State Assessment for Students with Disabilities 15-16 Update Highlights

tea staara update

Thursday 9.17.15  the Texas Education Agency (TEA) Student Assessment staff shared updates regarding STAAR assessments for students with disabilities.  Though STAAR and STAAR A are moving from Pearson to ETS, there will not be major changes for any assessment this year.

Accommodations for STAAR

The accommodations triangle from previous years has only a few clarification changes.  The accommodations revised are Oral/Signed Administration, Mathematics Manipulatives, Calculation Devices, and Supplemental Aids. To see these changes, reference each accommodation document from the accommodations triangle on the TEA Accommodations Resources webpage. Make sure you select 2016 Accommodations link to see accommodations for the 2016 spring testing session. December 2015 tests will still be under 2015 Accommodations guidelines.

STAAR A

STAAR A for Spring 2016 testing session will be similar to STAAR A Spring 2015 though the testing platform will move to the ETS system. Updated resources for STAAR A, additional resources, and new training opportunities will be posted to the STAAR A Resources webpage as they become available. TEA did project that online student tutorials will not be available until the spring semester because of the changes in test platform. TEA reported that survey results from testing administrators of STAAR A were positive and many felt the online test with embedded accommodations had a positive impact on students.

STAAR Alternate 2

STAAR Alternate 2 will  be similar to Spring 2015. Changes were made to the materials check-out procedures during the preview period. Released test questions are available for educators to become familiar with the test format, practice the presentation instructions, and to determine options for students to access stimulus images.  TEA  added structured reminders to the allowable accommodations for STAAR Alternate 2. These and other allowable accommodations for STAAR Alternate 2 can be found in the Educators Guide to STAAR Alternate 2 and the 2016 STAAR Alternate 2 Test Administrator Manual, which will be posted in October. TEA reported  a majority of positive responses on the STAAR Alternate 2 survey. The three week assessment will is April 4-22, 2016.

Technology Update

STAAR A and STAAR Alternate 2 now have online platforms that support the use of tablets and Chromebooks. It is anticipated that these devices will be allowed for Spring testing administration.  The Technology System Requirements document is not yet posted on the TEA website. Please watch for more information on this topic.  Update:  Unified Minimum System Requirements for the Administration of Online Assessments has been posted.  

December STAAR A ONLY

December STAAR A tests will be administered as a paper test only. There is no special request process for the paper administration of these tests. It is only for EOCs given in December of 2015. After this administration, all STAAR A testing will follow the original STAAR A format and guidelines. It is not necessary to revisit the assessment decision simply because STAAR A will be administered only on paper in December. The secure STAAR A Paper Administration Guide provides specific instructions for how embedded accommodations are to be provided. Allowable test administrator-provided accommodation support is specifically described in the accommodation tables that will be in the guide. These tables allow the test administrator to Say something to the student, to Show the student a visual, or to Indicate to the student specific information in the student’s test booklet.

  • Test administrators who have not administered a paper version of STAAR A must be trained according to the STAAR A Paper Administration Guide.
  • Individual or small group administrations are necessary because test administrators respond to student requests for reading text aloud and presenting additional accommodations, .
  • Students taking a paper administration of STAAR A cannot be grouped with students taking other assessments.
  • Students record their responses to test questions on the answer document.

For a complete copy of the TEA presentation, go to http://tea.texas.gov/student.assessment/special-ed and scroll down to Training Information Fall Update TETN.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact JC Sanders, jc.sanders@esc13.txed.net for STAAR accommodation triangle or STAAR A questions, Joanna Ryan, joanna.ryan@esc13.txed.net for STAAR Alternate 2 questions, or Nichole Kertis Barton, nichole.kertis@esc13.txed.net  for Assistive Technology questions.

 

Dyslexia Conference 2015 – Awesome Opportunity – Attend Day Two for FREE

The 2015 Fall Dyslexia Conference, September 23 and 24, will offer two days of innovative presentations with a focus on helping students “Connect to Text.”

On Day One, Dr. Jill Allor, Ed. D., professor and chair of the SMU Department of Teaching and Learning, will provide the keynote address. Dr. Allor will share her research and successes with students’ transfer and application of skills to connected text reading.

Day 1 Breakout sessions include: Top Tech Tools for Struggling Readers, Second Language or Something Else? Special Considerations for ELLs, Dialogic Reading and Beyond, Transitioning Section 504 Students to Post-Secondary Education, The Lexile Framework and Post-Secondary Demands, and more!

Day 1 will also provide a preview of the upcoming fall release of the Texas Dyslexia Academy trainings.

To register visit eCampus

WORKSHOP ID: FA1531557 $125.

On Day Two, Dr. Allor will present a full-day, intensive workshop: Effective Strategies for Teaching Reading to Students with Intellectual Disability: Current Research and Implications for Instruction.

This interactive workshop will focus on the critical role of the teacher in providing instruction that is both evidence based and specifically designed to meet the needs of individual students. Participants will learn about ongoing research at SMU and practical strategies for effectively teaching students with ID to read.

