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ARD Committee Training for the 2013–2014 Texas Assessment Program 1.

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1 ARD Committee Training for the 2013–2014 Texas Assessment Program 1

2 Training-Related Acronyms  ARD - Admission, Review, and Dismissal  DAP - Distinguished Achievement Program  ELL - English Language Learner  ELPS - English Language Proficiency Standards  EOC - End-of-Course  FIE - Full Individual Evaluation  GPC - Grade Placement Committee  IDEA - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act  IEP - Individualized Education Program  LEP - Limited English Proficiency  LPAC - Language Proficiency Assessment Committee  MHSP - Minimum High School Program  NRO – no response observed  PEIMS - Public Education Information Management System  PLAAFP - Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance  RHSP - Recommended High School Program  SSI – Student Success Initiative  STAAR - State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness  STAAR L - Linguistically accommodated version of STAAR  TAC - Texas Administrative Code  TAKS - Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills  TEA - Texas Education Agency  TEKS - Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills  TELPAS - Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System  TETN - Texas Education Telecommunication Network 2

3 3 Overview of the Texas Assessment Program

4 4 What state assessments are available to students in Texas? STAAR STAAR Spanish STAAR LSTAAR Modified STAAR Alternate TAKS (Accommodated) exit level retests TAKS exit level retests TELPAS

5 What STAAR assessments are available to students receiving special education services in 2014?  STAAR – for students first enrolled in grade 9 or below in the school year  STAAR Spanish – available for eligible students in grades 3-5  STAAR L – available for eligible ELL students requiring linguistically accommodated STAAR assessments for grades 3-8 and EOC mathematics, science, and social studies 5

6 What STAAR assessments are available to students receiving special education services in 2014?  STAAR Modified – available in grades 3-8 and EOC for students who receive special education services and meet the participation requirements for an alternate assessment based on modified academic achievement standards  The USDE 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. Therefore, all STAAR Modified assessments will be administered for the final time during the 2013–2014 assessment cycle.  STAAR Alternate – available in grades 3-8 and EOC for students who have significant cognitive disabilities and meet the participation requirements for an alternate assessment based on alternate academic achievement standards 6

7 What STAAR assessments can ELLs receiving special education services take?  STAAR  STAAR Spanish (grades 3-5)  STAAR Modified or STAAR Alternate  STAAR L  STAAR L – linguistically accommodated STAAR assessments for eligible ELLs  Available for mathematics, science, and social studies, grade 3 and above, including EOC  No STAAR L forms of STAAR Modified but linguistic accommodations available for eligible ELLs who take STAAR Modified  Participation requirements available on STAAR L Resources webpage at 7

8 What TAKS assessments are available to students receiving special education services?  Exit level TAKS/TAKS (Accommodated) retests – available for students graduating under the TAKS requirements  If a student was absent for or failed an exit level TAKS or TAKS (Accommodated) assessment, he or she must retest unless the ARD committee has determined otherwise.  For more information, refer to the TAKS Graduation Flowcharts at  TAKS Modified (TAKS–M) – no longer available  Meeting the passing standard on TAKS–M is not a requirement for graduation, so participating in additional testing opportunities is not necessary.  Students who are graduating under the TAKS requirements and meet the TAKS–M participation requirements do not test. 8

9 What TAKS assessments can ELLs receiving special education services take?  Exit level TAKS/TAKS (Accommodated) retests – available for students graduating under the TAKS requirements  For the TAKS program, no changes to the  LEP postponements for exit level  Participation requirements for unschooled asylees/refugees  More information on the LPAC Resources webpage at 9

10 What is TELPAS?  For ELLs grades K–12  Listening, speaking, reading, writing  Measures annual growth in English language acquisition  In very rare cases the ARD committee and LPAC may determine that a student should not be assessed in one or more domains due to the student’s particular disability  More information is available on the TELPAS Resources webpage at 10

11 11 Making the State Assessment Decision

12 12 The ARD committee reviews the student's PLAAFP and instructional goals and determines how the student accesses the grade-level/course curriculum (TEKS). With or without accommodations STAAR TAKS TAKS (Accommodated) Through modified TEKS-based instruction STAAR Modified Through prerequisite skills STAAR Alternate

