The alternate academic achievement standards provide a framework for teachers of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities to teach skills and competencies essential for independent living, employment, and postsecondary education. Policy 2520.16 links the existing content standards in reading/language arts, in math and in science with the extended standards and includes performance descriptors that are aligned with the extended standards. These performance descriptors are the basis for cut scores for the Alternate Assessment. The extended standards and performance descriptors included in Policy 2520.16 are applicable for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, i.e., students who are assessed with the West Virginia Alternate Performance Task Assessment.
The Next Generation Common Core Essential Elements, linked to the NxG Common Core Standards, will become the alternate academic achievement standards for students with significant intellectual disabilities in West Virginia. Along with the Instructional Achievement Level Descriptors, these standards provide a framework of instruction to prepare students with significant intellectual disabilities for college and career readiness. These Essential Elements are not intended as a redefinition of the state standards. Rather, they are intended to describe challenging expectations for students with significant intellectual disabilities in relation to the NxG CCSS. They clarify the bridge between grade-level achievement expectations for students with significant intellectual disabilities who participate in alternate assessments and the NxG CCSS.