Preparing for the Administration

This section provides an overview of the various tasks and actions LEAs should complete to prepare for administering the Alternate ELPAC.

Student Data

CALPADS is the authoritative source for student enrollment, demographic, and program information for TOMS. The student-level data from CALPADS will be used for administration of the ELPAC. The use of CALPADS data for these assessments underscores the importance of keeping CALPADS up to date and accurate.

The minimum data that needs to be correct in CALPADS for a student to start testing is as follows:

  • Name
  • Grade
  • School and LEA information
  • CALPADS enrollment status of 10 (primary) or 30 (short-term)
  • Parent/Guardian address (to be printed on SSRs, when SSRs are available)
  • Field 3.13 (education program) (if the student is to receive designated supports, accommodations, unlisted resources, or any combination of these)
  • All other demographic fields (if the LEA wants to view these fields in the final student data file that is downloadable from TOMS)

CALPADS documentation, including field names and field codes, and information about CALPADS support are available on the CDE CALPADS web page.

Using TOMS to Prepare for the Alternate ELPAC Administration

TOMS is a secure website. Through this site, authorized users from LEAs can perform a number of tasks for the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test, including (but not limited to the following:

  • Manage the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test administration
  • Add and delete users
  • Assign students’ test settings
  • Access STAIRS to submit testing incident reports

Usernames and Passwords

Usernames and passwords are created in TOMS after an LEA ELPAC coordinator or site ELPAC coordinator has submitted users for access. TEs can use this username and password to log on to the Test Administrator Interface, which is necessary to generate a test session ID and approve a student for testing.

For more information about the different user roles in TOMS, refer to the CAASPP and ELPAC TOMS User Guide.

Student Test Assignment in TOMS

The LEA ELPAC coordinators and site ELPAC coordinators must use TOMS to verify that all eligible students have been assigned to take the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test. Student eligibility is based on a decision by the IEP team. Once the IEP team determines the student is eligible for the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test, the IEP is entered into the SIS, and the information the SIS receives is updated in CALPADS. Student demographic data from CALPADS is uploaded into TOMS on a nightly basis. It is important for LEAs to keep CALPADS data up-to-date.

If a student is assigned to general assessments for CAASPP and the Summative ELPAC, and a user changes the student’s CAASPP assignments to alternate assessments, the system will automatically change the student’s Summative ELPAC assignment to Alternate ELPAC.

Information about setting up student test assignments in TOMS, including using the bulk upload option, can be found in the Upload Students section of the CAASPP and ELPAC TOMS User Guide.

Student Test Settings in TOMS

Embedded and non-embedded accommodations and designated supports are available for students taking the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test. These accommodations and designated supports must be assigned in the [Test Settings] tab of the Student Profile page in TOMS. For more information about available accessibility resources, refer to the Accessibility Resources web page on the ELPAC website.

In addition, unlisted resources are non-embedded supports that may be provided based on the student’s IEP or Section 504 plan. Use of unlisted resources must first be approved by the CDE.

Information about assigning student test settings in TOMS can be found in the CAASPP and ELPAC TOMS User Guide.

Configuring student test settings in TOMS ensures that students receive the assigned embedded accessibility resources for the online assessments. Non-embedded resources also must be recorded in TOMS and provided to the student locally. Any changes to student test settings in TOMS must be completed before the student can test. The update, once made, may take up to 24 business hours to appear in the Test Administrator Interface. Failure to correct test settings before testing, which is a testing irregularity, could result in the student not being provided with the needed accommodations, designated supports, or both at the time of testing.

Technology Requirements

Prior to the administration of the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test, LEA ELPAC coordinators and site ELPAC coordinators must review the technology infrastructure at their schools to ensure it meets the minimum requirements for administering the online Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test.

The CAASPP and ELPAC Technical Specifications and Configuration Guide for Online Testing provides the technical specifications for online testing. This includes information about internet and network infrastructure requirements, hardware and software requirements, and secure browser installation.

Bandwidth Checker

The bandwidth checker, linked on the Network Diagnostics web page on the ELPAC website, can assist technology coordinators to assess network readiness by performing a real-time check of a school’s network bandwidth. Note that technology coordinators may want to run this test more than once and at different times of the day, because estimates change as the network conditions change, varying from run to run.

The CDE also hosts a Smarter Balanced Technology Readiness Resources web page, which includes links to tools, requirements, and topics that LEAs will find useful in planning for the 2020–21 Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test.

Secure Browsers

All students must use a secure browser to access the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test. All testing devices must have the correct secure browser installed prior to assessment.

The secure browser is designed to support test security by prohibiting access to external applications or navigation away from the assessment.

School technology coordinators are responsible for ensuring that each device to be used for testing at the school is properly secured by installing the most current secure browser. Secure browsers are available for download on the Secure Browsers website. Information about installing and configuring the secure browsers is available in the CAASPP and ELPAC Technical Specifications and Configuration Guide for Online Testing.

