PALS Plus Information for Parents

PALS stands for Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening; PALS Plus was created for use in first through eighth grades.

Why is my child being assessed with PALS Plus?

PALS Plus will identify accurately students who are experiencing difficulties in acquiring fundamental reading skills. In keeping with research findings, PALS Plus can ensure these students get extra instruction even before reading problems develop. PALS Plus also gives teachers information to plan instruction that matches students’ needs at any level, and to monitor progress.

What does PALS Plus measure?

  • Spelling
  • Word knowledge
  • Letter Sounds
  • Oral Reading in Context
  • Alphabet knowledge (for students who have more basic literacy skills)
  • Concept of word development (for students who have more basic literacy skills)
  • Phonemic awareness (for students who have more basic literacy skills)

What types of scores does PALS Plus provide?

Students scores on specific tasks are added together to create a Summed Score. This Summed Score is compared against minimum expectations for fall and for spring. If a student’s Summed Score is below the benchmark, the student proceeds to additional tasks of PALS Plus (alphabet knowledge, concept of word, and phonemic awareness tasks), and it is recommended that the student receive extra instruction tailored to his/her needs.

How are the PALS Plus results used?

PALS Plus 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 Plus provides teachers with profiles of learners’ needs and strengths, including specific information regarding each student’s reading level and spelling stage. Teachers consult these profiles in planning instruction and as they progress through the curriculum. Thus, PALS Plus results are used to guide teachers in planning literacy instruction that is matched to students’ reading level and spelling stage.