Superintendent’s Memo #052-14

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

February 28, 2014

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Assessment of Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities in 2014-2015

Over the past four years, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has been a part of the Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) multi-state consortium to develop online alternate assessments in reading, writing, and mathematics for students with significant cognitive disabilities. The first operational administration of the DLM assessments will be in 2014-2015.

The VDOE has decided not to participate in the operational administration of DLM in 2014-2015. Participation in the DLM assessments in 2015-2016 and beyond is still under consideration.  However, for 2014-2015, Virginia school divisions will continue to administer and score the Virginia Alternate Assessment Program (VAAP).

Field testing in reading and mathematics for the DLM assessments is underway; however, field testing in writing will not occur until 2014-2015.  Divisions participating in the DLM reading and mathematics field tests are encouraged to continue with current field testing as planned.

The Division of Student Assessment and School Improvement and the Division of Special Education and Student Services will notify local school divisions as information becomes available regarding the DLM writing field test and other DLM updates.  If you have questions regarding the DLM assessments, please contact the student assessment staff at Student_Assessment or (804) 225-2102 or Deborah Johnson at or (804) 371-2725.