Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Updates to DLM Assessment Options

Memo Information

Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Learning Services
Regulatory Authority
Response Required
Federal Programs; Assistant Superintendent; Principals; Technology Coordinators; Test Coordinators; Teachers; Curriculum Coordinators; Equity Coordinators (Disability/Race/Gender/National Origin); Data Stewards (SIS; eSchool; eFinance; TRIAND); District Coordinators (ALE; Homeless; ESOL; SDFS & Foster); Parent Involvement Coordinators/Facilitators

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Secondary Contact/s Information

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Memo Text

The Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) is the Arkansas Alternate Assessment for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. Arkansas uses the instructionally embedded model of DLM, which means that the testlets are administered throughout the school year and are embedded into the student’s instruction. The instructionally embedded model of DLM allows teachers to adjust the complexity level of testlets based on student need. In this way, teachers may assess student learning and provide additional instruction based on assessment results. The assessment may then positively impact instruction for each student.  


The testlets are designed to be given throughout the testing window following each corresponding unit of instruction.


For fall 2020, there are two options for testing students who are eligible for DLM and are receiving instruction remotely:

  1. Students participating solely in virtual instruction may be transported to their local district for DLM testing during the regular school hours. 
  2. If a parent or guardian is unwilling to have the student test at the school during regular school hours, districts may choose to offer testing at school outside the regular school hours. 

These options are available for the fall 2020 testing window which is open from September 14 to December 18. 


Every effort should be made to test students receiving virtual instruction within the fall instructionally embedded window.  If all options have been exhausted and a testing arrangement cannot be reached with the family of the student receiving virtual instruction, the district should document all options offered and the testing decision. DESE has developed a sample documentation form to support districts with decision making. This form is only for example and is not required; it may be modified to meet the needs of the district. Completed forms should not be sent to DESE.  


For DTCs: A new Special Circumstance code, 20203 - Student could not test due to COVID-19, will be available and may be used when a testing arrangement cannot be reached for students receiving virtual instruction; this code is specific to DLM.



Recording: DLM Assessment Options Fall 2020

Slides: DLM Assessment Options Fall 2020

Sample documentation form (not required)



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