Kindergarten

Students in grades K-5 are assessed using DIBELS Next, Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills Next. DIBELS Next assesses the  skills that are necessary for learning to read including phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, fluency, and comprehension. The assessments are given in the fall, winter, and spring.

Letter Naming

Letter Naming Fluency assesses a student’s ability to say the “names” of upper and lowercase letters in the English alphabet. This skill is a strong predictor of future reading success in young children. The following table represents the scores for students at each risk level for the four school years from 2012-2016:

Low Risk Some Risk At Risk

2012-2013

Fall 74% 14% 15%
Winter 81% 12% 7%
Spring 88% 7% 5%

2013-2014

Fall 82% 11% 7%
Winter 81% 15% 4%
Spring 88% 8% 5%

2014-2015

Fall 56% 16% 29%
Winter 65% 22% 13%
Spring 78% 14% 7%

2015-2016

Fall 51% 19% 30%
Winter 30% 72% 18%
Spring 80% 14% 6%

Phonemic Awareness

Phonemic awareness refers to a child’s ability to hear and manipulate sounds in spoken words only. This skill is a powerful predictor of future reading success. It is a skill that is typically assessed early in a child’s schooling (i.e., kindergarten), but it is also used with older children who are experiencing difficulty reading.  DIBELS Next measures phonemic awareness using the subtests of First Sound Fluency and Phoneme Segmentation Fluency.

First Sound Fluency

First Sound Fluency measures a child’s ability to identify the initial sound only heard in a given word.  The following table represents the scores for students at each risk level for the four school years from 2012-2016:

Low Risk Some Risk At Risk

2012-2013

Fall 74% 11% 14%
Winter 90% 7% 3%

2013-2014

Fall 78% 9% 12%
Winter 89% 7% 4%

2014-2015

Fall 65% 19% 18%
Winter 70% 21% 9%

2015-2016

Fall 47% 28% 25%
Winter 81% 13% 6%

Phoneme Segmentation Fluency 

In the Phoneme Segmentation Fluency subtest the student is presented with a word orally that consists of three to four sounds. The student is asked to represent each of the sounds in the word. The score is the number of correct sounds heard by the student. The following table represents the scores for students at each risk level for four school years from 2012-2016:

Low Risk Some Risk At Risk

2012-2013

Winter 80% 11% 9%
Spring 82% 10% 8%

2013-2014

Winter 89% 6% 5%
Spring 87% 9% 4%

2014-2015

Winter 70% 15% 15%
Spring 89% 5% 5%

2015-2016

Winter 81% 10% 9%
Spring 93% 4% 3%

Nonsense Word Fluency-Correct Letter Sounds

Phonics refers to the ability to learn the individual sounds in spoken language and map those sounds to specific written letters in the English language. Students who have strong phonics skills are able to connect individual sounds with letters and use those sounds to read words. The Nonsense Word Fluency subtest presents children with a consonant vowel consonant combination that is not a read word such as “mav.” Students are given one minute to read as many words as they can. Their final score is the number of correct letter sounds produced in one minute. The following table represents the scores for students at each risk level for four school years from 2012-2016:

Low Risk Some Risk At Risk

2012-2013

Winter 80% 12% 8%
Spring 85% 7% 8%

2013-2014

Winter 86% 9% 5%
Spring 89% 6% 5%

2014-2015

Winter 62% 20% 16%
Spring 89% 5% 6%

2015-2016

Winter 65% 21% 11%
Spring 85% 8% 7%