What is ECLAS-2?
A: The Early Childhood Literary Assessment System (ECLAS-2) is not
a test; it is an assessment designed to help teachers determine
the progress in literacy development in children from grades K-3.
ECLAS-2 consists of two parts: the ECLAS-2 Kit for grades K–3
and the Early Performance Assessment in Language Arts (E-PAL) for
grades 2 and 3.
activities include individual administered and group administered
activities designed to measure each child’s progress in Phonemic
Awareness, Phonics, Reading and Oral Expression, and Listening and
is a performance assessment given over two days. It measures a student’s
ability to respond in writing to both a passage that is listened
to and a passage which the student reads independently. Grade 2 students
who have mastered Level 5 or higher of the Reading Accuracy and Comprehension
activities of the Kit take E-PAL, grade 2. Administration of E-PAL
for all grade 3 students is currently optional; however, it is strongly
recommended that it be administered to all students. Please check
with your school’s testing coordinator
or the Regional Senior Assessment Coordinator (RSAC) to determine if
your school/region requires it. E-PAL, grade 3 may also be used as
part of the appeals process for those students whose promotion is in
What grades does ECLAS-2 assess? How many levels are there?
ECLAS-2 assesses Grades K-3 and contains 8 levels. Each level provides
benchmarks that correspond to a specific grade and term. For example,
Level 4 benchmarks correspond to the second half of Grade 1. Each
activity benchmark corresponds to an expected level of performance
by midyear and end-of-year, at each grade level (see ECLAS-2 Kit
If a student fails to master an activity, where are results recorded?
On the inside front cover of the Literacy Development Checklist,
record in pencil to indicate that the activity was attempted. This
will show that the student was not absent, but did not master the activity.
When the student has mastered the activity, the pencil mark can be
erased and replaced with the appropriate date. Inside the LDC, comments
should be written under Observations and the date noted. The Division
of Assessment and Accountability (DAA) also collects individual data
on all students via a scan sheet. Results are posted on a secure website
to enable teachers and administrators to use the data to inform instruction.
Is photocopying required?
The Division of Assessment supplies all necessary reproducible
materials: spelling sheets, vocabulary sheets, writing sheets and
class record sheets. If additional copies are needed they can be
reproduced. The ECLAS-2 Teacher’s Guide found in the Kit
also contains black line masters.
Where do you begin with a new admit?
If the new student is transferring from a NYC public school, hopefully
Checklist (LDC) from his/her previous school will be included with
permanent records. If it has arrived, check the inside front cover
and begin where the data indicates. If there is no LDC, use your
professional judgment and knowledge of the student to determine the
starting point. Look at the sight word score to choose a reading
level. If it proves to be either too hard or too easy, stop and move
to the appropriate level. Rarely is teacher judgment off by more
than one level.
Will data be collected? How? Why?
Yes, data will be collected. Scan sheets will be collected at designated
times and results will appear on the DAA website. Regional personnel,
principals and teachers will be able to access the data by using
their assigned access numbers. This information is helpful for
gauging both individual and school wide progress, as well as satisfying
the requirements of Reading First and No Child Left Behind.
Reading First schools using a personal digital assistant (PDA) do not
have to submit scan sheets. The data will be transmitted electronically.
For help with access numbers, contact: Paul Daniel (212) 374-3482, PADanie@schools.nyc.gov
What if a school is short of materials?
If you are missing needed materials, please contact your Regional
Senior Assessment Coordinator (RSAC) for instructions on how to get
the supplies you require.
Q: What should 3 rd grade teachers do in regard to administering
The decision to administer the ECLAS-2 Kit and E-PAL to the 3 rd grade
is a regional decision for the current school year. However, for students
whose promotion is in doubt, ECLAS-2 data may be used to support promotional
How do we ensure consistency in scoring student performance across
buildings, especially in the Writing Strand?
Proper use of the Writing Rubric (page 37 of Teacher Tools for
specific rubrics) ensures consistency.
Can ECLAS-2 be administered during the “extended
That is a regional decision. Please remember that all of the Individual
Activities are to be administered by the classroom teacher only because
he/she is the person making the instructional decisions.
Is there a way to organize information about an entire class?
In the reproducible materials that you receive from the Division
of Assessment there are three organizing sheets:
Class Record Sheet contains a place to record results of every
strand and its sub-skills for each student. The Class Record Sheet
enables teachers to quickly see the level each student has achieved
in each strand.
Spelling Class Record Sheet lists each of the spelling conventions.
It enables teachers to quickly see the spelling conventions mastered
by each student and those areas in which more instruction is needed.
