IEP Team Decision-Making
Eligibility Tool
Alt-MSA Eligibility
Why Complete this Tool?
 The IEP Team is required to determine
assessment participation
 Parental guardian involvement is documented
 The tool provides a guide for the IEP Team’s
decision-making process
Why Complete this Tool?
 The IEP Team is encouraged to use the Alt-MSA IEP Team
Decision-Making Process Eligibility Tool for students
with the most significant cognitive disabilities to determine
if the Alt-MSA is the appropriate assessment
 The tool uses multiple sources of information to document
the assessment decision
 The tool provides documentation for the Alt-MSA Monitoring
Process
Alt-MSA Monitoring Process
 In January 2010, MSDE will be conducting an audit of each student
identified as participating in the Alternate Maryland School Assessment
(Alt-MSA)
 In each of the local school systems that are implementing the Maryland
Online IEP, the monitoring process is conducted as a desk monitoring
process since the DSE/EIS has full access to the data included in the
Maryland Online IEP
 Local school systems not using the Maryland Online IEP, the DSE/EIS
provides the Local school systems with several options to share the
monitoring documentation with MSDE
Alt-MSA Monitoring Process
 A team of experienced consultants review the IEPs for
compliance on meeting the eligibility requirements for
participation in the Alt-MSA
 The Alt-MSA tool may assist in the Alt-MSA monitoring
process to ensure the appropriate identification of students
participating in the Alt-MSA. Without the tool, the results of
the audit may not fully represent the process
 If a system does not appropriately document eligibility
during this year’s audit, the tool will be required as part of a
corrective action
Getting Started
 Complete Demographic Page
 LSS Number: Local School System
 SASID#: State Assigned Student Identification
Number
 IEP Team Chairperson will sign the document once
it is completed.
Team Members
 It is an IEP Team decision when determining the
appropriate assessment for a student
 IEP Team members should sign the tool to indicated their
participation in the IEP decision-making process
 If during the IEP team meeting, the team will be reviewing
assessment results, the local school system needs to
designate who is the individual(s) qualified to interpret and
discuss those assessment results
Characteristics of Assessment
Review Maryland’s Differences
Among Assessment Handout
8
Parent Understanding
 Fully inform parents of the impact this decision would
make or have on their child’s progress toward earning a
Maryland High School Diploma
 Parents are informed that the decision is made annually
for the assessed year
 If the parent/guardian does not attend the IEP meeting,
they must be informed that the meeting was held and the
decisions made
Significant Cognitive
Disability
The Alt-MSA Decision-Making Process
Significant Cognitive Disability
 IDEA defines intellectual disability, formerly mental
retardation, as
". . . significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning, existing
concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the
developmental period, that adversely affects a child's educational
performance." [34 Code of Federal Regulations §300.8(c)(6)]
 When making this determination, the IEP team should
review all information available pertaining to the
cognitive and adaptive skills of the student.
Significant Cognitive Disability
 Intellectual functioning, or IQ, is usually measured by a
test called an IQ test. The average score is 100. Those
students who have scores below 70 to 75 are thought
to have an intellectual disability
 Therefore, those students with the most significant
cognitive disability may have scores at or significantly
below the 70 IQ range
 The IEP team must determine the impact of the
cognitive disability on the student’s academic
performance
Significant Cognitive Disability
Intellectual Disability
IQ level
Mild
50-55 to approximately 70 to 75
Moderate
35-40 to 50-55
Severe
20-25 to 35-40
Profound
below 20-25
Significant Cognitive Disability
 MSDE has not identified a specific IQ score for this group,
in TA Bulletin #17 guidance is given on what a score might
be when an IEP team is looking at multiple sources of
information.
 An IQ score is only one of the sources used to make the
determination as to whether a student is a student with a
significant cognitive disability. The determination is not
made by one specific test score or source, but an IEP team
should take into consideration multiple sources of
information, including adaptive skills, when determining a
student with the most significant cognitive disability.
