Target 3 – Flexible Learning Environments. FWSU will maximize flexible learning environments by redefining the school day, promoting learning experiences that extend beyond the school classroom, and fostering creativity, innovation, and differentiated learning opportunities for all.

Action Step –Increase access to resources for all students using digital tools making learning more accessible for diverse learners.

Indicator of Success – Use of digital tools to differentiate, personalize, and individualize learning.

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Last week Special Educators in FWSU participated in mini-workshop to focus on the new and upcoming Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)  assessment. The SBAC assessment strives to provide every student with a positive and productive assessment experience. With a goal of generating results that are a fair and accurate estimate of each student’s achievement.   In preparation for the assessment, Angelique Fairbrother (FWSU’s Digital Learning Specialist) guided a presentation and discussion on how to implement SBAC with accommodations for our students on IEPs or 504 plans.

There was a lot to learn. Special Educators need to understand and implement the following:

  • Using the  IEP to determine that each student has the necessary accessibility and accommodations to ensure valid assessment results
  • Universal Tools
  • Designated Supports
  • Accommodations

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Here is a brief explanation of each of the terms for your understanding.

What are Universal Tools?  Universal tools are access features of the assessment that are either provided as digitally-delivered components of the test administration system. Universal tools are available to all students based on student preference and selection

What are Designated Supports? Designated supports are those features that are available for use by any student for whom the need has been indicated by an educator (or a team of educators with parent/guardian & or student) these supports need to be identified prior to assessment administration.

What are Accommodations? Accommodations are changes in procedures that increase equitable access during the assessments.   These accommodations for students for whom there is documentation on an IEP or 504 plan.

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It is important for everyone to realize that all students are to be held to the same expectations for participation and performance on the SBAC. The only expectations are students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, approximately 1% of fewer of the student population.

FWSU will continue to support our educators, students and parents as we continue to explore the conceptual framework of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) assessment. If you have questions please contact FWSU Director of Special Education Kim Magnuson.


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