"Read By Grade Three" Law
Good literacy skills are essential if a student is going to be successful in school, and career and college ready. In 2016, the Michigan Legislature passed the Third Grade Retention Law to ensure that students exit 3rd grade reading at or above grade level, which will affect the 2016/2017 kindergarten students by the time they are in third grade. Starting in the year 2019-2020, if your child is reading below grade level at the end of 3rd grade, you will be informed in writing that your child will not be promoted to 4th grade unless he/she qualifies for an exemption.
The law requires that all K-3 students are assessed at the beginning, middle and end of the school year. The law also requires districts to provide early and regular written communication with parents of K-3 students with reading difficulties. This information will be communicated to you in an Individual Reading Improvement Plan (IRIP). This report includes your child’s performance on a variety of reading assessments, instructional services being provided, additional reading supports (if needed), and strategies for you to help your child at home (Read-At-Home plan).
The District's new ELA Curriculum includes a daily focus on individual reading goals and targeted small group instruction. Because of our strong focus on meeting each child’s specific reading needs, our teachers have created Individual Reading Improvement Plans (IRIP) for all students, even those who are showing proficiency in reading.
Reading instruction is a major focus in grades K-3 throughout our school district; below please find more detail about how the District is implementing the required aspects of the Read by Grade Three Law.
3rd Grade Reading Law:
- Assessment and Intervention
- The district has implemented i-Ready as our K-3 Initial Screener/ Diagnostic Reading Assessment. The i-Ready Diagnostic & Instruction was built for College and Career Readiness Standards. It provides the data-driven insights that classroom teachers and school and district administrators need to determine exactly where to focus their instructional time to ensure all students are on track to meet these more rigorous expectations and to succeed on the accompanying assessments.
- Using data from i-Ready, the district generated Individual Reading Intervention Plans (iRIP) for all qualifying students. In order to ease the clerical burden on teachers, the district utilized technology to both generate and prepopulate general information such as student name, school teacher, and the i-Ready assessment data onto the iRIPs.
- The district purchased and has made available at both home and school i-Ready Online Instruction. Based on the results of the i-Ready Diagnostic, students are automatically placed into student instruction customized to their placement levels. These online lessons provide a consistent best-practice lesson structure and build conceptual understanding, in addition to being engaging and fun for learners of all levels.
- Through grant funding, the district has purchased myOn, which is an online platform that provides students with access to texts that align with both their interest and reading level. Students can access this resource at school and home.
- Through grant and district funding the district is partnering with Kids Read Now to provide a summer reading program that will place up to 9 books in the homes of each first-grade student. These students are the first students who will be subject to the retention portion of the law.
- Professional Development
- All K-3 educators were trained in how to utilize the data and instructional tools from i-Ready to plan teacher-led small group interventions and how to monitor students’ progress throughout the intervention.
- Following the administration of the 2nd diagnostic assessment, all schools with students in grades K-3 received an additional six hours of professional development. This focused on helping teachers monitor student progress and adjust teacher-led intervention and enrichment based on student progress.
- An additional six hours of professional development was provided to each school to support quality use of i-Ready's online instruction and ensure students were making learning gains as a result of using the program.
- Parent Engagement
- The district also created and made available to educators Read at Home Plans. These plans are designed to empower parents to support students at home with strategies that focus on each child's specific needs.
- School leaders and teachers across the district hosted parent conferences for all qualifying students. At these meetings, the iRIP was reviewed and parents were offered the opportunity to contribute to their child's plan. Read at Home Plans were provided at each conference.
- The Deputy Executive Director of Literacy has hosted parent empowerment workshops throughout the city to keep families informed regarding the law, how the law impacts their children, and how the district and parents can work together to improve early literacy.
- The Deputy Executive Director is working with the Office of Family and Community Engagement to plan additional parent empowerment workshops throughout the spring and summer via the Parent Academy.
Strategic Plan for Improving ELA/Literacy Proficiency:
- Professional Development
- This year the district provided a professional learning series called The Standards Series: Understanding the Shifts in ELA/Literacy. This series of connected learning included three and a half days of professional development and focused on the changes in practice that the research and standards require educators to make in their classroom.
- Instructional Materials Adoption
- Rigorous college- and career-ready standards can improve and deepen student learning. To reach these standards, what is taught matters. Teachers need access to high-quality, aligned instructional materials to support their classrooms. Emerging research shows quality instructional materials impact student achievement as much as quality instruction. Therefore, the district will be investing in new instructional materials for ELA/Literacy K-8 and the corresponding professional learning.
- Intervention and Blended Learning
- The district will expand its comprehensive blended learning solution currently offered for grades K-3 in reading to include all students in grades K-8 for ELA/Literacy. This solution will include a diagnostic assessment that is administered three times per year. Following the administration of each diagnostic assessment, based on each student’s results, professional educators will utilize key reports to plan and deliver differentiated teacher-led and student-led small group instruction.
- The district will be implementing a comprehensive tiered intervention system that will provide high-quality research-based interventions for students who are more than one year below grade level.
- The district will be making a nearly ~3 million dollar investment in Tier III interventions for students who are more than 2 years behind in reading in schools throughout the district.
Learn more about what the District is doing for literacy in our K-12 District Literacy Plan. Additionally, please find the PPT from our K-3 Reading Law Community Engagement Session below.