Things to consider

This webpage contains steps that coordinators should consider before, during, and after an administration.

Things to consider before an administration

Advanced planning plays a key role in ensuring successful test administrations and the proper handling and return of all secure materials.

Planning the receipt, storage, and distribution of materials

Secure and nonsecure materials for each administration are combined into one shipment that will arrive in the district approximately two to three weeks before testing. Shipments will include a District Box 1 (white), district overage box(es), and campus box(es). All secure materials must be physically inventoried upon receipt.

The district coordinator is responsible for documenting and tracking the distribution of any overage materials to or between campuses. This also applies to any secure materials that are transferred between districts. Shortages for a particular campus should be resolved by first providing test booklets from the district overage. If additional test booklets are needed, move booklets from one campus to another.

The district coordinator has the ultimate responsibility of accounting for test materials; however, campus coordinators play an integral role in supporting this task. Using a tracking process can greatly assist in the ability to locate all secure materials throughout a test administration.

Because test materials are stored at campuses for much of the time they are in the district, it is essential that campus coordinators also plan accordingly. District coordinators must verify that the campuses have sufficient measures in place and are implementing these measures for tracking secure materials.

Prepare for the receipt and storage of test materials

  • Identify how you will store, deliver, and track the distribution of materials after they are received. This includes any additional materials ordered.

  • Identify all personnel who will be authorized to have access to materials, and ensure they have been trained on test security.

  • Ensure that campus coordinators identify and document all individuals who will have access to a secure storage area. Campuses should limit the personnel who have keys to these secure storage areas or who have knowledge of or access to where the keys are kept.

  • Carefully review the materials list in the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) so you will know exactly which and how many materials will be delivered.

  • Verify receipt of each shipment of test materials. Account for all boxes by checking the box numbers and the amounts against the district packing list contained in Box 1.

  • Verify materials that are to be distributed to each campus with the packing list. Materials for each campus will be packaged in separate boxes with identifiable labels.

  • Immediately notify the state’s testing contractor of any discrepancies identified between the materials received and the information contained in the packing list.

  • Confirm that your district’s secure area is large enough to store your materials shipment, including shipments for administrations that overlap. Do not mix materials from different administrations when returning them to the testing contractor.

  • Make certain that campuses are prepared to receive their materials shipment and have adequate secure storage space. Notify the proper personnel of delivery dates and times, and provide directions for them to contact the district or campus coordinator when the shipment arrives.

Prepare for the distribution of test materials

  • Establish procedures for distributing and tracking district overage materials. Use a tracking document or some other means to record the security numbers and destination of all secure overage materials.

  • Establish a secure method for transferring materials to campuses and ensure that the individuals transporting them have been trained and are aware of their security and confidentiality requirements.

  • Establish sign-off procedures to identify who is responsible for materials when they are not in your possession.

  • Verify that each campus has established and documented check-in and check-out procedures.

  • Make sure that campus coordinators are aware that they are required to verify and account for all secure test materials each day.

  • Forward materials to the campuses as soon as possible. Document the distribution of materials to each campus.

  • Verify that all campuses have received their shipments and have physically inventoried the shipment contents using the campus packing list provided.

  • Instruct each campus to notify you immediately of any discrepancies identified between the materials received and the information contained in the campus packing list. Texas Testing Support must be notified of all missing materials prior to the assessment dates so that campuses and districts will not be held accountable for these materials. Contact Texas Testing Support at 833-601-8821 or TexasTestingSupport@cambiumassessment.com.

  • Ensure that all campuses provide you with their requests for additional materials, if needed. It will be more efficient to collect this information from all campuses so a single order for additional materials can be placed with the testing contractor. Be aware of the deadlines for district coordinators to order additional materials as listed on the Calendar of Events.

  • Retain all shipping records and materials tracking documentation (e.g., shipper’s bill of lading, pallet detail reports, district and campus packing lists, district-generated documents used to track the delivery of materials to and between campuses).

  • Instruct campus coordinators on the return of both scorable and nonscorable materials. Remind them that the boxes materials were received in should be saved and reused for the materials return.

