Frequently Asked Questions


FAQ - General InformationGeneral Information

  • The WY-ALT consists of a series of performance tasks that are linked to the grade-level academic standards, although at a less complex level. Test Administrators will administer a series of tasks and items to the student following the script provided in the test booklet. The script will include response options with appropriate representations, such as picture systems, and potential for multiple opportunities to successfully respond.

  • WY-TOPP stands for Wyoming’s Test of Proficiency and Progress. WY-TOPP, like PAWS, will continue to assess students on Wyoming Content and Performance Standards. However, WYTOPP will be administered online with a computer adaptive assessment, will be administered later in the school year, and will include more than just the end-of-year summative assessment. Teachers will be able to give interim assessments and modular assessments (end-of-unit) to their students.

  • Wyoming’s Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (WY-ALT) will be administered for the third time in Spring 2018. The WY-ALT is aligned to the Wyoming Content and Performance Standards (WyCPS) and designed to allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in an appropriately rigorous assessment.

  • The student’s IEP team determines whether a student will participate in the WY-ALT using the criteria for participation guidelines.

  • The WY-ALT is administered by grade band (3-5, 6-8, 9-11). Students will take the WY-ALT in the same grades and content areas that are administered for the WY-TOPP. All students will be assessed in English language arts and mathematics. Students in grades 4, 8, 10, and 11 will also be assessed in science.

  • Schools have a five-week window during which they will have the opportunity to administer the WY-ALT: February 26 – March 28, 2018. This window was chosen to provide schools ample time to assess all eligible students at their own pace. There are no time restrictions inherent to the assessment itself, and students may stop and resume the assessment at any point. All test results must be submitted by the test administrator for the student before the end of the testing window.

    A test administrator designated by your child’s school will administer the assessments to your child in a one-on-one environment. Your child will be able to respond in his or her most appropriate modality (oral, signed language, picture system, or augmentative communication device) and use appropriate accommodations that have been documented by the Individual Educational Plan (IEP) team.

  • All Test Administrators (TAs) who administer the WY-ALT must be an employee of a district, hold a license/certificate/permit issued by the PTSB, and be trained in WY-ALT administration. Persons selected to be Second Scorers must also hold a license/certificate/permit issued by the PTSB and be trained in WY-ALT administration.

  • The decision about a student’s participation in the WY-ALT must NOT be made on the basis of the student’s “perceived probability” of poor achievement on the general assessment. As many students as possible should participate in the general assessment.

  • No, opting out of state tests required by law is not allowed. In the spring of 2014, the WDE requested an opinion from the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office regarding parent opt outs from state-mandated testing (e.g. WY-ALT, WY-TOPP, and ACT). The following is part of the AG’s response:

    “In summary, the State Board of Education is authorized to establish the statewide accountability system pursuant to state law, including the Wyoming Accountability in Education Act. It has promulgated rules that require districts to administer the relevant assessments to all students in the appropriate grade levels. These requirements are within the authority granted to the board by the legislature. Consequently, districts may not allow students or their parents to opt them out of the assessments provided by law.”

  • No. All students are required by federal and state law to participate in statewide testing.

  • No. If a student can participate in any part of the general assessment, then he or she should take the entire general assessment with accommodations as needed. As many students as possible should participate in the general assessment.


  • If you need to change a user’s role, you must delete and then re-add that user with the new role. Use the View/Edit Users page to search for and delete the user. Next, use the Add User or Upload Users page to re-add the user with the new role. For additional information, refer to the TIDE User Guide.

  • Yes. You can compose a list of users in an Excel file, and then upload that file to TIDE. You can add users only to those districts or schools with which you are associated. (For example, if you are associated with School A, then you can add users only to School A, not to School B.) The TIDE User Guide contains instructions for composing the upload file.

  • Yes. Personnel who administer assessments to students in multiple schools must have an account associated with each school. In addition, a user may be associated with multiple schools and have a different role for each school. For example, John Smith with username may have a View Only role in School A and a Building Coordinator role in School B. You can use the same username (email address) to associate the user with multiple schools. Use the Add User task to re-add that user to TIDE with the same (or a different) role for each school needed. Alternatively, use the Upload Users task to add a user to multiple schools; include a row in the upload file for each school to which you want to add the user. For additional information, refer to the TIDE User Guide.

  • You can use the View/Edit Students task to search for student records and export the list of results. The TIDE User Guide contains instructions for exporting student records.

FAQ - TrainingTraining

  • TA Certifications will be uploaded in TIDE by February 16, 2018. 

