Colorado Alternate Assessments (CoAlt) and DLM

The Colorado Alternate Assessments (CoAlt) is a standards-based assessment designed specifically for students with significant cognitive disabilities and is meant to provide a picture of student performance to schools, districts, educators, parents and the community. The CoAlt assesses a student’s performance in English Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies.

The CoAlt Science Assessment is administered to students in grades 5 and 8. The CoAlt Social Studies Assessment is administered to students in grades 4 and 7. Both of these assessments are paper/pencil with the test examiner administrating the assessment one on one to the student and then entering their responses online in PearsonAccess.

The CoAlt: DLM English Language Arts and Math Assessment are both computer adaptive assessments with the test examiner administering the assessment one on one to the student. Depending on the student’s level of independence and physical ability, either the student or the test examiner will enter the responses into the computer.


A Parent’s Guide to Assessments: CoAlt: DLM English Language Arts and Math
English | Spanish | Vietnamese | Amharic | Arabic | Burmese | Nepali | Russian | Somali | French

DLM Eligibility Criteria Worksheet | Parent Brochure

A Parent’s Guide to Assessments: CoAlt: Science and Social Studies
English | Spanish | Vietnamese | Amharic | Arabic | Burmese | Nepali | Russian | Somali | French

CoAlt Eligibility Criteria Worksheet | Supported Performance Scoring Matrix | Selected Response Scoring Matrix

General Assessment Resources
Assessment Purposes and District Policies
DPS Assessment Strategy
Assessment Window Calendar

Administration Window 2022-23

CoAlt DLM English Language Arts and Math Assessments
April 10, 2023 – April 28, 2023

CoAlt Science Assessment
April 10, 2023 – April 28, 2023

Opting Out of Assessments

Families who wish to excuse their student from participation in one or more of the state assessments may do so by filling out the district’s opt-out application in Parent Portal from October to February. You may still opt out by scheduling an appointment with your principal or AP and request the Assessment Participation Exemption form to be printed off for you to sign (if your student has not begun taking tests). You may also write a letter and bring it with you to the meeting. If you have more than one child, you will need to fill out the form or write a letter for each child to opt out.

We encourage our students to participate in all assessments because they provide valuable information to families and educators that show whether students have mastered grade-level content and are on track to graduate prepared for the 21st century. Results from these assessments inform where Denver Public Schools can improve curriculum, instruction and leadership in order to ensure that every child receives an equitable education and is on a path to success.