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Kindergarten Early Literacy Letter

Below is copy of the Kindergarten Early Literacy letter sent to families.  Please use the translation / language button at the top of this page to translate this letter into your preferred language.  SpanishChinese / Korean / Russian

Dear Kindergarten Parent/Guardian/Family,   

Issaquah School District is committed to helping all students become strong, confident readers.   To ensure students reach their potential and are provided instruction to address their needs, the Issaquah School District is implementing screening assessments that evaluate reading performance and help us identify students who are having difficulty learning how to read.  These assessments also meet the state requirement to assess for “indications of below grade level literacy development or areas of weakness associated with dyslexia” (required by WA State Senate Bill 6162).    

Our screening process includes assessing kindergarten students two times a year in literacy skills using i-Ready Reading and once with the Random Automatized Naming (RAN) assessment.  These assess your child for reading skills such as phonemic awareness, letter sound knowledge, and phonics. 

Your student's i-Ready reading scores are available below. Information on accessing and interpreting the i-Ready screening results can be found HERE


What does my school do with these assessment scores? 

ALL kindergarten students are receiving instruction in reading skills using Benchmark Phonics and Heggerty.  These are curricula designed to help students, including those experiencing difficulty, learn how to read.  Your child’s classroom teacher will use the i-Ready assessments to help adjust to the needs of your student when using this curricula. 


Your child's overall and subtest scores are a number between 1.00 and 4.99.  Keep the following in mind.  

  • The score uses our standard 4-point scale.  

  • The score is based on the expectation for each topic at the time the test was taken. 

  • A score of 3.00 or above, means the student is at or above the score expected on that test.  That means the student is on track to meet standard. 

  • A score of 2.00 – 2.99 means the student is not yet meeting standard.  

If your student scored a 2.99 or below in phonics or phonological awareness, this means your student is not yet meeting the expected learning benchmark or milestone in phonics skills.  For now, continuing with learning from Heggerty and Benchmark is the recommended course of action.   We will assess again at the start of 1st grade to determine if phonics or phonological awareness intervention is needed. 

If your student scored a 3.00 or above in phonics or phonological awareness, that indicates that your student is on track to meet standards in learning how to read. 

How can I help my child if my child scored 2.99 or below? 

Two areas where you can help your student learn how to read are described below: 

Phonological awareness (PA) is about being able to HEAR sounds.  Word play or word games help students develop the ability to hear sounds. You can learn more about phonological awareness here. Try the following to help your child develop phonological awareness: 

  • Play rhyming games: What rhymes with cat?   

  • PBS and other childhood TV shows for early readers that incorporate songs, chants and letters can help students develop phonological awareness. 

  • Ask your child what sound a word starts with or ends with (all verbal, no print).  example: What sound does 'dog' start with?  answer: /d/ 

Phonics skills empower children to connect the sounds they hear in spoken words to the letters they see in written words and use these skills to read the words.  Try the following to help your child develop phonics skills: 

  • i-Ready is supportive of Phonics work, completing i-Ready My Path lessons is a great starting point. 

  • Letter and letter sound games can be found online or at game stores.  Letter and word play is good for phonics development. 

  • Flyleaf is giving free access to decodable books: Reading these at home can make reading more accessible to students. 

  • Help student blend sounds into words.  example: Ask your child to stretch or blend the sounds in the word cat.  Answer: "/c-aaa-t/,  cat" 

Can my student access i-Ready at home?  

Yes! i-Ready is accessible by students at home through their District Clever account, just click on the i-Ready icon. i-Ready My Path instruction provides students with lessons based on their individual strengths and areas for growth. These lessons are interactive and provide strategic supports to keep your child engaged as they learn.  These lessons are adaptive, meaning that as a student completes a lesson successfully, they automatically advance the student along their own personalized learning path.  Within i-Ready, students may, depending on their individual need, learn or reinforce skills beyond their grade level, skills they are learning in their grade level, or pre-requisite skills below their grade level.  i-Ready will be available to students through July. 

Finally, continue to communicate with your classroom teacher.  Teachers have great insights into the strengths and needs of students.  The following provides more information on early literacy screening. 

In Partnership, 
Issaquah School District Teaching & Learning Services 

ISD’s Screening Tool & Process:

Students in kindergarten through second grade are screened for early literacy skills as part of the best practices outlined by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).  This requirement is part of the early literacy law that includes identifying students who have indications of below grade level literacy development or areas of weakness associated with dyslexia. 

For more information, please visit: 

Student Intervention Plans:

When students score below grade level and/or show indicators of weakness associated with dyslexia on the early literacy screener, and are not showing growth from core instruction that puts them on a path to meeting standard, they will be provided an instructional plan or intervention plan.  These plans may be initiated at any time, most commonly after the spring of kindergarten or fall of first grade.  Plans are implemented to support the student in accelerating learning toward grade level expectations.

Multilingual Learners:

The screening process is adjusted for our multilingual learners per OSPI’s recommended best practices.  If a multilingual student scores below grade level expectation, intervention or instructional plans for multilingual learners will be aligned to their literacy and language development goals.  For more information, please visit OSPI’s Screening Guidance for Multilingual Learners.