DIBELS Assessment (Elementary)

What is DIBELS?

DIBELS Next Reading consists of several brief tests that are used as indicators of critical skills that students need to master in order to become good readers. Much like measuring a child's height and weight provides an indicator of that child's overall growth, each DIBELS Next assessment provides an indicator of how well a child is doing in learning a particular early reading skill. The scores tell us whether a child is likely to be 'on track' for learning to read, or whether that child may need some additional help in learning important reading skills.

There are six separate DIBELS Next Measures. Five of them are 1‐minute measures meant to be administered 3 times per year at each grade level. One (the DIBELS Composite Score) is a calculated value derived from the other five measures. Not all measures are administered in all grade levels. The DIBELS Composite Score (DCS) used in Kindergarten through Grade 5 is calculated using a formula that weighs one measure against the other at different grade levels and assessment periods. It is the single best measure of student performance.

When are DIBELS assessments given?

DIBELS assessments are given three times a year at the beginning, midpoint, and at the end of the year.

How are students assessed by DIBELS?

The tests are made of up of several different 1 minute measures. Students are tested one on one with a specially trained staff member. In grades 3-5, students use the computer to complete one of the brief measures.

When should I expect reports on my student's growth and progress?

At the beginning of the year, students take the DIBELS assessment and are scored as a baseline to develop goals throughout the year. After the midyear and end of year assessment, you will recieve your child's progress on the assessment.

Click here to see the parent letter sent with all individual student reports.

How do teachers use the DIBELS assessment data?

Becoming a fluent and competent reader is critical for all students. Learning to read is complex and multi-faceted. The DIBELS assessments allow our teachers to better understand those complex processes and skills that will support your child's growth as a reader. Teachers use these measures to develop personalized literacy goals and plan targeted instruction to meet your child's needs.

For grade level specific explanations of student reports, please watch the appropriate videos below.


First Grade

Second Grade

Third through Fifth Grade

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