Coordinator- Susan Ellinger

Tricia Salvestrini- Program Specialist

Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

Florida Standards Alternate Assessment (FSAA) is designed specifically for students with significant cognitive disabilities. FSAA is fully aligned to Florida alternate achievement standards, otherwise known as Access Points, and provides an option for students to participate in the state's accountability system in a way that is both meaningful and academically challenging for every student with a significant cognitive disability. Access Points reflect the key concepts of the Florida Standards and the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards at reduced levels of complexity. They ensure access to the essence or core intent of the standards that apply to all students in the same grade. For more information about Access Points, visit the Curriculum Planning and Learning Management System (CPALMS) Web site at http://cpalms.org.

Florida Standards Alternate Assessment - The Florida Standards Alternate Assessment is administered to students in Lee County during the spring of each school year.

Which students will take the FSAA?

Individual Educational Plan (IEP) teams are responsible for determining whether students with disabilities will participate in the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) or in alternate assessment. IEP teams determine if a student meets EACH of the following criteria for assessment using alternate assessment:

  • The student thas a significant cognitive disbability.
  • Even with appropriate and allowable accommodations, assistive technology, or accessible instructional materials, the student requires modifications, as defined in paragraph 6A-6.03411(1)(z), F.A.C., to the grade level general state content standards pursuant to Rule 6A-1.09401, F.A.C.
  • The student requires direct instruction in the academic areas of English language arts, math, social studies and science based on access points, pursuant to Rule 6A-1.09401, F.A.C., in order to acquire, generalize, and transfer skills across settings. 

It is expected that only students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who are eligible under IDEA, given parental consent, and who meet the state’s criteria will participate in the FLorida Standards Alternate Assessment (FSAA) and ACCESS End of Course exams, as applicable.

Access Points in the following academic areas are assessed at the grade levels indicated below for the 16/17 school year:

Grades 3, 4, 6 and 7 - ELA, Math

Grade 5 and 8 - ELA, Math and Science

Grades 9 and 10 - ELA

ACCESS End of Course Exams - Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Biology, Civics, and US History

What is the Florida Alternate Assessment like?

The Florida Standards Alternate Assessment (FSAA) is a performance-based assessment that is individually administered. Students typically select an answer to a question from three response options represented by pictures, text, numbers, and/or symbols in a Response Booklet. The items are designed to be administered as Item Sets. Each Item Set includes three tasks that address the Access Point at increasing levels of complexity. 

Florida Standards Alternate Assessment DOE Website for guidelines, resources and publications

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