New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA)

What is the New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA)?

The NYSAA is part of the New York State testing program that measures student performance on alternate achievement standards in the areas of English language arts (ELA), mathematics, and science for students with the most severe cognitive disabilities. These standards are reduced in complexity from the learning standards.

What do we mean by students with the most severe cognitive disabilities?

“Students with the most severe cognitive disabilities” can be defined as students who have limited cognitive abilities, combined with behavioral and/or physical limitations, and who require highly specialized educational, social, psychological, and medical services in order to maximize their full potential for useful and meaningful participation in society and for self-fulfillment.

Who should take the NYSAA?

Only students with the most severe cognitive disabilities are eligible to take the NYSAA. The Committee on Special Education (CSE) determines whether a student with a severe cognitive disability is eligible to take the NYSAA, based on the following criteria:
• The student has a severe cognitive disability, significant deficits in communication/ language, and significant deficits in adaptive behavior; and
• The student requires a highly specialized educational program that facilitates the acquisition, applications, and transfer of skills across natural environments (home, school, community, and/or workplace); and
• The student requires educational support systems, such as assistive technology, personal care services, health/medical services, or behavioral intervention.

For more information on the NYSAA, see below: