OPI Specialist Will Present Free Workshop on Meaningful Participation in Statewide Assessment


September 25, 2019

Yvonne Field, the Assessment and Accountability Specialist in the Student Services Division at the Office of Public Instruction (OPI), will be at the Best Western Plus Inn & Suites in Havre on October 9 to present a workshop entitled “Meaningful Participation in Statewide Assessments.” This free training for general and special educators, special education directors, system test coordinators, principals, and superintendents is suitable for districts and schools looking to improve participation rates and performance of students with disabilities in statewide assessments and to promote increased access to grade level content.

Field has worked with the OPI for nearly seven years; first as the assessment specialist for the MontCAS special population assessments and currently as the assessment and accessibility specialist. She has a background in post-secondary special education and has also taught special education in grades 3-5 in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools in Charlotte, North Carolina.

This full day training will focus on increasing educator knowledge about federal requirements and options for participation in statewide assessments through the lens of ensuring that students with disabilities are able to meaningfully participate in the assessments required under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Educators will learn how to ensure that students have appropriate accessibility supports and accommodations and that those supports are selected systematically, based on student need.

Workshop participants will explore the interim and formative resources available for statewide assessments, such as the Smarter Balanced interim assessments and how to support students in accessing grade level content through the use of balanced assessment system resources and tools. Furthermore, participants will expand their knowledge about the rigor of the Smarter Balance testing platform and about processes for familiarizing students with it.

So that they can access Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for their students, participants are encouraged to bring a laptop, tablet, or another suitable device. Work time will be provided during the training to enable participants to apply their learning using the data with their student population or their caseload.

With those attending this training, Field hopes to accomplish a series of objectives, which include the following:

• Describe the purpose of statewide assessments for federal accountability under ESSA.

• Identify the appropriate usage of data from statewide assessments.

• Understand shifts in thinking about accessibility for statewide assessments from accommodation-based to universal design for learning.

• Ensure accessibility of instruction and assessments by aligning the implications, supplemental aids and services, and statewide assessment accommodations and supports sections of the IEP.

• Describe and implement standardized administration of accommodated testing sessions, including adherence to test specific accommodation protocols (i.e. scribing, read aloud).

Six OPI renewal units are available for this training which will take place at the Best Western Plus Havre Inn & Suites, located at 1425 Highway 2 Northwest.

Registrations for this workshop, which is sponsored by Region II of the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) in partnership with Havre Public Schools, will be taken through October 3. Those interested in attending should go online to http://www.blueponyk12.com where they will click on the CSPD icon and then on the hyperlink that reads: “Register Here For Upcoming CSPD Training Events!”

Questions about this training can be directed to Region II CSPD Coordinator, Aileen Couch by calling (406)395-8550, ext. 6714, or by emailing cspd@blueponyk12.com. As a professional courtesy, Couch asks that anyone needing to cancel a registration to please contact her office.

Region II CSPD coordinates personnel development to meet the diverse needs of all children and youth in the counties of Cascade, Teton, Pondera, Toole, Glacier, Liberty, Hill, Blaine, and Chouteau. Although preference will be given to people living in these areas, participation by individuals from outside of Region II is also welcome.


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