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(a) When administering to students with disabilities the statewide assessments under 4 AAC 06.710, a district shall follow the requirements of this section and the department's Participation Guidelines for Alaska Students in State Assessments , 2005 edition, adopted by reference.
(b) For each statewide assessment required under 4 AAC 06.710, a district shall provide an alternate assessment to each student whose IEP or section 504 plan is based on alternate performance standards under 4 AAC 04.160 and who is on a track to receive a certificate of achievement under AS 14.03.075 instead of a diploma. The department will
(1) provide the district with the form and content required for the district to administer the alternate assessment to the student; and
(2) score the alternate assessment.
(c) A student with a disability who is on a diploma track must take all regular statewide assessments required under 4 AAC 06.710, with or without accommodations, at the appropriate grade level. A district and a student's IEP or section 504 team shall follow the Participation Guidelines when making decisions regarding accommodations for a student, and a district shall provide the accommodations requested by the student's IEP or section 504 team.
(d) If the Participation Guidelines do not identify whether a proposed change to an assessment is an accommodation or modification, the district shall follow the procedure described in the Participation Guidelines for determining whether the change is an accommodation or a modification. If a parent requests that a district consult with the department, a district shall consult with the department regarding whether a proposed change to an assessment is an accommodation or a modification. If requested, the department will issue a nonbinding written advisory opinion on whether a particular change is an accommodation or a modification. A decision regarding whether a particular accommodation is appropriate for a student rests with the IEP or section 504 team and the department will not issue an opinion on this issue. Except as provided in (g) and (h) of this section, if an IEP or section 504 team requests a modification for the assessment, a district shall provide the modification if possible, but shall inform the IEP or section 504 team that the modification will invalidate the assessment.
(e) A district shall provide a description of the assessment requirements and options for graduation from high school to parents of a student with a disability or with a section 504 plan who is in the ninth grade, is a new enrollee in the district's high school, or is newly placed on an IEP or section 504 plan. Unless a different time and place is more appropriate, the description shall be provided during the annual IEP or section 504 team meeting during a student's ninth grade year.
(f) A district shall make available to a student with a disability who has taken but not passed one or more subtest of the HSGQE an appropriate alternative assessment program. The alternative assessment program consists of the modified HSGQE described in (g) and (h) of this section or the nonstandardized HSGQE described in (i) of this section.
(g) A student eligible for an alternative assessment program is eligible to take a modified HSGQE for the subtest that the student has not passed. The modifications allowed to each student shall be determined on an individualized basis consistent with the Participation Guidelines and (h) and (j) of this section. A district shall offer the modified HSGQE at the same time that it offers the HSGQE. A student who is eligible for a modified HSGQE may take the modified HSGQE until a student passes all subtests.
(h) If a district determines that a student is eligible for the modified HSGQE, the student's IEP or section 504 team shall determine which modifications, if any, are appropriate for the student, and submit a request to the department for approval of the modifications. The department will process within 30 days all requests submitted at least 60 days before the testing date. The department will process requests submitted with fewer than 60 days remaining before the testing date only as time allows. Consistent with the requirements of the Participation Guidelines , the department will evaluate and either approve or disapprove a request for a modification.
(i) A nonstandardized HSGQE is available only to a student who meets the eligibility requirements described in the Participation Guidelines . A district's special education director or superintendent must approve the determination that a student is eligible for the nonstandardized HSGQE. If a district determines that a student is eligible to take a nonstandardized HSGQE as provided in the Participation Guidelines , the district may apply to the department for approval of a nonstandardized HSGQE. The district must file the request for approval no later than September 30 of the school year in which the student expects to graduate. If a request is approved, the district shall administer the nonstandardized HSGQE as provided in the Participation Guidelines , and shall send it to the department for review no later than March 15. The department will follow the procedures described in the Participation Guidelines to determine whether the student has passed the nonstandardized HSGQE. The department will evaluate the nonstandardized HSGQE under the department's document Alaska Nonstandardized Assessment Administrative Manual , dated June 2005 and adopted by reference.
