Assessment Newsletter (Volume 3 Issue 36)

Update from the Wyoming Department of Education  |  view online |  website


October 30, 2015  |  WDE Assessment Updates  |  Volume 3, Issue 36


ACT Aspire has created opportunities for districts to examine their ability to implement the new ACT Aspire tests online in grades 9 and 10. These opportunities are CRITICALLY IMPORTANT for school/district staff to ensure readiness for the April assessments.

First, ACT will deploy a technology readiness survey on November 6. The link will be provided in the WDE Assessment Newsletter and on the ACT Page. You will be asked to respond by December 18.

Second, ACT Aspire is hosting a series of webinars for Technical Readiness Training and for running Infrastructure Trials. These sessions will provide you with valuable information necessary for the test administration. The Wyoming Technical Readiness Training will provide information on how to run system checks to verify that your district’s technology system meets ACT’s minimum requirements. The Infrastructure Trial session will provide information on how to access and use the Infrastructure Trial tenant which will allow districts to test the local infrastructure, work with simulated student data, set-up practice test sessions, print authorization tickets, and try out the portal before working with live data in the ACT Aspire portal.

Wyoming Technical Readiness Training - Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes 

Session Password: Aspire

Wyoming Infrastructure Trial Training - Duration: 1 hour

Session Password: Aspire

To gain access to the Infrastructure Trial, please complete the following form:

Once the form is completed, the person who completes the form will receive an invite to join the Infrastructure Trial within 7 business days. 


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WDE has created training sessions for everyone administering or second scoring the Wy-ALT assessment during the 2015-1016 testing window.

If you have not previously attended a Wy-ALT training session, and will be administering and/or second scoring the assessment this year, you will need to attend a full-day training session. There are three training sessions scheduled:

  • January 11 - Buffalo
  • January 12 - Casper
  • January 15 - Rock Springs

If you attended last year's full day training, you will not be required to attend the full day session (you may however on a voluntary basis). Instead, you will be required to attend a half-day refresher course. There will be 2 live sessions:

  • January 13 - Casper (morning)
  • January 13 - Casper (afternoon)

WDE is also scheduling refresher webinars in lieu of the live sessions. A registration link will be posted in an upcoming WDE Assessment Newsletter.



 ACT has updated its policy around the ACT WorkKeys  administration. ACT will now allow the delivery of WorkKeys  assessments on any computer that meets ACT technical  specifications. This includes the use of student-owned or  school-owned computers, when Proctors strictly observe  delivery protocols and procedures to ensure fairness and  maintain the security of ACT’s forms.


SAVE THE DATE: PAWS Building Coordinator Training

Working group

Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the Wyoming Department of Education will be hosting Building Coordinator Training sessions at four locations to review the responsibilities of the Building Test Coordinator for the 2016 PAWS administration.

Attendance at this training is strongly encouraged. Please continue to watch the newsletter for registration and specific site information.

Building Coordinator Training will be in the following locations:

  • January 25, Evanston
  • January 26, Laramie
  • January 27, Casper
  • January 29, Sheridan


Mark your calendars!  This year’s 684 snapshot date for accountability and exemption due date for participation in the PAWS assessment is March 18. The snapshot and exemption date for ACT and ACT Aspire is April 19.



 The WDE/ACT Performance Level Descriptor Development Workshop has been postponed due to new peer review requirements issued by the U.S. Department of Education. It is necessary to postpone this workshop to ensure that the ACT PLDs meet peer review guidelines. A new date will be announced in the near future. Please continue to watch the Assessment Newsletter for more information. 

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Please contact the Assessment Team if you have any questions.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY: Scoring and Norming to Improve Writing Instruction


The WDE is offering a two-day professional development workshop in Cheyenne December 8-9. Participants will learn how to use the Wyoming Writing Rubric to systematically score writing samples in a group setting, encouraging quality writing instruction.

Selected Wyoming writing prompts must be administered to students beforehand, and their writing samples will be scored and normed. All identifiable student information must be removed before submission. Samples must be submitted before November 20, 2015. 

Registration closes November 20, 2015.




Performance Level Descriptor

A statement of knowledge and skills a test taker must have to be classified as a particular performance level, such as "below basic," "basic," "proficient," or "advanced."


  • November 2: ACT Aspire Training - Powell
  • November 2 - 3: PD: NWEA MAP Training - Lovell, WY
  • November 2 - 3: PD: NWEA MAP Training - Cheyenne, WY
  • November 5: ACT Aspire Tech Readiness Training Webinar
  • November 5 - 6: PD: NWEA MAP Training - Riverton, WY
  • November 5 - 6: PD: NWEA MAP Training - Casper, WY (Full)
  • November 10: ACT Aspire Wyoming Infrastructure Trial Training Webinar
  • November 11: ACT Aspire Wyoming Infrastructure Trial Training Webinar
  • November 18: ACT Aspire Wyoming Infrastructure Trial Training Webinar 
  • December 8 - 9: PD: Scoring & Norming to Improve Writing Instruction - Cheyenne, WY
  • January 11: Wy-ALT Training - Buffalo
  • January 12: Wy-ALT Training - Casper
  • January 13: Wy-ALT Training (half-day) - Casper
  • January 15: Wy-ALT Training - Rock Springs
  • January 25: PAWS Building Coordinator Training - Evanston
  • January 26: PAWS Building Coordinator Training - Laramie
  • January 27: PAWS Building Coordinator Training - Casper
  • January 29: PAWS Building Coordinator Training - Sheridan