13 What does “access” mean?  Access = a means of approach… how a teacher exposes a student to the grade-level/course TEKS 13 Instructional Focus Access MethodInstructional Examples Instruction covers all of the required curriculum AccommodationsExtra time, formatting changes, manipulatives, spelling assistance, transcribing, calculator STAAR TAKS/TAKS (Accommodated)

14 14 Instructional FocusAccess MethodInstructional Examples Exposure to all of the curriculum; IEP goals may focus on select student expectations or address all student expectations but in a broad, simplified manner ModificationsDeleting extraneous information, limiting number of steps in questions, simplifying decoding level, simplifying numbers, defining difficult vocabulary Individualized instruction that exposes the student to selected knowledge and skills statements through aligned student expectations from earlier grades Prerequisite skills linked to grade-level/ course curriculum Individualized supports, materials, and response modes to compensate for the student's disability STAAR Modified STAAR Alternate

15 15 What should an ARD committee know prior to making an assessment decision for a student?  ARD committees must understand:  What state assessments are required and available  Assessed TEKS and/or ELPS  Participation requirements for specific assessments  Design and format of each state assessment  Accommodation policies for the STAAR or TAKS programs  Implications of taking a particular state assessment

16 What should an ARD committee consider first when making assessment decisions?  Participation in the general assessment should be the first consideration when determining the appropriate assessment for a student receiving special education services.  General assessments = STAAR, TAKS, TAKS (Accommodated)  Most students receiving special education services in Texas are assessed with the general assessment, with or without accommodations. Students should be challenged with the most rigorous assessment possible. 16

17 The First Consideration = The General Assessment  ARD committees must determine whether the general assessment is the most appropriate by:  Reviewing the student’s present level of academic achievement and functional performance (PLAAFP)  The PLAAFP should provide the committee members with a clear understanding of the student’s performance in the grade- level/course TEKS, including strengths, current areas of need, and accommodations, modifications, or supports used.  Reviewing the student’s instructional plan  This is the basis for making appropriate assessment decisions.  The ARD committee must have a clear understanding of how the student will access the grade-level/course curriculum, including accommodations, modifications, or supports needed. 17

18 18 What should be documented in the student’s IEP when considering the general assessment?  If STAAR, with or without accommodations, is appropriate for a student, the ARD committee must document this decision and the testing accommodations the student will receive.  Documented testing accommodations must be consistent with state accommodation policies.  It is important to note that there are different accommodation policies for the STAAR and TAKS programs Refer to the Accommodations Resources webpage.   For accommodations that require TEA approval through submission of an Accommodation Request Form, document “pending TEA approval.”  If STAAR, with or without accommodations, is not appropriate for a student, the ARD committee must review the participation requirements for one of the alternate assessments.

19 19 Participation Requirements STAAR Modified STAAR Alternate

20  The STAAR Modified and STAAR Alternate Participation Requirements are state-required documentation forms that must be completed and included in the IEP. STAAR Modified and STAAR Alternate Participation Requirements 20

21 State-Required Documentation Forms 21  For both STAAR Modified and STAAR Alternate, the district personnel completing the form needs to be identified by name on the form, along with his or her position.  The district personnel named in the form is responsible for making sure the ARD committee discusses each section.  The district personnel who completes these forms should be a member of the ARD committee (e.g. ARD facilitator, administrator). These forms should be completed during the ARD committee meeting when assessment decisions are made.

22  To be eligible to participate in either STAAR Modified or STAAR Alternate, the answer to all of the eligibility questions on page one of the participation requirements must be “Yes.”  If the answer to any of these eligibility questions is “No,” the student is not eligible to participate in that assessment and must participate in one of the other state assessments. 22

23 23 Step I: Review the Eligibility Criteria for STAAR Modified  Circle the subject(s) or course(s) for which STAAR Modified is being considered.  Circle NA, not applicable, for subjects/courses that do not apply to the student such as  Subjects/courses for which STAAR Modified is not being considered  Subjects that are not tested at the student’s grade  Courses that the student is not enrolled in for the school year under consideration

