ESTAR/MSTAR Universal Screener Update

As the new school year approaches, please be aware of the modified windows for the ESTAR/MSTAR Universal Screener and the MSTAR Diagnostic Assessment (DA) and plan to use these valuable tools to support your instructional decision-making. The ESTAR/MSTAR Universal Screener can be accessed through the Project Share Gateway at  or directly at

Windows for ESTAR/MSTAR Universal Screener

  • Fall:  August 26 – October 4
  • Winter:  January 8 - February 14
  • Spring:  April 7 - May 9

Windows for MSTAR Diagnostic Assessment

  • Winter:  January 15 - February 21
  • Spring:  April 14 - May 16

Please note the later end date for the fall window for the ESTAR/MSTAR Universal Screener. We are very aware that the beginning of a school year is an incredibly busy time and have decided that it will be helpful to leave the fall Universal Screener window open a week longer as schools finalize class rosters and introduce students to new routines. Also, please note the revised dates for the MSTAR Diagnostic Assessment. We have also decided to delay the launch of the MSTAR Diagnostic Assessment until January.

The adjusted dates will give teachers more time to complete the appropriate online professional development courses before using the ESTAR/MSTAR Universal Screener and the MSTAR Diagnostic Assessment. It is essential that teachers understand why and how to use the Universal Screener and MSTAR Diagnostic Assessment. Training on the use of the Universal Screener is currently available through Project Share at An updated version (v4.0) will be available in early September. Information on how to access additional professional development courses, which will provide suggestions on how to prepare for administration of the MSTAR Diagnostic Assessment and guidance on how to interpret results following administration, will be made available through various list-servs and Project Share Groups over the coming weeks.

We are very pleased to make the ESTAR/MSTAR Universal Screener and MSTAR Diagnostic Assessment available at no cost to all Texas public school districts and look forward to working with districts as they enroll students and gather valuable information regarding algebra readiness for students in grades 2-8. To ensure a successful launch, we suggest the following steps:

  1. Complete online PD to ensure understanding of the ESTAR/MSTAR Universal Screener. Teachers may enroll at To join, click “Join this Course” in the left toolbar.
  2. Review the ESTAR/MSTAR Universal Screener User Manual.
  3. After class rosters have stabilized, complete the batch upload process to create student accounts. For account creation assistance, contact (See additional information below about concurrent enrollment in ESTAR/MSTAR and TxAIR systems.)
  4. Complete spot checks to ensure student account creation was successful and that district system and network settings are compatible with the Universal Screener technical requirements.
  5. Administer the Universal Screener to all students in grades 2-4 (ESTAR) and 5-8 (MSTAR).
  6. Complete the Diagnostic Assessment (DA) training when it becomes available.
  7. Beginning with the winter window, follow the administration of the MSTAR Universal Screener by administering the  Diagnostic Assessment to students in grade 5-8 who are struggling with algebra-readiness content as identified by the MSTAR Universal Screener results (students identified in Tiers 2-3).

TxAIR Update

For districts planning to use the ESTAR/MSTAR and TxAIR systems, we suggest the following steps:

  • To avoid multiple uploads, districts should not begin to pull data from their student information systems in order to populate the batch upload template for ESTAR/MSTAR/TxAIR prior to August 26 and should only upload when all classes have been set.  Therefore, most districts probably should not upload until one to two weeks after students return.
  • Districts should plan to upload grades 2-12 math and science classes. This process will enroll students in TxAIR and ESTAR/MSTAR with one upload.
  • Returning MSTAR/TxAIR districts should continue to use the same Institution ID that they have been using for students, teachers, and administrators.  Do not begin using the new TSDS Unique ID in batch enrollment files at this time.
  • New MSTAR/TxAIR districts should use the Institution ID (employee/student ID) that exists in Epsilen, if existing user accounts are present in Epsilen. If accounts are new to Epsilen, the new TSDS Unique ID may be used.
  • Additional details will be shared in the ESTAR/MSTAR/TxAIR webinar on August 27th.  Meeting details are below.

Date:  Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Time:  9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
To join the meeting: