Assessment Newsletter (Volume 3, Issue 43)

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


December 18, 2015 |  WDE Assessment Updates  |  Volume 3, Issue 43


Earlier this month, Aspire portal invites were sent to District Test Coordinators and to school Building Coordinators. These invites provided you with log-in information which gave users access to live portal functions. Please check your email's spam folder if you have not received it. If it is not in your spam folder, please contact your District Test Coordinator to have them resend the log-in information. After you log-in, you will have the opportunity to examine the different functions of the portal, which are illustrated in the training videos.

ACT Aspire has made several training videos available to assist with portal infrastructure navigation and test set-up. To access the training videos you need to log-in with your email address to the Aspire's Training Management System. Most videos are 30 minutes in length. They cover a number of important issues: tech readiness, Proctor Caching, test set-up and administration, etc. It is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that Test Coordinators/Test Administrators watch these videos. 

District Test Coordinators need to verify that all BCs listed in the portal are accurately identified by name/role/school.

Aspire will be posting the student data information to the in January, which will give Test Coordinators the opportunity to push/pull students.  

By today, ALL districts were to have completed the Tech Readiness Survey.  This information will help WDE and Aspire evaluate each district's readiness to implement the new test.  District Technology Coordinators who did not yet complete the survey have already been notified via both email and phone.  If you are one of those contacted, please complete the survey before you depart for winter break!

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Testing Coordinators please be aware that the ACT-Approved Accommodations submission date is January 15th. ACT will continue to use the Test Accessibility and Accommodation, TAA platform for the submission of accommodations. This can be found at

Please visit for links to a schedule of events, manuals, user guides, and more. You may also visit for training videos and further information. 

For questions concerning accommodation submission please contact the ACT customer support line at 1-800-553-6244 ext. 1788.


RECRUITING NOW: Educators Wanted For One Day ACT Workshop

WDE is recruiting educators who are interested in working with colleagues in Wyoming to develop content-based performance level descriptors (PLDs) in reading/ELA, math, and science for the grade 11 ACT. These PLDs will describe the range of knowledge and skills for each of the performance levels (basic, proficient, and advanced) WDE reports on the ACT.  The one-day session, hosted by the WDE assessment and standards teams, will be facilitated by content experts from the ACT and participants will benefit from a deep-dive into specific ACT content.

Participants should have at least three years of experience teaching reading/ELA, math, or science in grades 9 -12+ and a working knowledge of the Wyoming Content and Performance Standards in these subjects.  WDE will provide a stipend of $300 to cover lodging, transportation, and meals.  The meeting will be held in Cheyenne on Tuesday, January 19th from 9:00 – 4:30.


REGISTER NOW: PAWS Building Coordinator Training

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.

Training Dates 

  • January 25 - Evanston (9 am - 11 am)
  • January 26 - Laramie (1 pm - 3 pm)
  • January 27 - Casper (9 am - 11 am, or 1 pm - 3 pm)
  • January 29 - Sheridan (9 am - 11 am)

 Click here for more information.



WDE has created training sessions for everyone administering or second scoring the Wy-ALT assessment during the 2015-2016 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 full-day (new to Wy-Alt) training sessions scheduled:

  • January 11 - Buffalo
  • January 12 - Casper
  • January 15 - Rock Springs
  • January 21 - Cheyenne

All full-day sessions begin at 9 AM and last until 4:30 PM. Registration begins at 8:30 AM. 

If you attended last year's full-day training, a half-day refresher course is available in lieu of the full-day this year. There will be 2 live sessions:

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

The morning session will begin at 9 AM; the afternoon session will being at 1 PM. WDE is also scheduling refresher webinars in lieu of the live sessions.



WDE has posted a video of the TOMS training webinar on the WDE website. It can be accessed on the PAWS page. The training discusses: user roles and responsibilities, review of TOMS functions (including transfer of students), how to track materials and supplemental orders, key dates, hardware and software requirements, etc. 

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ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Test Setup Window Opening

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The WIDA Assessment Management System (WIDA AMS) Test Setup window for ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 will take place Friday, December 18, 2015 – Friday, March 4, 2016.

You will have the ability to view students in the system as well as to view and modify test sessions.  If you are testing ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 online, you must make sure your students are entered in appropriate test sessions.

Students, for whom Pre-ID data was submitted, will automatically be placed into generic test sessions based on grade cluster and domain.  From the Test Sessions window, you can show all the test sessions for a specific district or school.  The window displays the status of the test session – Not Started, In Progress, or Completed.

 For more in-depth instructions on Test Setup, please refer to the Manage Student and Test Session Creation modules and/or the WIDA AMS User Guide Part 2,which are available on the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Training Course on the WIDA website ( 

 Please do not hesitate to contact DRC Customer Service with any questions or 1-855-787-9615.




Next week's newsletter will feature information about "Assessment Literacy and Formative Assessment  - Phase II." The information will include session descriptions, dates, times, and registration information. The sessions will include: Assessment Literacy and Formative Assessment Resource Development Training; Assessment Development for Elementary Educators; Assessment Development for Secondary Educators; Assessment Development for Secondary Educators; Math/Science/STEM/CTE Assessment Development; and others. Please check next week's newsletter for further details.


Below please find the various helpdesk lines for statewide assessments.  Please use these numbers when you have questions about PAWS, Wy-ALT, or any of the ACT assessments.

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Constructed-Response Item

Any item in which the test taker must supply the answer to each question, instead of choosing it from a list of possibilities. The term "constructed response test" usually refers to an item that calls for responses that can be written on paper or typed into a computer. 


  • January 11: Wy-ALT Training - Buffalo
  • January 12: Wy-ALT Training - Casper
  • January 13: Wy-ALT Training (half-day sessions) - Casper
  • January 15: Wy-ALT Training - Rock Springs
  • January 15: ACT: Deadline for Test Coordinators to Submit ACT-Approved Accommodations
  • January 19: ACT PLD Panel Convenes
  • January 19: ACCESS for ELLS Testing Window Opens
  • January 21: Wy-ALT Training - Cheyenne
  • January 25: PAWS Building Coordinator Training - Evanston
  • January 25: ACT: Window Opens for ACT to Receive Accommodations Late Consideration Form
  • January 26: PAWS Building Coordinator Training - Laramie
  • January 26: ACT Window Opens for Test Coordinators to Verify Enrollment Online
  • January 27: PAWS Building Coordinator Training - Casper
  • January 29: PAWS Building Coordinator Training - Sheridan
  • February 8: TOMS Supplemental Orders Window Opens
  • February 29: Wy-ALT Testing Window Opens
  • March 4: PAWS Testing Window Opens
  • March 30: Last Day to Ship PAWS Materials
  • April 11 - 14: ACT: Test Coordinator Receives Secure Shipment of Testing Materials
  • April 19: ACT Test Adminstration