Frequently Asked Questions PDF Print

User Accounts

  • Do I need an online user account for the AASCD?

    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.

  • How do I obtain a user account for the AASCD?

    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.

  • My user account from the previous year is not working. What should I do?

    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).

  • If a user is associated with multiple schools or districts, will he or she have multiple log-ins and passwords?

    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.

  • Can a person have different user roles across schools or districts?

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

  • How does a Teacher (TE) differ from a Test Administrator (TA) in the online systems?

    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.

Student Participation and Eligibility

  • Do all students need to participate in state assessments?

    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.

  • Do all IEP goals need to be standards-based and aligned to Ohio’s Learning Standards-Extended?

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

  • Who determines which students will participate in the AASCD?

    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.

  • Who participates in Ohio’s 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.

  • Does the 1% “cap” limit the number of students who take an alternate assessment?

    No. The restriction is not on the number of qualifying students who may participate in the alternate assessment. The restriction is on the count of proficient or higher scores on the alternate assessment that can be used for accountability purposes. For more information, please contact the Ohio Department of Education Office of Accountability.

  • Should students who are not expected to do well on the general assessment participate in the AASCD?

    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.

  • Can students participate in the general assessment in one content area (e.g., mathematics) and participate in the AASCD in another content area (e.g., ELA)?

    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 new student arrives in my classroom during the test window, do I have to administer the AASCD to him or her?

    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.

  • How do students in ungraded programs participate in the AASCD?

    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.

  • If a student who takes the AASCD is retained a grade but was proficient on the AASCD the previous year, does he or she have to take the AASCD again for the same grade level?

    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.

  • Do third graders who will take the AASCD in spring have to take the Ohio State Tests in Grade 3 ELA during the fall administration of their third-grade year?

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

  • Can a student who takes the fall administration of the Ohio State Tests in Grade 3 ELA take the Spring Grade 3 Alternate Assessment?

    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 a high school student did not pass one content area test of the high school Alternate Assessment (e.g., mathematics) previously, does the TE/TA need to administer all areas of the high school Alternate Assessment again this year?

    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).

  • Are there alternate assessments to the high school End of Course exams?

    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).

  • I have a 9th grade student who is identified as eligible for the Alternate Assessment. Which tests does my student need to take?

    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.


  • Can districts exempt from testing students who do not respond?

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

  • When a student is receiving special education services outside his or her district of residence, which district is responsible for that student’s AASCD?

    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.

Requirements for Test Administrators and Second Raters

  • What credentials are required for personnel to administer the AASCD?

    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.

  • What credentials are required for personnel to serve as second raters?

    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.

  • How do TEs, TAs and Second Raters get training and technical assistance to administer the AASCD?

    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.

  • What are the training requirements for TEs, TAs, and Second Raters?

    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.

  • Can service providers act as TEs/TAs or Second Raters?

    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.

  • Can aides, nurses or other support staff be present during the administration if they are there for the well-being and support of the student? Must they be trained?

    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.

  • Do interpreters and translators need to sign a non-disclosure agreement?

    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.

  • Can a proctor or student teacher observe an AASCD administration?

    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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