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Description of Designated Support
This designated support allows a test administrator to transfer student responses onto an answer document or into the Test Delivery System (TDS) when a student is unable to accomplish this task independently.
For a student who meets the eligibility criterion, this designated support may be used on:
State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®)
Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS)
Student Eligibility Criterion
A student may use this designated support if that student
routinely and effectively uses it during classroom instruction and classroom testing.
Authority for Decision and Required Documentation
For a student not receiving special education or Section 504 services, the decision is made by the appropriate team of people at the campus level (e.g., Response to Intervention [RtI] team, student assistance team) and documented according to district policies. The decision should be based on the eligibility criterion and aimed at addressing a student's consistent academic struggle in a specific area, even after intensive instruction and remediation.
For a student receiving Section 504 services, the decision is made by the Section 504 committee based on the eligibility criterion and is documented in the student's individualized accommodation plan (IAP).
For a student receiving special education services, the decision is made by the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee based on the eligibility criterion and is documented in the student's individualized education program (IEP).
In the case of an English learner (EL) with a disability, the decision is made by the applicable group in conjunction with the student's language proficiency assessment committee (LPAC). The decision is to be documented by the LPAC in the student's permanent record file and by the other applicable group, as described.
After state testing, DS must be recorded in the ACCOMM. field on the STAAR answer document. This indicates that an allowable designated support was made available to the student. If a student will be using the speech-to-text (STT) online embedded support in TDS, this support must be selected in the TIDE prior to testing so STT is available on the test.
The test administrator may carry out Basic Transcribing to transfer student responses onto the test booklet, answer document, or into TDS in these situations only:
The student writes or circles responses in the test booklet for test questions.
The student points to responses in the test booklet or on the computer screen for test questions.
The student dictates or signs responses for test questions.
The student writes responses on another workspace (e.g., scratch paper, dry erase board) or types responses on a word processor for test questions or the writing prompt.
The student uses STT technology to indicate responses for the writing prompt, including use of the online embedded support in TDS.
The student dictates or signs information to be recorded in the margins of the test booklet or in the notes tool for online tests (does NOT apply to mathematics calculations or responses to the the written composition).
A student who uses this designated support may complete the test in a separate setting to eliminate distractions to other students and to ensure the confidentiality of the test.
Student responses cannot be scored unless they are recorded using a No. 2 pencil on an answer document or recorded into TDS.
A test administrator who transcribes for a student should be trained in all transcription procedures and understand the limits of the assistance being provided. The role of the test administrator is to record on the answer document or into TDS exactly what the student has indicated. The test administrator may not edit or alter student responses in any way and may not provide feedback regarding the correctness of the student's response. Transcription procedures include these special instructions and the general transcribing procedures found on the Transcribing page of the Complete Paper Administrations section of the District and Campus Coordinator Resources.
Basic transcribing must be conducted by a trained test administrator who has signed an Oath of Test Security and Confidentiality. Responding to test questions, making notes about test questions, and discussing the content of the test at any time are prohibited.
When transcribing a student's responses to griddable questions, the General Instructions for Transcribing Griddable Questions Student Document must be used by the test administrator who transfers the student's responses onto the answer document or into TDS so that the student is aware of the maximum number of boxes available for an answer to a griddable question. Blank Transcribing Griddable Questions Student Documents are available online two weeks prior to testing in the General Resources section in TIDE. District or campus testing coordinators must print the applicable student documents prior to testing and destroy them after transcription is complete.
The test administrator must indicate to the student the space allowed for the written composition so that the composition will fit into the spaces provided when transcribed. There are 26 lines for each written composition. Twenty- six lines of handwritten text equals approximately 1,750 typed characters (not including spaces). An example of the lined page can be found on the Texas Education Agency's (TEA) STAAR English I and II Resources webpage. Students using STT for written compositions should allow for enough time to edit their intended responses prior to the end of the testing session. Students can practice using the online STT feature in the Practice Test Site.
