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Universal Screening Tools

In any MTSS System, universal screening tools are used to match children with curricula/intervention designed to meet their individual needs. Universal screening measures are brief assessments focused on targeted skills and are typically used with all children three times during a school year (fall, winter and spring) to measure progress and determine an appropriate level of support. Universal screening tools differ from other commonly used early childhood assessments. Diagnostic and curriculum-based assessments are generally used in early childhood to determine a child’s current development functioning. Developmental screening tools are typically used as part of district’s Child Find responsibilities. They are used to quickly identify a child who may be experiencing a developmental delay and determine the need for further assessment. In contrast, universal screening tools focus on targeted skills that are predictive of future outcomes in mathematics, literacy and/or social/emotional behavior. A universal screening tool answers the question, “Is the child performing at benchmark levels on key skills?” Tools appropriate for use as universal screeners must be valid and reliable for use with young children.

General Universal Screening Resources
Title Resource Category Description
MTSS Assessment Checklist

Checklist

Provides an overview of important characteristics of a universal screening tool and/or progress monitoring tool.
Preschool Universal Screening Tools

Chart

Introduced by the Kansas MTSS Project and outlines some of the most common universal screening tools used in preschool.
Literacy
Title Resource Category Description

Get Ready to Read Screening Tools

Screening tool From the Get Ready to Read website and designed to be used with children in the year before they enter kindergarten. It measures the early literacy skills of print knowledge, linguistic awareness, and emergent writing.
PALS Pre-K

Screening tool

For pre-school aged students and young children this site addresses key phonological awareness skills.
Math
Title Resource Category Description
Early Learning Observation Rating Scale

Screening tool

From the Get Ready to Read website this tool was designed to be used with children in the year before they enter kindergarten. It measures the learning domains of perceptual/motor, self-management, social emotional, early math, and language.
Early Numeracy Assessment: The Development of the Preschool Numeracy Scale

Article

Discusses the construction and validations of twelve early numeracy assessment tasks.
Social/Emotional Behavior
Title Resource Category Description
Addressing Challenging Behavior through Data: Introduction to tthe Behavior Incident Reporting System (BIRS) Webinar Provides early childhood professionals with a system to collect and analyze behavior incidents within an early childhood program. 

Early Learning Observation Rating Scale

Screening tool

From the Get Ready to Read website this tool was designed to be used with children in the year before they enter kindergarten. It measures the learning domains of perceptual/motor, self-management, social emotional, early math, and language.