Planning for possible testing disruptions

Disruptions in testing generally involve unplanned situations that can usually be resolved when properly handled. Having a plan in place to address unforeseen events can contribute to a successful resolution and help to ensure minimal negative impact on students. District coordinators should contact the Student Assessment Division as soon as possible to seek guidance in handling any significant disruptions. To prepare for unexpected disruptions, the district should consider the following.

  • Ensure that all campuses are aware of what to do and whom to contact if a disruption takes place during test administrations.

  • Make certain each campus has a plan in place for securing test materials and online tests to maintain confidentiality in the event of a disruption during testing (remember that the safety of students and staff is the first consideration).

When you call TEA for guidance in handling a disruption, being prepared to answer the following questions will help Student Assessment Division staff provide the most appropriate directions.

  • What happened, and where did the disruption take place?

  • How many students are affected, and are they being monitored while the situation is being assessed?

  • How far have test sessions progressed? Can testing be resumed the same day? If so, will there be sufficient time for students to finish their assessments?

  • What other options does the district suggest for continuing testing as soon as possible, considering the situation?

  • If testing cannot resume the same day, what efforts can be made to maintain test security and confidentiality?

District coordinator tasks before administration

  • Be familiar with these Coordinator Resources, including this Security section.

  • Review the training guidelines, and attend the recommended district coordinator training.

  • Sign your Oath of Test Security and Confidentiality.

  • Schedule a sufficient number of training sessions (including make-up sessions) and allow enough time to adequately train campus coordinators.

  • Give campus coordinators ample notice of the scheduled training.

  • Make facility arrangements for holding training.

  • Develop training materials for the sessions.

  • Assemble training materials or guidelines that campus coordinators should use for their test administrator training.

  • Refer to the annual Education Service Center training resources for material that can be used in your local training.

Campus coordinator tasks before administration

  • Be familiar with these Coordinator Resources and read the test administrator manuals.

  • Attend campus coordinator training.

  • Sign your Oath of Test Security and Confidentiality after training.

  • Plan for the arrival of test materials shipments, and maintain proper campus procedures for inventorying, storing, distributing, and tracking secure items.

  • Verify immediately upon receipt of campus shipments that all materials have been received. Retain the testing contractor boxes for return of materials.

  • Verify that your campus has sufficient quantities of materials. Consider materials needed for special administrations (oral, large-print, braille, etc.).

  • Designate test administrators, raters and verifiers, and monitors. (Remind coordinators about the qualification guidelines for participating in state assessments, including the requirement to identify the certified professional who will be responsible for each paraprofessional participating in testing.)

  • Plan for a sufficient number of training sessions needed (including make-up sessions) and allow enough time to adequately train campus personnel participating in testing, including online testing and testing with designated supports or accommodations.

  • Ensure that all allowed or approved technology, including technology-based accommodations (e.g., accessibility features, designated supports) have been reviewed and meet technology guidelines.

  • Arrange for testing rooms, and prepare for paper and online test sessions. Be sure to consider testing opportunities for students absent from regularly scheduled testing.

  • Prepare a sufficient number of blank seating charts. (Be sure to account for areas used for overflow or for consolidating late testers.) Ensure that seating charts have space on which to record the
    required information (including the test session start and stop times and the test administrator’s name) and are appropriate for the layout of each room and computer lab.

  • Confirm that eligible testers have been identified and have been assigned the correct test(s). Note the number of students who will be taking an assessment on paper so this number can be reconciled with the number of answer documents expected to be submitted for scoring.

  • Ensure arrangements have been made to assess eligible homebound students and students attending alternative campuses.

  • Ensure procedures are in place for consolidating or transferring groups of students and testing materials from one area to another and that testing personnel are aware of monitoring requirements when doing so. (Remind coordinators that students are not permitted to transport testing materials outside the testing environment.)

  • Designate a process by which test administrators may contact the campus coordinator or principal if they need assistance during testing.

  • Prior to the administration, walk through each testing location to verify that the environment is appropriate for testing and no instructional displays are visible that could provide a direct source of answers for the subject-area assessment being administered.

