New STAIRS Incident: Overview

Important information regarding STAIRS and Appeals:

  • LEA CAASPP and test site coordinators must ensure that all test security incidents are documented by means of the STAIRS/Appeals process.
  • Some incidents may require an Appeal in order to reset, restore, rescore (ELPAC only), reopen, invalidate (CAASPP only), or request a grace period extension for a test.
  • The type of Appeal is determined and submitted when the STAIRS case is submitted.
  • Not all STAIRS cases will result in an Appeal. However, to submit such STAIRS cases, the testing events must be reported.

Introduction
LEA and test site coordinators can use the New STAIRS screen to enter new test security or test administration-related STAIRS incidents into TOMS.
To open the New STAIRS screen (figure 1), select the [STAIRS] navigation tab from the top navigation bar.

Figure 1. New STAIRS Navigation

Quick Instructions

Detailed Instructions

  1. Background Information—Enter the background information for a STAIRS incident.
  2. Testing Issues—Indicate the testing issue to be reported.
  3. Student Information—Provide the associated SSID(s) and a brief description of the incident.
  4. Confirm Details—Verify and confirm the details of the incident.
  5. Submit—Submit the new STAIRS incident.

Quick Instructions

Important information about Saving a STAIRS Case as a Draft:

  • Select [SAVE AS DRAFT] to save a draft copy of the incident without submitting it.
    • Once the [SAVE AS DRAFT] button is selected, the user is directed to the [Search STAIRS] action tab. Drafts can be searched using the drop-down list for the STAIRS Status box, on the Search STAIRS page.
    • If a STAIRS case is saved as a draft, it will be saved for the remainder of the LEA’s test administration window. To submit a STAIRS case that has been saved as a draft, the user must first use the Search Appeals screen to locate the case, update any information as necessary, and submit the case using the steps that follow.
    • STAIRS cases that are saved as drafts are not reviewed by CalTAC or the CDE and are not valid until submitted.

Follow these steps to enter a new STAIRS incident:

  1. On the Background Information progress step, enter the background information for the student(s) associated with the new incident. All fields are required.
  2. On the Testing Issues progress step, select a testing issue for the incident.
    1. The type of testing issues listed in this step are subject to the “Test Name” selected in the Background Information progress step.
    2. The “Select Testing Issue” section is divided into two screens. The first screen is displayed below the STAIRS ID with the text “Select Testing Issue*” and includes the list of available incident types.
    3. The content of the second screen is dependent on which testing issue is selected on the first screen.
    4. A unique STAIRS ID is created at this step. Make a note of it. It is required while using the [Search STAIRS] action tab to search for STAIRS cases.
    5. A STAIRS case can be saved as a draft starting with this step through the final submission of the STAIRS case.
  3. On the Student Information progress step, enter the number of students involved in the incident, the SSIDs of the students involved in the incident, and a description of the issue for CalTAC. All fields are required.
    1. Depending on the type of incident selected in the “Select Testing Issue” sections, the Student Information progress step can be bypassed and the user taken directly to the Confirm Details progress step.
  4. On the Confirm Details progress step, view and confirm the details of the incident issue. Review all the details very carefully.
  5. On the Submit progress step, submit the incident issue. Enter a comment for CalTAC or the CDE, as needed.
    1. If the security incident does not require an Appeal, information related to the student test will have a value of “N/A” displayed in the box titled “Student Case(s).”
    2. If the security incident results in an Appeal, the appealable SSID(s) included in the STAIRS case will have real-time details about the student’s test.
    3. If the student’s test status does not allow for the requested Appeal, the user will receive the message, “There is no appealable testing opportunity for the SSID(s) associated with this STAIRS case.”

Detailed Instructions

To open the New STAIRS screen (figure 2), select the [STAIRS] navigation tab from the top navigation bar.

Figure 2. New STAIRS Navigation

Important information about entering a new STAIRS incident:

  • Select [SAVE AS DRAFT] to save a draft copy of the incident without submitting it.
    • Once the [SAVE AS DRAFT] button is selected, the user is directed to the [Search STAIRS] action tab. Drafts can be searched using the drop-down list for the STAIRS Status box, on the Search STAIRS page.
    • If a STAIRS case is saved as a draft, it will be saved for the remainder of the LEA’s test administration window. To submit a STAIRS case that has been saved as a draft, the user must first use the Search Appeals screen to locate the case, update any information as necessary, and submit the case using the steps that follow.
    • STAIRS cases that are saved as drafts are not reviewed by CalTAC or the CDE and are not valid until submitted.

Follow these steps to enter a new testing incident:

  1. Background Information—Enter the background information for a STAIRS incident.
  2. Testing Issues—Indicate the testing issue to be reported in the new STAIRS incident.
  3. Student Information—Provide the associated SSID(s) and a brief description of the incident.
  4. Confirm Details—Verify and confirm the details of the incident.
  5. Submit—Submit the new STAIRS incident.
  1. Background Information

    Use the Background Information progress step (figure 3) to enter the background information for the new incident. All fields on this screen are required.

    • In the School field, select the school associated with the incident. Enter at least the first five characters of the school’s name or county/district/school (CDS) code, and then select from the resulting list.
    • In the Date of Testing Incident field, select the calendar [] icon to choose the date the incident occurred. Once selected, the date is displayed in MM/DD/YYYY format. The user cannot select a future date.
    • In the Grade Affected field, select the grade associated with the incident.
    • In the Test Name field, select the test associated with the incident.
    • In the Type/Domain field, select the test type or domain associated with the incident.
    • In the Test Delivery Mode field, select the delivery mode associated with the incident.

    Figure 3. Background Information Progress Step

  2. Testing Issues

    Use the Testing Issues progress step (figure 4) to select a testing issue for the incident.

