Accommodations: DEFINITION OF SMALL GROUP TESTING ACCOMMODATION

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Cadie:  What is the definition of ‘small group testing’ as an IEP accommodation? I have heard that it should be 8 or less students tested in a separate area, but cannot find any confirmation of that. Our school administrator thinks it is acceptable to push the kids to the corner of the regular ed classroom for small group testing. (A small classroom packed with 30 students)

  1. Can someone from the staff please comment on the subject of small group testing ? What is an acceptable # of students? Can districts force students into one area of a classroom and have that pass as “small group”??

    • We discussed small group testing as an accommodation a couple of years ago. The title of the post is “Accommodations: Definition of Small Group Testing”. You’ll find the post and comments here: https://www.wrightslaw.com/blog/accommodations-definition-of-small-group-testing-accommodation

      The purpose of an assessment is to find out what the child has learned. Many children with disabilities can’t show what they have learned unless they have more time to complete a test or a quiet area to take the test.

      In this discussion, people who had personal experiences with small group testing described how it worked for them. One student described small group testing as an accommodation for classmates who needed extra time, needed someone to read questions to them, or perhaps a quiet area. Many commenters were given conflicting info so were confused.

      Your state education regulations may describe how many students can be in a “small group” for testing.

      As an example, Monica from Wisconsin said, “I know in Wisconsin we have really become very specific in how we describe “small group for testing accommodations.” For example, we now specify “small group of 3 students or less” and then designate whether this group will be in the regular education classroom (table in the back of room scenario) or special education classroom.

  2. So I so I take small-group testing for test and District assessments what that pretty much means is that I’m pulled off into should be another classroom where there are 10 or less students usually and what it allows is fewer distractions and usually if you have small group it means that you get extra time as well or read aloud I can’t really fully explain it well but it could be because as soon as either has dyslexia has issues understanding texts unless it’s being read aloud to them and or just needs a little bit of extra time to finish assignments than most people need there may be other issues but for me personally it’s the dyslexia and needing usually a little bit more time to complete assignments sorry if that doesn’t help you understand any better hopefully you kind of get the idea

  3. I am really struggling to understand how the IEP process works at the career center in Ohio. He is in fire service training and it is difficult to get info. He is not doing well on the tests, which is typical for him but at the high school he can do test corrections for partial credit. They don’t allow that at the career center to my knowledge. They say that because it is a state run program, they can’t give certain accommodations. I also wondered about taking the state fire test and emt test. They said accommodations cannot be honored for those either because of the type of program this is. I guess I am just really confused about what is and isn’t required of the schools. Do you think you could shed some light on that?

    • Is the career center part of the public school? If so, you can ask this question to the district special education office. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should apply to this testing. Your stat parent training and information center should be able to assist you or point you to someone who can. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center

    • Shannon – Things get really complicated (for me anyway) in Ohio when we start working with Opportunities for Ohioans (OOD) and local career centers. It’s mandated in Ohio that transitioning students on IEP’s are referred to OOD for career planning etc. The VocHab coordinators from OOD that are supposed to work with transition coordinators at the CC and the student to develop their (wait for it…) IPE. (Individualized Plan for Employment.) If he’s receiving services from your County Board of DD then your SSA should also be involved. If your son is still in high school taking “College Tech Prep” classes at the CC he should still be able to receive IEP accommodations at the CC. Call them and ask their “Transition Coordinator” to request accommodations, even if he’s already graduated.

    • If it is the state test anyone takes to become a certified/licensed firefighter or emt, then public school accomodations don’t count. Even with the Disability Act, a person in a wheel chair cannot qualify to become a firefighter. A person must be able to do at least 90% of the job, and the other 10% cannot be an undue burden on other employees or on the company.
      There is a problem where the accomodations we give in high school do not actually translate into what will happen in the real world.

      • Actually the accommodations we provide are quite reasonable and realistic. What kids should also be getting access to is person centered planning that focuses on them and their interests and skills so that they may find a career in which they will experience success and fulfillment.

    • I know in Wisconsin we have really become very specific in how we describe “small group for testing accommodations.” For example, we now specify “small group of 3 students or less” and then designate whether this group will be in the regular education classroom (table in back of room scenario) or special education classroom. We also spell out each testing accommodation separately. So if the student needs extended time we typically write 150% of allotted time or 1.5x allotted time. If student needs text to speech or human read aloud that gets listed separately with the caveat that the assessment cannot be one that is measuring reading skills. We are now at the point where the motto is “less is more.” Many of our students don’t use their accommodations or the accommodations are available all

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