Math for All – AGC in Math





STAAR – Modified is going away. What does that mean for my students in math next year?

In this workshop you will learn how to accommodate and modify instruction in the math classroom. Develop a plan for preparing all your students for higher expectations.

Hands-on experiences will be provided to show you how to meet the needs of a diverse population. Various resources and tools will be shared at this training.  Participants will have the opportunity to collaborate and network with other math and special education teachers.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 9 – 4pm

Register at

Workshop ID # SP1426974 – Math for All

STAAR-Modified ARD Committee Information

This morning, TEA gave a very brief presentation on the transition away from STAAR-Modified. Below are some key points:

  • The participation requirements for STAAR-Alternate will not change. If students did not meet these requirements in past years they will not meet them in the current.
  • TEA staff has been working on plans for possible additional accommodations via an online delivery system, similar in functionality to STAAR L. We should not expect to receive details on these until late 2014.
  • It is important to thoroughly document classroom accommodations and modifications in the IEP. If students are receiving classroom accommodations/modifications like simplified vocabulary, lowered reading level, definitions of words, embedded formula tables, preview text and pictures, simplified graphics, and the like — it is important to capture this information in the IEP with as much specificity as possible.
  • Reduced answer choices and passing standards will be going away along with the STAAR-Modified assessment but remember that the state assessment does not dictate the kinds of instruction and services that students receive.
  • Continue to document carefully all classroom accommodations and modifications in the IEP so that all of the hard work that you do with your students can be of maximum possible benefit on the state assessment.

View the TEA powerpoint here:Modified Transition Update_TETN 31593_01-30-14 JP
For reference, you may be interested in viewing the STAAR-L linguistic accommodations student tutorial:

Matt Holloway
Region 13 ESC

ELA Reading/Writing Blueprints for 2014 STAAR-M Released

Based on the requirements of House Bill 5, the English I and II reading and writing assessments must be combined into a single English I and II assessment and be administered on one day. The attached chart represents the revised blueprint for the STAAR Modified English test redesign to meet the single-test/single-day requirement: STAARM-Eng-revsd-blueprints-2014.

Remember that 2013-2014 will be the final administration of the STAAR Modified assessment.

You can find all of the STAAR Modified blueprints here:

2013 STAAR Assessments Released

Another recent news bulletin from TEA announces the release of STAAR test items from the 2013 assessment. Note that STAAR Modified questions will not be released until 2014, which will also be the final administration of STAAR Modified. From the bulletin:

The STAAR Modified assessment is not part of this accelerated release, but will be made available in 2014, as currently scheduled. The U.S. Department of Education has informed states that assessments based on modified standards for students served by special education cannot be used for accountability purposes after the 2013-2014 school year. As a result of this federal directive, all STAAR Modified assessments will be administered for the final time during the 2013-2014 assessment cycle.

View the bulletin here:

STAAR-M HB- 5 News Release from TEA

From the News Release:

STAAR Modified Program
The U.S. Department of Education has informed states that assessments based on modified standards for students served by special education cannot be used for accountability purposes after the 2013–2014 school year. As a result of that federal directive, all STAAR Modified assessments will be administered for the final time during the 2013–2014 assessment cycle. Further information regarding plans for the inclusion of this population of students in the general assessment program beginning with the 2014–2015 school year will be forthcoming.

Benchmark Testing
HB 5 prohibits districts from administering more than two benchmark assessments for any corresponding grade/subject or course STAAR assessment. To ensure that students are truly prepared for STAAR, schools must develop strong, coherent academic programs and provide students with high-quality instruction.

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The letter also includes information about STAAR Alternate, Graduation Requirements, Performance Standards, and Benchmark Testing. Read the full text here.

Accommodations Strategies and Resources


We hope you all are having fun, safe, refreshing summers so far. As we talk with teachers around the Region, there is a lot of discussion about graphic organizers as mnemonic accommodations for students with learning disabilities. For certain students, blank graphic organizers may also be allowable accommodations on the statewide assessment. Research into graphic organizers indicates two important points: first, that they work best when information is delivered from big ideas down to details, with an opportunity for students to summarize information at the end. Second, that students get the most benefit when graphic organizers are used strategically. For example, if a science teacher were consistent with one type of G.O. for her lectures, another for investigations, and a third for review, this consistency would allow students to develop greater fluency with the resource.

There are an abundance of free graphic organizers on the internet. Here is one good resource: Free Graphic Organizers.

Also, many Social Studies teachers are interested in using blank maps as an accommodation for certain students. A blank map can be a great way to trigger recall in students. There are also many of these resources online, but here is one fairly comprehensive set: Free Blank Outline Maps.

Our Special Education department at Region 13 has been very busy this month. Between the Inclusion Institute, Hill Country Institute, and Beat the Heat we have seen approximately 1,000 of you in person and another 500 or more virtually! As you make plans for professional development, keep the following options in mind:

SU1323766 Power of Inclusion- 2 Day 7/23/2013
FA1327099 Accommodation Central – Primary 10/9/2013
SP1427164 Accommodation Central – Primary 1/13/2014
SP1427100 Accommodation Central – Secondary 1/13/2014
FA1327163 Accommodation Central – Secondary 10/7/2013
FA1326973 Math for All- AGC grades 3-12 11/12/2013
FA1327107 Accessing the General Curriculum in ELAR 9/23/2013
FA1326408 Accessing the General Curriculum in Science 12/3/2013

STAAR-Modified Side-by-Side Comparisons are Available NOW

We have created a series of documents that allow teachers to compare released test questions on the STAAR-Modified exam with released questions from the regular STAAR exam. These documents are free and available here: The aim of these documents is to provide teachers with a quick, at-a-glance reference to the implementation of the STAAR Modification Guidelines.  Please note that fonts have not been adjusted in the interest of space.  The documents are not for student use and are for teacher reference only.

STAAR Supplemental Aids Project is Open for Submissions

Region 13 is happy to announce that our Supplemental Aids project is again open for submissions. Teachers whose students benefit from the “Supplemental Aids” accommodation may have questions about whether their documents are allowable according to TEA guidelines. They may upload those documents for timely review here:

Region 13 specialists will review the documents and will also periodically post helpful examples on our site.

Social Studies Inclusion in the Age of STAAR

Accessing the General Curriculum in Social Studies: Inclusion in the Age of STAAR

Register at eCampus SP1325858

In this workshop we will:

  • · Develop instructional strategies for teachers in inclusive Social Studies classrooms
  • · Analyze STAAR-M questions for modification strategies
  • · Study accommodations available to students with disabilities on Social Studies assessments
  • · Engage in brain based strategies and learn how to apply them in the classroom so all students can better retain and apply information

Next Session:

Tuesday, March 19

Cost: $45


Region 13 ESC

5701 Springdale Road

Austin, TX 78723


Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us.

Interested in inclusion workshops in other contact areas? Click HERE:



Matt Holloway
Special Education Specialist
(512) 919-5396
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June 14, 2013
Inclusion Institute 2013: Deeper Learning

Accessing the General Curriculum in the Content Areas

Region 13 Education Specialists are teaming up to provide you with content area specific special education training.

This training will provide you with a comparison of STAAR and STAAR Modified, how to modify assessments to align with STAAR Modified, allowable accommodations on STAAR, and using accommodations in the classroom.

This training is for general and special education teachers 3rd through 12th grade.

Register today on E-campus


Click to download flyer AGC in the Content Areas