Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology


School Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (ix, 115 pages) : color illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Benjamin Solomon

Committee Members

David Miller, Jonah Ruddy


CBM, COVID-19, evaluation, Fountas and Pinnell, literacy instruction, COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020-, Reading (Elementary), Reading

Subject Categories

Education | Language and Literacy Education | Psychology


The critical area of literacy instruction has long relied on the use of measurement tools and the resulting data to identify at-risk readers and deliver needed supports. When the COVID-19 pandemic caused disruption to education, measurement practices were altered and there was limited existing research available to predict the potential impact of the pandemic on literacy development. The primary purpose of this study was to examine the reading performance of students in a Southern Tier New York elementary school before and during the pandemic, utilizing existing data from fall 2019 to spring 2021. Additionally, this study sought to evaluate the use of Fountas and Pinnell’s Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) as a measurement tool to assess reading skills. Older elementary students were found to present with reading scores increasingly below expected benchmarks after the onset of the pandemic. Students who were considered at-risk readers prior to the pandemic read below expected benchmarks throughout the pandemic, unlike students who met or exceeded expectations prior to the pandemic. Fluency scores measured with the BAS produced inconsistent results, indicating that Fountas and Pinnell’s fluency scores should not be used to screen for risk status. Though specific to the studied elementary school, these findings add to the emerging literature on the COVID-19 pandemic and literacy performance. Conclusions specific to the studied school and recommendations for future directions are provided.