24  The ARD committee must review each of the three eligibility questions for every subject or course being considered, circle “Yes,” “No,” or “NA,” and document a justification for all “Yes” responses. This justification should be the page number or section of the IEP that contains evidence that the student meets the criterion. 1.Do the student’s present level of academic achievement and functional performance (PLAAFP) statements in the IEP lead the ARD committee to conclude that the student is multiple years behind grade-level or course expectations and will not progress at the same rate and level of rigor as their nondisabled peers? 2.Does the student’s IEP contain standards-based (TEKS-based) goals indicating the modified content the student requires in order to access the grade-level or course curriculum? 3.Does the student require direct and intensive instruction in order to acquire, maintain, and transfer skills to other contexts? 24 Step I: Review the Eligibility Criteria for STAAR Modified

25  STAAR Modified is intended for a small number of students receiving special education services whose disability significantly affects academic progress in certain subjects or courses.  Proficiency in these subjects or courses will likely not be reached in the same time frame as nondisabled peers.  The ARD committee should review the PLAAFP to determine whether a student meets this criterion. 25 Step I: Review the Eligibility Criteria for STAAR Modified – Question 1 Examples: p. 3 section 2 PLAAFP section

26 26 Step I: Review the Eligibility Criteria for STAAR Modified – Question 2  Every IEP should reflect access to the state-mandated grade-level or course curriculum, the TEKS.  Students who access the curriculum through modifications may receive instruction that changes, lowers, or reduces learning expectations.  IEP goals indicating modified content should be specific to the student’s area of need and address how the content will be modified so that the student can continue progressing in the curriculum.  IEP goals could include how the grade-level or course content is simplified or scaffolded to facilitate student understanding.  IEP goals do not have to incorporate the entire curriculum. “No” indicates that the student is not eligible to participate in STAAR Modified in the subject or course.

27 27 Step I: Review the Eligibility Criteria for STAAR Modified – Question 3  Instruction must be direct (small group or individualized) and intensive (continuous and focused) in order for the student to show progress in the curriculum.  Specialized instruction and techniques are required over a period of time in order for the student to acquire and apply academic knowledge and skills.  The student needs frequent reminders to transfer knowledge and skills to other contexts. “NA” indicates that the subject or course is not applicable for the current school year.

28 28  Eligibility is considered for all assessed subjects in the student’s enrolled grade or all assessed courses the student is enrolled in.  If the student is eligible to take STAAR Alternate, then he/she must take this assessment for all subjects/courses. Mixing assessments is not allowed. Step I: Review the Eligibility Criteria for STAAR Alternate

29 29 Step I: Review the Eligibility Criteria for STAAR Alternate  The ARD committee must answer “Yes” to these five eligibility questions in order for the assessment to be considered appropriate for a student. 1.Does the student have a significant cognitive disability? 2.Does the student require specialized supports to access the grade- level curriculum and environment? 3.Does the student require intensive, individualized instruction in a variety of instructional settings? 4.Does the student access and participate in the grade-level TEKS through prerequisite skills? 5.Does the student primarily demonstrate knowledge and skills through performance tasks?

30 30 Step I: Review the Eligibility Criteria for STAAR Alternate – Question 1  A significant cognitive disability is determined by the ARD committee and must be based on evaluation information performed by a qualified evaluation team.  The disability must affect the student’s intellectual potential and be documented in the student’s IEP.  A student with a significant cognitive disability has limited potential to reach grade-level expectations.  While a student with a learning disability may have academic challenges, he or she has the intellectual potential to reach grade-level expectations and, therefore, is not eligible to take STAAR Alternate. Justification (Example): Based on Amy’s most current FIE, her full scale IQ falls well below 70 indicating a limitation in intellectual functioning. Adaptive behavior scales indicate significant deficits in the following domains: self-care, socialization, and communication skills. The team agrees that she meets the eligibility criteria foa student with an intellectual disability. Each “Yes” answer requires a justification that contains evidence that the student meets the criteria. The recorded justification does not have to be referenced by IEP page numbers, but should be based on quantifiable evidence.

