Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQ - Administering HSA-AltAdministering HSA-Alt

  • Below is a table showing the Spring 2020 HSA-Alt operational testing windows:

    Online Testing in All Subjects February 18 – May 28, 2020
    Paper/Pencil Testing in All Subjects February 18 – May 22, 2020

  • Be sure that your HSA-Alt Test Coordinator has entered you into the TIDE database as a Test Administrator (TA). If you were already entered into in TIDE prior to the 2019-2020 school year, you would only need to request a new temporary password for the current school year. NOTE: As part of the TIDE system roll-over for the 2019-2020 school year all HIDOE employee TIDE logins (except Charter school user logins) have been updated to reflect the new email format, employeeID#@k12.hi.us. Charter school user logins have not changed and will remain in their existing format. If you need assistance requesting a new temporary password for the current school year, contact the HSAP Help Desk at 1-866-648-3712 or hsaphelpdesk@air.org.

    Test Administrators who will administer the paper/pencil accommodation version of the HSA-Alt will need to be entered into TIDE as a Test Administrator (TA) in order to access the online paper response option fixed form in spring 2020.

  • The HSA-Alt for English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics, and Science (NGSS) are delivered to students via the online Test Delivery System, which is accessed by using the HSAP Secure Browser on an iPad, Chromebook, laptop, or other tablet or computer. The online Test Delivery System will continue to be the default method of test administration for all HSA-Alt eligible students in spring 2020.

    Printed response cards and test visuals will not be provided to HSA-Alt students in spring 2020 unless the school’s Test Coordinator has requested and received state-level verification for the paper/pencil test kit accommodation for a specific student for the HSA-Alt in ELA, Mathematics, and Science (NGSS). The paper/pencil HSA-Alt Assessments will be digitally delivered via the online testing interface in spring 2020 with the answer option cards and test visuals provided as printed materials. Student responses will be directly entered into the online test delivery system using the TA’s computer or iPad after the student selects their answer to each item using the paper answer option cards that are provided. A Second Rater is no longer required for paper/pencil HSA-Alt test administrations.

    Full information about the Paper/Pencil Test Kit accommodation may be found in the HSA-Alt Test Administration Manual and the HSA-Alt Test Coordinators Manual, available in the Resources >>Test Administration section of the HSA-Alt portal website at https://hsa-alt.alohahsap.org.

  • Yes, the Learner Characteristics Inventory (LCI) must be completed online for all HSA-Alt students prior to their first content area test session opportunity. The LCI contains separate sections for teacher inventory of student characteristics and teacher rating of student skills in each content area being assessed. 

    It is critical that the information that is provided in this inventory comes from the certificated school staff member who works most closely with the student in the academic content areas. Full information on completing the LCI may be found in the HSA-Alt Test Administration Manual, posted in the Resources >> Test Administration section of the HSA-Alt portal website at https://hsa-alt.alohahsap.org.

  • Test Administrators will need to open the Navigation Bar in the Online Testing System in order to move between the different sections of the LCI, pause a test, change the Zoom level on a test, and/or submit a test before the test administration window ends.

    To open the Navigation Bar the Test Administrator must tap (or click) the small gray box in the upper left corner of the student’s testing screen. A pop-up box will appear asking for a password. The password to open the Navigation Bar is always the legal first name of the student being tested. This is the name used to log the student into the test on the Secure Browser. The Test Administrator will enter the password and tap or click “Ok”. The Navigation Bar will appear.

    Once the Test Administrator has completed use of the Navigation Bar they must tap or click the “Full Screen” button to close the Navigation Bar before returning the iPad (or other digital device) to the student for continued testing.

  • No. The online testing system will read aloud all test questions and answer options, including reading passages. Full information about using the online testing system may be found in the 2020 Guide to Navigating the HSA-Alt Online Administration, which will be posted in the Resources >> Test Administration section of the HSA-Alt portal website at https://hsa-alt.alohahsap.org in February 2020.

