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Performance Tracker allows you to upload STAAR and SIRS (Student Information Retrieval Service) files, generate SIRS files, and generate precode files. Performance Tracker also includes the option to generate a Precode File that includes the X and Y for the inclusion of Large Print and Oral Administration. 

 How do I upload STAAR or SIRS Data Files

Select the test results file, then select Upload Data.

A new window will open.  Click Choose File and browse to where the saved the data files are stored.  

Next, select the year and grade level of the file being uploaded from the Data Set drop-down menu.  For the file to process correctly, the correct data set needs to be selected.

Next, select the type of file being uploaded from the Data Type drop-down menu.

  • Post Testing is the .txt score files that are posted after testing and can be downloaded from ETS according to the dates on the TEA Calendar of Events
  • Post SIRS is the .txt files that are downloaded from ETS once a SIRS file has been uploaded (typically available within 24-48 hours after the SIRS file has been uploaded)

After all of the selections have been made, click Upload.  NOTE:  When EOC data files are uploaded, Performance Tracker will pull in the cumulative test data records.

 How do I know what data set to choose for Performance Tracker?

How Do I Know What Data Set to Choose for Performance Tracker?

SIRS files and Score reporting files are named in a way that will identify the year the data is associated with.  For example:

The first string of numbers is the district ID.  The second string is the date the SIRS request was submitted (or the date it comes back from ETS).  The E is for EOC (STAAR will have an S)  and the next 4 digits are the important ones.  The first 2 are the admin (13=fall, 15=spring, 16=summer) the last 2 are the year.  For example:

Important here is the last 2 digits in that 4 digit number, that’s the year. This indicates the data type selection that needs to be made when uploading the file into TestHound.

 What happens after I upload a STAAR or SIRS file?

After the file has been uploaded, a table will appear with the status of the file.  Initially, the status will be "received" and when complete will change to "processed".  The table will also indicate Valid records (records where test data was successfully matched) and Failed records (records where data was unable to be matched).

 After the file has completed processing, a new table will appear with the names of students for whom test data has been associated.  

Initially, 5 students will be shown.  You may search for a student by typing in the local ID or to view additional students, choose 10, 25, or All from the View drop‐down menu.

By choosing Select next to a student’s name a table will appear displayed the test data by subject or EOC course associated with the student.

If a student did not have a score code of "S" the cell with the student data will now reflect the score code that was assigned to the student and the box will be highlighted gray. For instance, a student with a score code of "A" will have SC-A displayed, or a score code of "O" will be displayed as SC-O.


The DTC has the option to include the substitute assessment exclusion information for the students that is captured in the data file. If chosen, the exclusion of substitute assessment will be added for those students.

 What is a failed lookup and how do I update it?

A failed lookup is the result of a failed association between the PEIMS ID in the data file uploaded and the PEIMS ID in the demographic file submitted by the district.  The most common reason this occurs is that the PEIMS ID may be inaccurate in one of the two files or the student is no longer enrolled in the district and the student's data is not being submitted via the demographic file.

 To update failed lookups, select the Validate Failed Lookups icon.

A list of students with failed lookups will appear.  If you know the student’s local ID you may type it in the text box and click GO to associate the test data to the student.


 How can I delete a file that has been uploaded and why would it be done?

The file can be deleted along with the associated scores if it was uploaded improperly.  To do so, select the Delete File and Scores button.

A new window will open stating that if the file is deleted it will also delete associated scores data.  If you wish to proceed select Submit.

 How can I generate a SIRS File and what do I do with it?

Performance Tracker will allow the creation of a SIRS (Student Information Retrieval Service) file that will capture test history for students who tested outside of your district. 

Prior to generating a SIRS file, download the 7-zip utility to open the encrypted file. (7-zip only works on PCs.  Mac users will need to install a program such as KEKA)

Navigate to the following web address to download the free 7-zip utility program:  www.7-zip.org

Once at the website, a table at the top of the web page will appear with the choices below:

If unsure of the type that should be downloaded, select the link for the 32-bit version.  Once the 7-zip utility is installed, return to TestHound.

**Before generating a SIRS file, all student alerts should be accepted at the campus level to ensure all students are at the correct campus and all new students have been processed.**

 To generate a SIRS file select Generate SIRS.

A new window will open prompting you to create a password that can be used to open the encrypted zip folder that will be sent to you.  The password must be a minimum of 12 characters and consist of only numbers or letters.  Once you have typed in the password select Generate.

When the file has been downloaded right-click or in Chrome select the arrow to the right of the file name, then choose Show in a folder.

The Downloads folder will open and the zipped folder titled SIRS_ [District ID] _[Date] will appear.

Right-click on the zipped SIRS folder and choose 7-Zip > Extract files.

