Florida's Assessment of Student Thinking (FAST) Frequently Asked Questions
October 12, 2022
1. A provider closed for a hurricane and could not test the remainder of the children.
Programs that had emergency closures due to the storm should modify their VPK calendars indicating an “Instructional Day Exception” in the provider portal. These “Instructional Day Exception” days do not count as instructional days for PM1. Once completed in the Provider Portal, Progress Monitoring dates will be updated in Renaissance. Temporary closures must be created before attendance is submitted for the month in which the closure occurs.
Download the Instructions for a Temporary Closure in the Provider Portal
2. What should a Provider do if locked out of Star Early Literacy?
Any user locked out should contact Renaissance Support at 1-800-338-4204 or by email at FAST_Star@renaissance.com. To administer the assessment to students, the administrator will need to log students in using student credentials.
3. Non-English Speakers and the Star Early Literacy Assessment
The Star Early Literacy Assessment is only administered in English. All students with a first language other than English should be given the opportunity to complete the practice items, if they pass, they continue and complete the assessment. They should be given two additional attempts to pass the practice items. If the student fails the practice items, then the student should receive a Non-Participation Status of “Non-English Speaker.”
- While nearly all students are able to answer Star Early Literacy assessment items within the standard time limits (90 seconds), teachers may extend time limits (270 seconds) for individual students who need more time to demonstrate their proficiency.
- Extended time limits have no effect on the test’s validity, as a student’s performance on a test question remains solely a function of the test’s calibrated difficulty and what that student knows and can do, not how quickly the student can do it.
- Star Early Literacy reports indicate (via a footnote) whether a student was given an extended time limit to complete a test. A further note indicates that norms, as well as other technical data such as reliability and validity, are based on test administration using standard time limits.
4. If children enroll late, should they still be assessed?
Best practice is to assess the student whether it is in a Progress Monitoring period or not so teachers may have a baseline score for students.
5. Where can administrators find information and resources available in reviewing data and to support data-driven decision-making and instructional planning?
Running Instructions for Administration Resources, and Reports, are available on Florida’s Assessment of Student Thinking (FAST) using Star Early Literacy website, https://www.floridaearlylearning.com/vpk/fast
6. When will the Renaissance Training on FAST appear on my Department of Children and Families (DCF) transcripts?
Providers who did not give the correct first name, last name, and DCF student ID at the time of registration were unsuccessfully imported to DCF. Providers can email the Division of Early Learning at VPKFAST@oel.myflorida.com.
Anyone needing to complete the training requirements can do so through the Renaissance-U Training Courses for either Administrators or Teachers are available, using the: FAST Star Early Literacy Renaissance-U Enrollment Guidance.
7. Concerns of results of Star parent reports being too high?
The Star Early Literacy is a computer-adaptive assessment. VPK students are seeing prekindergarten, kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd-grade level questions. Assessment will get easier or more challenging based on students’ responses. This is a baseline to see where students currently are. This is only one data point – a snapshot of ability.
If the assessment is administered with fidelity, the assessment should be accurate. Make sure students are not being assisted in any way. Teachers need to be aware of what they are saying and body language to endure it is being administered with fidelity and that the data is as true and accurate as possible.VPK Program Administrators and Instructors should be familiar with the Administration Resources, Reports, and the Star Early Literacy Score Definitions.