STAAR Alternate 2 Testing Window Revision

The ESCs and District Testing Coordinators have received information on a calendar revision for STAAR Alternate 2 from the Student Assessment Division of TEA:

The 2015 STAAR Alternate 2 administration window was originally planned for two weeks in an effort to minimize the amount of time taken from instruction. The length of the administration window reflected the data collected following the pilot test conducted in January 2014. While districts have not had experience with the new test design beyond the pilot test, some have expressed concern that it may be difficult to complete the administration in the time allowed. Therefore, the window for the administration of the 2015 STAAR Alternate 2 has been extended to three weeks for the 2014-2015 school year. Districts will be able to administer the test and enter student responses beginning February 9 through 27, 2015. March 2 and 3 will be reserved for data verification with the system closing at 5pm (CST) on March 3, 2015.

Additionally, the policy regarding the 10-day preview period that allows test administrators to access the secure testing materials prior to the administration window for the purpose of applying accommodations required by the individual student has been changed. Test administrators may be allowed access to secure testing materials for purposes of applying accommodations upon the arrival of the secure test materials in the district. Note that secure materials are due to be shipped from Pearson on January 19, 2014.

Note from Region 13:  The above paragraph means that test administrators/assistants are no longer limited to 10 days for preview.  As soon as test materials arrive AND test administrators/assistants are trained and have signed their oath, they may begin to preview materials and may continue throughout the test window. Further, in a TETN on December 8, TEA stated  “Accommodations should be prepared during the preview period but may also be prepared during the testing window.”

If you have questions about STAAR Alternate 2, please contact TEA’s Student Assessment Division – STAAR Alternate at or 512-463-9536 or Ann Jacobson at Region 13 at or 512.919.5167.



10 Helpful and Compassionate Comments Heard at an IEP meeting

During most discussions about IEPs, we talk about the times that things went wrong and disgraceful things were said.  But not all IEPs are like that!  Recently a commenter on the Friendship Circle blog wrote, “Instead of ridiculous and offensive comments, why don’t you write about helpful and compassionate things heard at an IEP meeting?”

Via 10 Helpful and Compassionate Comments Heard at an IEP Meeting

Have you heard additional compassionate comments at an IEP? Consider adding to this list and keeping it handy during your ARD meetings.

Stay tuned for additional posts with more IEP meeting tip sheets…

International Day of Persons with Disabilities



The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3. The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

This year’s theme is Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology.

Visit United Nations Enable to find out more about the day and events.

Free App: Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills

View the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills in one app! A great reference for teachers, parents, and students to easily read and understand the standards. Quickly find and search standards by subject, grade level, and key word.

Three good reasons to download this app:

  • The fact that it’s an app provides a bit more portability (after all one never knows when/where one may need to reflect on the TEKS).
  • Notes can be added for each standard (this could include lesson plan ideas and other resources) and they won’t get lost because they’re attached to the standard!
  • It’s a free app 🙂
You can find this app at the iTunes store, or click the link here: TEKS Free app

Accessibility Options for High Stakes Testing- Dec 3 webinar

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Accessibility Options for High Stakes Testing

AbleNet University FREE Professional Development

Wednesday, December 3

School districts across the country use a computer-based platform, such as Pearson’s TestNav, to deliver high stakes tests to students, including those with disabilities. Find out which technologies (keyboards, mice, switch interface devices, etc.) have been tested and found to be compatible to successfully interact with the latest version of this test, as well as discuss the latest built-in technology available to students with these accommodations.

• Time: 1:00 PM to 1:45 PM CST
• Presenter: Cindy Richardson, M. Ed.

Limited space available. Register Today!

Should you miss the live webinar, AbleNet will post the recorded version on their website within several days.