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INFORMATIONAL LETTER:  116
POLICY CODE:  ILB

 

 

TO:                  Superintendents of Schools, High School Principals, Guidance Counselors, Special Education Directors and Assessment Coordinators

FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:             March 27, 2006

SUBJECT:      Maine SAT Initiative: Important Dates and Responsibilities

The regional SAT test center supervisor training sessions held earlier this month were attended by representatives from more than ninety percent of Maine high schools and were rated as extremely beneficial by participants.  In response to requests made during those sessions, this Informational Letter will provide details on all the administrative options and make-up dates for the April 1st test, as well as outline major responsibilities of the test center supervisor. This letter will also serve as additional guidance for those few schools that were unable to send representatives to the aforementioned trainings.  In addition, a FAQ document that is being sent to test supervisors is being attached to this mailing and is being posted on the Maine SAT Initiative website at:  http://www.maine.gov/education/sat_initiative.  Detailed instructions will also accompany each shipment of test materials.

Please note that any student enrolling in your school between now and March 31st should register for the May administration of the SAT.  Students enrolling in your school after March 31st are not required to participate in the Maine SAT Initiative, and new registrations for the SAT received after April 3rd will be returned.

Timeline of Important Dates

Friday, March 24th: Your final SAT roster will be viewable on the MEDMS website.  The MEDMS login page can be reached at: https://www.medms.maine.gov/MEDMS.  Specific login instructions are included at the conclusion of this letter*.  If you experience difficulty using the MEDMS site, send an email to:   MEDMS.HELPDESK@maine.gov or call (207) 624-6896 for assistance.  Please note that student testing conditions for April (e.g., testing with Maine Purposes Only accommodations) can no longer be changed through either the roster or by contacting the SAT Program.  Any changes made to your MEDMS roster at this time will impact the May test date only.  We advise you to wait until after April testing has completed before you make any changes.

You can also check your Primary and Maine Purposes Only (MPO) test center rosters by going to www.ets.org/supervisor and entering your Primary and MPO test center codes for your school. In addition, a paper copy of the rosters will be mailed to your school later this week.

Saturday, April 1st: The vast majority of students will report to their respective high schools, locate their assigned seats, get instructions from their room supervisor, and complete their tests. While most students will be taking the SAT using the standard administration procedures (no accommodations), some students may be taking the test using College Board-approved accommodations or Maine Purposes Only (MPO) accommodations.  MPO accommodations are those that exceed College Board protocols and result in scores that are not reportable to colleges. Each group of testers will require separate rooms, and in some instances, the nature of the accommodation will require that individual students each be tested in a separate room.  At the end of the day, test center supervisors must collect and package the completed “CB Center-Based” college-reportable answer sheets (from test shipment # 1 for UPS pick-up) either that afternoon if possible or Monday morning if not.  The testing materials for the other shipments need to be locked in a secure location and returned according to the schedule detailed in the Maine-specific test center supervisor’s manual found on the State website at: http://www.maine.gov/education/sat_initiative/maine_specific_handout.ppt.
An extra 10 MPO “pink booklets” will be automatically shipped to all schools in addition to the number they have requested for MPO students. These extra booklets are to be used only for students who were originally scheduled for standard administration on April 1st but were absent on that date and it is determined that the best option for those students is to now be tested during the April 3 – 5 window as MPO students (for non-college-reportable scores).

Sunday, April 2nd:  Only students who registered for Sunday testing because of religious reasons will test on this day.  These students have received an admission ticket with an assigned Sunday test center. 

Monday, April 3rd –Wednesday, April 5th:  There are two small groups of students who may be testing during this time:

Saturday, April 8th :  Schools that are closed due to weather or facility issues on April 1st will be granted this make-up day (and subsequent days of April 10-12 if you require multiple-day testing so long as Test Administration Services (1-800-257-5123) is notified of the test center closure by the end of the day, Saturday, April 1st.

Wednesday, April 5th –Thursday, April 13th:  By the conclusion of the school day on Wednesday, April 5th (or April 12th if a make-up occurred), the local school official in charge of SAT registration will know exactly how many students (if any) remain to be tested.  Before the end of the school day on Thursday, April 13th, the registration official must return to the MEDMS web site and select the appropriate designation for each student who did not participate in the April 1-5 testing window (or April 8-12 window for make-ups):

As we near the April 1st administration, I want to again thank each of you for your hard work and concerted efforts in bringing this initiative to fruition.  For some students, the positive nudge of the SAT Initiative will make the difference. Without your help, it would truly have been impossible.

