Frequently Asked Questions (updated 4/16/19)

  • How are Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES World Languages Examinations written?

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    All exams produced by Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES are aligned to the NYSED Regents LOTE Curriculum and maintain a scaffolded approach to content. This was done to replicate the format and thoroughness of the former Regents LOTE Examination in the testing of the four language skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Culture is embedded in our examination via the reading selections, listening narratives, and authentic realia. In recent years, we have begun to incorporate more questions involving the interpretive mode stemming from the ACTFL standards: interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational.

    Teachers who have been selected to write questions are experienced teachers who currently teach the level for which they are writing. These selected teachers are well known for their professional integrity and language proficiency.

    Examinations are compiled from a pool of items that have been created by the aforementioned teachers. Team Leaders are retired teachers and experts in the field. Team Leaders have no vested interest in the results of the examinations.

    Complete data analysis has been done on all previous administrations of our exams. This data is used to identify negative question discrimination, faulty answer distractors, and general question difficulty. Each exam question is reviewed by a panel of veteran language teachers and heritage speakers to assess validity, reliability, and authenticity.  

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  • How are the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES World Languages examinations structured?

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    Please visit our Exam Information page to learn more.

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  • What are the Terms of Administration for schools who wish to administer our examination?

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    Please refer to the Terms of Administration document found on the Important Documents page. Any school who wishes to order our examinations must agree to comply with these terms.

     

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  • What is the difference between Checkpoint A and Checkpoint B examinations?

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    Checkpoint A examinations are typically administered to students in middle school. If a student enrolled in middle school has passed two years of study in a World Language course (or one year of study in an advanced World Language course) AND the student passes a Checkpoint A examination, the student will have earned a high school course credit in World Languages, thus achieving the minimum high school graduation requirement of earning a single unit of credit in the target language. 

    Checkpoint B examinations are typically administered to students after completing a total of three units of study in the target language. Students who have passed these course and who have passed a Checkpoint B examination will have met the World Language requirement for an advanced regents diploma. 

    Students may take a Pathways-approved examination independent of its associated coursework if approved by the building principal, however, in this scenario the examination could only be used to meet examination requirements for graduation. In this scenario, our examination could not used as a traditional Checkpoint B examination for the purpose of meeting criteria to earn an advanced regents diploma.

    Please refer to the LOTE FAQ document released on November 2018 by the NYS OBEWL for further information.

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  • Are Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES Checkpoint B examinations approved for the 4+1 Pathways?

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    Yes.

    On March 28, 2018 NYSED announced the approval of the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison Checkpoint B examinations in Chinese, French, Italian, and Spanish for use in the Multiple Pathways to Graduation program. 

    In March, 2019 we received a letter from NYSED notifying us that our American Sign Language Checkpoint B examination was approved for use in the Multiple Pathways to Graduation program as well.

    A complete list of the LOTE examinations approved by NYSED for use in the Multiple Pathways to Graduation program can be found here. All Checkpoint B examinations created by Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES are approved.

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  • What is Multiple (4+1) Pathways to Graduation?

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    According to the NYSED web page for Multiple Pathways:

     

    The New York State Board of Regents approved regulations establishing multiple, comparably rigorous assessment pathways to graduation for all students.  Multiple pathways recognize the importance of engaging students in rigorous and relevant academic programs. The recently approved regulations recognize students’ interests in the Arts, Biliteracy, Career/Technical Education, Humanities and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by allowing an approved pathway assessment to meet the students’ graduation requirements.

     

    Found on the Frequently Asked Questions page of the New York State Education Department’s Multiple Pathways web page, 4+1 Pathways is further described:

     

    Students who first enter grade nine in September 2011 and thereafter or who are otherwise eligible to graduate in June 2015 or thereafter, have the following options available in order to meet the assessment requirements leading to a Regents or Local diploma:

    ⬛ 
    Pass four (4)
    required Regents examinations or Department Approved Alternatives as follows: ELA Regents exam, 1 math Regents exam, 1 science Regents exam, 1 social studies Regents exam.

    ⬛ Plus any one (1) of the following options:

          [other options removed]

          Pass a Department approved pathway assessment in a Language other than English (LOTE)

     

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  • Are the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES examinations available to schools across New York State?

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    Yes.

    Exam orders should be submitted as soon as possible so that we have enough time to print and ship the exams to your school district. Soft order deadlines are in place as follows:

    January examinations: November 1
    June examinations: March 1

    Orders received after the deadlines stated above will be processed based on our ability to fulfill them. 

