Aimsweb Universal Screening Tool for Response to Intervention (RTI) Success

Grant Date
Grant Applicant
Joelle Alexander (Reading Intervention Specialist) on behalf of the Response to Intervention (RTI) Team at North Tahoe School
Grant Category
School Site
Amount Funded
Description (10 points)

Aimsweb is a complete web based system that provides universal screening, progress monitoring, and data management for students at all academic levels. The program will screen all students at North Tahoe School to guide teachers with effective and efficient decision making in reading intervention for intensive, strategic, and benchmark students.

With Aimsweb Reading four assessments are included: Early Literacy, Spanish Early Literacy (MIDE), Reading (Spanish and English), and Reading Maze. The Early Literacy tool identifies critical key reading skills in the areas of phonemic awareness, and the elements of phonics, including letter names and sounds and the ability to read nonsense words. Aimsweb MIDE (Medidas Incrementales de Destrezas Esenciales) consists of six measures of early literacy for Spanish speakers: Letter Naming Fluency, Letter Sound Fluency, Syllable Segmentation Fluency, Syllable Reading Fluency, Syllable and Word Spelling, and Oral Reading Fluency. Aimsweb Reading (English and Spanish) consists of 30 research based oral reading passages (at each grade level) where teachers listen to a child read graded passages aloud for 1 minute and calculate the number of words read correct per minute. The final reading component, Maze, is a multiple-choice cloze task that students complete while reading silently. The first sentence of a 150-400 word passage is left intact. Thereafter, every 7th word is replaced with three words inside parenthesis. One of the words is the exact one from the original passage.

Aimsweb is a tool used for all tiers of instruction in an effective response to intervention (RTI) system. At the tier one level teachers will universally screen all students for early identification and conduct general education progress monitoring. At the tier two level teachers will monitor at-risk students more frequently to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional changes. At the tier three level teachers can manage individualized goals, conduct intensive progress monitoring, and document the effectiveness of interventions for those who need intensive instructional services.

Benefits of Program (10 points)

Aimsweb manages, charts, and reports data to provide a pro-active and preventative solution to inform instruction, demonstrate improvement, and report success on a continual basis. Aimsweb will help teachers demonstrate improvements in students’ reading development in a brief, but valid and reliable way. One of the concerns that comes up the most with reading intervention screening tools, is the amount of time it takes to assess students. With Aimsweb teachers will be able to provide better outcomes for students because they will be able to focus more time on the instruction and planning as opposed to the assessments. Browser based scoring allows teachers to upload scores immediately and get data output results in a user friendly, visual way. Students can become active participants in goal setting and tracking due to the user friendliness of the program. Parents have a better understanding of where their child is performing and the progress they have made.

It is important to have multiple measures when making decisions in the intervention process to ensure the most effective instruction is provided. Aimsweb is another useful tool along with Fountas and Pinnell and STAR to help guide decision making. It is an individualized tool that will help determine the best research based reading program a student will need. It will also progress monitor student progress within a program to ensure if progress is being made or not. This is a clear indicator of progression throughout the RTI tiered system.  

Another important benefit to Aimsweb are the unique Spanish components included. Aimsweb simply did not translate the assessments, but took into account the differences in reading progression for Spanish speakers versus English speakers. The English language builds from the phoneme, whereas the Spanish builds from the syllable unit. The MIDE component of Aimsweb builds from the syllable and thus predicts the fluent reading of connected text in the Spanish language. It will be a very useful tool for our English Language Learners as it will provide more information on their reading and language development skills in both English and Spanish.

Success of Program (10 points)

It is vital to have research based reading intervention screening tools that are proven to be reliable, valid, and efficient. My background with universal reading screening has proven to ensure student, school site, and district wide success. The fast, but efficient reading tool allows for urgent intervention, and the continuous progress monitoring tool allows teachers to make decisions with the crucial time allowed. The tool also provides a clear progression throughout the tiers (one, two, and three) as it shows individualized progress based on the Hasbrouck and Tindal national norms of oral reading progress provided below. Teachers will be able to clearly define progress based on national norms.

Implementation (10 points)

The Aimsweb universal screening tool will be administered to every student at NTS three times a year (fall, winter, and spring). These three benchmarks will be strong indicators of students’ reading levels (benchmark, strategic, or intensive). The reading intervention team will then use this data to help guide decision making when creating homogenous groups for reading intervention. Intensive students (typically the lowest 5%) will receive further diagnostic testing (multiple measures) to ensure proper instruction is provided in the areas of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and/or reading comprehension. Strategic students will be progress monitored with Aimsweb every two weeks, whereas intensive students will be monitored every week to ensure progress is being made, or to help guide the team to make appropriate changes to the intervention. Students will be active participants in goal setting and progress as they will visually be able to track how they are progressing every week or every other week. It will also allow teachers to make intervention decisions with our benchmark students (at or above grade level) to provide high quality, (higher order thinking) literacy instruction to higher performing students.

The initial start up cost will provide North Tahoe School a one year subscription to Aimsweb. The program clearly provides group and individualized data to demonstrate student progress. The RTI team is confident the school site and/or district will provide future funding based on the program’s successes.
Can you share this grant with your grade level or subject team?

This grant will be shared with all North Tahoe staff and students. 

Budget (10 points)
Budget Item(s)
$2977 - Aimswebplus Reading ($6.50 per student) * (458 students)
Amount Requested
Other funding sources

The site was limited to funding 50 licenses.