Ohio’s Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (AASCD)

Ohio’s Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (AASCD) is aligned to Ohio’s Learning Standards–Extended (OLS-E) and designed to allow students with significant cognitive disabilities to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in an appropriately rigorous assessment. The AASCD will be administered by grade band (3-5, 6-8, HS). Students in grades 3, 4, 6 and 7 will be assessed in English language arts and mathematics. Students in grades 5 and 8 will be assessed in English language arts, mathematics and science. Students taking the HS-AASCD will be assessed in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.

Ohio Alternate Assessment Participation Waiver

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires states to ensure that the total number of students assessed in each subject, using the Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (AASCD), does not exceed 1.0 percent of the total number of all students in the state who took Ohio’s State Tests. States that anticipate that they will exceed 1.0 percent in alternate assessment participation must submit a waiver request to the U.S. Department of Education 90 days before the beginning of the alternate assessment testing window.  Ohio’s alternate assessment participation rate is approximately 1.9 percent. Ohio will be submitting a waiver to the U.S. Department of Education by November 20, 2017. 

The Department will be taking public comments here on the proposed one percent waiver from Oct. 18-Nov. 18, 2017. 

District Alternate Assessment Participation Justification

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires each district or community school to submit a justification when it anticipates testing more than 1 percent of students using the Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (AASCD). If your district anticipates testing more than 1 percent of your students with the alternate assessment in 2017-2018, you must complete the justification form. Please note that the deadline for submitting the justification form has been extended to Dec. 1, 2017.


The Office for Exceptional Children expects to open the submission form the week of October 23. Every district superintendent will receive a link from Cherwell (an online data submission tool) to a justification form for his or her district.

To familiarize yourself with the process, see a sample of the justification form here. Note that this PDF sample form is only for review.

If you have questions, please send an email to AAparticipation@education.ohio.gov.

Ohio Alternate Assessment Portal

The Ohio Alternate Assessment Portal is your gateway to all systems and resources for the administration of the Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (AASCD). It includes FAQs and resources for students and families, teachers/test administrators, test coordinators, and technology coordinators. Although this portal is available to the public, several systems require users to log in using their account information.

The Ohio Alternate Assessment Portal can be accessed at http://oh.portal.airast.org.

Ohio's AASCD Technical Reports

 Related Links

Last Modified: 10/18/2017 2:21:44 PM