Are Your Students Taking STAAR Online?

If so, it’s important that they familiarize themselves with the online testing environment and embedded tools. One great way to do this is to use the STAAR Online Features & Supports Checklist while completing the STAAR online tutorials and practice tests.

STAAR Online Features & Supports Checklist

It’s important to explicitly teach students how to use the features and supports available as part of the STAAR online assessment. This checklist breaks down the general navigation tools, accessibility features, and designated supports so you can target your students’ practice time and track their progress toward proficiency. The checklist can also be used to keep track of student preferences, such as the speed of the text-to-speech and color background. In addition to helping students, the checklist is a great tool for parents to learn about the STAAR online assessment. Parents can download the STAAR Online Testing Platform to their home computer and practice with their child.

STAAR Online Tutorials

The tutorials are the first step for students to learn about the online testing environment. The tutorials show students how to navigate through the test, respond to the different question types, and access the available tools. In addition, short videos illustrate how to use the various features and tools. Tutorials are available for various grades/subjects and courses.

STAAR Online Practice Tests

The practice tests are the second step for students to learn about the online testing environment. The practice tests are released STAAR test forms that have been previously administered. These tests provide students with an opportunity to interact with the test interface, respond to questions, and locate and use available tools. Practice tests are available for various grades/subjects and courses.

Resources

The STAAR Online Testing Platform operates through a secure browser that must be installed on a desktop or tablet in order to access the tutorials and practice tests. Links to the secure browsers are available at https://www.texasassessment.com/technology/.

The Educator Guide to Accessibility within the STAAR Program provides information about the features and supports that make the STAAR accessible to all students. The guide also includes specific examples of the online features and supports offered on STAAR online.

For more information contact Gretchen Kehrberg, gretchen.kehrberg@esc13.txed.net.

 

Are you looking for Supplemental Aids?

Are you looking for examples of supplemental aids to use in your classroom? You’re in luck! The Accommodation Central website now has downloadable supplemental aids in both a Teach and Test version for all of the TEA allowable supplemental aids. Examples include mnemonics, graphic organizers, math charts, and more!

Follow these steps to access the resources.

  1. Go to the Accommodation Central website.
  2. Type supplemental aids in the search box.
  3. Click on the entry for the type of supplemental aid you’re interested in.
  4. Scroll down until you see downloadable resources.
  5. Click on the link to download the supplemental aid example.

For more information about supplemental aids check out this video. In the video you will learn details about supplemental aids including:

  • The purpose of supplemental aids
  • Who can use supplemental aids on state assessments
  • Who determines eligibility to use supplemental aids
  • How to implement and individualize supplemental aids
  • Where to find more resources about supplemental aids

For more information contact Gretchen Kehrberg, gretchen.kehrberg@esc13.txed.net.

 

STAAR Stuff: Supplemental Aids for Science

What are supplemental aids?

Supplemental aids are paper-based resources that assist a student in recalling information and concepts taught in class.

Who can use supplemental aids?

To be eligible to use supplemental aids on a state assessment, the student needs to routinely, independently, and effectively use it during classroom instruction and classroom testing.

Check out this video highlighting the four types of supplemental aids eligible students can use on the science STAAR tests.

Where can I get more information about supplemental aids?

The TEA Supplemental Aids Policy Document has more information on supplemental aids, including determining eligibility and types for each subject area. Check out the Accommodation Central website to view a variety of supplemental aid downloadable examples.

AND . . .

If you’re looking for ways to meet the diverse needs of students in your science classroom then register today for the Science for All workshop!

In the workshop you will explore evidence-based instructional strategies designed to help all students, especially struggling learners, make progress toward success. You will also learn about accommodations and modifications, how to implement supplemental aids, and tips for helping students transfer their knowledge from instructional practices to the STAAR test. This day-long workshop is designed for all science teachers, but is particularly applicable to teachers of STAAR tested grades (grade 5, grade 8, and biology). You will participate in hands-on activities, small-group discussion, and will leave with ideas and strategies you can start using with your students right away!

