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Frequently Asked Questions


FAQ - User AccountsUser Accounts

  • Personnel administering the AASCD need either a Teacher (TE) account or Test Administrator (TA) account in TIDE. Doing so will provide these users an appropriate level of access to TIDE, the Data Entry Interface (DEI) and the Online Reporting System (ORS). Personnel serving as second raters also need a Second Rater (SR) user account to enter scores into the Data Entry Interface. Information regarding the levels of access provided to each user role can be found in the User Role Matrix.

  • District test coordinators must contact the Ohio Help Desk at 1-877-231-7809. All other district and school personnel must contact their district or building test coordinator for a user account. Test coordinators should review the User Management Guidance Document and User Role Matrix for more information.

  • When TIDE opens each year, all users will receive an email from with a temporary password. This temporary password will expire in 30 days. To reset their passwords, existing users will:

    1.  Navigate to the TIDE login page (via the Test Coordinators or Teachers/Test Administrators page).
    2. Enter the username (email address) and the temporary password on the TIDE login page.
    3. Follow the steps to create a new password, which cannot be the same as any previous password.
    Authorized district and school users must delete user accounts for personnel who are no longer associated with the district or school. District test coordinators (DTCs) are responsible for using the Manage Users task in TIDE to ensure their district and school user accounts are accurate, or for delegating this task to a district administrator and/or to the building test coordinator(s).

  • No. Test coordinators will provide the user’s e-mail address when adding a user to a new school or district in TIDE, and the e-mail address will serve as the username. The same e-mail address can be associated with multiple schools and multiple districts. When the user logs in, he or she will have access to students from any district or school that the user account is associated with. For more information, please see the TIDE User Guide.

  • Yes. For example, a user can be assigned the TE role in one school and the SR role in another school.

  • The TE and TA user roles are provided much of the same level of access in TIDE, except TE user roles can manage student rosters. TA and TE user roles have the same level of access in the DEI. The TE user role has access to the ORS, while the TA user role does not. For more information about the online user roles, please see the User Role Matrix fact sheet available on the Resources page of the portal.

FAQ - Student Participation and EligibilityStudent Participation and Eligibility

  • With the passage of IDEA 1997, there is no longer a question of whether students will participate in statewide testing; the question is how they will participate.

  • Every student with significant cognitive disabilities in Ohio who participates in an alternate assessment must receive instruction aligned to Ohio’s Learning Standards–Extended.

  • Decisions concerning a student’s participation in statewide and district wide assessments are made at least annually by each student’s IEP team. The state of Ohio provides IEP teams with guidelines for participation in the AASCD.

  • Ohio’s AASCD was developed for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. Participation in the AASCD is not based on disability condition, achievement level, school attendance, or social/cultural factors. See the Participation Guidelines and Decision Framework available on the General Resources page of the portal for more information.

  • No. The restriction is not on the number of qualifying students who may participate in the alternate assessment. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) section 1111(b)(2)(D) and 34 CFR 200.6(c) and (d) contain requirements for the participation of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in the alternate assessment. ESEA section 1111(b)(2)(D)(i)(I) limits the total number of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who are assessed statewide with an alternate assessment to 1.0 percent of the total number of students in the state who are assessed in that subject. As described in 34 CFR 200.6(c)(3), a state may not prohibit a district from assessing more than 1.0 percent of its assessed students with an alternate assessment. However, a state must require a district that assesses more than 1.0 percent of its assessed students in any subject with an alternate assessment to submit information to the state justifying the need to exceed the 1.0 percent threshold. States must provide appropriate oversight of each district that is required to submit such a justification and must make the justification publicly available, provided that it does not reveal personally identifiable information about an individual student.

  • The decision about a student’s participation in the AASCD must not be made on the basis of the student’s “perceived probability” of poor achievement on the general assessment. As many students as possible should participate in the general assessment.

  • No. If a student can participate in any part of the general assessment, then he or she should take the entire general assessment with accommodations as needed. As many students as possible should participate in the general assessment.

  • If a student enrolls in a district at any time prior to the last day of the administration and the student’s IEP indicates that he or she is to be assessed using the AASCD, then the district MUST administer the AASCD. Depending on the exact timing of the transfer, the “sending” district may have already begun the administration. The receiving district should work with the sending district to determine the remaining assessments that need to be administered. If part of an assessment was already administered, the new district must finish administering that assessment. See the Guidelines for Special Testing Scenarios on the Test Administration Resources page of the portal for more information.

  • All students must have a grade level assigned in EMIS and must take the test of the grade level they are assigned in EMIS during the testing window.

