Participation in the Delaware Communication Portfolio Summary (DCPS)
Delaware state law requires that an alternate assessment, in portfolio format, be available to students with intense communication needs. DOE created the Delaware Communication Portfolio Summary (DCPS) to fulfill this requirement.
DCPS is designed for students who – even with accommodations – cannot participate in the DeSSA-Alt because they do not have a consistent and reliable means of communication that is understood by others. The purpose of DCPS is to measure the development of these students’ communication skills throughout the school year.
When a student is shown to be eligible for participation in the DeSSA-Alt after completion and review of the Participation Guidelines, students may also be considered for possible eligibility in the DCPS. The DCPS Participation Guidelines are found in Appendix B-8 of this document. Students who take the DCPS do not take the DeSSA-Alt. However, the first section of DeSSA-Alt is embedded in the DCPS. This participation allows the student to be counted as a participant for accountability purposes, as required by federal regulations, and also results in the student receiving a score for the administered statewide assessments.
Students participating in the DCPS are impeded by the lack of a communication system easily understood by others. It is believed that a focus on communications in assessment and instruction will help students progress in their communication development to the point at which they can meaningfully participate in alternate assessment, and demonstrate proficiency on that assessment.
Switching Between the DCPS and Other Assessments
The decision to participate in the DCPS must be reported to the Department of Education one month prior to the opening of the DCPS window. Students may switch from DCPS to DeSSA-Alt before the opening of the spring test window. Switching from DCPS to the general assessment will be a relatively rare occurrence, since a student’s full development of a communication system is usually a relatively slow process, often taking a number of years. However, there may be circumstances in which such a move is possible. If such a change were to take place, it should be documented before the start of the spring DeSSA test windows.