State College Area School District

Our Mission: To prepare students for lifelong success through excellence in education

Benchmark Expectations

Instruction in reading and writing is based on specific standards for the developmental stages that appear in the box below.  The local standards are aligned with the state standards for language arts.  A range of two stages is noted for each grade level.  This range indicates where along the continuum we expect most students to be working during each year in school.  The higher, or second, stage (in bold print) is the “target” (or benchmark) for the end of the school year.  Most students will meet the standards for this stage by the end of that year in school.


K               =        Preconventional - Emergent

1st Year      =        Emergent – Developing

2nd Year     =        Developing – Beginning

3rd Year     =        Beginning – Expanding

4th Year     =        Expanding – Bridging

5th Year     =        Bridging – Fluent

6th Year     =        Fluent - Proficient


Grade level standards represent the expectation for most students at a particular grade level.  In every classroom, there will be students achieving above and below the grade level standard.  The nature of our curriculum and our long-standing commitment to instruction based on continuous progress means that all students, regardless of where they fall along our Language Arts Continuum, will receive guided reading and writing instruction at the appropriate stage.


Please remember that reading and writing skills do not always develop simultaneously along the continuum.  It is not unusual, for a student to be reading independently at the Bridging Stage and still be an Expanding or even a Beginning writer.