

Washoe County School District A Primer for Testing: Policies and Professional Expectations


Public Policy, Accountability & Assessment

mandatory training for all school personnel involved with testing
Mandatory Training for ALL School Personnel Involved with Testing
  • The principal or his/her designee will annually review A Primer for Testing with all staff members who assist with testing.
  • This presentation is meant to be an overview of the contents of the Primer; however, the Primer must be read in its entirety.
All certified and classified personnel concerned with assessment must be familiar with the policies and professional expectations contained within this Primer. Those receiving the training must verify that they have received this training by completing the “Acknowledgement of Professional or Classified WCSD Personnel” found in the Primer.
  • Each faculty member and all other appropriate school personnel shall be given a copy of this Primer for personal use.
  • Test administration and security requirements apply to both state- and district-mandated summative assessments.
purposes of the assessment program
Purposes of the Assessment Program
  • To identify individual student needs and appropriate curriculum or instructional modifications, based upon the skills and concepts tested;
  • To track statistical data longitudinally in order to view trends or patterns of performance or deficiency;
  • To establish comparisons among students in the district, in the state, and in the nation;
  • To gather and report data that are accurate, meaningful, and professionally sound;
  • To fulfill accountability requirements as established by the Nevada Legislature and NCLB; and
  • 6. To encourage analysis of results and to assist in planning for instructional improvement as established by the Blueprint for Student Success and individual school improvement plans.
parent guardian notification
Parent/Guardian Notification

Notifying parents/guardians of the WCSD testing program is considered to be an important integral part of overall test and/or examination orientation and preparation.

All school administrators and teachers must communicate

with the parents/guardians of affected students

at least one month before the actual testing.

timing the hspe and crt examinations
Timing the HSPE and CRT Examinations

The Nevada High School Proficiency Examinations and the Nevada Criterion Referenced Tests, including the writing tests at grades 5, 8 and 11, do not have strict time limits.

Additional time in a quiet, test-conducive setting must be allowed for any student who is working productively at the end of the district-prescribed times.

Students needing additional time may not receive unsupervised breaks or be afforded an opportunity to interact with their peers.

timing the itbs ited examinations
Timing the ITBS/ITED Examinations

The Norm Referenced Tests (ITBS & ITED) do have strict time limits. Any deviation from the specified time limits for NRTs is a violation of ethical testing practices and professional expectations and may be reported as a testing irregularity.

assessment administration procedures
Assessment Administration Procedures
  • Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) 389.051 prescribes when the NPEP examinations are to be given. The Nevada Department of Education prescribes the specific date or range of dates on or during which an examination or examinations will be given.
  • NCLB requires that all students enrolled in grades for which a state-mandated test is given participate.
  • Schools will provide appropriate accommodations for IEP and LEP students.
hspe eligibility
Fourth year high school students who have not earned 17 credits and who do not, through a realistic graduation plan, indicate that they are on track to graduate at the end of the current school year are not permitted to test during 12th grade HSPE testing windows.

In February and May only fourth year students with 17 credits are eligible to take the HSPE.

At each administration of the High School Proficiency Examination each student must provide his/her photo ID for verification of identity.

HSPE Eligibility
more procedures
More Procedures….
  • Classroom Test Administrators must be licensed employees of a district or charter school who are trained in proper test administration procedures and administer the tests in a public facility approved by the board of trustees or the governing body.
  • Classroom Proctors may be licensed or unlicensed personnel; long-term substitutes, and student teachers may act as proctors and not as test administrators.
procedures continued
Procedures, Continued
  • Test administrators must read and follow only the script provided in the administration manuals for administering each test.
  • Students who are not participating in a specific test must not be allowed in the testing room while tests are being administered.
  • At least one test administrator and an appropriate number of proctors must be provided in each testing room to adequately supervise the testing.
more procedures13
More Procedures…
  • Classroom test administrators and proctors must circulate through the room (sitting down throughout the examination period is inappropriate), ensuring that students are on task and marking in the correct section of the test.
    • The only assistance given should clarify the instructions for taking the test and/or examination.
    • Teachers/Proctors must be careful not to inadvertently give hints or clues that indicate an answer or help eliminate answer choices.
    • During writing assessments, teachers/proctors must NOT assist students or review students’ rough drafts between writing sessions beyond what is allowed for in the examination script.
more procedures14
More Procedures…
  • Test items and writing prompts may not be translated into another language for any student.
more procedures15
More Procedures…
  • A restroom break should be provided prior to the test administration. Restroom breaks should be discouraged during the administration of tests in grades 3 through 8. If allowed, restroom breaks must be supervised, with the minimum being a signed pass for a single student.
  • During the High School Proficiency Examination, having students leave the room for any reason except in an emergency must not be allowed.
  • At no time before, during or after testing, shall students be left unattended with testing materials or unlicensed personnel, nor shall examination materials be left unattended, unless locked and secure.
For the CRTs, the HSPE, and all WCSD assessments students may mark in and on the test booklets; however, their answers must be appropriately marked on the answer documents in order to be scored.

