All students in K-3 are screened for reading three times a year using the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills – DIBELS Next. This is one assessment that helps us identify students who may need extra help in learning the skills necessary to become a strong reader.
DIBELS is a series of short (1 minute) tests that assess early childhood literacy. These tests are completed with the kindergarten through third grade students 3 times a year; the beginning (August), middle (December), and end (May) of the year. Additional skill checks may be used monthly (monitoring) to check progress for those that did not reach the benchmark score. The benchmark score is the numeric goal for each of the tests in the series. This benchmark increases as the year progresses. The testing provides information that enables school and families to work together for the best academic success.
An instructional recommendation of ‘core’ means that the odds are in your child’s favor of achieving later reading goals with a continuing effective curriculum and instruction.
An instructional recommendation of ‘strategic’ means that the odds of achieving later reading goals are approximately 50% without added instructional support in addition to core reading instruction. If your child’s performance fell within this category, she/he will likely require intervention in addition to core reading instruction. Small group instruction targeting specific skills MAY be required. This intervention may be provided by your child’s classroom teacher and/or a reading specialist.
An instructional recommendation of ‘intensive’ means that your child’s odds of achieving later reading goals are approximately 10-20% without substantial intervention and support in addition to core reading instruction. Your child will require small group intensive intervention targeting specific skills. Your child will likely receive small group intervention both in the classroom as well as with a reading specialist, IF he/she does not move out of this range by the second benchmark assessment period.
Score levels are reported as:
At or Above Benchmark – on target – continue learning with core support
Below Benchmark – likely needs strategic support
Well Below Benchmark – likely needs intensive support
This information has been gathered and condensed from Oregon University’s Center on Teaching & learning. You may find further information here: DIBELS Next