SSL Certificate
St. Francis Area Schools
A PreK-12 public school district serving the communities of Athens Township, Andover, Bethel, East Bethel, Linwood Township, Nowthen, Oak Grove, St. Francis and Stanford Township

315 Testing, Accommodations, Modifications and Exemptions for IEPs, Section 504 Accommodation Plans and EL 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) needs to participate in statewide assessment systems designed to hold schools accountable for the academic performance of all students.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

A. 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
    a. 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.
    b. MTAS participation decisions must not be made on the following factors:
    (1) Student’s disability category;
    (2) Placement;
    (3) Participation in a separate, specialized curriculum;
    (4) An expectation that the student will receive a low score on the MCA;
    (5) Language, social, cultural, or economic differences;
    (6) Concern for accountability calculations.

B. 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
    a. The student must be identified as EL in MARSS in order to take an English language proficiency assessment.
    b. 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.
    c. 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.
    d. The IEP team must consider the student’s ability to access the ACCESS, with or without accommodations.
    e. 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:
    a. Student’s disability category;
    b. Participation in a separate, specialized curriculum;
    c. Current level of English language proficiency;
    d. The expectation that the student will receive a low score on the ACCESS for ELs;
    e. Language, social, cultural, or economic differences;
    f. Concern for accountability calculations.

C. 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 current “Procedures Manual for the Minnesota Assessments” which is produced by the Minnesota Department of Education.

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

See the current “Procedures Manual for the Minnesota Assessments” and Guidelines for Administration of Accommodations and Linguistic Supports.

V. RECORDS

All test accommodations, modifications, or exemptions shall be reported to the school district test administrator. The school district test administrator shall be responsible for keeping a list of all such test accommodations, modifications, and exemptions for school district audit purposes. 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 3501.0640-3501.0655 (Academic Standards for Language Arts)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0700-3501.0745 (Academic Standards for Mathematics)
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), https://education.mn.gov/mdeprod/groups/educ/docum... ncontent/mdaw/mda2/~edisp/006087.pdf
Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Participation Guidelines, https://education.mn.gov/mdeprod/groups/educ/docum...

Cross References

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 104 (School District Mission Statement)
ISD 15 Policy 301 (School District Curriculum and Instruction Goals)
ISD 15 Policy 313 (Graduation Requirements)
ISD 15 Policy 314 (School District Testing Plan and Procedure)
ISD 15 Policy 316 (School District System Accountability)

Adopted: June 24, 2019

School Board
Independent School District No. 15
St. Francis, Minnesota

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