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STAAR A for DHH Students


Must students be eligible for oral or signed instructions to have the STAAR A interpreted?

If the student is eligible to take the STAAR A, text-to-speech is a built-in accommodation. For deaf or hard of hearing students, signing or oral interpreting are allowable access methods. Separate eligibility for the accommodation is not needed and documenting the level of reading/ signing support is not a requirement. Test administrators should provide the same reading support to students as they need in class, keeping in mind what sections of STAAR A are not eligible for reading support.


Source:  STAAR A Update TETN February 8, 2016

How can we project the STAAR A questions without showing a student's computer?



Source:  STAAR A Update TETN February 8, 2016

What training is needed to administer the STAAR A to students who are deaf/hard of hearing?

Teachers and interpreters who are administering or interpreting the tests need to be trained on the general instructions for administering statewide assessments to students who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as the oral administration appendix.


Source:  STAAR A Update TETN February 8, 2016

How can the STAAR A be signed to a group of students?

Depending on the needs of the students, the test administrator can move around the room reading/signing as needed or can read aloud/sign the test to the entire group of students.


(Remember, the test administrator cannot read aloud/sign any text with a DO NOT READ icon)


Source:  STAAR A Update TETN February 8, 2016

How will students who don't sign and depend on lipreading access the STAAR A?

The test administrator can read aloud the test as the student watches the face/lips – “oral interpreting”. For students who don’t need help with the whole test or can understand some of the text to speech, the staff member can repeat just the parts as the student needs.


***The student does NOT need to have oral interpreting in their IEP as an accommodation to be able to use this on the STAAR A.


Source:  STAAR A Update TETN February 8, 2016

How will students who don’t have hearing aids or FM systems and who don’t sign access the test?

Consider how the student accesses material in the classroom. If the student depends primarily on vision to access information, use of a test administrator to read the test to the student, acting as an “oral interpreter,” is an option. If the student primarily uses hearing and can understand the text to speech but needs some words repeated, the test administrator can repeat just the parts as the student needs. If a student primarily uses hearing but cannot understand the text to speech, the test administrator can read the question out loud to the student. Use of an FM system for testing purposes may be helpful.  This should be determined before day of the test.


Source:  STAAR A Update TETN February 8, 2016

Does eligibility for Oral Administration need to be documented for students taking STAAR A? What about documenting the level or reading support students will receive on STAAR A?

No. According to the Oral Administration policy, this accommodation does NOT apply to STAAR A since this assessment is not listed in the “Assessments” section of the policy.


In addition, the rationale for Oral Administration NOT applying to STAAR A is included in the “Examples/Types” section of the policy.


The IEP/IAP should NOT list Oral Administration (or levels of reading support) as a testing accommodation if the student is eligible for STAAR A. Text-to-speech is an embedded accommodation and the student will use it independently when needed.


Source:  STAAR A Update TETN February 8, 2016

How can spelling assistance be used on STAAR A?

Spell check is NOT an embedded accommodation for the written composition. Students eligible for Spelling Assistance will use what they use in class. See below for special instructions if using spell check, speech-to-text, text-to-speech, or word predictor.


The student may use a separate laptop/computer while STAAR A is open in TestNav. He or she will need to transfer the response to the composition typing box (unless eligible for Basic Transcribing).




The student can exit the test session, use the accommodation, print out the response, log back in to STAAR A in TestNav, and then transfer his or her responses in the composition typing box (unless eligible for Basic Transcribing).


Caution: Once STAAR A is exited, the student will not be able to see the writing prompt, the pop-ups or rollovers, or the writing checklists. TEA is currently discussing possible solutions to this problem.


Source:  STAAR A Update TETN February 8, 2016

Can the campus schedule students on different days during testing week based on computer availability?

Districts are provided the latitude to adjust test dates within the testing week when a conflict arises for STAAR (including STAAR A) grades 3–8 and EOC assessments with the exception of STAAR (including STAAR A) grades 4 and 7 writing and English I and II assessments. No notification to TEA is required.


As the testing week approaches, districts that are having difficulty scheduling the online administration of the STAAR A grades 4 and 7 writing or English I and II tests due to issues related to their technology infrastructure should contact the Student Assessment Division’s Test Security team at 512-463-9536 for guidance.


Source:  STAAR A Update TETN February 8, 2016

Can the test administrator assist students having difficulty navigating through STAAR A?

At any point during the test session, the test administrator may use the SAY directions in the Test Administrator Manual to assist students if they have trouble navigating through the assessment or need reminders of how to turn the tools and accessibility features on and off. In addition, the test administrator may read aloud the information presented to the student in the Help tool.


Source:  STAAR A Update TETN February 8, 2016

Can the test administrator set up the student’s online settings or can a “reminder card” with the student’s preferences be provided to each student?

This question is in regards to the settings in the Accessibility Panel, specifically the text-to-speech speed and volume, the zoom size, and the color and contrast options.


The test administrator may NOT set up the student’s accommodation preferences nor can the test administrator require a student to use the preferences determined during the tutorials.


However, a test administrator may provide the student with a “reminder card” that indicates the settings the student prefers as determined during the tutorial session. The student must be allowed to determine whether he or she uses these settings when taking STAAR A.


Source:  STAAR A Update TETN February 8, 2016

Can pop-ups and rollovers be read aloud by textto- speech?

Text-to-speech does NOT read aloud pop-ups and rollovers. However, the test administrator may read aloud these embedded accommodations at students’ request.


The test administrator may NOT read aloud any text in reading selections, editing selections, and editing items. This will be indicated by a DO NOT READ icon.


Source:  STAAR A Update TETN February 8, 2016

Since STAAR A is an online assessment, will students taking a writing test have to type their responses to the written compositions?

Students taking STAAR A will be recording their responses online, which includes typing responses to the written composition. However, students who are eligible for the Basic Transcribing accommodation may have the test administrator type responses (mistakes and all) into STAAR A.


TEA is currently in discussion regarding the typing proficiency of students with disabilities taking STAAR A. Any changes made to this policy will be communicated to districts prior to testing.


Source:  STAAR A Update TETN February 8, 2016