Kindergarten teachers administer a variety of assessments that can yield a wealth of information about their students’ skills. While planning for the 2021-22 school year, educational leaders in Dedham Public Schools (DPS) decided to take a fresh look at their approach to early literacy assessment.
At St. Michael’s School, kindergarten literacy screening is an important part of educators’ efforts to identify students at risk for reading difficulties and support a preventive approach to instruction. “There was not always a direct path, however, for teachers to connect data from screeners to instructional planning,” said Susan Schatz, Ph.D., a literacy coach at the preK-8 school in San Diego County, California.
In March 2021, kindergarten teachers at Helen A. Thompson Elementary School in MSAD #11 were among the first in the state to begin using a game-based early literacy assessment called EarlyBird. Two months later, the district decided to expand EarlyBird to all kindergarten classrooms district-wide.