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,

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.




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, Ann Jacobson, or Ann Jinkins

STAAR A Practice Sets are Posted for March Testing

Email from TEA’s Justin Porter regarding STAAR A Online Practice Tests.


Over the last two weeks we have posted practice tests to the STAAR Online Testing Platform (SOTP) as they have become available. As of late last night, all practice tests associated with the March test administrations have been posted as well as a sprinkling of practice tests associated with May. Over the next couple of weeks, the remaining practice tests associated with May grades and subjects will be posted.

Please forward this information on to interested district staff in your region.


Thank you for your patience with this ongoing release.  

 Justin Porter Ed.D.

Director, Assessments for Special Populations

 Student Assessment Division                                                            

Texas Education Agency

STAAR A Tutorials are now posted

The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) online tutorials are now available through the STAAR Online Testing Platform. The STAAR practice tests will be released in the next few weeks as they become available. The tutorials and practice tests are designed to provide opportunities for students and staff to familiarize themselves with the online testing environment and embedded tools. It is expected that all students participating in an online test administration complete the tutorial and practice tests prior to taking the assessment. This includes students taking STAAR end-of-course (EOC), STAAR standardized oral administration (SOA), STAAR L, and STAAR A online assessments.
The tutorial is the first step for students to learn about the online testing environment. The tutorial shows students how to navigate through the test, respond to the different question types, and access the available tools. Tutorials are available for each grade/subject and course that is offered online.
Practice Tests
The practice tests are the second step for students to learn about the online testing environment. The practice tests provide students with an opportunity to interact with the test interface, respond to questions, and locate and use available tools. Practice tests will be available for each grade/subject and course that is offered online. The content used in an individual practice test is representative of content for that grade band and subject but does not necessarily align to the specific curriculum standards for that test. The STAAR Online Testing Platform operates through a secure browser that must be installed on a desktop or tablet. Instructions for downloading and installing the secure browser are included in the attachment.
For questions about the STAAR program, call TEA’s Student Assessment Division at (512)463-9536. For questions about the STAAR Online Testing Platform or for support installing the secure browsers, call the Texas Assessment Support Center at (855) 333-7770.
Additional information can be found at TEA’s Student Assessment page.
STAAR A information from Region 13 can be found on our STAAR A Thinglink.
Contact us if you have questions.
JC Sanders – Access to the General Curriculum
Nichole Kertis-Barton – Assistive Technology
Trish Flores – ESL and Bilingual
Judy Bulter – Dyslexia and 504

Are you wondering how to effectively choose and use accommodations for students with disabilities?

Then come to Accommodations Central workshop on December 1, 2015!

In this workshop you will acquire tools to implement a five step accommodation process that includes selection, administration, and evaluation of accommodations in the classroom. You will also learn how to link appropriate classroom accommodations to appropriate testing accommodations.

Region 13 Specialists will provide updated information about STAAR Accommodations Triangle and STAAR A.

This workshop will look at accommodations suitable for students from kindergarten through 12th grade. The accommodation process is applicable to any subject area and meaningful to special education teachers as well as general education teachers.

We hope to see you there!

To register visit, and search for Accommodations Central or workshop #FA1532296

Do you have questions about allowable supplemental aids for STAAR assessments?

Texas Education Agency (TEA) has posted an up-dated Power Point training for the use of allowable supplemental aids for STAAR assessments.

To review the Power Point from the TEA website click here.

Remember any allowable accommodation for STAAR must be routinely, independently, and effectively used as an accommodation during classroom instruction and classroom testing before it meets the criteria as an accommodation for the STAAR assessments.

Allowable supplemental aids include:

Mnemonic Devices SA1

Blank Graphic Organizers SA2

Math Charts SA3

Pictorial Models of Fractions and Geometric Figures SA4

Written Composition Rules SA5

Science Graphics SA6

Science Formula Triangles SA7

Blank Maps SA8

Timelines SA9


Another important reminder, supplemental aids do not have to be STAAR compliant the first time the aid is introduced to the student. Provide what is necessary for the aid to be meaningful for the student based on the student’s individual needs. Then work to scaffold and adapt the aid to then be test ready by STAAR time.

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 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 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 and scroll down to Training Information Fall Update TETN.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact JC Sanders, for STAAR accommodation triangle or STAAR A questions, Joanna Ryan, for STAAR Alternate 2 questions, or Nichole Kertis Barton,  for Assistive Technology questions.


STAAR A Administration Information


District personnel should familiarize themselves with online testing policies and procedures in the test administration manuals, as well as technology information at


Students taking grades 3-5, grades 6-8, or end-of-course (EOC) STAAR A assessments can access STAAR A student tutorials to practice using the available features at

Stand-alone practice sets for gridding answers, typing written responses, and using online calculators are available to students at


Evaluate Online Testing Infrastructure
District and campus testing coordinators should work with technology staff to ensure that infrastructure is in place for online testing with STAAR A. Information about setting up and conducting online administrations and navigating TestNav can be found in the TestNav 7 Combined Technical Guide and TestNav and Proctor Caching Quick Start available at For more information about preparing for online testing, refer to the Infrastructure Readiness for Online Testing email at

Build STAAR A Test Sessions
Districts should ensure that STAAR A online test sessions are created in the Texas Assessment Management System, delivered through PearsonAccess. Refer to the Creating a New Test Session section of the Users Guide for the Texas Assessment Management System at for information about setting up STAAR A test sessions.

After selecting the test from the Test to be Administered drop-down menu, carefully make selections from the remaining lists of options determined by the accommodations available to the student. Details for selecting the Read Aloud by Test Examiner option are described below.

Select No if the student will take the STAAR A assessment online or with a TEA-approved paper administration. Then select either STAAR A Online or STAAR A Transcribe Paper from the Default Form Group Type drop-down menu.

Select Yes ONLY if the student will receive a signed administration or lip reading of the STAAR A assessment then select Proctor STAAR A from the Default Form Group Type drop-down menu.


STAAR A Grades 4 and 7 Two-Day Writing Online Seal Codes
STAAR A grades 4 and 7 writing are two-day assessments. The original student authorization must be used on both days to access the test. When students are finished with their tests on Day 1, select the Exit button and then select the I want to exit this test and finish later option. The Day 2 section of the online assessment can only be accessed by logging in with the student authorization from the previous day and then entering a seal code into TestNav. The seal code is listed on the Seal Codes PDF available under the Authorizations drop-down menu on the Session Details screen for each online session. For more information about student authorizations and online seal codes, refer to the Viewing and Printing Authorizations and Seal Codes sections of the Users Guide for the Texas Assessment Management System at

Transcription of Student Responses to STAAR A Written Compositions
For the 2015 administration, students taking the STAAR A grade 4 writing assessment may have their responses to the written composition typed exactly as written by the student, including mistakes, into the TestNav response boxes by a test administrator, if needed. Test administrators should be trained on the guidelines for transcribing student responses found in the Special Instructions/Considerations section of the Basic Transcribing accommodation policy. This policy can be found on TEAs Accommodations Resources webpage at

Students taking the STAAR A grade 7 writing, English I, or English II assessments must type their own responses into TestNav unless they are eligible for the Basic Transcribing accommodation. Eligibility for this accommodation must be documented in the appropriate paperwork (e.g., IEP, IAP).

For questions about the administration of STAAR A assessments, call Education Service Center Region 13 at 512-919-5420 or TEAs Student Assessment Division at 512-463-9536. For questions about the Assessment Management System, call Pearsons Austin Operations Center at 800-627-0225.