9-12 District
Test Coordinator
Bulletin

9-12 District
Test Coordinator
Bulletin

OST, OELPA and AASCD

12/1/2017

Requesting Exceptions to Online Testing –
Ohio’s State Tests and Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment  

Ohio’s State Tests and the Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment are online tests for all students, with some exceptions. The expectation is that all districts and schools will schedule time and provide technology appropriately for their local situations.
 
The following are situations where districts and schools may be eligible for paper testing:
  1. A district or school with students who will require the use of paper test forms as an accommodation documented in an IEP or 504 Plan or due to a student’s religious beliefs; or
  2. A district or school that lacks the required technology infrastructure to test all students online, including schools that:
    1. Are new to state testing and verify a lack of technology to test all students online; or
    2. Experience a change in the district’s or school’s technology system that impacts capacity to test all students online.
Districts or schools with the above situations involving the limitation of technology should contact the Ohio Department of Education at statetests@education.ohio.gov to start the process of determining eligibility for an exception to online testing.
 

Pre-ID Layout for Ohio’s State Tests for 2017-2018 

The Department has updated its Student Pre-Identification (Pre-ID) File Layout for the 2017-2018 school year. The layout collects student information for Ohio’s State Tests, the Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (AASCD) and the Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA). Districts will continue to use the old Pre-ID layout for the Ohio Graduation Tests (OGT).
 
The new Pre-ID layout is available on the portal under the Online System Resources, TIDE Support Documents. Please download a copy of the new 2017-2018 Pre-ID layout for Ohio’s State Tests. The layout builds upon the 2016-2017 layout; changes to the layout are indicated in red font. There are no changes to the way Pre-ID data is submitted for 2017-2018. The changes to the layout offer clarifications on existing requirements only. Please share and work with your information technology center and/or your district data service people as soon as possible in the preparation of the Pre-ID files. Additional information about preparing and submitting Pre-ID files is in the Guidance Document for 2017-2018 Pre-ID Files.
 

District Student Results File Layout 2017-2018  

A new layout for district student results data files for the 2017-2018 school year is now available on the Reporting Resources page of the portal. All changes to the layout from the prior year are indicated in red font. Please distribute this layout to all EMIS coordinators, data managers and information technology centers.

This layout will support the reporting of the following administrations:
  • OELPA spring 2018;
  • Ohio's State Tests fall 2017, spring 2018 and summer 2018;
  • AASCD spring 2018.
Directions for accessing district data files can be found in the Online Reporting System User Guide and the Downloading Data Files guidance document, both available on the Reporting Resources page of the portal.
 

Secure Browsers for 2017-2018  

The AIR Secure Browsers and AIR SecureTest Apps for the 2017-2018 school year are now available for download from the Ohio’s State Tests portal. Schools administering Ohio’s State Tests in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies or the Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment online must download and install the AIR Secure Browser or AIR SecureTest App on the devices the students will use for testing. The secure browser and app allow students to access the test and prevent students from accessing other computer applications while they are taking an online test.
 
Version 10 of the secure browser is available for desktop and laptop devices running Windows 7-10 or Mac OS 10.9-10.12. Version 9.5 is available for devices running Mac OS 10.7-10.8. The secure browsers currently available on the portal are the only versions that can be used for the 2017-2018 school year. Older versions of the secure browser installed on desktop and laptop devices cannot be used for secure student testing in 2017-2018.
 
If students will test online using Chromebooks or tablets, districts and schools must have the latest version of the AIR SecureTest App on these devices. The AIR Secure Test App for mobile devices – Chromebooks, iPads and Androids – is new for 2017-2018. As with the desktop secure browser only the 2017-2018 version can be used for secure student testing. Older versions of the secure test app cannot be used. These devices generally auto-install app updates and no action is needed by districts to update the app on these devices. If you would like to verify your devices have the most recent app version, follow these steps:
  1. Open the secure test app on the device.
  2. Click the “Go to the Training Test Site” link below the student sign in box.
  3. This takes you to the Practice Test sign in screen.
  4. In the lower right corner of the sign in box, find the browser description.
  5. This indicates the browser type and version. The latest version numbers are:
    1. Chromebooks – 3.0
    2. iPads – 4.1
 
Downloading the Secure Browser or App
The secure browsers and apps are available from the Secure Browsers page of the portal. Be sure to install the correct version of the secure browser or app for each device’s operating system. Detailed installation instructions are available in the Secure Browsers Installation Manual. Additional information about preparing your network and devices for online testing is available in the Technical Specifications Manual.
 