31 31 Step I: Review the Eligibility Criteria for STAAR Alternate – Question 2 Justification (Example): Amy has difficulty attending to tasks and requires numerous redirections to stay focused. When in a large group for instruction, Amy is easily distracted and does not process language well. Her expressive language delays make it difficult for Amy to express her needs in a large group. Because of this, Amy requires specialized instruction in a small group setting for academic skills. Amy’s weak language skills also make it difficult for her to respond appropriately in social situations; therefore, she requires assistance during nonacademic school activities. Amy requires assistance to perform all self-care skills.  Federal regulations mandate that all students have access to and be assessed on grade-level curriculum.  To access the grade-level curriculum, a student with a significant cognitive disability needs specialized academic instruction.  Additionally, a student eligible for STAAR Alternate requires support throughout the day in areas such as communicating needs, navigating the classroom or school building, eating lunch, negotiating social situations, and/or taking care of personal needs.

32 32 Step I: Review the Eligibility Criteria for STAAR Alternate – Question 3 Justification (Example): Amy’s short attention span and distractibility require her to need numerous repetitions and drill in order to retain knowledge. Additionally, she acquires and retains knowledge best when skills are taught in the setting or situation in which the skill naturally occurs. For example, to address a social studies prerequisite skill involving economics, Amy was more successful in purchasing an item in the school store rather than in a classroom simulation.  The student needs specialized academic instruction and techniques over a period of time to learn and retain information.  Instruction in a variety of settings is required in order for the student to transfer skills (generalize).

33 33 Step I: Review the Eligibility Criteria for STAAR Alternate – Question 4  Access to the grade-level curriculum is mandated by the federal government.  A student with a significant cognitive disability requires access to the TEKS through prerequisite skills.  Prerequisite skills are student expectations from previous grades that are linked to the grade-level curriculum. Justification (Example): Although Amy shows relative strengths in the areas of math calculation and math reasoning, she is performing skills that are several grade levels behind her grade 8 peers in all academic areas. Her access to the grade-level TEKS is through prerequisite skills.

34 34 Step I: Review the Eligibility Criteria for STAAR Alternate – Question 5  Although a student may be able to perform some academic tasks such as writing simple phrases or sentences, reading short sentences, or calculating mathematics problems, he or she is typically evaluated by methods other than paper and pencil.  A one-day, multiple-choice test would not be an appropriate format to effectively measure what a student has learned.  Observation of student performance while the student manipulates items, verbalizes responses, eye gazes, or activates an augmentative communication device provides more accurate measurement of skills. Justification (Example): Amy has limited writing skills, is easily frustrated with writing tasks, and produces written work only through the use of assistive technology. If allowed to demonstrate skills through manipulation or technology, Amy is much more successful. A one-day multiple choice test is not appropriate to show mastery of skills. Amy’s teachers routinely take data on IEP goals after observing performance tasks.

35 35 Step II: Discuss Assurances for STAAR Modified and STAAR Alternate  If “Yes” is indicated for all of the eligibility questions for STAAR Modified or STAAR Alternate, the ARD committee must discuss the assurances in Step II, and the district personnel completing the form must initial each one after it is discussed.

36 36 Step II: Discuss Assurances for STAAR Modified and STAAR Alternate  When an alternate assessment is selected, IDEA and The Legal Framework for the Child- Centered Special Education Process require ARD committees to document in the IEP:  A statement of why the student cannot participate in the general assessment, with or without allowable accommodations, AND…

37  A statement of why an alternate assessment is appropriate for the student, including evidence from the IEP that confirms that the answer to each of the questions for STAAR Modified or STAAR Alternate is “Yes,” AND…  A list of testing accommodations consistent with the state accommodation policies posted on the TEA Accommodations Resources webpage for STAAR Modified or on the STAAR Alternate Resources webpage for STAAR Alternate.  In order to make appropriate accommodation decisions from year to year, their effectiveness should be assessed.  Collect data on how the student performs with and without the accommodation.  Make available to the student a variety of instructional strategies to see which are most effective.  For accommodations on STAAR Modified that require TEA approval through submission of an Accommodation Request Form, document “pending TEA approval.”  For STAAR Alternate, accommodations noted in the IEP will be the basis for the STAAR Alternate presentation supports, materials, and response modes provided during the assessment observation and recorded on page 1 of the STAAR Alternate Documentation Form of Student Performance. 37

38 38 Step II: Discuss Assurances for STAAR Modified and STAAR Alternate  It is not appropriate to make an assessment decision simply because a student passed or failed a previous state assessment.  Example: If a student achieved Advanced Academic Performance on STAAR Modified, this does not automatically mean that the student should now take STAAR. Other factors must be considered.  Example: If a student achieved Satisfactory Academic Performance on STAAR Alternate at Complexity Level 3, this does not mean that the student should now take STAAR Modified. Other factors must be considered.  Example: If a student received an Unsatisfactory Academic Performance on STAAR Modified, this does not automatically mean that the student should now take STAAR Alternate. Students must meet eligibility criteria for STAAR Alternate.

