Accommodations Toolkit

Multiple Days: States' Accessibility Policies, 2020

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National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)

This summary of states’ accessibility policies for multiple days is part of the Accommodations Toolkit published by the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO).[1] The toolkit also contains a summary of the research literature on multiple days.

Accessibility policies often have several tiers of accessibility features: universal features, designated features, and accommodations.[2] Figure 1 summarizes how states included multiple days in their accessibility policies for students with disabilities in 2020; Figure 2 provides a summary for English learners. Table 1 shows how multiple days was included in the policies, while Table 2 contains additional details and specifications.

Figure 1. States’ Accessibility Policies for Multiple Days for Students with Disabilities, 2020

Reading/ELA/Writing

  • Universal Features (U): 2 States
  • Designated Features (D): 2 States
  • Accommodations (A): 11 States

Math

  • Universal Features (U): 2 States
  • Designated Features (D): 2 States
  • Accommodations (A): 11 States

Science

  • Universal Features (U): 2 States
  • Designated Features (D): 2 States
  • Accommodations (A): 10 States

Figure 2. States’ Accessibility Policies for Multiple Days for English Learners, 2020

Reading/ELA/Writing

  • Universal Features (U): 2 States
  • Designated Features (D): 2 States
  • Accommodations (A): 1 States

Math

  • Universal Features (U): 2 States
  • Designated Features (D): 2 States
  • Accommodations (A): 1 States

Science

  • Universal Features (U): 2 States
  • Designated Features (D): 2 States
  • Accommodations (A): 1 States

Table 1. Accommodations Policies for Multiple Days by State, 2020

U = Universal Feature, D = Designated Feature, A = Accommodation, ELA = English Language Arts, X = Allowed, SD = Allowed for Students with Disabilities, E = Allowed for English Learners, Blank Cell = No Policy Found, N = Notes in Table 2

State

Reading/ELA/Writing

Math

Science

Notes

(See Table 2)

U

D

A

U

D

A

U

D

A

Alabama

SD

SD

X

N

Alaska

SD

SD

X

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

District of Columbia

N

Florida

SD

SD

X

N

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

SD

SD

SD

N

Massachusetts

N

Michigan

X

X

X

N

Minnesota

Mississippi

SD

SD

SD

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

X

X

X

N

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

SD

SD

SD

N

North Carolina

SD

SD

SD

N

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

SD

SD

SD

N

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

X

X

X

N

Utah

X

SD

X

SD

X

SD

N

Vermont

Virginia

SD, E

SD, E

E

N

Washington

West Virginia

SD

SD

SD

N

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Total (Students with Disabilities)

2

2

11

2

2

11

2

2

10

Total (English Learners)

2

2

1

2

2

1

2

2

1

Note: Blank cell = no policy found

Table 2. Details and Specifications: States’ Multiple Days Accessibility Policies

State

Details/Specifications

Alabama

Designed to permit students who, because of their disability-related needs, are unable to complete an assessment in a single day or testing session. The determination of a student's eligibility for this testing accommodation must be made, and reviewed annually, on a case-by-case basis in consideration of the student's unique educational needs (e.g., the student experiences fatigue due to health issues). May require ALSDE approval.

Grades 2-8, HS

District of Columbia

In rare cases, and only when absolutely necessary, due to an illness, disability, or extended interruption in testing, with the approval of OSSE, students may extend the testing session over multiple days.

Florida

A student with a flexible scheduling accommodation that requires more than one day to complete a reading, mathematics, science, or EOC test session must participate in testing using paper-based test materials. The following conditions must be maintained to ensure the validity of the test administration across days:

  • The student may not be permitted to change his or her responses to items that were completed on a previous day.
  • The test administrator must closely supervise the administration of the test on an individual basis to ensure that responses from the previous day are not changed and that the student does not preview parts of the test to be answered the following day.
  • The test administrator must use a paper clip or binder clip to secure the test documents and prevent the student from reviewing his or her answers from the previous day. Staples or tape should not be used. Clips must be removed after testing.

Writing: All ELA Writing administrations must be completed in one school day.

Math: Grades 6–8 students with extended time accommodations may be administered one Mathematics session per day (over 3 days).

Maryland

In certain limited situations, permission may be granted by the MSDE for a student to have one or more of the assessments administered over one or more days. This type of administration is not typically allowed because of test security issues related to extending the test period beyond the scope of one single day. However, if a student has identified in his or her IEP or 504 Plan the accommodation 5b (Unique Timing and Scheduling Accommodations), the MSDE will consider allowing that accommodation to take precedence over test security considerations. Please follow the process below:

  • School Test Coordinators (1) complete the Application for Approval to Administer the High School Assessments over Multiple Days (a separate form for each content area test is required), (2) attach a copy of the student’s IEP as supporting documentation for the request, and (3) submit the package to the LAC in the local school system. (Special Placement Schools submit the package to the LAC of the student’s Home LEA.)
  • The LAC and the local Director of Special Education review the application and IEP. If both the LAC and the Local Director of Special Education approve the request, the LAC submits the request form and attached IEP with appropriate approval signatures to the Accommodations Program Manager at the MSDE.
  • Staff at the MSDE in the Division of Accountability, Assessment and Data Systems and in the Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services review the documentation and then forward notice of their approval or denial to the LAC, who in turn forwards notice to the local school or Special Placement School, as appropriate.

