Coronavirus Resources for Schools

CASP Covid-19 Assessment Position Paper

Contains resources from school districts and public health agencies.

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CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS POSITION PAPER April 9, 2020 1 Mandated Special Education Assessments During the Covid-19 Shut Down At this time there is a great deal of uncertainty and many questions regarding how California School Psychologists should proceed with respect to mandated Special Education assessments. Given this unprecedented situation, CASP is recommending the following answers to questions received from our membership based on Federal and State laws, regulations and best practices of the profession of school psychology. 1. Question: Should school psychologists be conducting any initial or triennial testing that has been designed and normed to be administered in person? Answer : No. In an effort to ensure public safety, California has instituted a shelter in place order and public schools are to remain closed for the rest of this academic school year. While distance learning can and should take place, standardized testing should not. The instruments used by school psychologists (cognitive ability/intelligence tests, processing tests, neuropsychological tests, achievement tests, etc.), have not been normed or validated to be used under these conditions. Telehealth testing that has been validated requires a trained on-site proctor to be in the room with the student to: 1. Verify the positioning and functioning of the technological requirements; 2. Verify the ambient environmental conditions; 3. Verify confidentiality/privacy condition; and 4. Properly proctor the exam. For further information see Rationale 1 below. 2. Question: I see online test company(s) saying their tests are reported to be reliable and valid. Should we be using these companies? Answer : No. There are testing companies using tests that are online only, claiming to be based on a current theory of cognitive ability (Cattell-Horn-Carroll) and purporting to be reliable and valid. Upon close inspection, the cognitive abilities these tests measure are only fluid and crystallized abilities, while some other assessments appear to be designed to measure processing areas such as attention and/or processing speed. These limitations are a problem in California as their battery of online only tests would leave out several basic processing areas required under CCR 3030(b)(10) such as: visual processing, auditory processing, phonological processing, sensory-motor skills, and significant aspects of cognitive association, conceptualization and expression, therefore a comprehensive evaluation cannot be completed. For further information see Rationale 2 below.

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