FastBridge Screeners and Progress Monitoring
Universal Screeners in Reading, Math, and Behavior
Universal screening is the process of regularly checking every student’s performance (taking their “temperature”) periodically during the school year. This helps identify students who are responding well to core instruction (on track), as well as those who may require supplemental (some risk) or intensive (high risk) intervention and instructional support as an integral component to an effective MTSS program.
FastBridge screeners are administered three times a year for all students in grade K-12—fall, winter, and spring—because student performance can change drastically across the school year. A student may need support in the fall, but no longer require the added resources in the winter. Likewise, a student may score well in the fall, but struggle later in the year. FastBridge uses three screening periods to help teachers make informed decisions about intervention throughout the entire year at the school, class, and individual student level.
FAST provides evidence-based tools for reading, math, and behaviorial screening that are brief and highly predictive of future outcomes—thereby maximizing instructional time and resources. The unique, multi-source, multi-method approach is designed to more accurately identify instructional groupings regarding students’ levels of proficiency, risk, and future outcomes.
When used consistently with fidelity as part of anMTSS model, FastBridge provides teachers with exceptional and timely data to identify students at risk for academic and behavioral difficulty, as well as supports to implement the appropriate research-based intervention and instruction at the right time and build capacity for data-based decision-making.
Two of the most useful ways to look at results of a FastBridge screening assessment are:
Benchmarks: These are the standards by which student scores are judged. They are used to determine whether students are on track to be successful or are at-risk. These are noted in FAST as “!” or “!!” when students are at some risk (!) or high risk (!!).
FastBridge benchmarks are not based on the scores of students in the school or district. Rather, they compare a student’s level of achievement to criterion aligned with relevant outcomes (e.g., state-mandated achievement tests). Teachers use these comparisons to identify how many students are falling behind.
Local Percentiles (aka Local Norms): These compare a student’s score to other student scores in your class, school, or district. Local percentiles are reported as percentile ranks and are color-coded.
Higher percentile ranks indicate better performance compared to lower percentile ranks. A percentile rank of 20 at the school level means that a student scored as well or better than 20% of other students in the same grade at your school (and not as good as 80%). Local percentiles / percentile ranks provide complementary information to data.
It might seem like these purposes are the same, but they are not.
Benchmark comparisons help teachers identify who is at, below, or above the expected level of performance for a particular grade.
Norm comparisons allow teachers consider how their students match up to other students in the same class, school, or district. Normative comparisons complement benchmark comparisons.
Progress monitoring is used in conjunction with universal screening in an MTSS model (or by anyone who is interested in improving learning results for children) to set goals for student learning growth, quickly and frequently assess student academic performance, measure his/her rate of improvement, and to evaluate the effectiveness of instruction. Progress monitoring is given to students—often those identified for Tier 2 and Tier 3 intervention—repeatedly and frequently (e.g., weekly, bi-weekly).
Since teachers often don’t know ahead of time whether an intervention will be successful for a student, FastBridge Learning’s progress monitoring tools are designed to support teachers’ understanding of a student’s response to intervention and give them timely feedback and support to quickly adjust instruction as needed. The use of frequent and ongoing progress monitoring results in more efficient and better targeted instructional techniques and goals, which together, move all students to better and faster learning outcomes. Other benefits include:
- Accelerated learning because students are receiving more appropriate instruction
- More informed instructional decisions
- More efficient communication with families and other educators about students’ progress
- Higher expectations for students by teachers
- Fewer special education referrals
FastBridge offers a scientifically based progress monitoring approach using progress monitoring tools that simplify the entire goal-setting process, with built-in guidance based on research-based rate of improvement recommendations. Supportive and flexible progress monitoring tools leave the teacher in control of the process.
FastBridge progress monitoring tools use brief, evidence-based curriculum-based measurement probes that can be easily administered by a classroom teacher, special education teacher, or school psychologist. Our progress monitoring tools offer accurate, meaningful information about students’ academic levels and are highly sensitive to growth.