Ohio’s Alternate Assessment for Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities (AASCD)
Ohio’s Alternate Assessment for Students with the Most 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.
Ohio's 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 an Alternate Assessment Participation Decision-Making Tool. This tool clarifies and set specific criteria that students must meet for each criterion in the framework. This tool is required. IEP teams must use the tool each time the team is considering participation in the alternate assessment. A Spanish version of this tool is also available.
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 created as a supplement to the Decision-Making Tool to address those questions and concerns.
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One-Page Flyer: This one-page flyer serves as a companion to family resources at Ohio’s Alternate Assessment FAQs quick link. The one-page flyer captures what families should know about alternate assessments, how IEP teams determine alternate assessment eligibility in Ohio, and provides a reminder that there is federal legislation in Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that requires all students participate in statewide assessments. The goal for this document is to serve as useful guidance to IEP teams, especially parents, during special education meetings regarding alternate assessment inquiries, eligibility and participation. Versions are also available in Spanish , Somali and Gujarati.
District Alternate Assessment Self-Reflection Guide: The Department developed the District Alternate Assessment Self-Reflection Guide as an optional resource for districts that are interested in being proactive regarding alternate assessment participation rates. This self-reflection guide is designed to support districts in the data review process to address the appropriate eligibility in the alternate assessment. Each section of the guide provides the Department’s best practices with guiding questions and resources.
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Ohio's 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 the Most 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 exceeding 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 1.03% in science. Ohio submitted a waiver extension request to the U.S. Department of Education on November 29, 2022.
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District Alternate Assessment Participation
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 2022-2023, a template to assist with the district justification process is available below. Note that this template is only a tool to help prepare your district justification. All district justifications must be submitted via the Ohio K12 Help Portal using your district's unique link. The link will be emailed to superintendents on February 21, 2023 and due no later than March 31, 2023. To request a justification form submitted by a district or community school, please contact the Office for Exceptional Children or AAParticipation@education.ohio.gov.
The participation rates for school years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 are below.
Memos to States
Department of Education Memos to States outline requirements under ESSA for 1.0% participation in alternate assessment.
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Last Modified: 7/11/2023 9:37:12 AM