Introduction We cannot wait until the last minute to work with students who are EBD (emotional behavioral disability) on issues related to performance on standardized tests. It is important to weave strategies and lessons throughout – these hints will help students in other areas besides standardized testing. It is also good practice to “double-dip”: use literature to teach reading/language arts and address social skills1, use history to teach problem solving and conflict resolution strategies, teach reading and content area skills (e.g., science, social studies) at the same time.
Students identified as EBD may be unmotivated, uncooperative, and unwilling to participate appropriately in standardized testing. This booklet addresses test accommodations, test anxiety, motivating students to participate, and basic test taking skills.
Some school districts may have students who are EBD who are currently placed in corrections facilities, in HSED programs, on homebound instruction or neutral site, in hospitals, attending alternative programs, and/or suspended or expelled from school. The information below is intended for informal guidance only, and you should consult with your school district’s assessment coordinator (DAC) and/or WDPI’s Office of Educational Accountability (OEA) to be sure. The IEP Team must determine if the student will take the test(s), or if the student will take the test(s) with accommodations. If the student is not available for testing, this counts against the district’s participation rate.
Since a student must be 17 years of age to be enrolled in an HSED program, the students may be beyond grades 4, 8, and 10. If this occurs, review your district’s grade level assignment policy and proceed accordingly.
A homebound, neutral site, or hospital program
If you must test a student at home, on a neutral site, or in a hospital, there may be a test security issue if test booklets leave the school building. Make sure the person who is taking the test booklet outside the building is a professional staff member. To protect test integrity, make sure the student has no assistance from a parent or other adult during the test administration.
Particularly if the student is at an alternative site due to illness or a mental health crisis, it is not appropriate to force the students to take a test