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 test tools 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?
It is recommended that student designated supports and accommodations be set up in TIDE prior to having a student log into the Practice and Training Tests, so the student will have access to the same designated supports and accommodations as they will experience on the summative assessments. If the student is logging into the Practice or Training Test as a Guest session, designated supports and accommodations can also be set individually during the Guest session login process (except for the embedded Speech-to-Text accommodation).
Student designated supports and accommodations must be set appropriately in TIDE prior to administration of the Interim and Summative Assessments.
What is the difference between universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations?
Universal tools are accessibility resources of the assessment that are either provided as digitally delivered components of the test administration system or separate from it. Universal tools are available to all students based on student preference and selection. The universal tools described in this section are not modifications and all yield valid scores that count as participation in assessments that meet the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) when used in a manner consistent with the Guidelines. Refer to the Universal Tools Training Module on the Assessment portal for more information.
Designated supports are features that are available for use by any student for whom the need has been indicated by an educator (or team of educators) with input from the parent/guardian and student. The designated supports described in this section are not modifications. Designated supports all yield valid scores that count as participation in assessments that meet the requirements of ESSA when used in a manner consistent with the Guidelines. It is recommended that a consistent process be used to determine these supports for individual students. All educators making these decisions should be trained on the process and should be made aware of the range of available designated supports. The OPI has identified digitally embedded and non-embedded designated supports for students for whom an adult or team has indicated a need for the support. Designated supports need to be identified prior to assessment administration. Embedded and non-embedded supports must be entered into TIDE under student test settings as no accessibility features automatically transfer from AIM/Infinite Campus. Any non-embedded designated supports must be arranged for prior to testing and provided during testing.
Accommodations are changes in procedures or materials that increase equitable access. Accommodations all yield valid scores that count as participation in assessments that meet the requirements of ESSA when used in a manner consistent with the Guidelines. They allow students to show what they know and can do. The OPI has identified digitally embedded and non-embedded accommodations for students with disabilities. Accommodations must be documented in an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan. If an accommodation is not visible to select from or an emergency need has risen, requests for Non-routine accommodations must be submitted to the OPI from the System Test Coordinator (STC) through the MontCAS Application > Non-Routine Request Process. The OPI must approve all non-routine accommodations used in the state assessments before a student can receive them as any accommodation not listed has the risk to change what is being measured and may make the student score invalid.
Are there specific codes to enter into TIDE to indicate designated supports and accommodations?
Yes, if the school will uploading designated supports and accommodations for multiple students at one time. You can find a template file 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. Designated supports and accommodations can also be set for an individual student on the View/Edit Student page. This method does not require the template file or specific codes.
What is the Print on Request feature?
Paper copies of either passages/stimuli and/or items are printed for students. For those students needing a paper copy of a passage or stimulus, permission for the students to request printing must first be set in TIDE.
Some students with disabilities may need paper copies of either passages/stimuli and/or items. A very small percentage of students should need this accommodation. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional time to complete the assessment. Please note that Print on Request is the only printed form of accommodation available for students needing paper copy of items.
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 Test Administrator (TA) and Proctor (PR) role can view and export settings, upload settings through file uploads, and edit designated supports. The TA & PR cannot make edits to accommodations.
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 About the Assessment 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
- Grade 11 - Graphing Calculator