Significant Cognitive Disability
 Students who may have variable results on IQ
tests, may be determined a student with the most
significant cognitive disability when multiple
sources are reviewed.
 Teams should not use a categorical determination
when determining a “significant cognitive delay”
Eligibility Criteria
The Alt-MSA Decision-Making Process
Eligibility Criteria
 IEP Chairperson needs to assure all necessary
multiple sources of information are available to guide
the decision making process
 What are multiple sources of information?
Sources of information that document academic
achievement to guide the decision making process.
Those sources may include the following:
• Current IEP
• Results from informal and formal assessments
• Data gathered from classroom assessments
• Information from parent/student
Eligibility Criteria
 The process begins by reviewing the criteria for
eligibility, the IEP Team first needs to determine if the
student has a significant cognitive disability
Descriptor:
Review of student’s school records indicate
that he/she has a moderate, severe, profound
disability that significantly impact cognitive
function and behavior or multiple disabilities
that significantly impact cognitive function and
adaptive behavior.
Eligibility Criteria
 The IEP Team needs to consider the following:
 The term significant cognitive disability is a designation
given to a small number of Maryland students with
disabilities for purposes of their participation in the
statewide assessment program
 The IEP team must review and discuss multiple sources
of information, including psychological assessments,
assessments of adaptive skills, classroom observations,
formal and informal assessment data, curricular content
for evidence of a significant cognitive disability
Eligibility Criteria
The IEP Team will need to document the evaluation
review of cognitive/adaptive ability when making this
determination
 Individual Cognitive Ability Test
 Adaptive Behavior Skills Assessment
Eligibility Criteria
 The IEP Team must answer yes to all criteria
 If the IEP Team disagrees/answers no, the team
must
using this eligibility tool and consider if the
student is eligible for participation in the regular MSA or
HSA with accommodations or use the IEP Team
Decision-Making Process Eligibility Tool for determining
participation in the Modified MSA/HSA
Eligibility Criteria
Criteria #1
The student is learning (at emerging, readiness, or
functional literacy levels) extended Maryland reading,
extended Maryland mathematics, and extended
Maryland science content standards
Eligibility Criteria #1
Descriptor
 All students access the Maryland State Curriculum
(SC) or Core Learning Goals (CLG). There are no
separate extended content standards in Maryland
 The content learning objectives and expected
outcomes for the student are extended to focus on the
emerging, readiness (prerequisite) and/or functional
(real life) application of the general curriculum
 The student is substantially below grade level
expectations even with documented participation in
research-based interventions over multiple years in all
content standard areas
Activity
Eligibility Criteria
Criteria #2
The student requires explicit and ongoing instruction
in functional skills.
Eligibility Criteria #2
Descriptor
 The student has substantial deficits in adaptive
behavior*, such that the student has difficulty
demonstrating independence in everyday living skills,
including interpersonal and social interactions across
multiple settings
*Adaptive Behavior is defined as essential for
someone to live independently and to function safely in
daily life. Adaptive behaviors include “real” life skills
such as grooming, dressing, safety, ability to work,
money management, and social and personal
responsibility
Eligibility Criteria
Criteria #3
The student requires extensive and substantial
modification (e.g., reduced complexity of objectives
and learning materials, and more time to learn) of
general education curriculum
Curriculum activities differ significantly from that of their
non-disabled peers. They learn different materials,
and may participate in different learning activities
Eligibility Criteria #3
Descriptor
 The modifications needed by the student to participate
in the regular assessment would compromise the
validity of the test
 The objectives written for the student in the designated
content areas(s) are significantly less complex than the
grade level expectation, the curriculum is significantly
modified and instructional pacing is significantly
reduced, making the regular MSA/HSA or Modified
MSA/HSA, even with accommodations, inappropriate
for the student
Eligibility Criteria
Criteria #4
The student requires intensive instruction and may
require extensive supports, including physical
prompts, to learn, apply, and transfer or generalize
knowledge and skills across multiple settings
Eligibility Criteria #4
Descriptor
 The student requires substantial, repeated,
individualized instruction with extensive supports
such as substantially adapted and modified
materials, instructional prompting systems,
individualized methods of accessing information in
alternative ways such as tactile, visual, auditory,
and multi-sensory, across multiple settings to
acquire, maintain, generalize and demonstrate
performance of skills
Eligibility Criteria
Criteria #5
The student requires extensive support to perform
and participate meaningfully and productively in
daily activities in school, home, community, and
work environments
Eligibility Criteria #5
Descriptor
 The student requires intensive systematic
instruction across multiple settings with tasks
broken into small steps for all learning outcomes
 The student is dependent on others, for some or all
daily activities with the expectation that the student
will require extensive ongoing support in adulthood
Eligibility Criteria
Did the IEP Team answer YES to
ALL the criteria?