For the ITBS/ITED students may not mark in test booklets.

calculator requirements
Calculator Requirements
  • No calculators are to be used on the HSPE or CRTs unless specified in a student’s IEP. Students with 504 plans may NOT use calculators for taking the HSPE and CRTs.
  • On designated sections of the ITBS and ITED, students may use calculators.
  • Calculators MUST be stand-alone, basic four-function or scientific calculators and NOT a component of a cell phone, watch, computer, or any other prohibited electronic device.
Students must NOT be allowed to have cell phones or electronic devices with them outside backpacks or purses during any test administration period.
still more procedures
All testing materials, including test booklets, writing prompts, student responses, HSPE formula sheets and scratch paper, must be returned to the test administrator and accounted for before a student is allowed to leave the testing area for any reason.

Additional instructional materials, beyond those specified in test administration instructions, or approved by an IEP committee, cannot be provided to students for use during a test administration.

Students may not have access to personal materials during testing, and test administrators should arrange to have the permissible materials available for distribution to students prior to testing.

Still More Procedures…
and procedures
And Procedures…
  • Test booklets are not to be distributed until the prescribed date for each examination. Each time that tests and/or examination materials change hands the materials must be counted and the count shown on a sign-in/sign-out sheet and must not be left unsupervised.
  • Upon completion of testing each day, all materials must be returned in person to the appropriate test coordinator in a timely manner and not later than the end of the school day on which the examination is administered.
  • If more than one day is involved for testing, all assessment materials must be returned to the test coordinator each day and stored securely in the school’s locked test storage cabinet.
procedures anyone
Procedures Anyone?
  • All classroom test administrators and classroom proctors must read each administration manual thoroughly prior to each test administration. Test administrators, coordinators, and proctors will be held responsible for complying with the contents of these manuals. The manuals should be distributed well in advance of each test administration.
wcsd assessments
WCSD Assessments
  • District-produced examinations (Benchmark Assessments, CRTs, CBEs and High School Math Finals) may vary significantly in rules and procedures from State tests. Administrators and staff must carefully read all resources that accompany these tests.
wcsd benchmark assessments
WCSD Benchmark Assessments
  • Not summative assessments
  • Data to be used to inform instruction, encourage learning, and enhance student achievement
  • Data to be shared in PLCs or other collaborative meetings
  • Test books semi-secure: stored in classrooms, available to teachers, but not shared with students until administration
wcsd summative assessments grades 1 2 math hs math finals algebra world language cbes
WCSD Summative Assessments:Grades 1&2 Math, HS Math Finals, Algebra & World Language CBEs
  • Secure Assessments
  • Follow security guidelines for Nevada summative tests
  • Read WCSD administration guidelines
  • Read teacher scripts verbatim
who brings what to the testing environment
Who brings what to the testing environment?
  • Students should bring onlyrequired materials to the test and/or examination session: soft #2 pencils and calculators, if authorized by the state or district.
  • All other materials—including test and/or examination booklets, writing test prompts, answer sheets, and scratch paper—should be provided at the testing location.
  • Students may bring books for reading after they have fully completed an examination; however, all personal books and backpacks should be kept in an area away from the testing area. Students must not be allowed to access personal items until they have returned all examination materials.
the national assessment of educational progress naep
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
  • In accordance with NRS 389.012, all Nevada schools

that are selected by the National Assessment Governing Board for participation in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) MUST participate.

  • NAEP does not provide scores for individual

students or schools; instead, it offers reports

for the entire state based upon a sample of

student populations.

