NSCAS General Assessment Administration Manual
The Online Test Administration Manual (with the scripts for administering the assessment) can be found on NWEA’s Nebraska Portal under Assessment Coordinators. You may want to bookmark this page as it has a plethora of helpful NSCAS information.
Statewide Assessment & Accountability Update 2020-2021
Overview of Topics:
- MyACT & NSCAS ACT Support
- Expanded Testing Time for NSCAS Phase I Pilot and Science Field Test
- NSCAS Phase I Pilot and Science Field Test iPad highlighter functionality
- NSCAS Phase I Pilot and Science Field Test Reporting Update
- NSCAS Phase I Pilot and Science Field Test Exempt Clarification
Statewide Assessment & Accountability Update Presentation – Video Time: 26:06
NSCAS Assessment Development Application – Virtual Summer 2021 Work
Even though the NSCAS test windows have not opened, it is time to start planning for next year. Below is a link for an application for summer NSCAS test development & alignment work for NSCAS summative general (ELA, math, science) and for formative classroom task development for science. All assessment development work will be done virtually this summer.
NDE Statewide Assessment is always seeking highly qualified educators to participate in assessment development, review, and alignment opportunities. Stipends are available when educators are NOT working under district contract.
We are currently seeking educators for summer NSCAS test development work for both NSCAS General and NSCAS formative work in science. You can find the NSCAS summer application link below. If you have any questions please contact us at 402.314.3013.
The first page of the application will offer details about content areas and dates. Please let NDE know if you have any questions about the application or the test development opportunities. The initial selection process will begin at the end of March.
Paper/Pencil Exempt Students
Remember to send Maggie Sis (firstname.lastname@example.org) any of your NSCAS Phase I Pilot and Science Field Test paper/pencil material exempt students to Maggie Sis, include the student state ID Number, and reason for exemption (requires braille, large print or translation)
ELPA21 Extended Dates
The ELPA21 window is currently open and has been extended through April 2, 2021. ALL students identified in TIDE as English Learners must have either a score for each domain test or a Reason Not Tested (RNT) code for each domain test entered. The window for districts to review their data and enter RNT codes will be available from February 22nd through April 16th. For additional information, please refer to the TIDE User Guide, beginning on p. 90.
Contact Information: Allyson Olson (email@example.com or 402-405-5212
Students Attending an External Program
Please send your NSCAS Phase I Pilot and Science Field Test students who are attending an external program (Rule 18, ESU program, or contracted service program) to Maggie Sis (firstname.lastname@example.org). Review the 2/11/2021 email from Stacey Weber for details and roster template.
Assessment Team Has New Phone Numbers
The assessment team has new numbers! For general assessment questions, call the Statewide Assessment main phone at 402-314-3013. We no longer have the capability to transfer your calls, so if you have specific questions, please feel free to contact team members directly. Find all our new numbers on the Statewide Assessment Contact Us webpage.
Virtual Regional Workshop Registration
You are invited to register for the Virtual Regional Workshop scheduled for October 7th, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Please find the link below that will take you to the registration page. We look forward to sharing information about assessment in Nebraska. A full agenda will be shared before October 7th.
Virtual Regional Workshop Date Change
The Virtual Regional Workshop will be held on the morning of October 7, 2020 (instead of October 8 as originally scheduled). Please hold this time on your calendar but we will record the session if you are not able to attend the live event.
Contacting the Assessment Team
We are still working from home! If you wish to speak with a team member via phone, email your number and we will call you back. Please follow the link to our contact page to find email addresses. Thank you for your patience.
DAC Update 7.23.20
NDE Day Administrator Days July 29, 2020
Be sure to register for Administrators’ Days-NDE Day. The Statewide Assessment Office has a whole series of live presentations. These will all be recorded if you are not able to attend in person. As a whole, we plan to cover the big picture of assessment for the coming year.
New DAC Statewide Assessment Overview August 4, 2020
The Statewide Assessment Overview is intended for new DACs but everyone is welcome to attend. The overview focuses on big picture general information such as processes and where to find resources. The session is scheduled from 9-12:30 and will be recorded for those unable to attend the live event.
Virtual Regional Workshop October 8, 2020 (save the date)
The 2020-21 Assessment Regional Workshop will be held as a single virtual event on October 8, 2020. The session is scheduled from 9 am to noon. The Assessment Regional Workshop is typically an annual series of events that are utilized to convey detailed information about the NDE’s statewide assessment program. The session will be recorded for those unable to attend the live event. Registration will be shared information when available.
Professional Learning Opportunity Kick-Start for Fall Planning
The unprecedented COVID-19 school closures are affecting student academic achievement—so how can you plan for potential accelerated learning loss and greater learning variance among students? Join us to explore our recent research on learning loss—and discover practical strategies for addressing it. In this upcoming session, we’ll focus on helping you understand, plan for, and mitigate the potential impacts of this extended pause when students return to school. We will also have a special presentation by Dr. Nate Jensen on the updated 2020 Norms. We have included a copy of the PDF Registration Flyerfor you to share with other administrators as they are able to attend.