  • This year, all Spring 2018 Test Administrators and Second Scorers must attend one of the WY-ALT trainings, even if they administered the test in the past. If you attended a full day training last year as well as administered the test last year and feel comfortable administering in 2018, you can attend one of the four in-person half-day refresher trainings, rather than the full day training.

    If you have a conflict and cannot attend any of the in-person trainings, there is also the opportunity to attend a refresher training webinar. All TAs and SSs who attend a refresher training webinar must sign-in under their individual log-in information, for attendance verification purposes.

    Going forward, TAs and SSs will need to take the full day training at least once every four years, or when the WY-ALT assessment changes, and take the refresher course annually.

  • Full Day Trainings Required for New TAs and SSs*
    Monday, January 8 in Sheridan from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
    Tuesday, January 9 in Riverton from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
    Friday, January 12 in Green River from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
    Wednesday, January 24 in Cheyenne from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

    Half-Day Refresher Trainings for Experienced TAs and SSs*
    Wednesday, January 10 in Riverton from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    Wednesday, January 10 in Riverton from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
    Thursday, January 25 in Cheyenne from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    Thursday, January 25 in Cheyenne from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

    Refresher Training Webinars for Experienced TAs and SSs* (if unable to attend any in-person)
    Tuesday, January 30 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
    Thursday, February 1 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

  • No. Training locations have limited capacities, so Test Administrators may only register for one date. Duplicate registrations will be deleted.

  • Check your spam or junk mail folder. If you still cannot find your confirmation email, contact the Help Desk at

FAQ - Independent Field TestIndependent Field Test

  • Next year, WY-ALT is moving to an online alternate assessment. The IFT is an opportunity for Test Administrators and students to experience the online test delivery system while also providing valuable data for future statistical use. This year, because the IFT is a field test, students will not receive scores by participating. Next year, all students will take the online test as the Operational Field Test (unless paper accommodations are requested). Students will receive scores after next year's standard setting. The IFT will be administered April 9-27, 2018.

  • Schools have a three week window during which they will have the opportunity to administer the IFT: April 9 – 27.

    The IFT will be administered online. The student will take the IFT using a device (computer or tablet) with the Secure Browser installed. The Secure Browser can be downloaded from the Portal and is the same browser used for the WYTOPP assessment. The Technology Coordinator is responsible for installing the Secure Browser on all devices used to administer the IFT to the student.

    The TA will use a separate device (computer or tablet) with a browser to start and monitor the test session via the Test Administrator Interface. Throughout test sign-in and administration, the TA can assist the student in navigating and entering responses. The student will be administered 10 questions in each content area for their grade. The responses do not need to be submitted into the Data Entry Interface because the IFT will not be scored.

  • Yes. Students will be tested in the same content areas as they are for the WY-ALT. For example, a Grade 5 student will take the ELA and mathematics IFT, whereas a Grade 4 student will take the ELA, mathematics, and science IFT.

  • Yes. All students eligible for the WY-ALT must take the IFT.

  • Yes. The student is still required to take the IFT.

  • For this year’s IFT, the WY-ALT trainings will provide access.

  • No, the TA who administered the paper WY-ALT does not need to be the same TA that administers the IFT. However, the IFT TA should be familiar with the student, since alternate assessment students respond best to teachers who are familiar to them.

  • No. Second Scorers will not be needed. 

  • Yes, assistants who are needed for behavioral, medical, or emotional support are allowed to be present during testing, just as they can for the paper WY-ALT administration.

  • No. There are no practice tests available for the IFT. Instead, please review the WY-ALT IFT TA User Guide, WY-ALT IFT Quick Start Guide, and WY-ALT Introduction to the IFT for guidance on accessing and administering the IFT.

  • No. You can administer the IFT over multiple days and pause testing at any time, just like you can for the WY-ALT.

  • The TA Interface can be accessed through the Portal and the Student Interface can be accessed through the Secure Browser. The Technology Coordinator will first need to download the Secure Browser from the Portal and install it on all devices the student will use for testing.

  • Yes, the Secure Browser used for the IFT is the same Secure Browser used for the WY-TOPP. The WY-TOPP is administered through the same test delivery system as the WY-ALT IFT.

  • Any kind of tablet, including non-Apple products, can be used for the IFT. Be aware that iPad minis should not be used, because these screens do not display the test well (images are compressed, response options and additional images or text for reading passages are easy to read).

