Double Check Accommodations Before Year-End Testing

Being proactive avoids last-minute testing confusion


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Photo courtesy of racorn/Shutterstock.com

North Carolina schools are preparing their students for the End-of-Grade tests, the End-of-Course tests and the Advanced Placement exams. For optimum testing results, there will be plenty of planning by teachers and administration.

Parents with exceptional children, who have an Individual Education Plan (IEP), can be proactive by preparing for their own child’s testing in advance. It is a good idea for parents to make sure they understand exactly where, when, and how their student will be tested.

Verify the testing plan with the case manager

Although the students’ testing accommodations are in place throughout the school year, sometimes the setting differs with standardized testing. For instance, some children might not have a separate setting in math during regular class assessments, but do use a separate setting accommodation for reading. For the math portion of the standardized testing though, this same student might have an accommodation for separate setting.

Another challenge with some of the standardized testing environments is the “wording” of the accommodation itself. There is one confusing accommodation that teachers, proctors and even administrators struggle with; it is, “read aloud” and “read allowed.” Now, you would think that since these two words have completely different meanings, then this would be self-explanatory — it is not! The misunderstanding derives from the misinterpretations. Not that this is anyone’s fault, it’s just the way it is.

There are a few scenarios to this particular accommodation. For example, to many educators, this accommodation might mean the student is placed into a small group in which the testing administrator reads “out loud” to all the students in the group and that each student takes the test at the same pace. It could also mean, that your student is a one-on-one test taker and the testing administrator reads the test to your child and no other students are in the room.

Wait — there’s more….

“Read allowed” on the other hand, means that your student is given permission to literally use his or her own voice to “read out loud” to him or herself. For some students, especially with math, this is an effective method to help the student focus on the questions being asked. This accommodation also means, your student, without a doubt, will be testing alone so as not to disturb other student test takers.

These two accommodations seem simple enough, but without precise clarification, the outcome could have some very tricky results.

The last thing anyone wants is a test that is skewed because one of the tests was not administered correctly. It is my opinion that exceptional students usually give it their best effort the very first day they take the test. If a test has been administered incorrectly, and there is a “misadministration,” the student will need to retake the test. If this happens after a full day of stressful testing, the student may feel frustrated that he or she has to do it all over again.

Testing Procedures

For students who require frequent breaks during testing, or who complete the test in multiple sessions, they should have these accommodations confirmed well before the testing date. In addition, children who have a language barrier, or require any type of assistance should confirm the accommodations to ensure the supports are in place on test date.  

Double check IEP

Testing accommodations are available at all levels, even for the student who is enrolled into an honors or advanced placement class, as long as their accommodations are written into the IEP.  

Usually, the testing accommodations are decided at the start of the school year or when the annual meeting is held. Students meet goals throughout the year, but some, unfortunately, do not. This might be a good time to address any challenges and make the necessary changes.

It is always a good idea to check and double check the exact testing circumstances. This tends to be a very hectic time of year, but proactive parents will eliminate some sticky “red tape” and confusion in the long run.

Speaking with your child’s case manager should avoid any last minute challenges, but do it quick; the testing date will be here before you know it.

C.C. Malloy lives in Greensboro and is a steadfast supporter of children with disabilities. Any information here should not be considered legal advice and counsel should be sought for personal educational guidance. For additional support, please visit her website, Bizigal’s Exceptional Blooms.

 

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About this Blog

A ‘Special’ World

Mom of three is a special needs advocate


About This Blog

C.C. Malloy is a disability advocate and the mother of three fantastic young adults. A freelance writer, C.C. writes about the challenges parents with special needs children face from the start of elementary school through college. Her blog focuses on helping parents cope with the functions of their child's disability and educational accommodations. She has been published in a variety of publications and currently writes a blog for Piedmont Parent magazine. For additional  support, please visit her personal blog at Bizigal's Exceptional Blooms.

 

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Calendar

December 2019

Take part in a class that teaches individualized ways to foster motor development for your child. Learn about tummy time alternatives, best positions for your baby, how to help your child learn to...

Cost: 24.00

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
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Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
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Create artwork inspired by the Christmas tree. Ages 6-10. Register online. Choose course #126771.