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  • Where can I find samples of the examinations?

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    Please visit our Released Exams page to find a sample examination for each language at both the Checkpoint A and Checkpoint B levels.

    Each examination from January 2016 onward will also be released as a Computer Based Assessment in the Buzz Learning Management System. Schools that order our examinations will receive access to preview these released examinations. An additional subscription to the Buzzz LMS is required to administer these examinations to students. Please contact Greg Smith at gsmith@oneida-boces.org for more information on subscriptions to Buzz.

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  • What is Buzz?

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    Buzz is arguably the most powerful Learning Management System currently available for use in an educational setting. For our World Languages Examinations, we are currently using Buzz to provide teachers and administrators access to all of the materials associated with our examinations in a  centralized location.

    Most importantly, Buzz will be the ONLY location in which schools can access: digital versions of our Part 1: Conversation/Roleplay tasks, practice conversation/roleplay tasks, released examinations in CBT format, and the scoring key for our examinations each January and June.

    For more information on Buzz, please visit this section of our website.

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  • When will the examination be administered?

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    Our examinations will be administered each January and June.

    In January, we require schools to administer our Checkpoint B examinations concurrent with the Algebra I Regents examination. In June, our Checkpoint A and B examinations must be administered on the date recommended by the New York State Education Department. This information is available on the New York State Regents Examination schedule.

    To protect the security of our examinations, we do NOT allow school districts to determine their own date and time of administration. 

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  • Are there any pre-qualifications for students to take the exam?

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    Yes and no.

    For school districts that intend to use our exams as a local final: We do not require specific coursework to prepare students for our examinations, however, we do recommend that students be enrolled in coursework that prepares them for success on our examinations.

    For school districts that intend to use our exams as a proficiency exam and/or to qualify their students to earn a New York State diploma with advanced designation:
     Our examinations are available to any student who wishes to take them provided that the school district adheres to our Terms of Administration and the minimum course requirements stated in the Commissioner’s regulations 100.5(b)

    For school districts that intend to use the exam to qualify their students for the 4+1 Pathways to Graduation program: At this time, NYSED's Frequently Asked Questions about the Multiple Pathways document states:

    4. What courses must a student complete in order to meet the pathway requirements? 
    The pathway regulations address assessment requirements only. Generally, with the exception of credit by exam outlined in Commissioner’s regulations 100.5(d), a student must complete the course designed to culminate in the assessment they wish to take. For example, if the student wishes to use Geometry for the +1 pathway assessment, s/he must complete the Geometry course before being allowed into the examination.

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  • May student's Conversation/Roleplay scores be carried over from previous examinations?

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    Yes. It is possible to carry over student's Conversation/Roleplay scores from previous administrations of the Checkpoint B exam only. This is true under the following conditions:

    1. The Conversation/Roleplay tasks that were previously administered were created by Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES*; and

    2. The administration of the Conversation / Role Play tasks occurred as part of the immediate previous examination offered by Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES.

    *Scenarios:
    May I transfer student scores from June to January? Yes
    May I transfer student scores from June to June? No

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  • Are ELLs/MLLs able to use the "Next Day Completion" accommodation on our examinations?

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    Yes.

    Protocols for enabling students to take advantage of this accommodation are the same as they are for Regents examinations except, instead of filling out the NYSED application for each student, districts will need to fill out the OHM BOCES adapted version of the application located on our Important Documents page

    For more information on Next Day Completion for Regents and/or Pathway examinations, please see this memo from NYSED.

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  • How will the examinations be scored?

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    All parts of our Checkpoint A/B examinations will be scored locally / in-district by teachers certified in the target language who must follow the scoring criteria found in the examination's respective Manual for Administration and Scoring provided by Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES on our Important Documents page.

    Because our Checkpoint B examinations are approved by NYSED for use as a Pathways assessment, NYSED requires that the teacher of record not be allowed to score any parts of the examination that receive a subjective score (e.g. Part 1: Conversation/Roleplay and Part 4: Writing). This policy applies only to our Checkpoint B examinations. 

    NYSED has offered the following suggestions for meeting this scoring criterion: 1) Assign someone other than the student's teacher to administer and simultaneously score the Conversation / Role Play session, 2) Have the student's teacher administer the Conversation / Role Play session while a disinterested teacher is in the room and simultaneously scores the student's responses, and 3) Have the student's teacher administer the Conversation/Roleplay session and record the student's responses. The audio/video recording would subsequently be scored by a disinterested teacher. Please note that if this option is chosen, the audio/video recordings must be destroyed once the student responses have been scored.

