Your monthly update on all things MS-CPAS
March 2020
Marching Into Spring

If you are anything like me, tasks and responsibilities that I only complete periodically throughout the year tend to slip my mind when the calendar flips to time for that particular task. New job processes, like some things with MS-CPAS, may also add to this uncertainty. It definitely does for me. With that said, since I started in Assessment in 2011, we have attempted to make sure that we keep as many things as consistent as possible. Here are a few reminders of Assessment-related matters that should help you march into this spring with a bang!
  1. Practice Test Information - Remember for Spring 2020, students take practice tests in Questionmark, the online testing system for MS-CPAS. You must verify students/classes in the RCU submission and verification system to schedule a set of practice tests for students in eligible career pathways. We will NOT do roster changes, practice test schedule changes, or practice score modifications due to district-level incorrect roster submissions, technical glitches, or mistyped verifications. We are currently supporting normal practice test administration and preparing for regular MS-CPAS testing in April and May. The CTE Testing Manual contains instructions for administering practice tests and retrieving reports. NOTE: If you choose to let your teachers conduct the practice test, please support them in that process. Also, inform them they should email helpdesk@rcu.msstate.edu for support. They should not email or call the Assessment team members directly, since this is not procedure for technical support.
  2. Test Coordinator Training Notes - We have posted archived webinars of each session from our February Test Coordinator training held at Hunter Henry on the Mississippi State campus on our Assessment web page. Webinars and the CTE Testing Manual are also available, which outline every preparation and administration process associated with MS-CPAS.
  3. Other Important Dates - Download the exact dates for other testing-related events through the summer of 2020 on the Assessment web page (after login).
For our technology tip of the month, I thought I would highlight some random, unconnected resources that I think have value to educators, support staff, and administrators. I have found that looking at the sessions at the most  recent ASCD , ACTE , FETC , ISTE , MECA , and TCEA conferences prove invaluable for discovering new resources. Here are just a few that I am working with currently:

  1. Google Data Studio- This online software is a FREE product that helps users create digital dashboards from any kind of data type. Learn more about this product, how to use it, and its educational applications by viewing Wanda Terrel's slides from her 2020 TCEA presentation.
  2. ClassTag - I have used GroupMe and Remind apps for parent-teacher and student-teacher responsibilities I have had over the years. There is a new kid on the block named ClassTag. This FREE application helps you see who is reading your messages and helps you print a reminder note to the unresponsive parents. The key thing that separates this product from the reliable standards is its integration of newsletters, signups, meeting scheduling, calendaring, and monetary donation collections.
  3. EPortfolios - This 2020 TCEA presentation by Rene Egle and Carla Reisman discusses the value of educator portfolios that one can build with free tools. This process could not only be useful for educators, but can also assist students in the CTE classroom. Teachers could use them as public relations pieces for their pathways as they recruit new students or funding. Students could use them to highlight their PBL work over the course of their pathway progression and integrate literacy skills as well. 
So, go jog your memory about MS-CPAS and learn a tool you can use this week! Thank you again for everything you do for the students and communities of Mississippi!  

Sincerely,

Sean Owen, PhD
Assessment Manager

Important Dates
 
Deadline for Spring Roster Submission/Verification
March 23
Secondary Practice Testing Window Closes March 25
Postsecondary Testing March 30 - April 2
Secondary PBA Scoring and Interview April 1 - May 1
Secondary MS-CPAS (Congressional Districts 1 & 3) April 21 - 30
Secondary MS-CPAS (Congressional Districts 2 & 4) April 8 - 20
National Certification Testing April 1 - May 8
 
 
MS-CPAS Updates
 
 
We enjoyed visiting and sharing information with many of you during our spring test coordinator trainings in Starkville and Hattiesburg. If you were not able to join us, you can access informational tutorials that cover material presented at the trainings. These recordings are available on the RCU website's  MS-CPAS page under the Presentations tab.
 
Practice testing is underway for many of our secondary CTE programs. Remember that students must be uploaded and verified in the RCU's testing system before they will have a practice test schedule. When classes are verified and have the green "Ready for Scheduling" status in Step 2, a practice test will be available within 24 hours for students in a pathway for which a practice test is offered. A list of available practice tests can be found on the  MS-CPAS testing resource  page.
 
As you prepare for MS-CPAS testing, you will find many helpful tools on the RCU website. On the MS-CPAS page, the Supplementary Materials Manual provides a collection of resources that need to be printed for students to use while testing in nine different programs. Be sure to check the Supplementary Materials Manual's table of contents for a list of these programs. Also, on the MS-CPAS page is the 2019-2020 Information for Test Administrators and Proctors. This document is a condensed version of the CTE Manual that can be printed for test administrators and proctors to use while testing.
 
Remember that testing tickets and a proctor report are available for the day of testing. You will find these aids by navigating to the Reports section found under the Assessment tab on the RCU website. Testing tickets provide students with the Questionmark online assessment web address, the student's login information, and the assessment name and number. The proctor report provides student login information and the test ID of the assigned MS-CPAS assessment for each student and can be used to help proctors record attendance.

National Certifications Updates
 
New 2020 national certification tutorials have been posted on the RCU website. These tutorials provide specifics for each national certification, including testing dates, testing how to's, and important links to valuable resources. Also, the Power Point Presentations shown during the tutorials are available for download. You can find these tutorials by going to the RCU Assessment page and clicking on Student Certification 2019-2020 National Certification Tutorials.

The opening of the national certification testing window (April 1 - May 8) is fast approaching, and uploading and verification are still going on. Remember, all CTE students taking any kind of assessment (CPAS, PBA, national certification) must be uploaded and verified in the RCU portal by March 23. Assessment staff are standing by to assist with this process for anyone who has not completed the upload and verification process.
 
Performance-Based Assessment
 
All PBA tasks should be underway now. The PBA window is February 3 - March 27. Teachers may use any time during this window to have students complete PBA tasks. Submission of work will open March 6 and will need to be complete by March 27 at 5 PM. Instructors will receive an email with directions about how to submit work before the submission window opens.
 
It is important to note that centers will NOT need to find their own evaluators for PBA this year. More information about this can be found in the PBA Manual. The PBA Manual is located under General PBA Resources on the PBA webpage.
 
If any testing coordinators were unable to attend the test coordinator training in February, you can find videos of the presentations under the Presentations tab on the RCU webpage.

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

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

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