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.


  • 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 

Darcy Schiller, Autism Education Specialist, 512-919-5224 or email

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.



Inclusion Institute Registration OPEN

Registration is now open for the June 14, 2013 Inclusion Institute —

Attend in Person: SU1323425
Attend Virtually: SU1325767

Join us for an energetic institute focused on effective collaboration and instructional
practices to better support students with disabilities in the general education classroom!
Following a dynamic keynote speaker and productive breakout sessions, you’ll walk away with
practical solutions for day-to-day inclusion challenges.

Author LeAnn Nickelsen will facilitate a morning workshop based
on Deeper Learning: 7 Powerful Strategies for Longer Lasting
Learning, which she co-authored with Eric Jensen.

will explore key challenges of inclusion
including collaboration, literacy, accommodations and
modifications for STAAR, transition goals in the classroom, assistive
technology, behavior management, brain-based learning, STAAR
review strategies, IEP alignment, including students with autism,
and more.

Download the flyer: Inclusion Institute 2013

Looking for Summer PD? Early Childhood Institute meets Beat the Heat 2012

What: Early Childhood Institute Meets Beat the Heat 2012

ESC Region XIII’s Beat the Heat and Early Childhood conferences are combining forces this year to provide a three-day professional development opportunity for educators and parents who work with children with special needs. The specific focus will address the needs of all children ages 3-5 and children with significant disabilities ages 6-21.

When: July 23, 24, 25   July 23 is a pre-conference day consisting of six day-long sessions to provide an in-depth learning opportunity at a more advanced level.  July 24 and 25 follow the more traditional format of a keynote speaker, Dan Habib, with breakout sessions.  Choose to attend either July 23, July 24 and 25, or all three days!

Where: ESC Region 13

See this flyer for more information, including topics presented on July 23, strands for July 24-25, and costs for attending.

STAAR Alternate 2012-2013


While school staff finishes up the initial administration of STAAR Alternate, the TEA STAAR Alternate Team has been planning next year’s assessment.

What we know so far:

1. Essence Statements for Spring 2013 administration are posted at

2. Assessment tasks will be posted in August after they have been reviewed by educator committees in July.

3. The Participation Requirements will not change for next year.

4. The “ARD Guide for Determining High School STAAR Alternate Assessments” has been updated and is posted at

For any STAAR Alternate questions, the ESC Region XIII contact is  Ann Jacobson,, 512.919.5167.

For Graduation Requirements questions, the ESC Region XIII contact is Elizabeth Schroeder,, 512.919.5182.


NEW Special Education STAAR Resources Page

We are proud to announce our new Special Education STAAR Resources page.  When you visit this page, expect to find relevant and helpful tools to help make the transition to STAAR a smooth one, specifically for students receiving special education services.  We are hoping this will become one of your frequently visited sites for all things related to special education and STAAR.

You’ll find resources and quick links listed for STAAR, STAAR Modified, and STAAR Alternate.

The tools and links on this page are just the beginning, we are already planning and working on the next set of resources.

If you have any ideas for tools and resources you think we need to add to the site, please let us know by leaving a comment below.

STAAR Alternate Updates

The TEA has released new updates pertaining to STAAR Alternate.  Some of the highlights are listed below, but do access the full document by clicking here.

The highlights pertain to the STAAR Alternate training modules and End-of-Course enrollment and assessment.

The new STAAR Alternate training modules, 1-3, will be available on August 29, 2011 on their home training site.  The modules are more rigorous and you’ll only be allowed two opportunities to pass each module with 80% accuracy.  The recommendation is that you review each module carefully, review all of the information on every page, every roll over, every scroll bar… I think you get the point.  In other words, take your time and pass the test within your first couple of tries.  If a test administrator is unable to pass the modules after two different attempts, it will be up to the district to provide further supplemental support.

2. The TEA will not be hosting any face-to-face training sessions at your local ESC.  All of the training will be hosted online.  If you feel like you have additional training needs after completing the online modules, please don’t hesitate to call on our STAAR Alternate contact, Ann Jacobson, at or 512-919-5167.

3. A decision has been made about previously taken TAKS-ALT assessments in relation to End-of-Course assessments.  According to the TEA, high school students who have previously taken TAKS-Alt assessment will be given credit for their previous TAKS-Alt participation.  The table located on page three of this document, illustrates the specific participation credits by grade, content area, and assessment.

Please contact Ann Jacobson, at or 512-919-5167, with any of your STAAR Alternate questions.