Local Assessments

Local assessments are defined as assessments created and administered by teachers and District assessment teams.  These consist of unit assessments, supplemental assessments, and high school course assessments.  They are designed to support teachers and schools in making instructional changes to ensure that all students are working to meet expectations.

Unit Assessments: Unit assessments are curricular assessments delivered to students to ensure they have learned the content from the previous unit.

Supplemental Assessments: Supplemental assessments are optional assessments for teachers to administer, and they cover a wider breadth of information taught to students.  These support teachers in making significant instructional shifts and to reteach important concepts that help students meet expectations for their grade and content.

High School Course

The high school course assessments are designed to assess how well students are progressing toward proficiency on the Big Ideas taught in the course throughout the school year, and serve as midterms and finals. The test results will also provide detailed information to assist school staff in meeting the instructional needs of their students. All of the tests are created and reviewed by DPS teachers, facilitators, and central office staff.


Illuminate is the district’s online assessment and data platform.  This platform houses all state assessment data, curricular data, and district and school-specific data.  This platform can also be used to administer assessments and generate reports to support teachers and schools on meeting individual student needs.

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.