Decoding Class Record Sheet shows the decoding conventions the
child has mastered and those in which further instruction is needed.
How are Levels different from Benchmarks?
Levels have benchmarks that correlate to a grade and time of year.
Benchmarks are the criteria a child must meet in order to master
a given level. (Example: 48/60 spelling words is the benchmark
for Level 6 – End
of Grade 2.) The benchmarks are for midyear and end-of-year.
How is ECLAS–2 used to identify students for intervention
During the first few weeks of school a small subset of ECLAS–2
activities is used to identify students in need of intervention services.
Benchmarks specific to this application are applied.
GROUP AND INDIVIDUAL ACTIVITIES
To ease administration please refer to your ECLAS-2 Kit Overview
or page 8 of the Teacher’s
Guide to see which activities are administered individually or
to a group.
What are the Group Activities and how are they administered?
There are four Group Activities in ECLAS-2: Alphabet
Writing, Spelling, Vocabulary, and Listening and Writing. Group Activities
are the same for all students in a particular grade and semester. They
can be administered to the whole class or to smaller groups as appropriate
for the grade level.
What if a student does not master a Group Activity?
He/she takes the next semester’s Group Activity when it
is administered. All Group Activities are specific to the grade and
time of year. Group Activities are not re-administered even if a student
does not master them.
If a student masters a Group Activity, can she/he be given the
next higher level?
No. A child should not be assessed beyond the specific Group Activity
for his/her grade level and time of year. The activity is given to
the entire class one time only. Students are not assessed on the next
level until it is time for the next assessment.
What are the Individual Activities?
The Individual Activities include Phonemic Awareness, Alphabet
Recognition, Decoding, Sight Words, Reading (Accuracy, Comprehension
and Oral Expression), and Reading Fluency (Rate and Expression). Please
remember that the classroom teacher should administer all of the Individual
Do the Individual Activities correspond to a specific grade and
No, they do not correspond to a specific grade and time of year,
but there are benchmarks for each level/grade. Results of the Individual
Activities indicate a student’s level of mastery. For example,
a student in end-of-year Grade 1 may have mastered Reading Accuracy
Level 6, which is the end-of-year Grade 2 benchmark. This student read
a Level 6 book with a 90% or higher accuracy and scored a Medium or
High on the Comprehension components.
Does a teacher stop assessing a student in the Individual Activities
when the child has mastered his/her grade level?
No, the student goes as far as possible on an individually administered
activity. The mastery level may reflect a level above or below the
If a child does not master an Individual Activity is he/she reassessed?
Yes, a child who does not master an Individual
Activity must be reassessed on those sub-skills not
mastered during the subsequent assessment periods until mastery is
You may want to refer to the Teacher’s Guide and
the Literacy Development Checklist (LDC) for a detailed explanation
of each strand.
Please refrain from the temptation to teach a skill during the ECLAS-2
record the need for further instruction in the student’s
AWARENESS STRAND: (Level 1) Rhyme Recognition,
Rhyme Generation, Syllable Clapping, and Initial Consonants. (Level
2) Final Consonants, Blending, and Segmenting.
Must I / How do I use the puppet?
Use of the puppet is recommended, but not required. Its primary
use is for K and Grade 1 during the practice sections of the various
sub-skills. Refer to your Overview to see the activities in which the
puppet may be used. It should not be used during the actual assessment.
You may put it down, or hold it near your mouth to help the child focus
on watching your mouth. Practice using your non-writing hand to hold
How many times can I repeat the directions and/or the practice
If the child is unsure of the instructions (e.g., clapping, or
counting, etc.), repeat the directions and practice activities
up to three times, using your professional judgment. If the child
appears NOT to be able to do the task (e.g., blending), move on
to the next sub-skill. Note the date attempted in the margins of
the LDC on the page on which the activity appears, and note any
pertinent information under Observations. Each individual sub-skill
can be reassessed at a future date if desired, or during the next
What if a child only masters SOME sub-skills?
Always record which tasks were attempted and not mastered including
the dates. A child who has NOT mastered a Phonemic Awareness activity
can still be assessed in the other sub-skills of Phonemic Awareness,
as well as in the other appropriate strands.
If a Kindergarten child can read, does he/she need to be assessed
in Phonemic Awareness?
Yes, otherwise you won’t know if the child is using a sight
word vocabulary or has phonetic decoding skills. Phonemic Awareness
is a set of skills that you want each child to have in his/her repertoire.
Do 1st grade students taking ECLAS–2 for the first
time have to be assessed in Phonemic Awareness?
