NOTICE: Coronavirus Guidance for School Districts: Per Governor’s executive order, in-school class cancellations remain in effect until at least April 20, 2020.
Emergency Meal Programs: The State Department of Education is authorizing two distinct categories of COVID-19 Emergency Meal Programs in accordance with federal requirements: 1) COVID-19 Emergency Meal Program Limited to Students Attending School in Specific Districts. School districts on this list are only authorized to serve meals to students attending their schools, and any other child age 18 years or younger residing in the same household; 2) COVID-19 Community-wide Emergency Meal Program for Children. Any child age 18 years or younger can receive meal(s) at any meal service and distribution sites in these towns/cities. They do not have to be a resident or attend school in these towns/cities. Check these links often as more locations continue to be added.

Special Populations on the State Summative Assessments

Documents/Forms

Special Populations Information 

  • Assessment Guidelines Current Edition
  • 2019-20 Test Supports/Accommodations Form - This form is used to record designated supports/accommodations needed for students with an IEP, Section 504 Plan, or English Learners (EL). Information from this form must be submitted/uploaded to the Test Information and Distribution Engine (TIDE) Test Settings prior to testing.
  • 2019-20 Accessibility Chart - The 2019-20 Accessibility Chart identifies a range of universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations available students when accessing the Smarter Balanced and the NGSS Science Assessments.
  • 2019-20 Text-to-Speech Decision GuidelinesThe Text-to-Speech Decision Guidelines form must be completed for any student in Grades 3-8 who will receive the accommodation of Text-to-Speech for English language arts/literacy (ELA) reading passages on the Smarter Balanced assessments. This form can be completed online by selecting the “submit this form electronically” hyperlink embedded in the form.

  • 2019-20 Decision Guidelines for Read-Aloud of the Smarter Balanced Reading Passages - Text is read aloud, including the ELA reading passages, to the student by a trained and qualified human reader.

  • 2019-20 Text-to-Speech and Read Aloud Accommodation for ELA Reading Passages Flowchart - This resource should be used to determine student eligibility for the Text-to-Speech and Read Aloud Accommodation for ELA Reading Passages.  It also provides the appropriate procedures based on accommodation need.

  • Read Aloud Guidelines in Spanish

  • Connecticut Alternate Assessment System Training – Overview for District Administrators - The Connecticut Alternate Assessment System Training Overview for District Administrators provides an overview of the responsibilities of the District Administrator (DA) in the Test Information Distribution (TIDE), for the mandatory online course completed each school year to provide qualified educators with essential alternate assessment materials and the permissions to administer these assessments. DAs must follow these procedures to ensure the alternate assessments are administered by teachers qualified for this responsibility.
  • Connecticut Alternate Assessment System Training – Overview for Teachers Administering the Alternate - The Connecticut Alternate Assessment System Training Required for Teachers Administering the Alternate Overview describes the responsibilities of the TEA and the procedures to ensure the alternate assessments are administered by teachers qualified for this responsibility. The Connecticut Alternate Assessment System Training – Required for Teachers Administering the Alternate is a mandatory online course completed each school year to provide qualified educators with essential alternate assessment materials and the permissions to administer these assessments. Educators passing the embedded quiz for the training with a score of 80% or better will be assigned the Trained TEA certification and be provided all associated privileges for administering the alternate assessment.
  • 2019-20 Alternate Assessment Eligibility Form - The Connecticut Alternate Assessment Eligibility Form replaced the Learner Characteristics Inventory during the 2019-20 school year and will be used by Connecticut Teachers Administering the Alternate Assessment and Planning and Placement Teams to determine eligibility for student participation in Connecticut’s Alternate Assessment System.  Forms must be submitted through the Data Entry Interface in order to register a student for participation.
  • Frequently Asked Questions and Answers About the Connecticut Alternate Assessment SystemThis FAQ document is intended to provide local education agencies (LEAs), parents, advocacy organizations, and other interested parties with information regarding the requirements for serving Connecticut’s children with significant cognitive disabilities participating in alternate assessments. This document represents the current understanding of the CSDE on this topic. This guidance does not impose any additional requirements beyond those required under applicable law and regulations.
  • Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about the Connecticut Alternate Assessment Eligibility FormThis FAQ document is intended to provide local education agencies (LEAs), parents, advocacy organizations and other interested parties with information regarding eligibility criteria for the participation in the Connecticut Alternate Assessment System.
  • CSDE Alternate Assessment System Web Page
  • 2019-20 Connecticut Alternate Assessment System: Transition from the Learner Characteristics Inventory to the Connecticut Alternate Assessment Eligibility Form - Planning and Placement Teams may have convened in 2019 (prior to the release of the Connecticut Alternate Assessment Eligibility Form) and determined student eligibility using the Learner Characteristics Inventory. This resource provides guidance and next steps for PPTs to ensure that students qualify based on the supporting data and evidence required by the new form.
  • Connecticut Alternate Assessment System Participation Guidance for Planning and Placement Teams - The Connecticut Alternate Assessment System Participation Guidance for Planning and Placement Teams flowchart provides the Planning and Placement Team (PPT) with guidance on eligibility for student participation in the Connecticut Alternate Assessments for Math and ELA (for students in Grades 3-8 and 11) and the Connecticut Alternate Science Assessment (for students in Grades 5, 8, and 11). This flowchart should be used in conjunction with the Learner Characteristics Inventory (LCI).
  • How to Access the Data Entry Interface (DEI)
  • Speech-to-Text Brochure - This brochure is intended to guide decisions about the need for speech-to-text for a select group of students who need to access this accommodation, including options and procedures, particularly if software is incompatible with the Secure Test Delivery Interface. The majority of items across all grades on the Smarter Balanced Assessments, with the exception of the Math Performance Task and very few items on the ELA, are multiple-choice and technology enabled and do not require typed responses. No items on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) require typed responses.
  • Customized Speech-to-Text Accommodation Request for Smarter Balanced Summative AssessmentsThis form is to be completed and faxed to the Office of Student Assessment, along with Pages 1, 8, and 11 of the student’s Individual Education Program or the entire Section 504 Plan to 860-713-7033. This form should only be submitted for students who require a customized process to access speech-to-text software with the provision of a scribe on the Smarter Balanced summative assessments.
  • Students in PSIS who attend Out-of-State Facilities or In-State Non-Approved Facilities

