Reading Diagnostic and Remediation Activity

Reading Diagnostic and Remediation Activity

Practical Advice for Fall Reading Diagnostic and Remediation Activity

The Ohio Department of Education has received many inquiries about the Sept. 30 deadline for the administration of the grades 1-3 diagnostic reading assessments and the development of Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plans (RIMPs) within 60 days of receiving the assessment results. Inquiries also have been made about the deadline for administering the kindergarten reading diagnostics through Nov. 1. While the Department does not have authority to extend these deadlines, it can provide some practical advice related to them. Meeting the intention and desired outcome of the law can be achieved through thoughtful, well-reasoned approaches.

In most districts, students are either full time in school or operating under a hybrid model where students are in school some time during the week. There should be no logistical issue with assessing those students who are in school. Even for students learning remotely, many districts are arranging for students to come to school to be assessed. If this is possible, it is the preferred course of action.

In some cases, bringing in students who are in remote learning status for assessment creates logistical challenges. In these cases, districts should make a good-faith effort to prioritize the assessment and development of RIMPS for those students most in need. Also, depending on the assessment being used, some can be remotely administered. State law (ORC 3313.608(B)(1)) allows for the remote administration of these diagnostic assessments.

A good-faith effort would suggest prioritization of those students most likely in need of a RIMP and delaying assessment of students for whom assessment would likely not reveal anything new. Delaying the assessment of the following students would have little risk:
 
  • Students already on RIMPs. Schools should continue providing services under the prior RIMP until assessments can be completed. Teachers can access student RIMPS from the prior year and use that as a baseline. RIMPS can then be adjusted accordingly based on progress monitoring, until a student is on track. Once a student can be assessed, modifications to the RIMP can be made as appropriate.
  • Students who, based on prior year assessments or other diagnostics, were clearly on track in grades K, 1 and 2 last year and for which a district has reason to believe the student will continue to be on-track.

The following students should be prioritized for assessment and the development of RIMPs.
 
  • All students new to the district in grades K-3, particularly students for whom the teacher’s observations and interactions indicate reading challenges may exist.
  • Returning students in grades 1-3 who were “just barely” on track based on prior year’s assessments or based on other available diagnostic information.
The Department recognizes the current conditions related to the pandemic have created higher levels of anxiety among many students and their families. Districts and schools should take extra effort to not raise student anxiety relative to testing. That said, it is possible that anxiety could significantly reduce performance such that a student who is judged by his or her educators to be on track, could be assessed as not on track. In this instance, the Department recommends using alternative approaches to identifying student reading levels and challenges. The district should evaluate other available evidence that indicates the student’s reading ability. The need for a RIMP can then be informed by that approach.

Some districts have specifically asked, “Should we put all untested students on RIMPs?”
No. Rather, the district should have a planned and deliberate approach to identify those students not on track and put them on RIMPs. It does not make sense to develop a RIMP for untested students for whom the professional judgment of educators is that they are on track. Ultimately, however, all students should be assessed.

Schools should document their approach to assessment and RIMP development.
The risks of not having tested all students by the statutory deadline is minimal if districts can demonstrate a logical approach to the statutory requirement that prioritizes students in need of additional supports.

Last Modified: 9/18/2020 9:50:34 AM