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Policy 8120 Implementation Procedures - Testing: State and Local Responsibilities and Protocols

Implementation Procedures

I. Definitions

Within the context of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  1. Accommodator – An HCPSS employee or pre-service teacher candidate who is trained to administer modifications of a student’s testing environment.

  2. Chain of Custody – The secure transfer of assessment materials that includes the chronological documentation of distribution, receipt and return.

  3. Testing Window – The period of time designated for schools to administer an assessment.

II. Approval of District-Selected and District-Designed Assessments

  1. District-selected assessments will be evaluated and placed on the approved assessment list by the Superintendent’s Cabinet.

  2. District-designed assessments may be recommended for approval by curriculum offices and evaluated by the Superintendent’s Cabinet for placement on the approved assessment list.

  3. Criteria for evaluation will include, but are not limited to the:

    1. Alignment with the current Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) goals and objectives.

    2. Validity and reliability of the assessment.

    3. Number of students impacted by the assessment.

    4. Effects of the assessment on delivery of instruction.

    5. Cost of the assessment.

    6. Applications of the assessment data.

    7. Accessibility of the assessments.

III. Administration of State-Mandated, District-Selected and District-Designed Assessments

  1. The Superintendent/Designee will:

    Appoint a central office administrator who serves as the Local Accountability Coordinator (LAC), who is responsible for the oversight of the implementation of state and local assessment administration and data reporting policies within HCPSS and who serves as the liaison between MSDE and HCPSS regarding assessment administration.

  2. The LAC will:

    1. Be the sole individual authorized to procure assessment materials for the HCPSS.

    2. Create and publish the HCPSS assessment calendar, which will include all testing windows for assessment administrations and serve as the official document to guide school planning for those administrations.

    3. Make available the approved assessment list.

    4. Coordinate all state-mandated assessments and related activities at the district level.

    5. Train School Test Coordinators (STCs) on the state, local and vendor-specific policies and procedures and guidelines necessary to administer all assessments in their schools.

    6. Communicate all necessary information related to testing to the STCs as it becomes available.

    7. Inform schools of the arrival dates and pick-up procedures for assessment materials and the requirements for the secure receipt and storage of those materials.

    8. Inform STCs of the requirements and procedures for storing assessment materials in schools.

    9. Direct and coordinate the distribution of assessment materials to, and collection of assessment materials from, schools.

    10. Develop implementation procedures for state-mandated and district-selected assessments.

    11. Investigate and report testing violations.

    12. Sign a certification of training form and/or a non-disclosure agreement.

  3. Principals will:

    1. Appoint an administrator as the STC and a certificated employee as the alternate STC before the beginning of the school year, and notify the LAC of any changes in appointment.

    2. Facilitate the release of the STC to attend required training meetings.

    3. Ensure that a locked, secure, non-instructional area is available for storage of all assessment materials before, during, and after the administration.

    4. Distribute assessment results as required and safeguard electronically stored data and assessment items within their schools.

    5. Advise students of proper behavior and testing violations in accordance with this policy, Policy 9200 Student Discipline, the HCPSS Student Code of Conduct, and protocols specific to individual assessments.

    6. Provide ongoing notification to the school staff and community of the school’s assessment schedule/calendar.

  4. STCs will:

    1. Be the sole individual authorized to receive assessment materials from the LAC, the MSDE, the HCPSS, and its vendors for his/her school.

    2. Oversee the administration and security of state-mandated and district-selected assessment programs in their schools.

    3. Facilitate identification and application of assessment accommodations for special populations through collaboration with MSDE, the LAC, case managers, parents, and staff members.

    4. Ensure that only qualified staff are designated as test examiners, proctors, and accommodators.

    5. Train test examiners, proctors, and accommodators in alignment with state, local, and vendor-specific policies and procedures. Training includes expectations for staff behavior and assessment security procedures.

    6. Maintain documentation and accounting of assessment administration according to the implementation procedures outlined by the LAC.

    7. Attend each required training meeting. (The alternate STC will attend in the STC’s absence).

    8. Sign a certification of training form and/or a non-disclosure agreement.

    9. Direct and coordinate distribution and collection of assessment materials within the school according to established procedures.

    10. Notify the appropriate persons of discrepancies related to the inventory of assessment materials. These discrepancies include the initial receipt of materials as well as lost and damaged materials.

    11. Make provisions for the security of assessment materials while they are in the school, including documentation of the chain of custody. The secured storage area will be under the jurisdiction of the STC.

    12. Be the only person authorized to remove assessment materials from the secure area for assessment administration preparation activities and for actual assessment administration.

    13. Retain the names and student identification numbers of students assessed, as well as the names of all test examiners and proctors, for six school years following each MSDE mandated assessment administration.

    14. Return all assessment materials to the MSDE, LAC, or the appropriate vendor in accordance with approved procedures.

    15. Report all testing violations immediately to the school principal and to the LAC.

  5. Test Examiners, Proctors, and Accommodators will:

    1. Attend all required training sessions provided by HCPSS and/or MSDE to learn all required procedures for each assessment.

    2. Adhere to all required assessment administration procedures as outlined in state and local manuals, training materials, and documents provided by the MSDE and/or HCPSS.

    3. Sign a certification of training form and/or a non-disclosure agreement.

  6. The Division of Accountability will:

    1. Respond to requests and deadlines for submission of files.

    2. Assure that files, scores, and reports are accurate.

IV. Reporting and Investigating Alleged Testing Violations

  1. Allegations of potential testing violations by students or staff at the school level will be reported immediately to STC, to the school principal, and to the LAC.

  2. The LAC and other appropriate central office administrators will investigate reports of alleged testing violations.

  3. In investigating reports of alleged violations involving state-mandated assessments, the LAC will be guided by MSDE, HCPSS, and vendor-specific policies and procedures.

  4. All cases of alleged violations for state-mandated assessments will be reported to the MSDE according to their guidelines.

  5. In investigating reports of alleged testing violations involving district-selected assessments, the LAC will be guided by assessment manuals and other assessment administration documents related to the specific tests. Following an investigation, if it is determined that a violation has occurred, consequences will be determined by the Superintendent/Designee.

  6. The LAC will meet all requirements and requests of the MSDE where applicable and all requirements and requests of the HCPSS where applicable.

  7. Violations of this policy by staff or students may result in the invalidation of assessment results.

  8. Violations of this policy by a staff member may result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal by the Superintendent.

  9. Testing violations by a staff member with regard to state-mandated assessments may also result in the suspension and/or revocation of administrative or teaching credentials, or both, by the State Superintendent of Schools.

V. Students Receiving Home and Hospital Services or Assigned to Evening School

  1. All persons administering assessments to students receiving home and hospital services or assigned to evening school will receive all required training and adhere to all procedures for assessment security and administration developed by the LAC.

  2. Students assigned to evening school are required to participate in all state-mandated and district-selected assessments.

  3. Students receiving home and hospital services will participate in state-mandated and district-selected assessments.

  4. Students receiving home and hospital services may take state mandated, district- selected and district-designed assessments at their designated schools. When students are unable to be assessed in their designated schools, arrangements will be made to administer assessments by a certified examiner in an appropriate setting.

VI. History

ADOPTED: November 12, 1992



REVISED: May 23, 2002, September 7, 2006, May 10, 2007, May 7, 2015

EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2015