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Security Incidents and Appeals Procedures

STAIRS/Appeals Purposes

LEA coordinators and site coordinators must ensure that all test security incidents are documented by means of the STAIRS/Appeals process. This manual provides the reasons why a STAIRS case should be submitted. The step-by-step processes for submitting a STAIRS case in TOMS are described in the STAIRS/Appeals topic of the CAASPP and ELPAC TOMS User Guide.

The STAIRS/Appeals process is the means by which LEA ELPAC coordinators, LEA CAASPP coordinators, CAASPP test site coordinators, and site ELPAC coordinators report and resolve testing incidents that occur during the test administration of the CAASPP or ELPAC. LEA and site coordinators must use the online STAIRS/Appeals process to report a test security incident or other testing issue that interferes with the administration and completion of the ELPAC or CAASPP. If needed, the system will prompt the user to submit an Appeal to reset, restore, reopen, rescore, invalidate, or receive a grace period extension for a test or a domain. While some testing incidents do not require an Appeal, nonappealable testing incidents must still be reported in STAIRS.

Testing incidents for the Summative ELPAC and the Initial ELPAC are submitted in TOMS at the domain level. Testing incidents for the CAASPP are submitted in TOMS at the individual test level.

The CDE or CalTAC will review the submitted STAIRS case to determine whether the LEA needs to take additional action.

Guide’s Intended Audience

The Security Incidents and Appeals Procedure Guide provides guidance for CAASPP and ELPAC LEA as well as site, coordinators who file reports of testing improprieties, irregularities, and breaches that are encountered during test administrations for CAASPP summative assessments (such as for Smarter Balanced, the CAAs, the CAST, and the CSA), the Initial ELPAC, and the Summative ELPAC.

Detailed, step-by-step instructions for submitting, reviewing, and withdrawing STAIRS cases and for searching for STAIRS cases and Appeals are found in the contextual help in TOMS as well as in the web-based CAASPP and ELPAC TOMS User Guide. Refer to the STAIRS/Appeals topic in the guide’s left navigation pane for additional information.