Security and Test Administration Incident Reporting System (STAIRS)/Appeals Process for Summative Assessments

Background

The online STAIRS/Appeals process, available in the Test Operations Management System (TOMS) external icon, must be used by LEA ELPAC coordinators and site ELPAC coordinators to report a test security incident or other testing issue that interferes with the administration and completion of the assessment.

After the incident is reported, TOMS will immediately prompt the filing of an Appeal, if that is the appropriate action. A system email will be sent that describes the submittal and includes the case number that can be used for searches in TOMS. This email will be sent to the submitter (and to the LEA ELPAC coordinator, if the form is submitted by the site ELPAC coordinator). Ensure that communications generated by the email address ca-assessments@ets.org are not automatically sent to a junk mail or spam folder.

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In the case of breaches, the LEA ELPAC coordinator must contact the California Department of Education (CDE) by email at elpac@cde.ca.gov for breaches that are not the result of social media exposure; or must contact CalTAC by phone at 800-955-2954, for breaches that are the result of social media exposure. Only LEA ELPAC coordinators may contact CalTAC; site ELPAC coordinators should contact the LEA ELPAC coordinator in the event of a breach.

Information about Test Security Incidents

Instructions

Currently, STAIRS is used to report incidents related to the Summative ELPAC only. During the 2019–2020 administration, the Initial ELPAC will follow the same procedures as in previous administrations, using the ELPAC Testing Irregularity and Security Breach Report Form. The Initial ELPAC will begin using the STAIRS/Appeals process in TOMS for the 2020–2021 administration.

LEA ELPAC coordinators and site ELPAC coordinators should take the following steps when notification is received of a testing incident:

  1. Review the information provided and verify that the occurrence is a testing incident that requires that a report be filed.
  2. Access TOMS external icon to report a testing incident using STAIRS:
    1. Select the [STAIRS] navigation tab in TOMS.
    2. Follow the online prompts to complete the steps to submit the STAIRS case.
    3. If the system determines that an Appeal must be filed, follow the online prompts to select the student or students for whom an Appeal must be filed.
    4. Coordinators must select the [SUBMIT] button to finish the process.

To expedite the processing of your incident or Appeal, please provide the CDE or test security personnel with any additional information thatCoordinators can withdraw all or some of the SSID(s) from the STAIRS case if the STAIRS case is still pending approval from CalTAC or the CDE.

To expedite the processing of an incident or Appeal, promptly provide the CDE or test security personnel with any additional information that is requested. Keep any documentation associated with the incident for one year.

Note: Only LEA ELPAC coordinators can contact CalTAC. Site ELPAC coordinators should either inform their respective LEA ELPAC coordinator to relay any information to CalTAC; or use the “Notes” section in the STAIRS case to communicate with CalTAC or the CDE.

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The LEA should ensure submission of all Appeals before the LEA’s testing window closes. Any Appeal that results in a student’s continued testing must be filed with sufficient time for the student to complete the assessment before the LEA’s selected testing window ends.

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