PALS is a diagnostic literacy assessment designed to provide teachers with detailed information for planning effective language arts instruction. PALS is also designed to identify students who may be at-risk in developing early literacy skills. PALS is administered to students in grades K-3.
PALS consists of several tasks relating to sound, print and reading knowledge. Specifically, students are asked to read from lists of words, take a spelling test, identify letters, produce letter sounds, read from texts and answer comprehension questions related to texts read. Each task has grade level expectations or benchmarks, and scores from selected tasks are added together to create a summed score. Grade level expectations or benchmarks, are set by the state of Virginia.
PALS may be administered up to three times during the school year (September, January, May). However, the state of Virginia and Loudoun County Public Schools sets the dates and guidelines for test administration during each testing window.
Click on the link below to learn more about the PALS assessment and to find activities to support your child’s literacy development at home.
The DRA is a research-based diagnostic reading assessment tool used to determine a child’s independent reading and comprehension level. It is administered to students in grades 1-5. The DRA is administered individually and enables teachers to systematically observe, record, and evaluate student reading performance. DRA results are used to set instructional goals specific to each student, document student progress over time, match students to appropriate language arts groups and books, and plan for focused, effective literacy instruction based on individual students’ reading strengths and weaknesses.
The DRA consists of several tasks relating to reading, including reading accuracy, reading fluency and comprehension. Specifically, students are asked to make predictions before reading a text, read a text within accuracy and fluency (reading rate) guidelines, retell the text (orally or in writing) and answer questions (orally or in writing) about reading experiences (i.e. What is your favorite book? What books have you read? What do you think you do well as a reader?).
The DRA may be administered up to three times during the school year (October, January, May). However, Loudoun County Public Schools and the DRA author, sets the dates and guidelines for test administration during each testing window. LCPS also determines grade level expectations or benchmarks for each testing window.