  • NAEP will be conducted at selected schools in grades 4, 8, and 12.
test item security and confidentiality
Test Item Security and Confidentiality
  • The test items, problems, or questions contained in all state-mandated or WCSD-mandated summative tests and the approved answers for scoring them are SECURE and CONFIDENTIAL.
  • Under NO circumstances shall copies of writing test prompts or test booklets, marked answer sheets, or answer keys be generally circulated among faculty, administrators, or others persons, except for test administration. This includes electronic circulation.
more about security and confidentiality
More about Security and Confidentiality
  • During test administration, teachers/proctors MUST NOT make written notes regarding specific writing test prompts, test items or problems, or illustrations in booklets while administering tests.
  • Copying test items, problems, or questions and the approved answers for grading them by any means or disclosure of those items, problems, or questions and the approved answers for scoring them is a breach of NRS provisions, Nevada Administrative Code regulations, WCSD testing procedures, and ethical expectations for the professional behavior of all district employees. Such breaches of testing procedures shall be cause for disciplinary action.
more about security and confidentiality29
More about Security and Confidentiality
  • Reporting test scores of individual students to anyone other than authorized school personnel, the student’s parent/guardian, or the student is prohibited.
  • Any concern about the contents of a writing test prompt, test item, problem, or question should be communicated directly to the school principal within the first two school days after that examination has been administered.
  • Schools are responsible for conducting refresher trainings prior to each major test administration.
teacher responsibilities collecting organizing and checking
Teacher Responsibilities: Collecting, Organizing, and Checking
  • The test administrator is responsible for collecting and organizing the answer sheets or test booklets in the order they were received for his/her individual classroom.
  • It is imperative that the answer portion of the answer sheet not be altered in any way, with the exception of erasing stray marks.
  • For answer documents that are not precoded, it is crucial that the bubbles for test forms be accurately darkened.
  • Smudged erasures and stray pencil marks must be cleaned up by the teacher or proctor. Scanners are ultra-sensitive to stray erasure marks or smudges.
points of interest for special needs students
Points of Interest for Special Needs Students
  • NCLB requires that all students enrolled in grades where a state-mandated test is given participate. Schools will provide appropriate accommodations for IEP and LEP students. It should be noted that all parts of each examination must be taken.
  • Students given “Accommodations” may be counted as proficient depending on their scores and will be counted as participating. The accommodation forms must be completed prior to testing. See your school’s testing coordinator, special education teacher(s) or ESL teacher(s) for students’ accommodations.
  • Students given “Modifications” will be counted as non-proficient and not participating.
further points of interest for special needs students
Further Points of Interest for Special Needs Students
  • All students, including students with special needs, are required to participate in the HSPE assessment program beginning in the 10th grade.
  • A teacher who is requested to read aloud the contents of a state or district mandated test in compliance with a student’s IEP or LEP requirements must sign a form prior to the test date indicating that he/she will not disclose the test contents to any other person.
reporting suspected breaches or irregularities
Reporting Suspected Breaches or Irregularities
  • In accordance with Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS), all pupils, school officials, and others must report any suspected irregularities in testing administration or testing security.
  • NRS 391.628 specifically prohibits any school official from directly or indirectly using his/her official authority to influence another school official in an effort to interfere with or to prevent the disclosure of information concerning a testing irregularity. The protocol adopted by the WCSD Board of Trustees mirrors this intention.
  • If any reprisal or retaliatory action is taken within 2 years of the disclosure, a process of appeal for that school official will result in a hearing before the State Board of Education.
  • This does not mean that appropriate consequences will not be administered if the person making the disclosure is the person who has engaged in the testing irregularity or breach of test security.
more about reporting suspected breaches or irregularities
More about Reporting Suspected Breaches or Irregularities
  • A teacher or administrator may be demoted, suspended, dismissed or not re-employed and/or his/her license may be suspended/revoked for failure to observe and carry out state or school district plans for ensuring the secure administration of required examinations.
  • In certain instances of repeated test administration

irregularities at the same school in consecutive years,

the Nevada Department of Education may determine

that an examination must be administered again at the

expense of the school district or governing board of

a charter school.