  • Yes. All students must take the assessment that corresponds to the grade in which they are enrolled, even if they took the same assessment the prior year and were proficient. High school students will take the assessment until they receive a proficient or higher score or are excused from the consequences of the test for graduation.

  • No. Third-grade students who will take the AASCD in the spring do not participate in the fall Grade 3 ELA test.

  • It is possible that an IEP team is unsure about the severity of a student’s disabilities in terms of taking standardized tests of academic content and providing meaningful information for a younger student (such as a third grader). In that case, the IEP team may choose to have such a student take the Ohio State Test for third-grade ELA one time, in order to establish the student’s level of achievement, and then reconvene and decide that the AASCD is the most appropriate test participation for the student. However, second-grade diagnostic measures and practice items for Ohio’s State Tests in Grade 3 ELA are readily available and should be used locally to help guide the IEP team in making this determination prior to the fall Grade 3 ELA administration.

  • If it is determined that a student will retest in a specific subject area, then that student only needs to retest in the subject area that he or she did not score proficient (e.g., mathematics).

  • The AASCD is the “alternate assessment” to the end of course exams. If a student is eligible to participate in an alternate assessment per the Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (AASCD) participation guidelines, a proficient score in each of the assessed content areas – English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies – may be used in lieu of attaining the required minimum composite score on the seven end-of-course tests for the graduation requirement. Further guidance regarding student graduation requirements can be found on (keyword search: graduation requirements).

  • Ninth grade students who are identified as eligible to take the Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (AASCD) do not test in grade 9. When the student enters the 10th grade, the student will take the suite of AASCD high school tests in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.

    There are no "alternate assessments" for the End of Course tests. For example, there is no "alternate" English I test. Participation in the entire suite of AASCD is the alternate option to participation in the seven end-of-course tests.

  • No. All students are required by federal and state law to participate in statewide testing.

  • Guidance for administering the AASCD to students served out of district can be found in the Special Testing Scenarios guidance document, located on the Test Administration Resources page of the portal.

FAQ - Requirements for Test Administrators and Second RatersRequirements for Test Administrators and Second Raters

  • Teachers and Test Administrators must be employees of the district and must have a certificate/license/permit issued by the Department. They must also be trained to administer the assessment.

  • A second rater must have a certificate/license/permit issued by ODE and be trained to administer the AASCD. This may include building administrators, substitute teachers, and classroom aides. This may not include a family member of the student. Trained test administrators may serve as second raters for test sessions where they are not serving as the test administrator.

  • Ohio SSTs provide training and technical assistance for the administration of the AASCD. In addition, some school districts have their own designated trainers for the AASCD.

  • The Office of Curriculum and Assessment and the Office for Exceptional Children have determined that only TEs, TAs and Second Raters who will be administering the alternate assessment for the first time will be required to attend training this year. TEs, TAs and Second Raters who have previously been trained and administered the AASCD are not required to attend any AASCD training.

    However, to ensure that the Test Administrators are familiar with all current administration procedures, previously trained TEs, TAs and Second Raters are encouraged to either watch or attend a refresher training session. In-person refresher trainings are delivered either by an SST or through a district-provided opportunity. SSTs will offer short sessions for staff who wish to be retrained or revisit key administration policies and procedures (e.g., determining a student’s starting and concluding tasks, preparing and adapting test materials). A refresher training session will also be available online and can be accessed on the Resources page of this portal.

    Districts assume all responsibility for any nonstandard test administration or testing irregularity resulting in a test invalidation due to administration error (e.g., failure to correctly scaffold and score student responses). As with all statewide testing, districts are required to provide annual training on test security and standards for the ethical use of tests to all employees who have access to state tests and students who are administered the state tests.

  • Yes. If a district contracts with a service provider, the employees of that service provider are de facto employees of the district and may serve as TEs, TAs or Second Raters if they meet the remaining requirements.

  • Yes. Support staff may be present if the Test Coordinator has approved it. They are expected to honor test security. They do not need to be trained because they are not administering or scoring the test.

  • Yes. Interpreters, translators and anyone else who does not meet the requirements to be a Test Administrator (i.e., must be an employee of the district and must have a certificate/license/permit issued by the Department) must sign a non-disclosure agreement if they will have access to secure testing materials. The AASCD Translator Policy and a copy of a non-disclosure agreement for interpreters and translators can be found in the AASCD Test Coordinator’s Manual.

  • No. The test is administered one-on-one between the student and person administering the test. Exceptions are made for Second Raters, translators, interpreters and aides needed by the student.

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