Communicating with Families About PALS

Communicating with families about their children’s literacy development is an important part of what schools and teachers do. Because research tells us that family involvement in a child’s education is a more important factor in student success than family income or education, PALS recommends the following practices to ensure successful family engagement about PALS.

1. Share information about PALS– in person.

2. Share information about PALS both before and after you administer PALS.

Share the following family letters before you administer PALS.

Share the following family letters after you administer PALS.

3. Provide families with information about:

    • What PALS is, and what specific skills it assesses.
    • Who will administer PALS, and when they will do so.
    • Why your school or district has chosen to administer PALS.
    • How students’ needs will be met if they have identified disabilities and/or are English Language Learners.
    • How you will use the PALS data to improve reading and spelling instruction for their student.
    • How families can support their children’s literacy development at home.

Share the Parent Activity handouts with families who are interested in practicing basic literacy skills at home with their children.  These can be found in the Instructional Resources section of your PALS Online account.

You can also find family-friendly alphabet and phonological awareness activities that grownups and siblings can do at home with children, which are accessible in your PALS Online account under Instructional Resources –> Resources for Parents.

4. Focus on more than just numbers when sharing PALS reports with families–tell the whole story!

Give parents information about what the scores imply for their child’s literacy strengths and instructional needs, not just what their scores are.  Put this into context so that parents know what is typically expected at the child’s current stage of literacy development, as well as the state standard expectations in literacy for this grade level.

5. If a student has been identified by PALS as being at risk of developing reading difficulties, explain your plans for literacy intervention and continued assessment for this student for the coming year.