*Specific instructions to access your SAT Roster Verification Form: 

  1. Log on to the MEDMS application (if you do not have a current logon id and password, please contact your district MEDMS administrator). 
  2. In the MEDMS “Application” dropdown box, select “Forms” and press the “GO” button. 
  3. The “Action” dropdown box will activate.  Select “SAT Roster Update Form” and press “GO”. 
  4. The form will appear with a dropdown menu of schools in your district that have students who are registered for the SAT.  Select your school from the dropdown box and the roster for your school will appear. 
  5. Instructions on how to complete the process will be specified on the roster form.   Please read the instructions carefully before beginning.

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document copied below is also being mailed to you as a paper document and has been posted on the SAT: The Maine Initiative website at http://www.maine.gov/education/sat_initiative/me_supervisor_faq.pdf .


Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL

1. Can students use a dictionary (e.g., English, bilingual) during the test and still get college-reportable scores?
Students receiving college-reportable scores cannot use any reference aids such as a dictionary or a thesaurus, or receive any accommodations that the College Board has not approved (e.g., extended time).

The only items students are allowed to use during the test are the following:

• Number 2 pencils and an eraser
• An acceptable calculator for the SAT math sections (see SAT Supervisor’s Manual for
   more details on acceptable calculators)

Use of any other tools or non-approved accommodations will result in a score reporting hold for the entire center while investigations take place.  If a student needs to be able to use a dictionary but was registered to receive college-reportable scores, please see FAQ #8.

2. What happens if I need to close my test center because of bad weather?
Please contact Test Administration Services immediately at 1-800-257-5123, but no later than April 1 st, to schedule a make-up test.  Make-up testing for centers that are closed due to weather or facility issues on April 1 st will be conducted on April 8 th (and subsequent days of April 10-12 if you require multiple-day testing so long as Test Administration Services (1-800-257-5123) is notified of the test center closure by the end of the day, Saturday, April 1st.

3. I received more than one shipment.  Can I return all of my answer sheets together?
Materials from each shipment must be kept separate before, during, and after test day, especially when returning answer sheets.  Each shipment you receive is associated with a specific student roster – CB Center Roster, MPO Center Roster, CB Nonstandard Administration Roster (NAR), and MPO NAR. Answer sheets from each shipment must be batched by shipment with a separate Supervisor Report Form for each shipment.  Mixing or combining answer sheets across rosters/shipments may result in delayed reporting.

4. What test center code should be entered on the student answer sheets and the Supervisor’s Report Form?
Enter the test center code that is listed on each shipment’s Roster.  The test center code for the CB Center-Based shipment (Shipment #1), or “Primary Center number,” is different than the test center code for the MPO Center-Based shipment (Shipment #2), or “MPO Center number”.  Be sure to accurately fill out the test center code on student answer sheets and the Supervisor’s Report Form as incorrect test center codes can result in a delayed reporting.

5. What school code do I enter onto the SSD School Testing Report Form?
For the CB School-Based shipment (Shipment #3), fill in your regular 6-digit school code.  For the MPO School-Based shipment (Shipment #4), all schools must grid in “047309” as the school code.

APRIL TEST DATE

6.   Can I test a student as standby on April 1 st?
Because seats cannot be reserved for standby test takers, standby testing is discouraged, and you are strongly advised to register these students as a May test takers (see FAQ #10).  If you have enoughmaterials and staffing, you may accept standby students, according to the guidelines published in the SAT Supervisor’s Manual.  Please note the following important points:

• Students requiring MPO accommodations cannot test as standby.
• Students testing under College Board standard conditions (no accommodations) and
  College Board-approved accommodations will be allowed to test as standby.
• Students wishing to test as standby must present a completed registration form and
   payment in a sealed envelope to the test center supervisor.  Students participating in the
   Maine SAT Initiative must submit a fee payment card with their registration form in
   order to be identified with the initiative.  Students who do not submit a fee payment
   card should include the standby test taker fee with their registration form in addition to
   the regular testing fee.

7.  What do I do if some of my students don’t show up for the standard SAT administration on Saturday, April 1 st? 

There are three options available for these students:

Transfer to May as a standard College Board test takerThis will ensure that the student’s score remains college-reportable.  Mark the student as “Absent” on the standard Center Roster for theApril 1st test date.  As soon as April testing is complete, transfer the student to the May test date(see FAQ #10).