Please note that the Application for Approval to Administer the High School Assessments over Multiple Days must be completed for a student whom the school deems eligible for this accommodation as soon as possible after the student’s enrollment in an HSA-related course. Waiting to submit the request until close to the approaching test date will result in possible delays in the review process. In no case will the MSDE accept for review an application for Assessment Multiple-Day Administration delivered to the MSDE less than 6 weeks prior to the start of an HSA administration. The TACM for the assessment provide a due date for each test administration. Therefore, IEP Teams and other staff must take this timeline into consideration and plan accordingly. For additional guidance, IEP Teams should refer to this tool in its entirety.

NOTE: Special permission for Multiple Days Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing who require interpretation/transliteration from an interpreter/transliterator do not require approval to administer the assessment over multiple days. However, schools must notify their LAC of such situations who in turn will notify the MSDE. The interpretation/transliteration accommodation for the deaf and hard of hearing is described in detail in Tool SWD-8 in section 6.

Massachusetts

The following examples are provided to expand the team’s understanding of students who may be appropriate for the “grade-level” or “competency” portfolios in unique circumstances:

  • a student with a significant emotional, behavioral, or other disability, who is unable to maintain sufficient concentration to participate in standard MCAS testing, even with accommodations;
  • a student with a significant health-related disability, neurological disorder, or other complex disability, who cannot meet the demands of a prolonged test administration;
  • a student with a significant motor, communication, or other disability, who requires more time than is reasonable or available for testing, even with the allowance of extended time (i.e., the student is unable to complete a test session in a single school day).

Michigan

For some state assessments, students may have the option to test across multiple days. If a student will require more than one day to complete any single section of an assessment, their test may be paused and exited at any point in the test. The student will be able to log back into their test at any subsequent point within the testing window to complete the session. It is important that the student’s test be paused and exited and not submitted. Refer to the Student Supports and Accommodations Table (found in this document), Testing Schedule for Summative Assessments, and Test Administration Manuals for more information.

  • ELA, Mathematics, and Science M-STEP assessments all have multiple-day testing as a designated support.

As with any support, educators must provide only those supports the student needs. Significant research indicates that providing students with unnecessary or unneeded tools or supports may negatively impact their test scores.

  • All M-STEP tests are untimed and student-paced.
  • If an online tester requires more than one day to complete any single section of an online test, the test may be paused and exited at any point. The student will be able to log back into his/her test at any subsequent point within the testing window to complete the session. It is important that the student’s test be paused and exited, and not submitted.
  • Students taking a paper/pencil test with a multiple-day designated support will use the form of the test assigned to their school.
  • Students who qualify for testing beyond the initial paper/pencil test dates will have until the last day of the grade-specific paper/pencil testing window to finish testing.
  • If extended time is used for a paper/pencil test, it is important to fill in the “Multiple-Day Testing” circle on the student answer document(s).

Nebraska

Districts and schools have flexibility to schedule each content test. Each test is only a single session and can be scheduled for one or multiple days. Typical students take less than 90 minutes for each test. Additional information about scheduling can be found in the test administration manual (TAM).

New York

Multiple day test administration is a testing accommodation designed to permit students who, because of their disability-related needs, are unable to complete a State assessment7 in a single day or testing session. The determination of a student’s eligibility for this testing accommodation must be made, and reviewed annually, by a student’s CSE or Section 504 Committee on a case-by-case basis in consideration of the student’s unique educational needs (e.g., the student experiences fatigue due to health issues). It is also appropriate to consider this testing accommodation for a student with a disability who has extended time as a testing accommodation in his/her IEP or 504 plan when the student is scheduled to take more than one State assessment in a single day. This recommendation must be made in consideration of the State assessment schedule for the year the student’s IEP or 504 plan will be in effect.

North Carolina

The Multiple Testing Sessions accommodation allows the total test administration time to be divided into mini-sessions as determined by the individual needs of the student. As with all accommodations for North Carolina tests, (1) the use must be documented in the current IEP or Section 504 Plan, and (2) the accommodation must be routinely used during instruction and similar classroom assessments.

For students who are required to take only one assessment (e.g., Biology EOC) during a designated testing window, the multiple testing sessions must begin on the same day as the general test administration but may continue beyond the school’s schedule for the regular test administration if the IEP or Section 504 Plan designates the sessions are to stretch across multiple days.

For students who are required to take more than one assessment (e.g., EOG reading and mathematics) during a designated testing window, the multiple testing sessions for the first assessment must begin on the same day as the general assessment but may continue beyond the school’s schedule for the regular test administration if the IEP or Section 504 Plan designates the sessions are to stretch across multiple days. If the student requires additional days to finish the first assessment, the student can continue to work on consecutive school days until the assessment is completed. Once the assessment is completed, the multiple testing sessions can begin for the next assessment.

