Washington Alternate Assessment System (WAAS)
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Washington Alternate Assessment System (WAAS)

The Washington Alternate Assessment System (WAAS) is a component of Washington’s comprehensive assessment program focused on providing access for students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to the state testing system.

WAAS includes the following assessment instruments:

  • WAAS-Portfolio. Designed for students with significant cognitive disabilities, the Portfolio is a collection of data aligned to specific skills that a student demonstrates in a classroom setting.
  • WA-Access to Instruction & Measurement (WA-AIM). The WA-AIM is an alternate assessment aligned to the Common Core State Standards for students with significant cognitive disabilities. The WA-AIM is built off of an Access Point Framework that expands upon the CCSS and the Essential Elements to provide students with significant cognitive disabilities greater access to the CCSS. The WA-AIM will measure student knowledge and skills through the use of twice annual administered performance tasks. The WA-AIM will be used for federal and state accountability in grades 3-8 and 11 and can be used to meet a student’s CIA requirements.
  • HSPE/MSP – Basic. A determination by a student’s IEP team to establish a proficient score at Level 2, or Basic, on the state’s annual assessment. This score determination process is accessible for all students on an IEP in grades 3 through 8 and high school. The MSP/HSPE Basic cannot be used for state and federal accountability; at the high school level the HSPE Basic can be used to meet state graduation requirements.

Graduation Options

  • WAAS-DAPE (formerly the WAAS-DAW). The developmentally appropriate proficiency exams (DAPE) are accessible by 11th and 12th grade students only for purpose of meeting state graduation requirements. Each assessment is constructed to determine student skills at either elementary or middle school level of knowledge; a student may access the DAPE in reading, writing, and/or mathematics. Meeting standard is scoring at or above Level 3 or Proficient.
  • Locally Determined Assessment (LDA). A series of state-prescribed assessments available in the content areas of reading, writing, and mathematics that can be selected and administered at the local school. The LDA is accessible by 12th grade students only for purpose of meeting state graduation requirements. Meeting standard is scoring at or above the established minimum grade equivalency (G.E.) for the prescribed test.
  • Awareness Level Waiver. For students with disabilities at extreme low levels of cognitive interaction, IEP teams and associated districts can pursue a waiver from further state testing and the state graduation requirements linked to the state’s assessment program.

More information:

DAC Resources


Alternate Assessment 2014-2015
With the transition in 2014-2015 to instructing and assessing all students to the Common Core State Standards, Washington will be shifting to a new assessment, WA-AIM, aligned to the CCSS. Introduction and Timeline

Educators who are interested in participating in the process should please fill out the following survey: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1500524/Educator-Participation-A-I-M


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