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.

 

 

 

UDL Series: Meeting the Needs of All Students

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) offers all students a variety of ways to engage with the content. Today’s students enter classrooms with a wide range of skills, needs, and interests. At the same time, much of the curriculum available to teachers is narrowly focused, making it hard to meet the diverse needs of these students. Using the UDL framework can help you overcome curriculum barriers by focusing instruction on systematic learner variability rather than the mythical average student. Systematic learner variability is predictable, which means you can plan for it. Curriculum created using UDL is designed from the beginning to be flexible and customized, allowing teachers to meet students where they are.

Watch a video about how UDL classrooms are like an orchestra.

Learn from Todd Rose about the research behind learner variability.

Download Examples of addressing learner variability using the UDL Guidelines.

Reflect on why it’s important to know about learner variability. How do you or your teachers address learner variability in the classroom?

Join us monthly through July as we discuss the following topics and how the UDL framework can help you close the gap in student achievement! This blog series will culminate with a workshop by Katie Novak, our UDL Distinguished Speaker, on July 27th, 2018!


Registration now available for the workshop: UDL Now! A Guide to Classroom Application with Author Katie Novak

Participants can choose to attend face-to-face workshop or online workshop.

Register now for face-to-face workshop

Register now for online workshop


UDL Blog Series:

  • What do you know about Universal Design for Learning?
  • Meeting the Needs of All Students
  • UDL and the Every Student Succeeds Act
  • UDL and Teacher Appraisal Systems
  • Lesson Planning with UDL
  • Collaborative Teaching
  • Social and Emotional Learning
  • Producing Expert Learners
  • UDL and Technology
  • UDL Resources

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

UDL Series: What do you know about Universal Design for Learning?

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework for creating an approach to your instruction based on principles that allow all students to have access to the general education curriculum. Using a proactive approach to remove learning barriers by considering the natural variability of how students learn, UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials and assessments to help optimize learning.

In summary,

Watch UDL at a Glance and …

… reflect on your teaching or leadership practices.  How are students engaged? How are materials presented? How do students show what they know?

Join us monthly through July as we discuss the following topics and how the UDL framework can help you close the gap in student achievement! This blog series will culminate with a workshop by Katie Novak , our UDL Distinguished Speaker, on July 27th, 2018!

Click to register now for the face-to-face workshop
Click to register now for the online workshop

UDL Blog Series:

  • Meeting the Needs of All Students
  • Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
  • UDL and Teacher Appraisal Systems
  • Lesson Planning with UDL
  • Collaborative Teaching
  • Social and Emotional Learning
  • Producing Expert Learners
  • UDL and Technology
  • UDL Resources

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

 

Collaborative Teaching with Technology – July 28- Have You Registered?

Where do your comfort and skill levels fall with regards to effectively using technology to enhance your productivity and/or student outcomes?  Here’s a call to action- Join us July 28 for Collaborative Teaching with Technology!  

What? Learn how to enhance instruction and improve student outcomes by meaningfully integrating technology into your collaborative classroom.

Who? This workshop is designed to address the needs of a variety of collaborative instructional arrangements, whether providing co-teaching, inclusion support, or classroom consultation. This workshop is designed for YOU:

  • Edtech
  • Co-teachers
  • Inclusion support
  • Assistive technology
  • ESL support
  • GT
  • Total tech novice
  • I feel pretty confident in my tech skills
  • I don’t have access to technology in my classroom
  • I only have my teacher computer and 1 iPad/Chromebook

How? Through guided practice, you will use a variety of simple yet powerful technology tools for planning, data collection, formative assessment, differentiated instruction, and instructional accommodations.

You will also have a chance to explore additional self-selected technology tools relevant to your particular instructional arrangement and student needs.

Why, again? Having participated in examples of meaningful technology integration across varied classroom activities and practiced using the tech tools, you will be able to hit the ground running with engaging strategies for students and strategies for your own productivity and organization.

Where? Region 13

This workshop is a joint effort between Region 13 Specialists including Leslie Barrett (edtech/librarian), Kim West (special educator), Chris Teter (special educator/administrator) and Nichole Kertis Barton (AT/OT).  We’re excited to bring our different perspectives as well as be able to differentiate support based on your needs!  Please let us know if you have any questions.

