How to Decide when to Use a Scribe for Testing

In the educational field, a scribe is an individual who writes down answers for a student who is physically or mentally challenged to the point they cannot write legibly or are incapable of spelling the necessary words. A scribe is most generally used during a testing period such as the Standardize tests that are mandatory for each State. The need for a scribe is determined by the Special Education teacher. They possess the information required to make the decision.

Step 1 – Determine the students within the classroom that are designated special needs and have an Individual Education Plan, also known as an IEP.

Step 2 – Read through the IEP to determine if a scribe is specified for the child during testing. Testing includes standardized tests, classroom tests and quizzes.

Step 3 – Request a scribe from the student’s assigned Special Education teacher.

Step 4 – Make a list of possible candidates that could benefit from the use of a scribe.

Step 5 – Evaluate each student on the list for grade level development, hand writing skills and comprehension.

Step 6 – Read through each IEP and locate the portion of the plan that states whether the child would benefit from a scribe during testing.

Step 7 – Follow the IEP guidelines for those students who are designated for scribe usage.

Step 8 – Mark the list for all students who are required by State law to use a scribe during testing. For those students who do not specifically require a scribe, set up a meeting with the parents, administrator and the student’s teachers in their assigned classes.

Step 9 – Communicate during a group meeting on the benefits of a scribe for each student. Determine if the student needs to have their IEP adjusted to state they should have a scribe during testing.

Step 10 – Allow the students to have a scribe during testing without formal documentation, if time does not allow for the paperwork to be completed prior to the test.


Kid’s Health: Individualized Education Program [] Developing Functional IEPs [] Test Access and Accountability[]

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