Superintendent’s Memo No. 218-14

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

August 15, 2014

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Professional Development Activities for Dynamic Learning Maps Assessments in 2014-2015

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide school division staff with an update on Virginia’s involvement in the Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) assessment system. DLM is a multistate consortium led by the University of Kansas to develop online alternate assessments in reading, writing, and mathematics for students with significant cognitive disabilities. As stated in Superintendent’s Memo #052-14 dated February 28, 2014, Virginia school divisions will not participate in the DLM operational assessments scheduled to begin in the 2014-2015 school year. Virginia school divisions will continue to participate in the Virginia Alternate Assessment Program in 2014-2015.

Although Virginia school divisions will not participate in the DLM operational assessments in 2014-2015, participation in DLM operational assessments remains under consideration for 2015-2016 and beyond. To this end, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has developed a plan of professional development activities to familiarize teachers of students with significant cognitive disabilities with all aspects of the DLM system and assessments. Professional development opportunities will be available beginning in the 2014-2015 school year and will include:

School divisions are encouraged to consider awarding recertification points to teachers who satisfactorily complete professional development activities under this plan. The Division of Student Assessment and School Improvement and the Division of Special Education and Student Services will provide school divisions with specific timelines and materials for the 2014-2015 DLM professional development activities in a separate communication.

If you have questions regarding the DLM assessments, please contact the student assessment staff at Student_Assessment@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 225-2102 or Deborah Johnson in the Division of Special Education and Student Services at Deborah.Johnson@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 371-2725.

SRS/SLR/cd