We are able to offer a limited number of special education teachers serving students with intellectual disabilities FREE register to Day Two, Dr. Allor’s session. To request a 100% discount code for the Day Two workshop, complete and submit the form in this link: http://bit.ly/DC2015sped

"FREE" in text hanging from clouds

To register visit eCampus

   Workshop ID: FA1531558

 

Using MS Word to Simulate STAAR A- Extra Practice and Prep for Students

If your eligible students have already practiced and practiced with the STAAR A Student Tutorials, yet you’d still like them to continue to receive and use similar digital accommodations during instruction or for end of unit tests, then this resource may be of help-  How to use Built-In Features of MS Word to Simulate STAAR A: Extra Practice and Preparation for Students

In actuality, this resource could help other students, ANY student, but realize that there is particular anxiety around preparation for STAAR A currently.

Please contact me if you have questions or need assistance. Nichole.Kertis@esc13.txed.net / 512.919.5246

 

 

Making Good Use of Audio/Text-to-Speech In The Classroom

Bill Keeney of the Delaware Valley Friends School joined Learning Ally on 12/9 for a webinar focusing on strategies for teachers to use audio in the classroom. Keeney discussed why audio is the killer app for his students and how he ensures it becomes a powerful tool for reading.

“Teaching with audio is just good teaching,” explained Keeney. “Audio is a supplement, not a substitute.” He described why audio is important and how educators can introduce it in the classroom to empower students to use it habitually.

During this free webinar, Keeney discussed:

  • Myths and truths about using audio in the classroom
  • Which students will benefit the most from audio
  • Strategies to ensure students become avid audio users
  • Tips for instructing students to use audio affectively

Click here to view the webinar and download the handout- https://go.learningally.org/webinar-make-audio-killer-app-classroom/ 

Should you have questions or need additional support, feel free to contact me.

Nichole.Kertis@esc13.txed.net 

Math for All workshop!

Need ideas for differentiation, accommodations, and modifications for your math classroom?

Math for All: Access to General Curriculum in Mathematics workshop has a few more seats open. Register today!

Participants will learn how to accommodate and modify instruction in the Math classroom as well as for assessments including STAAR.  Hands-on experiences will be provided to show how to meet the needs of a diverse population.

Workshop: February 27, 2015

9:00 am to 4:00 pm

$45

Register through Ecampus

STAAR A Info all in one spot

We have created a Thinglink called STAAR A: Things You Need to Know. To access this resource, click this link: http://www.thinglink.com/scene/609494907593162752

While viewing the Thinglink, hover over the picture to see the hotspot dots. Then hover over a dot to see where the link will take you. Click on the dots to access various resources for STAAR A. We hope you find it helpful. Please share it!

For more information, contact:

JC Sanders

Education Specialist for Inclusion

jc.sanders@esc13.txed.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLAAFPs, Goals, and Accommodations, oh my!

Are you looking for information and support to help you write powerful PLAAFPs and purposeful goals? 

There are many aspects to writing a full Individualized Education Plan (IEP).  This training will focus on writing powerful PLAAFP statements which will lead to student-focused goals.  Participants will leave with easy to use tools to support their efforts for well written IEPs.  This intensive instruction will allow time for participant practice.  This training is for ANY special education teacher (PPCD to High School) who writes IEPs, from those who serve students with low incidence disabilities to those who serve students who are mainstreamed.

Join us for IEP Best Practices: PLAAFP and Goal Writing on 12/2/2014 from 9:00 to 4:00.

Use the following course number to register in eCampus: FA1429517. 

 

Are you looking for ways to incorporate the new STAAR A accommodations into your classroom instruction?

Accommodations Central will provide tools for individualization, differentiation, accommodation, and modification for students with disabilities.  The day will include an overview of the new STAAR A accommodations with practical strategies for how to incorporate these accommodations in the instructional setting. Participants will receive tools for choosing appropriate accommodations and monitoring the effectiveness of chosen accommodations.

Join us for Accommodations Central on 12/8/14 from 9:00 to 4:00.

Use the following course number to register in eCampus: FA1429411

 

Math for All workshop coming up

 

 

 

 

Are you a math teacher? Do you have students with disabilities in your math class? Are you looking for strategies for how to address accommodations and modifications in your math class? Are you wondering about this new STAAR A assessment and what impact that will have on students in your math class? Are you looking for a workshop where you will have fun, learn practical strategies, and get a free book all in one day?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, come join us for Math for All: AGC in Math workshop on Wednesday, October 29th from 9 am to 4 pm.

To register visit http://ecampus.esc13.net

Search Math for All and we will see you there!

 

STAAR A Update

Region 13 attended TEA’s STAAR A training on Wednesday, September 24th. The training covered STAAR A, the computer based assessment with accommodations. We learned of the embedded accommodations and accessibility features that STAAR A will provide to students with disabilities. We also learned of the eligibility requirements and timeline for release of more information.

We have attached a one page overview with the most current STAAR A information. We are currently working on a FAQ document for STAAR A and will post that as soon as it is finalized.

STAAR A handout-new

To find the most current information from TEA about STAAR A visit http://texasassessment.com/administrations/STAAR-A/resources/

We will continue to post updates through our blog. If you have specific questions, please call JC Sanders at 512-919-5420 or email at jc.sanders@esc13.txed.net