When scheduling multiple testing sessions for the EOG tests, the public school unit should consider scheduling the mathematics test first, followed by the reading test, because most students who use the Multiple Testing Sessions accommodation over multiple days use it on tests that measure reading comprehension. In this way, those who do not need additional days to complete the mathematics test can begin the reading test on the same day as the general test administration.

Students who will be provided the Multiple Testing Sessions accommodation during an online test administration must have this option enabled through the SIQ, which must be reviewed and possibly edited in NC Education before the day of the test. During all breaks, the PAUSE button must be clicked to prevent the online test questions from being visible on the computer monitor. Each time the PAUSE button is clicked, the student has sixty minutes to continue the assessment. If the break is longer than sixty minutes, or if the student has completed testing for the day, the test administrator must close NC Test by clicking the EXIT button on the Review or Pause page. The student’s responses to test questions will be saved. The test administrator must log back into NCTest and launch the test again to allow the student to continue working on the assessment during the next scheduled test session. On subsequent test days, the test administrator should navigate to where the student stopped on the previous test day. The test administrator will need to closely monitor to make sure the student does not go back to a previous day’s questions. The student must also be given ample warning when testing time is coming to a close on each testing session so the student may complete any questions “flagged” before the end of testing for that day. The student must be informed of these policies before the first day of testing.

Oklahoma

The test may be separated into smaller sections and administered over several days within the state testing window. Student may only work in one separated section at a time and may not go to previous sections or work ahead.

Texas

Receiving an extra day to complete the test is a designated support intended for an extremely small group of students with disabilities who have a TEA-approved Accommodation Request Form. Students will only be permitted to test over two regularly scheduled, consecutive school days. Each day of testing must not extend beyond seven hours. TEA will provide additional guidance specific to scheduling extra day administrations with any approved Accommodation Request Form.

Utah

Assessments and activities that require focused attention should be scheduled for the time of day when a student is most likely to demonstrate peak performance. To reduce fatigue and increase attention, activities or some tests can be administered over multiple days (e.g., completing a portion each day).

Virginia

Student with disabilities who require multiple test sessions, when the test will be completed in two or more school days may be administered a paper test. When administering a paper test, care must be taken to ensure that the student is exposed only to those items in the portion of the paper test that he/she is attempting that day. Previously completed items and items not yet assessed must be sealed to prevent accidental exposure to the student.

For online Reading and Mathematics assessments: The IEP team/504 committee may determine that it is appropriate for an individual student, with the Multiple Test Sessions accommodation, to take the online version of the Grades 3, 4, or 5 Reading and Mathematics SOL tests or the Grade 6 or 7 Mathematics SOL tests. These tests may be administered online over two days with the requirement that the student completes the first portion of the test on the first day and Exits the test at the Seal Code. The student must then finish the second portion of the test on the second day. Eligible students who are unable to complete these online SOL tests as described must be administered a paper test.

For ELs: ELs who require multiple test sessions, when the test will be completed in two or more school days, may be administered a paper test. When administering a paper test, care must be taken to ensure that the student is exposed only to the test items in the portion of the paper test that he/she is attempting that day. Previously completed items and items not yet accessed must be sealed to prevent accidental exposure to the student.

The EL Committee may determine that it is appropriate for an individual student, with the Multiple Test Sessions accommodation, to take the online version of the Grades 3, 4, or 5 Reading and Mathematics SOL tests or the Grade 6 or 7 Mathematics SOL tests. These tests may be administered online over two days with the requirement that the student completes all of part 1 of the test on the first day and Exits the test at the “Seal Code” screen. The student must then finish all of part 2 of the test on the second day. The student may be provided with a break while completing either part, but the student must be supervised and test security must be maintained throughout the break.

Eligible students who are unable to complete these online SOL tests as described must be administered a paper test.

West Virginia

Scheduling changes can be helpful for students on medications that affect their ability to stay alert or who have more productive times of the day. For example, for students who have difficulty concentrating or staying on task as the day progresses, it may help to schedule tests that require the greatest concentration in the morning.

Notes

  • Two-day test administration.
  • Students must complete each section of the test once it is started.
  • Students will need to be assigned to a separate room or location to prevent distractions.
  • Decisions about how to schedule must be made on a case-by-case basis for each individual student—not by any category of students—keeping in mind the disability involved.

Attribution

All rights reserved. Any or all portions of this document may be reproduced and distributed without prior permission, provided the source is cited as:

  • Lazarus, S. S., Quanbeck, M., Hinkle, A. R., & Albus, D. (2021). Multiple days: States’ accessibility policies, 2020 (NCEO Accommodations Toolkit #3b). National Center on Educational Outcomes.

NCEO is supported through a Cooperative Agreement (#H326G160001) with the Research to Practice Division, Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. The Center is affiliated with the Institute on Community Integration at the College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota. NCEO does not endorse any of the commercial products used in the studies. The contents of this report were developed under the Cooperative Agreement from the U.S. Department of Education, but does not necessarily represent the policy or opinions of the U.S. Department of Education or Offices within it. Readers should not assume endorsement by the federal government. Project Officer: David Egnor