Mathematics Scribe

TEA approval is required logo


A student who meets the eligibility criteria for this TEA-approved designated support may use it on:

  • 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

 Description of Designated Support

This designated support allows a test administrator to record a student's dictated mathematics scratch work and computations when the student cannot accomplish this task independently.

 Student Eligibility Criteria

  Submit an Accommodation Request Form to Texas Education Agency (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 or 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; or

    • the student has a developmental disability that is included on the autism spectrum.

 Authority for Decision and Required Documentation

  • The STAAR Non-Embedded Supports field should be updated under the Non-Embedded Supports panel in Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) prior to testing to indicate this support was made available to the student.

  • 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).

  • In the case of an emergent bilingual (EB) student with a disability, the decision is made by the applicable group in conjunction with the student's language proficiency assessment committee (LPAC) and documented in the student's permanent record file and IAP or IEP.

 Examples and Types

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 and Considerations

  • Accommodation Request Forms must be received by TEA according to the posted deadlines. Late requests MAY 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 their district's Accommodations Task Force representative.

  • 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.

  • This designated support is intended for an extremely small group of students with disabilities who have a TEA-approved Accommodation Request Form.

  • 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 this designated support 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). Responding to test questions, making notes about test questions, and discussing the content of the test at any time are prohibited.

  • The test administrator who provides this designated support must be trained in these guidelines to understand the boundaries of the assistance being provided and be a trained test administrator who has signed a specific part of an Oath of Test Security and Confidentiality

  • If a student needs assistance physically manipulating test materials or equipment, refer to the Manipulating Test Materials policy.

  • For situations when a student experiences an unexpected or emergency situation (e.g., broken arm, broken glasses) immediately before the assessment, refer to the Accommodations in Unexpected or Emergency Situations policy.

For questions about this or any other designated support requiring TEA approval, contact the Student Assessment Division at (512) 463-9536 and ask to speak with your district's Accommodations Task Force representative. You may also contact the Student Assessment Division Help Desk.