How to Configure Amira

This article provides an overview of the ways in which Amira can be configured to meet your district or school needs.  Here, we will: 

  1. Define the three purposes of Amira’s Assessment tools 
  2. Describe the items included in the default assessment and ways in which your district may configure it
  3. Explain additional customizations within Amira

This article will also help you design your Amira experience when you complete the Amira Configuration Survey. Please allow 7 days for setup.

Why use Amira Assessment?

Amira Assessment can be used for three purposes:

  1. Universal Screening to identify students at risk of reading difficulties like dyslexia and in need of intervention;
  2. Benchmark Testing to track student status and growth throughout the course of the year; and
  3. Progress Monitoring to more frequently measure growth and provide timely data to inform RTI or other instructional programs.

All forms of Amira Assessment generate reporting and a running record.  For more information about the ways in which a student experiences these types of assessments, see The Student Assessment Experience.

The three types of assessments over the course of a school year. The benchmark assessment includes both a set of Dyslexia screening tasks and a story the student reads (ORF).

Assessment Time and Frequency

Here are the typical, minimal, and maximum administration times* for the benchmark assessment:

*Time includes Amira’s instructions and modeling. Variance in administration time depends on student level and need for down-leveling.
**To avoid running out of Progress Monitoring passages within an assessment window, the suggested cadence would be as often as every 2 weeks. We recommend that district and school leaders design a progress monitoring cadence aligned to local RTI and MTSS guidelines.

Assessment windows are static across the school year, according to the following schedule. 

*Forms are unique across BOY, MOY, and EOY administrations. We recommend that you set more narrow windows within these timeframes.   

The Default Benchmark Test & Screener 

In the baseline Amira Assessment, three times a year, students can experience the Benchmark Test, which includes:

  1. A set of Screening Tasks such as RAN (Rapid Automatized Naming), a word reading, or a blending task; and 
  2. An Oral Reading Fluency passage.

All screening tasks ONLY inform the composite Dyslexia Report risk score.  All other reports (Benchmark, Diagnostic, Parent, and Progress) are informed by the software's ability to listen and observe the student reading (ORF passage).

To see a video of each task, refer to the Student Assessment Experience article.

If you are happy with the default configuration above, please indicate so in the Amira Configuration Survey.

*Optional: Configurations for the Benchmark Test & Screener

The following options may be configured at the district level by grade. School or class configurability options are not available at this time. 

*Screening Tasks (RAN, Letter Names / Sounds, Word Reading, Blending) come as a bundle; they may be configured on or off but not piecemeal. 
**Non-shaded cells are the standard Amira Screener tasks
*** In K-1, we always include one or the other, but you decide whether to have either Letter Naming or Letter Sounds.

For example, if your district wanted to configure the 1st grade assessment to include Spelling, you would need to select the “Spelling” option in the Configuration Survey.  Keep in mind that the additional spelling items will lengthen the testing time by 4-5 minutes.

*Optional: Other Configurations

To take full advantage of Amira’s capabilities, your team may also consider configuring Amira in other ways:

  1. Progress Monitoring - If you would like to enable the Progress Monitoring feature within Amira, email after your benchmark assessment window closes. 
  1. Amira in Spanish - Amira with Spanish-language supports and directions is available for students learning English. 
  2. Resource Recommendations - Our Diagnostic Report provides configurable resource recommendations.
  3. RAN Item Type - RAN items are configurable. By default the RAN task uses numbers, but additional options include colors, objects and letters.

What do I need to do to configure Amira for my district? 

Complete the Configuration Survey. Email regarding assessment configuration questions. Email regarding assessment configuration questions. Refer to The Student Assessment Experience to see all the possible tasks available for assessment.

The configuration setup may take up to 7 days, so plan IT Readiness, Training, and Testing Windows accordingly. Email if you would like to discuss the survey.

Next Steps

To set up custom testing windows to auto-assign assessments to students (without staff needing to use the Tracking Report for manual assignment) click here. This task must be completed by an Amira user with the role of System Admin.

Need additional help? 
For questions about Amira, chat with us below!

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