Student Achievement Module FAQ

General

What is SAM?
(posted 5/17/22)
SAM is the new Student Achievement Module housed within TCS. The module will be used to collect various credentials earned by students; however only information pertaining to the Seal of Biliteracy will be collected for the 2021-22 school year. 

In the future, what additional credentials will be collected in SAM? How LEA's prepare their Student Information System? 
(posted 4/19/22)
The Record Layout has been designed to allow scalability while minimizing updates on the LEA end. Additional Codes will be added to the following fields as SAM expands, however the field length will remain the same. This is a similar process to when new codes are added to other existing fields in CSDE applications.
  • Credential Category/Series – one potential area of expansion is the collection of various types of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications. Currently only the Seal of Biliteracy code is accepted, which is why only one code is listed in Table C.
  • Credential/Test Vendor – this code list will be dependent on what is added to the Credential Category/Series
  • Credential Specialization – the codes that pertain to the Seal of Biliteracy all begin with “BL” and are followed by a three-digit number. The same convention will be used for future codes, for example, prefixing automotive codes with “AU.”

The module validation will then be updated as needed, such as only allowing Credential Specialization Codes that begin with “BL” when Credential Category/Series is the Biliteracy Code “BC001.” Three reserved fields are also built into the layout should any additional expansion be needed.

Does SAM need to be certified? (posted 6/3/22)
Yes – there is a Certify page within the SAM module.

Who should certify SAM? (posted 6/3/22)
As with all other applications and Administrator holding an 092 or 093 should complete Certification.

Seal of Biliteracy Questions
General

When will the collection be open? What is the deadline? (posted 4/19/22)
The collection is anticipated to open in May and the deadline for completion in September. Exact dates will be announced once the module is ready to open.

How/when can a role be assigned to access this module? (posted 4/19/22)
This module will not have a separate role in Directory Manager. Those that currently have the TCS User role will automatically have access to SAM. 

Can an individual other than the current TCS Application Manager(s) complete this upload? (posted 3/21/22)
Yes. Your LEA Security Manager for Directory Manager can assign additional TCS User roles to those who will be responsible for this module. Note that those with the TCS User role will have access to both the TCS application and the Student Achievement Module.

Will there be training? (updated 5/17/22)
Yes - however the new module will operate the same as the existing TCS upload. LEA's can extract data directly from their Student Information System or build a file from a template.

Training information is always emailed to those with the TCS User role and posted on the Training page.

What information will be collected? (updated 4/19/22)
Records pertaining to the Connecticut State Seal of Biliteracy will be collected in the 2021-22 collection. See the Record Layout for more details.

Did my LEA report data last year? (posted 5/17/22)
See the Seal of Biliteracy 2020-2021 Participating Districts page for a list.

If my LEA is not on the list does that mean we do not have to report this year? (posted 5/18/22)
No - Please contact your Director of World Languages, Director of Multilingual Learners or Director of Bilingual Programs to see if any students attempted to earn Seal of Biliteracy in your LEA. If there were any attempts those records must be reported regardless of if your LEA reported records last year.

Who reported data from my district last year? (posted 5/17/22)
Please contact your Director of World Languages, Director of Multilingual Learners or Director of Bilingual Programs for more information on 2020-2021 reporting.

Which LEA’s should report data in this collection? (updated 5/18/22)
Every district with a high school should offer the opportunity for students to earn the Seal of Biliteracy – however this is not the case, so all may not report this year. Please contact your Director of World Languages, Director of Multilingual Learners or Director of Bilingual Programs to see if any students attempted to earn Seal of Biliteracy in your LEA.

When the collection is open additional guidance surrounding the Seal itself will be sent to clarify the requirements. The intent of the SDE is not to admonish LEA’s who do not currently offer the Seal. In addition, we understand this year’s data may have some inaccuracies since it is the first year the data will be collected set the student record level.

Which Records to Report

Should LEA’s wait until a student earns the Seal before reporting their record? (i.e.  they passed the test, but not yet completed the English language component) (posted 6/3/22)

All students who took the test should be reported regardless of their English Language component status. Once they graduate SDE will know that portion has been fulfilled, and we capture that information via TCS and PSIS.

If a single-part test is given more than once, should all attempts be reported? (posted 4/19/22)
Yes. each attempt should be reported.

Should all attempts be reported if a LEA does not award the Seal of Biliteracy to any students? (posted 4/19/22)
Yes

Some tests are multi-part, does the SDE want records for each part? (posted 4/19/22)
No. Once all parts are administered the overall outcome should be reported.

If a student takes two different tests for a single language should both be reported? (posted 4/19/22)
Yes. Each outcome should be reported.

Should a student graduating June 2022 be reported if they passed their test in a prior school year? (updated 6/1/22)
No. Only report tests that took place this current school year (July 1, 2021- June 30, 2022). Students taking a Seal of Biliteracy test should be reported regardless of grade level.

Testing

What if our LEA uses a test not listed? (posted 5/17/22)
The Credential/Test Vendor field is optional for 2021-22; however please contact Keryn Felder with information on the test your LEA uses so the code list can be expanded as needed.

 
The Seal

Is there an actual “sticker” LEA’s should be affixing to a diploma? (posted 5/17/22)
There are several options for districts:

  1. SDE provides a digital Seal of Biliteracy which districts can download and add to diplomas.
  2. The Connecticut Council of Language Teaches (CT COLT) sells Seal stickers for $1 each. Districts are more than welcome to select that option, but CT COLT is not in partnership with the SDE, and districts are not REQUIRED to go this route. Note that CT COLT may request information about the recipients in order to purchase the Seals. This option should be used at the district’s discretion. 
  3. LEA’s can use the SDE Seal of Biliteracy image to create an embosser or stamp that the district can apply to the recipient’s diploma. 

If there is a physical sticker but a test score is finalized after graduation how does student get their sticker? (posted 5/17/22)
LEA’s are encouraged to administer tests that will yield results before graduation so that students can be acknowledged for their achievement. However, if there are late results LEA’s can ensure that the Seal is noted on the student’s transcript. The LEA can also opt to add the stamp if the student brings in the diploma once results are received.