Successful practices used in districts before an administration

  • Campus coordinators are provided with detailed checklists of all duties and reminders of tasks to be performed before testing. Principals verify that the checklists are used.

  • The officially designated campus coordinator is the only one allowed to sign for and receive boxes containing testing materials.

  • Boxes containing testing materials are signed for and placed directly in secure storage.

  • Soon after the arrival of test materials on campus, two individuals count and verify the receipt of all listed content. These individuals provide their signatures to indicate they have followed all appropriate procedures and that all materials have been accounted for.

  • Some districts have purchased hand-held scanners that enable them to inventory and track all secure materials electronically.

  • All campus and district storage areas for testing materials have a sufficient number of shelves, rolling carts, and tables for materials to be sorted and tracked. Any obscure areas that could cause secure materials to be misplaced or left behind are identified.

  • Principals are asked to designate in writing all individuals who will have access to the secure storage area.

  • Districts provide appropriate training for non-certified personnel who may have access to secure test materials.

  • Certified professionals sign a form acknowledging their supervisory role when assigned a paraprofessional who will be serving as a test administrator.

  • Districts and campuses reduce the amount of storage space required for maintaining documentation for five years by scanning documents and storing them electronically.

  • District personnel assigned to monitor campuses during testing are provided the same level of training given to the individuals they will be monitoring. Monitors should know testing procedures well enough to be able to recognize possible irregularities.

Things to consider during an administration

During testing, district coordinators must be available to answer questions and resolve issues.

Monitoring and oversight during an administration

Monitoring campuses during an administration can help ensure that procedures are being followed and can minimize errors. Principals and campus coordinators play a critical role in this effort, ensuring that each test administrator is actively monitoring students and that all testing personnel are adhering to the proper assessment procedures.

Verify that campuses are following procedures for secure materials handling

  • Ensure that campus coordinators correctly use the Materials Control Form when distributing test materials to test administrators each day.

  • Require the use of a tracking document to record overage, additional materials received, or booklets transferred between campuses.

  • Verify that campuses document security numbers for overage materials and booklets transferred to other districts or alternative education facilities.

  • Ensure that campuses properly transport test materials to and from the testing areas.

  • Confirm that campus coordinators and test administrators properly secure or monitor secure test materials, including online tests, while students are taking breaks from testing.

  • Confirm that campus coordinators verify that all test booklets and answer documents are being returned and accounted for daily.

  • Ensure that campuses lock and restrict access to the secure storage area, including areas for storage in a classroom, when not in use.

Verify that campuses are properly monitoring test sessions

  • Campus coordinators must ensure that test administrators have all necessary materials (e.g., test administrator manuals, test booklets, answer documents).

  • Principals and campus coordinators must verify that test administrators are actively monitoring students.

  • Testing personnel should verify that all testing areas are free from instructional displays that could provide a direct source of answers for the subject-area assessment being administered. (In situations where the campus must relocate testers, the area to which the students will be moved should also be checked.)

  • Campus personnel should be available to properly monitor students during planned and unplanned breaks in testing.

  • Principals and campus coordinators must verify that test administrators properly complete seating charts for each test session. Make sure seating charts include any students who moved, transferred, or arrived late to a test session.

  • Test administrators must monitor the testing time and announce the time-left-to-test in one-hour intervals (more time during the last hour, if desired).

  • For breaks in testing that require the time clock to be stopped, ensure that test administrators record the stop and restart times on the seating chart.

  • Testing personnel must ensure that students are administered the appropriate test (including online tests) and have been issued the correct corresponding answer documents or the correct student test tickets for online testing.

  • Test administrators must verify that students have marked their responses on their answer documents or submitted their online tests before the end of the testing time period.

  • Test administrators must allow students who have completed and turned in or submitted their tests to work on an instructional activity (e.g., guided reading activity) while other students continue testing or leave the testing area.

  • The principal and the campus coordinator (or their designees) must be available to support test administrators as needed during testing.

Campus coordinator tasks during administration

  • Verify and account for all secure test materials before and after testing each day.