  • There are eleven HSA-Alt accommodations that are available for the HSA-Alt: Alternate Response Options, American Sign Language, Calculator, Concrete Materials, Multiplication Table, Paper/Pencil Test, Read Aloud, Reinforcement System, Scribe, Tactile Sensitivity, and Visual Descriptions. Ten out of eleven can be set in TIDE by school personnel.  Only the Paper/Pencil test requires form submittal and State approval.  For more information on the accommodations that are available for the HSA-Alt see the Test Administration Manual.

  • Yes. In spring 2020 the HSA-Alt will use a computer adaptive testing (CAT) model in all content area tests and all students will receive the same number of items within the test form, though the items each student sees may be different and will be presented to the student in random order.

    For students approved for the paper/pencil test kit accommodation, the student will be administered a fixed form test using the online delivery system and printed response cards and test visuals presented by the student’s Test Administrator.

  • This assessment has an option of recording a No Response (NR) score to an item if the student does not respond. Full information on recording a No Response (NR) may be found in the 2020 Guide to Navigating the Online HSA-Alt Administration. An Early Stopping Rule will be available for students who are non-responsive to the first eight items on each content area test. Students and Test Administrators must follow the administration guidelines as outlined in the HSA-Alt Test Administration Manual.

  • A Test Session Observer must be present for students who will stop the test early due to the implementation of the new Early Stopping Rule. If a Test Administrator anticipates that their student will not exhibit evidence of a response during the assessment, they must make sure to set the Scribe accommodation and locate a second staff member to serve as the Test Session Observer before testing begins. A Test Session Observer is required to meet the Early Stopping Rule Requirement. This Test Session Observer will need to be present for at least four of the first eight items in a test. Two separate sessions on two different days at two different times of day must be used for each content area test if the Early Stopping Rule is to be enacted. For the Early Stopping Rule guidelines, procedures, and form see the HSA-Alt Test Administration Manual.

FAQ - Testing MaterialsTesting Materials

  • No. There will be no testing materials shipped to schools for the HSA-Alt online administration in spring 2020. Due to the implementation of the CAT model, Engagement Items and physical manipulatives are no longer required on any HSA-Alt Assessments.

  • No. The HSA-Alt for ELA, Mathematics, and Science (NGSS) will be available in paper response option test kit format in spring 2020 as an approved accommodation only. Test Administrators who would like to request approval of this accommodation for one or more of their students will need to contact their school Test Coordinator. Test Coordinators will be responsible for requesting approval of this accommodation via email using the Spring 2020 Paper/Pencil Test Kit Accommodation Request Form, available on the “Test Administration Forms” page of the HSA-Alt portal website at https://hsa-alt.alohahsap.org/test-administration-forms.stml.

  • Test kits for the paper response option test administration will be issued for each student approved for the paper/pencil test kit accommodation. If a single Test Administrator has more than one student in a grade who is approved for the paper/pencil test kit accommodation, they will be sent one test kit which may be re-used to test all of the approved students in that grade. Test Administrators may not use a paper/pencil test kit to administer the HSA-Alt to a student who is not approved for the paper/pencil test kit accommodation.

  • For paper/pencil test kits, if you are unsure how to count the number of manipulatives, it would be best to compare the received materials against the materials packing list included in the shipment. Test Administrators should notify their Test Coordinator, and the Test Coordinator should contact the HSAP Help Desk at 1-866-648-3712 or hsaphelpdesk@air.org, if the Test Administrator believes they are missing any paper/pencil testing materials.

  • YES. ALL testing materials for the Paper/Pencil Administration are due back to the school HSA-Alt Test Coordinator no later than May 26, 2020. Test Coordinators must ship all paper/pencil testing materials back to AIR no later than May 27, 2020. Full information regarding the return of testing materials may be found in the HSA-Alt Test Coordinators Manual, available on the Resources >> Test Administration section of the HSA-Alt portal website https://hsa-alt.alohahsap.org/.

FAQ - Test Administrator TrainingTest Administrator Training

  • Yes, the face-to-face training is mandatory for all HSA-Alt Test Administrators, new and returning. Test Coordinators do not need to attend the face-to-face training.

  • Face-to-face trainings for all new and returning HSA-Alt Test Administrators will be held in January 2020. The tentative HSA-Alt Test Administrator training schedule for the 2019-20 school year is: Oahu- January 13 - 15; Hilo- January 16; and Maui- January 17. 