39 39  ARD committee decisions should be based only on the educational needs of a student.  If a student meets the participation requirements for STAAR Modified or STAAR Alternate, then he or she should be administered that assessment. Step II: Discuss Assurances for STAAR Modified and STAAR Alternate

40 40  Students receiving special education services for any qualifying disability category are eligible to take STAAR Modified if the answer to all three eligibility questions is “Yes.” Only students with significant cognitive disabilities are eligible to take STAAR Alternate and all five eligibility questions must be answered “Yes.”  Students taking STAAR Modified or STAAR Alternate may be receiving instruction in any setting (e.g., inclusion, resource, self-contained) or for any amount of time. Step II: Discuss Assurances for STAAR Modified and STAAR Alternate

41 41 Step II: Discuss Assurances for STAAR Modified and STAAR Alternate

42  For elementary and middle school students, the ARD committee must understand the future implications that could result if a student is receiving modified instruction or instruction based on prerequisite skills from year to year.  As cited in TAC §74.61(e), a high school student who takes at least one STAAR Modified EOC assessment is receiving a different type of instruction (e.g., modified) than his or her nondisabled peers. Therefore, the student will graduate on the MHSP even if the student took STAAR for the other EOC courses.  To graduate on the Recommended or Distinguished Programs, a student must have successful completion on all five of the general STAAR assessments. 42 Step II: Discuss Assurances for STAAR Modified and STAAR Alternate Modified instruction in high school or instruction based on prerequisite skills = MHSP

43  Students are only eligible to take STAAR Modified if they are accessing the curriculum through modified instruction.  Students are only eligible to take STAAR Alternate if they are accessing the curriculum through prerequisite skills linked to the grade-level curriculum. 43 For high school students, these courses are denoted by a special PEIMS code. Step II: Discuss Assurances for STAAR Modified and STAAR Alternate

44 44 STAAR Modified PEIMS codes for each course required on the MHSP STAAR Alternate PEIMS codes for each course required on the MHSP

45 45 Step III: Summarize Assessment Decisions for STAAR Modified  Indicate the subjects in which the student will take STAAR Modified if the eligibility criteria has been met.

46 46 Step III: Summarize Assessment Decisions for STAAR Alternate  The ARD committee should indicate the subject(s) or course(s) in which the student is enrolled and for which STAAR Alternate assessments will be given.  The student will take STAAR Alternate for all required subjects or enrolled high school courses.

47 Student Characteristics for the STAAR Alternate Complexity Levels  After STAAR Alternate has been determined as the most appropriate assessment for a student, the ARD committee will use this chart to find the best description of the student’s performance before determining the complexity level or combinations of levels to be used for the assessment. Level 3 Indicators of Progress for Level 3 Level 2 Indicators of Progress for Level 2 Level 1 NRO Complexity Level Choice Boxes 47

48  Students in elementary through high school may need an access point to the TEKS curriculum at any of the three developmental levels. The STAAR Alternate complexity levels reflect these three levels of cognitive ability. Level 3 Complexity Level Student:  Decides which materials are needed for a specific task on his or her own or from a wide array of appropriate and inappropriate options  Develops or adjusts strategies to accomplish a specific task  Interprets or analyzes information  Formulates original responses to questions requiring higher-level thinking skills Level 2 Complexity Level Student:  Correctly makes choices when at least three options are provided  Distinguishes the varying characteristics of items  Answers literal questions posed to him or her  Recalls information previously learned Level 1 Complexity Level Student:  Authentically responds to stimuli after experiencing them through the senses  Is unable to make a choice when two options are offered  Cannot answer questions posed to him or her  Communicates in subtle changes in affect or body movement Beginning awareness Basic understanding Application of knowledge 48

