What we know about the new online STAAR…

TEA has shared information on the new online version of STAAR that will be available beginning in March 2017.  STAAR A and STAAR L will no longer be used as the online version will take their place.  What we know is limited to the communication from State Assessment:

  • The new version will have embedded accommodations, accessibility feature, and non-embedded accommodations (not in the platform)
  • There will be embedded accommodations for text to speech, language and vocabulary supports, and content supports
  • Accessibility features will be included (TBD)
  • Accommodations students use during STAAR administration will be selected on the basis of documentation in the IEP of current instructional accommodations, routinely and effectively used in the classroom; students will receive only the specific accommodations he or she uses
  • If students’ ARDs or Section 504 committees had selected STAAR A assessments for Spring 2017, IEP/504 plan will need to be updated to reflect each assessment the student will take and the specific embedded accommodations and non-embedded accommodations (i.e., supports that are not part of the technology platform) that the student requires during testing.  It will be a case by case decision as to update through an ARD or through an IEP amendment.
  • The accessibility features that are available to all students in the online version of STAAR do not need to be listed in a student’s IEP or Section 504 plan, unless the student’s ARD or Section 504 committee wants to ensure that the student uses a certain feature.

We have a list of questions as we are sure you do about the new online STAAR.  A TETN is scheduled Friday, September 23rd, 9:00-12:00 at which TEA will share additional information and address questions.  Please feel free to join us at Region 13 in Treaty Oak to learn and problem solve with us.

STAAR Online Administrations Beginning in March 2017

Contacts: Kim West kim.west@esc13.txed.net, Ann Jacobson ann.jacobson@esc13.txed.net, or Ann Jinkins ann.jinkins@esc13.txed.net


ACentral homeIf you’re an educator trying to decipher all of your students’ accommodations and wondering what specifically they mean and if they’re really even effective, then you’ll really appreciate this new website designed with your needs in mind.  Welcome to Accommodation Central…..

Accommodation Central (www.acentral.education) is your ONE online stop for current information on supports for students. Here you will find everything you need: appropriate accommodations, practical tips, deeper learning, and a secure connected community.

www.acentral.education provides quick access to accommodations that support student learning. Each accommodation includes a summary, brief description, examples, steps for implementation, and state testing allowability. Multimedia supports such as pictures, videos, printable templates, and links for additional resources will soon be added. The site also includes a learning library for increasing knowledge of accommodations and related topics. Another unique feature of this site is the virtual community where users will be able to share ideas and questions with other educators, read and respond to blogs, participate in polls, surveys, and live question and answer sessions.  Wherever you find yourself on the site you can be assured that the information is updated and current.

So please check out www.acentral.education and join our community today.


Texas Public Prekindergarten Class Size and Student-to-Teacher Ratio Study

In 2015, the 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, passed House Bill (HB) 4 focused on high-quality prekindergarten programming. A key aspect of the bill was authorizing and funding the HB 4 High-Quality Prekindergarten Grant program, which the Texas Education Agency (TEA) awarded in July 2016 for the 2016–17 school year. HB 4 also specified expansion of early education reporting requirements for all Texas public schools offering a prekindergarten program beginning in the 2016–17 school year. Finally, HB 4 specified that a study be conducted to understand the relationship between quality and class size and student-to-teacher ratios in prekindergarten.

Recommendations from the study:

Class size guidelines should be set to a maximum not to exceed 22 students per prekindergarten classroom. Given the class size recommendation, a student-to-teacher ratio not to exceed 11:1 is recommended for all public prekindergarten classes with between 16 and 22 students. In cases where class size is 15 or fewer students, a student-to-teacher ratio should not exceed 15:1. However, following these guidelines alone will not ensure conditions for high-quality prekindergarten classrooms.
The full report and executive summary are available from the links below:

Texas Public Prekindergarten Class Size and Student-to-Teacher Ratio Study (ICF International, September 2016)

Executive Summary (12 pages)


TED Tips: Agency Connections

One role of the Transition & Employment Services Designee (TED) is to “provide information and resources about effective transition planning and services and interagency coordination” (TEC §29.011).

Here are a few ways to accomplish this:

For more information, contact Elizabeth.Danner@esc13.txed.net


TED Tips: Intro to TEDs

Welcome to TED Tips, a blog series devoted to supporting the Transition & Employment Services Designee. Today’s post will cover the basics.

What is a TED?

Beginning in July 2014, each district/charter school is required to designate one staff member to serve as the Transition & Employment Services Designee (also known as the TED). This is reflected in Texas Education Code 29.011.

What does the TED do?

According to TEC §29.011, “An individual designated under this subsection must provide information and resources about effective transition planning and services and interagency coordination to ensure that local school staff communicate and collaborate with:
(1) students enrolled in special education programs under this subchapter and the parents of those students; and
(2) as appropriate, local and regional staff of the:
(A) Health and Human Services Commission;
(B) Department of Aging and Disability Services;
(C) Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services;
(D) Department of State Health Services; and
(E) Department of Family and Protective Services.”

Use this checklist to review your processes. Note that TEA has not yet developed training guidelines for the TED. Stay tuned for those requirements to be clarified, and consider attending the Texas Transition workshop at your ESC.

Region 13 will offer this workshop on Monday, November 7 from 9:00 to 4:00. Cost is $45 (workshop ID: FA1634835)

Who is my TED?

Search for your district or charter school on the Transition & Employment Services Designee list at the Legal Framework website. Click the icon to the right for contact information, and click the icon further to the right to open the link to your district’s website where the Texas Transition & Employment Guide is posted.

Is this the same TED as in “AskTED”?

Nope. AskTED is an online directory of schools and service centers in Texas, and is not related to the Transition & Employment Services Designee. There’s also something called TEDS, which are the Texas Education Data Standards for PEIMS and TSDS. Be sure you know which TED you’re talking about!

For more information, contact Elizabeth.Danner@esc13.txed.net