Wyoming Department of Education > For District Leadership > Assessment – State System > WY-ALT

WY-ALT (Grades 3-10)

The Wyoming Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (WY-ALT) was administered for the first time in spring 2015. The WY-ALT is aligned to the Wyoming Extended Standards (WYES) and designed to allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in an appropriately rigorous assessment. All information about the WY-ALT is available on the WY-ALT Portal.

General Resources

Assessment FAQs and the Back-to-School Toolkit

Wyoming Statewide Alternate Assessment: WY-ALT

Wyoming’s alternate assessment, WY-ALT, is designed for a small number of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. It’s part of a statewide instructionally supportive assessment system that complies with the requirements of federal accountability law and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA).

Wyoming has rigorous academic standards for all students. The Wyoming Department of Education believes that the results of the WY-ALT, along with other measures of student performance, will enable teachers to provide individualized academic instruction to enable students to achieve high standards of academic performance and improve instructional programs. A student’s participation in the WY-ALT is appropriate when the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team has determined that the student’s academic achievement is best measured by Alternate Academic Achievement Standards, consistent with Wyoming’s participation requirements.

About the Program

The WY-ALT is administered to students in grades 3 – 10 in ELA, and mathematics and to students in grades 4, 8,  and 10 in science. The WY-ALT is an individually administered student performance assessment that allows students to demonstrate their mastery of grade-level-aligned Wyoming Extended Standards.

The grade-level Wyoming Extended Standards specify essential learning for all students who participate in the WY-ALT. The extended standards, though reduced in breadth, depth and complexity, are linked to the Wyoming Content and Performance Standards and define the knowledge and skills that students are expected to master at appropriate levels of challenge. Teachers ensure access to the general academic curriculum through teaching and learning opportunities aligned to the extended achievement level descriptors. Teachers employ a wide range of instructional strategies as determined by a student’s individual learning characteristics and communication modes and levels, and through the use of adapted, grade-level appropriate materials.

WY-ALT Technical Report

Contact Cat Palmer, WDE Assessment Supervisor, at 307-777-8568 or catherine.palmer@wyo.gov for a copy of the WY-ALT Technical Report.

1% Threshold Information

Title 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), addresses students participating in alternate assessments aligned with alternate academic achievement standards (AA-AAAS) of the statewide assessment system. Each state must submit a waiver request to the U.S. Department of Education if it predicts exceeding 1.0 percent participation in the AA-AAAS in any subject. 

Each year the WDE reviews districts’ participation in the Alternate Assessment aligned to Alternate Achievement Standards and requests justifications from each LEA that anticipates being over the 1% threshold. Click here for a list of districts that were over the participation threshold on the Spring 2021 alternate assessment administration. 

District justifications for exceeding the 1.0 percent participation threshold are publicly available by submitting a public information request to Linda Finnerty at linda.finnerty@wyo.gov or mailing the request to 122 W. 25th St, Ste E200, Cheyenne, WY 82002.