Please note the following regarding recently released Apple operating systems:
  • Due to a security concern with iOS 11.0, AIR is unable to support iOS 11.0. Apple has released iOS 11.1 and AIR has verified that this corrects the security concern in 11.0.  Districts may update their iPad devices to iOS 11.1. Devices with iOS 11.0 will continue to be blocked from accessing the testing sites. As a reminder, AIR supports the three most recent versions of iOS for secure student testing. With support for iOS 11.1 now available, support for iOS 8.x has ended.
  • AIR is still testing and resolving issues for macOS 10.13 High Sierra. AIR and the Department recommend that districts avoid using machines with the latest macOS for secure testing. Districts should watch for future communications regarding support for macOS 10.13 High Sierra.
 
System Requirements
Lastly, please be sure to review the latest Online System Requirements and Long Term Support Plan for more information about supported operating systems, devices and browsers for Ohio’s online applications.
 

TIDE User Accounts and Resetting Passwords  

Test coordinators are responsible for creating and maintaining user accounts for Ohio’s State Tests, the Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (AASCD) and the Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA) in TIDE.
 
You must follow the process before you will be able to access TIDE for 2017-2018 school year. All user accounts that had access to TIDE in 2016-2017 will continue to have access this year, after resetting the password. For security purposes, the activation email will no longer contain a temporary password but will instead contain a unique secure link. Users with TIDE accounts from last year will need to complete the steps listed below to create a new password and gain access to TIDE.
 
  1. Access the TIDE login page.
  2. On the TIDE login page, click on the link to “Request a new one for this school year.”
  3. Enter the email address you use to log into TIDE.
  4. An email (from AIRAST-DoNotReply@airast.org) that contains a clickable link will be sent to the email address associated with the account.
  5. Click on the link. You will be directed to a page in TIDE where you can enter a new password. The link will expire in 15 minutes; if you do not create your new password within 15 minutes, you will need to request a new link.
  6. Follow the on-screen prompts to create a new password and respond to security questions.
 
It is recommended that test coordinators review all users after system rollover to ensure personnel have proper access for the 2017-2018 school year. If a user should no longer have an account, authorized users should follow the process in the TIDE User Guide to remove system access for that user. TIDE User Management Guidance Document.
 

Test Administrator Certification Course  

The Test Administrator Certification Course is now linked to TIDE. Users must have a TIDE account to access the optional TA Certification Course for Ohio’s State Tests. TIDE will track which users have completed the course and test coordinators can view this information in the view/edit manage users task with the new “TA Certified” flag. More information regarding the TA Certification Course is available in the TA Certification Course Companion Document.
 

Test Settings and Tools Updates for 2017-2018  

Districts will notice several updates to the test settings and tools section under the Student Information task for 2017-2018. The same updates also have been applied to the Test Administrator Interface, the Practice Test Site and TA Practice Site. This provides a consistent presentation of student test settings and tools across all systems.
  • The test settings and tools are now grouped into four different categories; General Testing Tools, Reading Tools, Visual Tools and Other Tools.
  • Ohio’s Accessibility Manual classifies each tool as an accommodation, designated support or universal tool. The test settings and tools interface displays this classification for each tool, by subject.
  • Test coordinators and test administrators are now able to turn off the universal tools of highlighter, line reader and strikethrough for students who may otherwise be easily distracted and need less tools available.
  • OELPA has added one new test setting, which is in its own category – Domain Exemptions.
 
The TIDE User Guide has more information on how to set test settings and tools. Ohio’s Accessibility Manual has more information on the tool classifications and new universal tools. The TA User Guide has more information on the TA Interface. Users should watch for future communication on domain exemptions for OELPA.
 

TIDE Resources 

Several resources are available on the Online Systems Resources page of the Ohio’s State Tests portal to help users navigate TIDE and complete tasks for the 2017-2018 school year. These include:
  • TIDE User Guide;
  • TIDE Tasks Summary for Test Coordinators;
  • TIDE User Management Guidance Document;
  • User Role Matrix;
  • Pre-ID Guidance Document;
  • Pre-ID File Layout;
  • Pre-ID Upload Templates; and
  • TIDE Tutorials.
 

Students and the ACT/SAT  

State law requires that schools administer the state-funded ACT or SAT to all grade 11 students, who entered grade 9 after July 1, 2014, in the spring of the school year. Senate Bill 3 exempts the following students from the requirement to take the assessment:
  1. A student who has significant cognitive disabilities and is administered an alternate assessment in accordance with the student's individualized education program (IEP);
  2. A student who has a disability that includes an intellectual disability. Guidance available.
  3. A student who is an English learner who has been enrolled in United States’ schools for less than two years and for whom no appropriate accommodations are available. Guidance available.
  4. A student who received a "remediation-free" score on the required nationally standardized assessment and has presented evidence of that fact to the student's district or school.
 
A board may not prohibit an exempted student from taking the nationally standardized assessment if the student would like to take the assessment.
 
To ensure that every student can participate in the state-funded administration of the ACT or SAT, districts and schools should prepare to test all students. This includes registering all students and requesting accommodations that may be required for a student. For exempted students, the Ohio Department of Education encourages, but does not require, schools to request that a parent place in writing a decision not to participate so there is a record of why the student was not tested.