    Note: All examinations may be recalled by Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES for the purpose of data analysis after local scoring has taken place.

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  • Is a scoring key available for the conversation/roleplay and written parts of the examination?

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    Yes and no.

    The Manuals for Administering and Scoring each of our examinations are available on our Important Documents page.

    The Scoring Key for the multiple choice-based parts of our examinations will be made available only on the Buzz Learning Management System on the date of administration of our examinations. The Scoring Key will be released at 12:00 pm for examinations that occur in the morning and at 4:00 pm for examinations that occur in the afternoon. 

    Note: For specific instructions that explain how you can access secure documents, such as the scoring key, please see the Instructions to Access Secure Documents found on our Important Documents page.

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  • How can I order the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES World Languages Examinations?

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    Please visit our Order Exams page for further instruction.

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  • What is the cost of the exam?

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    The cost of the exam is:

    • $5.75 per student per exam
    • $80 processing fee per order
    • The cost of shipping the exams to your school district (to be calculated based on volume)

    Available: $4.00 per set of Conversation/Roleplay cards plus shipping costs 

    Note: Each iteration of our examinations will have unique Conversation/Roleplay tasks. These tasks are also available digitally at no charge via Buzz. Directions that explain how to access the Conversation/Roleplay tasks on Buzz will be sent to teachers after an order form is submitted by your school district. These tasks must be kept secure in perpetuity, however, they may be used for practice with students only after the examination for which they are intended has been administered. 

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  • Is there an order deadline?

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    Yes.

    All orders should be submitted via our online ordering system by November 1 for examinations administered in January and by March 1 for June examinations each year. Examinations can be ordered for January and/or June starting each year in September, however, separate orders must be submitted if a school wishes to order for both iterations of the examinations.

    Orders received after the deadlines written above may be fulfilled based on our abilities to process them in a timely manner. Please submit your orders as soon as possible. Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES reserves the right to void orders beyond our capacity.

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  • May the examinations be ordered in any quantity?

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    Yes.

    School districts may choose to administer our examinations to their entire student body or selectively to specific students who may benefit from using our examinations as a pathway to graduation.

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  • How will payment for the examination be processed?

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    Schools who are a component district of a BOCES will be sent (via email) a quote along with a cross-contract that has already been filled out. The quote will need to be signed by the person who submitted the order for the examinations. The quote and cross-contract will then need to be delivered to the school superintendent for his/her signature. These documents then need to be sent to the local BOCES superintendent for his/her signature. Finally, the signed documents will be returned to Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES for processing of payment. 

    Private/Charter/Big 5 schools will be invoiced for their examination purchases. Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES will work closely with your business office to meet your local processes and requirements after the invoice has been delivered via postal mail.

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  • When will the examinations be delivered?

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    Exam orders will be fulfilled based on the order in which they are submitted. Expect to receive a shipment of the Conversation / Roleplay cards approximately 1-3 weeks prior to November 15 for January examinations and/or 1-3 weeks prior to April 1 for June examinations. Likewise, Student and Teacher Examination Booklets will arrive at your district 1-3 weeks before the respective administration date of our examinations.

    Note: If your school has special delivery requirements and/or timelines, please indicate as such on the online order form. We will do our best to accommodate such requests.

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  • Where will the examinations be delivered?

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    Each school district that orders exams will receive a single shipment of the Conversation / Roleplay cards (if ordered) and a single shipment of Student Examinations booklets, Teacher Examination booklets, and Student Answer Sheets/Booklets. These shipments will be delivered to a central location that is supplied to us on the order form submitted by the district. If multiple school buildings within a single school district need to take our examinations, the school district is responsible for local delivery of the examinations. 

    Note: The security of our examinations is of the utmost importance. ConversationRolePlay cards, Student Examination Booklets, and Teacher Examination Booklets must remain secure until the date and time of their administration.

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  • How can I access secure examination materials online?

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    After your school district submits an online order form, each person indicated as a teacher of record will receive an email with instructions that explain how they can access the Part 1: Conversation / Role Play tasks via the Buzz Learning Management System (LMS). Other secure materials, such as the scoring key, will become available in Buzz at the appropriate time.

    Important Note: Each school building has a unique URL to access Buzz. The aforementioned email that will contain that URL. Alternatively, you can look-up your school building's URL for Buzz from our Buzz Look-up page. Your username will be the email address that is provided to us on the order form. Use the "Forgot Password" button on the Buzz login page to generate your initial password.

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