Register today for this session and join your colleagues around the state to prepare for a virtual day of professional learning
Launch Nebraska Assessment Resources
Hopefully everyone has had an opportunity to review the resources provided from the Launch Nebraska project. For the Assessment Webinar we used and unpublished source from CCSSO. The Restart & Recovery: Assessment Considerations for Fall 2020 is now available and we wanted to make sure everyone had access to this helpful resource.
ACT Fall Testing
The students in the 2021 Cohort will be provided the opportunity to take the ACT this fall. The Schedule of Events pdf and multiple resources are available on the ACT Nebraska Website under The ACT – Fall Testing tab. Please consider bookmarking that page for your convenience. ACT Test Center Social Distancing Guidelines
ACT Accommodations- If your school has requested accommodations for students in the 2021 cohort, these approved accommodations are still valid. Each school will need to request a new test date for each individual student in the TAA system. The link to more information on how to make this request can be found here. Please note, you must choose September 22 for all students, even if you are testing on October 6. The deadline for this process and new accommodations requests is August 21, 2020.
On August 3, 2020, ACT Pearson Access Next (PA Next) will be updated with the fall test date. You will receive an email from ACT about your access and passwords before the opening of the system. The student lists will be available on August 5, 2020 for you to review and make changes if necessary.
ACT – Fall Student Roster Review REMINDER
Districts have until tomorrow, Friday, July 24, 2020 to review and make any need corrections through ADVISER on their student roster for the 2020 Fall ACT administration for their 2021 cohort students. This data was pulled from the 2019-20 final data in ADVISER. Please refer to the 7/20/2020 email sent out from Stacey Weber for details on how to review your roster file. NOTE: there is an updated Who Reports Version 4.0 NDE posted last Friday.
Roster files in PA Next will be available after August 5th and districts will have the opportunity to make further corrections due to changes in the new academic year (2020-2021). All corrections on student lists will need to be completed by August 21, 2020 to receive updated barcode labels. Corrections can be made in PA Next until September 11, but barcode labels will not be available for these additional students.
ELPA21 and TIDE Access
TIDE is the test management system for ELPA21. When NDE is informed of new DACs, the new DAC is added as a district-level user in TIDE. Each DAC should log into TIDE and review and update their district and building users as needed. Log into TIDE at the NE portal: https://ne.portal.cambiumast.com/. For questions or assistance, contact Allyson Olson at email@example.com.
We know you are all busy and appreciate how difficult it is to plan for assessment activities for the upcoming year. The Statewide Assessment Office is experiencing some of the same difficulties. We are working on plans but also will be responsive to the ever changing circumstances of the school year.
The Statewide Assessment Office
Essential Content for 20-21
Based on research and the progression of the disciplines, the 2020–21 Essential Instructional Content names the priorities in mathematics (K–8) and ELA/literacy (K–12) that should be the focus of instruction for educators in the 2020–21 academic year. These documents provides guidance for the field about content priorities by leveraging the structure and emphases of college- and career-ready mathematics and ELA/literacy standards. It is intended to help publishers, other designers of instructional materials, and instructional leaders find new efficiencies in the curriculum that are critical for the unique challenges that have resulted from school closures and anticipated disruptions in the year ahead, keeping at the forefront principles of equitable instruction that support all students.
Suspension of all NSCAS Assessments
The NDE is suspending summative statewide assessment (NSCAS) for the 2019-2020 school year. This includes NSCAS – General, Alternate, and ACT. The NDE intends to pursue federal waivers for testing, accountability, and reporting requirements. The NDE is working with ACT to determine if all public high school third-year cohorts who would normally take the ACT as part of the statewide assessment may have the opportunity to take the ACT free-of-charge at a later date.
NDE is working with ACT and NWEA to provide more detailed directions about returning assessment materials. Please look for these specific emails over the next couple of days.
For AQuESTT Accountability and ESSA Designations, NDE will work closely with school district leaders, the State Board of Education, and the U.S. Department of Education to pursue policy adjustments.
Nebraska Statewide Assessment Suspended One Week
The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) is suspending the Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System (NSCAS) testing for the week of March 16-20, 2020 due to concerns regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and school closures across the state.
The NSCAS testing window was scheduled to open today, Monday, March 16. Right now, the priority is to ensure the health and safety of students, educators, and communities.
This is a rapidly changing situation. The NDE will continue to gather information and will share an update about NSCAS testing later this week.
2020 Summer NSCAS Test Development Opportunities
While the NSCAS test windows have not even opened, it is already time to start planning for next year. Below is a link for an application for summer NSCAS test development work for both NSCAS General and Alternate.
We would like all districts to encourage their best and brightest educators to apply for the NSCAS test development opportunities. It is important to NDE to get broad representation from districts, and it is a great way to enhance assessment literacy in Nebraska educators! We particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community. The whole process is best when diverse voices contribute to the creation and maintenance of NSCAS assessments.
The Chrome browser is preferred for this application. The first page of the application will offer details about content areas and dates. Please let NDE know if you have any questions about the application or the test development opportunities. The initial selection process will begin February 17.