RTI Universal Screening

In the context of an RTI framework, universal screening is the first step in identifying the students who are at risk for learning difficulties. It is the mechanism for targeting students who struggle to learn when provided a scientific, evidence-based general education.

Jenkins, Hudson & Johnson

What We Understand About Universal Screening

Universal screening refers to the school-wide screening that is administered at consistent times across the school year. The purpose is to take stock of students’ literacy achievements or assets and areas where students may need extra support. Multiple data points are used to determine student needs matched to specific interventions.

Our Approach

Kindergarten Screening:

During the spring prior to entering kindergarten, incoming kindergarten students participate in Kindergarten Screening. During this exciting time, students visit their home school, meet staff members and become familiar with the school. Through play-based experiences, the following universal screenings are administered:

  • KLST-2 Language Acquisition and Skills Screening: administered by Speech and Language Pathologists
  • PLS-5 Language Acquisition and Skills Screening for Spanish speakers: administered by Speech and Language Pathologists
  • Literacy Screening
  • NYSITELL Screening for English Language Learners


Grades K-5:

In Mamaroneck, Grades K-5, there are a variety of universal screenings administered.

The Elementary Assessment Framework outlines assessment tools used at each grade level and developmentally appropriate for students growth across time.

Specific to measuring reading progress using a universal reading assessment, the district uses the Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment, a research-based and field-tested reading assessment tool. This measures a child’s ability to read a text accurately and to understand that text on several levels (events within the text, conclusions reached about the text, and connections made beyond the text).

Learning to read is a fascinating developmental process. Each child is unique; therefore not everyone progresses at the same rate and in the same way. Our primary goal in Mamaroneck is for every child to grow as a reader every year. The district has established independent reading level benchmarks to guide goal setting and progress monitoring. Teachers monitor students’ growth through a range of formal and informal assessments.