    • Select the radio button that corresponds to the incident type.
      • The types of testing issues listed in this step are specific to the “Test Name” selected in the Background Information progress step.
      • Based on the selected testing issue, a second screen may request further information.
    • A unique STAIRS ID is created at this step. Make a note of it. It is required while using the [Search STAIRS] action tab to search for STAIRS cases.
    • A STAIRS case can be saved as a draft starting with this step through the final submission of the STAIRS case.

      First List of the Testing Issues Progress Step

      Figure 4. First “Select Testing Issue” Section

    • If more information is required after an incident type is selected, additional questions will be displayed on a second Select Testing Issue screen. Figure 5 is an example of a second screen that includes one follow-up question.
    • To respond to the questions on the second “Select Testing Issue” section, select the appropriate radio button. Follow the instructions on the screen to ensure that each follow-up question is answered.

      Figure 5. Second “Select Testing Issue” Section

  3. Student Information

    Use the Student Information progress step (figure 6) to enter the number of students involved in the testing incident, the SSIDs of the students affected by the incident, and a description of the issue for CalTAC. All fields are all required.

    Figure 6. Student Information Progress Step

    Take the following steps to enter information related to an incident:

    1. Enter the required fields and select the [NEXT] button.

      • Depending on the number of students involved, users can enter the SSIDs of the students either manually via screen input or using a template via the bulk upload option.
      • If the number of students involved is 10 or fewer, screen input is the default option, and fields are displayed where the user can manually enter each SSID (figure 7).
      • For more than 10 students, the SSIDs must be uploaded through the bulk upload option, using a template (figure 8).
      • From the SSID(s) drop-down list, select an input type:
        • Screen Input
        • Upload Option
      • In the Description of the Issue box, enter a description of the issue, using a maximum of 1,000 characters. The description should contain additional information about the case and not just restate the testing issue selected on the previous screens.
      • If the screen input option was selected, enter the SSID(s) in the indicated field(s).

      Figure 7. Student Information Progress Step—Screen Input Option

    2. If the upload option was selected: After entering a description of the issue, select the [NEXT] button; the “Prepare File for Upload” section of the Student Information progress step is displayed (figure 8).

      Figure 8. Prepare File for Upload

      1. Select the [DOWNLOAD TEMPLATE] button to download an empty STAIRS_SSID_Upload Excel template.
      2. Follow the directions in the downloaded Excel template to enter the SSID of each student involved in the incident.
      3. After entering the SSIDs into the template, save the template to a local device as an .xlsx file, and then select the [NEXT] button.
      4. The option to select the file to upload is displayed (figure 9).
      5. Select the [Choose File] button to choose the STAIRS SSID Upload file to be uploaded, and then select the [NEXT] button.

      Student Information screen—Select File to Upload, Google Chrome

      Figure 9. Select File to Upload, Google Chrome

    3. At this point, the “File Validation Results” section is displayed (figure 10).

      1. If there are errors in the uploaded file, the “Status” column displays the word “Errors” as well as the blue [Download File] blue download arrow [blue arrow download icon ] icon in the “Actions” column (figure 10). Select this icon to view the .csv file listing the errors contained in the uploaded file. All errors must be corrected before uploading the file again.
      2. If there are no errors in the uploaded file, the “Status” column displays the word “Success” (figure 11).

      Student Information screen—File Validation Results, errors in file

      Figure 10. “File Validation Results” Section, Errors in File

      Student Information screen—File Validation Results, no errors

      Figure 11. “File Validation Results” Section, No Errors

    4. After all errors have been resolved and the [NEXT] button is selected, the Student Information progress step is displayed with all fields completed. If the SSID(s) were manually entered, they are also displayed on the screen.

  4. Confirm Details

    Use the Confirm Details progress step (figure 12) to view the details of the new incident and ensure accuracy before submitting it..

    Figure 12. Confirm Details Progress Step

  5. Submit

    Use the Submit progress step to submit the STAIRS case. Information regarding the incident appears under the STAIRS ID, including whether or not the case is eligible for an Appeal.

    • If the security incident does not require an Appeal, information related to the student’s test will have a value of “N/A” displayed in the “Student Case(s)” section.
    • If the security incident results in an Appeal, the SSID(s) included in the STAIRS case will be listed along with details about the test(s) (figure 13).

      Figure 13. Submit Progress Step

    • The user can add an optional comment or question for CalTAC or the CDE in the “Comments” section of these screens. No more than 1,000 characters can be entered.
    • Once the security incident is submitted, the description provided in this section will be displayed in the [Notes] action tab of the STAIRS Summary screen. The [Notes] action tab will display all communication between the LEA and the approver for the STAIRS ID.

    To finish submitting the STAIRS case:

    • If the student’s test status does not allow for the requested Appeal, the user will receive the message “There is no appealable testing opportunity for the SSID(s) associated with this STAIRS case.”
    • Select all the SSID(s) that should be included as part of the STAIRS case by checking the boxes in the “Select” column of Student Case(s).
      • The SSID(s) that are not selected under Student Case(s) are not counted as part of the Appeal submitted or as part of the STAIRS case if it is non-appealable.
    • If the information shown is correct and any optional comments or questions have already been entered in the “Comments” section, select the [SUBMIT] button to submit the case. A confirmation pop-up message appears, asking whether the user wants to continue submitting the STAIRS case (figure 14).

      Figure 14. Submit a STAIRS Case Confirmation Pop-Up Message

      • Select the [CANCEL] button to close the pop-up message and return to the Submit progress step.
      • Select the [YES, SUBMIT] button to submit the STAIRS case.
    • When the [YES, SUBMIT] button is selected, the user is taken to the “STAIRS Summary” section of the Search STAIRS screen to view a summary of the submitted STAIRS case. For more information, refer to the “STAIRS Summary” section.