NSCAS Alternate Summative Assessment
Alternate assessment tests have been designed for students with severe cognitive disabilities or multi-handicapping conditions, generally less than 1% of the overall student population.
Students grades 3-8 & 11 qualifying for and alternate assessment will participate in NSCAS Alternate ELA and Math assessments. Science Assessments will only be administered in grades 5, 8 & 11. When determining whether a student is eligible, refer to guidelines provided by NDE.
Alternate Summative Assessments are administered by Data Recognition Corporation(DRC.)
Alternate Summative Assessment Quick Links
2023 TEST DATES
NSCAS Alternate Window
Apr 3, 2023 – May 5, 2023
Make-up Testing Only
May 8, 2023 – May 12, 2023
DRC INSIGHT: This site is password protected and is used to manage students and print materials.
NSCAS Alternate Training
2023 NSCAS Alternate Administration Training
2023 Alternate Admin Training PowerPoint – Posted 3.2.23
2023 Alternate Admin Training PDF Version – Posted 3.2.23
2023 Alternate Test Administration Training Recording (coming soon)
**PLEASE NOTE: All Proctor training information is current.**
NSCAS Alternate Proctor Training PowerPoint
NSCAS Alternate Proctor Training Recording
NSCAS Alternate Online Tools Training Administration Manuals
- NSCAS Alternate Online Tools Training Administration Manual Grades 3-5
- NSCAS Alternate Online Tools Training Administration Manual Grades 6-8
- NSCAS Alternate Online Tools Training Administration Manual High School
NSCAS Alternate Online Tools Training Student Booklets
- NSCAS Alternate Online Tools Training Student Booklet Grades 3-5
- NSCAS Alternate Online Tools Training Student Booklet Grades 6-8
- NSCAS Alternate Online Tools Training Student Booklet High School
Access to NSCAS online Tools Training via Google Chrome
Publicly accessible versions of the DRC INSIGHT test engine and the NSCAS Online Tools Training are available. Please copy the link below into Google Chrome to access these practice opportunities.
Note: Google Chrome is the only supported browser for the public version of the DRC INSIGHT Test engine.
NSCAS Alternate Documents
School Age Instruction for Students with Disabilities
(Includes Alternate Standards Documents)
School Age Statewide Assessment Tests for Students with Disabilities
(Includes Alternate Assessment Information)
1% Exception Background Info – Posted 8.2020
1% Threshold Guidance – Posted 8.2020
Timeline of Federal Legislation on the Alternate Assessment – Posted 8.2019
1% Threshold Justification Document – Posted 8.3.20
Completing Justification Document for 1% – Posted 8.3.20
Justification Support Worksheet – Posted 5.13.21
Completing Justification Support Worksheet – Posted 5.13.21
All documents are in draft form
Alternate Assessment Criteria/Checklist – Required (Updated 2.24.23)
Companion to Alternate Assessment Criteria – Posted 8.2019
IEP Team Decision Making Flow Chart
(Please use flow chart to determine if Alternate Assessment is necessary)
IEP Team Decision Making Guidelines for Nebraska Statewide Assessments
Most Significant Cognitive Disability Definition
Characteristics of Student Who Take the Alternate Assessment
NSCAS Summative & Alternate Accessibility Manual – Updated 3.15.23
– Accessibility Tools 1-3 short form
*Accommodations list included
English Language Arts
English Language Arts Extended Indicators (Draft)
Grade 3 Math Instructional Supports
Grade 4 Math Instructional Supports
Grade 5 Math Instructional Supports
Grade 6 Math Instructional Supports
Grade 7 Math Instructional Supports
Grade 8 Math Instructional Supports
High School Math Instructional Supports
Grade 5 Science Instructional Supports
Grade 8 Science Instructional Supports
High School Science Instructional Supports
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires states to ensure that the total number of students assessed in each subject using the Alternate Assessment for Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities (NSCAS-AA), does not exceed 1 percent of the total number of all students who take Nebraska’s State Assessments. States that anticipate they will exceed the 1 percent threshold in alternate assessment participation must submit a waiver request to the U.S. Department of Education 90 days prior to the beginning of the alternate assessment testing window.
1% Cap Waiver Renewal Approval Letter 2021-2022
1% Cap on Alternate Assessment Waiver Public Notice Request for Comment 2021-22
1% Cap Waiver Request for 2021-22
1% Cap Waiver Renewal Approval Letter 2020-2021
1% Cap Waiver Request for 2020-2021
1% Cap on Alternate Assessment Waiver Public Notice Request for Comment 2020-2021
Due to COVID-19, testing was cancelled so no waiver was needed
1% Cap Waiver Renewal Approval Letter 2018-2019
1% Cap Waiver Renewal Request 2018-2019
1% Cap on Alternate Assessment Waiver Public Notice Request for Comment 2018-2019
1% Cap Waiver Approval 2017-2018
1% Cap Waiver Request 2017-2018
1% Cap on Alternate Assessment Waiver Public Notice Request for Comment 2017-2018
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) annually requires each district to submit a justification when it anticipates testing more than 1 percent of students on the NSCAS-Alternate Assessment for Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities.
Districts are required to complete the 1% Threshold document and submit to NDE.
- 1% Threshold Justification Document – Posted 8.3.20
- Completing Justification Document for 1% – Posted 8.3.20
ESSA requires states to make the district justification information available to the public annually.
The following Nebraska’s NCSAS Alternate Assessment justifications for exceeding the 1% Threshold are available upon request.
- 2022 District Justifications
- 2021 District Justifications
- 2020 District Justifications
- 2019 District Justifications
- 2018 District Justifications
Table of Specifications
NSCAS Achievement Level Descriptors
Alternate Assessment Practice Test
Please Note: The practice tests are still applicable for exposing students to the test format.
Alternate Assessment Samplers
Questions within the NeSA-ELA Alternate Assessment Samplers can be used as practice tests in order to familiarize student to testing procedures.
NSCAS Alternate Technology
DRC INSIGHT Portal System Guide
- DRC Insight Portal User Guide 2022-2023 – Updated 3.1.23
DRC INSIGHT System Requirements
- DRC INSIGHT System Requirements
– February 2023 – June 2023
DRC INSIGHT 2020-2021 Technology User Guide
Volume I: Introduction to Online Testing – Updated 3.1.23
Volume II: Central Office Services (COS) – Updated 3.1.23
Volume III: DRC INSIGHT – Updated 3.1.23
Volume IV: Troubleshooting– Updated 3.1.23
Volume V: Troubleshooting(COS)
For general assessment questions , contact Statewide Assessment.
For more information about Special Education, contact Sharon Heater, Education Specialist for the Office of Special Education.