Accommodations Toolkit

Small Group and Individual Administration: States’ Accessibility Policies, 2022

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National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)

This summary of states’ accessibility policies for small group/individual administration is part of the Accommodations Toolkit published by the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO). The toolkit also contains a summary of the research literature on small group/individual administration.

Accessibility policies often have several tiers of accessibility features: universal features, designated features, and accommodations. Figure 1 summarizes how states included small group/individual administration in their accessibility policies for students with disabilities in 2022. Figure 2 summarizes how states included small group/individual administration in their accessibility policies for English learners in 2022. Table 1 shows how small group/individual administration was included in the policies, while Table 2 contains additional details and specifications. Additionally, some states that do not identify small group or individual administration as an accessibility feature may indicate that it should be used in the description of how to implement another accommodation. For example, the New Hampshire accessibility policy for human read aloud indicates that “readers should be provided to students on an individual basis – not to a group of students.”

Figure 1. States’ Accessibility Policies for Students with Disabilities for Small Group/Individual Administration, 2022

Reading/ELA/Writing

  • Universal Features (U): 18 States
  • Designated Features (D): 16 States
  • Accommodations (A): 12 States

Math

  • Universal Features (U): 18 States
  • Designated Features (D): 16 States
  • Accommodations (A): 12 States

Science

  • Universal Features (U): 18 States
  • Designated Features (D): 15 States
  • Accommodations (A): 12 States

Figure 2. States’ Accessibility Policies for English Learners for Small Group/Individual Administration, 2022

Reading/ELA/Writing

  • Universal Features (U): 18 States
  • Designated Features (D): 16 States
  • Accommodations (A): 2 States

Math

  • Universal Features (U): 18 States
  • Designated Features (D): 16 States
  • Accommodations (A): 2 States

Science

  • Universal Features (U): 18 States
  • Designated Features (D): 15 States
  • Accommodations (A): 2 States

Table 1. Accommodations Policies for Small Group/Individual Administration by State, 2022

U = Universal Feature, D = Designated Feature, A = Accommodation, ELA = English Language Arts, X = Allowed, SD = Allowed for Students with Disabilities, E = English Learners, P = Prohibited, 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

X

X

X

N

Alaska

SD, E

SD, E

SD, E

N

Arizona

Arkansas

X

X

X

N

California

Colorado

X

X

X

N

Connecticut

X

X

X

N

Delaware

X

X

X

N

District of Columbia

X

X

X

N

Florida

SD

SD

SD

N

Georgia

SD

SD

SD

N

Hawaii

X

X

X

N

Idaho

X

X

X

N

Illinois

X

X

X

N

Indiana

X

X

X

N

Iowa

X

X

X

X

X

X

N

Kansas

Kentucky

SD

SD

SD

N

Louisiana

X

X

X

N

Maine

X

X

X

N

Maryland

X

X

X

N

Massachusetts

X

X

X

N

Michigan

X

X

X

N

Minnesota

X

X

X

N

Mississippi

X

SD

X

SD

X

SD

N

Missouri

X

X

X

N

Montana

X

X

X

N

Nebraska

Nevada

X

X

N

New Hampshire

New Jersey

X

X

X

N

New Mexico

New York

SD

SD

SD

N

North Carolina

SD

SD

SD

N

North Dakota

Ohio

X

X

X

N

Oklahoma

SD

SD

SD

N

Oregon

X

X

X

N

Pennsylvania

SD, E

SD, E

SD, E

N

Rhode Island

X

X

X

N

South Carolina

X

SD

X

SD

X

SD

N

South Dakota

X

X

X

N

Tennessee

X

X

X

N

Texas

X

X

X

N

Utah

SD

SD

SD

N

Vermont

X

X

X

N

Virginia

Washington

X

X

X

N

West Virginia

SD

SD

SD

N

Wisconsin

X

X

X

N

Wyoming

X

X

X

N

Total (Students with Disabilities)

18

16

12

18

16

12

18

15

12

Total (English Learners)

18

16

2

18

16

2

18

15

2

Note: Blank cell = no policy found

Table 2. Details and Specifications: States’ Small Group/Individual Administration Accessibility Policies

State

Details/Specifications

Alabama

Accessibility Support (Universal Feature):

Individual (1:1) administration: Test location is provided so that the student can be tested individually. This accessibility support is primarily for students who have a behavioral or medical issue or a learning disability that necessitates their testing individually. A Proctor is required in addition to the Test Administrator. Unless there are additional supports or accommodations that apply, the administration of the test will follow the same guidelines as those for group online testing.

Small group: Test location is provided so that the students can be tested in a group of 10 or fewer students, in a setting separate from that made available for most students. This accessibility support does not require a Proctor. Students must be grouped by same grade and tested on the same content area and session number. Ten or fewer students and the Test Administrator are set up in a room separate from other students. Unless there are additional supports or accommodations that apply, the administration of the test will follow the same guidelines as those for group online testing.

