Request for a Special Administration of an Online Assessment

STAAR with Embedded Supports (English and Spanish), Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) reading, and TELPAS listening and speaking assessments are administered as online testing programs. When rare unavoidable circumstances exist where students cannot access an online assessment, such as those described below, TEA may authorize a special administration. Special administrations of STAAR with Embedded Supports (English and Spanish) and TELPAS reading will be in paper form, while a special administration of TELPAS listening and speaking will be holistic. For students taking STAAR Braille, including students using a refreshable braille display,who are also eligible to receive content and language supports, districts will receive an automatic approval upon submitting a request for special administration of STAAR with Embedded Supports. Requests for special administrations based on the lack of familiarity with online testing by students or districts will not be approved.   

  • Accommodations Cannot be Applied

    A student may need a testing accommodation that is not possible to provide in an online setting. Prior to requesting a special administration of the assessment, consideration should be given to accessibility features, locally-approved designated supports, and designated supports requiring TEA approval. For information regarding these testing accommodations, refer to the Accessibility section in the District and Campus Coordinator Resources.
  • Technology Access is Precluded

Districts must make every effort to administer STAAR with Embedded Supports (English and Spanish), TELPAS reading, and TELPAS listening and speaking online. In rare situations where computers or technology are absolutely not available, as may occur on occasion with homebound students, JJAEPs, jails, or detention centers, districts may seek permission for a special administration. A rationale must be provided with the submission of a request for a special administration that clearly indicates why computers or technology are absolutely not available despite attempts made to administer the test online (e.g., no Internet connection at home and portable wireless connection not available; prohibited from downloading the STAAR Online Testing Program onto computer). 

Instructions for Requesting Permission for a Special Administration

District testing coordinators must review completed special administration request forms for STAAR with Embedded Supports (English and Spanish), TELPAS reading, and TELPAS listening and speaking and verify that the information provided meets the criteria for a special administration. The form can be accessed at the following link:

Request for Special Administration

All requests must be received by TEA at least two weeks prior to the administration of a test as scheduled on the Student Assessment Testing Calendar. Extensions to testing windows will not be provided. One form may be used to request special administrations for multiple programs. If a student also needs a designated support requiring TEA approval (i.e., Complex Transcribing, Math Scribe, Extra Day, Other), include the accommodation and rationale with the request for a special administration. Do NOT submit a separate online Accommodation Request Form. 


Once TEA has approved the request for a special administration of STAAR with Embedded Supports (English and Spanish) or TELPAS reading, a materials order will be issued to the appropriate testing contractor on behalf of the district. For the special administration of TELPAS listening and speaking, students will need to be holistically rated in both domains. Upon approval of a special administration of TELPAS listening and speaking, a passcode will be provided to access the required holistic rating training. The rater must complete all training requirements before rating students for the assessment. Refer to the supplemental instructions for rater credentials. 

Conducting a Special Administration

Supplemental instructions for paper administrations of STAAR with Embedded Supports (English and Spanish) and TELPAS reading for coordinators and test administrators will be included in the shipment of test booklets. For TELPAS listening and speaking, supplemental instructions for coordinators and raters will be included with the approval email.

During a paper administration of STAAR with Embedded Supports (English and Spanish), the language supports designed to assist students in accessing the test are provided by the test administrator using the appropriate secure STAAR with Embedded Supports Paper Administration Guide. Available for each STAAR with Embedded Supports (English and Spanish) assessment, the guides provide specific instructions for how the embedded accommodations are to be provided. When administering STAAR with Embedded Supports to a STAAR Braille tester, the test administrator must use the appropriate Specific Braille Instructions in conjunction with the STAAR with Embedded Supports Paper Administration Guide for the test being administered.

Submitting Student Responses

For STAAR with Embedded Supports (English and Spanish), student responses from paper administrations are recorded on answer documents. Unless a student meets the eligibility criteria for a transcription, the student is expected to record his or her answers on the answer document within the time limit of the test. Instructions for completing the fields on the answer document can be found in the District and Campus Coordinator Resources.

For TELPAS reading, student responses from a paper administration are recorded in the test booklet and must be entered into an online form of the test for scoring.  Student responses in test booklets will not be scored.  Districts are responsible for creating an online test session and transcribing student responses into the online form. Instructions for transcribing student responses into the online form are included in the paper supplement.  

For TELPAS listening and speaking, the ratings and related information that are recorded on the TELPAS Student Rating Roster must be entered into an online rating entry form in TestNav. Districts are responsible for creating online rating test sessions and entering ratings. Instructions for creating online rating test sessions and entering ratings are included in the supplement that is provided with the approval of a special administration

For additional information, contact:

Student Assessment Division
1701 North Congress Avenue
Room 3-122A
Austin, Texas 78701
(512) 463-9536

specialadministration.requests@tea.texas.gov