Security and Test Administration Incident Reporting System (STAIRS)/Appeals Process for Summative Assessments


The online STAIRS/Appeals process, available in the Test Operations Management System (TOMS) external icon, must be used by LEA CAASPP coordinators and CAASPP test site coordinators to report a test security incident or other testing issue that interferes with the administration and completion of the assessment.

After the incident is reported, TOMS will immediately prompt the filing of an Appeal, if that is the appropriate action. A system email will be sent that describes the submittal and includes the case number that can be used for searches in TOMS. This email will be sent to the submitter (and to the LEA CAASPP coordinator, if the form is submitted by the CAASPP test site coordinator). Ensure that communications generated by the email address ca are not automatically sent to a junk mail or spam folder.

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In the case of breaches, the LEA CAASPP coordinator must contact the California Department of Education (CDE) by phone at 916-445-8765 for breaches that are not the result of social media exposure; or must contact the California Technical Assistance Center (CalTAC) by phone at 800-955-2954 for breaches that are the result of social media exposure. Only LEA CAASPP coordinators may contact CalTAC; CAASPP test site coordinators should contact the LEA CAASPP coordinator in the event of a breach.

Information about Test Security Incidents


LEA CAASPP coordinators and CAASPP test site coordinators should take the following steps when notification is received of a testing incident:

  1. Review the information provided and verify that the incident should be reported through STAIRS. For more information, consult the STAIRS Applicable Testing Issues list. (Updated 02/25/19)
  2. Access TOMS external icon to report the testing incident using STAIRS:
    1. Select the [STAIRS] navigation tab in TOMS.
    2. Follow the online prompts to complete the steps to submit the STAIRS case.
    3. If the system determines that an appeal must be filed, follow the online prompts to select the Statewide Student Identifiers (SSIDs) for whom an appeal must be filed. The SSID(s) are listed under ‘Student Case(s)ʼ of the Submit page.
    4. Coordinators must select the [SUBMIT] button to finish the process.

Coordinators can withdraw all or some of the SSID(s) from the STAIRS case if the STAIRS case is still pending approval from CalTAC or the CDE.

To expedite processing of an incident or appeal, promptly provide the CDE or test security personnel with any additional information that is requested. Keep any documentation associated with the incident for one year.

Note: Only LEA CAASPP coordinators can contact CalTAC. CAASPP test site coordinators should either inform their respective LEA CAASPP coordinator to relay any information to CalTAC; or use the “Notes” section in the STAIRS case to communicate with CalTAC or the CDE.

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The LEA should ensure submission of all Appeals before the LEA’s testing window closes. Any Appeal that results in a student’s continued testing must be filed with sufficient time for the student to complete the assessment before the LEA’s selected testing window ends. Contact CalTAC directly for testing window extension requests.

Training Videos

STAIRS Video Tutorial (14:23) (Posted 02/19/20)