This designated support allows a test administrator to transfer student responses onto an answer document or into the online testing platform 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
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., 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 IAP.
For a student receiving special education services, the decision is made by the ARD committee based on the eligibility criterion and is documented in the student’s IEP.
In the case of an EL with a disability, the decision is made by the applicable group above in conjunction with the student’s 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 above.
After state testing, DS must be recorded in the ACCOMM. field on the STAAR answer document. For online administrations, the appropriate code (D or Designated Supports) must be recorded in the Texas Assessment Management System. If the Speech-to-text (STT) online embedded support on the STAAR online testing platform (SOTP) is used, this support is automatically recorded in the Assessment Management System. This indicates that an allowable designated support was made available to the student.
The test administrator may carry out Basic Transcribing to transfer student responses onto the test booklet, answer document, or into the online testing platform in these situations only.
The student writes or circles responses in the test booklet for multiple-choice or griddable questions.
The student points to responses in the test booklet or on the computer screen for multiple-choice questions.
The student dictates or signs responses for multiple-choice and griddable questions.
The student writes responses on another workspace (e.g., scratch paper, dry erase board) or types responses on a word processor for multiple-choice questions, griddable questions, or the writing prompt.
The student uses speech-to-text technology to indicate responses for multiple-choice questions, griddable questions, or the writing prompt, including the use of the online embedded support on the STAAR online testing platform (SOTP)
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 math calculations or responses to 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 the online testing platform.
A test administrator who transcribes for a student should be trained in all transcription procedures and understand the boundaries of the assistance being provided. The role of the test administrator is to record on the answer document or into the online testing platform 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 theseDistrict and Campus Coordinator Resources.
Basic transcribing must be done by a trained test administrator who has signed a security oath. 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 Transcribing Griddable Questions Student Document must be used by the test administrator who transfers the student’s responses onto the answer document or into the online testing platform 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 Assessment Management System. 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 his or her written compositions so that they 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’s) STAAR Writing and English I, II, III Resources webpage. Students using speech-to-text for written compositions should allow for enough time to edit his or her intended responses prior to the end of the testing session. Practice for using the online speech-to-text feature is available.
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 the online testing platform 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” at the top of the answer document where the student identification information is located. 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 speech-to-text should be made aware that he or she must 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 speech-to-text tool as embedded support on the STAAR online testing platform (SOTP) should practice using the tool before testing to become familiar with all features before a test administration.
For grades 2–12 TELPAS, Basic Transcribing only applies 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 at 512-463-9536. 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 multiple-choice or griddable questions, or responses to the writing prompts must be destroyed after testing. All voice recordings must be erased or destroyed after testing.
For information about the test administrator transcribing a student’s dictated or signed responses to the writing prompts, refer to the Complex Transcribing policy. For information about the test administrator recording a student’s dictated math 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 General Instructions for Administering Braille State Assessments document and the General Instructions for Administering Large-Print State Assessments document, 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, located on TEA’s Accommodation Resources webpage.
Spell-check, 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 -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.