  • Properly complete Materials Control Forms when distributing secure test materials to test administrators and again when collecting them at the end of each day.

  • Verify that test administrators are issued the appropriate test administrator manuals; test booklets and answer documents per tester; student test tickets for online testers; and, when applicable, accommodations lists and materials, calculators, and dictionaries.

  • Confirm that students have been directed to and are present in their designated testing areas.

  • Verify that seating charts are being completed for each test session, and test administrators are recording the required information.

  • Ensure test administrators verify and personally distribute test materials to students. To avoid switching answer documents for paper administrations and student test tickets for online administrations, test administrators should be especially careful when issuing materials to students with the same or similar names.

  • Monitor testing (i.e., visit or assign staff to visit each testing area to ensure test administrators are actively monitoring, as directed in the test administrator manuals, and are periodically reminding students to record their responses on the answer document).

  • Monitor oral administrations within the first hour to assure the test is being properly administered.

  • Be aware of any appearance of impropriety (i.e., make sure coordinators and test administrators know how to avoid situations that might lead to allegations of viewing, discussing, or scoring test materials).

  • Ensure that test administrators verify that students record their responses on their answer documents or that online testers have submitted their tests.

  • Verify that test administrators are allowing students who have submitted their tests to quietly read a book or leave the testing area.

  • Be accessible in case problems arise.

Successful practices used in districts during an administration

  • Campus personnel verify that they have used their detailed checklists of duties and responsibilities during testing.

  • Requests for extra materials are made in writing, and it is recorded in writing that the materials are picked up in person by the campus coordinator. Signatures and detailed paperwork are always used when materials from district overage are distributed to campus coordinators.

  • The campus coordinator makes a “first hour” check of all test sessions to ensure that all students are in the correct location, have been issued the correct assessments, and that oral administrations are being administered appropriately.

Things to consider after an administration

A district’s secure materials must be returned in accordance with the procedures and timelines outlined in these Coordinator Resources. Maintaining adequate oversight and reinforcing the use of proper handling and packing guidelines will help ensure the accurate and complete return of all secure items.

Accounting for all secure materials

Monitor and oversee the proper collection of and accounting for secure materials

  • Once test sessions have been completed, ensure that campuses immediately collect and destroy any scratch paper, graph paper, or reference materials that students wrote on during the test, as well as any recordings, test tickets, and online session IDs.

  • Confirm that campuses account for every answer document for each enrolled, eligible student taking a paper administration and those campuses ensure proper marking of the SCORE CODE, TEST TAKEN INFO, ACCOMM., and any other applicable fields.

  • Ensure that campus coordinators account for online testers, out-of-district and out-of-school examinees (when applicable), homebound students, and students at alternative campuses. 

  • Verify that the campuses account for all secure nonscorable materials, including test booklets, test item image cards, specific test administrator manuals and scoring documents, and overage materials that have been issued, and that all secure materials are reconciled with the original packing list and materials control documents.

  • Confirm that campuses have rechecked their secure storage areas and any areas used for processing materials for overage, unused secure materials, and other materials for return, especially completed or voided answer documents and test booklets.

  • Ensure that all campuses have procedures in place for the proper packing and return of materials to the district coordinator. Ensure that a completed Campus ID sheet is included inside and on top of the materials in each scorable materials box.

  • Require that campus coordinators have procedures for verifying that all completed or voided answer documents are accounted for and correctly submitted for processing after testing.

  • Establish a process for ensuring that overage is accounted for after the administration.

Receive and inventory materials from the campuses

  • Verify receipt of the complete return shipment of test materials from each campus.

  • If your district uses a centralized campus check-in process, verify that all materials are accounted for before campus personnel leave the check-in area.

  • Make certain that materials for different administrations are kept separate.

  • Keep a list of the contents of each box of scorable and nonscorable materials that will be returned to the state’s testing contractor.

Return materials to the testing contractor

  • Verify that all scorable materials have been properly assembled and repacked in the boxes materials arrived in. Ensure that a Campus ID sheet is included inside and on top of the materials in each scorable materials box.

