Assessment Newsletter (Volume 8, Issue 29)

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

WDE Assessment Updates

03-05-21  |  Volume 8, Issue 29


WY-ALT Window: March 2-April 23, 2021

WY-TOPP Window: April 13-May 7, 2021

For more information, contact Michelle Carroll, WDE Education Consultant, at 307-777-3618 or


WY-ALT Submissions Accepted: January 13-March 16, 2021

WY-TOPP Submissions Accepted: January 13-April 27, 2021

  • On behalf of a student, school administrators may apply for an exemption from participation in the WY-TOPP or WY-ALT for the following criteria:
    • The student is expelled for the entire testing window.
    • The student is an English Learner who has been enrolled in a US school for less than one year. (Exemption from the ELA portion only. ACCESS test must be taken.)
    • The student is placed in an out-of-state facility for the entire testing window.
  • View the SAER site training video to learn how to submit exemption requests. 
  • Submit an exemption with this direct link to the SAER webpage.


Purpose of State Summative Assessments

State summative assessments provide an annual snapshot of what a student, class, school, district, or state has achieved at the end of the school year, relative to the state content standards. State summative assessments also provide valuable data that may be used for a number of purposes.


  • Gauge student achievement of standards. 
  • Benchmark or floor for school/district. 
  • Gauge school/ district progress relative to student achievement and growth. 
  • Inform improvement strategies: Teacher, School, District, State. 
  • Signal important learning goals. 


  • Status of student achievement with respect to standards.
  • May be able to provide relative growth information for students.
  • Standardized test results aggregated and disaggregated: 
    • Trends/patterns in student performance. 
    • Relative performances of cohorts, subgroups, grade levels, subject areas.
    • Relative performance of schools and districts. 
    • Progress in closing achievement gap.


  • Report on the status and progress of student achievement. 
  • Make judgments about student learning relative to standards. 
  • Gauge student, school, district, and state year-to-year progress.
  • Improvement planning at school and/or district levels.
  • Describe student performance at the school/ district level for state and federal accountability ratings. 

For more information, contact Michelle Carroll, WDE Education Consultant, at 307-777-3618 or



School staff are responsible for ensuring safety in addition to testing those students who can be tested. This year, to accommodate those guardians who do not want their student to go to a school or testing site due to the pandemic, schools may report such circumstances with the Student Not Tested Form for WY-TOPP / WY-ALT. This must be done by the end of the assessment window. This SNTF can be found in the district-designated Google Folder that was shared with district Assessment Coordinators.

For more information, contact Jessica Steinbrenner, WDE Assessment Supervisor, at 307-777-8568 or


Secure Browser for Mac OS11 (Big Sur) Available March 5, 2021

  • Secure Browser 12.6, for use with macOS 11 (Big Sur), is now available for download from the Secure Browser page.
  • Note: Devices running macOS 10.11-10.15 should continue to use Secure Browser 12.5. The new Secure Browser 12.6 supports testing on macOS 11 (Big Sur) devices.
  • Additional information is provided in the “Configurations, Troubleshooting, and Advanced Secure Browser Installation Guide for Mac” available on the Technology Coordinators page.

For more information, contact Michelle Carroll, WDE Education Consultant, at 307-777-3618 or


  • September 1-June 18: WY-TOPP Modulars.
  • January 13-March 16: SAER System Open to Accept WY-ALT Exemption Requests.
  • January 13-April 27: SAER System Open to Accept WY-TOPP Exemption Requests.
  • February 15-March 12: ACT Window For Ordering ‘Option 1’ Test Materials.
  • March 2-April 23: WY-ALT Assessments.
  • March 9: ACCESS for ELLs Post-Testing: Data Validation Webinar.
  • March 9: WIDA ELD Standards Framework, Q&A Webinar.
  • March 10: Planning with the WIDA ELD Standards Framework Webinar.
  • March 16: ACCESS for ELLs Post-Testing: Interpreting Score Reports Webinar.
  • March 19-April 1: Pre-Reporting Data Validation-LEAs in AMS.
  • March 23-26: ACT Window for Ordering ‘Option 2’ Test Materials.
  • April 13-May 7: WY-TOPP Spring K-2 Interims.
  • April 13-May 7: WY-TOPP Summative Assessments.
  • April 19-30: WorkKeys Test Administration Window.