    If you attend the full length of the scheduled training session and turn in the signed certification form at the end of the session, you will be marked as “certified” in TIDE to administer the HSA-Alt Assessment, prior to the opening of the test window. You will not be required to take the Test Administrator online course and quiz, if you attend the face-to-face session and turn in the signed certification form.

  • Test Administrators should contact Susan Forbes at the HIDOE Assessment Section at 808-307-3636 for information on how to become certified to administer the HSA-Alt Assessments in spring 2020.

FAQ - Technology NeededTechnology Needed

  • Each year, schools MUST install the correct, updated secure browser on each computer that students will use to access the online Hawaii Statewide Assessment Program tests based on the operating system. These browsers prevent students from accessing other computer applications while they are taking an assessment. Secure browsers from previous HSAP administrations (e.g., 2018–2019) will not work. Click here for information about installing the updated secure browsers and how to remove the previous browser(s).

    Please refer to the Quick Guide for Setting Up Your Online Testing Technology and the related Configuration and Troubleshooting documents available for each operating system, available in the Resources >> Technology section of the HSA-Alt portal website at https://hsa-alt.alohahsap.org/ for specific information about hardware, software, and operating system requirements and secure browser installation.

  • In general, the performance of the online testing system will depend on a number of factors, including bandwidth, total number of students simultaneously testing, size of test content, secure browser installation, proxy server (if used), and wireless networking solution (if used). As the number of students testing increases, competition for network bandwidth increases. Network bandwidth resembles highway traffic; as the number of cars traveling on a given road increases, the speed of traffic flow decreases.

    The optimal number of student workstations supported by a single wireless connection will depend on the type of networking standard being used for the connection. The two most common networking standards are 802.11g (54M bits per second) and the newer and faster standard, 802.11n (300M bits per second). Both the access point, which emits the wireless signal, and the computer’s wireless card, which receives the signal, will use one of these two standards. The recommendations below are based on the standard in use:

    • Wireless connections using an 802.11g access point can reliably support a maximum of 20 PC and/or Mac workstations that use wireless cards with either the 802.11g or the 802.11n standard.
    • Wireless connections using an 802.11n access point can reliably support a greater number of workstations; however, the make and model of the 802.11n access point will affect the number of additional workstations that the access point can support. Thus, the manufacturer’s documentation should be consulted for verification.

    Typically, when all workstations are using an 802.11n wireless card, the 802.11n access point can support approximately 40 computers. In cases where the workstation wireless cards are a mix of both 802.11n and 802.11g, supported connections should not exceed 50 workstations.

  • The updated secure browsers, along with installation instructions, are available on the Secure Browsers page. This page also includes information on how to uninstall/remove the previous secure browsers.

    Additional information, including guidelines for installing the secure browsers over a school network, is available in the Quick Guide for Setting Up Your Online Testing Technology and the related Configuration and Troubleshooting documents available for each operating system, available in the Resources >> Technology section of the HSA-Alt portal website at https://hsa-alt.alohahsap.org/.

  • Student monitoring software (such as Hapara, etc.) may not be used during testing. This software may run on the student tablets, such as Chromebooks, when the Secure Browser has been launched in Kiosk mode, but the test coordinator, technology coordinator and/or others who may have access to the parent computer may not use these program(s) during testing. Access to students' screens via student monitoring software during testing is considered to be a test security violation.

  • Pop-up blockers must be disabled to access TIDE, the Test Administrator Training Site, the TA Live Site, the Online Reporting System, and other related HSAP testing systems. To allow pop-up windows, go to the menu option shown here for each browser:

    • Firefox: Tools > Options > Content > uncheck “Block pop-up windows”
    • Google Chrome: Menu > Settings > Show advanced settings > Privacy > Content settings > Pop-ups > select “Allow all sites to show pop-ups”
    • Safari: Application Menu (Safari) > Block Pop-up Windows (make sure this is unchecked)

  • If a student’s computer is slow or non-responsive, the student may be moved to another computer that was previously set up as a backup. If all student computers are slow or non-responsive for an extended period of time (more than several minutes), the Test Administrator may pause testing and work with the school’s Technology Coordinator to troubleshoot the school’s network. If the school’s network is stable, the Test Coordinator should reschedule the testing session and contact the HSAP Help Desk (hsaphelpdesk@air.org or 1-866-648-3712) to report the issue.

