Assessment Newsletter (Volume 8, Issue 36)

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

WDE Assessment Updates

04/23/2021 |  Volume 8, Issue 36

A BIG THANK YOU to all Wyoming educators who worked diligently to administer the WY-ALT Assessments. This was an even larger endeavor due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The efforts made to provide these assessments in-person and safely are much appreciated. The data will help the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) to continue to provide the most appropriate services for Wyoming students.


Opening Testing Sessions

The WDE recommends test administrators be cautious when assigning tests to an assessment session. Do not select all assessments as this may lead to misadministration errors. Administrators are encouraged to only open the subject currently being tested so that students cannot incorrectly select inappropriate tests.


Pausing the WY-TOPP Assessment

Aligned to the Special Edition Newsletter sent out on April 21, 2021, to meet the needs of districts for this pandemic year, the WDE is going to allow students to take supervised lunch and test breaks where absolutely necessary to accommodate the testing concerns. This does not require an appeal. Students should log back into the test and finish the assessment. Best practices should still be followed to the greatest extent possible.


Survey to be Given to Students at the End of Testing

  • This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a survey to be taken by every student after finishing their content assessments.The survey will show up as a separate test opportunity. 
  • The survey is intended to gather further data to help the department validate, to the best of its abilities, the impact of COVID-19 on student learning.
  • Test Administrators, be sure to have the students take this survey following the last subject matter assessment.
  • This survey is about 10 questions and should take around 15 minutes to complete.

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


Clarification on SNTF vs. “Opt Out”

There is not an opt-out option for state testing. Each year state testing is required of students in grades 3-11. The WY-TOPP assessment is used for accountability purposes for grades 3-10 in ELA and math, and in grades 4, 8, and 10 for science. The ACT is required in grade 11. There is an Attorney General’s opinion letter speaking to the law. This year, to collect further information to inform the baseline data the WDE is collecting from the state assessments, a Student Not Tested Form (SNTF) was developed to capture situations in which students are unable to assess. This form applies to 2020-21 only and is strictly a collection. It does not exclude students from any measures. Only exemptions based on federal regulations can exclude students from the assessments.

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


Survey Due April 25, 2021

  • Cambium Assessment Inc. (CAI) will conduct a series of virtual, facilitated reviews of field-tested items and item clusters for science by educators from across multiple states.
  • Review dates include the weeks of: June 7-11, June 21-25, July 19-23, and July 26-30.
  • View this document to learn more.
  • Indicate your interest to participate by completing this survey.
  • Survey closes on April 25, 2021.

For more information, contact Shannon Wachowski, WDE Science Consultant, at 307-777-8753 or


Application due by May 18, 2021

The WDE is seeking Wyoming educators to participate in either the WY-ALT Content Alignment or the WY-ALT Fairness Item Review Committee meetings (ELA, Math, Science). Meetings will be held virtually the week of June 14, 2021. Participants must be available to attend a morning training on Tuesday June 15, 2021. Committee members will be eligible for an honorarium that will be paid after all committee work is complete. Applications must be submitted by no later than 11:59 p.m. on May 18, 2021 to be considered. If interested, apply here.


Final Day for Submissions: Tuesday, April 27, 2021

  • On behalf of a student, school administrators may apply for an exemption from participation in the WY-TOPP 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 and has completed the ACCESS for ELLs assessment. (Exemption is given for the ELA portion only.)
    • The student is placed in an out-of-state facility for the entire testing window.

Administrators can view the SAER site training video to learn how to submit exemption requests. This direct link to the SAER webpage can be used when you are ready to submit an exemption.


  • September 1-June 18: WY-TOPP Modulars.
  • January 13-April 27: SAER System Open to Accept WY-TOPP Exemption Requests.
  • March 2-April 23: WY-ALT Assessments.
  • April 13-May 7: WY-TOPP Spring K-2 Interims.
  • April 13-May 7: WY-TOPP Summative Assessments, grades 3-10.
  • April 19-30: WorkKeys Test Administration Window.
  • April 20-23, 26-30: ACT Test Dates for Paper Accommodated.
  • April 20-22, 27-29:ACT Online Test Dates.
  • April 27: WIDA Screener for Kindergarten Q&A Webinar.