Guidance for IEP Teams on Participation Decisions for Maryland Alternate Assessments

iStock_000018656792XSmall

Maryland State Department of Education
Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services
January 2016

Maryland Guidance for Individualized Education Program (IEP) Teams on Participation Decisions for the Alternate Assessments is intended to help guide IEP teams as they determine whether the Maryland Alternate Assessments, assessments based on alternate academic achievement standards, are the appropriate assessments for individual students. These assessments were developed to ensure that all students, including students with significant cognitive disabilities, are able to participate in an assessment that is a measure of what they know and can do in relation to the grade level Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards (MCCRS), Maryland Standards State Curriculum (SC), and the National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) Core Content Connectors (CCC). The Maryland Alternate Assessments are part of a system of curriculum, instructional, and assessment tools for students with significant cognitive disabilities who cannot participate in general assessments even with accommodations.

Participation Tools
There are several tools that may be helpful to IEP teams as they collect and organize evidence before making a decision about whether a student meets the eligibility criteria set forth in this document for participation in the Maryland Alternate Assessments. Participation forms and other tools designed to assist teams in collecting and reviewing evidence to determine whether it is appropriate for an individual student to participate in Maryland’s Alternate Assessments in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science are provided in the appendices.

Appendix A Participation Criteria and Checklist: This is a form that includes the participation guidelines and a way to indicate the evidence that was used in making decisions and the considerations that should not be the basis of making decisions.

Appendix B Decision Flowchart for Participation: This shows the sequence of decisions made by the student’s IEP team when determining whether a student should participate in the Maryland Alternate Assessments.