Monday DAC Email for Monday, September 8, 2020

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September 8, 2020

Question of the Week

Q: With the COVID-19 restrictions, are districts/schools required to bring in students to complete the ACT pre-activities prior to the test date?

A: No. Due to the unique circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, ACT will now permit students to complete the non-test portion of their answer document on test day for the 2020 fall administration only.

If students complete the non-test portion on test day, please follow these guidelines: 

  • Examinees complete the non-test portion of their answer document before completing any other activity on test day. When they are finished, please instruct them to place the Taking the ACT booklet under their seat (students will take the booklet home when testing is complete). Then the room supervisor should proceed with testing.
  • Please adhere to all scheduled breaks, as documented in the Test Administration Manual.
  • Please submit an irregularity report.

Please ensure the school’s entire testing population adheres to the same non-test procedure decision. A school should not have half of the students come in prior to test day to complete the non-test activities, while the other half complete the non-test activities on test day.

On testing day, please ensure all current COVID-19 guidance procedures are followed. 

ACT Training for Room Supervisors, Proctors and Accommodations Providers

All ACT testing staff, both new and experienced, must attend a training session conducted by the Test Coordinator before test day.

Near the end of the ACT Test Administration Manuals (standard time and accommodations) is a section titled “Training Session Outline and Topics for Discussion.” Subjects include the Security of Test Materials, Room Preparation, Pretest Activities, Test Day and After the Test.

During a training session, the Test Coordinator is expected to discuss the topics described in each section with the testing staff. The Test Accommodations Coordinator must also attend and share any relevant issues with accommodations staff in a separate training session.

The following resources are available for training:

Appropriate Administration Manuals

In addition to ACT’s training expectations, all testing staff must be trained in the Administration Code for Kentucky’s Educational Assessment Program. For those providing accommodations, Inclusion of Special Populations in the State-Required Assessment and Accountability Programs training must be completed. 

ACT Accommodations Reconsideration Deadline

ACT will reconsider requests for ACT-authorized accommodations and English Learner (EL) supports that were not initially approved. If you would like ACT to review a request, you may use the Test Accessibility and Accommodations (TAA) System to submit additional documentation. The deadline for requesting a reconsideration of ACT-approved accommodations and supports on the ACT is Friday, Sept. 18. Directions for submitting a request for reconsideration begin on page 56 of the TAA User Guide. 

ACT Additional Order Materials Deadline

If additional standard time testing materials are needed for the Sept. 22 test date, the deadline to order the materials is Friday, Sept. 11. Directions for ordering the supplemental materials can be found under the Order Materials section of the PAN User Guide.

ACT Non-College Reportable Accommodations Materials Deadline

The school test coordinator authorizes non-college reportable accommodations test materials (NCR) as appropriate f or examinees. These are not requested through the TAA system. The test coordinator is responsible for ordering non-college reportable accommodations test materials in PearsonAccessnext (PAN) for each examinee who needs them. The deadline to order NCR material is Friday, Sept. 11. Directions for ordering the NCR materials can be found under the Order Materials section of the PAN User Guide.

ACT Test Materials Arrive Sept. 8-11 Reminder

If testing occurs at the school on the initial ACT test date (Sept. 22), standard time and accommodations test materials will arrive this week. Test Coordinators are required to check-in materials within 24 hours of receiving them from ACT. Contact ACT immediately if contents do not match packing lists, or if there is evidence of tampering. Materials must be kept in secure storage at all times before and after testing. The Test Coordinator is responsible for the security of all test materials from the time of receipt.

DAC Monthly Webcast

The Office of Assessment and Accountability (OAA), Division of Assessment and Accountability Support (DAAS) is committed to supporting District Assessment Coordinators (DACs) during the COVID-19 pandemic, and will hold the September DAC Monthly Webcast virtually Thursday, Sept. 10 at 11 a.m. ET.

The live webcast will be hosted by Jennifer Stafford, Director, in the Division of Assessment and Accountability Support (DAAS). Timely assessment and accountability topics will be shared. The September DAC Webcast PowerPoint will be available on Thursday morning. Please join Jennifer at 11 a.m. ET for the virtual broadcast. Questions may be asked by sending an email to KDE DAC Information.

