Policy 615 - Basic Standards and Graduation Required Testing, Accommodations, Modifications and Exemptions for IEP, 504 Accommodation & LEP Students

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of the policy is to provide adequate opportunity for students identified as having individualized education program (IEP), Rehabilitation Act of 1973, § 504 accommodation plan (504 plan), or English Learner (EL) participate in statewide assessment systems designed to hold schools accountable for the academic performance of all students.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS)

  1. The school district will utilize the existing annual review of IEPs or 504 plans to review, on a case-by-case basis, and determine how a student with a disability will participate in statewide testing.
  2. Participation decisions will be made separately for mathematics, reading, and science. The assessment options are the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) and the MTAS.
  3. Eligibility Requirements:
    1. The following requirements must be met for a student with a significant cognitive disability to be eligible for the MTAS:
      1. The IEP team must consider the student’s ability to access the MCA, with or without accommodations;
      2. The IEP must review the student’s instructional program to ensure that the student is receiving instruction linked to the general education curriculum to the extent appropriate. If instruction is not linked to the general education curriculum, the IEP team must review the student’s goals and determine how access to the general curriculum will be provided;
      3. The IEP team determined the student’s cognitive functioning to be significantly below age expectations. The team also determined that the student’s disability has a significant impact on his or her ability to function in multiple environments, including home, school, and community;
      4. The IEP team determined that the student needs explicit and intensive instruction and/or extensive supports in multiple settings to acquire, maintain, and generalize academic and life skills in order to actively participate in school, work, home, and community environments;
      5. The IEP team must document, in the IEP, reasons the MCA is or is not an appropriate measure of the student’s academic progress and how the student would participate in statewide testing.

Alternate ACCESS for ELs

  1. The school district will utilize the existing annual review of IEPs or 504 plans to review, on a case-by-case basis, and determine how an identified EL student with a disability will participate in statewide testing.
  2. Eligibility Requirements:
    1. The student must be identified as EL in MARSS in order to take an English language proficiency assessment.
    2. The student must have a significant cognitive disability. If the student has been identified as eligible to take the MTAS in mathematics, reading, or science, the student meets this criterion.
    3. For students in grades that the MTAS is not administered:
      1. the student must have cognitive functioning significantly below age level;
      2. the student’s disability must have a significant impact on his or her ability to function in multiple environments, including home, school, and community; and
      3. the student needs explicit and intensive instruction and/or extensive supports in multiple settings to acquire, maintain, and generalize academic and life skills in order to actively participate in school, work, home, and community environments.
    4. The IEP team must consider the student’s ability to access the ACCESS, with or without accommodations.
    5. The IEP team must document, in the IEP, reasons the MCA is or is not an appropriate English language proficiency assessment for the student.
  3. Alternate ACCESS participation decisions must not be made on the following factors:
    1. Student’s disability category
    2. Participation in a separate, specialized curriculum;
    3. Current level of English language proficiency;
    4. The expectation that the student will receive a low score on the ACCESS for ELs;
    5. Language, social, cultural, or economic differences;
    6. Concern for accountability calculations.

EL Students New to the United States

EL students new to the United States will take all assessments, including all academic assessments (math, reading, and science), as well as the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ACCESS).

III. DEFINITION OF TERMS

See the “Procedures Manual for the Minnesota Assessments” which is produced by the Minnesota Department of Education and available through personaccess.com.

IV. GRANTING AND DOCUMENTING ACCOMMODATIONS, MODIFICATIONS, OR EXEMPTIONS FOR BASIC SKILLS AND GRAD TESTING

See chapter 5 of the current “Procedures Manual for the Minnesota Assessments” and 2017-18 Guidelines for Administration of Accommodations and Linguistic Supports (http://minnesota.pearsonaccessnext.com/resources/resources-training/manuals/GuidelinesforAccommandLS_2018.pdf).

V. RECORDS

All test accommodations, modifications, or exemptions shall be reported to the School District Test Administrator. The School District Teaching and Learning Administrator shall be responsible for keeping a list of all such test accommodations, modifications, and exemptions for school district audit purposes. This will be done annually by December 1. Testing results will be documented and reported.

Legal References:

  • Minn. Stat. § 120B.11 (School District Process)
  • Minn. Stat. § 120B.30 (Statewide Testing and Reporting System)
  • Minn. Stat. § 125A.08(a)(1) (Individualized Education Programs)
  • Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0640-3501.0635 (Academic Standards for Language Arts)
  • Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0800-3501.0815 (Academic Standards for the Arts) Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0900-3501.0955 (Academic Standards in Science)
  • Minn. Rules Parts 3501.1000-3501.1190 (Graduation-Required Assessment for Diploma) (repealed Minn. L. 2013, Ch. 116, Art. 2, § 22)
  • Minn. Rules Parts 3501.1300-3501.1345 (Academic Standards for Social Studies)
  • Minn. Rules Parts 3501.1400-3501.1410 (Academic Standards for Physical Education)
  • Eligibility Requirements for the Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS)
  • Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Participation Guidelines, https://education.mn.gov/mdeprod/groups/educ/documents/hiddencontent/mdaw/mdq5/~edisp/049763.pdf

Cross References:


Adopted: July 21, 1998
Revised: April 22, 2008
Reviewed: November 23, 2010
Revised: November 18, 2014
Revised: October 20, 2015
Revised: January 17, 2017
Revised: March 19, 2019