DESE supports you as you continue to focus on the health and well-being of your students; find innovative ways to continue teaching and learning; and provide as much normalcy as possible for students, faculty and staff. Refer to the DESE-related COVID-19 webpage for links to useful information. If you have questions about assessment, send them to or call 573-751-3545.

The Missouri Assessment Program-Alternate Assessment (MAP-A) is administered to students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who meet grade level and eligibility criteria that are determined by the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) team using DESE-established eligibility criteria. No student may be tested outside of his or her assigned grade level.

If the MAP-A assessment is given to more than 1% of the total tested population (per content area), the district must provide justification for exceeding the 1% participation rule for Special Education Compliance monitoring purposes.

The MAP-A achievement standards are aligned with Missouri's Learning Standards, and students who take the MAP-A Assessment do not participate in Grade-Level, End-of-Course, or the ACT Assessments. MAP-A uses the Dynamic Learning Map (DLM®) instructionally embedded assessment model.

The MAP-A is administered by educators in three content areas:

  • English language arts in grades 3-8 and 11
  • Mathematics in grades 3-8 and 11
  • Science in grades 5, 8 and 11

NOTE: Districts may wish to also administer the MAP-A ELA and Math assessments to students in grade 9 and 10 (plus 12 for ELA); the Science assessment in grades 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 12 for local assessment use. Please refer to Form E.

The Dynamic Learning Maps® (DLM®) alternate assessment project offers an innovative way for all students with significant cognitive disabilities to demonstrate their learning throughout the school year via the DLM Alternate Assessment System (see By integrating assessment with instruction during the year and providing a year-end assessment, the DLM system aligns student learning with college and career readiness standards in English language arts, mathematics and science.

The DLM system is accessible by students with significant cognitive disabilities, including those who have hearing/visual disabilities, and/or neuromuscular or orthopedic motor disabilities. Assessments produced by the DLM consortium are flexible. They allow for the use of common assistive technologies in addition to keyboard and mouse and touch-screen technology.

Important Dates

Dates Event
February 01, 2021 to June 15, 2021 MAP-A Spring 2021 Required Instructionally Embedded Window
DUE August 06, 2021 MAP-A Spring 2021 Electronic Individual Student Reports (ISRs) And Rosters Available
September 13, 2021 to December 17, 2021 MAP-A Fall 2021 Required Instructionally Embedded Window
February 07, 2022 to May 20, 2022 MAP-A Spring 2022 Required Instructionally Embedded Window
September 12, 2022 to December 16, 2022 MAP-A Fall 2022 Required Instructionally Embedded Window
February 06, 2023 to May 19, 2023 MAP-A Spring 2023 Required Instructionally Embedded Window


Administration Resources

Resource Description
Best Practices Timeline for MAP-A District Test Coordinators (9/4/20) A Timeline Guide of duties for the Alternate Assessment program for use by MAP-A District Test Coordinators.
Best Practices Timeline for MAP-A Teachers (9/3/20) A best practices timeline for teachers to guide the administration of the MAP-A testlets.
Enrollment Translation Guide (8/27/20) This document guides the data manager on how to complete the enrollment template (download the most recent from DLM under the Templates tab) to enroll students via uploading.
Instructionally Embedded Assessment Process This is an overview of the Instructionally Embedded assessment used for the MAP-A program, the steps to use this process, the reports that are generated and additional resources to learn more.
Navigator Description Information brief on the ATLAS grant proposal to design a new model for writing instruction

Performance Level Descriptors

A description of a student’s typical behavior for each level of academic performance
School District Letter Template Sample letter language to ATLAS to indicate district commitment to pilot the online writing system
Scoring and Reporting for Data Managers A guide that explains the individual student score reports and group results provided by Dynamic Learning Maps to local administrators such as principals and superintendents.
Technical Requirements KITE Suite Requirements: screens, platforms and browsers.
User Upload Translation Guide (8/15/19)

This Excel translation guide provides directions to DTCs on how to upload inactive Educator Portal users who need to be reactivated. Please type on and upload a User Upload Template from in the Templates tab. 


