Sunday, March 3, 2013

Session: CCSS & Students with Disabilities

Of all the information about CC, what was being said about our IEP students was most worrying to me.  I was really looking forward to this session so I could get all the facts and myths straitened out.  I was not disappointed.

The definition of "accommodation" being used is:

"a change in how an activity or assessment is presented or how the activity or test taker responds, which may include changes in the presentation format, response format, test setting, timing or scheduling."

I did ask if this included limiting answers in multiple choice questions, and I was told that it does not.  This will be a change to our current accommodations policies.  The presenter also told me that there would not be very many multiple choice questions, so I don't know how much that will affect our students.

One of the things I'm most looking forward to seeing is the Personal Needs Profile.  According to our presenter, there will be three levels to the PNP:

  1. Options available to all students which will be set upon registration for the test.
  2. Options that are available to all students but which must be turned on for individual students.
  3. Options available only to students on IEPs.
One of the things I liked about this setup is that it offers options for regular ed students as well as special needs students.  When I asked if they would have a chance to play with some of the options before the registration period, I was assured that they would have practice opportunities.  Practice tests are supposed to be available in the Spring of 2014.  In addition, many of the options are already available on our computers so we may be able to do some adjusting in class as well.  They are using these ideas as the base for the PNP:
  1. W3C Initiative:  http://www.w3.org/WAI/users/Overview.html
  2.  Section 508 (government regulations):  https://www.section508.gov/index.cfm?fuseAction=stdsSum.
Also mentioned was the Universal Design for Learning.  Some of the adjustments possibly available will be font size, screen color, read out loud, word predictions and a scribe program.  Calculators for kids on IEPs were also an item mentioned, but I did not get a clear answer on that.

The presenter said that they will be focusing on 5 areas of special needs students:  ADHD, Mild/Moderate, Specific Learning Disabilities, Visual Impairment and Fine Motor.  They are also working on "1% Assessments" which I understand are for those with severe disabilities.

The draft PARCC Accommodations Manual is supposed to be available sometime in April or May of this year.  The final version should be approved in June.

Resources:

Stephen Elliot's research from his Opportunity to Learn grant.

http://www.marylandlearninglinks.org/

UDL Wheel

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