Cost: $31/resident, $40/nonresident

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
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Website »

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Cost: $15 and up

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PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Cost: Free

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Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
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Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
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Cost: $5.00

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The Studio School of Durham
1201 W Woodcroft Pkwy
Durham, NC  27713
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Sponsor: The Studio School of Durham
Telephone: 984-377-4502
Contact Name: Danielle Sunde
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Cost: $25/person

Where:
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre
405 S. Brooks St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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The ensemble performs favorite holiday tunes as well as the soundtrack to "The Snowman" as it is shown on a large screen. Purchase tickets online. 

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
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Website »

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Embark on a wild ride with favorite Disney characters Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and many others in this fun-filled getaway featuring unexpected hijinks and character interaction. Purchase tickets...

Cost: $15 and up

Where:
PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Favorite Christmas songs are presented in authentic Nashville country style with dazzling guitars and fiddles along with soaring harmonies. Purchase tickets online. 

Cost: $25/person

Where:
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre
405 S. Brooks St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Website »

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Cost: $3/person

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Century Center
100 N. Greensboro St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
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Cost: For all ages; FREE. Registration is required for everyone

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Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
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Telephone: 919-662-2850

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Cost: Free

Where:
Apex Community Center
73 Hunter St.
Apex, NC  27502
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Telephone: 919-249-3402
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Ages 11 and older with special needs enjoy a showing of "Home Alone." Register online. Choose course #128732.

Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

Where:
The Cary Theater
122 E. Chatham St.
Cary, NC  27511
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Please join Admissions, Division Directors and our Head of School as they talk about Duke School’s unique program, specifically for students entering 5th-8th grade for the 2020-21 school year....

Cost: $0

Where:
Duke School
3716 Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
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Sponsor: Duke School
Telephone: 919-416-9420
Contact Name: Logan Blaylock

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Cost: $5/person

Where:
Renaissance Centre
405 Brooks St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Cost: Free

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
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Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

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Cost: $5/person. $2 for ages 2 and younger

Where:
The Halle Cultural Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
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Website »

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Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Cost: $16 per child

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
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Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

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Ages 11-17 create old-fashioned taffy and hard candy using ingredients like caramel, marshmallow and chocolate. Register online. Choose course #127044.

Cost: $18/resident, $23/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC
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Website »

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Kids spend a night out in nature making memories and new friends in an old-fashioned, camp-style program. Ages 8-12. Register online. 

Cost: $15/resident, $19/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Raleigh, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Kids spend a night out in nature making memories and new friends in an old-fashioned, camp-style program. Ages 8-12. Register online. 

Cost: $15/resident, $19/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Raleigh, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

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Cost: $2/person or $5/family

Where:
Halle Cultural Arts Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
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No Christmas season is complete without your family experiencing The Raleigh Boychoir’s shining “Carols of Christmas.” This year we are excited to invite community members to sing...

Cost: $10 Students, $15 Seniors, $20 Adults.

Where:
Edenton Street United Methodist
228 W Edenton Street
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Raleigh Boychoir
Telephone: (919)881-9259
Contact Name: Erin O'Hara
Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
Baileywick Road Park
9501 Baileywick Rd
Second Shelter Field
Raleigh, NC  27615
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Sponsor: Raleigh Redhawks Rugby
Contact Name: denise travis
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Ages 5 and older move through yoga poses set to holiday music, decorate a special treat and drink hot chocolate. Registration required online. Choose course #127393. 

Cost: $19/child

Where:
Middle Creek Community Center
125 Middle Creek Ave.
Apex, NC  27539
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Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
Halle Cultural Arts Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
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Website »

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Cost: $40

Where:
Family Preschool
4907 Garrett Rd
Durham, NC  27707
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Sponsor: Family Preschool
Telephone: 919-402-1500
Contact Name: Sue Henson
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Harris Lake will welcome a special holiday visitor this December! Santa will take time out of his busy schedule to join us for a cup of hot cocoa and a ride on our wagon along the back roads of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
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Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

Girls ages 5-12 take their favorite doll and have a creative time together preparing for the holidays. Register by emailing llpolkhouse2@gmail.com.

Cost: $22/attendee, $20/sister

Where:
Historic Polk House
537 N. Blount St.
Raleigh, NC  27604
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Telephone: 919-676-6368
Website »

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Discover what's happening in nature as the sun sets and listen to stories around a campfire. All ages with adult. Register online. Choose course #127675.

Cost: $18/resident, $24/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

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Take part in this annual walk to celebrate the winter solstice. Take a handmade lantern (white lanterns/lights only, handmade is requested, no fire allowed). Participants will gather at the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Hillsborough
, NC  27278


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