  • A person who willfully discloses untruthful information

concerning testing irregularities shall be guilty of a

misdemeanor and is subject to disciplinary action.

steps in reporting suspected breaches or irregularities
Steps in Reporting Suspected Breaches or Irregularities
  • In the event of any alleged or suspected breach of test and/or examination security or unauthorized disclosure of test and/or examination content (for both state- and district-mandated assessments), this sequence must be followed.
    • The situation must be immediately reported to the school test coordinator AND school principal.
    • The test coordinator or principal must, in turn, report the breach of test security to the Assistant Superintendent, PPA&A, or his designee, within 24 hours of the time the alleged or suspected breach has been brought to his/her attention.
    • The Assistant Superintendent, PPA&A, or his designee, will communicate with appropriate WCSD district level administrators about the suspected breach or unauthorized disclosure.
    • For all state-mandated assessments, within 24 hours, the Assistant Superintendent, PPA&A or his designee, must report any breach of test security or suspected irregularity in test administration to the Nevada Proficiency Examination Program.
investigation protocol
Investigation Protocol
  • Reported instances of alleged breaches of test administration or test security shall be investigated by the school district or by the Nevada Department of Education.
  • If investigated by the school district, the Assistant Superintendent, PPA&A, or his designee, shall work collaboratively with the WCSD Legal Division, Human Resources, the school principal, and the appropriate Elementary or Secondary Superintendent to investigate the alleged breach of test administration or test security after submission of the completed Report of Test Irregularity.
investigation protocol37
Investigation Protocol
  • If investigated by the Nevada Department of Education, the Assistant Superintendent, PPA&A or his designee, shall obtain other testimony or conduct further investigation as directed by the NDE after submission of the completed Report of Test Irregularity.
  • Both the school district and the Nevada Department of Education may issue a subpoena, as needed, to compel the attendance or testimony of a witness or the production of relevant materials. If the witness refuses to attend, testify, or produce relevant materials, the school district or the Nevada Department of Education may report that refusal to the district court.
  • Members of the various professional associations involved in such investigations are entitled to representation from their associations.
important definitions
Important Definitions
  • “Irregularity in testing administration” means the failure to administer an examination to pupils pursuant to NRS 389.015 or 389.550 in the manner intended by the person or entity that created the examination.
  • “Irregularity in testing security” means an act or omission that tends to corrupt or impair the security of an examination administered to pupils pursuant to NRS 389.015 or 389.550, including, without limitation:
    • The failure to comply with security procedures adopted pursuant to this act;
    • The disclosure of questions or answers to questions on an examination in a manner not otherwise approved by law; and
    • Other breaches in the security or confidentiality of the questions or answers to questions on an examination.
important definitions continued
Important Definitions (continued)
  • “Examination” means achievement and proficiency tests or assessments that are administered to pupils pursuant to NRS 389.015 or 389.550 which includes:
    • High School Proficiency Examination in Reading, Mathematics, Science and Writing;
    • Norm-referenced testing for students in grades 4, 7 and 10 (ITBS/ITED);
    • Criterion-referenced testing for students in grades 3 through 8; and
    • Proficiency Examinations in Writing for students in grades 5 & 8.
    • Any other tests or assessments that measure achievement and proficiency of pupils and that are administered to pupils on a district-wide basis.
important definitions continued40
Important Definitions (continued)
  • “Reprisal or retaliatory action” includes, without limitation:
    • Frequent or undesirable changes in the location of an office;
    • Frequent or undesirable transfers or reassignments;
    • The issuance of letters of reprimand, letters of admonition or evaluations of poor performance;
    • A demotion;
    • A reduction in pay;
    • The denial of a promotion;
    • A suspension;
    • A dismissal;
    • A transfer; or
    • Frequent changes in working hours or workdays, if such action is taken, in whole or in part, because the school official disclosed information concerning irregularities in testing administration or testing security.
additional relevant definitions
Additional Relevant Definitions
  • The important terms “Classroom Test Administrator”, “Classroom Proctor”, and “School Official” are terms that can refer to teachers and classified school staff. Their full definitions can be viewed on pages 12 and 13 of the Primer.
important attachments to the primer

Your Primer for Testing contains several important attachments that provide additional valuable information and must be reviewed by all staff:

1. Security Reminders Checklist

2. An Appropriate Testing Environment

3. WCSD Emergency Procedures during Testing

4. Achievement Level Score Ranges, 2007-2008

5. Acknowledgment of Professional or Classified

WCSD Personnel

All WCSD assessment calendars may be accessed at http://www.washoe.k12.nv.us/district/departments/publicpolicyandaccountability/assessment/

whom to contact for more information
Whom to Contact for More Information
  • Assistant Superintendent, PPA&A:

Paul La Marca 348-0322


Sandi Foster 348-0283

  • Writing Assessments, CRTs, CBEs, Benchmark Assessments, NAEP & High School Math Finals: Paul Richter 348-0323