A Topic for Discussion: New 3rd Grade Reading Expectations

Somehow, next week is already Parent/Teacher Conferences, and we look forward to seeing you all there! For parents of students in Kindergarten through Third grade, there will be a new topic that comes up, which is connected to the new 3rd grade Reading Law, passed last year, that goes into effect this school year. This law is in effect for all public schools in the State of Michigan.

The law states that each child should be reading at grade level by the end of 3rd grade. The law also requires that schools assess and monitor all K-3 students frequently and plan interventions if needed to ensure that this happens. If a student is not reading at grade level at that time, the law states that they may need to be retained.

When word of this law came out, there was a lot of confusion about why this law would be passed, or how it was going to be enforced. As an educator, I struggle with it because while teachers can do everything they can for a student, and parents too, we also know that each child develops at his or her own rate, and sometimes, they just aren’t ready yet. Still, the law is the law, and what it ensures is that schools are doing their very best to make sure students are ready to move on to higher grade levels.

Here’s what to expect if you are a K-3 parent next week:

*Your child’s teacher will still discuss all subjects with you, and discuss their strengths and weaknesses, as well as any concerns they have. If you have concerns, please bring them up; we can’t help if we don’t know!
*In addition, part of the conference will deal specifically with the reading assessments that have been conducted this fall with every child. Based on their scores for that day, if your child has fallen below the target score in two of the three assessments, your child is considered “below target”.
*If your child is below target, we are required by law to provide you with a list of the interventions and strategies we are using to help their reading level, and you will be involved in creating an Individual Reading Improvement Plan. We are also required to give suggestions for things you can do at home to help your child be more successful in their reading.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I will also be available during Parent/Teacher conferences to answer any questions that you may have.

Our goal has always been to help your child be the best reader he or she can be, and to love this amazing ability that we have! We will continue with that belief in mind, and continue to work with you to make your child successful!

Rebekah Leist
Administrator
Concord Academy Boyne
231.582.0194