Accommodation Breakdown: Extended Time

This article was first published 9.22.22 and is being republished today with updates. It's one of the most popular articles on the site, but I still continue to learn different ways this accommodation has played out with others. If you have your own input, please provide it in the comments below and/or email me and I'll look at adding it to the article.

This article is an extension to the article "Accommodation Break Down: Testing to Completion". It includes a few different options I wish I'd included previously, as well as a few more pits you'll want to make sure you avoid.

How Much Time is Extended Time?

The time provided to general education students is the baseline on which extended time is determined.

For example, start with an assignment due date assigned to all general education students and then apply extended time on top.

Extended time can be time and a half, double time, or until completion, or any other time period that addresses your child's needs—and it can be a mix of all of these times.

It depends on the child and the activity.

For example, perhaps your daughter struggles with fatigue. The longer she spends on a task, the more time she needs for breaks. In addition, as the tests get longer (think about the difference between 1st grade and 12th grade tests), her pace might slow down. She might start strong for the first quarter of the test and then start falling off from there.

It isn't that she can't do the work. It's that she needs the time. In her case, maybe she needs two-day testing and/or a reduced load accommodation to offset the fatigue, too. If she's taking days to do work, she'll get behind fast, things will snowball, which could lead to worry, anxiety and stress in addition to the work in need of completing.

The same goes for homework, classwork, and anything else the school sends her way.

How is Extended Time Applied?

If your child needs extended time, it applies across the board. Either he needs it or he doesn't.

For example, if your child has "testing to completion" as an accommodation, it should be applied to every form of testing, whether it is a quiz, an end-of-unit test, a one-question check-in evaluation at the beginning of each day, or any other area in which he's being assessed, whether the assessment is graded or ungraded.

As I wrote in "Accommodation Break Down: Testing to Completion", I once ran into a teacher who didn't consider quizzes to be tests. The year started with her failing to provide testing to completion period. After she was advised that she needed to implement this accommodation, she failed to implement it for quizzes. By the fourth quarter she caught on, but all of this could have been addressed on day one.

For this reason, you need to be specific about every single activity to which the extended time applies.

Address All the "What If's"

For classwork, time and a half or double time is something to consider.

If your child doesn't finish classwork in class, she can't be marked off. Doing so would be discrimination. So, how much more time does she need? Or, is the solution to pair classwork with the reduced load accommodation, too? This way your student is assessed on essential knowledge, rather than if she can do the same math problem 20 times, and might have a better chance of finishing without getting too far behind her peers.

If she needs time and a half, which comes down to her finishing it that night and submitting it the next time the class is held, would that be enough time?

What if the classwork takes so long that the entire class is assigned to finish it at home and return it the next day? In that case, your daughter still gets more time. If she can finish it that night, that's great. But, if she needs more time, she isn't required to turn it in the same day, with the general education students.

For homework, is all homework the same time frame? Or does she receive more time for projects that are heavy on reading and writing, such as long reports?

And, what about those tests we mentioned before?

And then there are the hybrid take-home tests.

If she has time and a half for homework and testing to completion for tests, what does she have for a test that is assigned as homework? (Please see "Accommodation Break Down: The Assignment Notebook (a.k.a. the Most-Changed and Least-Implemented Accommodation)" which hits on this, too.)

Since the teacher says it is a test, your daughter might rightfully assume it is a test, but the teacher might assume it to be homework.

This has to be defined within the goal, too. How will take-home tests be approached?

What About Weekends?

If general education students are given four school days to complete a project, does the weekend count as extended time for your daughter?

If the general education students don't have to work on the weekend, does your daughter?

The school might say yes. However, maybe your daughter needs that down time.

You have to discuss this with the school, too.

As a parent, you want your child to have the time she or he needs, but if you can swing a weekend here or there, I'd suggest doing it, just to get the project off your child's plate. But, at the same time, have the conversation in advance about weekends not counting if they don't count for general education students.

The Final Break Down

It's hard to provide a sample accommodation for this one, because there are so many variables. A starting place might look like this:

Student will receive X time for ALL assignments. Assignments are defined as classwork, homework, group projects, take-home tests, school-wide assignments (such as an assignment to bring a schedule each day, or a signed form required by the school), and any other type of assignment unmentioned here.

Student will receive X time for long-term assignments. Long-term is defined as 5+ school days.

Student will receive X time for ALL assessments. Assessments are defined as both graded and ungraded quizzes, tests, evaluations, exams, state assessments, take-home tests, retests, chunked tests, end-of-quarter test, end-of semester tests, end-of-year tests, state assessments, and any other type of assessment unmentioned here.

Student will receive X time for ALL take-home tests.

3 comments on “Accommodation Breakdown: Extended Time

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    1. Robert, Thank you for your comment. What portions do you find vague? What would be of more help? Also, why do you think it sets teachers up for lawsuits? Thanks, Callie

    2. hello Robert,
      I think the information was concise and clear. Unfortunately, accommodations can be slightly tricky. This is the very reason we must focus more on what the student needs vs. what is comfortable or easy for the teacher. If a teacher goes beyond what is expected and focus more on what the student needs to be successful there isn’t room for setup. However, as educators we cannot avoid lawsuits or OCR complaints. With that said, our job is to do what is best for students, follow the plan, and document effectively. If these things are done with fidelity, we all can celebrate a WIN.