As required by Wisconsin Act 166, an early literacy screener must be administered to all kindergarten students (5K) beginning with the 2012-13 school year. This assessment provides administrators, teachers, and parents with valuable information necessary to improve the reading skills of students. Results are used to identify reading problems early on and to inform instruction. The data from the screener is not part of the new accountability system.
The Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS), developed by the University of Virginia, has been purchased under a state contract. Therefore, districts will not incur costs related to the purchase of the assessment. A brief document on PALS with information for parents is available online. Districts and schools may download the PDF for distribution to parents: http://www.palswisconsin.info/parents.html.
The PALS Wisconsin Resource Center, a website specifically for Wisconsin educators was launched in August 2012 and will be enhanced over the coming months. The site includes an FAQ page with commonly asked questions regarding administration, scoring, and training. Please review the information developed specifically for Wisconsin by visiting http://www.palswisconsin.info.
Professional development modules for kindergarten teachers who administer PALS is available online at the PALS Wisconsin Resource Center. Kindergarten teachers should have access to their PALS kits when viewing these modules. All educators who will administer PALS need to complete the series of six 15-minute modules and the accompanying certification assessment prior to administering PALS. For educators who have already completed the administration modules and desire to review the materials, the modules will remain available during subsequent administration windows.
The 2012-13 spring administration window is April 29-May 24, 2013. The 2013-14 fall administration window is October 14-November 8, 2013. Kindergarten teachers need to choose two weeks within each window to administer the assessment to their students.
- All kindergarten students are required to be administered the fall and spring English language version of PALS.
- A Spanish language version of PALS is currently being piloted. Schools are allowed to administer the Spanish language version to any students that they feel would benefit from being assessed in Spanish; however, they are still required to administer the English language version. DPI recommends that schools limit use of this additional Spanish option to students enrolled in a Spanish dual-language immersion program. For schools that elect to also use the Spanish language version, contact PALS at 1-888-728-7257.
- Guidelines for students who may need accommodations in order to complete PALS can be found at the PALS Wisconsin Resource Center at http://www.palswisconsin.info/accommodations.html. To request Braille or Deaf/Hard of Hearing PALS materials, contact Duane Dorn at DPI.
PALS Contact Information