Alternate Assessment System

This page provides resources for administering the Connecticut Alternate Assessment (CTAA) and the Connecticut Alternate Science Assessment (CTAS).


  • The Connecticut Department of Education (CSDE) is preparing to conduct standard setting in the summer of 2019 for the NGSS Assessment and the Connecticut Science Alternate Assessment (CTAS).  This is a required activity as this Spring will be the first live administration of these two new assessments.  The standard setting process involves a committee review of test items and student performance data in order to make recommendations for score ranges for the four performance levels.  The CSDE is currently recruiting Connecticut educators to participate in committees needed for each grade (grades 5, 8 and 11) and for each test.  The details of the meetings are below.


    NGSS Assessment

    Dates and Time

    July 29 and 30, 2019 (8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

    July 31, 2019 and August 1, 2019 (8 a.m. – 5:00p.m.)


    The Red Lion Hotel, Cromwell, CT

    Commitment Time

    Committee members will only be selected for the NGSS Assessment Committee or the CTAS Committee.  Committee members will need to commit to both days for each meeting.

    Required Qualifications

    Committee members should be very familiar with the NGSS content as well as with the assessment.


    Committee members will receive $300 as an honorarium.


    Below is a survey link in which participants can apply for this activity.  Applicants should complete the survey by May 1, 2019.  Committee participants will be selected by May 20, 2019.  All applicants will be notified of their application status shortly after May 20, 2019.  Applicants should carefully consider their availability before applying as participation is very important once selected. 

    Added April 4, 2019
  • A printing error occurred in the Resource Packet for the Grade 5 Connecticut Alternate Science Assessment (CTAS).This issue involves the graphic for Storyline 4 - Activity 6 - Resource 1 in Grade 5. The printed table has two rows of data when it should have three rows. 

    The graphic has been updated and is available at the following link: Pond Organisms Data Table Poster

    Districts should remove the resource from the CTAS Resource Packet and replace it with the updated graphic from the portal. If districts have any questions, please follow up with the American Institutes for Research Help Desk at 1-844-202-7583 or email

    Added January 10, 2019
  • The required online Alternate Assessment System Training (modules listed below) is now available on the Alternate Assessment card located on the CSDE Comprehensive Assessment Program Portal and can be accessed with TIDE user credentials.  Please share this communication with any  educator who will be administering the CT Alternate Assessments this year, regardless of previous training status, as these teachers will need to participate in the training this year and each year moving forward.  Teachers administering the Alternate Assessments will be required to take a quiz and receive a score of 80% or greater.  Once the quiz is passed, this will activate the “Trained TEA” status in the TEA user account and provide permissions to access the online supporting systems. All TEAs will need this trained status to access the Data Entry Interface (now open), which allows for the submission of the Learner Characteristics Inventory (LCI) to register a student for the Alternate Assessments. (Note that only trained TEAs have user permissions to submit an LCI through the Data Entry Interface.)

    Training Modules vary in duration (each is approximate 30 minutes) and includes:

    • Session 1:Eligibility for the Alternate Assessments and the Role of the Learner Characteristics Inventory (LCI)
    • Session 2:Administering the Connecticut Alternate Assessment (CTAA)
    • Session 3: Administering the Connecticut Alternate Science Assessment (CTAS)
    • Session 4: Alternate Assessment System Resources and the Early Stopping Rule
    • Connecticut Alternate Assessment Training Quiz

    These sessions are also accompanied by a Resource folder containing teacher tasks aligned to each session and the CTAS TEA Responsibility Checklist.

    If you envision providing group TEA training sessions in your school, each individual TEA must log into the training using their own TIDE username/password. This will allow the online system to link their completed quiz with their Trained TEA status in TIDE.

    As a reminder, District Administrators (DAs in TIDE) must determine who will be administering the Alternate Assessments during the 2018-19 school year, verify their user role as TEA and account information in TIDE for accuracy, and notify the TEA(s) that training is now available. Refer to the following resources to support this process:

    Overview for District Administrators

    Overview for Teachers Administering the Alternate

    Please direct any questions to Deirdre Ducharme at 860-713-6859; or Janet Stuck at 860-713-6837;

    Added November 29, 2018
  • Dear District Administrators (DA’s in TIDE),

    Please see below for two recent updates regarding Connecticut Science assessments. 

    Connecticut Alternate Science Assessment Materials

    The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is beginning distribution of Connecticut Alternate Science Assessment (CTAS) materials for the 2018 – 19 school year.  As a result, you may receive a package(s) containing CTAS printed materials the week of October 29, 2018. The CSDE and AIR have allocated different quantities of the CTAS materials to districts based on student participation in the CTAS Field Test in the spring of 2018. These CTAS materials include:

    • Performance Tasks,
    • Resource Packets, and
    • Student Score Worksheets.

    When districts receive the materials, District Administrators should determine a plan for sharing, organizing, and storing these materials with Teachers Administering the Alternate Assessment (TEAs) and plan to preserve and redistribute the Resource Packets and Performance Tasks in subsequent school years.

    Digital copies of the CTAS materials will also be posted to the Connecticut Comprehensive Assessment Program Portal the week of October 29, 2018. These materials can be downloaded, printed, and maintained as the district determines. These digital copies can also be used with eligible students who use assistive technology and require the manipulation of a PDF (i.e. Smartboard, switches, software programs). The CTAS is a non-secure test that is administered to eligible students with significant cognitive disabilities in Grades 5, 8, and 11. The CTAS was designed to be administered by the Trained TEA in a one-to-one test setting with the student during the school year. Once the assessment has been completed, student ratings recorded on the Student Score Worksheet must be entered into the online Data Entry Interface (DEI) by the Trained TEA during the CTAS upload window between March 25 and June 7, 2019. Ratings submitted in the DEI during the upload window will be processed for reporting. The Connecticut Alternate Science Assessment TEA Responsibility Checklist, posted to the Connecticut Alternate Assessment Program Portal, describes the administration responsibilities and pre-planning activities suggested for the Trained TEA.

                    If districts did not receive CTAS materials by November 9, 2018, and have eligible students with significant cognitive disabilities in Grades 5, 8, and 11 who will be participating in the CTAS, please contact the Connecticut Comprehensive Assessment Program Help Desk by email ( or by phone (844-202-7583).

    NGSS Interim Assessment Webinar

    • When? Monday, November 5, 2018 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (EST)
    • Who? This NGSS Interim Assessment Webinar is intended for district- and school-level users who plan to administer the new NGSS Interim Assessments.
    • What? CSDE and AIR will discuss the content of the new NGSS Interim Assessments, how to administer the interim assessments, and how to access the assessment data in the AIRWays Reporting System.
    • How? Register for the webinar by clicking on the following link: Monday, November 5, 2018 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (EST)

    After registering, a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar will be sent to the email address provided during registration.  The webinar will be recorded and posted to the Connecticut Comprehensive Assessment Portal. 

    If you have any questions, please contact the CSDE Student Assessment Office by email ( or by phone (860-713-6860).

    Added October 29, 2018

Key Documents