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Arizona’s Alternate Assessment. AIMS A Assessing Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities. Agenda. Overview Timelines Test Administration Dos and Don’ts Monitoring. Overview.

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Arizona’s Alternate Assessment

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Arizona’s Alternate Assessment


Assessing Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

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  • Overview

  • Timelines

  • Test Administration

  • Dos and Don’ts

  • Monitoring

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Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards Alternate (AIMS A), administered by the Arizona Department of Education (ADE), measures what students know and are able to do in the content areas of mathematics, reading, and science as presented in the Arizona Alternate Academic Standards.

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Overview of 2010 AIMS A Test

Three item types in each content area:

Multiple Choice Items –

Online test items.

Performance Tasks –

Standardized constructed response items which are scored on standardized

data sheets. Each score point has specified responses.

Rater Items –

Constructed response items specific to the student’s environment which are scored using the AIMS A Rater Item Scoring Rubric.

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Testing Responsibilities

Before Testing

  • attend mandatory training;(Training dates: )

  • read the Test Administration Directions;( )

  • verify students’ IEP information (TIENET);

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Testing Responsibilities Continued

During Testing

  • properly administer each test section;

  • ensure all students are being tested in the proper testing environment;

  • adhere to testing deadlines; and

  • secure all test materials, including data sheets.

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Testing Responsibilities Continued

After Testing

  • report any testing incidents to Cathy Taylor; and

  • submit all test materials, including data sheets to Lindy Jones, Accountability & Research.

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AIMS A Timelines

October/Special Education Administrator

November completes password request

December Submit Multiple Choice Reset Form in TIENETSign and submit AIMS-A Test Security/Testing Ethics Agreement 2011via TUSD Interoffice mailto Cathy Taylor, Accountability and Research

January 5th-31st Complete Student Verification/Correct SAIS Information

February 15th – Download and Print Test MaterialsConduct Test Administration-

March 18All testing completed. Test materials and data sheets sent to Lindy Jones, Accountability & Research.

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Eligibility Requirements

In order to be considered for alternate assessments, students must meet all of the following criteria:

1. Evidence of a Significant Cognitive Disability: Empirical evidence (formal testing results, multidisciplinary evaluation team results, etc.) of a significant cognitive disability prevents the acquisition of the grade-level Arizona Academic Content Standards.

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Eligibility Requirements Continued

Please Note:

  • Students with learning disabilities who have overall intellectual and/or adaptive behavior abilities within the average range are not students with most significant cognitive disabilities.

    • If you are contemplating qualifying a student with SLD, you must contact Cathy Taylor for a consultation meeting prior to the IEP.

  • Eligibility for AIMS A requires that the student functions like a student with MR across all areas: commensurate abilities in mathematics, reading, and writing, adaptive behavior scores, and measures of intellectual abilities.

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Eligibility Requirements Continued

2. Intensity of Instruction: It is extremely difficult for the student to acquire, maintain, generalize, and apply academic skills across environments even with extensive/intensive, pervasive, frequent, and individualized instruction in multiple settings.

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Eligibility Requirements Continued

3. Curricular Outcomes: The goals and objectives in the student’s IEP focus on enrolled grade-level Alternate Arizona Academic Standards (, click on AIMS A).

To access the eligibility form:

TIENET: Assessment Eligibility (AIMS-A & AIMS EA)

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TIEnet Assessment Eligibility Form

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AIMS-A Eligibility Requirements

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Parent Notification Form

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Eligibility Requirements Continued

  • If a student qualifies for AIMS-A, the AIMS-A Eligibility form is required as one of the student’s IEP attachment documents.

  • AIMS-A Eligibility should be discussed during an IEP or IEP Amendment meeting.

  • Once a student has been found eligible for AIMS-A, the team MUST re-consider eligibility each subsequent annual IEP. This applies to findings of both continued eligibility or found to no longer be eligible.

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Grade 11&12Assessment consideration-Passing AIMS (High school only)

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Grades Tested

  • Only Grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10 will take the alternate assessment (AIMS-A) .