Yes. Sometimes early readers are using only one strategy to read.
Phonemic Awareness is a set of skills that you want each child to have
in his/her repertoire. In order to learn to read print, the student
must understand that words are make up of speech sounds (phonemes).
In syllable clapping, do we encourage the child to repeat the word
back when clapping?
Yes. Vocalizing may help but is not required.
If a child claps the correct number of syllables, but says the
wrong number is that a correct response?
Yes. Some children may not know how to count.
PHONICS STRAND: (Levels
1 & 2) Alphabet Recognition,
Alphabet Writing, and (Levels 1–8) Spelling, and (Levels 2–6)
What score on Decoding do you use to determine the reading level?
Use the level that the child has mastered in Decoding and/or Sight
Words to set the reading level. If that level proves to be too difficult
or too easy, stop and go to the next higher or lower level as appropriate.
In Spelling, at what level does a Grade 1 teacher begin testing?
Spelling is a Group Activity. All Group Activities are specific
to grade and time of year. At grade 1, the teacher administers the
Level 3 Spelling activity in the fall and Level 4 in the spring.
AND ORAL EXPRESSION STRAND: Vocabulary
(Group Activity), Sight Words, Reading (including Accuracy, Comprehension,
and Oral Expression), and Fluency (Reading Rate and Expression).
Materials for these activities are found in Teacher Tools or Child
How is the Vocabulary activity administered, when, and to whom?
is a Group Activity administered to all students from Level 3 (Fall,
1 st grade) through Level 8 (Spring, 3 rd grade) at the level specific
to their grade and time of year.
How is the Sight Words activity administered, when, and to whom?
How is it scored?
Sight Words is an Individual Activity administered to all children
at Level 2 through Level 8 See p. 18 of the LDC. Sight
Words are scored cumulatively. Children read aloud until they miss
4 or 5 words in a row, or become frustrated. (Use your professional
judgment.) Count the number of words read correctly and enter the level
mastered in the appropriate lavender level box and on the inside front
cover of the LDC.
On the next assessment, begin a row or two above where the child
left off. The child will thus begin the second assessment at a place
where he/she is sure to be successful. When scoring the second and
subsequent assessments, count all words read correctly from the previous
assessments, and enter the level mastered in the appropriate lavender
level box and on the inside front cover of the LDC.
What do you do if students are familiar with a book?
If your class is familiar with one of the books, use the alternate
selection for that level.
How is Reading Comprehension measured in ECLAS-2?
Reading Comprehension is evaluated through story retelling, scripted
comprehension questions, and at Levels 3-6 by asking a prediction question.
A score of Medium or High in all of the Comprehension questions denotes
Mastery of Comprehension. See p. 23 of the LDC.
How is Oral Expression measured?
The score for Oral Expression is based on a child’s retelling
of the story. A score of medium or high is necessary to meet the benchmark. See
p. 73 of the Teacher’s Guide for information on “Assessing
Story Retelling.” Oral Expression is measured at each
reading level (1–8). It does not have to be mastered to proceed
to the next level. The Oral Expression evaluation provides information
for the teachers to use in future instruction.
AND WRITING STRAND
Listening and Writing is a GROUP activity. It is specific to grade
and time of year.
Is the written response timed?
No. Allow students to continue working as long as they are working
productively. For planning purposes, estimate 45–55 minutes.
(See Flow Chart on pg. 8 of Teacher’s Guide.)
Are students allowed to take notes while listening to the passage?
Why is the listening passage read only one time?
Research and standardization was done with the passage read one
time. In preparation for reading the passage be sure to identify any
vocabulary words that the children may not know, but do not discuss
their usage in the passage.
Does a teacher score one writing sample for Listening Comprehension,
Writing Development, and Writing Expression?
In Levels 1-3, score the writing sample for Comprehension and Writing
Development (mechanics) only. If the student does not have sufficient
writing skills, you may have to ask the student to give you the response
orally in order to assess comprehension. Transcribe the student’s
answer to have a record of it. This however, does not provide a score
for Writing Development.
4-8, Writing Expression is also scored using the same writing sample.
Levels 7 and 8, when scoring Listening Comprehension, be sure to
score holistically, using both the writing organizer and the writing
sample. Keep the samples in the students’ folders See
p. 37 of Teacher Tools to score all of the above.
Are there student samples illustrating High, Medium, and Low scores?
Yes, in the Teacher’s
Guide pages 31-36.
If you need further information, please contact Charlie Soule Csoule@schools.nyc.gov or Iris Rothstein IRothstein@schools.nyc.gov