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.
Alternate Assessment Family Resources
These Frequently Asked Questions resources were developed to describe the Alternate Assessment for Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities. The first resource addresses the format for the online alternate assessment. The second resource addresses eligibility and participation in the alternate assessment. The third resource addresses Ohio’s Learning Standards-Extended and instruction for students who participate in the alternate assessment.
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). Due to COVID 19, the United States Department of Education waived the requirement that districts submit justifications for the 2020-2021 school year. However, they did not waive the requirement that districts provide assurances.
For 2020-2021, a template to assist with the assurance process is available below. Note that this template is only a tool to help prepare your assurance. All assurances must be submitted via the Ohio K12 Help Portal using your district's unique link no later than Jan. 29, 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 was approved for a waiver extension request by the U.S. Department of Education on Jan 15, 2021.
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.
Last Modified: 5/6/2021 4:18:44 PM