  • Eligible students in grades 11, 12 will take the AIMS-A if their IEP, Attachment H specifies that they will continue to participate. (This form is not needed if the 11th or 12th grader will not participate. They must have taken the AIMS-A as a 10th grader for this to apply.)

  • Students in grades K, 1, 2, and 9 will not participate in state tests this year.

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AIMS Information

  • AIMS labels will arrive at your school for all enrolled students, including AIMS-A eligible

    • Do not use labels or put them on a booklet

    • Do not test AIMS-A eligible kids on grade level tests

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Adaptations and Instructional Strategies

Some students taking the general assessment (AIMS) are allowed accommodations. Accommodations are specific practices and procedures that provide students with equitable access during instruction and assessment. Students with a Significant Cognitive Disability (SCD) require much more intensive instructional support which is provided through instructional adaptations.

Any instructional adaptations or strategies can be used to support the student with a SCD as long as the student indicates the response choice.

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Examples of Adaptations and Instructional Strategies*

  • Read Passages or Test Item/Describe Graphics

  • Adaptive Calculators

  • Number/Alphabet Line

  • Symbolic/Picture System

  • Line Drawings

  • Assistive Technology

    *This is not an exhaustive list.

  • Visual/verbal /physical cues

  • Models/Sample

  • Highlight or mark key phrases, words or letters

  • Use of manipulative, cubes, blocks etc.

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Assistive Technology

Touch screens, Smart Boards, and any device that models a keyboard can be used to administer AIMS A.

For assistance with or questions related to assistive technology contact

Reina Robles, 225-5451

Lindy Jones, 225.5415

or Cristina Franco-Carrillo 302-5458

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Logging On to the AIMS A

Open the internet browser, go to and click on Common Logon (look to the top right of the screen for this link).

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Type in username and password.

Click the Continue button.

Note: There are five chances to input the username and password before deactivation. If deactivated, call the ADE Support Center at 602-542-7378 or 866-577-9636.

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The first time the ADE Common Logon system is accessed using assigned login and password, read the Acceptable Use Policy.

Click I agree (if I do not agree is clicked, access to the application will be denied).

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Read directions on the screen and enter new password twice



If this is the first time in the application:

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Once login has been completed, the following screen will appear:

  • Click

  • The assigned Username and Password is linked to either the administrator or teacher level of access. A teacher will automatically be linked to the assigned school.

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The school is listed on the top right corner of the screen.

If there is an error, contact Lindy Jones 520-225-5415

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Student Demographic Information

Gather the following information before you begin:


  • Date of Birth

  • Gender

  • Disability Category

  • Document Adaptations that will be used

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Student Data

On the left there will be a menu bar - click

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If this is the first time using the application this year, No Records Found will appear. Click Add Student and enter required information then click Retrieve.

Add Student

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Incorrect data generates a Data Retrieval Error:


If the above error persists, email to verify that the SAIS number, DOB, and gender entered matches the data submitted by the PEA SAIS administrator to ADE. If the data submitted through the PEA SAIS administrator is incorrect, a SAIS upload to ADE will need to occur before data entry can continue for this student.

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  • Check the student information carefully.

  • If the information is correct, click YES.

  • If ADE did not retrieve the correct student, click NO.

    • Verify SAIS ID, DOB and/or gender and re-enter data.

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If a student was successfully retrieved, the next window will need more information from the Demographic Information Form.

Some information is populated with data submitted by the PEA

Be sure to complete entire form.

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After the information is completed, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on one of these buttons -

will save the information entered and return to the Student List page.

will save the information entered and stay on the same page.

will delete the information entered and return to the Student List page.

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After submitting the Demographic Information Form, you will be taken back to the Student List Page. When you are ready to begin the assessment, click on the student’s SAIS ID number.

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Click Forms (located above the SAIS ID number) to begin the assessment.

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Click on the Form to enter student data for the Performance Tasks and Rater Items, and for students to enter into the multiple choice items . As the forms are completed, the status will change to complete.

Check the status column upon completion of each section.

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Multiple Choice Items

Students will respond to online items with three answer choices.

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Performance Tasks

Download and carefully read each task prompt and gather the materials necessary to complete the following tasks before you begin the student assessment.

