Alternate Assessment – NCSC

Arizona will administer the NCSC Alternate Assessments for ELA and Mathematics.
The Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA) is a comprehensive assessment system designed to promote increasing higher academic outcomes for students with significant cognitive disabilities in preparation for a broader array of post-secondary outcomes. The MSAA is designed to assess students with significant cognitive disability and measures academic content that is aligned to and derived from your state’s content standards. This test contains many built-in supports that allow students to take the test using materials they are most familiar with and communicate what they know and can do as independently as possible. The MSAA will be administered in the areas of ELA and Mathematics in grades 3-8 and 11.

Click here to access the MSAA Video

In 2010 assessment was developed through the research and development done by the National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) and will be carried forward by the MSAA State Partners. MSAA is currently being administered by nine participating states: Arizona, Arkansas, Maine, Maryland, Montana, the Pacific Assessment Consortium (PAC-6)[1], Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Tennessee.

General Information State Specific Guidance Eligibility And Terminology
Alternate Assessment Eligibility Combined (NCSC and AIMS A)

– Alternate Assessment based on Alternate Achievement Standards (AA-AAS)-this is a term that is used to describe an Alternate Assessment. Alternate Achievement Standards are not the same as Alternate Academic Standards. Alternate Achievement Standards-descriptors of how well a student may demonstrate proficiency via the alternate assessment.

Alternate Academic Standards-standards developed for students with significant cognitive disabilities and were aligned to Arizona’s Academic Content Standards. [The previous Alternate Academic Standards for Reading and Mathematics are no longer applicable; they were removed and archived.]

Please contact us at (602) 542-8239 or at if you have any questions.

Practice Site / Sample Items
  • The NCSC Practice Site was developed as a way to become familiar with the NCSC sample items and Assessment experience.
    Please click here to access the NCSC Practice Site. This site does not require a user name or password.
  • Testing Dates & Updates
    Alternate Assessment Update-January 2016

    NCSC – ELA and Mathematics (grades 3-8 and 11th grade)
    Testing Window: Spring 2016 – dates TBD

    Instructional Supports and Resources
    This webpage will be updated as new information is available. The following documents were developed within the NCSC project and offer Arizona Educators ideas, supports, and resources to provide instruction based on the Standards to students with significant cognitive disabilities.

    NCSC Sample Items with Annotated Slides – 2015

    Scripted PowerPoint schools can use to introduce NCSC and the resources that have been developed

    NCSC Wiki This site hosts the National Center and State Collaborative Resources (NCSC) educators will need to accomplish these goals and deliver instruction aligned to the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards.

    LASSI / MASSI Webinars
    This link will give you access to several LASSI and MASSI webinars. To open the link, put your cursor on the link, hold the control key and left click your mouse. After the link opens, you will need to enter your name, an email address, and an answer to a simple math problem. Once this is done and a new page opens, scroll to the bottom of the page. There you will find the links to the LASSI and MASSI webinars.

    NCSC Instructional Resources & Supports (Binders)
    ELA –
    NCSC Instructional Resources for English Language Arts
    Teacher binder for ELA – Click on the ELA link NCSC Instructional Resources for English Language Arts and copy the following pages: 130-144 (graduated Understanding/Instructional Families); 150-182 (Element Cards); and 545-572 (Instructional Resource Guide)

    MathematicsNCSC Instructional Resources for Mathematics
    Teacher binder for Mathematics – Click on the Math link NCSC Instructional Resources for Mathematics, and copy the following pages: 19-43 (Instructional Resources Guide); 98-111 (Graduated Understandings/Instructional Families); and 116-147 (Element Cards)

    For both ELA and Mathematics, print the Graduated Understandings/Instructional Families and Element Cards in color since color bands are used.

    NCSC linking document-ELA
    NCSC linking document-Math
    NCSC Instructional Resource Guide

    Test Coordinators

    2015-16 Mandatory Test Coordinator Training

    NCSC – ELA and Mathematics
    – March 2016 –training modules available Spring 2016. Specific Dates TBD

    AIMS A Science
    – November 6-20, 2015
    You do not need to have a username or password. Click on this link to access the:AIMS A Science Training 2015-16

    Please contact us at (602) 542-8239 or at if you have any questions.

    Parents Technology & WEBINARS

    NCSC Technology Requirements 012714

    NCSC Mega Webinars
    PowerPoint Presentation NCSC ELA Mega Webinar 1-27-14
    To view recorded webinars, install the Go To MeetingCodec at no charge.

    Archived Recording: NCSC ELA Mega Webinar 1-27-14 Archived Recording (You will be prompted to enter your email address to view this recording.)

    Mathematics – NCSC Mega Webinar 12-17-12 PowerPoint Presentation

    CoP (Communities of Practice) Contact Information
    Please contact Audra Ahumada, Director of Alternate Assessment
    by e-mailing the Alternate Assessment inbox
    or at (602) 542-4061