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A Parent Guide to Read To Achieve

North Carolina General Assembly’s Read to Achieve program is part of the Excellent Public Schools Act that became law in July 2012.

The goal of the Read to Achieve program is to ensure that every student reads at grade level by the end of 3rd grade. This program was updated by the NC State Board of Education on Feb 6, 2014.

How will Read to Achieve affect my child?

The law outlines that if a third-grade student does not have a good cause exemption and does not pass the EOG Reading test, they will be encouraged to attend a district sponsored Reading Camp. Your child will be able to demonstrate proficiency by completing a portfolio or by passing an alternative assessment. If you choose not to enroll your child in Reading Camp, your child may still have the opportunity to take the alternative assessment on a designated day set by the district.

What steps are being taken to get your 3rd-grader reading at grade level?

Throughout the year, your child’s teacher will continue to teach reading. We will share information about your child’s progress in reading through report cards, interims, conferences, email, and in the Home Connect letters – important reports that provide information specific to your child’s reading skills. The Home Connect letter gives suggestions about activities that you can do at home to help. Read your child’s Home Connect letter carefully and talk with your child’s teacher about his or her progress.

What if my 3rd-grader is struggling to read?

When your child has difficulties with his or her reading, additional help will be provided. You are encouraged to attend parent conferences with your child’s teacher to work together to help your child read at grade level by the end of the year. Your child’s teacher can provide strategies that you can use at home to help your child read better.

How will we determine that your child is reading at grade level?

Students will take the NC end-of-grade (EOG) reading test at the end of 3rd grade. If they pass the EOG reading test, they are eligible to be promoted to the 4th grade. If they do not pass the EOG reading test, there are other factors called good cause exemptions that will allow your child to be promoted to 4th grade. Students need to meet at least one of the following good cause exemptions:

  • Limited English Proficient Students with less than two school years of instruction in ESL Program
  • Students with disabilities whose individualized education program indicates (i) the use of NCEXTEND 1 alternate assessment, (ii) at least a two school year delay in educational performance, or (iii) receipt of intensive reading interventions for at least two school years
  • Students who have (i) received reading intervention and (ii) previously been retained more than once in kindergarten, first, second or third grades
  • Students who demonstrate reading proficiency appropriate for third grade students on approved alternative assessments
  • Students who demonstrate, through a student reading portfolio, reading proficiency appropriate for third grade students
  • Students who demonstrate proficiency on Read to Achieve Test

If none of the exemptions apply:

Traditional Calendar Student: Students will be encouraged to attend a free, district-sponsored reading camp, offered for at least 72 hours, to receive additional reading support.

Year-round Calendar Student (multi-track, single track, and modified): Student’s reading levels will be evaluated throughout the year. If the data shows that your child is not reading at grade level and your child does not qualify for a good cause exemption, they will be invited to attend a free, district-sponsored reading camp during track out periods.

Will my child have to take the 3 passages per week for each of the 12 standards?

The Read to Achieve law gives the option of using a student portfolio to promote a child to 4th grade. A student’s reading portfolio contains passages that demonstrate proficiency of the standards. If your child qualifies for a good cause exemption based on criteria above, they do not need a portfolio.

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