Alternate Curriculum and Assessment
Framework (What’s Required):
300.114 LRE requirements. (a) General. (1) Except as provided in
300.324(d)(2) (regarding children with disabilities in adult prisons), the State must have in
effect policies and procedures to ensure that public agencies in the State meet the LRE
requirements of this section and §§300.115 through 300.120. (2) Each public agency must
ensure that—(i) To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are nondisabled; and (ii) Special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. (34 CFR 300.115I(b)).
(c) Alternate assessments. (1) A State (or, in the case of a district-wide assessment, an LEA) must develop and implement alternate assessments and guidelines for the participation of children with disabilities in alternate assessments for those children who cannot participate in regular assessments, even with accommodations, as indicated in their respective IEPs, as provided in paragraph (a) of this section. (2) For assessing the academic progress of students with disabilities under Title I of the ESEA, the alternate assessments and guidelines in paragraph (c)(1) of this section must provide for alternate assessments that—(i) Are aligned with the State's challenging academic content standards and challenging student academic achievement standards; (ii) If the State has adopted alternate academic achievement standards permitted in 34 CFR 200.1(d), measure the achievement of children with the most significant cognitive disabilities against those standards, and
(iii) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section, a State's alternate assessments, if any, must measure the achievement of children with disabilities against the State's grade-level academic achievement standards, consistent with 34 CFR 200.6(a)(2)(ii)(A). (3) Consistent with 34 CFR 200.1(e), a State may not adopt modified academic achievement standards for any students with disabilities under section 602(3) of the Act. (34 CFR 300.160(c)).
Methods (What We Do):
Students with significant cognitive disabilities participate in an alternate curriculum through Unique Learning System®. Unique Learning System® is an online, standards-based set of interactive tools specifically designed for students with special needs to access the general curriculum. It provides elementary through transition students with rigorous, standards-based materials specifically designed to meet their instructional needs. Unique provides instructional targets to link academic content standards to curriculum content for students with special needs. Instructional targets are aligned to state educational and transition standards. It is aligned to the TEKS and STAAR Alternate assessment, and is also based upon grade level content. Monthly lesson plans and materials address these critical skills in reading, writing, math, science and social studies with embedded transitional outcomes.
Students with multiple disabilites are assessed with Every Move Counts. Every Move Counts is a sensory-based assessment that provides thoughtful, collaboratively collected data which leads to meaningfully designed instruction that is consistently implemented by any member of the student’s educational team. It is based upon on the review of the literature and evidence-based strategies for individuals with severe and profound sensorimotor differences, developmental differences, and autism. It is implemented by a multi-disciplinary campus team lead by the classroom teacher and aligns to the instructional routine. It allows the team to determine the student’s consistent and predicable reliable response to participate in communicative and instructional activities.
Alternate Curriculum Participation Requirements:
Prior to determining if the alternate curriculum is appropriate for a student with a disability, the admission, review and dismissal (ARD)/ Individualized Education Program (IEP) committee must understand the characteristics of the student’s disability that warrants participation in the alternate curriculum and the potential future implications of this decision.
Exhibits a Full Scale IQ (FSIQ) and two areas of Adaptive Behavior below 60. Look at the most recent Full and Individual Evaluation (FIE). Requires supports to access the general curriculum in a variety of settings that may include assistance involving communication, response style, physical access, or daily living skills. Look at most recent Full and Individual Evaluation (FIE), Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP), and IEP goals and objectives. Demonstrates knowledge and skills routinely in class by methods other than paper‐and- pencil tasks. Look at teacher observations, current classroom work products. Demonstrates performance objectives that may include real-‐life applications of the grade-level TEKS as appropriate to the student’s abilities and needs. Look at IEP goals and objectives.
STAAR Alternate 2 Participation Requirements:
Only students receiving special education services and who meet all of the requirements (as determined by the ARD/IEP committee), may participate in the STAAR Alt 2 assessment. In order to participate, the student must meet all of the following:
- have a significant cognitive disability (Intellectual disability)
- require specialized supports to access the grade-level curriculum and environment
- require intensive individualized instruction in a variety of instructional settings
- access and participate in the grade-level TEKs through prerequisite skills (student expectations from earlier grades)