Literacy Testing / Assessment

Screener Fall Dates Winter Dates Spring Dates
PK - Pre-K 10/2 - 10/27 None 5/20 - 6/14
Kindergarten (mCLASS) 10/2 - 10/27 1/22 - 2/9 5/20 - 6/14
Grades 1-2 (mCLASS) 10/2 - 10/27
1/22 - 2/9
5/20 - 6/14
Grades 3-8 (i-Ready) 9/11 - 10/6 1/22 - 2/9
5/20 - 6/14

What is Literacy Screening?
At the beginning, middle and end of each school year, teachers measure the literacy skills of all PK-8 students. This process, known as “screening,” allows teachers and caregivers to understand their students’ strengths and areas for additional support. Screeners do not impact students’ grades and do not diagnose reading disabilities. Instead, they are used to design and deliver appropriately challenging materials and academic supports for each learner. Screeners are required in grades K-3 under MA regulation 603 CMR 28.03(1)(f).

What Literacy Screeners Are Used In PK-2?

  • In PK/Pre-K, CPS uses a screener called the “RGR pre-decoding survey” to provide educators with information about each student’s understanding of basic literacy skills such as letter names, vocabulary words and the sounds of spoken English. This very brief assessment is given twice annually in the Fall and Spring.
  • In K-2, CPS uses a screener called “mCLASS: DIBELS 8th.” This is a research-proven, DESE-approved screener that includes timed, 1-minute measures of critical literacy skills. mCLASS typically takes 10-15 minutes per-student to complete.
  • You can learn more about mCLASS here, and find resources for caregivers here.

What Literacy Screeners Are Used In 3-8?

  • In 3-8, CPS uses a screener called “i-Ready.” This is a computer adaptive screener. As students are assessed, questions are adjusted (made easier or more difficult) based on their responses. Because of its adaptive nature, i-Ready typically takes 45-60 minutes to complete, as it captures information related to grade-level standards, in addition to foundational literacy skills.
  • Learn more about i-Ready and find resources for caregivers here.

When Will I Receive My Students’ Screener Results?

  • Parents/Guardians will receive mCLASS & i-Ready reports that include their chid's results within 30-days of each screening.
  • Parents/Guardians of students whose scores reveal a need for significant academic support will receive information about how the school will address their child’s needs, and have an opportunity to meet with their child’s teachers.
  • For questions about the early literacy universal screening your child’s testing results, contact your child's teacher or your school's literacy coach.

Screening is just one way educators collect information about each student’s learning needs. We are grateful for your continued support and partnership with the screening process!

What role can parents/guardians/caregivers play in screening?
Parents and caregivers have a role in screening too! With all of the different types of assessments and scores out there, it can be hard to understand and figure out what screening scores mean. So, what can you do? The key is to communicate with your child’s teachers and school! If you have questions about your child’s progress or results, ask to have them explained to you. Communicating early and often can help you and your child understand what to expect in the future.

Screening and Assessment
Source: Petscher, Y., Stanley, C., & Pentimonti, J. (2019). Overall screening and assessment. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Special Education Programs, National Center on Improving Literacy. Retrieved from

Related Links
ELA/Literacy Educator Coaching
ELA Content by Grade
ELA Curriculum Site (For Staff)
CPS Literacy Curriculum Review [Process Overview]
i-Ready Personalized Learning [Overview]
Fishtank Learning
Literacy Intervention
Academic Resources
Literacy Testing / Assessment
CKLA Curriculum [Information Session]

Contact Us

135 Berkshire Street 
Cambridge, MA 02141
Fax: 617.349.6517

Emily Bryan, English Language Arts/Literacy Department Director
Allice Wong TuckerDistrict Instructional Lead Teacher, Literacy, Grades PK-2
Maria MarroquinDistrict Instructional Lead: ELA/Math, Grades PK-2

Katherine Simpson, District Instructional Lead: Literacy, Grades 3 - 5
Katie GribbenDistrict Instructional Lead: Literacy, Grades 6-8+ Transitions
Kelley Leary, ELA & Math Clerk
Jennifer Hamilton
, Dean of Curriculum & Program, English (Learning Community C) CRLS

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