Hillsdale Local Schools Security Procedures and Consequences for Testing 2023-20234

Administering State Assessments

Per Ohio Administrative Code 3301-13-05 (J), the district is required to notify you of the written Security Plan by October 1 for administering state assessments [OAC 3301-13-05 (H)]. See the security plan below:

In addition, staff members will receive further, more specific instructions about their involvement with the specific assessments according to their instructional roles. 

For students taking state assessments this year (Ohio’s State Tests, grades 3-12; Alternate Assessment for Students with Cognitive Disabilities, KRA, and ACT), the following is a notification of the district’s Test Security Plan, ensuring all involved that there are purposeful and specific procedures in place to ensure the security and accurate reporting of student achievement scores. 

If you have questions about the following, please contact Dr. Alyson Baker (District Test Coordinator, DTC) at abaker@hillsdalelocalschools.org. All materials will be handled and tracked by the District and Building Test Coordinators. The logistics are particular to each assessment and will be clarified closer to each assessment window. 

All district personnel have been informed of the following: Under Ohio Law, releasing any test questions or other contents of a test to students or helping students cheat in any other way may be punishable by the invalidation of test scores, termination of employment, suspension of certificates to teach, and/ or prosecution.  

Security violations include (not an exhaustive list):

  • It is illegal to review the test before the administration and create study guides for or release test questions to students based on questions on state tests. 
  • Individuals monitoring a given test subject may not look ahead at other test subjects printed in a test booklet.
  • No pictures or videos of test questions may be taken.
  • No one may use a student’s log-in information to access the online test and review the contents. 
  • No secure material from any operational test may be released to any student, media, or the general public, including describing questions in a letter, discussing test questions, posting or texting information on social media or other internet sites about test questions, or photocopying test questions. 
  • It is unethical and illegal to alter any student's response or to assist a student in cheating in any other way. 
  • Unauthorized persons may not be present during a statewide test administration; only Building/District Test Coordinators, designated, trained Test Administrators, monitors, and students being tested may access secure materials. 
  • NO ONE may stand beside a student’s desk and indicate that the student’s answer is incorrect or deficient.
  • NO ONE may review or alter a student’s response after the student has turned in or submitted an assessment. 
  • Test monitors must maintain test security with student log-in and password information, scratch paper, and test authorization codes.
  • Secure documents must be destroyed after the testing. 
  • School staff must comply with the requirements and instructions contained in all testing manuals and should familiarize themselves with Ethical Testing Procedures found in all manuals prior to administering assessments. 

Concerns about security violations must be brought immediately to the Building Test Coordinator (BTC) or building principal. The BTC or principal will confer with the DTC about proper procedures. Violations of test security provisions in the district’s written procedures also may be punishable by penalties specified by the district.

Testing Plan Overview

  • Any person administering a test must be an employee of the district or an employee of an educational service provider and hold a license, certificate, or permit issued by the Ohio Department of Education. 
  • A Test Administrator meeting these criteria must be in the testing room at all times.
  • Test Administrators must actively monitor students to ensure test security. 
  • If a Test Administrator leaves a room, another qualified test administrator must replace them.
  • The ratio for testing purposes is one Test Administrator to 30 students in any testing room.
  • All staff and authorized personnel will be trained and expected to complete the online module on the Ohio testing administration process, including proctoring, monitoring, and general support before giving tests. 
  • The district’s and the state’s written procedures for protecting secure test information must be followed.
  • All test administration rooms should be free of “clues” that would aid students in taking an assessment.

Secure Material Handling and Storage 

  • All district and school personnel are responsible for ensuring the security of the individual test questions. The responsibility to maintain the security of the test questions continues even after the test concludes.
  • Upon receipt of paper testing materials, a verification process is completed by the BTC and Test Administrators to ensure all materials have been received.
  • Paper test materials will remain secure at all times before and after the testing window until they are returned or destroyed by the DTC or BTC.
  • During testing, the Test Administrator will ensure all materials are secure.

Material distribution process

Paper Test

  • Each day the Test Administrators must report to the pickup location to check out secure test materials under the supervision of the DTC, BTC, or building principal. The Test Administrators are responsible for verifying against the testing group roster the correct count of each test booklet, answer booklet, and additional resources needed during testing. The Test Administrator’s signature will acknowledge the verification.
  • Tests are scheduled to be returned by the Test Administrator to the exact location when students finish testing. Every piece of testing material must be delivered and signed by the Test Administrator and turned over to the DTC, BTC, or building principal.
  • After all Test Administrators return the materials, the materials will be securely stored until the next testing session. 

Online Test

  • The Test Administrator will receive the following items in a folder: Testing Roster, Student Test Tickets, Testing Times for Ohio’s State Tests, and Online Testing Checklist.
  • Test Administrators must have headphones, scrap paper, and pencils ready to distribute on the morning of testing.
  • The DTC will collect the testing folders and their contents along with all scrap paper after testing.
  • All scrap paper and student tickets will be properly destroyed.

Monitoring classrooms, testing groups, and school during testing

  • The building brincipal, DTC, or BTC will observe test environments to ensure that all testing policies and procedures are being followed and accommodations are being appropriately delivered.

  • The DTC will observe a sample of classrooms across the LEA to ensure all policies and procedures are followed.

  • Any irregularities noticed by the principal, DTC or BTC will be documented by the DTC and reported to ODE.

  • A Test Administrator must actively monitor the test session. This includes but is not limited to the following:

    • walking around the room; making sure the students are taking the correct test
    • observing that students are not involved in activities that might be considered cheating
    • monitoring test completion per student
    • monitoring how much time is left in a test session and student test completion
  • A Test Administrator may not:

    • review a test so closely that student responses are examined
    • be involved with non-test administration activities such as grading papers, completing lesson plans, or completing tasks on an electronic device for a non-test reason
    • leave the students unattended while the test is still in session

Electronic Device and Social Media Policy

  • Electronic devices, such as cell phones and smartwatches, will be turned off and collected by the Test Administrator.
  • Accessing an electronic device during testing is grounds for invalidation of the test.
  • If a student were observed having a cell phone out during or after the test session, it would be determined if any test question, passage, or prompt was photographed, texted, or compromised.
  • Silent work may be allowed after the completion of a test session.
  • Test Administrators may have a cell phone for medical and technological emergencies, to use as a timekeeper, or perform necessary test-related actions. Test Administrators must not use their cell phones for non-test-related issues or personal issues.
  • Test Administrators are reminded never to take photographs of students, tests, computers, or the testing room during testing. 

Reviewing test irregularities and violations

  • Any person who witnesses or believes a test security violation occurred, either by school personnel or by a student, must report it as soon as possible but no later than 24 hours after the alleged violation occurred.

  • If a testing irregularity or violation has occurred, the DTC will submit all necessary paperwork to ODE. The violations will be documented, including the classroom location, the Test Administrator and/or Test Proctor involved, the time of the incident, the students who were in the room, and a complete description of the situation. If follow-up is necessary, the DTC and the building principal will work with ODE to provide all necessary information.  Within 10 days of concluding the investigation, the district shall notify the ODE in writing of the finding of such a violation and any action taken by the school district or participating school. 

Response to Disasters and Emergencies

In any unexpected situation during testing, school personnel will first act to assure the safety of students and staff and to protect property from damage. Test integrity will be maintained to the greatest extent possible. Test Administrators, Proctors, and authorized personnel must secure the testing environment(s). Test Administrators should remove students from the room and secure all testing materials if safely possible. The Test Administrator will ensure students are kept in a location where they cannot discuss the test, and testing will resume as soon as feasibly possible.

Updated: September 19, 2023