  • Test Adminstrators can choose to select all tests initially or one test at a time. If you are unable to complete all the tests in one session, you can go back into the Test Administrator interface at the start of the next test session and re-select the tests that need to be completed.

  • Yes, a TA can test two students at once. Please make sure, however, that the students cannot hear or see each other’s testing devices.

  • Yes, students take all 10 questions per content area. However, if a student does not respond to one of the questions, the TA can skip the question and select the “Next” button.

    The TA and student can also take breaks, if 10 questions are too much for the student to handle in one session. The IFT can be taken over days, just as with the paper WY-ALT assessment.

  • Yes, all students of all ability levels will start testing at the same place in the IFT because the items will be randomized. Some items will be difficult and some items will be very easy, regardless of their sequence in the test.

  • The following Test Settings and Tools are available for the IFT: TTS Tracking, Permissive Mode, Zoom, Color Choices, and Print on Demand. These Test Settings can only be set in the TA Interface. Please note that the Test Settings and Tools in TIDE only apply to WY-TOPP.

    Text-to-Speech is required for the IFT and is automatically turned on.

  • Once you begin testing in the Student Interface, you will see ear icons in every item that appear as a blue circle with the image of an ear inside. Click on the ear buttons and they will instantly read aloud the text seen on the screen.

    If you do not see the ear icons, please make sure you have the audio working on the student’s device and that you have a voice pack installed. If you are using Windows, you can download the Julie Voice Pack from TIDE.

    If you verified the audio, installed the voice pack, and still do not see the TTS check or ear icons, there may be a problem with your computer's audio card. Please speak with your Technology Coordinator.

  • The IFT will read the test aloud to the student with Text-to-Speech (TTS). TTS replaces the role of the paper WY-ALT scribe. Next year, human voice audio will replace TTS, so the audio will sound cleaner. If a TA has a student who may not react well to the computer audio, the TA can listen to the TTS and then repeat it aloud for the student.

  • No. TAs will need to listen to the audio, because some response options will have “hidden text,” meaning there is more audio text included with a response option. For example, you may see a response option that contains a picsym for "happy," but TTS will say "The girl is happy." You will need to hear the full response option text in order for students to make an appropriate response selection.

    If a student does not react well to computer audio voices or TTS, TAs are welcome to listen to the TTS using headphones and repeat what was said aloud to the student.

  • TAs can assist their student in navigating the Student Interface and entering responses. All students must participate in the IFT. Beginning in 2019, however, students who are not able to interact with the technology can use paper accommodations.

  • The IFT will have switch capability and eye gaze capability. Please ensure that Permissive Mode is turned on under Test Settings in the Student Interface.

  • You can use the Print-on-Demand tool to print the item’s response options, which you can texturize. Make sure you securely destroy print-outs after testing. The IFT will also include Text-to-Speech, so the test will be read aloud to the student.

    Next year, you can request a fixed form and paper response options for students who are blind or have vision impairments.

  • To return to a previous item on the IFT, click on the gray box in the top left corner of the screen and type in the password, which is the student’s first name. The global menu will appear. The global menu includes navigation buttons allowing the TA and student to return to previous items.

  • Click the gray box at the top left corner of the screen in the Student Interface and type in the password, which is the student’s first name. The global menu will appear. If you have navigated through all 10 items on the test, the “End Test” button will appear in the global menu. Select the “End Test” button.

    The global menu password is not case-sensitive.

  • The paper test is moving to only online. Beginning in spring 2019, AIR will provide paper response options to those students who need paper accommodations.

FAQ - OrdersOrders

  • TIDE was preloaded with WY-ALT TA Kit order quantities based on a 1:4 (kit:student) ratio derived from the number of students pre-identified as taking the WY-ALT during the initial pre-ID window (October 3 – November 28, 2017).

  • TA Kits are intended for use with multiple students. There will not be an order for every student pre-identified. Your order will include one TA Kit for every four students pre-identified per grade band.

    Second Scorers will not receive a second TA Kit.

  • Yes. Please ensure that quantities of TA Kits reflect actual need, and reduce pre-loaded quantities if needed. If your order quantity is insufficient or excessive, Test Coordinators can adjust the order in TIDE during the Initial Order Window. Any additional quantities requested are subject to review and approval by the Wyoming Department of Education

  • WY-ALT initial orders will arrive in schools February 12, 2018. 

  • Only one shipping address will be permitted for the WY-ALT. Test Coordinators can view their school's shipping address in TIDE’s On-time (Initial) Orders page. Test Coordinators can change their school's shipping address by contacting the Help Desk at or 1.888.897.8024.

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