Alaska

Accommodation:

Students with disabilities:

Small group administration: Students may have the test administered in a small group in a separate location and/or at a different time than their peers.

Individual administration: Individual administration Students may have the test administered individually in a separate location and/or at a different time than their peers.

English learners:

Administering the test individually or in a small group in a separate location. Students who need additional assistance that may be disruptive to others must take the test in a separate location.

Arkansas

Designated Feature:

Testing in a small group or one-to-one.

Colorado

Administrative Consideration (Universal Feature):

Small group testing: Assessment policy does not prescribe the maximum group size for any student; however, for students with IEP, 504 or EL plans, schools must follow group guidelines as documented on the plans (e.g., “less than ten students” or “no more than eight students”). If the plan does not specify the maximum number of students in the small group, follow common practice used for that student during instruction and classroom/district assessment.

Connecticut

Designated Feature:

Students who are easily distracted, or who may distract others in environments such as in group testing, may need an alternate location to be able to take the assessment. The separate setting may be in a different room that allows them to work individually or among a smaller group, or in the same room, but in a specific location (for example, away from windows, doors, or pencil sharpeners, in a study carrel, with a whisper phone, near the teacher’s desk, or in the front of a classroom).

Delaware

Universal Feature:

A small group is a subset of a larger testing group assessed in a separate location. There is no specific number defined for a small group, but two to eight students are typical. A “group” of one also is permissible. Small groups may be appropriate for human read–aloud, translated test administration, WhisperPhone® or to reduce distractors for some students.

District of Columbia

Administrative Consideration (Universal Feature):

Student is tested in a separate location as an individual or with a small group of students with matching accessibility features, accommodations, or testing needs as appropriate. Check individual state policies on the maximum number of students allowed in a small testing group.

Florida

Accommodation:

A student may be administered a test individually or in a small group setting. A small group should be of a comparable size to the normal instruction group size indicated on the student’s IEP or Section 504 Plan.

Georgia

Accommodation:

Small group

Individual administration

Hawaii

Designated Feature:

Separate setting: Students who are easily distracted (or may distract others) in the presence of other students, for example, may need an alternate location to be able to take the assessment. The separate setting may be in a different room that allows them to work individually or among a smaller group.

Idaho

Designated Feature:

Separate setting: Students who are easily distracted (or may distract others) in the presence of other students, for example, may need an alternate location to be able to take the assessment. The separate setting may be in a different room that allows them to work individually or among a smaller group.

Illinois

Administrative Consideration (Universal Feature):

Student is tested in a separate location as an individual or with a small group of students with matching accessibility features, accommodations, or testing needs as appropriate. Check policies on the maximum number of students allowed in a small testing group.

Indiana

Universal Feature:

Small Group Setting: Students may be assessed in smaller groups. The size of the small group is determined locally.

Individual Testing: Each student is tested individually.

Iowa

Administrative Consideration (Universal Feature):

Individual administration

Small group

Designated Feature:

Separate setting: Students who are easily distracted (or may distract others) in the presence of other students, for example, may need an alternate location to be able to take the assessment. The separate setting may be in a different room that allows them to work individually or among a smaller group or to use a device requiring voicing.

Kentucky

Accommodation:

Alternate testing environments: This is a local decision. If the DAC or BAC feel students can handle small group testing, there is nothing that precludes students from testing in small groups. If past behavior has demonstrated the student cannot handle small group testing, then it may be advisable – but not required by KDE – that the student be tested in a one-on-one environment. KDE leaves testing decisions like this up to local decision makers. BACs and DACs will need to ensure all testing schedules and seating charts accurately reflect the testing environment for each student taking the test.

Louisiana

Accessibility Feature (Universal Feature):

Individual testing: Testing locations and logistics must be secured in advance of testing.

Small group: Students may be tested in a separate location with a small group (8 or fewer) of students with matching accessibility features, accommodations, or testing needs, as appropriate. Testing groups must be identified, and testing locations and logistics must be secured before testing begins.

Maine

Designated Feature:

Individually: Individual or small group assessment administration may be used to minimize distractions for students whose assessment is administered out of the classroom or so that others will not be distracted by accommodations being used.

Small Group: Individual or small groups may be used to minimize distractions for students whose assessment is administered out of the classroom or so that others will not be distracted by accommodations being used.

Maryland

Administrative Consideration (Universal Feature):

Student is instructed or assessed in a separate location with a small group of students with matching accessibility features, accommodations, or needs as appropriate.

Massachusetts

Designated Feature:

Small group test administration (may include up to a total of 10 students).

Individual (one-to-one) test administration (student must be tested in a separate setting).

