Dear Arizona Families,
The purpose of the “Move on When Reading” legislation is to identify struggling readers and provide targeted intervention before the end of 3rd grade. However, if students fail to demonstrate proficiency or make adequate progress on the statewide assessment in reading skills as determined by the Arizona Board, your child will not be promoted to 4th grade. Hence the phrase “move on when reading.” What can you do as a parent to ensure your child does not repeat the 3rd grade?
First, let’s look at the requirements for funding the K-3 Reading Program. School districts and charter schools must submit an annual Reading Plan to Arizona Department of Education (ADE) by October 1st. If more than 10% of the 3rd graders are not proficient in reading skills and the school receives a C/D/F letter grade, ADE will be required to review and recommend approval before funds will be released. School districts and charter schools that receive an A/B will have their Reading Plans reviewed and approved for funding every other year. What is at risk if a school fails to submit the annual reading plan? They will not receive a portion of the $40 million dollars allocated for the K-3 Reading Program. What is at risk for parents? Your child fails and must repeat 3rd grade.
Second, let’s evaluate the intervention guidelines. The law states school districts and charter schools must provide retained 3rd graders intervention and remediation using more than one of the four strategies to show adequate student improvement: assign a different teacher who has achieved a top evaluation in 2 performance classifications; participate in summer school; assign intensive reading instruction before, during, and after school; participate in small groups and ”teacher-led evidence-based,” computer based, or online reading instruction. These are good strategies. However, the problem with this scenario is that you shouldn’t wait until the child has already been retained in 3rd grade. Retention can embarrass, overwhelm the child, and make them non-responsive to learning. Most likely, the child was below level in prior grades too.
Lastly, parents must be proactive, diligent, and work closely with your child’s teacher and school. Please do not wait until your child falls behind and then pressure them to catch up. Help them catch up sooner, utilize the resources at the school and demand your child receive one of the four strategies each year after Kindergarten when the teacher informs you that your child is behind. You are your child’s first line of defense at home and in school where they spend 6-8 hours of their time. You must ensure their success.
It is important to note, these services may not be available to K-3 students who are passing (60 and above). If they do not receive some type of remediation, students performing between 60 and 70 are still at a higher risk of failing in subsequent years after grade 3. Parents can use resources outside of school to help their children meet grade level standards. Almentia Academy has an affordable online tutoring program designed especially to provide remediation for students at risk in reading, math, science, and history. We also provide challenge for students who are ready to move ahead of their grade level. Browse Elementary Courses and apply today.
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