This school year, Penfield Montessori Academy will be administering two tests, the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening and the Measures of Academic Success test, to help track each student’s progress. These tests are mandatory for every Wisconsin student. Below is some additional information that explains what each test evaluates and how our students will participate. In the beginning of each semester, printed information about these tests will be sent home with your child.

Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS)

  • Grades: K4 – K5
  • Dates: Fall and Spring, Winter is Optional
    • Fall Testing Window: October 17, 2016-October 31
    • Winter – optional: January 17, 2017-January 31, 2017
    • Spring: May 1, 2017-May 19, 2017
  • Subjects Tested: Entry Level: Spelling Inventory; Word Recognition in Isolation; Letter Sounds (first grade Fall only); Oral Reading in Context: Accuracy, Fluency, Rate; Comprehension; Alphabetics: Alphabet Recognition; Letter Sounds; Concept of Word; Phonemic Awareness: Blending; Sound-to-Letter
  • Students Tested: All students in K4 – K5 (up to 2nd grade)
  • Purpose: PALS has been found to be a reliable screening tool for developmental milestones in literacy acquisition. PALS provides a comprehensive assessment of young children’s knowledge of the important literacy fundamentals. PALS data directly matches literacy instruction to specific literacy need.
  • Why We Take This Test: Wisconsin State Statute 118.016(1) requires that an early literacy screener be administered to all K4 – 2nd grade students.
  • Test Administration: Most tests are individually administered by the classroom teacher while a few tests can be administered in a group setting.
  • Test Format: Oral and written responses
  • Time/Length of Test: A student will typically spend between 20 to 40 minutes testing over the course of a few days. Time will vary based on individual student performance and grade level.
  • Scoring: Raw scores from tests are compared against grade specific benchmarks or developmental ranges to identify students who may be at risk of reading difficulties.
  • Additional Information: http://www.palswisconsin.info/

Measures of Academic Progress (MAP)

  • Grades: K5
  • Dates: Fall, Winter and Spring
  • Subjects Tested: Reading, Mathematics and Language Usage
  • Students Tested: All students in K5 (up to 8th grade)
  • Purpose: MAP assessments provide detailed, actionable data about where each child is on their unique learning path.
  • Why We Take This Test: A universal screener
  • Test Administration: Online
  • Test Format: MAP is an adaptive assessment. As a student responds to questions, the test responds to the student, adjusting up or down in difficulty.  Answer a question correctly and the test presents a more challenging item.  Miss a question, and MAP offers a simpler item.
  • Time/Length of Test: Tests are not timed.  The time to complete the test will vary from student to student, but the average is from 30 to 50 minutes.
  • Scoring: Scores on a MAP assessment are presented as a value on the RIT Scale (for Rasch Unit). Student growth from year to year is able to be monitored.
  • Additional Information: http://www.nwea.org/products-services/assessments