DESE supports educators and parents as we 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, please 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.

Missouri uses the Instructionally Embedded Assessment Model for ELA and math; and the Year End Assessment Model for science.


Administration Resources

Resource Description
Best Practices Timeline for MAP-A District Test Coordinators (8/9/21) 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 (8/9/21) A best practices timeline for teachers to guide the administration of the MAP-A testlets.
Enrollment Translation Guide (9/20/21) 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.
Roster Translation Guide This document guides the data manager on how to complete the roster template (download the most recent from DLM) to roster large numbers of students. (10/1/21)
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.
User Upload Translation Guide (8/9/21)

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  (ADA compliant) Provides guidance on selection and use of accessibility features. 7/1//21
Assessment Coordinator Manual  (ADA compliant) Supports preparation of district and school staff for testing. 7/1/21
Data Management Manual Supports data managers with managing user, student, and roster data in Educator Portal 8/25/21
Educator Portal User Guide  Provides guidance and support for users navigating Educator Portal. 8/5/21
Facilitator Guide to Required Test Administrator Training  (ADA compliant) Supports facilitators for DLM required test administration training. 7/15/21
Guide to Required Test Administrator Training  (ADA compliant) Helps users access DLM required test administration training. 7/15/21
Guide to Practice Activities & Released Testlets IM Allows teachers to see the format of testlets prior to testing students. 8/2/21
Parent Portal User Guide for District Staff Kite® Parent Portal is an application that parents/guardians can use to electronically access their child’s Individual Student Score Reports. These score reports are available for each year in which a student was assessed in a spring assessment window using the Dynamic Learning Maps® alternate assessment. Making Parent Portal available to parents/guardians is a district-by-district decision, and the state and district are responsible for establishing and maintaining all parent connections in Educator Portal. Only the Educator Portal roles of State Assessment Administrator, District Test Coordinator, and District Users have access to the Parents’ page in Educator Portal. 8/23/21
Parent Portal User Guide for Parents Parent Portal was designed to give access to view your child’s current and historical Dynamic Learning Maps® (DLM®) end-of-year score reports. This user guide contains procedures to help you log in and navigate through the site to access your student’s available reports. 8/23/21
Technology Specifications Manual  (ADA compliant) Supports technology personnel to prepare devices for the technology needs of the DLM assessment. 7/20/21
Test Administration Manual  (ADA compliant) Supports teachers who give the MAP-A testlets. 7/26/21



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 Blueprint English Language Arts for Instructionally Embedded Model (08/04/2020)
Mathematics Blueprint Mathematics for Instructionally Embedded Model (08/04/2020)
Science Blueprint Science Phase I – General (08/18/2020)

Essential Elements

Essential Elements for English Language Arts
Essential Elements for Mathematics
Essential Elements for Science
Tested Essential Elements for English Language Arts
View the nodes at each linkage level and a mini-map showing the pathways between the nodes
Tested Essential Elements for Mathematics
View the nodes at each linkage level and a mini-map showing the pathways between the nodes
Tested Essential Elements for Science
View the nodes at each linkage level and a mini-map showing the pathways between the nodes

Performance Level Descriptions

Other Resources

Resource Notes
Chart of Required # Testlets  Reference chart to view the number of testlets required per grade and subject to completely cover the Blueprints.
DLM® Field Test FAQ This document explains how field testing will occur in the 2021–2022 school year for Instructionally Embedded model states.
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.
Kite Collector Use 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.
Student Portal Closure Procedure 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 (1/28/22)

Instructions for uploading writing samples in Kite® Educator Portal for writing sample collections.



Resource Description

MAP-A DTC Orientation

Alternate Assessment Orientation for DTCs (9/2/21)
    - Script for Orientation 

Alternate Assessment Presentation on Pulling Reports (10/14/21)
    - Script for Pulling Reports 

DLM District and Building Administrator Training (1/14/22)
    - Script for DLM District and Building Training 

Alternate Assessment Mid-Year Details (1/27/22)
    - Script for Mid-Year Details


This PowerPoint explains the duties of the MAP-A District Test Coordinator.
    - This Word document is the script to accompany the PowerPoint posted above.

Learn how to pull test monitoring reports in Educator Portal.
    - This Word document is the script to accompany the PowerPoint posted above.

This presentation provides an overview of the DLM alternate assessment program.
    - This Word document is the script to accompany the PowerPoint posted above.

Prepare for the spring 2022 testing window by reviewing mid-year details.
    - This Word document is the script to accompany the PowerPoint posted above.

District Staff Training Videos View training for District Test Coordinators, Data Managers and Technology Directors
Educator Resource Videos View short videos on features and procedures in Educator Portal for Instructionally Embedded States
Facilitator Guide to Required Test Administrator Training (7/15/21) This guide helps trainers prepare teachers for the DLM required test administrator training in Moodle
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)

MAP-A New Teacher Orientation

MAP-A Teacher Orientation of DESE Webpage(9/1/21)
    - Script for DESE Orientation 

MAP-A Teacher Orientation of DLM Webpage(9/1/21)
    - Script for DLM Orientation

These PowerPoint presentations and their scripts provide training on the DESE and DLM websites for the Alternate (MAP-A) Assessment program.

Professional Development View Helplets on teaching lessons and/or click on the link to view Modules of lessons organized by claim or domain
Required Teacher Training Site Visit the login page for the former Moodle, now called Training Courses, to take the online required Test Administrator training
Score Report Videos View videos explaining Individual Student Score report content and use for Instructionally Embedded States
Self-Directed Learning Modules Check Off Sheet  Use this list of self-directed professional development modules to track one’s training
Parent Information

Parent Information

MAP-A Home Learning

Important Dates

Dates Event
August 17, 2021 to December 17, 2021 MAP-A Spring 2021 Electronic Individual Student Reports (ISRs) will be posted in Educator Portal
September 13, 2021 to December 17, 2021 MAP-A Fall 2021 Required Instructionally Embedded Window (the planner is closed until 2/7/22)
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