(j) If a district disagrees with a denial of a requested modification under (g) of this section, or the denial of a request for a nonstandardized HSGQE under (h) of this section, the district may request reconsideration of the denial from the commissioner. The request for reconsideration must be filed within 10 days after the denial. The request must include a statement of reasons why the district believes the denial was in error and may include evidence that supports the district's claim. In the case of a denial of a modification, a request for reconsideration must include evidence that the benefit to the student outweighs the effect of the modification on the validity of the HSGQE. Reconsideration will not be granted if the initial application for the modified HSGQE was received with fewer than 60 days remaining before the test date or the request for a nonstandardized HSGQE was filed after September 30 of the year in which the student expects to graduate. The commissioner will issue a decision on a timely request for reconsideration before the test date.
(k) A student who passes all subtests on the HSGQE, whether on the HSGQE, the modified HSGQE, or the nonstandardized HSGQE, satisfies the requirement under AS 14.03.075 (a) for graduation from high school.
(l) A diploma track student who is unable to participate in one or more subtests of the HSGQE because of the student's disability may request from the governing body permission to take the modified HSGQE or the nonstandardized HSGQE in place of one or more subtests of the HSGQE for the first time the student sits for the HSGQE. A student who takes the modified HSGQE or the nonstandardized HSGQE in place of the HSGQE and never takes the HSGQE is not eligible for a diploma under AS 14.03.075 (a) unless the student receives a waiver under 4 AAC 06.772. If a request is granted and approved by the department, a student may take one or more subtests of the modified HSGQE, or the nonstandardized HSGQE if eligible under the Participation Guidelines , in the spring of the student's sophomore year, and in subsequent years until the student passes the subtests. The following requirements apply to a request under this subsection:
(1) a student or a student's parents must file a request before October 31 of the student's sophomore year or the year in which the student is first enrolled in public school in the state;
(2) a request must include
(A) a history of the student's participation in assessments, including standardized assessments under 4 AAC 06.710, for the subject area in which the student is unable to participate;
(B) evidence of the historical record of the student's IEPs that document and validate the student's need for modification on standardized assessments; and
(C) other evidence, which may include medical evidence, that documents the link between the disability and the modification;
(3) a governing body shall make an initial decision on the request within 30 days after filing to
(A) approve the request, subject to confirmation by the department;
(B) deny the request; or
(C) return the request for more documentation;
(4) the governing body shall deny the request unless the governing body has substantial evidence that the student is unable to participate in assessments, without a modification or a nonstandardized format, and that the inability to participate is because of the student's disability;
(5) if a governing body approves a request under this subsection, the governing body shall forward the request to the department for approval;
(6) within 30 days after receiving a request from a governing body, the department will approve or deny the request or return it to the governing body for additional documentation; and
(7) for purposes of this section, a student is unable to participate in an assessment in a subject area only if the student has a documented history of not participating and not being able to participate in a standardized assessment in a subject area because of a disability; an inability to obtain a proficient score on a standardized assessment is not evidence of an inability to participate.
(m) For purposes of this section, a student with a disability is on a diploma track if the student is being taught under the content standards adopted by reference under 4 AAC 04.140.
History: Eff. 12/19/2002, Register 164; am 9/17/2004, Register 171; am 11/10/2005, Register 176
Authority: AS 14.03.075
Editor's note: A copy of the Department of Education and Early Development's Participation Guidelines adopted by reference in 4 AAC 06.775 is available by submitting a written request addressed to the department at 801 West 10th Street, Suite 200, Juneau, Alaska 99801-1894 or may be obtained on the department's website at http://www.eed.state.ak.us/tls/assessment/ accommodations.html. A copy of the Department of Education and Early Development's Alaska Nonstandardized Assessment Administrative Manual , adopted by reference in 4 AAC 06.775 is available by submitting a written request addressed to the department at 801 West 10th Street, Suite 200, Juneau, Alaska 99801-1894 or may be obtained on the department's web site at http://www.eed.state.ak.us/tls/assessment /modified.html
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Last modified 7/05/2006