  • Make certain a scorable return label has been applied to each of the scorable boxes. Verify that the contents of each box match the return shipping label and that no bar codes are taped over or covered with other labels.

  • Ensure all secure non-scorable test booklets are accounted for and repacked in the boxes in which they arrived.

  • Make certain the appropriate return shipping label is applied to each non-scorable box. Verify that the contents of each box match the return shipping label and that no bar codes are taped over or covered with other labels.

  • Verify all boxes have the appropriate label (scorable vs. nonscorable) for the return of materials as established by the testing contractor. Ensure materials are grouped by administration and are numbered in sequential order (e.g., Box 5 of 10, Box 6 of 10).

  • Ensure all secure materials remain monitored by certified personnel or are in locked storage until picked up by the carrier.

Campus coordinator tasks after administration

  • Direct the collection of all test materials from the test administrators on the Materials Control Form.

  • Account for every answer document. Make sure the number of answer documents matches the number of students scheduled to test.

  • Account for every test booklet (including any overage or transferred materials).

  • Verify that the correct score code, test taken information, and accommodations have been recorded on each answer document and that all hand gridding and transcribing have been properly completed. (Remind coordinators that testing personnel may not erase stray marks or darken response circles on students’ answer documents.)

  • Confirm that each tester has recorded responses on his or her answer document. If blank answer documents are found, the campus coordinator should first notify the district coordinator. The district coordinator may grant permission to trained district or charter school personnel to view the test booklet. If the student marked his or her responses in the test booklet, the trained personnel may transcribe the answers from the test booklet onto the student’s answer document. Districts and charter schools must follow the general Transcribing procedures in these Coordinator Resources.

  • Confirm all seating charts have been accurately completed and contain the required information, including the test administrator(s) name(s) and test session start and stop times. Make sure that all students who tested are accounted for on a seating chart, including any students who moved, transferred, or arrived late to a test session.

  • Follow procedures for properly boxing and labeling materials for return to the district coordinator. Do not mix materials from one administration with any other.

  • Recheck the secure storage area, as well as all areas that may have been used to process test materials, for stray items (such as overage or used/unused materials) before returning materials to the district coordinator.

  • Maintain all inventory records and packaging information in the event a problem arises and materials need to be accounted for.

Successful practices used in districts after an administration

  • Campus personnel verify that they are using their detailed checklists when assembling materials for return.

  • At district check-in, personnel inspect, physically count, and verify the contents of all campus boxes before the boxes are sealed for shipping. (Some districts require all boxes to be counted and verified by at least two persons, whose signatures indicate the shipment is complete.)

  • Ensure each campus box includes at least one completed Campus ID sheet on the top of the stack. Multiple campuses may be consolidated in a box, but a completed Campus ID sheet should separate each campus.

  • The materials returned are always verified against the packing list.

  • Before returning test materials to the contractor, a list detailing the contents of each box is generated and maintained for future reference.

  • Only campus coordinators return testing materials to the district coordinator.

  • Coordinators create and complete a cleaning checklist to ensure that secure materials have not been left in the storage area.

  • If a testing irregularity has occurred, all involved individuals write a statement on the day the incident was detected or as soon as possible thereafter.

Retention of documentation

Districts are required to retain signed security oaths, seating charts, testing irregularity and investigation documentation, and inventory and shipping records for five years following a test administration.

  • Verify that campuses have collected signed Oaths of Test Security and Confidentiality for all personnel who participated in testing.

  • Confirm campuses have collected seating charts for each test session, and coordinators have verified the charts contain the required information.

  • Confirm campuses have properly completed and collected all inventory and shipping records (including Materials Control Forms, district and campus shipping notices, and district-generated documents used to track the delivery of materials to and between campuses).

  • Ensure that the designated test administration documentation storage location is secure and that the documentation cannot be subsequently altered. Districts may decide how this documentation is to be stored—scanned and kept in an electronic format or retained as hard copy—as long as the information is secure, legible, and can be retrieved. Districts should periodically audit campuses to ensure that this documentation has been accurately completed and securely stored.