DLM Aligned K-6 Early Literacy Alternate Assessment

About the Assessment

The State of Iowa’s Early Literacy Alternate Assessment – the Dynamic Learning Maps Aligned K-6 Early Alternate Assessment is a yearlong instructionally embedded assessment that includes three assessment windows. The reporting windows mirror the end of the ELI (e.g., FAST) Reporting Windows for students who participate in the general education assessment.

Fall

  • Fall Instructional / Artifact Collection Window – Aug. 30 – Oct. 1, 2021
  • Fall Reporting Window – Sept. 20 – Oct. 1, 2021

Winter

  • Winter Instructional / Artifact Collection Window – Oct. 4, 2021 – Feb. 4, 2022
  • Winter Reporting Window – Jan. 24 – Feb. 4, 2022

Spring

  • Spring Instructional / Artifact Collection Window – Feb. 7 – June 1, 2022
  • Spring Reporting Window – May 16 – June 3, 2022

Teachers are required to enter student performance within the State of Iowa Early Literacy Alternate Assessment (ELAA) online system by the end date of each reporting window.

Clarification on evidence retention for students that participate in the K-6 EL AA: the Iowa Department of Education will not request student evidence beyond the fall of the school year following the school year for which benchmarking was reported. However, districts must keep all data that is educationally relevant for a minimum of five years or until it is no longer educationally relevant, whichever is longer.

District Assessment Preparation Steps: Aug. 16 – Oct. 1, 2021

  1. All teachers complete the required training for the assessments that they will be giving this year. Training is accessible through EdLinks on the Iowa Education Portal.
  2. Buildings are registered in the State of Iowa’s EL AA online system. 
    • In the EL AA system, District Alternate Assessment Coordinators will register themselves and can register their building administrators, or building administrators create their own accounts. District Alternate Assessment Coordinators will enroll teachers after the system opens on August 23, 2021.
    • Directions for creating a user account are found in a tutorial located on the homepage of the EL AA Online system under the support tab.
    • If you are a new district-level contact and need an account set up in the EL AA System, contact Jennifer Denne to have an account created.
    • Teachers are required to have their account created, all students rostered no later than Sept. 15, 2021 and the First Contact Surveys completed before Sept. 30, 2021.

3. Teachers set up accounts in the State of Iowa’s EL AA online system.

4. Teachers roster students in the State of Iowa’s EL AA online system

5. For students in grades K-6 who participate in the Early Literacy Alternate Assessment (EL AA), there will continue to be three screening windows for the school year. Starting in the fall of the 2020-2021 school year, teachers will be required to enter scores for scales 1-4 and scale 6 for the screening/reporting windows.  Scale 5, Writing: Text Types and Purposes, will now be optional.  

The screening data will continue to be a structured portfolio containing three pieces of student evidence for each scale. The three distinct forms of evidence should indicate not that the student mastered a skill in a single way, but instead, the student demonstrated understanding in a variety of ways. The structured portfolio approach provides an accurate picture of students’ abilities to generalize and apply skills in multiple settings and routines.

  1. Based on the Early Literacy Alternate Assessment (EL AA) Screening data, IEP teams must choose a minimum of one scale for monitoring of progress.  In addition, the frequency of monitoring for progress is now required a minimum of once a month. This change has been made to reflect research on the extensive, repeated, and individualized instruction needed for students with significant cognitive disabilities to show growth and generalize skills. This will allow teachers to have the flexibility of when to monitor and record data that closely aligns with each student’s individualized instructional plan. Evidence used for monitoring of progress and screening data should be collected from instructional activities or routines and should not be collected through an assessment event.
  2. The Dynamic Learning Maps Aligned K-6 Early Literacy Alternate Assessment manual and other instructional resources are located through EdLinks on the Iowa Education Portal.

Note: Paraprofessionals/Classroom Associates are allowed to assist in the evidence collection for the Early Literacy Alternate Assessment.

State of Iowa’s Early Literacy Alternate Assessment (ELAA) Online System Support Desk

To request assistance from the State of Iowa’s ELAA Online System Support Desk, district staff will submit a support ticket. Directions for submitting a support ticket are found in a tutorial located on the EL AA Online system homepage under the support tab.

When contacting the Early Literacy Alternate Assessment Online System Support Desk or the Iowa Department of Education for assistance in administering the DLM Aligned K-6 Early Alternate Assessment, the only allowable student information districts may share via email is the student’s state identification number. Do not include the student’s name or date of birth.

Note: 3rd through 6th graders eligible for alternate assessment will participate in BOTH the K-6 early literacy alternate assessment and the DLM.

DLM Aligned K-6 Early Literacy Alternate Assessment