The student must be given the full time allotted to complete the entire test. It is allowable for the student to review the transcription and make any edits within the time constraints of the assessment. However, if the test administrator transfers the student's final responses onto the answer document or into TDS after the testing period has ended, the student may not edit his or her response(s). It is recommended that the test administrator ensure that he or she can read and understand the student's intended responses prior to the student leaving the testing room.
For paper tests, the test administrator should write “Transcribed by (NAME) because student is eligible for this designated support” in the blank space on the answer document under the Test Booklet number. For online tests, there is no field in which to enter this information. Documentation should be kept at the local level. For TELPAS paper administrations for reading, the test administrator should write "Transcribed by (NAME) because student is eligible for this designated support" on the student's booklet.
For online tests, students using STT should be made aware that they will be given the full time allotted to complete the entire test. However, it is important that the student understands they must make all edits on the written composition within the time constraints of the assessment being administered. Students who choose to test online using the STT tool as an embedded support in TDS should practice using the tool in the Student Practice Site to become familiar with all features before a test administration.
For TELPAS grades 2-12, Basic Transcribing applies only to the online and paper reading test and the listening portion of the online listening and speaking test. For questions about the speaking portion of the online listening and speaking test, contact TEA's Student Assessment Division. This designated support does not apply to any holistically-rated domain, since those are assessed during authentic classroom activities and the same accommodations routinely used during classroom instruction are acceptable.
Secure test materials and associated student responses cannot be photocopied, scanned, or saved in order to use this designated support. Any typed or handwritten responses that include student notes, answers to test questions, or responses to the writing prompts must be destroyed after testing. All voice recordings must be erased or destroyed after testing.
If a student needs assistance in physically manipulating test materials or equipment, refer to the Manipulating Test Materials policy.
For information about the test administrator transcribing a student's dictated or signed responses to the writing questions, refer to the Complex Transcribing policy. For information about the test administrator recording a student's dictated mathematics scratch work, refer to the Mathematics Scribe policy.
For information regarding the role of a test administrator who transcribes for a student who uses braille materials, screen reader support for refreshable braille displays, or large-print test materials, refer to the appropriate general instructions for administering braille assessments document and the General Instructions for Administering Large-Print State Assessments document, also located on TEA's Accommodation Resources webpage.
For information regarding the role of a test administrator who transcribes for a student who is deaf or hard of hearing, refer to the General Instructions for Administering State Assessments to Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing document, also located on TEA's Accommodation Resources webpage.
Spellcheck, word predictor, and all other special features must be disabled when a student types responses to the writing prompts on a word processor, unless the student meets the eligibility criteria outlined in the Spelling Assistance policy.
Districts are required to have procedures in place to prevent the use of personal cell phones and electronic devices during test administrations. If TEA-allowed or TEA-approved, technology-based accommodations are used by a student during testing, TEA guidelines on the use of this technology must be followed in order to maintain the security and validity of the assessment. Although some technology may be very useful during a daily academic setting, technology that has functionality that violates TEA guidelines cannot be used during a state assessment. These technology guidelines for state assessments can also be found on TEA's Accommodation Resources webpage.
For situations when a student experiences an unexpected or emergency situation (i.e., broken arms, broken glasses) immediately before the assessment, see the instructions for Accommodations in Unexpected and Emergency Situations which can also be found on the Accommodation Resources webpage for guidance.
Manipulating Test Materials
Technology Use Guidelines
General Instructions for Administering State Assessments to Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Practice and Released Tests (including STT tool)
Accommodations in Unexpected and Emergency Situations
- General Instructions for Administering Braille State Assessments
- General Instructions for Administering Large-Print State Assessments
- TELPAS Resources
For assistance with test administration functions for all Texas assessments, contact Texas Testing Support at 833-601-8821 or TexasTestingSupport@cambiumassessment.com.
If you have any questions, contact the Student Assessment Division at 512-463-9536, and ask to speak with your Accommodations Task Force representative.
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