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Contact us via email or call us in-state toll-free between 9:00am and 5:00pm MT at 1.888.231.9393, Local 406.444.3095

Have a Media Inquiry? Contact Allyson Hagen at AHagen2@mt.gov or

  • 406-444-3160
  • 406-437-3357 (cell)

MAIN CONTACTS

Questions or concerns about this webpage?
Please contact the OPI Help Desk at opihelpdesk@mt.gov or 406.444.0087

 

MontCAS Montana Comprehensive Assessment System

Welcome to the Montana Comprehensive Assessment System

This site provides information and tools that System Test Coordinators and schools need to administer Montana statewide assessments.

2016-2017 Statewide Assessment Schedule - Checklist of Dates
Assessment Window Assessment/Event Grades
Tentative:  December 7, 2016 – February 15, 2017 English Language Proficiency (ELP) K-12
January 12-13, 2017 Missoula Assessment & Data Conference, Hilton Garden Inn All
January 26-27, 2017 Billings Assessment & Data Conference, Crowne Plaza All
February 20 – March 24, 2017 CRT Alternate Science 4, 8, and 10
March 1 – March 24, 2017 CRT Science 4, 8, and 10
TBA (March 2017) Test Window Count Date 3-8, 10-11
March 22 – May 26, 2017 Montana Smarter Balanced English Language Arts and Math 3-8
Tentative: March 6 – May 12, 2017 MSAA Alternate Assessment English Language Arts and Math 3-8, 11
April 19, 2017
Wednesday
ACT with Writing:
Initial Test Date
Public school students
in grade 11
April 19 – May 3, 2017
ACT with Writing Accommodations Window Public school student
s in grade 11
May 3, 2017
Wednesday
ACT with Writing Makeup Test Date Public school students grade in 11

 

Contacts

Field Test Administration, Accommodations, Accessibility
and other General Assessment Questions:

Judy Snow
Assessment Director
406.444.3656
jsnow@mt.gov

Pam Birkeland
Assessment Special Projects
406.560.2060
pbirkeland@mt.gov

Yvonne Field
Assessment Specialist
406.444.0748
yfield@mt.gov

Paula Schultz
Smarter Balanced Accommodations Lead
pschultz2@mt.gov

Angie Koehler
Administrative Assistant
406.444.3511
akoehler2@mt.gov

Measured Progress Montana Service Desk, Smarter Balanced and Science CRT and Alt
888-792-2741 montanahelpdesk@measuredprogress.org

 

System Test Coordinators

Are you a new system test coordinator? Are you a superintendent who has a new system test coordinator? Click here to let us know

MontCAS Goals

Our goal is to provide the necessary support and training that test administrators and their teams will need to successfully administer the Smarter Balanced Assessment in addition to all other statewide assessments. We will:

  • Provide comprehensive trainings via topical and assessment-specific webinars and make them available through recordings and printable slides on our website. We will also prepare timely information and materials.
  • Work with OPI staff to spread important information to stakeholders.
  • Coordinate with vendors so all trainings can be focused on topic and touch all applicable assessments.

smarter

The Smarter Balanced assessment is an online, computer adaptive assessment in English Language Arts, Literacy and Mathematics that is aligned to the Montana Common Core Standards.

2016-17

Smarter Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines (UAAG) - July 2016

2015-16

The ISAAP (Individual Student Accessibility Assessment Profile) is intended for gathering information regarding designated supports and accommodations for the Smarter Balanced summative assessment. The tool is specifically designed for compiling information for ART, but it cannot be used to upload the information into ART.

ISSAP Individual Student Accessibility Assessment Profile – This tool is a resource for IEP and 504 plan teams to create an Individual Assessment Accessibility Profile (ISAAP).

