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District Assessment

Illinois Assessment of Readiness 

The Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) is the state assessment and accountability measure for Illinois students enrolled in a public school district. IAR assesses the New Illinois Learning​ Standards Incorporating the Common Core and will be administered in English Language Arts and Mathematics.

IAR assessments in English Language Arts and Mathematics will be administered to all students in grades 3-8.​

Illinois Science Assessment

This Illinois Science Assessment (ISA) page will be updated as information becomes available. The ISA is not  an alternate assessment. Students who participate in the DLM-AA alternate assessment will be assessed in science in grades 5, 8, and 11.


In compliance with federal testing requirements, Illinois will administer a science assessment to students enrolled in a public school district in grades 5, 8 and once at the high school level. The high school assessment utilizes a course-based model with content aligned to Biology I. The assessment will be administered in an online format and is aligned to the Illinois Learning Standards for Science incorporating the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which were adopted in 2014.

Dynamic Learning Maps Alternate Assessment (DLM-AA)

Dynamic Learning Maps® (DLM®) assessments are designed for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities for whom general state assessments are not appropriate, even with accommodations. DLM assessments offer these students a way to show what they know and can do in mathematics, English language arts, and science.

DLM assessments also help parents and educators establish high academic expectations for students with significant cognitive disabilities. Results from DLM assessments support interpretations about what students know and can do. Results can inform teachers’ instructional decisions while also meeting statutory requirements for reporting student achievement as required by state accountability programs.



DLM assessments are designed to maximize accessibility for students with significant cognitive disabilities. Assessments are built to allow multiple ways for students to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and understandings. Assessment design also incorporates current research on communication in such forms as the DLM core vocabulary, a list of words that have been determined to be highly useful for communicating in both social and academic contexts. At multiple points during the assessment development process, educators from DLM partner states who have expertise in accessibility review the assessments to ensure instructional relevance and minimize barriers for students with specific needs.

During assessment administration, students have access to unique accessibility tools and supports to fit each student’s needs and preferences. Some of these tools and supports are delivered through the online assessment system while others are provided outside the system, by the teacher. Decisions about the use of these tools and supports are made for each student, typically with input from an Individualized Education Program (IEP) team.


Learn More about DLM Accessibility



The Dynamic Learning Maps team uses a cyclical, multi-step process to develop assessments. DLM assessments are delivered as “testlets” – short, instructionally relevant groups of items that share a common context. DLM testlets are developed using principles of evidence-centered design by subject-matter experts with additional expertise in instruction for students with significant cognitive disabilities.

Test items go through multiple rounds of review by DLM staff; internal item reviewers; editors; and educators in DLM states, who serve as external reviewers. Reviewers are carefully trained to look for potential problems with the items’ academic content and accessibility, as well as to identify potential bias or sensitive topics in the items. After testlets are reviewed, they are field tested in DLM states. Testlets that meet certain standards after field testing can then be included in DLM assessments.



The DLM Alternate Assessment System helps educators facilitate student success by illustrating the interrelation among the knowledge, skills, and understandings necessary to meet academic content standards in a learning map model. The learning map model plots out individual concepts in nodes, and the connections among these nodes show the multiple ways that students’ knowledge, skills, and understandings develop over time.By examining the learning map model and the relationships between its nodes, educators can better uncover reasons a student may be struggling with a particular concept and also see paths ahead for that student to continue to expand their knowledge and skills.To connect the model’s extensive content to real-world expectations for students, certain nodes within the model are associated with Essential Elements (EEs). EEs are specific statements about what students should know and be able to do. They are linked to grade-level-specific expectations described in college- and career-readiness standards for students in the general population, and they provide a bridge between those standards and academic expectations for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

STAR Assessment

The district also uses the STAR assessments in Reading and Math.  These tests are given three times a year, and allows teachers to track student progress throughout the year.  This system also allows teachers to monitor student progress on a weekly basis in order to address each students needs.