If YES, then proceed to the
Additional Requirements on the Tool.
If NO, then
using this form and consider the student
eligible for participation in the regular MSA/Mod-MSA
or HSA/Mod-HSA with accommodations.
Additional
Requirements
The Alt-MSA Decision-Making Process
Additional Requirements
If an IEP Team responded YES to All the criteria
listed in the tool, then the IEP Team must also
answer YES to ALL of the additional
requirements, in order for the student to be
appropriately identified as student to participate in
Alt-MSA.
Additional Requirements
 The decision for participating in the Alt-MSA is not
based on a specific categorical label and/or
educational placement.
 The decision for participating in the Alt-MSA is an
IEP team decision, and the decision is NOT being
made for administrative purposes and/or
anticipated impact on local school system and/or
school performance scores.
Additional Requirements
 The decision for participating in the Alt-MSA is NOT
based on deafness/blindness, visual, auditory, physical
and/or emotional behavioral disabilities
 The decision for participating in the Alt-MSA is NOT
based on language, social, cultural, or economic
differences
 The decision for participating in the Alt-MSA is NOT
based solely on the fact that the student’s instructional
reading level is below the grade level of the regular
MSA/HSA or Modified MSA/HSA to be administered
Additional Requirements
 The decision for participating in the Alt-MSA is NOT
based on the fact that the student is expected to
perform poorly on the regular MSA/HSA or Modified
MSA /HSA
 The decision for participating in the Alt-MSA is NOT
based on the fact that the student is expected to
experience significant test anxiety under regular testing
conditions, even with the provision of accommodations
or based on the high probability that the student will
demonstrate disruptive behaviors during the regular
MSA/HSA or Modified MSA/HSA as a result of this
significant test anxiety
Eligibility Criteria
 If the student meets or exceeds the standards on
previous alternate assessments, the IEP Team
should consider participation in the MSA or ModMSA or HSA or Mod-HSA with accommodations
Eligibility Criteria
Criteria #6
 As documented through the eligibility criteria and
additional requirements listed above, the student
cannot participate in the regular MSA/HSA or
Modified MSA/HSA even with accommodations
• YES/Agree
• NO/Disagree
Additional Requirements
 If any or all criteria or additional requirements are
identified as “NO”
using the form!
 The student does not meet the eligibility criteria for
the Alt-MSA participation. The student will not
participate in this assessment
Eligibility Decision
 If the IEP Team determines that all eligibility criteria
and additional requirement statements are
identified as “YES”, then the student is eligible
to participate in the Alt-MSA
IEP Team Decision
 Ensure that the IEP Team has documented the
decision on this form and in the IEP
 Document disagreement by any team member.
 If parent disagrees, provide copy of the Parental Rights
Handbook and inform of due process rights
Documenting the appropriate
assessment in the IEP
IEP Teams need to indicate YES or NO
to all applicable Statewide assessments,
in which the student will participate,
including the applicable content areas on
the student’s IEP
44
Maryland’s Statewide Online
This is
where you
document
the
appropriate
assessment
This is where you
document why the
assessment was
determined
appropriate
45
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IEP Team Decision-Making Eligibility Tool - CCSS-Wor