Towanda Area School District  

Assessment and Instruction in the Elementary Schools  


The elementary school in the Towanda Area School District follow the guidelines of Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTII), which is a part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It requires universal screenings three times a year, meaning that all regular education students are given both individual and group assessments to monitor progress. We use the DIBELS Next online assessment and data management system. 


What is DIBELS Next?  

The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) are set of assessments that are predictive of reading acquisition and later reading achievement.  These assessments give teachers the data necessary for providing students with the appropriate reading instruction. The assessments also identify students who are more likely to need support. 


How does DIBELS Next Work?  

The Benchmark Assessments are given to all students three times per year. Students are given the assessments that match the grade level they are assigned. The Progress Monitoring Assessments are given more frequently for students who are receiving strategic or intensive instructional interventions. Strategic and Intensive interventions are usually provided by Title I teachers. They use the progress monitoring tools to evaluate the effectiveness of the instructional changes and additional services that have been provided. 


Literacy Skills Screened by DIBELS Next  

Each of these assessments are individual screenings where the student is asked to provide this information to a teacher. There are one minute timed assessments where the teacher records the student responses. 

First Sound Fluency - Kindergarten

Phoneme Segmentation Fluency - K and 1

Letter Naming Fluency - K and 1

Nonsense Word Fluency - K - 2

DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency 1-6: Student reading speed and accuracy are calculated through this measure. Each of the three readings is timed for one minute. 

DAZE – Grades 3-6: The DAZE assesses the student’s ability to construct meaning from text using word recognition skills, background information, prior knowledge, and reasoning skills. This is a three minute group assessment.