This means that TEA requires campuses to complete and file this form for all students who take an alternate assessment. The district can decide whether they are going to add this form to the IEP or keep it as a separate document.
When determining whether a student meets the participation requirements the ARD Committee members will need to be aware of several things.
- The ARD committee must understand all assessment options;
- The ARD Committee must understand the characteristics of each assessment; and
- The ARD Committee must understand the potential implications of each assessment choice.
The ARD Committee must answer 3 questions that are on the form. For each question that is answered “YES “, justification must be provided that references the page(s) and/or section (s) of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) that contains evidence that the student meets the criteria.
(Example: Question1: The ARD Committee circles “YES” for Reading. They must provide justification by referencing the page(s) or section(s) of the ARD document that contains the evidence that the student meets the criteria (ARD pg. 3 – Rdg. PLAAFP; pg. 6 Rdg Goals; pg 7 Accommodations in Rdg)
There are 4 assurance statements that must be discussed and initialed by district personnel. These statements are assuring that the IEP states:
- why the student cannot participate in the general assessment
- why an alternate assessment is appropriate for the student
- that the student meets all of the eligibility criteria
- that decision was based on multiple sources of measurable, objective evidence
- that decision was not based solely on student’s previous performance on statewide assessment
- that decision was made by ARD Committee and not administratively
- that decision is based on the student’s educational need and the instruction the student is receiving.
So how can you be sure that the STAARs are aligned and each student will be taking the appropriate test? ARD committees may need some helpful guidance and helpful tools. Please refer to the blog post from 8-19-2011 STAAR Decisions for a tool that can be used to examine the alignment of assessment decisions based on student need and state requirements.