Introduction to ISAAP – This Smarter Balanced Digital Library Module will show how Smarter Balanced generates results that are a fair and accurate estimate of each student’s achievement. The module offers an overview of the Smarter Balanced Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines, the Individual Student Assessment Accessibility Profile (ISAAP) Process, and the ISAAP Tool. Smarter Balanced suggests a process and tool by which each student’s need(s) can be matched with appropriate Universal Tools, Designated Supports, and/or Accommodations. States, districts, or schools can use the ISAAP if they feel it is helpful. This module also includes three orientations to familiarize educators with the Smarter Balanced Assessment System, the assessment literacy modules of the Digital Library, and the Formative Assessment Process. ​​Please note that to view all module components in your browser, pop-ups must be enabled.

ISAAP Tool Instructions – This document explains how to use the ISAAP tool.


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What is SBAC?

SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium
A Summary of Core Components

To help achieve the goal that all students leave high school ready for college and careers, the Office of Public Instruction joined the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), a 31-state organization charged with developing an assessment system for the Montana Common Core Standards in English Language Arts, Literacy and Mathematics.

The SBAC system will:

  • Align with the Montana Common Core Standards;
  • Focus on supporting teachers' instructional practice and implementation of new standards;
  • Provide a comprehensive reporting system on classroom practices and student progress for teachers, administrators, students and parents;
  • Ensure every student is able to show what they know and can do to meet new standards; and
  • Offer classroom formative assessment processes and tools, as well as computer adaptive interim and summative assessments.

Formative Assessment Processes take place in the classroom to determine a student's learning needs, check for understanding and/or to provide evidence of progress toward learning goals.

Interim Assessments take place after a particular segment of learning such as a chapter or unit of study.

Summative Assessments are required, occur near the end of the school year, and the results are collected by the Office of Public Instruction to provide a comprehensive set of data on student achievement at the school, district and state levels.

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Opportunities will be posted here as they become available.

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CRT

The Science Criterion-Referenced Test (CRT) is aligned to Montana Content Standards. The Sci-ence Criterion-Referenced Test– Alternate (CRT-ALT) is aligned to Alternative Achievement Standards (AAS). Students in grades 4, 8, and 10 will take the Science CRT. Students with significant cognitive disabilities in grades 4, 8, and 10 will take the CRT-Alt.

Assessment/Data Conference 2016 - Using the Score Report Modules in the Digital Library

Student Results
Printed individual student reports will be mailed from Measured Progress to Test Coordinators for distribution to parents/ guardians. Systems can expect to receive them in early September.

 

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There is no technology information for this assessment.

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CRT Development


CRT Alignment

Two external alignment studies have been conducted of MontCAS, Phase 2, the Criterion-Referenced Test (CRT) and Montana content standards.

August 2002
The Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory ( NWREL) prepared an alignment study of the foundation of the Montana CRT and Montana content standards prior to the development of the Montana CRT.   The foundation of the Montana CRT is a bank of items from Measured Progress, the CRT testing company.   These items are named Progress Towards Standards (PTS).   The alignment study conducted by NWREL provided the information for augmenting the PTS items with items specifically developed in Montana by Montana educators. (need to link)

March 2005
The Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL) prepared an alignment study of the 2005 Montana CRT and Montana content standards.  

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Educator Involvement Opportunities

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MSAA Logo

The Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA) is a new online alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards that address the inclusion of Montana’s students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in the MCCS.

Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA)

Montana has joined with several states to form an alternate assessment consortium. The consortium has a new name but the alternate assessment is the same one that we used last year. The new consortium includes the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Maine, Montana, South Dakota, Guam/CNMI, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Maryland.
The test vendor is Measured Progress and the technology vendor is Breakthrough Technologies.

The test portal is being transitioned and will be available for district access and test administration training starting mid-February. clear

Date Activity
Late January - First Week February OPI prepares and uploads student file to the test platform
Mid February System open for STCs to access trainings and see registered students
Late February Materials shipment
TAs access training modules
March 30-May 13 Test Administration Window

Sample items can be found on the MSAA Website. They are available in an online and PDF format. ELA Sample items are currently available for grades 4, 8, and 11. Math sample items are available for grades 3, 6, and 11. Available assessment features for the online sample items include alternate color themes, answer masking, audio player, line reader, and magnification.

