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Overview of Huntsville City Schools - ALSDE Assessments

ACT WorkKeys – Grade 12

ACT WorkKeys is a job skills assessment system that helps employers select, hire, train, develop, and retain a high-performance workforce. This series of tests measures foundational and soft skills and offers specialized assessments to target institutional needs.

  • As part of ACT's Work Readiness System, ACT WorkKeys has helped millions of people in high schools, colleges, professional associations, businesses, and government agencies build their skills to increase global competitiveness and develop successful career pathways.

  • Successful completion of ACT WorkKeys assessments in Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information can lead to earning ACT's National Career Readiness Certificate (ACT NCRC), an ACT WorkKeys assessments measure the cognitive and non-cognitive skills needed for success in the workforce. Students take the Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information, and Locating Information tests.  Based on the scores attained on the three assessments, students may be eligible to earn a Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum Certificate. 

  • Visit for more information portable credential earned by more than 2.3 million people across the United States.

ACT Plus Writing – Grade 11

The ACT is the capstone of ACT College and Career Readiness Solutions, and it is aligned to Alabama's College and Career Readiness Standards. The ACT with Writing is administered to all Grade 11 students enrolled in Alabama public high schools. The ACT  

  • Is accepted by all four-year colleges and universities in the United States;

  • Has been approved for use in No Child Left Behind and Annual Yearly Progress accountability;

  • Will enable school and district leaders to track student performance with aggregate and standards-based reporting past high school classes;

  • Will be used as an instructional improvement program statewide to improve the college and career readiness of Alabama students;

  • Will raise college awareness and exposure among all students, rather than just self-selected, college-bound students now that it is administered statewide; and

  • Will provide user-friendly information about how ACT tests align with state standards.

  • The ACT Individual High School Reports are excellent tools that can be used by counselors and teachers as they assist students in preparing for their futures. Educators will know the students' educational strengths and weaknesses, areas of need, college plans, and career interests. Teachers and administrators will use the ACT Profile Report in intervention, curriculum review, course planning, collaboration, and professional development.

  • For more information, visit

ACCESS for ELLs – K – Grade 12

ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 is a secure large-scale English language proficiency assessment anchored in the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards and administered to students in Grades K-12 who have been identified as English language learners (ELs). It is given annually in Alabama and is used to monitor EL students' progress in acquiring academic English within the school context, as well as language associated with language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies across four domains of Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing     

Primary Purposes:

  • Generates results that serve as a criterion to aid in determining when ELs have attained the language proficiency needed to participate meaningfully in content area classrooms without program support and on state academic content tests without accommodations.

  • Provides information that can be used to enhance instruction and learning for ELs.

  • Provides districts with information that will aid in evaluating the effectiveness of their English as a Second Language (ESL)/bilingual programs.

  • Used as a criterion for determining when an EL student will exit from the ESL program.  Exit criteria is a 4.8 composite score. Once this score is achieved, students will no longer receive ESL services and will be placed on monitoring status for two academic years.

  • Provides data to study changes in performance over time.

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs 

This is a performance-based assessment developed specifically for English learners (ELs) in Grades 1-12 with significant cognitive disabilities. 

Participation Criteria:

  • Student must be classified as an EL.

  • Student must be identified as eligible for special education services as a student with a significant cognitive disability.

  • Student must be participating in an alternate curriculum and in the Alabama Alternate Assessment (AAA).

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AAA Grade 3 – 12

The Alabama Alternate Assessment (AAA) is a criterion-referenced state assessment administered as an alternate to the general education state assessment. The AAA is administered to students with significant cognitive disabilities working on the Alabama Extended Standards in the areas of reading, English language arts, and mathematics in Grades 3-8 and 10 and science in Grades 5, 7, and 10.

The AAA is designed with four levels of complexity and three levels of assistance selected by the teacher based on the student's abilities to complete a task. During the school year, the teacher provides instruction on all extended standards for the subjects to be assessed according to the student's grade-level and collects pieces of evidence reflective of the student's performance. Three pieces of evidence per extended content standard are selected as the student's portfolio, and the evidence is scored using the AAA Rubric:

  • Alignment to the extended standard;

  • Complexity of the extended content standard;

  • Level of assistance; and

  • Mastery of content.


Testing Schedule

The HCS testing schedule can be viewed, downloaded, or prinited from the schedule sheet below.  


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