For purposes of this policy, a “student with a disability” refers either to a student receiving special education services under O.R.C. Chapter 3323 in accordance with an individualized education program (IEP), or to a student who has been identified as having a disability based on an evaluation conducted in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
All students, including students with disabilities, must participate in required statewide tests at designated grades. However, a student with a disability may be exempt from taking any particular test required as part of any statewide testing program if the student’s IEP or Section 504 plan exempts him or her from taking that test. Exempt students must take the state test under the exempt status at the given grade level or participate in one or more alternate assessments approved by the State Department of Education. To the extent possible, students should not be exempted from taking a prescribed test unless no reasonable accommodation can be made to enable the student to take the test. Any student granted an exemption, shall take all other prescribed tests unless specifically exempted from those tests. For any student who takes a test, the student’s IEP or Section 504 plan shall indicate any reasonable accommodation permitted by this policy.
The determination of how an individual student with a disability will participate in state and district testing programs will be made, at least annually, by the student’s IEP or Section 504 team using the following procedures:
A. The student’s present level of educational performance will be reviewed.
B. During the meeting, a statement regarding participation will be identified on the IEP or Section 504 plan as part of the statement regarding the extent to which the child will be able to participate in the regular education program. The reason for an exemption shall also be documented on the IEP or Section 504 plan.
C. If a student with a disability does not take one or more required statewide tests, the student’s need for an alternate assessment(s) will be documented, prior to test administration, on the IEP, and any alternate assessment(s) will be conducted and the results shall be reported to the Ohio Department of Education.
D. If it is determined that the student will participate in the testing program, any appropriate modifications in the test format and/or test administration procedures shall be made to accommodate the needs of individual students with disabilities and documented on the IEP or Section 504 plan.
Any student granted an IEP exemption for any prescribed test shall not be prohibited from taking the test. If the student takes the test and meets the standard of the test, the student may be credited on his/her transcript with meeting the required standard on the test if each accommodation provided meets the criteria set forth in this policy. Required statewide test pass rates used to determine School District performance will include the results of students who take tests with or without accommodations that meet the criteria set forth in this policy. Pass rates used to determine School District and building performance will include students who are granted an exemption under this policy.
A student with a Section 504 plan shall be exempted and/or permitted reasonable accommodations as specified within his/her individual plan.
A student may be exempted from taking one or more test if either of the following applies:
A. The student is completing a curriculum in a particular subject area that is modified substantially by the IEP from the regular curriculum designed to prepare students at that grade level to demonstrate knowledge and skills as measured by the proficiency test administered at that grade in the same subject area; or
B. The student is completing the regular curriculum provided at that grade level, but the student’s IEP provides for accommodations in classroom and districtwide tests that do not meet the criteria set forth in this policy.
Any student with a disability who is required to take a prescribed statewide test, or any student who is exempted but who takes a prescribed test, may be provided any specific accommodation(s), as documented in his/her IEP or Section 504 plan, that meets all of the following criteria:
A. The accommodation is provided in the student’s IEP for classroom and districtwide tests that are similar in format to the statewide test in the same subject area;
B. The accommodation does not change the content or structure of the test;
C. The accommodation does not change what the test is intended to measure; and
D. The accommodation does not change or enhance the student’s response.
The opportunity to participate in alternate assessment should be available only to a small percentage of students with disabilities. The determination of whether a student should participate in alternate assessment will be made by the student’s IEP team.
Alternate assessment is appropriate only for students who have the most severe disabilities and require the highest level of individualized instruction, such as students with severe limitations to cognitive functioning as documented by the student’s evaluation team report. Generally, participation in alternate assessment will not be appropriate for students engaged and making progress in the general curriculum. Participation in alternate assessment should never be based on the student’s disability, condition, achievement level, school attendance, or social/cultural factors.
The IEP team should document the student’s test taking status in the appropriate sections of the IEP, and pertinent status codes should be recorded through the Education Management Information system.
For purposes of this policy, an “English-limited student” refers to a student whose primary language is not English, who has been enrolled in United States schools for less than three years, and who within the school year has been identified, in accordance with criteria approved by the State Department of Education, as lacking adequate proficiency in English to produce valid results on the required statewide tests.
An English-limited student may be granted a temporary one year exemption from taking any required statewide test. However, no more than three temporary exemptions may be granted to any student.
A student who has been granted a temporary exemption for any prescribed test shall not be prohibited from taking that test. Each English-limited student, who has been granted a temporary exemption from any required statewide test, shall have his/her progress in learning English annually assessed in accordance with procedures approved by the State Department of Education.
Any English-limited student who has been granted a temporary exemption from participation in required statewide testing is not included in the numbers used to calculate local report card percentages as established in O.R.C. §3302.03(E). When a temporary exemption of an English-limited student expires or the student can no longer be classified as English-limited but does not take all required proficiency tests, a waiver for the student may be requested by the Superintendent in accordance with the provisions of O.A.C. 3301-13-04.
An English-limited student shall not be exempted from meeting all proficiency test requirements for graduation.