DRC BEACON Early Years
DRC BEACON Early Years is an online, computer-adaptive assessment designed to meet the needs of young learners during the critical early years of their educational journey. It helps educators screen, determine needs, monitor progress, and evaluate assessment outcomes for students in grades K–2 in mathematics and English language arts (ELA). DRC BEACON Early Years can be used throughout the school year as often as needed to support instruction and learning.
When used together with the DRC BEACON 3–8 interim assessments, DRC BEACON Early Years gives educators a comprehensive view of each student’s learning path from kindergarten through eighth grade.
Designed to Measure the Early Math and Literacy Skills of Young Learners
DRC BEACON Early Years helps to identify literacy skills and needs at an early age, which is the critical stage in reading development. It builds on the five essential Science of Reading literacy skills—phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency. It also includes educator-administered Fluency and Oral Language assessments.
Students' early math skills are strong predictors of later math and reading achievement. Understanding early math learning and student needs for intervention or acceleration are important to their numeracy development.
Teachers receive timely, insightful data and reports in the interactive reporting platform , including a student dashboard with literacy-specific information for each student.
Age-appropriate Assessments and Learning Activities
DRC BEACON Early Years captures the attention of young students with interactive, engaging, developmentally appropriate test questions. The testing platform’s tools and navigation are intuitive to use, and practice opportunities are provided for students. An optional readiness pretest is included, designed to gauge a young student’s readiness to participate in a computerized testing administration.
One-on-one and group literacy activities are available to help teachers support students achieving standards at each grade. Additionally, DRC BEACON Educator Instructional Strategies (BEIS) will be included by fall 2025.
Multi-staged Adaptive Model
DRC BEACON Early Years uses a multi-staged computer-adaptive model for the ELA and math assessments, where sets of questions are assigned to a student based on their performance on a previous set of items. Because the test adapts to the student’s level, fewer test questions are needed to accurately measure student learning. This means less time testing for young students, and more time for instruction and learning.
Available Universal Screener and Dyslexia Screener Components
DRC BEACON Early Years includes optional universal screener and dyslexia screener components. These may be used to meet district or state screening requirements for early learners, or as a precursor to further diagnosis. The data provided may also assist in decision-making for referrals to Special Education programs.