A new window will open prompting the selection of a location where the files will be extracted and to enter the password that was created when generating the file in TestHound.  Next, select OK.

The window below will open indicating when the files have been extracted.  When the process is complete, select Close.

A new folder will appear within the designated location.  Open the folder and within there will be two files.

The first file will be the pre-formatted SIRS file that can be submitted to ETS to retrieve test data for students.  The second file SIRS_[District ID]_Date_errors contains records indicating students whose data could not be matched to a PEIMS ID in the demographics file being submitted by the district.

 How can I generate a precode file?

Performance Tracker will allow the generation of a registration file that is uploaded to ETS to receive precoded answer documents as well as registering students for online tests with their embedded supports.  Test format (paper versus online), as well as online embedded supports, are generated based on the accommodation data entered in TestHound for students.  When accommodations or versions are updated in TestHound, the precode report can be generated immediately afterward to reflect those changes.

To extract the precode file from TestHound, download the 7-zip utility to open the encrypted file.   (7-zip only works on PCs.  Mac users will need to install a program such as KEKA)

Navigate to the following web address to download the free 7-zip utility program:  www.7-zip.org


Once at the website, a table at the top of the web page will appear with the choices below:

If unsure of the type that should be downloaded, select the link for the 32-bit version.  Once the 7-zip utility is installed, return to TestHound.


Prior to generating a precode file, students will need to be added to test sessions for them to be included in the file.  Students do not have to be assigned to testing rooms only added to the test sessions to be included when the precode file is created.  Student alerts and Auto Pilot alerts should also be accepted to be sure all information is up to date before running the precode file.


Once students have been added to test sessions, to generate a precode file select Precode File.

The page will refresh and you can select Request Precode in order to generate the precode file.

Select the test administration and format (EOC vs 3-8) for the file needing to be created. In order to include the X and Y for Large Print and Oral Administrations, select the checkbox. By selecting Archive Precode Data, this will allow the precode file to be archived and then used as a comparison for changes that need to be made to the answer document.  Once appropriate selections have been made, choose Request.


After the file has been requested, a new window will open indicating that the file is being generated. Files are processed in a queue and the length of time to generate the file depends on the size of the district and the number of requests ahead of the file in the system. As soon as the file is ready to be downloaded, an email will be sent to the user requesting the file. Select Close and resume normal activities of the system while the file generates.

When the email is received with the notification of the precode file being ready, select Performance Tracker > Precode Files. A window will appear with the files that have been requested. Select the Download Precode File () icon next to the appropriate file.

A new window will open requesting a 12 character password and select Download to receive the file. This password will be used to open the encrypted file.

When the file has been downloaded right-click or in Chrome select the arrow to the right of the file name, then choose Show in a folder.  Open the Downloads folder on your computer to access the file.

When in the Downloads folder a zipped folder titled Precode_ [District ID] _[Date] should appear.

Right-click on the zipped SIRS folder and choose 7-Zip > Extract files.

A new window will open prompting the selection of a location where the files will be extracted and to enter the password that was created when generating the file in TestHound.  Next, select OK.

The window below will open indicating when the files have been extracted.  When the process is complete, select Close.

A new folder will appear within the designated location.  Open the folder and within there will be two files.

The first file will be the precode file that can be submitted to ETS to register students for testing.  The second file Precode_[District ID]_Date_errors contains records indicating students who have incomplete data in the demographics file being submitted by the district and can be used to clean up the data being received through the demographic file.

 What if I need to manually edit the precode file?

Once the precode file is generated it can be opened and manually edited as needed.

PLEASE NOTE when the precode file is opened to make changes, any leading zeros will be dropped if they are present within columns in Excel.  Those leading zeros will need to be added back if any are removed in order for the file to successfully process.

Please follow the steps below as needed to return any leading zeros:

Highlight the entire column that contains data where leading zeros would need to be added

Right-click in the highlighted area and choose Format Cells

In the Category, select Custom

In the Type section, the word General will be in a text box, and also highlighted underneath

Click inside the text box (NOT the field with the items listed), delete out the word General and type in as many zeros as the field should contain

  • For a PEIMS ID, you would type nine zeros (000000000)
  • For a (TX) District ID, you would put in six zeroes (000000)
  • For a TX Campus ID, it would be 3 zeros (000)

Once the updates are completed, save your document as .csv and then proceed with uploading the file for student registration.

 How do I use the EOC Tracker Report?

I. Accessing the EOC Tracker- District Management

Step 1. From District Management, click on the Students Tab

Step 2. The link to the EOC Tracker is in the upper right hand corner of the Student Tab Table

II. Filtering Students


Filtering Directions

Filtering a group of students can be done with a variety of options.