Date: January 28, 2019

Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Cost: $45.00

Register for Science for All in Ecampus by using course number SP1940797.

For more information contact Gretchen Kehrberg, gretchen.kehrberg@esc13.txed.net.

Register today for Science for All!

Are you looking for ways to meet the diverse needs of students in your science classroom?

 

The Science for All workshop will explore evidence-based instructional strategies designed to help all students, especially struggling learners, make progress toward success. You will also learn about accommodations and modifications, how to implement supplemental aids, and tips for helping students transfer their knowledge from instructional practices to the STAAR test. This day-long workshop is designed for all science teachers, but is particularly applicable to teachers of STAAR tested grades (grade 5, grade 8, and biology). You will participate in hands-on activities, small-group discussion, and will leave with ideas and strategies you can start using with your students right away!

Date: January 28, 2019

Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Cost: $45.00

Register for Science for All in Ecampus by using course number SP1940797.

For more information contact Gretchen Kehrberg, gretchen.kehrberg@esc13.txed.net.

2018 STAAR Online Testing Issues

 

The Commissioner has addressed the online testing issues experienced in April and again in May.

In April, the event impacted students taking the grades 5 and 8 mathematics, 4 and 7 writing and English I tests.  In May, the event primarily impacted students taking the grades 3-8 reading test.

During the April 2018 administration of STAAR, 41,702 students were testing online.  Of the 278,434 tested students served in special education, 14,673 were testing online and were impacted.

During the May 2018 administration of STAAR, approximately 29,307 students encountered a connectivity slowdown of approximately 90 minutes. Of the 278,434 tested students served in special education, 4,594 were testing online and were impacted.

Waiving SSI Requirements for Students Impacted by the Online Testing Issues

Students in grades 5 and 8 who were directly affected by either of the online testing issues above and who did not perform satisfactorily on the May 2018 assessment, will not be required to retest during the June 2018 SSI administration.

Districts should determine, on an individual student basis, whether accelerated instruction should be offered for students who did not pass the assessment in May. For the 2017–2018 school year, districts are not required to convene grade placement committees based on results from the affected subject test. Instead, districts should use local discretion and all relevant and available academic information (e.g., the recommendation of the teacher and the student’s grade in each subject) to make appropriate promotion/retention decisions for these students.

The complete press release can be found here: To The Administrator Addressed .

For additional information contact your campus or district testing coordinator.

 

 

 

STAAR Alternate 2 Updates

TEA has shared their Fall Update: New Features of the STAAR Alternate 2 for 2017-2018! 

  • Large print student booklets are now available and can be ordered by districts through the enrollment collection process.
  • Student booklets will feature limited color images.
  • An image card set will come with each standard size student booklet.  Cards contain the same images that appear in the student booklet.
  • An Exit Survey must be completed upon the submission of all student responses and can be found in the Assessment Management System.

Revisions

  • Medical Exemption Form:  Under the section, Specific Medical Condition Eligibility Criteria, the form now states that a student meets the criteria for medical exemption if they are unable to respond to test questions due to a “terminal or degenerative illness.”  Previously, students met the criteria if they were unable to answer a test question due to a “chronic illness.”
  • In The Test Administrator Manual, under the Medical Exemption score coding section, what previously read, “The student is receiving non-academic homebound services due to medical issues and does not receive academic instruction,” now reads, “The student is unable to receive sufficient or consistent homebound services due to medical issues.”
  • Some prerequisite skills have been added to the Curriculum Framework and Vertical Alignment documents.
  • The “Confidential Student Report” will now be known as the “STAAR Alternate 2 Student Report Card,” and will include parent resources.