2020 Alternate K-PREP Systems Registration

The Alternate K-PREP Systems homepage which houses the Online Training System (OTS), Student Registration Database (SRD) and the Career Readiness Database (CRD) has been closed for security updates. These updates will require everyone needing access to any of the listed sites above to register in the system as a new user and provide a detailed password with security questions. The intention of these security updates will focus on reducing online security attacks and attempts to breach student information. The entire process should take 5 minutes or less to complete.

Register Here

For registration assistance, please follow the Alternate K-PREP Systems Registration guidance document found on the Alternate K-PREP Resources page.

If you have questions please feel free to contact Kevin O’Hair by email, or by phone at (502) 564-4394.

2021 WIDA Self-Paced eWorkshops Now Available!

Starting Sept. 1, Kentucky selected the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Self-Paced eWorkshop package for 2020-2021, educators with a WIDA secure portal account have the opportunity to participate in the following six on-demand eWorkshops:

  • WIDA Writing Rubric
  • Doing and Talking STEM
  • Classroom Teachers: Engaging Multilingual Newcomers
  • Leading for Equity: Classroom Walkthrough
  • Social Studies: Engaging Multilingual Learners through Inquiry
  • Developing Language for Learning in Mathematics

Two additional eWorkshops will be available in Winter 2020:

  • School Improvement Planning for Equitable Education of Multilingual Learners
  • Engaging with the WIDA Standards: A Collaborative Approach

The Self-paced eWorkshops page provides course descriptions, a promotional flyer on Kentucky’s WIDA member page, use to inform districts of all the benefits of engaging with WIDA Self-paced eWorkshops.

New! Supporting Multilingual Learners During COVID-19 Micro-Offerings

To help navigate the unique challenges of teaching during the pandemic, WIDA Professional Learning launched a new series of micro-offerings. The 30-45-minute courses are open to anyone and are designed for educators who work with multilingual children and youth across a variety of settings. The following micro-offerings are now available in the Supporting Multilingual Learners during COVID-19 series:

  • Distance Learning with Multilingual Learners in Mind
  • Tending to Multilingual Learners’ Social-Emotional Well-Being
  • Consideration for Evaluating Online Resources for Multilingual Learners

Access all three courses on the Distance Teaching and Learning webpage.

C

DAC Spotlight

Cindy Beals

Warren County Public Schools

The first Warren County school was established in 1907, and the Warren County Public Schools (WCPS) district was formally organized in 1908 to serve students outside of Bowling Green city limits residing in Warren County. WCPS has grown into a district comprised of almost 18,000 students with 15 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, 4 high schools and 6 alternative schools. The district serves preschool through grade 12, with approximately 57% of its students qualifying for the free/reduced-price lunch program, and over 2,500 English Learners representing over 60 countries and 90 different languages and dialects. In addition to the rigorous academic requirements that are inherent in providing a quality education experience for all WCPS students, the district’s Board of Education has shown its eagerness to expand programs, based on research-based practices, to reach students at all levels of learning and provide them with differentiated instruction to best serve their needs.  

Although there are many great things that could be shared, listed below are four educational opportunities that go along with the priorities of the Warren County Public Schools (Safety, Achievement and Opportunity) and that they are proud to mention: 

