Maine DOE provides final preparation guidance to assessment administrators

The following Priority Notice was sent to those overseeing the administration of the new statewide assessment at the district and school level to overview resources available from the Department to support their final local preparations.

Dear District/System Administrators and School Test Coordinators,

With just a few days until the test window opens for the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by Smarter Balanced, we wanted to provide some final guidance to help School Test Coordinators (SCs) prioritize their efforts to best prepare their Test Administrators (TAs) to successfully give the test.

Systems Temporarily Offline: In preparation for the summative test window opening Monday, the Online Reporting System and the Online Testing System, which includes both the TA and student interface, will be offline through Sunday night. The downtime specifically means interim tests are unavailable. However, practice and training tests remain open so students can continue to familiarize themselves with the new testing environment. Additionally, the Test Administration Certification process remains available so teachers can still be trained and certified.

TA Certification: TAs are not required to be certified teachers. However, they are required to be certified as a Test Administrator before they administer the MEA for Mathematics and ELA/Literacy. The TA Certification Course can be found here and should take no more than 45 minutes to complete. Meanwhile, the Test Administrator User Guide is available here. The more certified TAs, the more flexibility your school will have.

Test Security and Student Privacy Agreement: Each TA should read and agree to the expectations around Test Security and Student Data Privacy, which can be found here. School Coordinators should keep a file of signed agreements from each TA. Additionally, School Coordinators must also complete this separate School Coordinator Test Security and Student Privacy Agreement and keep it on file.

Rosters: Please note that it not necessary to create online rosters within TIDE for testing. Each school’s list of all students who are expected to take the test is already accessible to all TAs in TIDE.

Testing Students Placed at Programs: Districts that have out-placed students into programs that are not schools with codes in the State system may designate TAs at those program sites to assess the student(s).  The DSA and SC from the sending school is responsible for making sure those TAs are properly trained and certified, including that they have signed the Test Security and Student Privacy Agreement.  In some situations, this will be a better alternative than transporting students back to their sending schools or transporting TAs from the sending schools.

Finally, as we did last week, we want to again direct your attention to a few resources that may be especially helpful to you in these final days of preparation before the testing window opens, including:

  • The Online Test Administration Manual, which includes information on the rules of online testing and ensuring security, testing time and recommended order of administration, establishing appropriate testing conditions, tasks to complete prior to testing, details of the actual testing administration, scripts for TAs, and how to respond to any testing improprieties, irregularities and/or breaches.
  • The Usability, Accessibility and Accommodations Guidelines, which will shape the delivery of online testing for all students, including those with visual, auditory, linguistic or physical needs.
  • The Test Administrator User Guide, which supports TAs who manage testing for students participating in the summative, interim and practice tests.
  • Our Frequently Asked Questions, which provide answers to common queries on topics like roles for testing, opt-out inquiries, paper-pencil vs. computer-adaptive testing, accessibility and much more.

As always, please bookmark our MEA for Mathematics and ELA/Literacy website and use the following assessment support contacts to let us know immediately if we can provide you any assistance:

AIR Help Desk
844-560-7814 or

Andrew Wallace, Maine DOE Technology Consultant

Nancy Godfrey, Maine DOE Acting Assessment Coordinator
207-624-6775 or

Sue Nay, Maine DOE Alternate Assessment Coordinator
207-624-6774 or

Thank you for all your hard work preparing for a successful administration of the new statewide assessment,
The Maine DOE Assessment and Accountability Team

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