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Office of Academics and Assessment

Statewide assessments support student learning and measure students' academic achievement

New Hampshire Department of Education Assessment Policy and Procedures Manual - The purpose of this manual is to provide districts and schools with guidance regarding the policies and procedures pertaining to the federal and statewide assessment programs in the State of New Hampshire. Please refer to this manual for guidance on assessment requirements, accommodations, test security and assessment monitoring.

New Hampshire's federal accountability plan provides information on statewide accountability and improvement, educator support, student success, and assistance to our most at-risk youths: New Hampshire Consolidated State Plan


New Hampshire Statewide Assessment Systems

Annually, New Hampshire school districts and public charter schools are required by state law (RSA 193-C) and federal accountability laws (Every Student Succeeds Act) to assess students using a standardized assessment. Several assessments, outlined below, are utilized in order to comply with these requirements.

Statewide assessments are an important part of a student’s core educational program by providing:

  • An evaluation of student mastery of content and skills in various academic areas
  • Serve as one tool for measuring the degree to which students are on track to graduate high school and are college- and career-ready
  • Help inform future instruction in the classroom

Along with student work on classroom assignments, projects, essays and local assessments, state assessment results give teachers, parents, and the community important information about where students are on their path toward academic success.

Participation Requirements

General Guidelines: If the student is able to receive instruction, then he/she is able to participate in the statewide assessment. It is the responsibility of the district to provide timely notification to the parents/guardians of students which statewide assessment will be administered and the timeline for administration.

All students, including students with disabilities and English Learners, are required to participate in all NH statewide assessments scheduled for their grade, including:

  • Students enrolled in public schools
  • Students enrolled in public charter schools
  • Students enrolled in virtual schools
  • Students enrolled in private special education schools (located within and outside New Hampshire)
  • Students receiving educational services in institutional settings
  • Students in the custody of the NH Division of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF)

All students must participate in grade-level tests that correspond with the grade in which they are reported in the Department’s i4see management system. Statewide assessments are not a graduation requirement.


New Hampshire Statewide Assessment System (NHSAS)

New Hampshire students participate in the NH SAS, the general statewide assessment, for English language arts (ELA), mathematics and science in the following grades and content areas:

  • Grades 3-8 students are assessed in English language arts and mathematics
  • Grades 5, 8 and 11 students are assessed in science
  • Grade 11 students also participate in the College Board SAT School Day with Essay

NH SAS Resources

NH SAS Technical Reports 2018-19

Dynamic Learning Maps® (DLM®)

In New Hampshire, students with the most significant disabilities are assessed in English Language Arts (ELA), mathematics and science using Dynamic Learning Maps alternate assessment:

  • Grades 3-8 and 11 students are assessed in English language arts and mathematics
  • Grades 5, 8 and 11 students are assessed in science
  • DLM Resources

The DLM alternate assessment is computer-based and designed to measure what students with significant cognitive disabilities know and can do. Students with significant cognitive disabilities participate in the alternate assessment, whose participation in the general statewide assessment, even with accommodations, is not appropriate.The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team determines how a student will participate in the statewide assessment. For guidance on decision making, please see Accessibility and Accommodations for Students with Disabilities below.


SAT School Day

New Hampshire students in grade 11 participate in the College Board state-provided SAT with Essay, as the general statewide assessment, for English language arts and mathematics.

Advanced Placement (AP)

The NHDOE and College Board will cover the entire cost of the 2021 AP exam fees for students from low-income families who attend public schools in New Hampshire. The AP coordinators will indicate a student’s low income status in the APRO site.

Please visit the College Board’s AP Central for more information.


ACCESS 2.0 for English Language Learners (ELLs)®

ACCESS 2.0 is New Hampshire's language proficiency assessment for Kindergarten - Grade 12 students who have been identified as English language learners (ELLs). Federal law requires that all ELL students who qualify for English language proficiency services participate in the ACCESS 2.0 annually until the student achieves the exit criteria set by the State.

Performance Assessment of Competency Education (PACE)

New Hampshire has operated the Performance Assessment for Competency Education (PACE) as a federally approved pilot program since 2015 under a special waiver from the United States Department of Education.

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is also commonly known as "the Nation's Report Card," and is conducted at both the state and national level. This assessment has been focusing on what America's students know and are capable of doing in various subject areas by testing representative samples of students in grades 4, 8, and 12 in public and nonpublic schools since 1969.

To review NAEP results for New Hampshire schools, please go to the Bureau of Educational Statistics


Accessibility and Accommodations

Students with Disabilities

Individualized Education Plan (IEP) teams have the responsibility of making instructional and assessment decisions for each student with a disability. A student's Individual Education Program (IEP) team, reviews guidance found in the Accommodations and Alternate Assessment Decision Making Worksheet for Participation of Students with Disabilities in Statewide Assessments to make the decision if a student will participate in the DLM Alternate Assessment or general assessment (NH SAS and/or SAT). Only students with a significant cognitive disability participate in the alternate assessment.


English Language Learners

Students enrolled in a United States school for less than 12 months and identified as active English Learners, based on the WIDA Screener, are not required to take the statewide assessments (NHSAS, SAT or DLM). First year status is identified in the i4see system; therefore, a special exemption form is not required.


Exemptions

New Hampshire state law permits a parent/legal guardian to exempt their student from participating in any of the required statewide assessments. School districts must ensure a form is provided for a parent/legal guardian to complete and sign in order to exempt their student from participating in the statewide assessment. A school district may use this exemption form template; Spanish version of exemption form template

If a parent/legal guardian exempts their student, the school district and parent must agree upon an alternative educational activity during the testing period. It is recommended that the agreed upon activity is written on the exemption form that will be signed by the parent/legal guardian and school administrator, along with an acknowledgement statement that the exempted student will not receive an individual score or summary of academic performance based on the statewide assessment.