49  For students who are not displaying characteristics for the Level 1 complexity level, the characteristics for No Response Observed may be applicable. No Response Observed (NRO) Student:  Is unable to make an authentic response to any stimuli  Moves due to internal stimuli rather than stimuli presented to him or her  Tracks or fixates on objects that are not part of the task  Vocalizes intermittently before, during, and after the task 49

50  For students who have developed beyond a complexity level, but have not consistently been able to display characteristics at the next higher complexity level, indicators of progress characteristics have been developed to help identify those students. Indicators of Progress for Level 1 Student:  Begins to show response to a stimuli belatedly or inconsistently  Becomes still or remains quiet when a specific noise or item is near  Increases vocalizations or movements in the presence of a specific stimuli Level 1 will be the decision.  No combinations of levels for students between NRO and Level 1 is possible. If a student can provide an authentic response to any of the predetermined criterion, the student must be assessed at Level 1 for all tasks for that subject. 50

51 51  If the ARD committee feels that the student meets the characteristics defining NRO, the committee can select NRO as the complexity level for all the tasks.  The test administrator will then plan one Level 1 task per subject and attempt the observation to verify that the student cannot authentically respond to the academic stimuli.  If the student is able to respond during the assessment observation, the test administrator must request an ARD meeting to review the student’s IEP and assessment decisions so Level 1 can be considered.

52 Level 1 Complexity Level Student:  Authentically responds to stimuli after experiencing them through the senses  Is unable to make a choice when two options are offered  Cannot answer questions posed to him or her  Communicates in subtle changes in affect or body movement Level 2 Complexity Level Student:  Correctly makes choices when at least three options are provided  Distinguishes the varying characteristics of items  Answers literal questions posed to him or her  Recalls information previously learned Indicators of Progress for Level 2 Student:  Begins to show interest and seeks out the same object or task  Focuses on and more readily acknowledges objects or representations  Performs tasks similar to Level 2 tasks in daily instruction  Needs less cueing and prompting for Level 1 tasks Combinations of Level 1 and Level 2 are allowed. 52

53 Level 2 Complexity Level Student:  Correctly makes choices when at least three options are provided  Distinguishes the varying characteristics of items  Answers literal questions posed to him or her  Recalls information previously learned Level 3 Complexity Level Student:  Decides which materials are needed for a specific task on his or her own or from a wide array of appropriate and inappropriate options  Develops or adjusts strategies to accomplish a specific task  Interprets or analyzes information  Formulates original responses to questions requiring higher-level thinking skills Indicators of Progress for Level 3 Student:  Begins to see relationships between groups  Can sometimes predict outcomes  Provides responses without choices  Needs less cueing and prompting for Level 2 tasks  Performs tasks similar to Level 3 tasks in daily instruction Combinations of Level 2 and Level 3 are allowed. 53

54 54 Making the Complexity Level Decision for STAAR Alternate  The first step in selecting the complexity level is to pinpoint which characteristics from the complexity level or indicators of progress box best describe the student’s maximum performance for a given subject.  This decision should be based on challenging expectations and be indicative of how the student is expected to perform after instruction.  The ARD committee will make the decision for which complexity level or combinations of complexity levels are appropriate for a student for each subject being assessed.

55 55 ARD Considerations for STAAR Alternate  If the student is clearly described by the characteristics in one of the complexity level boxes, it is inappropriate to assess that student at a lower complexity level.  It is also inappropriate to assess a student at a lower complexity level just to improve his or her score on the assessment.  Students who demonstrate skills on tasks with cueing should not be automatically moved to a lower complexity level.  Students who cannot successfully demonstrate all three predetermined criteria should not be automatically moved to a lower complexity level.

56 56 ARD Considerations for STAAR Alternate  If a combination of complexity levels is noted, the teacher will determine which tasks at the two levels will be observed. At least one task at the higher level must be observed when combinations of complexity levels are chosen.  When the ARD committee makes the decision regarding the complexity level or levels to be used for the assessment, the decision must be noted on page 2 of the STAAR Alternate Participation Requirements and the teacher must abide by the decision.  If the student progresses or regresses during the year so that the complexity level is no longer appropriate, an ARD must be reconvened to address any changes to the complexity level.

