Initial Literacy Evaluation Information

Group size
30 to 45 min.
Skill level
pre-reader to advanced reader


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Our Literacy Evaluation

Initial Literacy Evaluation

At the Stretch & Catch Reading Center, our goal is to teach  each child at their instructional level.  In order to create an individual literacy plan for your child's success; we must first evaluate 3 components of your child's literacy: Developmental Spelling Level, Developmental Reading Level, and High Frequency Word Level.

Your child will meet in-person or virtually with one of our teachers for a one-on-one individual assessment. This evaluation is approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour long and is done prior to your child beginning at the Stretch & Catch Reading Center.

After our Initial Literacy Evaluation, each parent will receive a report explaining every aspect of where their child's instructional literacy levels are, as well as, the literacy plan for the Stretch & Catch Reading Center.

Individual Literacy Evaluation

Developmental Spelling Level:

The DSA is given to students to determine a student’s stage of orthographic development.  There is a need for synchrony between orthographic development and reading skills.  The relationship between orthographic knowledge and reading fluency has been documented throughout the developmental sequence from emergent through more specialized stages of development. (Templeton & Bear, 1992)  Donald Bear attests that orthographic knowledge must develop primarily to build fluent readers.  His study fosters oral reading and eventually fluency.  He listed several pedagogical implications including the fact that teachers need to differentiate spelling instruction to meet individual needs of students. (Bear 1989)  The DSA gives the baseline of where your child’s instructional orthographic development is before beginning the Stretch & Catch method.  The Stretch & Catch method will use a tactile approach to teaching orthographic and phonemic awareness at your child’s instructional level.

Developmental Reading Level:

The Developmental Reading Assessment is a standardized reading test used to determine a student’s instructional level in reading.  Students read a selection (or selections) and then answer comprehension questions based on the story they read.

As the levels increase, so does the difficulty level for each selection.

What does a student’s DRA level mean?

The DRA level indicated on a student’s Initial Literacy report shows the score attained during the initial testing before beginning at the Stretch & Catch Reading Center. The levels can show a student’s current reading level according to a Developmental Reading Continuum.

High Frequency Word Level:

High frequency words, otherwise known as sight words are very important for your child to master because, "high frequency words account for up to 75% of the words used in beginning children’s printed material”, according to Study to Identify High-Frequency Words in Printed Materials, by D.J. Kear & M.A. Gladhart. There are different high frequency words for every grade level.  Each set of words builds upon the other, meaning that once your child learns the high frequency words in Kindergarten, he/she will be expected to still recognize those words as he/she learns new words in first grade, and so forth.  Many of the over 200 “sight words” do not follow the basic phonics principles, thus they cannot be “sounded out.” Beginning readers need an effective strategy for decoding unknown words, and being familiar with high frequency words is an effective method.

Initial Literacy Evaluation:

$75 for chart analysis, $150 for full written analysis

Your child will need to be evaluated before they begin at the Stretch & Catch®Reading Center in order to be placed in the correct reading level.  This evaluation is a one-time fee for students who continue year round at the Stretch & Catch®Reading Center.  If your child leaves the Stretch & Catch® Reading Center for several months, he/she may need a new Initial Literacy Evaluation to be placed in the correct reading level again.  A parent can also request a new Literacy Evaluation at any time for the same fee.

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