ARD committees will use the STAAR Alternate participation requirements to decide if STAAR Alternate 2 is the appropriate assessment for students enrolled in grades 3-11 who access TEKS* for enrolled grade/course through prerequisite skills. Before the ARD committee reviews the eligibility requirements for STAAR Alternate 2, they must first understand all assessment options, the characteristics of all assessment options, and the implications of all assessment options.
If the ARD committee is considering STAAR Alternate 2, they must answer “Yes” to all four of the following questions:
- Does your child have a significant cognitive disability that is based on an evaluation performed by a qualified evaluation team? This must be documented in the IEP.
- Does your child require specialized supports to access the grade-level curriculum and environment? This is specialized instruction, as well as support throughout the day to express needs, get from place to place, eat lunch, negotiate social situations, or take care of personal needs.
- Does your child require intensive, individualized instruction in a variety of instructional settings? The specialized instruction is needed over a period of time so that your child can learn, retain information, or transfer skills.
- Does your child access and participate in the grade-level TEKS through prerequisite skills that are linked to grade level curriculum?
If the ARD committee answers “Yes” to any of the questions, they must provide evidence of how your child meets each particular condition above. This should be written on the form.
If the answer to any of these questions is “No”, then your child is not eligible to participate in STAAR Alternate 2 and must take another assessment (STAAR or STAAR A).
If the ARD committee decides your child meets the requirements to participate in the STAAR Alternate 2, your child must take the STAAR Alternate 2 for ALL subjects required for the student’s enrolled grade or high school course.
On the back of each of the required participation forms, the ARD committee (which includes the parent) must discuss all of the assurances. District personnel must initial all of the following:
- IEP provides a statement of why your child cannot participate in the STAAR with or without accommodations, and why the STAAR Alternate 2 is appropriate, including that all the eligibility criteria are met.
- The decision is based on multiple sources of measurable, objective evidence including, but not limited to, the current PLAAFP, Goals/Objectives, Report cards, progress reports, work samples, teacher observations, FIE, standardized test results, and classroom, district and statewide test results.
- The decision is not based on the federal accountability requirements which limit the number of students taking an alternate assessment (See Region 13 video)
- The decision is based on your child’s needs and the instruction your child is receiving – NOT based on disability label, ethnicity or race, absences, or amount of time or location of services provided.
In addition, the ARD committee must choose ONE of the following:
- For a student in elementary or middle school, the ARD committee understands that instructional and assessment decisions made now may impact a student's graduation option when he or she is in high school
- For a student taking end of course assessments, the student is enrolled in a course being considered for STAAR Alternate 2 that has a PEIMS course number indicating that the coursework is accessed through pre-requisite skills
What if STAAR, STAAR A or STAAR ALT 2 are not right for my child?
What about Exceptions?
Texas Education Agency
Region 13 Video on Accountability
SpedTex - STAAR Alt 2 (video)
Texas Project FIRST: