Texas STAAR Accommodations and Accessibility: What You Need To Know

In 2011, Texas began using the standardized test in grades 3 through 8 called STAAR, or the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, to establish a student’s achievements and knowledge gained in each level of public primary and secondary schools.

As with many other standardized tests, the goal was to demonstrate the effectiveness of the curriculum and how academically capable each student was in regard to the test itself and compare against other students in the same grade.

Depending on students’ needs, they may be eligible for accessibility and accommodations during the STAAR exam.

texas staar accommodations

What is Texas STAAR accessibility?

Accessibility provides the same opportunity to all students regardless of any disabilities. Therefore, schools should provide all students with the same educational experiences, information, and services.

What are examples of designated supports for the Texas STAAR?

The Texas STAAR is available with the following designated supports and accommodations:

  • Basic Transcribing allows a test administrator to transfer student responses into the online test form when they cannot do so for themselves.
  • Braille/Refreshable Braille provides braille for visually-impaired test takers to access test material without the need to read traditional printed materials.
  • Calculation Aids are available for students who cannot use the traditional pencil and paper calculation method.
  • Content and Language Supports include various types of assistance to clarify the test’s passages, answer choices, and other items. For example, it may involve scaffolded directions, assistance with tracking, graphic organizers, simplified language, and graphic representations of vocabulary and concepts.
  • Individualized Structured Reminders allow test administrators to remind students to stay on task and focused.
  • Large Print is available for students who cannot read the text in the standard print size that comes default with the test printed materials.
  • Manipulating Test Materials allows a test administrator to physically manipulate physical test materials for students who cannot do so for themselves.
  • Mathematics Manipulatives allow for the use of physical objects for students that cannot conceptualize abstract information.
  • Oral/Signed Administration allows for test materials to be read aloud or signed to students that require this accommodation.
  • Spelling Assistance provides spelling assistance to students needing such service during the exam.
  • Supplemental Aids allow students to use supplemental resources like a pencil and paper when they cannot recall it from memory.

Which designated supports require TEA approval for STAAR testing?

While the above accommodations do not require TEA, or the Texas Education Agency, approval to implement, the below require approval.

  • Complex Transcribing allows a test administrator to record a student’s dictated or signed responses as test answers when they cannot document the answer personally.
  • Extra Day provides students in need with an additional day to complete the exam requirements.
  • Mathematics Scribe allows a test administrator to record an answer based on a student’s scratch work when they cannot record the answer personally.
  • Other accommodations are available when students demonstrate a need illustrated and deemed reasonable by the Texas Education Agency. TEA will not deny a reasonable accommodation that would otherwise deprive a student of a fair opportunity to complete the STAAR exam if a need is present, documented, observed, and acknowledged.

Which students can receive accommodations on the Texas STAAR?

Many accommodations do not require TEA approval, so it is up to the student, their teachers, and the administrators to provide accommodations that ensure accessibility and reasonable accommodation for all students.

Those requiring TEA approval must submit an official Accommodation Request Form to TEA and have the request reviewed and approved before the exam.

Educators should complete available online forms before the STAAR exam to ensure the TEA approves the accommodation before the test date.

Should a student take a paper or online STAAR test if they need accommodations?

Depending on the accommodation required and the student’s ability to take the exam in paper format, they may prefer one format over another.

Students do not need to submit an Accommodation Request Form to take an online exam instead of a paper one. Instead, one must submit a Request for a Special Administration of an Online Assessment.

As with numerous other accommodations, the request must be reviewed and approved before instructors can provide it to the student. Students, their guardians, teachers, and test administrators should be aware of this approval process and apply in advance to ensure ample time to receive approval and implement the accommodation.

Embed accommodations naturally in your classroom by using TeacherMade

When you’re preparing your students to take the Texas STAAR, it’s challenging to simulate testing conditions. But your most vulnerable students, your students requiring testing accommodations, need this exposure. With TeacherMade, you can create online assignments that use many of the same accommodations. Here are some ways you can simulate accommodations for students:

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