Transfer to May as a Maine Purposes Only (MPO) test taker.  This will change the student’s score to non-college-reportable.  Mark the student as “Absent” on the standard Center Roster forthe April 1st test date.  As soon as April testing is complete, transfer the student to the May testdate (see FAQ #10). MPO test takers will receive an extended testing window in May starting onSaturday, May 6 th and ending on Friday, May 12 th.

Transfer to April MPO Center-Based TestingThis will change the students score to non-college-reportable.  Included in “Shipment #2” for MPO center-based students (receiving non-college-reportable scores and not requiring any special materials) are 10 extra pink booklets.  These extrapink booklets are specifically designated for students who:

o Did not show up for the Saturday, April 1 st  standard College Board test, and
o Are willing to take the test during April 3-5 for a non-college-reportable score.

Be sure to mark the student as “Absent” on the standard Center Roster and add the student to the
MPO Center Roster, indicating that the student is a “Center Change.”  Please note that scores from the May test will be included in your school’s AYP reporting and there are no additional fees for transferring students to May.

8. What happens if a student wants an MPO accommodation, but we registered the student as a standard test taker (receiving college-reportable scores)?
Changes to student testing conditions (e.g., accommodations type) can no longer be made for April registrants.  You will need to mark these students as absent for April and transfer the student to the May test date with the proper Maine accommodations (see FAQ #10).

9. What happens if one of my students receives a College Board Eligibility Approval Letter for accommodations right before the April test date? Can the student test with College Board accommodations in April?
Students in this situation can request a change in their test (as outlined in the SAT Supervisor’s Manual).  To do so, they must have a copy of their Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Eligibility Approval Letter indicating the accommodation for which they are eligible, and you must have the staff and test rooms available to administer that accommodation.  If you do not already have a room designated for nonstandard testing, you are not required to open a new room for that purpose on test day.  If you are unable to test this student, you should mark them absent on the April roster and transfer the student to the May test date (see FAQ #10).  Note: A student who is indicated on the MPO Roster as testing with Maine Purpose Only Accommodations will not be allowed to test with CB Accommodations in April or May, since scores have already been identified as non-college reportable.  These students must test with Maine Purposes Only Accommodations and scores will not be reportable to colleges.

MAY TEST DATE

10. How do I transfer a student to the May test administration?
Immediately after April testing has been completed, log onto the MEDMS Roster Verification Form website to identify all May test takers and their appropriate accommodations.  Schools have through Thursday, April 13 th to make this update. More detailed instructions can be found on the March 27, 2006 DOE Informational Letter (attached) as well as the MEDMS Roster Verification Form website. NOTE: If you know a student won’t show up for the Saturday test on May 6 th, you can use this identification process to switch a College Board standard test taker to an “MPO SA” test taker who takes the test during the week at his/her own school.  Please consult with the student before making any accommodation changes.

11. A student recently transferred into my school. Can he/she take part of this initiative?
Registration for the April test is now closed.  Through March 31 st, schools can register new students for the May 6 test date (students enrolling in your school after March 31 st are not affected by the Initiative).  May registrations must be received by April 1 st, so please ship new registrations overnight if you are shipping close to March 31 st.  

To register for the May test date:

• Fill out a paper registration form for each student (select closest center and select the
  May 6 test date) and insert into the registration envelope;
• Put a Maine fee payment card into each registration envelope;
• Complete a Registration Roster with student information;
• Complete a Bulk Registration Form with school information;
• Ship all materials to Attn: Angie Atchison, SAT Maine Bulk Processing, 901 South
   42nd St, Mount Vernon, IL, 62864

The Registration Roster, Bulk Registration Forms, and additional instructions can be found on the Maine DOE website: www.maine.gov/education/sat_initiative.

12. I ran out of Maine fee payment cards. What do I do?
If you have run out of fee payment cards, please insert a note into the student registration envelope stating “Registration for Maine SAT Initiative.”  This will ensure that the student will be included in AYP reporting.

13. How will the May test date differ from the April test date?
There are some key differences between the April and May test date:

14. Can a student take both the April and May tests?
Students cannot take both the April and May tests as part of the Maine SAT Initiative.  If both tests are taken, only the April score will be used for AYP reporting purposes.  Students who wish to test in May in addition to April will need to follow the standard SAT registration process to register for the May 6th test date and pay all fees, including late fees if their registration is completed after the published deadline.

15. I have additional questions. Who can I call?
SAT Program Contact Information for Test Administration:
Student Inquiries: 1-609-771-7600
Test Supervisor Inquiries: 1-800-257-5123
Testing Students with Disabilities: 1-609-771-7137
Test Security Inquiries: 1-609-406-5430 before or after test day; 1-800-257-5123 on test day