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About the Colorado Alternate Assessment (CoAlt)

The Colorado Alternate Assessments (CoAlt) is administered to students with significant cognitive disabilities who are instructed and assessed on alternate achievement standards. A Student's IEP team makes the determination if a student qualifies for the alternate assessment following criteria provided by the Colorado Department of Education Exceptional Student Services Unit via the eligibility worksheet.

This standards-based assessment program is designed specifically for students with significant cognitive disabilities using the elements of universal design. For students who qualify to take alternate assessments, the CoAlt is an indicator of student progress toward the Expanded Benchmarks which are linked to the Colorado Model Content Standards in the content areas of Reading, Writing and Mathematics in grades 3 - 10 and Science in grades 5,8, and 10. The assessment is meant to provide a picture of student performance to schools, districts, educators, parents and the community. The data should be used to keep abreast of individual student progress toward attaining achievement in the content areas.

The CoAlt is untimed and individually administered. The assessments are comprised of selected response items and modified constructed response items.

The CoAlt was collaboratively developed by the Colorado Department of Education, Colorado educators and
CTB/McGraw-Hill.


CoAlt Revision

New Science and Social Studies Alternate Assessments will be administered operationally in the Spring of 2014 and will be designed to measure the Extended Evidence Outcomes of the Colorado Academic Standards. In accordance with the summative assessment design, the alternate assessments will be administered in grades 5, 8 and 11 in science and the social studies alternate assessments will be administered in grades 4 and 7 and once in high school.

More information on the new Alternate Science and Social Studies Assessments can be found on new assessments webpage.


11th Grade Alternate

The 11th grade alternate assessment is for students who qualify for the alternate assessment, and who will not be taking the CO ACT. For more information on the 11th grade alternate assessment contact the Exceptional Student Services Unit.

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Colorado Dept. of Education
201 East Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-6600
Fax: 303-830-0793
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