Supplemental Aids

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 Description of Designated Support

This designated support allows a student to use paper-based resources that assist in recalling information.



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

  • STAAR Spanish


 Student Eligibility Criterion

A student may use this designated support if that student

  • routinely, independently, 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 student’s answer document or D in the Assessment Management System for online administrations. This indicates that an allowable designated support was made available to the student.



Only the paper-based supplemental aids listed below are allowed on the state assessment. Examples of allowable and non-allowable supplemental aids are available in a training presentation on TEA’s Accommodation Resources webpage.

All Subjects


A mnemonic device is a learning technique that assists with memory. Only mnemonic devices that are acronyms or phrases based on an acronym may be used. The subject-specific words that the mnemonic represents are NOT allowed. For example, the acronym “PEMDAS” or the phrase “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” may be used in mathematics to help a student recall the correct order of operations. However, the subject-specific words “Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction,” as well as the mathematical symbols associated with the words, are not allowed. In social studies, the acronym “HOMES” may be used to help a student recall the names of the Great Lakes, but the names of the lakes are not allowed. In science, the acronym “ROY G. BIV” may be used to help a student recall the colors of the rainbow, but the actual colors or color words are not allowed.


Blank graphic organizers may be used. Blank graphic organizers may NOT contain titles, words, labels, colors used as labels, pictures, acronyms, mnemonics, numbers, symbols, or variables.




  1. A number chart (e.g., 100 chart) may be used. Indicating special numbers (e.g., highlighting or circling prime numbers within the body of the chart) is NOT allowed.
  2. A grade-appropriate place value chart may be used. The chart may contain commas and decimals in the appropriate places; however, it may NOT contain place value labels (i.e., words) or numbers as specific examples.
  1. Pictorial models of fraction bars or fraction circles may be used. The models should NOT contain labels (e.g., labels that show individual fractions or equivalencies).
  2. Pictorial models of one-, two-, and three-dimensional geometric figures may be used; however, the figures must be grade- or course-appropriate. In addition, a pictorial model of a geometric figure may be provided in either three-dimensional form or two-dimensional form, but NOT in both forms. The figures may NOT contain titles, words, labels, colors used as labels, acronyms, mnemonics, numbers, symbols, or variables. Providing a pictorial model of a geometric figure in one form (e.g., net) and a manipulative of the same figure in another form (e.g., three-dimensional solid) is NOT allowed.


Written Composition
(grades 4 and 7 as well as English I, English II, and English III)

Grammar &

A list of grade-appropriate grammar and mechanics rules may be used. The list may NOT contain any specific examples.



  1. Graphics of scientific concepts may be used. The graphics may NOT contain titles, words, labels, colors used as labels, acronyms, mnemonics, numbers, symbols, or variables.
  2. Formula triangles representing relationships between variables may be used. Only formulas that appear on the appropriate state-supplied reference materials may be represented. The triangles may only include variables; for example, a triangle showing the relationship between mass, density, and volume can contain only the variables m, D, and V. Symbols for mathematical operations (e.g., ×, ÷) are NOT allowed.


Social Studies

  1. Blank maps may be used. Blank maps may NOT contain titles, words, labels, colors used as labels, pictures, acronyms, mnemonics, numbers, symbols, or variables. In addition, unlabeled maps that represent historic events may be used (e.g., an unlabeled map that represents the stages of U.S. territorial expansion). A student could use both physical and political world or U.S. maps.
  2. Timelines may be used if they contain only dates. Labeling the events connected with those dates in any way is NOT allowed.


 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. Supplemental aids can be provided in the language that is most appropriate for the student.
  3. Colors may be used in a supplemental aid to enhance readability or improve tracking but may NOT be used as a label.
  4. Pictures may be used in pictorial models of geometric figures and graphics of scientific concepts but not in other supplemental aids.
  5. Using a supplemental aid as an accommodation during classroom instruction and classroom testing should not replace the teaching of subject-specific skills as outlined in the TEKS. The student must be able to understand the information that the supplemental aid provides and simply need assistance recalling the concepts.
  6. Supplemental aids should be individualized for each student. Students have different strengths and needs, so it is not appropriate to provide all students the exact same set of supplemental aids.
  7. The test administrator may not remind the student to use the supplemental aid or explain to the student the information included on the supplemental aid.
  8. An instructional environment should be maintained during testing windows. It is not necessary to conceal or remove instructional or reference materials in the testing area, the classroom, or hallways unless they could assist a student with answering questions on the subject-area assessment being administered. This policy is different from the Supplemental Aids designated support policy, because supplemental aids are intended for students requiring individualized support and should be made available specifically to them.
  9. The supplemental aid must be error-free, concise, and well organized so that a student can easily access the information. The supplemental aid must not contain numerous pages, as this may be more cumbersome than helpful when used during the state assessment.
  10. If a student writes on the supplemental aid while taking the state assessment, the supplemental aid must be destroyed after testing.

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