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Alternate Assessment

Alternate Assessment of South Dakota Content Standards is available to students who are identified per the Alternate Assessment Participation Guidelines. Individual Education Plan (IEP) teams determine if a student meets all three of the following participation criteria:

  1. Student has a significant cognitive disability
  2. Student requires extensive instruction and support to acquire and maintain skills
  3. Student learns through alternate academic achievement standards (AAAS)/Core Content Connectors (CCCs)

Guidance Documents for Participation in the Alternate Assessment

The following documents provide guidance for Individual Education Plan (IEP) teams on identifying participation on the Alternate Assessment of South Dakota Content Standards:

1% Monitoring

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) limits the number of students who may take an alternate assessment to no more than 1% of the total number of students in the state who are assessed in a subject. ESSA requires districts to submit justification for 1% overage.

Core Content Connectors (CCCs)

Core Content Connectors (CCCs) are Alternate Academic Achievement Standards (AAAS) used for students with significant cognitive disabilities who participate in the alternate assessment. CCCs guide the development of appropriate academic goals and short-term objectives that allow students the maximum engagement with the general curriculum and non-disabled peers as possible, with appropriate adaptations, simplifications, and modifications to grade-level materials and content.

The following are CCCs/AAAS aligned to South Dakota Content Standards:

The following are comprehensive lists of CCCs/AAAS:

ELA and Math Alternate Assessment - MSAA

The Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA) for SD ELA-Alt and SD Math-Alt is available for students who are identified per the Alternate Assessment Participation Guidelines.

Students in grades 3-8 and 11 are tested in the Core Content Connectors (CCCs) aligned to South Dakota English Language Arts Standards and South Dakota Math Standards.

Test Administration: Score Interpretation:
Science Alternate Assessment - SDSA-Alt

The SD Science Assessment - Alternate (SDSA-Alt) is available for students who are identified per the Alternate Assessment Participation Guidelines.

Students in grades 5, 8, and 11 are tested in the Core Content Connectors (CCCs) aligned to South Dakota Science Standards. The test items cover grade spans from grades 3-5, 6-8, and high school.

Technical Reports


Contact the South Dakota Department of Education at (605) 773-3678 with questions.