Archived Announcements

All Archived Announcements

  • AIR has completed the review of macOS 10.14 and determined a new secure browser is required to support this new operating system. Additionally, a security issue has been discovered for macOS 10.13. To address these issues, AIR has created and posted a newly updated version of the secure browser for macOS which is available for download on the Secure Browsers page. Previous versions of the secure browser for macOS will no longer function after December 31, 2018. All macOS devices (10.9 to 10.14)  are required to have the new secure browser installed by the end of the year in order to test in the new year.

    Added December 11, 2018
  • The required online Alternate Assessment System Training (modules listed below) is now available on the Alternate Assessment card located on the CSDE Comprehensive Assessment Program Portal and can be accessed with TIDE user credentials.  Please share this communication with any  educator who will be administering the CT Alternate Assessments this year, regardless of previous training status, as these teachers will need to participate in the training this year and each year moving forward.  Teachers administering the Alternate Assessments will be required to take a quiz and receive a score of 80% or greater.  Once the quiz is passed, this will activate the “Trained TEA” status in the TEA user account and provide permissions to access the online supporting systems. All TEAs will need this trained status to access the Data Entry Interface (now open), which allows for the submission of the Learner Characteristics Inventory (LCI) to register a student for the Alternate Assessments. (Note that only trained TEAs have user permissions to submit an LCI through the Data Entry Interface.)

    Training Modules vary in duration (each is approximate 30 minutes) and includes:

    • Session 1:Eligibility for the Alternate Assessments and the Role of the Learner Characteristics Inventory (LCI)
    • Session 2:Administering the Connecticut Alternate Assessment (CTAA)
    • Session 3: Administering the Connecticut Alternate Science Assessment (CTAS)
    • Session 4: Alternate Assessment System Resources and the Early Stopping Rule
    • Connecticut Alternate Assessment Training Quiz

    These sessions are also accompanied by a Resource folder containing teacher tasks aligned to each session and the CTAS TEA Responsibility Checklist.

    If you envision providing group TEA training sessions in your school, each individual TEA must log into the training using their own TIDE username/password. This will allow the online system to link their completed quiz with their Trained TEA status in TIDE.

    As a reminder, District Administrators (DAs in TIDE) must determine who will be administering the Alternate Assessments during the 2018-19 school year, verify their user role as TEA and account information in TIDE for accuracy, and notify the TEA(s) that training is now available. Refer to the following resources to support this process:

    Overview for District Administrators

    Overview for Teachers Administering the Alternate

    Please direct any questions to Deirdre Ducharme at 860-713-6859; deirdre.ducharme@ct.gov or Janet Stuck at 860-713-6837; janet.stuck@ct.gov.

    Added November 29, 2018
  • Dear District Administrators (DA’s in TIDE),

    Please see below for two recent updates regarding Connecticut Science assessments. 

    Connecticut Alternate Science Assessment Materials

    The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is beginning distribution of Connecticut Alternate Science Assessment (CTAS) materials for the 2018 – 19 school year.  As a result, you may receive a package(s) containing CTAS printed materials the week of October 29, 2018. The CSDE and AIR have allocated different quantities of the CTAS materials to districts based on student participation in the CTAS Field Test in the spring of 2018. These CTAS materials include:

    • Performance Tasks,
    • Resource Packets, and
    • Student Score Worksheets.

    When districts receive the materials, District Administrators should determine a plan for sharing, organizing, and storing these materials with Teachers Administering the Alternate Assessment (TEAs) and plan to preserve and redistribute the Resource Packets and Performance Tasks in subsequent school years.

    Digital copies of the CTAS materials will also be posted to the Connecticut Comprehensive Assessment Program Portal the week of October 29, 2018. These materials can be downloaded, printed, and maintained as the district determines. These digital copies can also be used with eligible students who use assistive technology and require the manipulation of a PDF (i.e. Smartboard, switches, software programs). The CTAS is a non-secure test that is administered to eligible students with significant cognitive disabilities in Grades 5, 8, and 11. The CTAS was designed to be administered by the Trained TEA in a one-to-one test setting with the student during the school year. Once the assessment has been completed, student ratings recorded on the Student Score Worksheet must be entered into the online Data Entry Interface (DEI) by the Trained TEA during the CTAS upload window between March 25 and June 7, 2019. Ratings submitted in the DEI during the upload window will be processed for reporting. The Connecticut Alternate Science Assessment TEA Responsibility Checklist, posted to the Connecticut Alternate Assessment Program Portal, describes the administration responsibilities and pre-planning activities suggested for the Trained TEA.

                    If districts did not receive CTAS materials by November 9, 2018, and have eligible students with significant cognitive disabilities in Grades 5, 8, and 11 who will be participating in the CTAS, please contact the Connecticut Comprehensive Assessment Program Help Desk by email (cthelpdesk@air.org) or by phone (844-202-7583).