  • 2018- 19 Smarter Balanced Braille Options - Various braille options are available for students that take Smarter Balanced assessments in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. The selected braille option must be indicated in TIDE test Settings.

  • Process for Requesting Special Documented Accommodations:  In exceptional circumstances, there may be a student whose disabilities are such that the allowable accommodations listed in the Assessment Guidelines would be insufficient to provide access to the Smarter Balanced Assessments and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Assessment. In these cases, the District Administrator (DA) must contact the CSDE to provide information regarding a request for special documented accommodations. Such accommodations include, but are not limited to, the request for a:
  • Read Aloud of ELA Reading Passages
  • Scribe
  • Print on Demand
  • Human Signer for ELA or Math
  • Math Manipulatives (Grades 4-8)
  • Non-Embedded Calculator (Math Grades 6-8)
  • Customized Accommodations (including non-compatible Speech-to-Text applications).

District Administrators (DA in TIDE) are required to initiate this procedure by contacting Deirdre Ducharme (860-713-6859) or Janet Stuck (860-713-6837), Special Populations, Bureau of Student Assessment. DA’s will be provided with an application to complete and return to the CSDE along with a copy of the student’s IEP or 504 Plan for approval. Students may not be provided with these accommodations unless formally approved by the CSDE. Petitions are due no later than January 24, 2020.

Test Administration Resources

English Learner Resources
  • Translation (Glossary) – Embedded Designated Support - Students who are English Language Learners may benefit from using a Translation Glossary for the Smarter Balanced mathematics tests. These students should have the appropriate language Translation (Glossary) embedded designated support selected in TIDE prior to testing. This Designated Support is intended as a language support for students who have limited English language skills whether or not they are identified in PSIS as ELs or ELs with disabilities. The use of this support may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment.
  • Embedded and Non-Embedded Designated Supports for English Learners - Students who are English learners (ELs) may benefit from using designated supports when participating on the Connecticut state-wide assessments. These designated supports are intended as a language support for students who have limited English language skills, whether or not they are identified in PSIS as EL or EL with a disability. The use of these supports may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment. 
  • English Language Learner Assessment Resources Web Page

Other Resources 

CSDE Bureau of Special Education Resources 
  • The Connecticut Assistive Technology (AT) Guidelines provides both school districts and Birth to Three service providers guidance to ensure that all children identified for AT services have access to AT though a framework for making decisions about AT needs of these children and students with disabilities.