Superintendent’s Memo #039-15

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

February 27, 2015

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Continued Use of the Virginia Alternate Assessment Program (VAAP) in 2015-2016

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has decided that Virginia school divisions will continue to administer and score the Virginia Alternate Assessment Program (VAAP) in 2015 -2016. The VAAP is an evidence-based alternate assessment available to eligible students with significant cognitive disabilities who are working on academic standards that have been reduced in depth and complexity.

Over the past several years, VDOE has explored the use of the Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM), an online alternate assessment, as a replacement for the VAAP in the content areas of reading, writing, and mathematics. Many Virginia school divisions supported this exploration by participating in DLM pilot tests, field tests, and a variety of professional development activities. Based on feedback from school divisions, conversations with other states and communication with DLM staff, VDOE has decided not to participate in the operational administration of DLM in 2015- 2016.

If you have questions, please contact the student assessment staff by e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 225-2102.