 

The MSAA

MSAA

MSAA: A New Alternate Assessment

Why: With the implementation of the Montana Common
Core Standards (MCCS) we have the need to create a new alternate assessment, based on alternate achievement standards that address the inclusion of Montana's students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in the MCCS.

What is MSSA? The MSAA is a project supported by a GSEG grant, led by five centers and 26 states, charged with building a new alternate assessment.

The Goal: To ensure that students with significant cognitive disabilities achieve increasingly higher academic outcomes and leave high school ready for post-secondary options.

A well designed summative assessment alone is insufficient.

NCSC Framework

A COMPREHENSIVE MODEL:

All partners share a commitment to the research - to - practice
focus of the project and the development of a comprehensive model of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and supportive professional development.

Key Ideas

ASSESSMENT DESIGN:

  • Assessment Triangle (Pellegrino, Chudowsky, & Glaser, 2001)
  • College - and career-readiness for SSCD
  • Evidence-centered design
  • Balancing standardization and flexibility (Gong & Marion, 2006)

CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION:

The Timeline:

Timeline

  • Learning Progressions • Curricular modules
  • Big ideas/enduring understandings and
    prioritization of content
  • Alignment • Entry points

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT:

  • Communities of Practice
  • Scaling up use of CCSS-aligned academic curriculum
  • Communication by Kindergarten/Communication Triage
  • Technology and training
 

For More Information:Explore media, upcoming events, a blog, and to connect with the Community of Practice (CoP), or Contact Yvonne Field, Assessment Specialist, 406-444-0748

 

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Opportunities will be posted here as they become available.

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ELP

In addition to the participation of limited English proficient (LEP) students in the statewide CRT assessment, an annual assessment of English language proficiency (ELP) for limited English proficient students is required.

Montana's English Language Learners: Guidance for School Districts

  • ACCESS 2.0 Field Test
    2015 WIDA Field Test Memo
  • ACCESS 2.0
    In 2015-16, the WIDA Consortium will begin administration of the new, online annual summative assessment, ACCESS for ELLs 2.0. The online assessment will replace the current paper-based version of ACCESS for ELLs for Grades 1-12.

 

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Documents and trainings are available on the WIDA website.

ACCESS 2.0 Administration Dates (2015-2016)
Activity Start Date End Date
District and School Site File to DRC 9/8/2015 9/8/2015
Test Materials Ordering (by SEA based on pre-id file) 10/23/2015 10/23/2015
Pre-ID Files to DRC 10/23/2015 10/23/2015
Test Setup 11/20/2015 1/27/2016
Districts Receive Test Material (On) 11/20/2015 11/20/2015
Test Window 12/15/2015 2/26/2016
Additional Test Material Window 11/23/2015 2/19/2016
Districts Pack Completed Test Material 12/17/2015 2/29/2016
Districts Ship Completed Test Material to DRC 12/17/2015 2/29/2016
All Test Material Received at DRC 3/3/2016 3/3/2016
Pre-Reporting Data Validation Window 3/9/2016 3/15/2016
Districts Receive Reports - Printed and Online (On) 4/18/2016 4/18/2016
Final Data Available to State 4/18/2016 4/18/2016

ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Implementation Resources

What’s New in ACCESS in Ells 2.0

ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Training Information for Schools and Districts

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Both the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) require that all students participate in statewide assessments.  This includes all students who receive special education services no matter what their disability or level of service.  All students, including students with IEPs, identified at the time of statewide testing as Limited English Proficient (LEP) must be accounted for when the assessment results are reported to the Department of Education (ED) and calculated for Annual Measureable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs).   

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Sample items are available on the WIDA website, accessible with a WIDA user account login.

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Test Administration Manuals are available on the WIDA website, accessible with a WIDA user account login.