    Note: The Department of Education recommends that the Assessment System Status page (found at alohahsap.org) be checked prior to administering a test session. If the status for all systems is “fully operable,” then testing may commence. The Department of Education also recommends that a school’s bandwidth be checked prior to testing and that access to all bandwidth-intensive websites (e.g., Achieve 3000’s KidBiz and TeenBiz) be limited on the school’s network during online HSAP testing.

  • The online HSAP system will not lose data if a student’s Internet connection is interrupted or the computer crashes or experiences a power loss. After the Internet connection and/or power source is re-established, a student may resume testing where he or she left off. Similarly, if classroom-wide access to the Internet goes down or the power goes out, students will have to resume their assessments when the Internet connection and/or power source is fully restored and consistent.

  • The secure browser and Test Delivery System ensure the security of the testing environment at all times. When the secure browser detects applications that are triggered by automatic updates, such as Firefox or iTunes, the Test Delivery System will pause the student’s assessment. A number of software programs, including antivirus software, have automatic updates enabled, and these often trigger forbidden application processes during testing.

    To prevent students’ tests from being paused, check software settings and determine whether auto-updates are enabled. If they are enabled, you are encouraged to either disable them or schedule them to run outside of school hours.

  • Yes, iPads are the preferred testing device for the HSA-Alt Assessments. Mobile secure browsers are now available for iPads, certain Android tablets, and Chromebooks. Further information is available in the HSAP Technical Specifications Manual, available in the Resources >> Technology section of the HSA-Alt portal website at https://hsa-alt.alohahsap.org/, and on the Secure Browsers page on the HSAP portal website at https://alohahsap.org/secure-browsers.stml.

  • Individuals using netbooks with smaller screen sizes will still be able to access the online HSAP system but may need to scroll down or across to see the complete screen. Students can also use the zoom tool in the Student Training Test and in the HSAP Secure Browser during assessments to enlarge the content on the screen.

  • Schools need to provide headphones for students taking the HSA-Alt Assessments, if the student will be taking the assessment within hearing distance of others.

    Prior to student testing, the headphones and audio should be checked to ensure that the sound quality and volume settings are appropriate. To check that test audio can be heard, plug in the headphones and then launch the secure browser. On the login screen, click the link to navigate to the Practice and Training Tests. The audio settings can be made by clicking the [Run Diagnostics] link on the Practice and Training Tests login page, then navigating to [Audio Check]. Follow the prompts to complete the audio check. If your audio settings need to be adjusted, make the appropriate changes in the computer’s user interface, and then run the audio check again.

FAQ - TIDETIDE

  • No. In order to preserve assessment security and student privacy, all passwords for the online Hawaii Statewide Assessment Program (HSAP) systems must be reset each year. Previous users remain active in the system, but they will need to obtain new passwords. To obtain a new password, users should go to the TIDE homepage and click the “Request a new one for this school year” link below the username and password login boxes. An email (from AIRAST-DoNotReply@airast.org) which contains a link to reset the password will be sent to the email address associated with the account. This link must be accessed within 15 minutes. (It may take up to 10 minutes to receive the new email.) The email will contain a link to the HSAP TIDE system, where users may set up their password to reactivate their account.

    A password must be at least eight (8) characters in length and must contain three (3) of the following:

    One (1) lowercase alphabet character

    One (1) uppercase alphabet character

    One (1) number

    One (1) special character

    The new password cannot be the same as your current or previous password.

    Note: All users will need to reactivate their account in TIDE for the 2018-2019 test administration by creating a new password before they can log into other online HSAP systems. All users must understand that using another person’s username and password is prohibited, unless the user is given explicit permission to do so to resolve a reported problem. The user is responsible for keeping his or her username and password for all electronic applications confidential. Other users are not allowed to enter a user’s active test sessions other than to resolve specific problems. Sharing or transferring this information to any other person is not allowed.

