Are you a special education instructional leader?

Join us for the Special Education Instructional Network – SPIN – to connect and learn with other special educators in Region 13.

SPIN meets four times during each school year. Our first 2017-2018 meeting is on Wednesday, September 13, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM.

SPIN meetings are designed for special education instructional leaders to receive updates and resources and to share ideas, district news, and questions with each other.

You can register for SPIN meetings in Ecampus by using course number FA1737127.

For more information, contact Kim West, kim.west@esc13.txed.net

Student Assessment TETN Schedule

Mark your calendars for the September 12 TETN to receive the latest updates and training on STAAR Accessibility!

This TETN is open to districts as well as Education Service Centers. It may be viewed at Region 13 or from districts that are members of the Distance Learning Network by contacting Distance Learning at distancelearning@esc13.txed.net or 512.919.5444.

For more information, contact Mark Billingsley, District Assessment, Mark.Billingsley@esc13.txed.net

Title: STAAR Accessibility Updates
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM (CST)
Audience: Open to ESCs and districts
Event#: 293
Summary: This TETN will serve as the state-level training for regions, districts, and campuses regarding 2018 statewide assessment accommodation policies. Presenters will discuss where to find accommodation information, how to determine student eligibility for accommodations, and how to document accommodation decisions and use. Questions will need to be routed through ESCs and will be answered as time allows.
Contact: Student Assessment Division

For additional information, contact:

Student Assessment Division
1701 North Congress Avenue
Room 3-122A
Austin, Texas 78701
(512) 463-9536

student.assessment@tea.texas.gov

STAAR, Tablets/iPads, Speech-to-Text, and Test Security!

slide 64 pic

Preparing for STAAR takes a village!

There is information on slide 64 in the 2017 ESC Testing Coordinators Training Presentation on exceptions to the prohibition on internet access for tablets used in STAAR testing that are not in any other TEA document.

These exceptions are important to students who have been using web-based speech-to-text as a support for spelling assistance and transcribing.

Conversation and planning among instructive technology, assistive technology, testing coordinators, and special education teachers will be important.

For discussion and details about this update, please read the Chat Transcript from January 31 on this topic… and consider joining our Accommodation Central Community.

Please contact Nichole.Kertis@esc13.txed.net  for assistance.

STAAR Alternate 2 Update

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Good news!

Based on the September 23rd STAAR Alternate 2 TETN on September 23, 2016 , there are only minimal changes to STAAR Alternate 2 for the April 2017 test administration.

 

 

Key dates for the 2017 administration are:

March 17, 2017 – last day for Test Administrator Training

March 20-31, 2017 – Preview Window for teachers to prepare needed accommodations

April 3-21, 2017 – Assessment Window

April 24-15, 2017 – Verification Window (new)

The soon-to-be published Test Administrator Manual will have clarified policies on Confidentiality, Security of Materials, Presentation Instructions, and Scoring Instructions.

Minor changes in Allowable Accommodations include the elimination of Photocopying which is replaced with photocopying guidelines in the Test Administrator Manual.  “Use calculator to arrive at response” has been expanded to “Use calculator, manipulatives, or math tools to arrive at response” and the accommodation on rereading sections of the text has been re-worded.

There were reminders from TEA on the No Authentic Academic Response (NAAR) designation:

  1. State assessment decisions are to be reviewed annually. Students who received a NAAR designation in the previous year should be monitored for skill development and be reconsidered annually.
  2. There should be evidence in the student’s IEP beyond the NAAR Eligibility Requirements form. The decision should be supported in the PLAAFP statement. The types of activities attempted with the student (released tests, daily instructional activities) and the outcomes should be recorded in the deliberations or elsewhere.

Already posted documents include:

Documents still to come:

  • Essence Statements (scheduled for October and henceforth will come in October, not the spring as they had previously)
  • The PowerPoint slides from September 23rd TETN (any day)
  • STAAR Alternate 2 Test Administration Manual (different from the Educator Guide which provides general guidance for the year)
  • TEKS Curriculum Frameworks (to include the updated Pre-K guidelines)

If you are a Region 13 district or charter school employee and  would like to view the September 23, 2016 STAAR Alternate 2 TETN, contact distancelearning@esc13.txed.net and ask for the recording of TETN Event # 43175.

Contacts:  Ann Jacobson at ann.jacobson@esc13.txed.net, Darcy Schiller at darcy.schiller@esc13.txed.net, Ann Jinkins at ann.jinkins@esc13.txed.net or the TEA STAAR Alternate 2 team at staaralt@tea.texas.gov

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

WELCOME TO ACCOMMODATION CENTRAL

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.

 

Specially Designed Instruction in Math Summer Series!

Are you a math teacher? Do you have students with disabilities in your class?

Region 13 is offering a special workshop series just for you! If you are a general education teacher working with 1st graders, or a special education teacher working in an Algebra I class, or anything in between, this summer series has something for you.

Develop your knowledge and implementation of best practices in your math classroom. Learn how to incorporate manipulatives and games with your students to strengthen their understanding of math concepts. Design an action plan for improving your students’ attack skills for word problems. Bring your students to mastery of their basic math facts with strategy-based instruction.

Workshop series includes:

Concrete Models of Good Math Instruction – June 16th

Elementary Series – Bringing Math to Life – June 24th

OR

Secondary Series – Math Games for Secondary Students with Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks – June 24th

Strategic Approach to Teaching Math Word Problems – July 19th

To Drill or Not to Drill: Math Facts Through Strategies – July 25th

Elementary Flyer & Secondary Flyer

Registration for the series or for individual workshops is at Ecampus.esc13.net or Elementary Math Series or Secondary Math Series

 

March 2016 STAAR Grades 5 and 8 Online Testing Update

April 20, 2016 To the Administrator Addressed communication from TEA has provided guidance on how to address SSI requirements for students affected by the online testing issues that occurred in March.

Issues identified with the online testing are: 1.  students provided with an incorrect version of the test, and 2. students logged out due to inactivity and previously selected answers did not appear when they logged back in.

Students affected by these issues and who did not preform satisfactorily on the March 2016 math and/or reading tests will NOT be required to retest in May or June.

Districts are to determine on an individual basis whether accelerated instruction should be offered.  Promotion/retention decisions for these students should be made on the basis of relevant academic information.

Results of the reading and math tests affected by the online testing issues will NOT be included in 2016 accountability.

TAA-SSI Letter-04 20 16

For information contact Ann Jinkins at ann.jinkins@esc13.txed.net

STAAR Alternate 2 Test Administrators: Your Input is Needed!

staar alt 2

 

The Texas Education Agency uses feedback from test administrators to drive updates (or not) to assessment materials and processes – here is your opportunity to play a role in the reflection and update process!  Please review the information from TEA, below, and follow the link to record your experience:

“Testing personnel are urged to participate in a survey to provide feedback regarding their experience with the 2016 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) Alternate 2 administration. The information received from this survey will be used to help improve future STAAR Alternate 2 administrations.

The 2016 STAAR Alternate 2 Survey for Test Administrators can be accessed at http://www.TexasAssessment.com/STAARAlternate2TASurvey.

The Texas Education Agency appreciates your input and willingness to participate in these surveys. Responses should be submitted by May 13, 2016.

Contact the Customer Service Center by phone at (800) 627-0225 for questions or assistance.”