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 level. 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.


New Ohio Alternate Assessment Participation Decision-making Tool

To guide and support individualized education program (IEP) teams in determining whether a student is most appropriately assessed with an alternate assessment, the Ohio Department of Education, in consultation with parents, teachers, administrators and other stakeholders, has developed a new Alternate Assessment Participation Decision-Making Tool. The new tool does not replace the existing alternate assessment decision-making framework. The tool does however, clarify and set specific criteria that students must meet for each criteria in the framework. This tool is required. Moving forward, IEP teams must use the tool each time the team is considering participation in the alternate assessment.

The Department received many questions and comments about the decision-making tool from stakeholders during the writing process. A Decision-making Tool Frequently Asked Questions document was also created as a supplement to the decision-making tool  to address those questions and concerns. 

Learning Characteristics Inventory (LCI)

Unlike the AASCD 1.0, the AASCD 2.0 does not use Second Raters for test administration. However, during the spring 2020 AASCD test administration window, a Learning Characteristics Inventory (LCI) survey will be conducted to collect evidence to analyze for external validity purposes. The LCI is accessed through the Data Entry Interface (DEI) and is completed only by the test administrator. Students do not need to be present while the test administrator completes the LCI. Administrators should complete the LCI before administering the test to their students. Districts that preidentified their AASCD students in the Test Information and Distribution Engine (TIDE) by Dec.  31, 2020 should log into TIDE Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021 to view which students have been assigned the LCI. Directions for viewing LCI assignments can be found in the TIDE User Guide.

A PDF of the LCI is available here.    

District Alternate Assessment Participation Justification

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires annually 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).  

For 2020-2021, the electronic submission form will be available in February 2021. 

The participation rates for 2016-2017 through 2018-2019 are available below.

To request a justification form submitted by a district or community school, please contact the Office for Exceptional Children or AAParticipation@education.ohio.gov.

Department of Education memos to states outlining requirements under ESSA for 1.0% participation in alternate assessment.

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

Webinar for Districts Significantly Exceeding 1 Percent Participation

Ohio’s 2019 Special Education Profiles include alternate assessment participation rates for the second time. Districts and community schools identified as “significantly exceeding” the 1 percent threshold are required to complete a self-review, create an improvement plan and submit verification of professional development. This webinar provides an overview of the self-review questions and details of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) disability categories.

Webinars on Submitting District Justifications

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires each district or community school to submit a justification when it expects to test more than 1 percent of its students using the Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (AASCD).

Two webinars outlining the justification process were held in October 2018. If you were unable to attend one of the webinars, the slides and script are posted below for your review.

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 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 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 1.8 percent. Ohio submitted a waiver extension request to the U.S. Department of Education on Nov. 19, 2019. 

2019-2020 WAIVER

2018-2019 Waiver

2017-2018 Waiver

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 test 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.

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Last Modified: 10/27/2020 3:04:20 PM