Your monthly update on all things MS-CPAS
April 2021
Spring Forward
With the time change each year, alternating sunny and stormy weather in Mississippi signals the start of the end of another school year. April marks the beginning of the largest testing period for Mississippi's statewide CTE assessments. In the the next six weeks, more than 30,000 secondary and postsecondary students will take either a national certification examination or MS-CPAS assessment. Please use the notes below as reminders for upcoming processes and events.
  • Practice tests: If you want the practice test reports for pathways that use MS-CPAS, download the PDF file of those reports as soon as possible. We will delete that data each May to clear the databases for the following year. As a reminder, we have also found that students taking at least one practice assessment show positive results on the final test scores.
  • Training notes and manuals: Our CTE Testing Manual is still the authority when it comes to knowing how to implement any CTE testing process in schools or community colleges. Coupled with this manual, we have posted archived video tutorials for MS-CPAS testing and all forms of national certification examinations on our Assessment website. You will need to access these resources with your district log in.
  • Download the exact dates for other testing-related events through the summer of 2021 in a single page format from the MS-CPAS page of the RCU website. 
Here are a few popular educational technology tools for you to consider this month: 
  • Insert Learning: This Google Chrome extension allows you to insert educational content on any website. This tool is an ideal solution for guided reading, differentiated instruction or formative assessment in your classroom. It is free for teachers to use on a limited basis or $40 per year for unlimited lessons.
  • Mote: This Google Chrome extension helps teachers add voice note feedback within Google Classroom and Docs. This product also allows you to add your voice to Google Slides presentations. This tool is free for teachers to use with limitations or with add-on features like voice-to-text or STEM mode for $39.
  • Sign PDF: This item is less of a tool but more of a micro-tip. Watch this YouTube video to learn how to sign a PDF using your phone. You do need to have Office Mobile installed for this tip.
As an educator and parent of two high school students, I appreciate the hard work each of you have put into traditional, blended and virtual CTE settings this year. We have all learned to become better educators that will continue to create the best opportunities for the students and future leaders of Mississippi!

Hoping for brighter days ahead,

Sean Owen, PhD
Assessment Manager

Important Dates
Spring 2021 TestingApril 8-19: Congressional Districts 1 and 3

April 20-29: Congressional Districts 2 and 4

April 30: Make-up testing (It is not necessary to wait until make-up day to provide make-up tests to students who need them.)

May 28: Final reports available
National Certification TestingAnytime between April 1 and May 12

The RCU will publish MDE certification results midsummer, contingent upon the release of results by the certification companies.

For the full calendar, visit the MS-CPAS resources page. You must be logged in to the RCU website to access the MS-CPAS resources. 
Due to COVID-19, some districts have experienced a drastic change to their district calendar this year. If your district calendar presents an issue that could cause you to be unable to test during your congressional district window, you will need to submit a Help Desk ticket stating this and asking to be considered for a special testing window between May 3 and May 14.
MS-CPAS Testing
MS-CPAS testing is underway for postsecondary schools and begins April 8 for secondary schools. Here are a few troubleshooting points to keep in mind:
  • MS-CPAS testing must be completed on campus. Districts should schedule virtual students to come to campus to complete testing.
  • It is very important that students enter their student identification number carefully in the participation login section of our testing program. After checking the number that they have entered in the name field, students can copy and paste the number into the password field where the numbers are masked.
  • Providing students with a testing ticket is an easy way to limit login errors by ensuring that students have the Web address of the testing program, their student identification number and the correct test identification. Testing tickets can be found by clicking Reports and Testing Tools on the Assessment drop-down menu on the RCU website.
  • The monitor or proctor login information that test administrators must enter for each student is located on p. 43 of the Secondary CTE Testing Manual and on p. 33 of the Postsecondary CTE Testing Manual. The proctor login information should never be shared with students.
  • To prepare for possible connectivity issues, we suggest testing personnel become familiar with the suggested solutions in section 6 of both the Secondary CTE Testing Manual and the Postsecondary CTE Testing Manual.
  • Supplementary materials that should be printed in advance of testing are available for some MS-CPAS tests. The Supplementary Materials Manual is available under MS-CPAS resources on both the secondary MS-CPAS page and the postsecondary MS-CPAS page.
  • Students scheduled for tests will be listed on the test status page when the testing window opens.
  • In the event of a testing irregularity, an irregularities report is available as an appendix to each testing manual. The report can be printed, completed and sent as an attachment to the Help Desk. 
National Certifications
The national certification testing window is upon us. As you prepare to test your students, please remember that several valuable resources are located behind your district login on the Student Certification page of the RCU website, including testing manuals, survival guides, proctor scripts and video tutorials for each national certification.
Each certification company has different requirements for registering students to take a national certification exam, so please consult the survival guides on our website to make sure you have completed all the required steps to ensure your students are ready to test.
NCCER identification numbers need to be sent to the RCU via the Help Desk by April 9.
Remember to schedule ASE and NCCER tests as early in the certification window as possible to allow time for possible retests to be completed before the window closes.
Performance Based Assessment
Performance-based assessment was canceled for the 2020-2021 school year. All courses that participate in PBA (Architecture and Drafting Y2, Digital Media Technology Y2, Simulation and Animation Design Y2 and Polymer Science Y2) will complete the Y2 MS-CPAS in place of PBA.

Key Contacts
Assessment Manager .........................
IAD Meetings and Training Events.......
National Certifications .........................
Data and Research..............................
Performance-Based Assessment.........

Have assessment needs not addressed in this issue?
Create a Help Desk ticket, and we'll get right on it! 

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