    NGSS Interim Assessment Webinar

    • When? Monday, November 5, 2018 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (EST)
    • Who? This NGSS Interim Assessment Webinar is intended for district- and school-level users who plan to administer the new NGSS Interim Assessments.
    • What? CSDE and AIR will discuss the content of the new NGSS Interim Assessments, how to administer the interim assessments, and how to access the assessment data in the AIRWays Reporting System.
    • How? Register for the webinar by clicking on the following link: Monday, November 5, 2018 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (EST)

    After registering, a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar will be sent to the email address provided during registration.  The webinar will be recorded and posted to the Connecticut Comprehensive Assessment Portal. 

    If you have any questions, please contact the CSDE Student Assessment Office by email (Ctstudentassessment@ct.gov) or by phone (860-713-6860).

    Added October 29, 2018
  • The Secure Browsers for the 2018—2019 school year are now available for download on the Secure Browsers page of the portal. The new version of the secure browser is required for all 2018-2019 online test administrations.

    Added August 10, 2018
  • The Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments test window will open on September 26, 2018. To prepare for the administration of these Interim Assessments, the systems that support test administration have scheduled maintenance periods that require system downtime. Please see the following maintenance periods for these systems, below:

    • The Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) will be down for maintenance beginning September 4th and will return online September 18th.
    • The Practice Tests and the Assessment Viewing Application (AVA) will be down for maintenance beginning September 4th and will return online September 26th.
    • The Online Reporting System (ORS) will be down for maintenance beginning September 17th and will return online September 26th.
    • The AIR Ways Reporting System will be down for maintenance beginning September 17th and will return online October 2nd.

    Added August 8, 2018
  • In light of the continued school closures in several districts resulting from the weather events on May 15, 2018, the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) is extending the summative testing window for all school districts in the state. Originally, the testing window was scheduled to close on Friday, May 25, 2018, for the Smarter Balanced Assessments, the Connecticut Alternate Assessment (CTAA), the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Field Test, and the Connecticut Alternate Science Assessment (CTAS) Field Test. However, due to the unprecedented weather event, the window for all aforementioned assessments is being extended until Friday, June 8, 2018.

    Please note that the deadline for submission of the Learner Characteristics Inventory (LCI) has also been extended until Friday, June 8, 2018. The LCI must be submitted in the Data Entry Interface (DEI) for all students eligible to participate in the alternate assessments. Please contact the Help Desk (cthelpdesk@air.org) to report any submitted LCIs so that the student’s Alternate Assessment Indicator may be set to “Yes” to access the CTAS and/or the CTAA.

    Added May 22, 2018
  • Attention to Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Users! Smarter Balanced is conducting a Focused Target Interim Assessment Blocks survey to collect feedback on a possible enhancements to the existing interim assessment system. This proposed design would offer blocks that measure smaller bundles of content (one or two targets in math, and up to three targets in ELA). This is a critical opportunity for users to openly offer feedback on a system that has the potential to better support assessment and instructional goals; therefore, we urge users to complete and share this survey with colleagues who actively use the interims. The survey is open for submission through May 17, 2018.

    Added April 20, 2018
  • CSDE and AIR have received some questions about the timing and sessions of the NGSS Field Test. Please note that the NGSS Field Test is designed as one continuous test and does not have sessions. Test Administrators may choose to give students a 10-minute break after about 45 minutes of testing. This break is optional. Each student will receive approximately the same number of questions on the Field Test, however, questions will vary from student to student. The Field Test consists of 6 item clusters with multiple questions and 12 short, often one-question, items. 

    Added April 9, 2018
  • After completing the NGSS Field Test, students and test administrators are strongly encouraged to complete online feedback surveys. There are separate surveys for students and test administrators. These surveys should only take about 5 minutes to complete.

    Added March 26, 2018
  • Previously, AIR planned on releasing an updated secure browser for the Chromebooks. After further consideration, AIR has decided not to rollout the new app this spring. Please continue using the 2017-2018 version of the secure browser for Chromebooks (v3).

    Added March 23, 2018
  • The Connecticut Alternate Science (CTAS) Field Test required materials are now available on the portal. These required materials include:

    • District Assignment Spreadsheet to determine district assignment of Form 1 or Form 2 to administer the Performance Tasks for the CTAS Field Test
    • Form- and grade-specific Performance Tasks PDFs
    • Form- and grade-specific Resource Packets
    • Form- and grade-specific Student Score Worksheets

    To access these required materials, please select the Connecticut Alternate Assessments program card on the home page of the portal. Then, select the Connecticut Alternate Science Field Test Required Materials card.

