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

WY-ALT (Grades 3-10)

The WY-ALT is an individually administered student performance assessment that allows students with a designation of student with the most significant cognitive disabilities (SMSCD) to demonstrate their mastery of grade-level-aligned Wyoming Extended Standards. The WY-ALT is administered to students in grades 3 – 10 in English Language Arts and mathematics. In grades 4, 8,  and 10, students also take the WY-ALT in science. 

All information about the WY-ALT is available on the WY-ALT Portal Page.

Assessment Links:

Wyoming Statewide Alternate Assessment: WY-ALT

Wyoming’s alternate assessment, WY-ALT, is designed for a small number of students designated as students with the most significant cognitive disabilities (SMSCD). 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. A student’s participation in the WY-ALT is appropriate when the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team has designated a student as a Student with the Most Significant Cognitive Disability (SMSCD) and determined that the student’s academic achievement is best measured by an Alternate Assessment of Alternate Academic Achievement Standards (AA-AAAs), consistent with Wyoming’s participation requirements. Wyoming’s AA-AAAs is the WY-ALT and is based on the Wyoming Extended Standards (WYES). 

The grade-level Wyoming Extended Standards (WYES) 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.

Open Public Comment on 1% Participation Waiver Extension for WY-ALT Assessments 

Review the proposed One Percent Participation Waiver Extension Request for the Alternate ELA, Math, and Science Assessments. Public comment will be collected through November 24, 2023, through this survey, or by attending one of the virtual meetings listed below.

Virtual Public Comment Meetings: 

Educators and the public can attend a virtual Public Comment Meeting and provide verbal input. The first 10 minutes will be an informational presentation, and the remainder of the time will be to collect comments. Attendees may enter and exit the Zoom meeting at any time during the block.

Join the Zoom meeting here, or call 346-248-7799. Meeting ID: 968 0156 5719

  • 6-7 p.m. on Monday, October 30, 2023. 
  • 3:30-4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 1, 2023.
  • 12:00-1:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 2, 2023.

For more information, contact Becca Velikaneye, Assessment Supervisor, at 307-777-6804 or rebecca.velikaneye@wyo.gov.

1% Threshold Information

The 1.0% Threshold relates to the federal accountability requirement that all students be included in state assessment. In the past (the 2003 Elementary and Secondary Education Act), the 1% was a “cap” on the number of children participating in alternate assessment who could be included in proficiency scores for accountability of all students assessed. Presently (since the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act), the 1% represents a threshold for participation in AA-AAAS at 1% of the total tested student population. It is not meant that IEP teams should not provide students with the alternate assessment when appropriate because they are concerned about going over the 1% threshold. Student needs always come first. The federal establishment of the 1% threshold is consistent with research showing that some students assigned to the alternate assessment more appropriately should have been assessed with the general assessment in which all other students participated.  States monitor the 1% participation rate and districts may exceed the 1% threshold should they have more students designated as SMSCD taking the alternate assessment. If that happens, states must submit a waiver for going over the 1% in any of the assessed subject areas. 

Each year the WDE reviews districts’ participation in the WY-ALT 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 2023 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.

WY-ALT Technical Report

Please contact Becca Velikaneye, WDE Assessment Supervisor, at 307-777-6804 or rebecca.velikaneye@wyo.gov for a copy of the WY-ALT Technical Report.