BCS Special Education Connection

September 2015


Wow!! I can't believe I am already sending out the second newsletter! Time seems to be flying by so fast!! I hope you all have settled in and are finding a good rhythm. There are a lot of changes taking place and everyone is busy, busy!! Lots of good things are happening.

I am highlighting the ones that I know of. Don't forget, if you have something that you would like to be added to the newsletter, please email me and let me know.

Teacher Advisory Council Meeting Dates to Remember

The Teacher Advisory Council meeting will be held at Central Office at 4:00 on the following dates:

  • October 6, 2015
  • November 3, 2015
  • January 5, 2016
  • April 5, 2016

Please plan to attend!

Step Up for Down Syndrome

Sunday, Oct. 25th, 12-2pm

750 Cherry Road

Memphis, TN


I want to say a big "Thank You" to all the "seasoned" Gifted Program Specialists and the new middle school Gifted Program Specialists!! I know it is challenging learning something new at the beginning of the year, but you all have been very willing to accept a new challenge.

Appling Wildcats at Work!!

Professional Development

Representatives from each school attended a state training in late August on TN Ready Accessibility and Accommodations and MSAA (formerly known as NCSC)! The following is a list of "take aways" from the training.


· ELA & Math: TN Ready administered on MIST

· Science: TCAP administered on MIST

· Social Studies: TCAP administered by paper copy

· State wide accommodation change does not need IEP meeting – must notify parents of the change

· Student must have more than doctor’s note in order to take paper test

· Calculator & Non Calculator section for math (policy doesn’t change for students with disabilities)

· If you use an accommodation that is not an approved accommodation, the test is invalidated and the student will score non-proficient

· Have conversations with your students to determine what features and accommodations are beneficial to them

· One person in each building will be responsible for turning Accessibility features on for all students

· Paper Based Testing is a PDF version. This requires adult transcription (2 adults) and a unique accommodation request.

· Text to Speech (formerly Read Aloud)

o Student must show significant deficit in decoding and must have a goal and PLEP

o There must be a detriment to educational performance (do they have someone reading Science & Social Studies text to them on a daily basis?)


1. Accessibility Features (automatically available for ALL students)

2. Accessibility Features Identified in Advance (available for ALL students but must be turned on in advance)

3. Accommodations

a. Provides equitable access

b. Mitigates effects of disability

c. Does not change construct of assessment

d. Does not compromise validity

e. Allows access to the test


These features are built into the computer testing platform. These features are available to all students and can be accessed at anytime during the assessment. Students must practice using these features.


A small number of students will require additional accessibility features to meet their individual needs. These accessibility features will be selected ahead of time based on the individual needs and preferences of the student.


Accommodations are available only to students with a disability served under an IEP, 504 Plan, or students classified as English Learners, and only when the student requires the accommodation(s) to participate in the assessment meaningfully and appropriately.

One exception to the IEP or 504 requirement is for students who have had a physical injury (e.g., broken hand or arm) that impairs their ability to use a computer.



MSAA (Multiple State Alternate Assessment) Formerly known as NCSC

Big image


· Students only take the tests in their designated grade levels.

· Students do not “make up” tests from previous grades that were missed.


  • Testing will be completed in an 8 week window in March and April

· Time Required for Testing

  • ELA 90 minutes
  • Math 60 minutes

· Test does NOT have to be completed in one sitting

· Test Item Types

  • Selected Response (SR) – all content areas
  • Constructed Response (CR) – Math only
  • Open Response (OR) – Writing only

· Student is not required to interact with the computer assessment. The test administrator can enter the student response into the computer.

· Student scores are expected to vary along the scoring spectrum (Below Basic, Basic, Proficient and Advanced). Teachers should choose something other than Alternative Assessment for their 15%

· Accommodations Available

  • Assistive Technology
  • Paper versions of test or items
  • Scribe/Transcribing
  • Sign Language Translation
  • Braille (3rd & 4th only)
  • Deaf Blind (special set of test instructions and items)

· Once the testing window has opened, the test administrator can print individual student tests, and organize symbols and choices for students that need more support. Paper versions can be manipulated through cutting, choices, enlarging, etc.

· Each test is student specific. Not all students will have the same test.

· A licensed teacher MUST be the administrator of the test. Para-professional may be present during test for support.

· Students are identified by their State ID

· Test directions and teacher script are available on tablet or paper copy

· Student Response Check – Use only for those students who do not have a reliable form of communication

  • Can a student clearly identify answer choice? If answer is “No”, complete a Student Response Check

· When administering test, administer the 1st 4 test items. If the student DOES NOT respond, stop the test with the “Early Stopping Rule”

  • Stopping the test is irreversible.

Social Studies & Science Alternative Assessment:

· Portfolio will be completed for Social Studies and Science

· Evidence Sheet (no graphs) will be submitted by an online template

· The state will continue to audit data collection and proof of progress


https://wiki.ncscpartners.org/index.php/Main_Page (NCSC Wiki)

http://www.ncscpartners.org/Media/Default/PDFs/Resources/NCSC-Operational-Test-Blueprint-12-10-14.pdf (NCSC Blueprints)

District Learning Day

District learning day is next Friday, September 18. Don't forget to sign up in My Learning Plan for your sessions.

Co-teachers will attend training with their general education partner for half day spilt Elementary and Middle/ High. * Pay close attention to the schedule of when you will attend what.

All Resource Co-teach will attend a half day session with Aimsweb. Bring your questions.