Dear District Testing Coordinators & Technology Coordinators,
This message is intended to remind and/or update you on (1) the requesting exceptions to online testing process, (2) the availability of secure browsers/application for 2017-2018 school year and (3) the availability of updated technical documentation. I apologize in advance of you receive some of this information by way of other ODE newsletters. We just want to make sure we get to everyone.
Requesting Exceptions to Online Testing
Ohio’s State Tests are online tests for all students, with some exceptions. The expectation is that all districts and schools will schedule time and provide technology appropriately for their local situation.
The following are situations where districts and schools may be eligible for paper testing:
- A district or school with students who will require paper test forms as an accommodation documented in an IEP or 504 Plan, or due to a student’s religious beliefs;
- A district or school that lacks the required technology infrastructure to test all students online, including schools that:
- Are new to state testing and verify a lack of technology to test all students online; or
- Experience a change in the district’s or school’s technology system that impacts capacity to test all students online.
Districts or schools with the above situations involving the limitation of technology should contact the Ohio Department of Education at email@example.com to start the process of determining your eligibility for an exception to online testing.
This information can be found here on our website.
Secure Browsers for 2017-2018
The AIR Secure Browsers and AIR SecureTest Apps for the 2017-2018 school year are available for download from the Ohio’s State Tests portal. Schools administering Ohio’s State Tests in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies or the Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment online must download and install the AIR Secure Browser or AIR SecureTest App on the devices the students will use for testing. The secure browser and app allow students to access the test and prevent students from accessing other computer applications while they are taking an online test.
Version 10 of the secure browser is available for desktop and laptop devices running Windows 7-10 or Mac OS 10.9-10.12. Version 9.5 is available for devices running Mac OS 10.7-10.8. The secure browsers currently available on the portal are the only versions that can be used for the 2017-2018 school year. Older versions of the secure browser installed on desktop and laptop devices cannot be used for secure student testing in 2017-2018.
If students will test online using Chromebooks or tablets, districts and schools must have the latest version of the AIR SecureTest App on these devices. The AIR Secure Test App for mobile devices – Chromebooks, iPads and Androids – is new for 2017-2018. As with the desktop secure browser only the 2017-2018 version can be used for secure student testing. Older versions of the secure test app cannot be used. These devices generally auto-install app updates and no action is needed by districts to update the app on these devices. If you would like to verify your devices have the most recent app version, follow these steps:
- Open the secure test app on the device.
- Click the “Go to the Training Test Site” link below the student sign in box.
- This takes you to the Practice Test sign in screen.
- In the lower right corner of the sign in box, find the browser description.
- This indicates the browser type and version. The latest version numbers are:
a. Chromebooks – 3.0
b. iPads – 4.1
Downloading the Secure Browser or App
The secure browsers and apps are available from the Secure Browsers page of the portal. Be sure to install the correct version of the secure browser or app for each device’s operating system. Detailed installation instructions are available in the Secure Browser Installation Manual. Additional information about preparing your network and devices for online testing is available in the Technical Specifications Manual.
Please note the following regarding recently released Apple operating systems:
Due to a security concern with iOS 11.0, AIR is unable to support iOS 11.0. Apple has released iOS 11.1 and AIR has verified that this corrects the security concern in 11.0. Districts may update their iPad devices to iOS 11.1. Devices with iOS 11.0 will continue to be blocked from accessing the testing sites. As a reminder, AIR supports the three most recent versions of iOS for secure student testing. With support for iOS 11.1 now available, support for iOS 8.x has ended.
AIR is still testing and resolving issues for macOS 10.13 High Sierra. AIR and the Department recommend that districts avoid using machines with the latest macOS for secure testing. Districts should watch for future communications regarding support for macOS 10.13 High Sierra.
Lastly, please be sure to review the latest Online System Requirements and Long Term Support Plan for more information about supported operating systems, devices and browsers for Ohio’s online applications.
If you have any questions, please feel free to let me know.
Office of Curriculum and Assessment
25 South Front Street | Columbus, Ohio 43215-4183
(614) 995-4144 (direct) | (877) 644-6338 | (614) 466-0223
Fax (614) 387-0421