57  The ARD committee must ensure the assessment decision and accommodations needed to measure the student’s academic achievement have been documented in the student’s IEP. These accommodations will be the basis for the STAAR Alternate presentation supports, materials, and response modes provided during the assessment observation and recorded on page 1 of the documentation form. 57 ARD Considerations for STAAR Alternate

58 For both STAAR Modified and STAAR Alternate, the ARD committee is required to discuss the participation requirements, complete the State-Required Documentation Form, and include this document in the IEP. All assessment information must be communicated to the campus testing coordinator in preparation for state testing. 58

59 59

60 60 How does the Student Success Initiative (SSI) apply to students with disabilities?  Students taking STAAR, STAAR Modified, and STAAR L are subject to SSI requirements.  The ARD committee will determine which assessment is appropriate for the individual student in each SSI content area and grade level (5 and 8) and will make all decisions involving accelerated instruction and promotion.  In the case where a student’s IEP states that the student is to take one of these assessments and the student does not meet the passing standard on the assessment, the ARD committee will serve as the GPC.

61 61  This flowchart for students receiving special education services taking STAAR can be located at the following website: student.assessment/ssi. student.assessment/ssi

62 62  This flowchart for students receiving special education services taking STAAR Modified can be located at the following website: student.assessment/ssi. student.assessment/ssi

63 63  Students taking STAAR Alternate are not subject to SSI requirements.  Due to the design of STAAR Alternate, teachers make observations throughout the academic year using preplanned instructional supports and are expected to provide any necessary remediation during the course of the academic year. There is no need for retests as observations can be repeated if needed due to special circumstances.  Typically, students taking STAAR Alternate are already receiving intensive, individualized instructional support on a daily basis that takes into account the pace and amount of material appropriate for the student. Additional information regarding SSI requirements can be located at the following website:

64 64  Graduation flowcharts for students receiving special education services taking STAAR, STAAR Modified, or STAAR Alternate will NOT be updated and will no longer be posted.  If the student meets curriculum requirements and passes all five STAAR EOC tests, the student may graduate on the DAP or RHSP.  If the student does not pass all five STAAR EOC tests, the student graduates on the MHSP.  If the student takes at least one STAAR Modified EOC assessment, the student graduates on the MHSP.  If the student takes STAAR Alternate EOC assessments, the student graduates on the MHSP. What are the graduation requirements for students taking a STAAR test?

65  Graduation flowcharts A and B are posted on the ARD Committee Resources webpage under “TAKS.”  Flowchart A: For students taking TAKS who entered grade 9 in 2008 – 2009 and thereafter.  Flowchart B: For students taking TAKS who entered grade 9 prior to 2008 – What are the graduation requirements for a student taking a TAKS test?

66 66 STAAR Modified STAAR Alternate

67 1. Can the participation requirements documents for STAAR Modified and STAAR Alternate be completed online?  TEA can grant permission to a public school district to enter the STAAR Alternate and STAAR Modified participation requirements (in their entirety, meaning all of the components) electronically. The copyright allows public schools to use anything posted to the TEA website for educational purposes.  Permission, however, cannot be granted to a vendor. 67

68 2. What if the assessment decision made at a previous ARD meeting needs to be revised prior to testing?  If the assessment decision made at a previous meeting needs to be revised, it must be based on a change in instruction.  There must be a difference in how the student accesses the grade-level or course curriculum.  Simply passing or failing a prior state assessment is not sufficient reason to justify revising the assessment decision in the IEP.  The committee must consider if the student has received adequate instruction or has had the opportunity to learn the skills that will be assessed. 68

69 3. What if the STAAR Alternate complexity level decision made at a previous ARD meeting needs to be revised prior to testing?  If the teacher feels at any time that the complexity level decision made by the ARD committee needs to be reviewed either due to student progress or regression, the ARD committee must reconvene, full or brief, and determine the new complexity level decision following the same process as outlined in this presentation. 69

70 70 4. What additional steps are needed to make assessment decisions for ELLs receiving special education services?  These students have special needs related to a disability as well as needs related to second language learning.  The ARD committee and LPAC must:  work together to ensure that instruction is tailored to meet each student’s special education and second language acquisition needs  collaborate on assessment and accommodation decisions and document the decisions appropriately (for ARD committee, in IEP; for LPAC, document in student’s permanent record file)  More information on the ARD committee and LPAC collaboration:

