Third Grade Reading Guarantee FAQs

General Questions

General Questions

What interventions are required for students in grades K-2 versus grade 3?

All components of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, including diagnostic testing, letters to parents, reading improvement and monitoring plans, and interventions are required for any student in grades K-3 that is found to be not on-track after the reading diagnostic testing. However, only third grade students face retention based on Grade 3 ELA test scores.

If a student is retained in the third grade, then there are two new intervention requirements. Retained students must have at least 90 minutes of reading instruction a day. Retained students must also have the opportunity to receive intervention services from outside providers.

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Will there be a template for districts to use for the reading improvement and monitoring plan? How should parents be involved in this process?

Reading improvement and monitoring plans allow the teachers and parents to work together to understand the reading deficiency and to outline reading interventions. Districts shall develop a reading improvement and monitoring plan for students identified with a reading deficiency within 60 days after receiving that student’s diagnostic results. Districts should develop reading improvement and monitoring plans that address all requirements in legislation, including:

  • Identification of the student’s specific reading deficiency;
  • A description of proposed supplemental instruction services that will target the student’s identified reading deficiencies;
  • Opportunities for the student’s parents or guardians to be involved in the instructional services;
  • A process to monitor the implementation of the student’s instructional services;
  • A reading curriculum during regular school hours that assists students to read at grade level, provides for reliable assessments, and provides ongoing analysis of each student’s reading progress; and
  • A statement that unless the student attains the appropriate level of reading competency by the end of grade three, the student will be retained.

Beyond the legislative requirements, ODE recommends that reading improvement and monitoring plans include a process for modifying the plan. It also should address how interventions should change for a student if he or she can read at grade level midyear.

A template for the reading improvement and monitoring plan is available here. While a school may elect to use a plan template, please remember that each plan is meant to be tailored to the individual student’s reading deficiencies and include the interventions selected by that student’s parents and teacher.


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Can I use any Title I funding for the Third Grade Reading Guarantee?
Districts may use their Title I funds to support and supplement reading instruction programs selected or created by the district for children who are at risk of not meeting state achievement standards. No Title I funding may be spent on specific state mandates. Districts may not use Title I funding for outside providers selected by parents for extra reading instruction after their child is retained by the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.

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When can a student be considered on-track during the year and can they be changed to not on-track during the year for any reason?

If a student is assessed to be not on-track at the beginning of the school year (by September 30th for students in grades one through three and November 1 for kindergarten students), that student will officially be not on-track and on a reading improvement and monitoring plan until the student either scores on-track on the following year’s reading diagnostic assessment or scores proficient on the Grade 3 ELA test.

If the student scores on-track on another reading diagnostic during the same school year, it does not terminate the reading improvement and monitoring plan, and it does not change the student’s reported not on-track status. Within the reading improvement and monitoring plan, parents and teachers should address what happens to a student if he or she can read at grade level during the year. The reading interventions may need to change at that point. The plan should always help a student improve their reading ability and ensure the student does not fall behind.

Schools may electively provide a student who is identified as on-track a reading improvement and monitoring plan if there is evidence that the student is reading below grade level and the decision is that the student needs help with reading.  If a school electively places an on-track student on a reading improvement and monitoring plan, all the requirements of a reading improvement and monitoring plan must be adhered to, including reporting requirements.

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What do districts have to report to ODE and by when?

Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, districts and community schools should have procedures to track and report the following data to ODE on the implementation of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee through the  EMIS reporting system:

  • Which students are on-track and not on-track; and
  • What types of intervention services are given to each student.

ODE may require additional information in subsequent school years. All of this information will be submitted through EMIS. Specific reporting instructions are available in the EMIS manual.

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What happens if a parent refuses retention required by the Third Grade Reading Guarantee?

The law does not provide parents or guardians the right to refuse retention according to the Third Grade Reading Guarantee mandate.

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Who pays for outside service providers?

Districts and community schools must screen, approve and provide at least one outside service provider for students who are retained by the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. They should outline clear criteria for their screening process and make it publicly available.

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Last Modified: 5/1/2017 5:06:53 PM