  • Your username is the email address associated with your TIDE account. For most public school staff members, the username is their Lotus Notes email address: FirstName_LastName@notes.k12.hi.us. Public charter school staff members who do not use the Department of Education’s Lotus Notes email system will need to enter their unique email addresses as their usernames in TIDE. If you are unsure which email address your Principal or Test Coordinator used to create your TIDE account, please contact your Principal or Test Coordinator, as applicable.

  • If a user forgets his or her password, the user must go to the TIDE homepage, click the “Forgot Password” link, and enter his or her email address on the subsequent screen. If that email address exists in TIDE, he or she will then receive an email with a secure web link that the user must click in order to change his or her password. The link will expire in 15 minutes. (It may take up to 10 minutes to receive the new email.) A password must be at least eight (8) characters in length and must contain three (3) of the following:

    • One (1) lowercase alphabet character
    • One (1) uppercase alphabet character
    • One (1) number
    • One (1) special character

    The new password cannot be the same as your current or previous password.

    If a user does not receive the email with the secure web link, the user must contact the HSAP Help Desk at 1-866-648-3712 or hsaphelpdesk@air.org for further  assistance.

  • The Test Administrator (TA) role allows users access to the TA Live Site for administering assessments. In TIDE, TAs will have access to “Plan and Manage Testing” under the “Monitoring Test Progress” dropdown, which allows users to generate customized reports in order to monitor their students’ activity and progress in the online assessment system. However, TAs do not have access to score reports. Teachers (TEs), on the other hand, cannot administer assessments but have access to their students’ score reports.

    To assign a staff member both the TA and the TE roles, Test Coordinators (TCs) will need to enter that person in the TIDE system twice; first with one role, then with the second role. The “Upload Users” task, which allows TCs to upload a spreadsheet, may be helpful for uploading multiple users who need multiple role associations. Please refer to the Upload Users section in the HSAP TIDE User Guide, available in the Resources >> Test Administration >> Online Administration section of the HSA-Alt portal website at https://hsa-alt.alohahsap.org/, for more detailed information on how to upload the users spreadsheet to TIDE.

  • The “Personnel Who May Serve as Test Administrators” table in the HSA-Alt Test Administration Manual identifies the school-level personnel who may administer the HSA-Alt Assessments. If a long-term substitute Teacher (TE) meets the specified requirements for serving as a Test Administrator (TA), then the Test Coordinator (TC) may add him or her to TIDE with the TA designation, using the “Add User” or “Upload Users” feature in the “Manage Users” tab in TIDE. Long term substitute teachers who do not use the Department of Education’s Lotus Notes system will need to have their unique email addresses entered as their usernames in TIDE by the Test Coordinator.

  • This number can be found on an employee’s HIDOE ID badge or in the employee’s detailed Lotus Notes information. This number is needed to associate the class roster(s) assigned to each teacher in Infinite Campus by his/her office clerk or registrar that is included in the nightly upload to TIDE with these same teachers whose roles as TEs have been created by the Test Coordinator in TIDE. These TEs will then have access to the student score reports for their associated class rosters in the Online Reporting System.

  • If a Test Coordinator enters an incorrect email address for a Test Administrator or Teacher in TIDE, the Test Coordinator should delete the Test Administrator’s or Teacher’s record from TIDE and add the record again with the correct email address.

    However, the Test Coordinator may edit a Test Administrator’s or Teacher’s name, phone number, employee ID, or role if it has changed since it was initially entered correctly by selecting the “View/Edit User” function and editing the information in the appropriate field(s); the Test Coordinator does not have to delete and then re-add the Test Administrator or Teacher to TIDE again to edit this information.

  • Student information is uploaded nightly from the Hawaii Department of Education’s electronic Student Information System (Infinite Campus) and Electronic Comprehensive Student Support System (eCSSS) into the online HSAP system. Test Coordinators and Test Administrators do not need to enter any student information.

    Student information will appear in TIDE about 48–72 hours after it has been entered by the identified school staff members in Infinite Campus and eCSSS.

    If, during an assessment, a Test Administrator or Test Coordinator notices that student information is incorrect, he or she will need to ask the office clerk (for elementary schools) or registrar (for secondary schools) to make the change in Infinite Campus; the updated information will then be uploaded in the TIDE system within 48–72 hours after it has been corrected in Infinite Campus.