Key Dates

  • NEW Enrollment Collection: October 23rd-November 10th, 2017
  • October 20th- Essence Statements and Test Blueprints will be posted (projected)
  • Last Date for STAAR Alternate 2 Test Administrator Training: March 16, 2018
  • Preview Window: March 19-30, 2018
  • Assessment Window: April 2-20, 2018
  • Verification Window: April 23 & 24, 2018
  • Students who transfer/move to a new district AFTER the first day of the STAAR Alternate 2 testing window (April 2nd, 2018) do not have to be tested.
  • Region 13 will be presenting two free workshops focusing on STAAR Alternate 2 administration

To learn more about these updates, please join the Accommodation Central Community for a Live Chat on October 31st from 3:30 – 4:00.  Visit Accommodation Central to reserve your spot.

For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Russell, Low Incidence Disabilities Education Specialist, 512-919-5206 or email jennifer.russell@esc13.txed.net 

Darcy Schiller, Autism Education Specialist, 512-919-5224 or email darcy.schiller@esc13.txed.net

Communication Connections Conference Website Launch

We are pleased to announce the launch of our CCC for SLPs website.  Find it at https://goo.gl/LrDt95.

Created as a companion resource to our conference, this website can be accessed across all platforms (iOS, Mac, PC, Android…).  As a conference guide, you can bookmark this site in your favorite browser and use it to:

  1. Follow the Schedule
  2. Refer to Session Descriptions to choose the ones that are right for you.
  3. Download and print Handouts. Please note! Printed handouts will not be available at the conference. Links to the handouts can be found in the session descriptions.  Handouts are being posted as soon as they are received from the presenters.

This conference brings you a fresh look on an old favorite!  Join us in learning evidence-based practices on topics ranging from evaluation to service delivery and everything in between.

This conference starts in just 8 days!  Have you registered? We still have a few open spots!  Register today, you can attend onsite or online.

FIE to IEP – the ABCs of a Well-Written Plan

Team workFIE to IEP pictureThere are many aspects to writing a complete Individualized Education Program (IEP). These documents, when well-written, can be assets to the students they are designed for as well as their teachers.  It takes a multidisciplinary team to create such dynamic and effective plans.

This two-day training will focus on combining the details of a Full Individual Evaluation (FIE) with the knowledge of good instructional practice to write powerful PLAAFP statements which will lead to student-focused goalsTeams that include both assessment personnel and special education teachers will benefit from working together during these two days.

Participants will leave with tools to support their efforts for well-written IEPs aligned to the standards.  This intensive instruction will allow time for participant practice, reflection, and  individual questions.

IEP Best Practice: FIE to IEP

January 5 and 6, 2017

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Register for this workshop, SP1736044, in Ecampus.

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

Joy Hunsucker, joy.hunsucker@esc13.txed.net

 

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

Hill Country Summer Institute App Available!

Hill Country Summer Institute LogoAre you attending this year’s Hill Country Summer Institute? We’d like to help you make the most of your time at the institute by providing you access to our app.

Here are some of its features:

  1. Schedule – From the main schedule you can create your own personal schedule.
  2. Speakers – Browse through our speakers and select session provided by your favorites!
  3. Handouts Please note! Printed handouts will not be available at the institute. We are making handouts available for download through this app.  Links to handouts can be found in two locations within the app in the session descriptions and in each speaker’s bio.
  4. Floor Maps – Have our floor maps in the palm of your hand!
  5. Twitter – Tweet about Hill Country directly through the app using this hashtag: #r13hillco. You can also follow the discussions @SLPRegion13.

Our app is available on three different platforms.

FYI! The iPhone and Android apps will sync across platforms and devices.  For example, if you have an Android phone and an iPad, you can download the app to both devices.  You create a profile/login on one device.  When you open the app on the other device, you will use the login/profile you created to access your information.

The WebApp works only online and is device and browser specific.  It will not sync your information across platforms, browsers or devices.

Download the app!  The 2016 Hill Country Summer Institute will be here before you know it!