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2016 English Language Proficiency (ELP) Webinars
Date/Time Topics and Audience
District and School Administrators
Title III Directors
System Test Coordinators
ESL/Bilingual Teachers

Survey Links will open at 2:00 pm

  • Click on the appropriate link.
  • Complete the survey/submit (You will be automatically routed to the webinar.)
  • For technical assistance: call Angie Koehler
    at 406.444.3511.
1/ 5/16
2:30-3:30 PM
Scoring the Kindergarten Speaking Test http://app.keysurvey.com/f/977938/8adf/
1/18/16
2:30-3:30 PM
End of Test Window Tasks, Packing and Returning Materials http://app.keysurvey.com/f/977940/10f4/
4/4/16
2:30-4:30 PM
ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Results Reports, Annual Results Review Processes http://app.keysurvey.com/f/977942/5106/

WIDA Website Tour for STCs Training Overview

All training materials for Test Coordinators and Test Administrators are posted in the WIDA ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Training Course. To access these materials, go to the WIDA website homepage (www.wida.us) and log in with your WIDA username and password. Once logged in, you will see the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Training Course. Select the tile(s) for the appropriate assessments.

The training materials for Technology Coordinators are available in the WIDA Assessment Management System (www.wida-ams.us). To access these materials, go to the WIDA AMS webpage (www.wida-ams.us) and log in with your WIDA AMS username and password. In the left navigation panel, click General Information > Training Materials.

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World-Class Instruction Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium

The World-Class Instruction Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium is a coalition of state departments of education that acts in collaboration to research, design and implement a standards-based educational system that promotes equitable educational opportunities for students with Limited English Proficiency in pre-kindergarten through grade twelve.  As a member of WIDA, OPI will be a member of the governing board that makes decisions about test development and research to improve both the instruction and assessment of LEP students.  More information about WIDA is online at www.wida.us

Montana educators have access to:

  • W-APT, a placement test for determining appropriate initial placement of students with limited English Proficiency 
  • WIDA professional development opportunities scheduled through OPI
  • Research resources to inform state policy decisions
  • Member pricing on WIDA products, such as the resource guides
  • WIDA Help Desk
  • Serving on Consortium-wide committees, such as item review teams
  • On-line test administrator training

 

 

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Opportunities will be posted here as they become available.

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ACT

On Tuesday, April 19, 2016, all Montana public school juniors will have the opportunity to take the ACT with Writing on a school day in their high schools. The test will be provided for these students without cost. The Montana GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) Program received a $28 million grant to fund the ACT-Plus Writing test for seven years through 2018.

My Access
Through the GEAR UP Grant, Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) has purchased 4,000 student licenses for the MY Access! writing application. MY Access! is a web-based, cross-curricular writing program from Vantage Learning.
Contact Judy Snow at 406.444.3511 or jsnow@mt.gov if your school is interested in taking advantage of this opportunity.

Please submit your My Access writing application online by November 18, 2015.

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Accommodations Q&A Session for Spring 2016 Testing - Recorded Webinar
To view the recorded webinar, follow these steps:
1. Go to: https://act.ilinc.com/register/wzjzxkk
2. Enter the required fields.
3. Click the Submit button. It does take a minute to load and will automatically route you to the webinar.

ACT Testing: Montana
This site provides many resources to help educators administer the ACT with Writing test including, but not limited to a Schedule of Events, Forms, Manuals and Supplements, Training and Customer Service contacts.

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Understanding Your ACT with Writing Results

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No technology information for this assessment.

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ACT Testing: Montana
This site provides many resources to help educators administer the ACT with Writing test including, but not limited to a Schedule of Events, Forms, Manuals and Supplements, Training and Customer Service contacts.

ACT OPI Webinar March 3, 2016Revised

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Opportunities will be posted here as they become available.

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JUMP newsletterJUMP Newsletters and Updates

Welcome to JUMP, the OPI online assessment newsletter. JUMP is published monthly— and weekly, as needed—throughout the year to announce important assessment and data events. It provides up-to-date information necessary for the standardized administration of statewide assessments and the accompanying data.