71 5. Can the ARD committee recommend assessments and/or accommodations, regardless of TEA policy?  No. The ARD committee’s state assessment and accommodation decisions must be within the parameters set forth in federal and state requirements and guidance.  It is a testing violation to provide a nonallowable accommodation during a state assessment, and could result in the student’s test results being invalidated. 71

72 6. Must the ARD committee address the STAAR Modified and STAAR Alternate Participation Requirements for all special education students?  No. The ARD committee should only address the participation requirements for students for whom STAAR Modified or STAAR Alternate is being considered. Most special education students take the general assessment.  Only the participation requirements document for the assessment selected by the ARD committee needs to be included in the student’s IEP. 72

73 7. Is the STAAR Modified or STAAR Alternate science or social studies assessments appropriate for a student when the IEP only addresses reading skills, with no goals specific to science or social studies?  No. For STAAR Modified, the ARD committee is required to confirm that the “student’s IEP contains standards- based (TEKS-based) goals indicating the modified content the student required in order to access the grade- level or course curriculum.”  No. For STAAR Alternate, the ARD committee is required to document that the IEP addresses prerequisite skills linked to grade-level content. Since a cognitive disability is pervasive for all academic tasks, the student must take STAAR Alternate for all subjects or courses. 73

74 8. If a student takes STAAR Modified in high school but is dismissed from special education before graduating, will the student now have to take STAAR?  Yes. The student is now held to the same curriculum and assessment requirements as all other general education students for the remaining subjects and assessments.  Assessments and course requirements met while the student was in special education do not need to be redone.  The student will continue on the MHSP, as only students meeting curriculum requirements for the RHSP or DAP and performing successfully on all five STAAR EOC assessments can graduate on these programs. 74

75 75 9. If a student takes TAKS–M in high school but is dismissed from special education before graduating, will the student now have to take TAKS?  Yes. The student will need to take and pass TAKS exit level ELA, mathematics, science, and social studies in order to receive a Texas high school diploma.

76 If a student takes TAKS (Accommodated) in high school but is dismissed from special education before graduating, will the student now have to take TAKS?  If the student passed TAKS (Accommodated) exit level ELA, mathematics, science, and social studies, he or she does NOT have to take and pass TAKS after special education dismissal. TAKS (Accommodated) is also considered the general assessment.  If the student failed one or more of the TAKS (Accommodated) exit level assessments, he or she WOULD have to take and pass TAKS in that subject(s) in order to receive a Texas high school diploma.

77 11. How do I use the modified and alternate high school PEIMS codes?  Direct all specific PEIMS questions to TEA’s Curriculum Division at or  Use the codes for ALL students receiving special education services and completing a course with modified or alternate content. This includes those students who are graduating under the TAKS requirements. For more information see the PEIMS Data Standards at 77

78 12. If a high school student takes STAAR Modified in some subjects, STAAR in others, and is therefore on the MHSP, why would the ARD committee determine that the student must continue taking the STAAR tests he/she failed?  Making appropriate assessment decisions provides a clear picture of the student’s strengths and weaknesses.  If a student decides he/she wants to graduate on the DAP or RHSP, meeting the passing standard on STAAR will be required for all five EOC assessments. 78

79 13. If a student fails a STAAR Modified EOC assessment, is he/she required to continue testing until he/she passes?  It is not necessary for a student to retest if he/she failed a STAAR Modified EOC assessment or if he/she was absent during testing.  According to federal and state regulations regarding graduating high school students, students who take a modified assessment are not held to the same graduation requirements as students who take the general assessment. Meeting the passing standard on a STAAR Modified EOC assessment is not a graduation requirement, so participating in additional testing opportunities is not necessary.  In addition, students taking a STAAR Modified EOC only have one opportunity in a school year to take the assessment, since it is only administered in the spring. 79

80 14. Since 2014 is the last year that STAAR Modified will be administered, what do ARD committees document in the IEP regarding assessment for next year?  Decisions about 2015 testing should not be made at this time for this population of students.  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. 80


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