Preparing for Second Scoring

Overview of Second Scoring

Critical Element 4.4 of A State’s Guide to the U.S. Department of Education’s Assessment Peer Review Process (Department of Education, 2018) requires that any scoring involving human judgment, including scoring conducted by TEs, must contain evidence that the scoring of these items includes adequate procedures and criteria for ensuring and documenting interrater reliability. The purpose of second scoring is to establish and document standardized scoring procedures, and second scoring is one method of providing scorer reliability evidence. For this purpose, a select group of LEAs will be mandated each year to conduct second scoring of rubric-scored items for the Alternate ELPAC.

The Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test has two test forms per grade level or grade span: kindergarten, grade levels one and two, and grade spans three through five, six through eight, and nine through twelve. Approximately eight items in each test will require TEs to score a student’s live response during the time of testing using a rubric provided in the DFA. LEAs selected to second score will require a qualified secondary TE to be present at the time of testing to observe the student’s response.

Results from the second scoring will be used for ETS to conduct interrater reliability analysis on rubric-scored items. The second scores, which will be collected through the DEI, will not be used for official scoring purposes. A student’s completion status and test results are reported whether or not the second scoring occurs.

Second Scoring Process

Who Participates in Second Scoring?

Every year, a subset of LEAs and schools will be required to participate in second scoring. Prior to testing, LEA ELPAC coordinators and test site coordinators should check the Second Scoring Assignments web page (link coming soon) on the ELPAC website. For the operational field test, second scoring assignments will be posted by August 2021. If selected, all Alternate ELPAC tests for students within the selected LEAs or schools must be second scored. LEAs or schools that are selected for second scoring for either the CAA for ELA or the Alternate ELPAC in the previous year will not be selected to participate in second scoring in the following year.

What Is Second Scoring?

Second scoring is the process of having another trained educator score student’s rubric-scored items simultaneously, yet independently, from the student’s primary TE. If an LEA has been selected to participate in second scoring, the secondary TE must be present during the entirety of the administration along with the student and primary TE. The secondary TE is not involved in the administration of the assessment and should only be present to observe the response of the student.

Second Scoring Test Administration

While observing the administration and student’s responses for the rubric-scored items, the secondary TE must make a judgement on the student’s response based on the rubrics within the DFA. It is critical that the secondary TE is able to observe the student’s response depending on the student’s preferred communication mode.

All second scores must be entered into the DEI before the end of the administration testing window. An LEA or school may opt to take one of the following courses of action:

  • Have the secondary TE enter the student’s second score directly into the DEI as the secondary TE observes the student’s response during test administration. (This requires access to a user device or laptop.); or
  • Have the secondary TE use a printed answer-recording document, provided in appendix E of the DFA, to record second scores during test administration. After testing, the secondary TE or school administrator must enter the student’s score into the DEI before the end of the test administration window.

The secondary TE will need the student’s SSID and their TOMS credentials to input second scores into the DEI. Responses that are entered on the scoring sheet must then be entered into the DEI prior to the close of the testing window but after the student’s test by the primary TE is submitted. For additional resources on the second scoring process, refer to the Alternate ELPAC DFA and the How to Second Score for the Alternate ELPAC video (video forthcoming).

Second Scoring Status Report in TOMS

LEA ELPAC coordinators and site ELPAC coordinators can track the progress of assigned and completed tasks for second scoring in the LEA and test sites using the Summative Alternate ELPAC Second Scoring Status Report in TOMS. This report will include the following variables:

  • Students eligible for alternate testing
  • Students who have tested
  • Students who have received a second score in the DEI

STAIRS Incident Report for Second Scoring

If a secondary TE was not present at the time of testing, the LEA ELPAC coordinator must create a STAIRS incident report of the type “Data-Entry Issue.” After this incident is selected, the drop-down list will appear, and the option “A test examiner did not test in real time and cannot determine scoring” must be selected. This is a nonappealable error, meaning that a test cannot be reopened or reset for a data entry issue alone. This irregularity will neither invalidate the student’s primary score nor place the student’s primary score on hold. Refer to the Using STAIRS topic in the Summative ELPAC Online Test Administration Manual for steps to reporting a testing incident.

Qualifications for Secondary Test Examiners

As with the primary TE, the secondary TE must

  1. receive training on how to administer the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test,
  2. be assigned a TOMS account with a test examiner user role, and
  3. sign the Security Affidavit in TOMS.

Ideally, the secondary TE is also an educator who is familiar with the student’s individual testing needs and preferred mode of communication to accurately score the responses. It is recommended that the secondary TE is credentialed, although it is not required. The subtopic on Secondary Test Examiner Responsibilities includes a list of tasks for the secondary TE to complete.