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Academic Screening Artifact As school psychologists, we are expected to engage in proactive and preventative practices that enable us to identify

the needs of students as they occur. I believe that we must be proficient in the implementation of universal screeners, which are designed to assess all students level of proficiency in a specific content area (e.g. reading, math, writing). These screeners provide a fast and efficient method of data collection that can act as a key starting point in understanding a students academic abilities. Furthermore, results obtained using standardized screening assessments (e.g. DRA-2, DIBELS), enable school psychologists to make informed, data-based, decisions regarding the type of interventions that will be most beneficial to a particular student. Thereby, reducing the amount of time necessary for a student to catch up to their peers. The Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) was created to provide a method for assessing and documenting students development in reading over time. The DRA was first developed by Joetta Beaver, beginning in 1988 and was released in 1996 (Beaver et al., 2006). The most recent update occurred in 2006, when the DRA2 was released. Several significant changes were implemented including revised assessment texts, new fiction and non-fiction texts and a more uniform assessment process for DRA2, K-8, as a whole.

The assessment utilized here, the DRA2, K-3, is specifically designed for early elementary students, with an understanding that reading and writing should be taught as a reciprocal process within the classroom, a variety of childrens books should always be accessible and writing activities should be meaningful (Beaver et al., 2006). Assessments are primarily targeted at three main areas of reading

proficiency: reading engagement, oral reading fluency, and comprehension. The efficacy of these measurements of reading ability as a predictor of future student performance has been demonstrated throughout a number of research studies. A study conducted in 2006 examined the relationship between oral reading fluency and performance on a statewide reading test. Students in third, fourth and fifth grade were administered curriculum-based measures designed to assess their reading ability in the fall and winter. Students scores from winter testing, administered two months prior to the statewide assessment, were compared to their performance on the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP), which is given annually to students in all three grades (Wood, 2006). Results indicated that oral reading fluency was a strong predictor of future performance on the CSAP, even more so than prior year performance. Moreover, researchers examining the effects of reading engagement on students reading outcomes compared three types of instruction: Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction (CORI), strategy instruction and traditional instruction. Data analyses indicated that if a students level of reading engagement was statistically controlled for, there was no difference in outcomes between groups (Wigfield, Guthrie, Perencevich, Taboada, & Klaudia, 2008). These results demonstrated that whether or not a student was engaged in the reading mitigated any other effects of the instructional methods, including the use of reading strategies as well as overall reading comprehension. Therefore, assessments that measure reading engagement are especially valuable to school psychologists, as we strive to implement evidencebased interventions. The following artifact illustrates my ability to analyze a series of population data, make deliberate interpretations and recommend effective interventions that are commensurate with the students ability level. At Highline Community School, the building coach and her team administer the DRA2 to all students three times per year as a method of progress monitoring, with the hope that all students are at least proficient in reading by the end of the year. Students are generally tested in September, December and April. Results from the initial assessment in the fall are used to guide teachers as to which students may

need more help in the classroom. However, if a fall assessment shows that a student is significantly behind their peers and unlikely to catch up with regular classroom instruction alone, the team must then develop an intervention plan for the student to enable them to make the gains needed to catch up to their peers. Students in third grade are expected to be at a level 34 on the DRA2, in the winter, in order to be considered proficient and are expected to attain a level 38 by the spring. The data I am using was obtained through the Data Access System, which is maintained by the Cherry Creek School District Office of Assessment and Evaluation. After the tests have been given, each team uploads its results to the system, where it is then accessible to teachers and other staff members. My screener analysis was conducted on a single classroom of 20 third grade students, using data from winter testing. The 15 students that scored at a level 28 or above each appeared to be progressing similarly enough to their peers, with the majority lying in the level 28 to 30 range, that they did not need a more targeted intervention beyond that already being provided by the classroom teacher. Also, two students who scored at a level 6 were not chosen because they had previously been placed on IEPs and were already receiving intensive services to help them in reading. The three students who were chosen for targeted intervention scored at levels 12, 14, and 16 on their winter assessments. These scores place their reading abilities at or near the level students are expected to attain by the end of first grade, which is level 16.

Individual Student vs. Class Performance on Winter '13 DRA2


35 DRA2 Reading Proficiency Level 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Student A Student B Student C Class Median Third Grade Classroom

As the graph above illustrates, although the third grade class as a whole is somewhat below the expected reading proficiency level, the three students selected are significantly behind the rest of their peers and, therefore, unlikely to make adequate progress to catch up without a targeted individual or group intervention. Based on the three students selected, potential recommended interventions, for the building coaches and their team to implement, might include: 1) Fast ForWord, is an intensive reading intervention program designed to be implemented for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. The reading series consists of five levels, with level 1 being tailored for early literacy students. One activity includes recognizing and selecting target words within a series of words, which helps develop decoding skills, auditory memory and the visual identification of words. Also, another activity asks students to place a word within four different categories at the bottom of the screen based on its beginning or ending sound, teaching them to use categorization to improve their phonemic awareness and decoding skills. The WWC concluded that K-3 students participating in the Fast ForWord program could expect an average 7-percentile gain in reading fluency along with a 6-percentile gain in reading comprehension.

2) Reading Roots, which is part of the Success for All program, is specifically targeted for students who are reading at the first grade level. Components include a fast-paced phonics program that is designed to enhance students letter-sound correspondence, word-level reading and spelling. Storybooks that are phonetically written allow students to read a story that is engaging, even if they only know a few letter sounds. This enables students to increase their reading fluency, oral language, and vocabulary abilities. Evaluation by the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) concluded that Success for all, when administered to K-3 students, was found to improve both reading comprehension and achievement. 3) The Project Read program, includes a reading comprehension curriculum for students in grades K-12. The Story Form Literature Connection program asks students to utilize puzzles or storyboards to try to retell a story. Students are taught the process of story interaction through analysis, synthesis, and evaluative thinking strategies. Data obtained from the WWC indicates that students in kindergarten through fourth grade, who were taught using the Project Read program, demonstrated a significant improvement in reading achievement. Summary of Objective I: Screening Having the ability to analyze and interpret data from an academic screener enabled me to gain a much greater understanding of the RTI process on a universal level. As I was able to give meaning to the data in front of me, it soon became clear which students were most in need of targeted academic supports. Selecting a proper intervention involved striking a balance between maintaining students interest and providing the degree of intensity they would benefit from most. Going forward, I would like to broaden my analysis to multiple classrooms or even an entire grade level to aid in pairing students together with peers who share similar needs.