Michigan

Universal Feature:

Administration of the assessment individually or in a small group (no more than five students): Some students may benefit from testing in a small group or may be using additional supports that would cause a distraction for other students. For example, students utilizing the read-aloud option for the M-STEP paper/pencil assessments or MI-Access Functional Independence (FI) assessments can have appropriate portions of the test read aloud to them in a small group of no more than five students, or in one-on-one assessment situations.

Minnesota

Universal Feature:

Student is tested individually or in a small-group setting.

Mississippi

Accessibility Feature (Universal Feature):

In a small group.

Accommodation:

Individually to accommodate specific disability.

Missouri

Universal Feature:

Separate setting: All students may be allowed to test in a separate setting from other students. This includes testing or testing as part of a smaller group.

Montana

Designated Feature:

Separate setting: Students who are easily distracted (or may distract others) in the presence of other students, for example, may need an alternate location to be able to take the assessment. The separate setting may be in a different room that allows them to work individually or among a smaller group.

Nevada

Designated Feature:

Separate setting: Students who are easily distracted (or may distract others) in the presence of other students, for example, may need an alternate location to be able to take the assessment. The separate setting may be in a different room that allows them to work individually or among a smaller group.

New Jersey

Administrative Consideration (Universal Feature):

Small Group Testing: Small group is defined as a small number of students not to exceed 15, with similar accessibility features and/or accommodations who will be administered the test as a group. Important Note: Student IEPs may specify a smaller group size and must be accommodated during testing. Districts/schools are responsible for determining the composition and compatibility of the members of the small group.

New York

Accommodation:

Separate setting: Separate setting means a student is administered the test in a separate room apart from the standard setting being used to administer the test. The student can be administered the test individually or in a small group. Small group or individual test administration must be specified in the IEP/504 plan.

North Carolina

Accommodation:

Testing in a separate room: The Testing in a Separate Room accommodation allows a student to take a test in a separate room in a one-on-one or small group administration. 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 tests.

One-on-one setting. If the team or committee specifies the test administration is to be one-on-one, the student must receive the Testing in a Separate Room accommodation on a one-on-one basis as part of the regular classroom instruction and similar classroom tests.

Small group setting. If the team or committee specifies the test administration is to occur in a small group, the team or committee must review the local policy for the definition of a small group. The maximum number of students for a small group test administration is determined at the local level but must be documented in the student’s current IEP or Section 504 Plan. If the team or committee has specific concerns regarding the number of students in a particular small group test administration, it should document these concerns in the IEP or Section 504 Plan. The IEP team or Section 504 committee must consider whether other accommodations the student will be provided during testing require the Testing in a Separate Room accommodation (e.g., Test Read Aloud [in English], Multiple Testing Sessions, Scheduled Extended Time). If the other accommodations the student will be provided do require the Testing in a Separate Room accommodation, they too must be documented in the student’s IEP or Section 504 Plan.

Ohio

Accessibility Feature (Universal Feature):

A small group is a subset of a larger testing group assessed in a separate location. There is no specific number defined for a small group, but two to eight students is typical. A “group” of one also is permissible. Small groups may be appropriate for human read-aloud and translated test administrations or to reduce distractors for some students.

Oklahoma

Accommodation:

Individual testing: This accommodation is required for many presentation or response accommodations. This accommodation is intended to reduce student distractions. Students must be actively monitored and may use a testing carrel or test in a special education resource room or other location that maintains test security.

Small group testing (8-10 maximum): This accommodation is intended to reduce student distractions and may be required for certain accommodations. Students must be actively monitored and may use a testing carrel or test in a special education resource room or other location that maintains test security. Students should be tested with their non-disabled peers to the greatest extent possible.

Oregon

Designated Feature:

Separate setting: The separate setting may be in a different room that allows them to work individually or among a smaller group, or in the same room but a specific location (for example, away from windows, doors, or pencil sharpeners, in a study carrel, near the teacher’s desk, or in the front of a classroom).

Pennsylvania

Accommodation:

Small Group (1-5): Some students require a separate setting to accommodate human read aloud of ALL allowable test items, adaptive devices, distractibility, and/or other unique needs. Small group of 1-5 must be used for read aloud, signing, or translation of ALL Mathematics, Algebra, Science, Biology, multiple-choice Conventions of Standard English items and TDA prompt.

Small Group (1-12): Some students require a separate setting to reduce distractions, provide scheduled extended time, or provide a read aloud for SOME allowable test items.

One-to-one: Some students benefit from a separate setting to reduce distractions and/or provide read aloud, signing, or translation. Must be used for scribing and human read aloud of all test items. Online test with audio without headphones requires one-on-one setting. See Read Aloud All Allowable Test Items regarding students who require ALL allowable test items read aloud, signed, or translated.

