The VDOE Guidelines-for-special-test-accommodations indicates that “accommodations provide students with disabilities access to state assessments and a means to demonstrate their knowledge and skill on academic content. Test accommodations are changes in the administration of an assessment which result in an adjustment to how the test is presented or how the student responds to test items. Although test accommodations do not alter the content assessed or the meaning of the resulting scores, they do provide equal access to the assessment for students with disabilities. When used appropriately, test accommodations reduce or even eliminate the effects of a student’s disability without impacting learning expectations or providing an unfair advantage. Test accommodations may not alter, explain, simplify, paraphrase, or eliminate any test item, reading passage, writing prompt, or answer option. Further, test accommodations may not provide verbal or other prompts or suggestions that clue, hint at, or give away the correct response to the student. Any test accommodations based solely on the potential to enhance student performance beyond providing equal access are considered inappropriate and, therefore, are not permitted. Test accommodations must be related to the student’s disability and based on the individual’s needs. Generally, accommodations are the same for classroom instruction, classroom assessments, and state assessments. Although accommodations for instruction and assessments are integrally intertwined, it is critical to note that some accommodations may be appropriate for instructional use, yet inappropriate and not permitted for use on state assessments,” or other assessments that are given by Arlington Public Schools.

It is important to make sure that a student are not overwhelmed by the number of accommodations that are on their IEP, 504, and EL participation plan. WIDA access a recommenced the following process to help determine which accommodations will be appropriate for instructions and assessment. Parents, IEP, 504 and EL plan teams should work together to go through this process and add the accommodation to their respective plan.

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Please contact your teacher or respective team to discuss appropriate accommodations.

APS has created a quick reference guide to review accommodations for specific assessments. These are updated yearly. We highly recommend that parents review these with your respective teams and discuss what each of these accommodation entails PRIOR to adding them to a specific plan. Here is the Testing Accommodations Quick Reference Guide SWD 20-21 Aug 10 and Testing Accommodations Quick Reference Guide EL 20-21 Aug 10.

Special Note: There are some assessments that APS facilitates that require approval by an outside organization. These include ACT and College Board assessments. If your student is taking any of these tests, please check with your students’ counselors or special education team prior to testing deadlines to make sure the appropriate paperwork has been submitted.

Here are links to explanations of accommodations for College Board (AP, SAT, PSAT) and ACT.