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Testing Calendars
PALS (Phonological Awareness Language Screening)

Students are screened in the fall and spring of each year.  PALS will be administered during a two-week block within the screening windows below.  PALS-K is given to all students, both in the fall and spring.  PALS 1-3 is given in the fall to those students who are new to Virginia public schools or who did not meet the end-of-year benchmark in their previous year.  PALS 1-3 is given in the spring to all students except those in grades 2 and 3 who have previously attained “high benchmark” status.  Mid-year screening is optional. 


Fall 2018  Mid-Year




Screening Begins Sept. 17 Oct. 15 Jan. 2 April 29
Screening Ends Oct. 12 Nov. 19 Jan 30 May 24
DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment)

All students, K-5, are assessed using DRA to determine current reading level.  This is used to guide instruction in guided reading in their classrooms, as well as to identify those students in need of reading support.  For each assessment period, there is a benchmark level.  The benchmark level is the minimum reading level expected by the county at that point in the year.  Teachers may assess a student up to a level equal to one year above grade level. 

DRA Schedule: 

Quarter Benchmark Upper Limit
2nd 2 8
4th 4 16
1st Grade
1st 4 18
2nd 8 20
3rd 12* 24
4th 16 28
2nd Grade
1st 16/18 30
2nd 20 34
3rd 24* 34
4th 28 38
3rd Grade
1st 28/30 40
2nd 34* 40
4th 38* 40
4th Grade
1st 40 50
2nd 40* 50
4th 40* 50
5th Grade
1st 50 60
2nd 50* 60
4th 50* 60

 * Only students who have not previously met this benchmark are required to be assessed in this quarter. 

Word Study

All students are assessed using the Word Study Inventory several times a year.  This data is used to form Word Study Groups within the classroom.  This inventory helps teachers to see which spelling features each student is using consistently, which ones they are using sometimes, and which features they do not yet use.  Instruction is provided at the level that students are showing some use of, but not yet showing mastery.  Kindergarten students are given this assessment mid-year and at the end of the year.  All other grade levels give the inventory at the beginning of the year, mid-year, and at the end of the year.


Graded writing samples are collected each quarter for all grade levels.  Writing is assessed using a county rubric that scores students on each of the six writing traits. 

SOL testing schedules will be posted on the calendar as they are available.