Your monthly update on all things MS-CPAS
May 2021
It Is Almost Time to Exit the Ride
This school year was like riding on Aerosmith's Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at Walt Disney World. The year started slowly, but in a matter of seconds teachers and students were hanging on for dear life! In the blink of an eye, we are finishing statewide testing, submitting final grades and conducting graduation ceremonies.

This was the most challenging year for anyone associated with Mississippi schools since Hurricane Katrina. It cannot be said often enough how much we appreciate the work done by educators and administrators in our schools over the last year. You rose to the challenge and made the best out of a difficult situation!

Before you prepare for your much-deserved summer break, reflect on the positives over the last 10 months. To help you do this, here are few reminders that may help during the summer:
  • Updated documentation: Each summer, we update career pathway blueprints, the CTE Testing Manual, national certification guides and the MS-CPAS Interpretive Guide. Each document has an important function for teachers, administrators and test coordinators. Download and review each document before the next school year.

  • Reports: As a reminder, schools have access to reports dating from fall 2010 to the present. If used properly, reports can help shape instructional strategies for the next year. The data in these reports can give insight into possible program patterns. Reports can be accessed with your RCU district account here.
  • Other important dates: We will update assessment-related dates next month. Make sure you download these dates to set your calendar for next year.
For your educational technology tips for the month, I offer a few suggestions and tools that you can explore this summer in preparation for the next school year. 
  • Get certified. There are many useful, low-risk certifications available for educators. Here are a few I like:
    • Google for Education: Not only will the Level I ($10) and Level II ($25) certifications help you demonstrate your mastery using Google Tools, but each will also boost your teaching skill set. Google also offers free training courses.
    • Microsoft Certified Educator: Microsoft also offers a certification ($127) that validates a teacher has the skill set necessary to provide a technology-enhanced environment for students. There is an entry-level technology literacy certification required for this additional certification.
    • Flipgrid certifications: This interactive video reflection app offers three levels of certification for its product. Each level is coupled with a free training course hosted by Microsoft and a set of performance tasks. This is one of the easiest certifications to get. It will provide an immediate impact on your classroom.
  • Try a new software or device this summer. Search the internet for the name of the software and the keywords lesson plan or activity. You may find a new approach that puts another tool in your teacher toolbox for next year.
Thank you again for everything you do for the students and communities of Mississippi.

Sean Owen, PhD
Assessment Manager

Important Dates
Secondary 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
Secondary 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.
Postsecondary Summer Roster Submission Period
Available anytime between June 9 and July 1
Postsecondary Summer Testing
July 6-15: Postsecondary testing
July 16: Make-up testing 
July 23: Final reports available 

Visit the MS-CPAS resources page for the full calendar. You must be logged in to the RCU website to access the MS-CPAS resources. 
MS-CPAS Testing
2021 MS-CPAS testing is now in the books. Our team enjoyed working through this testing season with you. Your insights are helpful, and we are always interested in your feedback. If you have a comment or suggestion on preparation for or administration of the MS-CPAS, share it with us at the MS-CPAS Suggestions page. We appreciate your perspective and want to make the MS-CPAS process as user-friendly as possible.
Postsecondary MS-CPAS reports were released April 23, and secondary MS-CPAS reports will be published by 5 p.m. May 28. An explanation of each report is found in the MS-CPAS Secondary Interpretive Guide and the MS-CPAS Postsecondary Interpretive Guide. Find these resources behind your district login on the RCU website. Three of the reports that could be helpful to teachers include:
  • MS-CPAS Class Report: Contains the class average score for each unit and can be used to inform instructional practices
  • MS-CPAS State Overview Report: Contains the state's average score for each unit and allows instructors to compare their students' unit scores with the statewide average
  • MS-CPAS State District Program Ranking Report: Helpful as a networking tool that allows educators to connect with teachers in successful programs
Reports are available to district RCU website account holders.
National Certifications
We hope that testing went smoothly for you. You are swiftly approaching the finish line! The national certification testing window closes May 12. Remember to take advantage of all the national certification testing resources available on the Student Certification page of the RCU website. These resources include survival guides, PowerPoints, online tutorials and more.  
As always, there are housekeeping issues needing resolution to ensure a successful end to spring testing.
For all districts who have culinary arts programs administering the ServSafe Food Manager exam to your second-year students, there is one more task for you to complete. Proctors for the Food Manager exam should complete the following steps:
  • Pull score reports from ServSafe.
  • Go to the RCU website.
  • Log in and go to the Assessment tab.
  • While hovering over the Assessment tab, you will see a drop-down menu. On that menu, hover over Reports, then click on Testing Tools.
  • On the Testing Tools page, you will see a list of tools you can access. At the bottom of that list, find the ServSafe Score Import Template.
  • Download that template as an Excel file.
  • Record your students' scores for the ServSafe Food Manager exam.
  • Save this Excel file and send it to the RCU via the Help Desk.
The RCU will generate national certification reports for you to access on the RCU website once testing has ended.
Key Contacts
Assessment Manager .........................
IAD Meetings and Training Events.......
National Certifications .........................
Data and Research..............................
Performance-Based Assessment.........

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