Updated COMAR FAQs Policy Document 10/25/18

News Memo with check
Maryland HS Government and HS MISA Assessments Updates
September 14, 2018
Newspaper delivery
Maryland HS Government and HS MISA Assessments Updates
October 30, 2018
FAQS

Updated October 25, 2018

MSDE has compiled a document with frequently asked questions regarding the HS MISA and COMAR policy.

FAQs for HS MISA & COMAR

1I know in the past, if a student had transferred to our district and had already taken Bio elsewhere, they were exempt from the Bio HSA, right?

As per COMAR 13A.03.02.12 B(2)(a) out of state or nonpublic transfer students would be exempt from the HS MISA if the LEA determines that the student took and received credit for an aligned course(s) in another state.

LEA to LEA transfers do not fall into this exemption.

2Now we will be having students take MISA at the end of their Bio class, but since other counties all over the state could be doing this differently, will there be any exemptions for transfer students?

As per COMAR 13.A.03.02.12 B(2)(c)(iv) out of state or nonpublic transfer students would be exempt if they have completed the LEA required number of science credits aligned to the assessment. The titles of the courses would not matter. If this student later transfers to another LEA that requires a higher number of science credits that would not revoke the original exemption.

LEA to LEA transfers would not be exempt.

3If a student transfers from out of state with two science credits would they be exempt from having to take the HS MISA to graduate since a majority of instruction would have occurred out of state?
According to COMAR 13.A.03.02.09-1E (2) (a), this would depend on the local districts policy and when students take the HS MISA in that district. "Districts must be able to demonstrate that they have provided the student with appropriate assistance".
4On the one extreme, we could have someone from out of state transfer in with three science credits to start their senior year, would they need to take MISA?

According to COMAR 13.A.03.02.09-1E (2) (d), students transferring from out of state during their senior year would be eligible for a waiver.

5On the other extreme, we could have someone transfer in their sophomore year from a local private school with a Bio credit, would they need to take MISA? This person would still need to take two more science classes so we were discussing how to schedule this student best.

A transfer from a local private school in their sophomore year would need to take the MISA. Students would need to complete the same number of science credits as the students in the LEA.

Please consult with the district science supervisor for clarification of requirements.

6We potentially have the same issue with Bridge Projects. The student cannot start a bridge project until they have passed the course. In the past this was Biology but with the HS MISA, do they need to pass just one science course or all three before they start the project?

According to COMAR 13A.03.02.06.B-D, the student would need to pass the number of courses required in the LEA before they take the HS MISA. After receiving credits for the courses and failing the HS MISA one time, the students may begin a Bridge Project. Students may not submit the Bridge Project to be used in lieu of the HS assessment until/if they fail the HS MISA twice.

7Does it matter what science course they pass before they can start the Bridge Project?
According to COMAR 13A.03.02.06.B-D, the student would need to pass the number of courses required in the LEA before they take the HS MISA. After receiving credits for the courses and failing the HS MISA one time, the student may begin a Bridge Project. Students may not submit the Bridge Project to be used in lieu of the HS assessment until/if they fail the HS MISA twice.
8Anne Arundel plans to give the test in 10th grade and has discussed giving the minimum passing score to any out of state/transfer student who enters after 10th grade. We do not want to hold 11th graders responsible for curriculum that we have already taught, and that they will likely not have had. The problem is that there are districts that don’t plan to test until 11th grade…The bottom line is that we want to do what is best for the transfer students, and not hold them accountable for any curriculum we can’t guarantee they have received. Doing that will almost guarantee that the student will have to complete Bridge.

This is no longer applicable. The lowest minimum score was awarded under HSA when there was a combined score option, to allow the student to meet the CSO. There has been no decision made on the inclusion of MISA in a CSO.

9And we also need to consider bridge and when that can occur. Currently, Bridge cannot occur until the student has passed the course. However, it has been one singular course until now. Are we going to say they can’t work on bridge until they pass all three courses? What if a student fails a course in 11th grade, they lose the opportunity to bridge.

According to COMAR 13A.03.02.06.B-D, the student would need to pass the number of courses required in the LEA before they take the HS MISA. After receiving credits for the courses and failing the HS MISA one time, the student may begin a Bridge Project. Students may not submit the Bridge Project to be used in lieu of the HS assessment until/if they fail the HS MISA twice.