    Please see the communication sent to District Administrators (DA’s in TIDE) from the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) Student Assessment Performance Office for additional information.

    Added March 16, 2018
  • NGSS Alternate Assessment Field Test – District Administrator Training

    A training for the NGSS Alternate Assessment Field Test will be held Friday, February 16 from 2 - 3:30 p.m. (EST).  This webinar training will provide information regarding the administration and components of the NGSS Alternate Assessment Field Test.  It is intended for any district staff that oversees the administration of this assessment.

    This training will provide the following information about the NGSS Alternate Assessment Field Test:

    • background and purpose;
    • development and design;
    • components;
    • administration;
    • DA responsibilities;
    • training plan for Trained Teachers (TEAs);
    • required materials;
    • recording and entering student ratings; and  
    • participation reports.

    Click on the link below to register for the webinar.

    Friday, February 16 from 2 – 3:30 p.m. (EST)

    A confirmation e-mail containing information about joining the webinar will be sent to the e-mail address you provided during registration.

    The webinar will be recorded and posted.

    Please contact the CSDE Performance Office at 860-713-6860 with any questions.  

    Added February 5, 2018
  • The Secure Browser for use with Mac computers running OS 10.13 is now available for download on the Secure Browser page of the portal. This browser must be installed on each computer that has OS 10.13 in order to take the summative and interim assessments. 

    Added February 2, 2018
  • Final Opportunity: Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Teacher Hand Scoring Training  Register Now!

    A final Teacher Hand Scoring System (THSS) training is scheduled for February 26, 2018, and will be held at the CSDE, 450 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford.  This training is appropriate for beginners to the THSS; or new teachers, district and school administrators who will be hand scoring or training hand scorers of the interim assessments.  In this session, participants will review the scoring process and related scoring materials (rubrics, exemplars, and training guides) that can then be applied to the scoring of specific IABs administered in your classrooms.  Participants will be led through a brief hand-scoring training of Reading and Writing, with a concluding presentation that connects results to the AIR Ways Reporting System and next steps for improving instruction.  Participants must have a Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) user account and must bring a laptop.  Please contact Deirdre Ducharme or Cristi Alberino if you have any questions.

    To register, select the session date below:

    Register for February 26, 2018, 1:00-4:00 p.m.

    Added January 30, 2018
  • TIDE will be offline for maintenance beginning Friday, January 5th and will return online Monday, January 8th. We apologize for any inconvenience.

    Added January 2, 2018
  • Teacher Hand Scoring Training Sessions – Register Now!

    There will be a half-day, in person training to provide new teachers, district administrators, and school administrators an overview of the Smarter Balanced Teacher Hand Scoring System used to score open-ended student responses on the Interim Assessment Blocks (IABs). Click here for further information about training dates, times, location. 

    Added November 20, 2017
  • The Interim Assessments will open with new items and blocks on September 26, 2017. To prepare for the administration of these Interim Assessments, the systems that support test administration have scheduled maintenance periods that require system downtime. Please see the following maintenance periods for these systems, below:

    • TIDE will be down for maintenance beginning September 8th and will return online September 19th.
    • ORS will be down for maintenance beginning September 18th and will return online September 26th.
    • AIR Ways, AVA, and THSS will be down for maintenance beginning September 23rdand will return online September 26th.

    Added August 21, 2017
  • The Windows and Mac OSX secure browsers for the 2017—2018 school year is now available. This new version of the secure browser is required for all 2017-2018 online test administrations.

    Note: The secure browser for all desktop operating systems is available for download from the portal. Both iOS and Chrome secure browsers have been updated and are available in the App Store and in the Google Play Store, respectively.

    Added August 14, 2017
  • AIR System Hardware Upgrade—Systems Offline August

    AIR systems are undergoing a hardware upgrade from Friday, August 18 – Sunday, August 20, 2017. All systems (TIDE, TDS, ORS, AIR Ways, AVA) will be offline during this time.

    Added July 26, 2017
  • As a reminder: For Windows users, if your school has NeoSpeech voice packs installed on your computers used for the Connecticut Comprehensive Assessments with Text-to-Speech, you will need to renew your NeoSpeech voice pack licenses.

    Note: Schools do not need to re-install the voice pack software, only the licenses. To ensure that your computer’s voice packs continue to function as expected, please download the updated licenses in TIDE under General Resources > Download Voice Pack and transfer the licenses to the appropriate license folders on Windows machines following the instructions available in the Updating the NeoSpeech Licenses document. On May 3, 2017, the current license for the Julie voice packs will expire.