For more details login to Ecampus and use workshop code SU1736528

Upcoming AAC Workshop: PECS to SGDs

young-girl-computer-lesson-teacher-online-child

Picture Exchange Communication System to Speech Generating Devices

Date: July 20, 2015

Time: 9-4:00pm

ID #: SU1532786

Register at: ecampus.esc13.net

Is your learner ready to transition to a Speech Generating Device? Do you need help selecting a device and/or preparing your learner for the transition? This training will help get your questions answered!

This full-day workshop will describe procedures for analyzing a learner’s current PECS skills to determine candidacy for transitioning to a Speech Generating Device (SGD). The course will also cover choosing a device, teaching functional use of the device, and why we must teach the basic principles of communication to our learner first to ensure positive outcomes are achieved.

Further details and information about registration can be found here.

*Participants should bring a Speech Generating Device (SGD) to the training for use during a variety of activities to get the full experience.

Computer Literacy and Kids with Disabilities

With the small amount of information currently available regarding the STAAR A assessment, teachers may be looking for resources around computer based learning and students with disabilities. A recent paper, from the National Center on Educational Outcomes, looks at some of the factors that affect students with disabilities on computer based assessments: Computer-based Testing: Practices and Considerations. Some of the key findings:

  • Classroom instruction time may be needed to train students how to navigate a computer-based test and how to use test tools.
  • Without prior training students often are unable to correctly use online rulers, protractors, and other online measurement tools.
  • States and test vendors sometimes fail to make practice tests and manuals available far enough ahead of test day to provide sufficient instructional time.
  • Students may also prefer CBT because it has the option of customizing the assessment based on personal preferences. For example, all students may be allowed to decide what background color they would like on the screen, or what font size they would prefer.
  • Interactions with computers may cause anxiety for some students.
  • Computer anxiety does not refer to negative attitudes towards computers, but rather to a student’s “emotional reaction to using computers” (Erdogan, 2008, p. 823).
  • Erdogan asserts that providing students with more opportunities to use computers during instruction has the potential to reduce computer anxiety.
  • In a small study focused on individuals with intellectual disabilities, Stock, Davies, and Wehmeyer (2004) found that many study participants preferred computer-based tests. The participants particularly liked being able to take the test with little assistance. Still, when students have the opportunity to self-select accommodations on a computer-based test, they sometimes make poor decisions.
  • Innovative formats may be especially challenging for students with visual impairments or poor fine motor skills. For example, it is difficult to braille innovative test items. It is also sometimes difficult to describe some online graphics without giving the answer away (Kamei-Hannan, 2008; Kettler et al., 2010; Russell et al., 2010; Thompson et al., 2002).

Educators may also be interested in the statewide results for the 8th grade Computer Literacy assessment from 2013-2014: Report Summary_13-14

Technology Tips for Oral Administration

Special Education teachers spend a lot of their time reading tests and quizzes out loud to students, not to mention regular classroom lessons and assignments. For some students, this is an unavoidable part of their instructional plan. But we think that, for many students, technology tools can provide an equally good, if not better, approach to this accommodation. And the less time teachers spend in the “reader-role”, the more time they can spend doing what they do best — teaching students.

In the video below, Kim and Nichole explore two approaches to using technology for Oral Administration: using text-to-speech tools and letting teachers record themselves. Beneath the video you will find an array of resources for planning the implementation of this approach. These tools might be more than enough to set you on your way, but if you have questions or would like to talk through your campus’s unique needs, please don’t hesitate to contact:

Nichole.Kertis@esc13.txed.net Region 13 Assistive Technology Specialist
Kim.West@esc13.txed.net Region 13 Access to the General Curriculum Specialist

 Tools:

Tech Tips for OA (Quick Reference)
Accurate Accommodations
Accommodation Effectiveness Form

Basic Computer Skills Assessment
iPadSkillsChecklist_DigitalLiteracy
ReadingDifficulties.Specify.AT.Eddyburn

Register Now! Class is 4/25/2013.

All participants will receive a copy of the book and a flash drive to save their work!

Attention PPCD, Early Childhood and Primary Lifeskills!  Only one week left until we welcome author and presenter  Jessica Roberts, who will walk us through making a video-based social story.  For more information on video social stories, visit her website:

http://videostorieshelp.webs.com/

Jessica will pair up with a Region 13  literacy specialist for a full day of training.

Register through ESC 13 ecampus, there are still a few seats available.

Course Number: SP1324232

Course Name: Literacy and Video Modeling in the Early Childhood Classroom

Price: $50.00