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Education Laws and Regulations

Early Literacy Screening, Regulation 603 CMR 28.03(1)(f) — Effective July 1, 2023

On September 20, 2022, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted an amendment to 603 CMR 28.03 that requires all elementary schools to assess each student's reading abilities and early literacy skills at least twice per year from kindergarten through at least third grade. The regulation, 603 CMR 28.03(1)(f), takes effect on July 1, 2023.

The full regulations can be found at: 603 CMR 28.03: School District Administration and Personnel Regulations.

28.03(1) General Responsibilities of the School District

  • . . .

  • (f) Early Literacy Screening. Effective July 1, 2023, each school district shall at least twice per year assess each student's reading ability and progress in literacy skills, from kindergarten through at least third grade, using a valid, developmentally appropriate screening instrument approved by the Department. Consistent with section 2 of chapter 71B of the general laws and the Department's dyslexia and literacy guidelines, if such screenings determine that a student is significantly below relevant benchmarks for age-typical development in specific literacy skills, the school shall determine which actions within the general education program will meet the student's needs, including differentiated or supplementary evidence-based reading instruction and ongoing monitoring of progress. Within 30 school days of a screening result that is significantly below the relevant benchmarks, the school shall inform the student's parent or guardian of the screening results and the school's response and shall offer them the opportunity for a follow-up discussion.

For more information and resources on early literacy screening and intervention, please see:

For questions about early literacy universal screening, contact Mary Brown

For questions about dyslexia (including assessment and intervention), contact

For all other literacy questions and comments, please contact DESE using this form.

Last Updated: December 1, 2022

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