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

This newly developed 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.

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 2021-2022, 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 no later than March 30, 2022.

The participation rates for 2021-2022 are 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.

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 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 1.4 percent. Ohio submitted a waiver extension request to the U.S. Department of Education on November 22, 2021 and was approved on January 27, 2022. To share questions, comments, and concerns on Ohio’s action plan to address alternate assessment participation please email AAParticipation@education.ohio.gov.

2021-2022 WAIVER

2020-2021 WAIVER

2019-2020 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 https://oh-alt.portal.cambiumast.com/.

Related Links

Last Modified: 8/19/2022 12:25:14 PM