Alternative Assessments

The Virginia Alternate Assessment Program (VAAP) is designed to evaluate the performance of students with significant cognitive disabilities who are working on academic standards that have been reduced in complexity and depth. This content is derived from the Standards of Learning (SOL) and is referred to as the Aligned Standards of Learning (ASOL). Students in grades 3 - 8 who are participating in the VAAP are required to submit evidence in the same subject areas as required of their non-disabled peers in the same grade level. High School students participating in the VAAP are required to submit evidence in reading, writing, mathematics, science, history/social sciences by the end of their completion of grade 11. 

The Virginia Substitute Evaluation Program (VSEP) is an alternative method of assessing students who by the nature of their disability are unable to participate in the Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments even with testing accommodations. The VSEP provides eligible students with the opportunity to earn the requisite verified credits for a standard or advanced studies diploma or to meet the requirements of a modified standard diploma through non-traditional means.

The Virginia Grade Level Alternative (VGLA) is available for students in grades 3 through 8 as an alternative assessment for the Standards of Learning (SOL) testing. Students who qualify to participate in the VGLA are required to demonstrate individual achievement of grade-level content standards as presented in the SOL test blueprint for the academic content area in which they are being assessed. The VGLA is only available to eligible students with disabilities and eligible students with limited English proficiency.

The Virginia Modified Achievement Standards Test (VMAST) is designed for students with disabilities who are learning grade-level content but cannot fairly be held to the same achievement standards as their nondisabled classmates. Items on the VMAST include supports and simplified items not available to students who take SOL tests in reading and mathematics.

VMAST mathematics assessments for grades 3-8 and Algebra I will be introduced during 2011-2012. VMAST reading assessments in grades 3-8 and high school will be introduced the following year. A time table has not been established yet for phasing out use of the VGLA for writing, history and science.