PT is currently in private kindergarten. As an approved private school, his center has the option of offering the state approved standardized test for kindergarten. The specific test they use is called the TerraNova. It is the same idea as the state produced tests used in public schools. The TerraNova is an approved achievement test in our state, that private schools can use at any age level that would be tested in public school. So with the test date approaching, KJ has an informal discussion with CDJ, her boss and PT’s center director, about the accommodations they will be providing for PT. Wasn’t KJ floored when she was told, they won’t be making any. Yes, you read that correct NONE. That means no TSS, no extra time, no nothing.
KJ was understandably angry too. Her response to CDJ was, no that isn’t going to work, you will provide some accommodation. CDJ said that they were going to take a practice test to help the kids get use to how the test would be done, since they hadn’t taken any tests like that before. CDH suggested that if we have him take the practice test without help, and see how it goes that would help us figure out what we might need. KJ was ambivalent at best. When she told me, I almost put a hole in the roof of the car. I told her, we would talk to JZ and see what she said. But I am pretty sure she doesn’t have a choice, she will have to offer accommodation.
AND…. I think I was right. At least according to the information I found on our state assessments used by the public school. If a private school chooses to administer those tests or another approved test, it must provide the same accommodations to students with disabilities that a public school would be required, at least as far as taking the test goes. The problem is kindergarten isn’t required in our state, so I can’t find any regulation pointing specifically to kindergarten testing only the testing that starts in grades 3–5. However, that is enough for me. Based on the that information, and the fact the state has produced two books on accommodations for students with learning plans and without I took the intellectual leap that if the state required private schools to provide testing accommodation for the state mandated exams, it would apply to all standardized testing done, and sanctioned by the state. After further discussions with the assistant directory earlier this week (CDJ is leaving for maternity leave at the end of this week), accommodations will be provided, but we aren’t sure what yet. The test is supposed to have a list of suggested accommodations that won’t violate the integrity of the test. So now we wait for the tests and instructions to come in. Then we along with MJ and JZ will sit down and decide what is appropriate. Then approach the school.
What they don’t know… I found the instructions online… I love to surprise people!