Rhode Island

Accessibility Feature (Universal Feature):

Test students individually, in small groups, or other grouping that reflects their typical classroom environment. Follow policy below for creating small groups.

South Carolina

Administrative Consideration (Universal Feature):

  • Small group
  • Individual administration

Accommodation:

Separate setting: Students who are easily distracted (or may distract others) in the presence of other students, for example, may need an alternate location to be able to take the assessment. The separate setting may be in a different room that allows them to work individually or among a smaller group or to use a device requiring voicing (e.g., a Whisper Phone).

South Dakota

Designated Feature:

Separate setting: Students who are easily distracted (or may distract others) in the presence of other students, for example, may need an alternate location to be able to take the assessment. The separate setting may be in a different room that allows them to work individually or among a smaller group.

Tennessee

Universal Test Administration Conditions (Universal Feature):

Universal test administration conditions for any student includes:

  • testing in a small group, testing one-on-one, testing in a separate location or in a study carrel.

Texas

Accessibility Feature (Universal Feature):

The following list is an overview of the accessibility features provided:

  • allowing individual test administration
  • allowing small-group administrations with the following guidelines:
    • The number of students in a small group is determined based on individual student needs at the local level.
    • The number of students in a group should mirror, to the extent possible, classroom testing situations.

Utah

Accommodation:

Separate setting: In some circumstances, distractions for an individual student or a group of students can be reduced by altering the location in which an individual student interacts with instructional materials or test content. For students who are easily distracted by the presence of other students, an alternate location allows students to work individually or in small groups.

Vermont

Designated Feature:

Separate setting: Students who are easily distracted (or may distract others) in the presence of other students, for example, may need an alternate location to be able to take the assessment. The separate setting may be in a different room that allows them to work individually or among a smaller group.

Washington

Designated Feature:

Students who are easily distracted (or may distract others) in the presence of other students may need an alternate location to be able to take the assessment. The separate setting may be in a different room that allows a student to work individually or among a smaller group to use a device requiring voicing (e.g., Whisper Phone).

West Virginia

Accommodation:

Separate setting (small group): Test setting is altered so the student is tested in a small group. The test administrator must be one who qualifies under Policy 2340. Instructional practice: Students who need smaller groups for instructional or assessment purposes are ones who may easily become distracted when in larger group settings. These students may benefit from an environment with fewer other students. When to select: When the student benefits from a small group assessment environment. Notes for implementation:

  • Changes in instructional and assessment locations can benefit students who are easily distracted in large group settings and who concentrate best in a small group setting.
  • Students with physical disabilities might need a more accessible location, specific room conditions, or special equipment.
  • Students must be monitored during the entire testing period.
  • Testing locations must be private and free of distractions.
  • These requirements apply to students tested in all locations, whether the student is assessed in the school building, at home, in a hospital, or a residential or other alternative setting.

Separate setting (one-to-one):

Test setting is altered so the student is tested on a one-to-one basis. The test administrator must be one who qualifies under Policy 2340. Instructional practice: Students who need one-to-one settings for instructional or assessment purposes are ones who may easily become distracted when in larger group settings. These students benefit from an environment with no other students. When to select: When the student benefits from a small group assessment environment. Notes for implementation:

  • Changes in instructional and assessment locations can benefit students who are easily distracted in large group settings and who concentrate best in a one-to-one setting.
  • Changes in location also benefit students who receive accommodations (e.g., reader, scribe, or frequent breaks) that might distract other students.
  • Students with physical disabilities might need a more accessible location, specific room conditions, or special equipment.
  • Students must be monitored during the entire testing period.
  • Testing locations must be private and free of distractions.
  • Each student tested in a separate setting within the school must be under the supervision of a trained examiner.
  • These requirements apply to students tested in all locations, whether the student is assessed in the school building, at home, in a hospital, or a residential or other alternative setting.

Wisconsin

Designated Feature:

Seating/Grouping: Specific seat location (e.g., sitting in the front to see sign-language interpreter), or testing in a small group or one-to-one. Recommended Usage: Examinees with sensory concerns, examinees who are easily distracted, examinees with behaviors that may distract others.

Wyoming

Designated Feature:

Separate setting: Students who are easily distracted (or may distract others) in the presence of other students, for example, may need an alternate location to be able to take the assessment. The separate setting may be in a different room that allows them to work individually or may include smaller groups for WY-TOPP testers.

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:

  • Quanbeck, M., Lazarus, S. S., & Goldstone, L. (2022). Small group/individual administration: States’ accessibility policies, 2022 (NCEO Accommodations Toolkit #23b). National Center on Educational Outcomes.

The Center is supported through a Cooperative Agreement (#H326G210002) 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. Consistent with EDGAR §75.62, the contents of this report were developed under the Cooperative Agreement from the U.S. Department of Education, but do 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