Mathematics Scribe

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 Description of Designated Support

The Mathematics Scribe designated support allows a test administrator to record a student's dictated mathematics scratch work and computations when a disabling condition prevents the student from accomplishing this task independently.
NOTE: The test administrator responsible for providing this designated support is an individual who has been thoroughly trained and knows what is allowed and what is prohibited.



Students who meet the eligibility criteria for this Texas Education Agency (TEA)-approved designated support may use it on:

  • State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) grades 3–8 mathematics and Algebra I
  • STAAR grades 5 and 8 science and Biology
  • STAAR Spanish grades 3–5 mathematics
  • STAAR Spanish grade 5 science


 Student Eligibility Criteria

Submit an Accommodation Request Form to TEA if the student

  • routinely and effectively uses this designated support during classroom instruction and classroom testing;
  • is unable to effectively use any accessibility features (e.g., various sizes or types of scratch paper/another workspace) or locally-approved designated supports (e.g., calculation aid) to address this need; and
  • meets at least one of the following criteria:
    • The student has an impairment in vision (e.g., uncorrected vision, nystagmus, qualifies for special education services with a Visual Impairment [VI]) that necessitates the use of braille or large-print test materials.
    • The student has a physically disabling condition (e.g., muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, arthritis) that prevents him or her from independently and effectively recording scratch work and computations.
    • The student has a developmental disability that is included on the autism spectrum.


 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 criteria 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 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).
  • For an English learner (EL) with a disability, the appropriate committee makes the decision in conjunction with the student's language proficiency assessment committee (LPAC). The decision must be documented in the student's permanent record file by the LPAC and any other applicable committee, as described previously.
  • After state testing, 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. For students testing online, the Other Designated Supports field should be updated under the Non-Embedded Supports panel in the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) before testing begins.



The test administrator may write the student's dictated scratch work and computations on scratch paper, a chalkboard, a whiteboard, or the allocated space in the student's test booklet. In addition, the test administrator may record intermediate steps when a student uses a calculation aid as an allowed designated support or a required part of the test administration procedures.


 Special Instructions/Considerations

  1. Accommodation Request Forms must be received by TEA according to the posted deadlines. Late requests will NOT be processed unless circumstances involving the student change after the deadline (e.g., newly enrolled student, medical emergency, an updated ARD committee decision). In these circumstances, the district testing coordinator should contact TEA's Student Assessment Division at 512-463-9536 for further instructions.
  2. 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.
  3. The Mathematics Scribe designated support is intended for an extremely small group of students with disabilities who have a TEA-approved Accommodation Request Form.
  4. TEA will provide specific guidelines on how to implement this designated support along with any approved Accommodation Request Form. The role of the test administrator who provides the Mathematics Scribe accommodation is to record the student's dictated scratch work and computations exactly as the student indicates (e.g., verbally stated number-by-number, mathematics symbols, space-by-space). A test administrator who serves as a mathematics scribe must be trained in these guidelines to understand the boundaries of the assistance being provided.
  5. The test administrator who provides the Mathematics Scribe designated support must be a trained test administrator who has signed a specific part of an Oath of Test Security and Confidentiality. It is prohibited for the test administrator to respond to test questions, make notes about test questions, and discuss the content of the test at any time.
  6. If a student needs assistance physically manipulating test materials or equipment, refer to the designated support Manipulating Test Materials policy.
  7. For situations when a student experiences an unexpected or emergency situation (e.g., broken arm, broken glasses) immediately before the assessment, refer to the instructions for Accommodations in Unexpected and Emergency Situations on the Accommodation Resources webpage for guidance.

 Supporting Resources

For assistance with test administration functions for all Texas assessments, contact Texas Testing Support at 833-601-8821 or

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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