Superintendent's Memo #301-10

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

December 10, 2010

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Nominations for 2011 Virginia Modified Achievement Standards Test (VMAST) Reading Item Support Committees

As announced in Superintendent's Memorandum No. 114-10, May 14, 2010, the Virginia Modified Achievement Standards Test (VMAST) will be implemented in Virginia public schools over the next two years. The VMAST is an alternate assessment designed for students with disabilities identified under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEIA) who are instructed in grade level content, but are not likely to achieve proficiency in the same time frame as their nondisabled peers. The VMAST will provide eligible students with access to online assessments in reading and mathematics that include research-based supports and simplifications identified by Virginia educators.

VMAST reading assessments will be available for eligible students with disabilities in grades 3 through 8 and End-of-Course English: Reading beginning in 2012-2013. A large scale field test of VMAST reading assessments will be conducted in spring 2012. The VMAST mathematics assessments will be available for eligible students in grades 3 through 8 and Algebra I beginning in 2011-2012. Mathematics assessments will be field tested in spring 2011.

In preparation for the spring 2012 field test of VMAST reading items, the Office of Test Administration, Scoring, and Reporting is accepting nominations for the 2011 VMAST Reading Item Support Review Committees. The purpose of the committees is to identify supports and simplifications that may be applied to items to make them more accessible for students identified as eligible for VMAST. Approximately 12 educators with expertise and experience in reading and/or special education who provide instruction and/or supervision for students with disabilities will be selected to serve on each of the three committees. School divisions are encouraged to nominate one or more representatives.

The committee meetings will be conducted March 22-23, 2011, in Richmond, Virginia as follows:

Committee members will be chosen based on the following criteria:

Committee members will be provided the following:

Members selected for the 2011 VMAST Reading Item Support Committees will be expected to sign a Non-disclosure\Conflict of Interest Agreement.

All nominees must submit an application through the Web-based Assessment Committee Application Processing System (ACAPS). The Web-based application process requires a professional reference and division-level approval. Procedures for submitting the application are available at Completed applications should be submitted to the Virginia Department of Education using ACAPS by February 4, 2011.

If you have questions, please contact the student assessment staff by e-mail at or call (804) 225-2102.