Iowa ELI/Healthy Indicator 2023/24 Screening Windows
Fall and Winter window length will be five weeks long for the 2023-24 school year. Spring is 6 weeks to accommodate the highly varied school year end dates across the state.
Correction: there was a misprint in the Fall window open date on the chart below for a period of time. The correct window opening date for Fall is August 28th.
Screening Window and Screening Period Settings in FastBridge
The screening windows are preset in the FastBridge Application for Iowa schools according to the chart above.
District and School Managers will see options under the Assessment Info section titled Default Screening Periods and Edit Screening Periods. Please DO NOT make any changes on either of these pages under any circumstances. The existing dates upon login will accurately reflect the approved screening windows for Iowa and should not be changed.
Additional FastBridge assessments may be administered after the official window is closed, but will not be included in state reports or local norms calculations. Focusing on the completion of your K-6 default literacy assessments within a two week span in the window is strongly encouraged, followed by any additional literacy, math or behavior assessments. More information on scheduling is available in Planning for the Screening Window below.
If additional time is needed to complete non-default literacy, math or behavior assessments, it is acceptable to continue those after the window closes with the understanding that the validity of the data for decision-making decreases the further the testing is from the window. No setup changes are needed in FastBridge to continue testing.
Below is a checklist of things to be done before the screening window, as well as screening reminders.
Schedule sufficient time to take care of the majority of your screening, including unexpected issues
In anticipation of unanticipated issues such as absent students, weather, network or systems problems, we encourage users to prepare “plan B” options, including:
- Back-up dates and/or testing locations.
- Alternate plans, if using subs to free up teachers to screen students.
- Be strategic - Take care of literacy screenings before math and behavior, since there are no state requirements related screening in math/behavior.
- Start with the assessments your district defined as default assessments, and postpone additional assessments until all default assessments are done. Prioritize K-3 first, then students in 4th and above who are persistently at risk, at risk, or new students. Screen the older students who are known good readers last.
- Aim to complete screening prior to the last week of the window to avoid being caught without enough time to finish or troubleshoot issues.
- For districts also using math and/or behavior, best practice is to allocate one or two weeks to concentrate on each content area.
Make it a team effort
It is not recommended for a single teacher, such as reading support specialist or Title teacher to be assigned all screening, monitoring, and intervention, even in a very small school setting. Besides the practical matter of sharing the knowledge about the functioning of the FastBridge system, universal screening is designed for primary classroom teachers to get a sense of student performance and range.
Refresh assessment knowledge
Review assessment administration and scoring procedures to ensure standardized scoring for accuracy. Consider redoing at least the practice tests, if not certification. It helps to review administration and scoring as a group to discuss common issues and questions.
Confirm your technology is ready
Notify your district tech team of your planned screening dates to ensure all computer tested for compatibility, browsers are updated, and network resources are sufficient to support the testing. Keep their contact information close by in cases of network or computer performance issues.
Related Articles: FastBridge System Requirements
Setup student logins
Confirm the setup of student logins for assessments such as aReading and aMath, if applicable. Pay particular attention to the Manage Student Access page. If classes have been added in your SIS, the measures will need to be allowed for those classes.
Related Articles: Setting Up Student Login Access
Review rosters for issues such as missing students
It may take several days to troubleshoot and resolve roster issues, so checking before screening begins is recommended. Remember, never upload roster files or add, edit or delete classroom users, students or rosters in FastBridge.
Related Articles: Iowa: Troubleshooting Rosters and Student Demographics.
Know the policy for deleting/retesting
Establish a district process and policy for deleting scores and/or retesting students (strongly recommended) and communicate to all staff. This may include documenting both the policy/process and also the students who are retested and under which circumstances.
- Even though any user could delete a score, consider making it an expectation that only specific individuals in the district will handle deletes. The FastBridge system doesn't currently have a way to limit this function.
- Define clear reasons to retest and reasons not to retest. Keep in mind that if there are known circumstances that may affect testing, it’s better to not test until the issue is resolved. Some possible legitimate reasons for retesting may include:
- The student has a black flag on the computer administered assessment (visible only on the teacher screening page). Read more about testing flags here.
- Physical reasons: forgot glasses, illness (but seriously, you should know to not test in the first place!)
- Teacher accidentally applied scoring rules incorrectly Rare circumstance: family crisis event, fire alarm
- NOT because 'they can do better' or 'we know they know this'
If a student needs to be retested, it is recommended that some time is given between initial assessment and retest - a week if possible. This reduces the likelihood of an immediate practice effect.
Brush up on FastBridge
See what’s new in the Iowa section of the FastBridge knowledge base and refresh yourself on common practices in the Iowa Resources section of the FastBridge knowledge base.