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
MAP-A Responsibilities for School District Personnel (7/11/22) This spreadsheet includes a list of MAP-A responsibilities, deadlines, who should complete the tasks, and where to find more information.
Instructionally Embedded Assessment Process (8/9/19) 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.
Number of Required Testlets (7/20/22) Reference chart to view the number of testlets required per grade and subject to completely cover the Blueprints.
Scoring and Reporting for Data Managers (9/1/19) 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.
Translation Guide -- Enrollment (7/27/22) This spreadsheet provides guidance to the user on how to complete the DLM CSV enrollment template to upload students for enrollment. Find the template at under Enrollment.
Translation Guide -- Roster (7/27/22) This spreadsheet provides guidance to the user on how to complete the DLM CSV roster template to upload students to create rosters. Find the template at under Roster.
Translation Guide -- User (7/27/22) This spreadsheet provides guidance to the user on how to complete the DLM CSV user template to upload teachers and other Educator Portal users. Find the template at under User.

MAP-A Eligibility



Manual Description Updated
Accessibility Manual (ADA compliant) This manual provides guidance in the selection and use of the accessibility supports available in the DLM Alternate Assessment System. 7/1/22
Assessment Coordinator Manual (ADA compliant) This manual provides assessment coordinators (MDTCs) with information to support data managers, technology personnel, and test administrators (teachers) to prepare for assessment. MDTCs serve as the main point of contact for DESE, RPDCs, DLM Service Desk, and district educators. 7/1/22
Data Management Manual This manual provides data managers information to upload users, and enroll and roster students. 8/2/22
Educator Portal User Guide  This guide provides teachers, MDTCs, and data managers with step-by-step instruction to manage student information and access reports. 8/2/22
Facilitator Guide to Required Test Administrator Training (ADA compliant) This guide provides assistance to trainers in preparing and delivering training to teachers who must take the Required Training. 8/2/22
Guide to DLM Required Test Administrator Training (ADA compliant) This guide provides teachers information to study to pass the Required Training. 8/2/22
Guide to Practice Activities & Released Testlets This guide provides educators and students with practice activities and released testlets to prepare for the two testing windows. 8/2/21
Parent Portal User Guide for District Staff This guide provides MDTCs instructions to use the Parent Portal. 8/2/22
Parent Portal User Guide for Parents This guide provides parents instructions to help them access their student’s Individual Student Score Reports. 8/2/22
Technology Specifications Manual (ADA compliant) This manual provides technology personnel with knowledge and tools to manage the assessment. 8/2/22
Test Administration Manual (ADA compliant) This manual provides teachers with knowledge and tools needed to prepare for and administer the assessment. 8/2/22



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
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 District Test Coordinator Training

MAP-A DTC Training Script

This PowerPoint and script explain the duties of the MAP-A District Test Coordinator, including how to pull Individual Student Reports, add users to Educator Portal, enroll students, roster students, and monitor testing progress.

MAP-A Teacher Training PowerPoint

MAP-A Teacher Training Script

This PowerPoint and script explain the duties of the MAP-A teacher, including preparing for required training, instruction, and testing.
District Staff Training for Educator Portal View training for District Test Coordinators, Data Managers and Technology Directors
Teacher Training for Educator Portal View short videos on features and procedures in Educator Portal for Instructionally Embedded States
Teacher Training on DLM Content View suggested teaching lessons for MAP-A students organized by claim or domain.
Professional Development Tracking Sheet  Check-off sheet with DLM Professional Development trainings listed.
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
Parent Information

Parent Information

Explanation of the MAP-A Program:


Individual Student Report Information:

Remote Learning:


Important Dates

Dates Event
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