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Quickly identify learning and what each child needs to proceed

Phonics Advantage Reading Assessment (PARA)

We know that for many school districts this focus on early literacy is a priority, but the lack of specific data or a clear path on how to effect change in the classroom is impeding advancements in student success.


Unlike level-based assessments which are oriented towards measuring children’s ability to read text after they have learned the foundational skills of reading, The Learning Bar has developed the Phonics Advantage Reading Assessment (PARA), a skills based-assessment designed to measure students’ mastery of each specific reading skill. It is aligned with a systematic phonics approach to teaching reading and provides  educators with the next sequential skill that needs to be developed.

Short assessment, actionable data

PARA can be used at any point throughout the year to establish a baseline and thereafter, assessment is progressive. It is designed to assess children in Kindergarten to Grade 3, and children in later grades who have not mastered the foundational phonics skills required to become a successful reader.

Transparent progress monitoring

The scores from the detailed student-by-student assessment are recorded in an easy-to-use progress monitoring application. Simplified progress monitoring and student, classroom, school level reporting allows educators and administrators to visualize progress and enables data driven, detailed conversations on how to advance each child’s learning.

Target instruction with aligned activities

Transparency of student progress can be daunting if instruction is not aligned with specific skills. For this reason, The Learning Bar developed PARA as part of an overarching reading intervention, Confident Learners Literacy Program. This systematic literacy program provides a sequential approach to literacy instruction and provides educators with aligned targeted activities for each of the skills. When used together the program guides effective instruction, seamlessly supporting educators with professional learning.

Changing classroom practice is more than the identification of learning gaps. It requires intentional focus on instruction, an ongoing commitment by all stakeholders to use data to inform decision-making and professional development of teams to enhance skills, build capacity and improve collective efficacy.

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