    Added May 1, 2017
  • The test window for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Assessment Pilot is from May 1st to May 26th. For participating districts, several resources are now available. These resources are appropriate for schools that were randomly selected for the pilot and also for those that volunteered to participate. These resources include:

    Thank you for your cooperation in developing a high-quality science assessment that will raise the bar for science learning for all Connecticut students. Please contact the AIR Help Desk at 844-202-7583 with any technical questions about the NGSS Assessment Pilot. For general questions about the NGSS Assessment Pilot, please contact the Connecticut State Department of Education.

    Added April 24, 2017
  • The last day to order Large Print and Braille materials for CMT and CAPT Science is Friday, April 21, 2017. All of the student responses for Large Print and Braille science assessments have to be entered into the Data Entry Interface (DEI) by Friday, April 28, 2017 11:59 PM EST. The secure paper materials used for testing Large Print and Braille students must be shipped back to Measurement Incorporated by Friday, May 5, 2017. If you need assistance in returning your materials, please call the Connecticut Help Desk at 1.844.202.7583 or email at cthelpdesk@air.org.

    Added April 17, 2017
  • The updated Smarter Balanced Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA) practice and training tests are now available. Students and Test Administrators can access these tests via the practice and training test icon. Updated practice test scoring guides tests have also been posted to the portal.

    Added March 1, 2017
  • The Data Entry Interface (DEI) is now open. Teachers Administering the Alternate (TEAs) may now use the DEI to complete the Learner Characteristics Inventory (LCI). Submission of the LCI is required for eligible students with significant cognitive disabilities prior to administering the following alternate assessments: Connecticut Alternate Assessment (CTAA) for English language arts and mathematics, the CMT Skills Checklist Science, and the CAPT Skills Checklist Science.

    Added December 24, 2016
  • The registration site for The 2017 Connecticut District Test Coordinator Workshops for Smarter Balanced, CMT/CAPT Science including Skills Checklist and The Connecticut Alternate Assessment is now open. These workshops are intended for District Test Coordinators only.  Additionally, districts are only allowed TWO attendees. Please click here for training dates and registration information.

    Added December 8, 2016
  • AIR Ways Training Webinar

    When? Wednesday, November 9, 2016 from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

    Who should attend?

    This AIR Ways Training Webinar is intended for district- and school-level users who intend to administer the interim assessments. The AIR Ways system provides teachers/users with access to interim assessment data.

    What’s it all about?

    This webinar will provide an overview of how to navigate the new AIR Ways Reporting system that provides student performance reports for interim assessments. This system offers more reporting features and greater access to item level data that is not available through the Online Reporting System (ORS). AIR Ways provides access to item level data in addition to individual and group data.

    How do I register?

    Register for the webinar by clicking on the date below.

    After registering, a confirmation e-mail containing information about joining the webinar will be sent to the email address you provided during registration.

    Added October 26, 2016
  • The practice and training tests will be down for maintenance this evening, October 13, after 5:00pm ET and will re-open October 14, after 5:00pm ET.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

    Added October 13, 2016
  • The Online Reporting System (ORS) will be down for maintenance Saturday, October 15 – Monday, October 17.

    Added October 11, 2016
  • Technology Requirements for Online Testing Training Webinar

    When? –Wednesday, September 28, 2016 from 2:15 – 3:00 p.m.

    Who should attend?

    This Technology Requirements webinar is intended for:

    • Technology Coordinators and
    • School staff responsible for preparing a school for online test administrations.

    What’s it all about?

    his webinar will provide an overview of:

    • the technology requirements needed for all computers and devices used for online testing,
    • information on secure browser installation, and
    • voice packs for text-to-speech.

    How do I register?

    Register for the webinar by clicking on the date below:

    After registering, a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar will be sent to the email address you provided during registration.

    Added September 12, 2016
  • New TIDE Training Webinar

    When? – Thursday, September 29, 2016 from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

    Who should attend?

    This TIDE Training Webinar is intended for:

    • District Administrators,
    • District and School Test Coordinators,
    • School Reporting Administrators,
    • Teachers,
    • Test Administrators, and
    • Teacher Alternates.

    What’s it all about?

    This webinar will provide an overview of how to navigate the new format and enhanced features of the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) in preparation for the new system launch on October 6th.

    How do I register?

    Register for the webinar by clicking on the date below.

    After registering, a confirmation e-mail containing information about joining the webinar will be sent to the email address you provided during registration.

    Added September 12, 2016
  • TIDE will be down for maintenance September 24—October 5. Student information for the 2016—2017 school year will be available upon TIDE reopening October 6.

    Added August 24, 2016
  • All systems will be down for maintenance Saturday, August 13 – Sunday, August 14. We apologize for any inconvenience.

    Added August 3, 2016
  • The Online Reporting System will be down for maintenance beginning July 25, 2016. The system will re-open when score reports are ready to be released. Updates on this release date will be provided in the Student Assessment Newsletter and the portal announcements.

    Added July 18, 2016

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