The district has the option to Filter and Export All Students, or All Students served by a program, or Select a Campus, choose from Grade, Program, and get a more specific list of students.


Step 1: Select a campus

Step 2: Select a grade level or leave at Select to Show All Students

Step 3: Select from the different programs (SPED, LEP, 504, GT) to filter out students in the special programs

Step 4: If wanting to view the students that have failed or are missing an EOC, check this box.

Step 5: The filter can be used at any time after any of the selections are made.  All boxes do not have to be populated to be able to filter.  (Ex.  If only wanting to view students served by Sped, just use the Program filter and select Filter)

Step 6: Any filtered view can also be exported to Excel


III. Title Bar Filtering


Multiple filters can be done. 

Click on the Title (Sped) and a list will be generated that brings all of the Sped Students to the top, if you select Sped again, it will re-sort them to the bottom of the list. 

The LEP option can then be selected to bring to the top, students that are Sped and LEP. 

The tests can also be sorted to show blanks at the top, to indicate a missing score/test.

 Can I mass Upload Exclusions?

I. Accessing the Upload Exclusion feature

 Step 1. From the District Management Screen, Click on Performance Tracker.

Step 2. Click on Exclusion Files in the upper right corner.

II. Creating a template to upload-it is helpful to name your files uniquely so they are easily identifiable later.

Step 3. Download the template and populate with necessary fields

Exclusion_Template.csv

ExclusionTemplate Description.xlsx


Step 4. Or in an Excel Spreadsheet, create the column headers- (this is beneficial if a spreadsheet has already been created for some fields).

DistrictID

StudentID

Grade

Course

Exclusion

Date

Note

III. Column Header-no spaces in the header titles

IV. Field Descriptions


Column Definitions



DistrictID

Required; State defined six-digit DistrictID, no dashes or spaces

StudentID

Required; District's local StudentID; 1-10 digits in length, no dashes or spaces-please NO PEIMS IDs

Grade

Optional; integer values 3-12; [Note: required for STAAR exclusions]

Course

Required; allowed values: A1, BI, E1, E2, US

Exclusion


Required; allowed values: ALT2, ARD, CBE, E1 LEP, FEX, IGC, OS/PS, SA,WVR20

Date

Optional; allowed format mm/dd/yyyy; represents the date of the exclusion

Note

Optional; description or notes concerning the exclusion; 500 characters maximum

Courses


A1

Algebra I

BI

Biology

E1

English I

E2

English II

US

U.S. History

Exclusions



ALT2

STAAR Alternate 2

ARD

EOC ARD Exempt – Special Education

CBE

Credit-by-Exam (CBE)

E1 LEP

English I Special Provision – LEP (Limited English Proficient)

FEX

Foreign Exchange

IGC

IGC – Individual Graduation Committee

OS/PS

Out of State or Private School

SA

Substitute Assessment

WVR20

Waived-CVD 19



 V. Upload the Data

Step 1. Save the spreadsheet as a CSV (Comma-delimited-.csv) Note to Mac users: When saving the file, instead of choosing Save As CSV (Comma delimited), there should be an option for CSV UTF-8 (Comma delimited).  Saving it with that format will prevent upload errors associated with the file format.

Step 2. Click on the Upload Exclusions link.

Step 3. Upload the .CSV file

Step 4. When clicking on a student’s name, go to the Student Details Page (under Campus Management), the contents of the file will be applied to each student contained in the file.

Step 5. After uploading the file, check for errors and duplicates by clicking on the Upload Exclusions button.  Then the pencil beside the uploaded file.  A list of duplicate records and invalid student IDs will be listed below.

Errors

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 How do I register students for the BOY assessments?

Registering students for the BOY assessments is much like registering them for the STAAR assessments using the Precode option in Performance Tracker. 

Students must be registered for tests according to their current grade level for this assessment.  The state testing vendor will then adjust the grade level of test down one level to give the student access to the level of test they would have taken last year.  Campuses will assign students to tests in their current grade and once they have done that, you can use the Precode link on the Performance Tracker page to pull the precode file for that administration.  No adjustment is needed on your part, it will happen at the vendor level.

EOC students can be added to the test they need to take, no adjustment will be made by the vendor. 9th graders will need to be added to the BOY 3-8 admin at the campus level in the 9th grade assessments we created for this purpose.  This will ensure they get the 8th grade assessments from last year. To ensure the 9th graders get registered, be sure to run a precode 3-8 file for that BOY 3-8 admin.

The precode file can be generated after the campuses have assigned all students who are testing to their respective tests. Please refer to the Performance Tracker help tab question "How can I generate a precode file" for directions.

Please refer to TEA's guidance for BOY assessments here : TEA’s FAQ https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/covid/covid19-optional-beginning-of-year-assessments.pdf


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