MAP-A Eligibility



Manual Description Updated
Accessibility Manual Provides guidance on selection and use of accessibility features. 7/1//20
Assessment Coordinator Manual Supports preparation of district and school staff for testing. 7/1/20
Data Management Manual Supports data managers with managing user, student, and roster data in Educator Portal 7/31/20
Educator Portal User Guide  Provides guidance and support for users navigating Educator Portal. 8/5/20
Facilitator Guide to Required Test Administrator Training Supports facilitators for DLM required test administration training. 7/15/20
Guide to Required Test Administrator Training Helps users access DLM required test administration training. 7/15/20
Guide to Practice Activities & Released Testlets IM Allows teachers to see the format of testlets prior to testing students. 7/27/20
Technology Specifications Manual Supports technology personnel in preparing schools for DLM assessment. 7/20/20
Test Administration Manual Supports teachers who give the MAP-A testlets. 7/23/20




Similar to a blueprint for a building, a test blueprint serves as a guide for test construction and content areas covered to guide educators’ instruction on the Essential Elements.

Blueprint Description
English Language Arts English Language Arts Blueprint
Mathematics Mathematics Blueprint
Science Science Blueprint

DLM Resources

ELA Resources
Math Resources
Science Resources

Information for Parents

Resource Description

Understanding Your Child’s Individual Student Score Report

Parent Notification Letter Letter to inform parents that their child will be participating in the alternate assessment

Performance Level Descriptors 

A description of a student’s typical behavior for each level of academic performance

Other Resources

Resource Notes
Foundational Maps A skill web that shows different paths a student might take to learn new academic skills
Guide To Foundational Maps Guide To The Foundational Area Of The Learning Map
Using Kite Collector for DLM Test Observations Instructions for observations to provide anonymous information to the consortium for evaluating the process of administering assessments, making improvements and providing validity.
Kite Collector Questions Observations provide anonymous information about how DLM testlets are delivered to help the consortium evaluate the process of administering assessments and to inform improvements.
Chart of Required # Testlets  Reference chart to view the number of testlets required per grade and subject to completely cover the Blueprints.
Closing Kite Student Portal on a Mac  Closing Kite Student Portal on a Mac computer via the red circle button will lead to an error message. Please close with exit features.
Submitting Student Writing Samples In Educator Portal The process for uploading writing samples in Kite® Educator Portal has been updated for the spring 2021 writing sample collections.




Resource Description
Facilitator Guide to Required Test Administrator Training (7/15/20) This guide helps trainers prepare teachers for the DLM required test administrator training in Moodle
Required Teacher Training Site Visit the former Moodle, now called Training Courses, to take the online required Test Administrator training
District Level Training Videos View training for District Test Coordinators, Data Managers and Technology Directors
ELA and Math Teacher Training Videos View information about the Blueprints, Essential Elements, professional development, glossary, familiar texts, writing, collection lists and sample TIPs
Science Teacher Training Videos View Essential Elements, collection lists, sample TIPs and instructional activities 
Assessments and Instructional Planner See “Using the Instruction and Assessment Planner (4:49)” and “Overview of the Instructionally Embedded Assessments (18:10)” to learn how to use the tool that is replacing Instructional Tools Interface (opens for use 9/9)
Professional Development View Helplets on teaching lessons and/or click on the link to view Modules of lessons organized by claim or domain
Self-Directed Learning Modules Check Off Sheet  Use this list of self-directed professional development modules to track one’s training
Guide to DLM Required Test Administrator Training 2020-2021 (7/15/20) This guide helps teachers learn about the Dynamic Learning Maps required administrator training called Training Courses (formerly called Moodle)
Educator Resources Helplets View short videos to learn features and procedures in Educator Portal


Home Learning

MAP-A Home Learning