Section 11: District and State Testing
District and State Assessment information is a required component of the IEP document. It is important for the PPT to consider only those accommodations listed in the "Supplementary Aids and Services" section of the IEP and regularly used by the student in the classroom instruction and classroom testing for use in statewide assessments.
For the purposes of testing, there are a variety of ways student needs can be met. For example, statewide assessments offer a range of universal tools that are available to all students, such as the use of scratch paper or breaks as needed.
The next level of supports is categorized as designated supports and they are considered accessibility features available to any student for whom the need has been indicated by a team of educators with input from the parent/guardian and student. An example of a designated support might include the use of color contrast or text-to-speech on the online assessments.
The next level of supports is categorized as accommodations, available only to students with an IEP. Testing accommodations are changes in procedures or materials that increase equitable access during assessment. They generate valid assessment results for students who need them; furthermore, they allow students to show what they know and can do. An accommodation might include the use of text-to-speech on the ELA reading passages.
The highest level of supports includes non-standard accommodations, also known as special documented accommodations. These are available to students with an identified documented need, per their IEP, that requires greater access to the assessments beyond those accommodations associated with statewide testing. Non-standard accommodations might include the use of a human reader, signer, or scribe.
The PPT will indicate which districtwide assessment(s) the student will participate in, if any, and the IEP will include one of the following statements:
- No districtwide assessments are scheduled during the term of this IEP
- The student will participate in Standard District Assessment
- The student will participate in Alternate District Assessment
If the student will participate in standard or alternate district assessments, the PPT must indicate the name of the assessment(s) and if designated supports and accommodations are needed to access or respond to the assessment. If needed, the IEP must list the specific designated supports and accommodations.
All Connecticut public school students in Grades 3-8 and 11 must be assessed on one of three statewide tests in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics:
- the Smarter Balanced Assessments for Grades 3-8;
- the Connecticut School Day SAT for Grade 11; or
- the Connecticut Alternate Assessment (CTAA) for Grades 3-8 and 11.
Additionally, students in Grades 5, 8 and 11 are also assessed on the Next Generation Science Standards Assessment (NGSS) or the Connecticut Alternate Science (CTAS) Assessment.
If the student will participate in Smarter Balanced and the NGSS Assessments, the PPT must indicate if designated supports and accommodations are required for each of the separate content areas (ELA, Mathematics, and Science). If supports are needed, the PPT must identify the specific designated supports and accommodations.
Note: Connecticut SAT School Day accommodations must be submitted by the district directly to the College Board. High school test coordinators will follow separate processes provided by the College Board and the CSDE to ensure that students have access to accommodations at the time of testing.
If a student is being considered for participation in the Connecticut Alternate Assessment System, the Alternate Assessment System Eligibility Form is required to be completed by the PPT. The PPT must verify that the student meets all the criteria for alternate assessment eligibility, including having an intellectual impairment, with supporting evidence per cognitive testing or other details/evidence to substantiate the existence of an intellectual impairment, adaptive behavior skills well below age-level expectations with supporting evidence per adaptive behavior assessments, and the need for intensive instruction and significant supports.
For any student participating in an alternate districtwide or statewide assessment, the assessment must be specified in the IEP along with a statement provided for each as to why the student cannot participate in the standard assessment and why the particular alternate assessment selected is appropriate for the student.
Finally, for students who are also English Learners/Multilingual learners (dually identified), in grades K-12, the English Language Proficiency (ELP) Assessment (with or without designated supports and accommodations) or the Collaborative for the Alternate Assessment for English Language Proficiency (CAAELP) for dually identified students with significant cognitive disabilities is required annually until the student meets criteria to exit English Learner status.