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Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA)

Qualifications for the Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA)

  • Students with the MOST significant cognitive disabilities who meet all six eligibility criteria.
  • Participation determination is made annually by the student’s IEP team.
  • The decision is documented in section IV of the student's IEP.

PASA Testing Information

Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM®) assessments are 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 English language arts and mathematics in grades 3-8, and science in grades 4, 8, and 11 in three domains: physical, life, and earth and space science

DLM assessments also help parents and educators set high academic expectations for their students. Results from DLM assessments are used to inform instruction and meet accountability requirements for reporting student achievement. Assessment coordinators and district test coordinators are required to complete mandatory webinars prior to enrolling students in the system and administering the assessments. Additional information about DLM assessments can be found here.


Testing Window Information

  • PASA results from the 2022-2023 school year will be mailed home to families in August 2023. Additional information about score reports can be found here.

  • The PASA DLM testing window for the 2023-2024 school year will be March 11 - May 3, 2024.

  • Electronic PASA DLM score reports for the 2023-2024 school year will be available in June 2024.


1% Threshold Federal Regulation Compliance

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires Pennsylvania to ensure that the total number of students assessed in each subject using the PASA does not exceed one percent of the total number of all students in the state assessed on the statewide assessments, commonly known as the PSSA’s. Each local educational agency (LEA) must complete and submit the PASA 1.0 Percent Participation Threshold Justification to the Bureau of Special Education (BSE) if it anticipates that more than one percent of its students enrolled in grades 3-8 and 11 will be assessed using the PASA. A list of LEAs who anticipate exceeding the threshold will be made publicly available on the PDE website in accordance with 34 CFR 200.6 (c)(3) regulations.  LEAs must also make the document publicly available upon request, removing any personally identifiable information.

  • During the 2022-2023 school year, the Cheltenham School District surpassed the 1% threshold and were identified as a Tier 2 level in the tiered system of oversight and monitoring. Each year, teachers will be reminded of the 6 factors necessary for a student to qualify to take the PASA.

  • Total number of students participating in the PASA and threshold determination will be made and submitted to the Bureau of Special Education (BSE) for the 2023-2024 school year by December 2023.