 

Are you a new system test coordinator? Are you a superintendent who has a new system test coordinator? Click here to let us know

2016-2017 Statewide Assessment Schedule - Checklist of Dates
Assessment Window Assessment/Event Grades
Tentative:  December 7, 2016 –
February 15, 2017
English Language Proficiency (ELP) K-12
January 12-13, 2017 Missoula Assessment & Data Conference, Hilton Garden Inn All
January 26-27, 2017 Billings Assessment & Data Conference, Crowne Plaza All
February 20 – March 24, 2017 CRT Alternate Science 4, 8, and 10
March 1 – March 24, 2017 CRT Science 4, 8, and 10
TBA (March 2017) Test Window Count Date 3-8, 10-11
March 22 – May 26, 2017 Montana Smarter Balanced English Language Arts and Math 3-8
Tentative: March 6 – May 12, 2017 MSAA Alternate Assessment English Language Arts and Math 3-8, 11
April 19, 2017 ACT with Writing:
Initial Test Date
Public school students in grade 11
April 19 – May 3, 2017
ACT with Writing Accommodations Window Public school students in grade 11
May 3, 2017 (Wednesday) ACT with Writing Makeup Test Date Public school students grade in 11

 

 

OPI Assessment and Data Conference 2017

January 12-13, 2017, Hilton Garden Inn, Missoula
January 26-27, 2017, Crowne Plaza, Billings

Learn to use data to better understand:

  • each of your students
  • your entire class
  • your grade level
  • your school
  • your system2016 MontCAS Conference

Intended Audience:

  • Curriculum Directors
  • Test Coordinators
  • Department/Grade Level Chairs
  • Teachers
  • Staff responsible for entering data into AIM

2017: OPI Assessment and Data Conference

Eastern Conference:
January 26-27, 2017 Crowne Plaza, Billings
Western Conference:
January 12-13, 2017 Hilton Garden Inn, Missoula

OPI staff who want to register for the conference, please contact Angie Koehler at akoehler2@mt.gov or 406.444.3511.

Please contact Judy Snow, 406.444.3511 for more information or if you want to be a sponsor.

 

Registration

Online registration will open November 2017.  A link will be available here and an email with the information will be sent directly to system test coordinators, ACT test coordinators and superintendents when it opens.
2016 Fees:

  • Single Person: $75 ($85 if registering late) - System and ACT Test Coordinators only:  Please use the coupon code discount emailed from Akoehler2@mt.gov, or contact Angie at 406.444.3511.
  • Team of 3*: $190 (15% discount)
  • Team of 4*: $240 (20% discount)
  • Team of 5*: $280 (25% discount)
  • Team of 6*: $315 (30% discount)
  • Team discounts are only applicable to registrations made by:  January 6, 2017

Registration windows:

  • Regular Registration: November 2016 – January 6, 2017 (Team* and Test Coordinator discounts are only applicable through January 6, 2017.)
  • Late Registration Fee Increase: January 7, 2017 – On-Site (For Example - Single: $85, Team of 3: $255, Team of 5: $425)
  • PLEASE NOTE! Last day to cancel for partial refund January 7, 2017 (less the $25 MSU Conference Services fee). Cancellations must be e-mailed to toni.lee@montana.edu no later than January 7, 2017.

Lodging:  Please reserve a room by the cut-off date of December 29, 2016 and use the group block code to get the State rate.
Host Hotels:

  • Cut-off date for reserving rooms at the discounted rate:  December 29, 2016
  • Hilton Garden Inn, 3720 North Reserve Street, Missoula, MT 59808, 1.877.STAY.HGI or 406.532.5300, (January 12-13, 2017)
    • Group Block Code: TBA –75 rooms are available at a rate of $99.00 and an additional 25 rooms are available at a rate of $104.00.
  • Crowne Plaza, 27 North 27th Street, Billings, MT 59101, 1.877.270.1393 or 406.252.7400, (January 26-27, 2017)
    • Group Block Code: TBA – 100 rooms are available at a rate of $95.00 for Wednesday and Thursday nights (1/25-26/2017)
Smarter Balanced – Looking Forward, Conference Keynote February 2016