Exemptions for Students with Disabilities

Clarification of Third Grade Reading Guarantee Exemptions for Students with Disabilities

There are two types of exemptions for students with disabilities in the Third Grade Reading Guarantee policy. Each exemption involves different types of students and exempts different parts of the policy. The two exemptions are for:

  1. Students with significant cognitive disabilities are exempt from all provisions of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee; and
    • IEP teams may specify that a child in any grade, kindergarten through grade three, is exempt from all provisions of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee if the student is participating in a significantly modified curriculum.
    • Under this exemption, the student is exempt from all provisions of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. This includes:
      • Annual reading diagnostics;
      • Reading improvement and monitoring plans;
      • Special teacher qualifications for the reading teacher; and
      • Student retention in the third grade.
    • This exemption should be an annual IEP team discussion and decision.
    • The student’s IEP should still address the extended standards and include goals around precursors to literacy. For example, the IEP should address the student’s mode of communication and communicative intent.
  1. Some students with IEPs may be exempt from retention in the third grade because of TGRG.
    • Beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, all students scoring below the cut score on the third grade reading OAA must be retained unless the student has an IEP that specifically exempts them from retention by the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.
      • This is one of several retention exemptions. For more information on the other, please see the Third Grade Reading Guarantee Guidance Manual. (LINK)
    • The retention exemption should be discussed by the IEP team for all students.  However, the retention exemption may not be appropriate for all students.
    • If a student’s IEP determines that the student should be exempt from retention, that does not exempt other provisions, including:
      • Annual reading diagnostics;
      • Reading improvement and monitoring plans; and
      • Special teacher qualifications for the reading teacher.

For more information on how the Third Grade Reading Guarantee impacts all students, please see the online Third Grade Reading Guarantee Guidance Manual.