What is a literacy status & how is it determined?

Student's literacy status is part of Iowa’s Early Literacy Implementation (ELI) law. The literacy status is calculated automatically in Student Success for students in grades K-6th. Currently, literacy status calculations are not available for students in grade  An explanation of the determination logic is included below. 

While the status is visible on the student’s individual record in Student Success, the ability to view by and filter reports by literacy status provide opportunities to evaluate and make decisions based on the data. Users are able to easily create groups and/or apply intervention plans based on literacy status, as well as compare how students across statuses are performing relative to the healthy indicators. To learn where to locate a student's literacy status in Student Success, see: View a Student's Literacy Status. To learn how to filter reports by literacy status, see: Filter and View Student Lists by Literacy Status

Literacy Status Determination Logic

Literacy status determinations are based on a student’s previous literacy status and performance on the default screening assessment during most recent state-defined screening window. It's important to note that the calculation is based on the previous literacy status rather than the previous assessment, as this has been a point of confusion for many.

Student literacy status will be one of 4 categories:  

  • Adequately Progressing
  • At Risk
  • Persistently at Risk
  • Cannot Be Determined.

The step visual below demonstrates how a student will go up or down a 'step' in literacy status and requirements based on which step the student was on previously (the literacy status) and the results of the most recent in-windows screening with the default literacy assessment.

The chart below shows the same but in a different format that some find more consumable, with the addition of what happens when a student does not have a literacy status to start with.

Literacy status calculations for a new student from another Iowa district

New student arrives during screening window

If a student moves in from another Iowa district during the screening window, their literacy status calculations will be based on your school's default screener for that grade. A score may have been collected for your school's default assessment at the student's previous school. To avoid unnecessary re-screening we recommend checking for an assessment score in Student Success. Scores do transfer between districts in Student Success, as long as the student's state ID has been entered in your district's student information system. If the student does not have a score available for your school's default assessment, screening will be needed.

New student arrives after screening window

The student's literacy status will be based on the default assessment for the school the student attended at the end of the screening window and will travel with the student between districts. It should be visible in Student Success after the student's state ID has been entered in your district's student information system. There is no need to screen the student on your district's default assessment upon arrival, especially if the student has data/literacy status from the previous Iowa district. Scores collected outside of the screening window are not valid for Iowa ELI or Healthy Indicators, and if it's more than a week or two after the screening window, often do not provide quality data for decision-making when compared to the benchmarks due to the additional instructional time the student has had since the screening window.

Literacy Status for 7th & 8th Graders

Students in grades 7+ will display the literacy status designation of 'Not Available' in Student Success. This is because a literacy status is only intended for K-6th grade students who are screened in accordance with ELI law.

I think a student's literacy status is incorrect, what should I do?

There should be very few, if any, cases where these calculations result in a discrepancy from locally determined literacy status. In most cases, the confusion comes from the district using the student's previous and current scores to calculate literacy status rather than the previous literacy status and the current score or using a score that was collected outside of the state-defined screening window. In all cases, err on the side of providing appropriate support to students to help them close the gap. If you feel there is a literacy status error, feel free to submit a question about it to support_iowa@panoramaed.com.

Fall 2019 literacy status calculations: For students with no Spring 2019 default assessment data available, the Spring status will be interpreted as “cannot be determined” when calculating the Fall 2019 status.

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