  1. Safety—WCPS has long emphasized safety for both students and staff. The district was the first in the state of Kentucky to have a Student Resource Officer (SRO) and the first to have automated external defibrillators (AED) in every building. As the age of COVID-19 has been entered, the district was the first in the state to have at least one electrostatic sprayer in each building to help disinfect buildings. Finally, the district installed bipolar ionization systems in each HVAC unit in every building throughout the district to help keep the air in all schools and offices as clean as possible. WCPS constantly strives to keep safety in the forefront of each decision made across the district.
  2. Achievement--Standards Focus Teams--This past school year and continuing into the current school year, WCPS implemented a process called Standards Focus Teams. The creation of these teams came about to help educators within the district engage in professional learning to support ALL students in achieving high success in learning. During the process, teacher leaders from all 23 schools came together at a district level to develop an understanding of the newly revised Kentucky Academic Standards. The purpose of Standards Focus Teams was to build capacity at the school level to aid in the implementation of the standards, while receiving support, resources and coaching from district level instructional leaders. Teachers were able to work with teachers from other schools which helped to build a network of teacher leaders who developed a shared understanding of the revised Kentucky Academic Standards. This network helped schools align grade-level standards with school programs, curriculum and resources. It also helped create continuity in aligning assignments and assessments to grade level standards. This job-embedded professional learning has proven to be invaluable in helping teachers understand how to effectively implement the KAS, so that ALL students have access to rigorous, high-quality instructional content. 
  3. Opportunity--College and Career Coaches--In August of 2019, WCPS hired, for the first time, four College and Career Readiness (CCR) coaches (one per high school). The results are remarkable and transformative. The coaches were hired to expand college and/or career training and educational opportunities for students in a focused effort to prepare students for postsecondary success and increase the number of students graduating Transition Ready. In the period of just one academic year, the CCR coaches arranged for 1,575 juniors and seniors to attend college campus visits (an increase from 328 students in 2018-2019); 721 juniors and seniors to attend over 30 career shadowing events (an increase from 13 events and 260 students in 2018-2019); 678 students to take the district-supported ACT Bootcamp Preparatory course (a course not offered in 2018-2019); and more. The result was a remarkable 2,060 individual contacts made by the CCR coaches with students during the 2019-2020 academic year, and a pre-COVID-19 Transition Ready percentage of 76.07% (based on WCPS calculations), with expectations of even more students reaching that benchmark prior to graduation had it not been for the pandemic. 
  4. Leadership--Beginning in 2010, the Bowling Green Area Chamber Foundation and WCPS began a journey to support the youth in the community in developing leadership and life skills. Staff believes leadership, responsibility, problem solving, adaptability and soft skills are as important as academics. The community began a partnership with FranklinCovey, a world leader in helping organizations achieve results through the principles of leadership based upon the writings of Benjamin Franklin and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People research by Stephen R. Covey. Currently, WCPS has ten schools that have earned the prestigious "Lighthouse" status that represents the highest honor attainable through "The Leader in Me" initiative. The knowledge attained through the initiative not only equips students with character education and 21st-century learning skills, but also incorporates the district's priorities to ensure safety, achievement and opportunities are being met and offered. The SCK LAUNCH is a partnership between the Bowling Green Area Chamber Foundation, WCPS and local businesses to ensure future graduates succeed in their careers.

Disclaimer: Any views or opinions presented in the article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE).

Assessment Calendar

In This Issue

ACT Accommodations Reconsideration

ACT Additional Materials

ACT Non-College Reportable Accommodations

ACT Test Materials Arrival

ACT Training for Testing Staff

Alternate KPREP Systems Registration

DAC Monthly Webcast

WIDA Self-Paced eWorkshops

 

DAC Spotlight

Important Dates

July 28-Sept. 23:
ACCESS for ELLs Standards Expert Review

Aug. 28-Sept. 11:
ACT Window to Order Additional Materials and Non-College Reportable Materials

Aug. 28-Sept. 18:
ACT Late Consideration Accommodations Request Window

Sept. 8-11:
ACT Test Materials Arrive

Sept. 10:
Monthly DAC Webcast

Previous Topics

ACT Test Material Arrive Next Week – Sept. 8-11

KDE Releases COVID-19 Reopening Guidance on English Learner Programs

Mark the Calendar: September WIDA Q&A Webinars

New and Returning WIDA Resources for Test Administrators

New High School Feedback Reports Are Available for Review

SDRR for ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS – Reminder

What to Know: WIDA Assessments in the 2020-2021 School Year

Applications

SDRR
Secure Web App
SRD

PearsonAccessnext
ACT
K-PREP

@KDE

ACCESS for ELLs
ACT
Alternate K-PREP
K-PREP
Kindergarten Screener
DAC Emails
School Report Card
Open House

Helpful Links

ACT
Admin Code Training Registration
KAAC
NAEP
Pearson

CONTACT INFORMATION

Office of Assessment and Accountability

Division of Assessment and Accountability Support

(502) 564-4394

KDE DAC Information