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Description of Designated Support

This designated support provides an alternate method of computation for a student who is unable to effectively use paper-and-pencil methods.

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Assessments

For a student who meets the eligibility criteria, this designated support may be used on:

  • State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) grades 3–7 mathematics
  • STAAR grade 5 science
  • STAAR Spanish grades 3–5 mathematics
  • STAAR Spanish grade 5 science

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Student Eligibility Criteria

A student may use this designated support if he or she

  •  receives Section 504 or special education services,
  •  routinely, independently, and effectively uses it during classroom instruction and classroom testing, and
  •  meets at least one of the following requirements for the applicable grade.

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Grades 3 and 4

  • The student has a physical disability that prevents him or her from independently writing the numbers required for computations and cannot effectively use other accessibility features to address this need (e.g., whiteboard, graph paper).
  • The student has an impairment in vision that prevents him or her from seeing the numbers they have written during computations and cannot effectively use other accessibility features to address this need (e.g., magnifier).

Grades 5 through 7

  • The student has a physical disability that prevents him or her from independently writing the numbers required for computations and cannot effectively use other accessibility features to address this need (e.g., whiteboard, graph paper).
  • The student has an impairment in vision that prevents him or her from seeing the numbers they have written during computations and cannot effectively use other accessibility features to address this need (e.g., magnifier).
  • The student has a disability that affects mathematics calculations. Even after intensive instruction and remediation, the student is consistently unable to memorize basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division facts or perform the steps in an algorithm correctly when solving problems.

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Authority for Decision and Required Documentation

  • For a student receiving Section 504 services, the decision is made by the Section 504 committee based on the eligibility criteria and is documented in the student's individual 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 criteria 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, MC DS must be recorded in the ACCOMM. field on the student's answer document. This indicates that an allowable designated support was made available to the student. This accommodation must be entered as a non-embedded designated support in the For students who test online with a calculation aid, Basic TI calculator should be indicated in the Test Attributes panel in in the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) prior to testing so that the basic calculator is available on the test.

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Examples/Types

This designated support may include only:

  • basic (i.e., four-function) handheld calculator or calculator application, including large-key or speech-output
  • basic Calculator available as an online embedded support on STAAR
  • abacus or Cranmer modified abacus
  • 0–9 addition grid without special numbers (e.g., even numbers) indicated
  • grade-appropriate multiplication grid without special numbers (e.g., perfect squares) indicated

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Special Instructions/Considerations

  1. 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.
  2. The use of a calculation aid as a designated support on STAAR should not replace the teaching of basic computation skills as outlined in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).
  3. Calculators used by eligible students as a designated support must adhere to the "Additional Information About Calculators" section of the STAAR Calculator Policy in the District and Campus Coordinator Resources.
  4. Calculators are a required part of standard test administration procedures for some state assessments. For more information, refer to the STAAR Calculator Policy in these Coordinator Resources. For these assessments, any calculation aid listed in the Examples/Types section may be provided, along with the required calculator, to a student who is receiving special education or Section 504 services.
  5. For questions regarding the functions of a basic calculator, see the Basic Calculator tool in the Test Delivery System (TDS). The Basic Calculator is offered as an embedded support on STAAR in the grades and subjects listed in the "Assessments" section of this document.
  6. Districts are required to have procedures in place to prevent the use of personal cell phones and electronic devices during test administrations. If Texas Education Agency (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 be found on TEA's Accommodation Resources webpage.


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Supporting 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.