    A student who transfers from one Hawaii public or public charter school to another Hawaii public or public charter school will appear in TIDE about 48–72 hours after his or her information is updated in Infinite Campus, if the student has been removed from the previous school’s Infinite Campus file. The student must be removed from the previous school’s Infinite Campus file and his or her information must be associated with the new school’s Infinite Campus file before the student will appear in TIDE and can be tested at his or her new school.

  • By default, courtesy-tested students are assigned an enrolled grade of “00.” These students cannot take the HSA-Alt Assessments until they are assigned a valid tested grade. The tested grade for each courtesy-tested student must be set in TIDE by HIDOE’s Assessment Section. Test Coordinators must submit the courtesy testing request form, found by clicking the “Test Administration Forms” quick link on each assessment portal home page or in the HSA-Alt Test Administration Manual, to the Assessment Section to request that a student’s grade level be entered in TIDE. A home-schooled student should not report to the school to be tested until an Assessment Section staff member informs the Test Coordinator that the student can access the appropriate statewide assessments that the parents have requested.

  • Yes, a universal tool may be set for a student after he or she has already begun a test opportunity. The Test Administrator should have the student pause his or her test. Universal tools can be set in the TA Live Site by the Test Administrator when the student logs back in to his or her test session to resume their test. The universal tool will then be in effect once the student starts the new test session.

  • No, a non-embedded accommodation may not be set for a student by the Test Administrator.

    All nine non-embedded accommodations for the HSA-Alt Assessments must be set in TIDE by the HIDOE Assessment Section. Test Coordinators must submit the HSA-Alt Accommodation Verification Request form, found by clicking the “Test Administration Forms” quick link on the HSA-Alt portal website or in the HSA-Alt Test Administration Manual, to the Assessment Section for verification. Once verified, the non-embedded accommodation will be set in TIDE for the student.

  • By default, a student sees his or her test score when the student completes and submits his or her HSA-Alt Assessment for scoring. In spring 2019 immediate scoring will be available for HSA-Alt Science Assessments only. Due to the operational field test, scores for the HSA-Alt ELA and Mathematics assessments will not be available for spring 2019 until after a required standard setting meeting takes place during the summer of 2019.

    Test Coordinators have the ability to suppress a student’s score from being displayed on his or her screen when a test is completed, if the staff members who provide services for the student think that displaying the score will be upsetting.

    Only Test Coordinators may suppress a student’s score by changing the “Suppress Score” attribute in a student’s record using the “View/Edit Students” task in TIDE. Test Administrators cannot change this setting during testing. A Test Coordinator should inform a Test Administrator in advance if a student’s score will be suppressed for any of his or her test opportunities. This feature must be edited for each individual student record.

  • The Test Coordinator is the only user able to submit a testing incident request in TIDE. The HSAP TIDE User Guide lists the various types of requests that may be submitted via the “Testing Incident” task tab in TIDE.

    Using the “Create Testing Incident” task in TIDE, a Test Coordinator can submit a testing incident request for one student at a time. Test Coordinators can submit each request based on the student’s SSID, result ID, or test session ID and they must enter a reason for the testing incident request for each student in the “Reason” field.

    A Test Coordinator can use the “Upload Testing Incident” task to submit testing incident requests for more than one student at a time. Please refer to the HSAP TIDE User Guide for instructions on how to upload a testing incident file in TIDE. As with the “Create Testing Incident” task, Test Coordinators will need to provide the student’s SSID, result ID, or test session ID, along with a reason for the request, in the file to be uploaded.

    The Assessment Section will review each request and decide the action that will be taken for each testing incident request submitted. Every effort will be made to review each request in a timely manner. Once the Assessment Section has taken action on a request, a TIDE notification email is sent to the Test Coordinator who submitted the request. The Test Coordinator can then view the Assessment Section’s action on the request using the “View Testing Incident” tab in TIDE.

    Students for whom testing incident requests have been submitted should NOT resume testing until the Test Coordinator has received the Assessment Section’s decision regarding each request.

    Please contact the HSAP Help Desk at 1-866-648-3712 or hsaphelpdesk@air.org for further assistance with submitting or viewing testing incident requests.

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