PALS-K Information for Parents

PALS-K stands for Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening for Kindergarten.

Why is my child being assessed with PALS-K?

PALS-K will identify early and accurately students who are experiencing difficulties in acquiring fundamental reading skills. In keeping with research findings, PALS-K will ensure these students get extra instruction when they are young. PALS-K also gives teachers information to plan instruction that matches students’ needs.

What does PALS-K measure?

PALS-K assesses these literacy domains: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and vocabulary. Specifically, PALS-K assesses a student’s:

  • Phonological awareness
  • Alphabet knowledge
  • Knowledge of letter sounds
  • Spelling
  • Concept of Word
  • Word recognition in isolation

What types of scores does PALS-K provide?

PALS-K provides teachers with information about students’ level of mastery of early literacy fundamentals. PALS-K reports students’ development by domain and by tasks. Students’ scores on designated tasks are added to create a Summed Score. This score is compared to expectations for fall and for spring. Summed Scores help identify students who would benefit from extra instruction tailored to their needs.

How are the PALS-K results used?

PALS-K allows teachers and school-level reading specialists to identify students who are at risk of reading difficulties, because they lag behind grade-level expectations in literacy fundamentals. PALS-K provides teachers with profiles of learners’ needs. Teachers consult these profiles in planning instruction and as they progress through the curriculum. Thus, PALS-K results are used to guide teachers in planning literacy instruction that is matched to students’ specific literacy needs.