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Early Literacy Implementation (ELI)


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Legal Requirements

Iowa Code section 279.68 and 281--Iowa Administrative Code 62 promote effective evidence-based programming, instruction and assessment practices across schools to support all students to become proficient readers by the end of the third grade. General requirements of Iowa Code section 279.68 and 281--Iowa Administrative Code 62 are listed below. All requirements go into effect immediately and are expected to be implemented no later than August 1, 2014 unless otherwise indicated.

  • Provision of universal screening in reading for students in kindergarten through third grade
  • Progress monitoring for students who exhibit a substantial deficiency in reading
  • Provision of intensive instruction – including 90 minutes daily of scientific, research-based reading instruction - for students who exhibit a substantial deficiency in reading
  • Notice to parents that a student exhibits a substantial deficiency in reading, including strategies the parents can use at home to help the child succeed
  • Notice to parents of such a student’s subsequent progress
  • Provision of an evidence-based summer reading program for students who exhibit a substantial deficiency in reading (Effective May 1, 2017)
  • Retention of any student who is not proficient in reading by the end of the third grade, did not attend the summer reading program, and does not qualify for a good cause exemption from the retention requirement (Effective May 1, 2017)



The purpose of the guidance documents are to aid Iowa’s public school districts in (1) interpreting and implementing Iowa Code section 279.68, and (2) determining how best to use the funds provided by this code.

  1. Early Literacy Guidance (2014-08-26) provides the specific requirements and permitted actions by public school districts, frequently asked questions, and definition of terms.
  2. Early Literacy Implementation - Budget Guidance provides districts with a brief guide regarding how best to use funds.
  3. Early Literacy Implementation - IowaGrants Access Instructions provide brief instructions on how to submit for funds. For questions regarding this process, contact Meredith MacQuigg at
  4. ELI Guidance: Identification of Students with Substantial Deficiency


Technical Assistance Sessions

The Department sponsored several meetings/webinars during the 2014-2015 school year to review Iowa Code section 279.68 and 281--Iowa Administrative Code 62. Archived webinars are posted under Archived Webinars, Supporting Documents and Information. Access current webinars here:

Archived Webinars,Supporting Documents, and Information

Early Literacy Guidance Webinars

Date Topic and Webinar Link PowerPoint Documents
8/13/15 Iowa TIER Setup for the new year 2015-08-13 PowerPoint N/A
5/27/15 ELI SD Reporting for schools not using FAST N/A Reporting Substantial Deficiency
5/27/15 ELI SD Reporting Webinar for Schools using FAST N/A Reporting Substantial Deficiency
5/20/15 Kindergarten within ELI 2015-05-20 PowerPoint Revised Early Literacy Kindergarten Guidance
5/15/2015 Identification of Substantial Deficiency: Fall, Winter, Spring 2015-05-15 PowerPoint N/A
4/28/15 PK-K Assessments and How They Relate: GOLD, IGDIs and FAST 2015-04-28 PowerPoint Gold and IGDIs abbreviated

Gold and IGDIs Nonabbreviated

03/06/2015 Determining Intervention Success 2015-03-06 PowerPoint Foormanetal 2003

Intervention Effectiveness Protocol

02/19/2015 Reporting for Non-FAST Districts 2015-02-19 PowerPoint N/A
02/06/2015 Identification of students as substantially deficient in the area of reading 2015-02-06 PowerPoint N/A
01/23/2015 Iowa TIER Q&A    
01/09/2015 Iowa TIER Q&A    
12/18/2014 SIS Data Hygiene    
12/15/2014 Reporting for Non-FAST Districts 2014-12-15 PowerPoint N/A
12/12/2014 Teacher Observation 2014-12-12 PowerPoint Teacher Observation Tool
12/04/2014 Reviewed Intervention List 2014-12-04 PowerPoint Early Literacy Interventions Reviewed List
11/12/2014 Parent Contract (there is no link to webinar recording) 2014-11-12 PowerPoint Parent Letter and Contract Example

Title I-ELI Parent Letter and Contract Example

11/12/2014 Preschool and Kindergarten 2014-11-12 PowerPoint Preschool and Kindergarten Guidance
10/15/2014 Parent Notification 2014-10-15 PowerPoint Parent Notification Letter

School Family Partnership Sheet

09/18/2014 Universal Screening and Progress Monitoring 2014-09-18 PowerPoint N/A
09/12/2014 Substantial Deficiency 2014-09-12 PowerPoint N/A
09/05/2014 Students with Disabilities 2014-09-05 PowerPoint N/A
12/12/2013 Early Literacy Guidance 2013-12-12 PowerPoint N/A

Reviewed Literacy Interventions

Early Literacy Interventions Reviewed List - This document contains summary information regarding the Iowa Department of Education’s review of PK-12 literacy interventions.


Universal Screening and Progress Monitoring Assessments

Approved Literacy Assessments - A list of approved universal screening and progress monitoring assessments (updated June 2015).

  1. Technology Requirements The following documents include supports for setting up staff access and other required data elements.
  2. Iowa TIER is the state's database through which districts may access FAST and IGDIs.
  3. Formative Assessment System for Teachers or FAST is the state’s universal screening assessment and progress monitoring assessment for Kindergarten through Sixth grade students.
  4. Individual Growth and Development Indicators or IGDIs is the state’s universal screening assessment for preschool four-year old children.



Send email questions regarding Iowa TIER access and/or FAST/IGDIs universal screening administration to and support personnel will get back to you as soon as possible.

 Regular School Year Screening Windows for 15-16
Assessment windows for 2015-16 have been determined. These windows apply to all districts, regardless of which approved assessment they are giving to students. We will be working with the extended school year sites in the coming weeks to set windows for those sites.
•    Fall: September 7th through October 2nd
•    Winter: January 18th through February 12th
•    Spring: April 18th through May 13th

Certification Requirement for Administering FAST/IGDIs in 15-16
Iowa TIER will be requiring certification in order to administer FAST/IGDIs assessments during the 15-16 school year. The system will prevent a user from administering an assessment if he/she is not certified to administer that particular assessment. User certification will carry over from 13-14 and 14-15 into the 15-16 school year, so users who are already certified will continue to be certified in 15-16.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on October 10, 2015 at 2:19pm.