1% Alternate Assessment justification portal now open through Jan. 29  


The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires each district or community school to complete and submit a justification when it anticipates testing more than 1.0% of students with the Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities. Due to COVID-19, the United States Department of Education waived the requirement that districts submit justifications for the 2020-2021 school year. However, it did not waive the requirement that districts provide assurances. 

States are required to collect assurances from districts that anticipate testing more than 1.0%  of students with the alternate assessment. In previous years, the assurances were embedded in the justification form. The assurances include that the district follows the state’s guidelines for participation in the alternate assessment and will address any disproportionality in the percentage of students in any subgroup taking the alternate assessment. 

Accordingly, any district that anticipates testing more than 1.0% of students with the alternate assessment is required to submit assurances for school year 2020-2021. This assurances form is greatly reduced in length from the previous year’s justification. 

Assurances must be submitted no later than Jan. 29. The Department will notify districts via Ohio K-12 Help Desk of successful submission. Please direct any questions on completing the assurances to AAparticipation@education.ohio.gov. Any district submitting assurances may be subject to further review by the Department to obtain additional clarification and documentation regarding the submitted information. 

To assist in the process, a template of the assurances form is available here. Note that the PDF template is only a tool to help prepare the form. All assurances must be submitted online via the link sent to school superintendents.