Dynamic Learning Maps Alternate Assessment
Participation Guidance
Students must participate in the state assessment through one of the following:
the regular state assessment for the student’s grade, without accommodations,
the regular state assessment for the student’s grade, with accommodations, or
the alternate state assessment for the student’s grade.
Who is eligible to take the DLM Alternate Assessment?
The alternate assessment is intended for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.
These students have intellectual functioning well below average (typically associated with an IQ
below 55) that exists concurrently with impairments or deficits in adaptive functioning (i.e.
communications, self-care, home living, social/interpersonal skills, use of community resources,
self-directions, functional academic skills, work leisure, health and safety). The reference to
"typically associated with an IQ of below 55" is to help distinguish between students with
cognitive disabilities and significant cognitive disabilities from students with the most significant
cognitive disabilities. This means that many students with cognitive disabilities will not qualify
for the DLM Alternate Assessment. By default, they must take our regular state assessment with
or without accommodations. The inclusion of the words "typically associated with" allows for
some district/school flexibility. It is by no means an absolute requirement.
Students taking the alternate assessment may be identified under a variety of educational
categories, including cognitive disabilities (mental retardation), autism, multiple disabilities, and
traumatic brain injury.
Who is not eligible for consideration to take the DLM Alternate Assessment?
Students who strictly have academic, language, social/emotional, physical or sensory disabilities
without co-occurring intellectual functioning well below average.
Dynamic Learning Maps Participation Guidelines
As determined by the IEP, students with the most significant cognitive disabilities may take the
DLM if participation in the state’s regular assessments is not appropriate, even with
accommodations, and they meet all of the criteria below.
Participation Criteria Participation Criterion Descriptors Yes No
Reason(s) for Yes or No
1. The student has a
cognitive disability.
Review of student records indicate a disability
or multiple disabilities that significantly impact
intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior.
*Adaptive behavior is defined as essential for
someone to live independently and to function
safely in daily life.
2. The student’s
instruction is linked
to grade level
content and
reflective of the
Common Core
Essential Elements.
Goals and instruction listed in the IEP for this
student are linked to the enrolled grade level
Common Core Essential Elements and address
knowledge and skills that are appropriate and
challenging for this student.
3. The student
requires extensive
instruction and
substantial supports
to achieve
measureable gains
in the grade-and
The student:
requires extensive, repeated,
individualized instruction and support
that is not of a temporary or transient
nature and
uses substantially adapted materials and
individualized methods of accessing
information in alternative ways to
acquire, maintain, generalize,
demonstrate and transfer skills across
multiple settings.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The IEP team’s decision that a student will take the DLM cannot be
based on the following factors; however, the existence of one or more of these factors does not
prevent a student from taking the DLM if they meet the other participation criteria:
The student’s achievement is significantly below that of same-age peers, even when
compared to other students with disabilities.
The student has an IEP.
The student has a certain special education eligibility label or receives certain services.
The student has excessive or extensive absences.
The student has social, cultural, or economic differences.
The student has English Language Learner (ELL) status.
The student may not perform well on the regular assessment.
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