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Frequently Asked Questions about General Information

What is the WY-TOPP assessment?

WY-TOPP stands for Wyoming’s Test of Proficiency and Progress. WY-TOPP is a computer-adaptive assessment system, administered online, which is aligned to Wyoming Content and Performance Standards in English language arts, Mathematics, and Science. WY-TOPP includes Interim, Modular, and Summative assessments which are administered during a series of test windows scheduled during the school year to gauge student progress toward proficiency on grade-level, state standards.

What is the WY-ALT assessment?

Wyoming’s Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (WY-ALT) will be administered for the sixith time in Spring 2021. The WY-ALT is an assessment aligned to the Wyoming Extended Content and Performance Standards which allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in an appropriately rigorous assessment. Students in grades 3-10 are tested in English language arts and Mathematics. Additionally, students in grades 4, 8, and 10 are tested in Science.

Do any of the WY-TOPP assessments have combined scoring?

Yes, all WY-TOPP Interim and Summative ELA assessments for grade 3, 5, 7, and 9 have combined scoring as there is a reading and writing portion to these tests. For the Summative ELA assessment, both components must be submitted for the score to report in Centralized Reporting.

For the Interim ELA assessment, a score will be provided for the completion of both reading and writing components or completion of just the reading component (without writing). ELA assessments submitted with both components will be provided a combined ELA score in Centralized Reporting upon completion. ELA assessments submitted without the writing component will be provided a reading score in Centralized Reporting at the end of the test window. Note, ELA assessments submitted without the reading component will not be provided a score in Centralized Reporting.

Who determines eligibility for the WY-ALT?

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

In which grades and content areas will WY-ALT be tested?

The WY-ALT is administered to students on grade-level in grades 3-10. All students are assessed in English language arts and Mathematics. Students in grades 4, 8, and 10 are also assessed in Science.

When and how will the WY-ALT be administered?

Schools have a seven-week window during which they will have the opportunity to administer the WY-ALT: March 2 – April 23, 2021. 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 a test at any point within the test window.

The test is provided online and administered one-on-one, Test Administrator (TA) to student. The student will take the WY-ALT using a device (computer or tablet) with the Secure Browser installed.

The TA will use a separate device (computer or tablet) to start and monitor the test session via the Test Administrator Interface. Throughout test administration, the TA can assist the student in navigating and entering responses.

Who can administer the WY-ALT?

All Test Administrators (TA) who administer the WY-ALT must be an employee of a district, hold a license/certificate/permit issued by the PTSB, take the online TA Certification Course, and attend a Spring 2020 WY-ALT TA Training.

Should students who are not expected to do well on the general assessment (WY-TOPP) participate in the alternate assessment (WY-ALT)?

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.

Can parents opt their child(ren) out of required state tests such as WY-TOPP?

No. Opting-out of state tests required by law is not allowed. In the Spring of 2014, 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). 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.”

Can districts exempt students who choose not to respond from testing?

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

Can students participate in the general assessment (WY-TOPP) in one content area (e.g., mathematics) and participate in the alternate assessment (WY-ALT) in another content area (e.g., ELA)?

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.