Wis. Stats 118.016(1) requires an early literacy screener to be administered to all 4 year old kindergarten to 1st grade students enrolled in public school districts and charter schools for the 2013-14 school year and beginning in the 2014-15 school year to expand this requirement to also include all 2nd grade students enrolled in public school districts and charter schools. 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 to serve as the required literacy screener. Districts will not incur costs related to the purchase of the assessment but will be responsible for costs associated with the administration of PALS. 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.shtml.
The PALS Wisconsin Resource Center, a website specifically for Wisconsin educators 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 teachers who administer PALS is available online at the PALS Wisconsin Resource Center. 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 PALS screener is required to be administered to all students in the fall and spring of each school year and an optional mid-year screening is also available. Administration dates can be found at: http://oea.dpi.wi.gov/oea_calendar/#PALS.
- All 4 year old kindergarten to 1st grade students are required to be administered the fall and spring English language version of PALS in the 2013-14 school year and all 4 year old kindergarten to 2nd grade students are required to be administered the fall and spring English language version of PALS beginning with the 2014-15 school year.
- A Spanish language version of PALS is currently being piloted for kindergarten. 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 PALSWisconsin 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
Department of Public Instruction Contact Information