  • A list of materials needed can be downloaded when logging onto the system.

  • Each Performance Task data sheet will be pre-populated with the prompts and the appropriate score point for a given student response.

  • Record the student’s performance on the data sheets provided. You will enter the information from the data sheets into the online system when completed.

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Performance Task Data Sheet

After prompting the student on each performance task, mark the appropriate box that corresponds to the student’s response. The appropriate response at each score point is indicated on the data sheet, following the model below.

  • A score of2 indicates the student correctly performed the task without assistance or with a single repetition of instructions or redirection.

  • A score of 1 indicates the student responded correctly after the teacher modeled the correct response or if the student’s answer closely relates to the correct answer.

  • A score of 0 indicates the student was not able to correctly perform the task without assistance or after a single repetition of instruction or redirection.

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Example of a Performance Task Data Sheet:

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Rater Items

  • Download and carefully read each Rater Item prompt and gather the materials necessary, including the AIMS A Rating Rubric, before you begin the student assessment.

  • A list of materials needed can be downloaded when logging onto the system.

  • Each Rater Item data sheet will be pre-populated with the prompts.

  • Record the student’s performance on the data sheets provided. You will enter the information from the data sheets into the online system when completed.

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Rater Item Data Sheets

Scores for this section will be determined by allowing the student opportunities to demonstrate the skill. Use objects, shapes, or manipulatives familiar to the student to aid in assessing the student’s skill level on each item in five trials per item. To determine the student’s final scores, use the Rating Rubric.

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Rater Item Data Sheet

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AIMS A Rater Item Scoring Rubric

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Assessment Requirements


  • administer the assessment in a quiet, distraction free environment.

  • place a “Testing, Do Not Disturb” sign on the door prior to testing.

  • select the day when your student will perform at their optimal.

  • STOP testing when students become frustrated or fatigued. Resume the test at a later time that day or another day.

  • allow for enough time so testing can be done at the student’s pace.

  • test students who are chronically ill/absent first to ensure that tests are complete before the deadline

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Assessment Requirements


  • influence student responses or give hints to answers. Allow the student to respond or perform a task.

    For example DO NOT:

    • place cursor over the answer choice.

    • place the card/option in front of student (so it stands out from other options).

  • rate student based on previous observations. AIMS A is a point in time assessment.

  • use the assessment as instructional time. Score student on each item as indicated in the directions. Only use prompting and modeling as specified in the directions.

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    Test Monitoring

    Monitoring will be conducted through the dissemination of web cameras for the video recording of students as they are administered all sections of the assessment and in person by trained evaluators throughout the testing window. If you are chosen for the video monitoring, you will be notified in advance as you will be required to attend training.

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    Test Monitoring

    The onsite testing monitors will be evaluating:

    • the environment in which the student is being assessed; and

    • the administration of each section of the assessment.

      The video monitoring will be evaluated for:

      • information about the assessment administration,

      • standardized activities,

      • inter-rater reliability, and

      • data collection procedures.

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    Test Administration Security Procedures

    It is unethical and shall be viewed as a violation of test security for any person to:

    • disclose or allow to be disclosed the content of any portion of the test before, during, or after test administration;

    • discuss any AIMS A test item before, during, or after test administration;

    • use any AIMS A materials for instruction before or after test administration;

    • allow students access to test questions prior to testing;

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    Test Administration Security Procedures Continued

    • allow students to share information during test administration;

    • report students’ answer choices based on previous experience outside the testing window;

    • photocopy, transcribe, or in any way duplicate any part of AIMS A test items for anything other than test administration;

    • fail to store all test materials in a secure area before, during, and after test administration, including all student data sheets; and

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    Test Administration Security Procedures Continued

    • participate in, direct, aid, counsel, assist in, encourage, or fail to report any violations of these test administration security procedures.

    • Test Administrators may not influencestudent decision in answering questions. They may only aid access to the test through accommodations and adaptations. No test item may ever be discussed before, during, or after test administration.

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    AIMS A Contact Information

    For general questions, or comments:


    ADE Alternate Standards

    TUSD Contacts

    Cathy Taylor

    Cristina Franco-Carrillo

    Lindy Jones

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