Frequently Asked Questions about Accessibility
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Frequently Asked Questions about Accessibility

When is the deadline to turn on student designated supports and accommodations in TIDE?

Designated supports and accommodations are turned off by default in TIDE and must be turned on locally prior to testing. If test settings are not accurately logged in TIDE, the student will not receive these on the online test.

Do student designated supports and accommodations have to be entered into TIDE for the Practice and Training Tests? Interim and Summative Assessments?

Student designated supports and accommodations do not need to be set up for the Practice and Training Tests unless the student is trying to use the embedded Speech-to-Text function. Student designated supports and accommodations do need to be turned on for the Interim and Summative Assessments.

What is the difference between universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations?

Universal tools are access features that are either provided as digitally delivered components of the test administration system or provided separately from it. In general, universal tools are available to all students based on student preference and selection. The digitally delivered assessments include a wide array of embedded universal tools while others include non-embedded universal tools that are provided outside of the computer test administration system. 

Designated supports are features available for use by any student when indicated by an educator (or team of educators with parent/guardian and student). Designated supports need to be identified prior to the assessment administration and must be entered into the Test Information and Distribution Engine (TIDE). Any non-embedded designated supports must be acquired prior to testing.

Accommodations are changes in procedures or materials that increase equitable access during the assessments. Assessment accommodations generate valid assessment results for students who need them; they allow these students to show what they know and can do. Montana OPI has identified digitally-embedded and non-embedded accommodations for students for whom there is documentation of the need for the accommodations on an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Accommodation Plan. An Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Accommodation Plan is required to apply any accommodations to a student's test experience. Determining in advance which accommodations an individual student will have for the assessment is necessary because these accommodations must be made available before the assessment administration. These accommodations can be set by entering information into TIDE for embedded accommodations or by ensuring the materials are available for non-embedded accommodations.

Are there specific codes to enter into TIDE to indicate designated supports and accommodations?

Yes, there are. You are able to find them in the xlxs or .csv format called StudentSettingsTemplate that can be downloaded from the Test Information and Distribution Engine (TIDE). Review the TIDE User Guide for more information.


What is the print on demand feature?

Print on demand is a non-embedded accommodation consisting of paper copies of either passages/stimuli and/or items are printed for students with a documented disability in an IEP or 504 Accommodation Plan. A very small percentage of students should need this accommodation. For those students needing a paper copy of a passage or stimulus, permission to request printing must first be set in the Test Information and Distribution Engine (TIDE).

Once a student is approved to receive the printing of test items/passages, that student may send a print request to the Proctor (PR) during testing by selecting the print icon on the screen. Before the PR approves the student’s request to print a test item/stimulus, the PR must ensure that the printer is on and is monitored by staff who have been trained using the Test Administrator training modules for the test. This request needs to be made for each individual item.

Who has the credentials to enter student accommodations and test settings into TIDE?

The Building Coordinator (BC), System Test Coordinator (STC), and Authorized Representative (AR) roles have the credentials to enter the student information for accommodations. The Teacher (TA) role has the credentials to edit and modify student designated support (embedded and non-embedded). The Proctor (PR) and Tools for Teachers (TFT) role do not have the credentials.

Where do I find information regarding universal tools, designated supports, and/or accommodations?

Montana OPI has a comprehensive document outlining tools, supports, and accommodations offered for Smarter Balanced, Montana Science Assessment, and the Alternate Montana Science online assessments. Refer to each program's Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines. These documents are located in the Accessibility and Accommodations resources section on the Montana portal.

What type of calculator is available on the Smarter Balanced Mathematics Assessments?

Calculator is not available for Grades 3 through 5.

Calculator is available for Grades 6 through 11.

  • Grade 6 - Basic Desmos Calculator
  • Grades 7 and 8 - Scientific Desmos Calculator
  • Grades 11 - Graphing Calculator