Recently, Ohio adopted a new law that will affect all school districts in Ohio. According to this law school districts must assess all students in reading who are in grades K-3, and provide intervention for those that are not on track. Additionally, we are required to retain any third grade student who doesn’t meet specific performance standards on the Ohio Achievement Assessment in third grade. The good news for Wapakoneta is that most of the requirements in the law are already part of the educational experience we provide for our students.
By early September, all students in Kindergarten through fourth grade were assessed using the DIBELS assessment. We’ve been using this assessment for several years to help monitor our student’s progress in reading. Currently all students receive at least 90 minutes of reading instruction using a research based reading curriculum. In addition to this core reading instruction, it is our plan to provide additional interventions targeted at each student’s specific reading deficiency. This instruction will take place in groups, which are smaller than a typical class size, with other students experiencing the same difficulty. In some cases the child will work in small groups with their classroom teacher, and in other cases the child will work with another teacher or para-educator that has been trained to provide specific interventions. The students will know this intervention as “guided reading” and it will be similar to the guided reading groups our students have taken part in in the past. In our buildings, all students attend guided reading groups so students are not be singled out or made to feel as though they are not doing as well as the other students. We will also monitor your child’s progress with frequent progress monitoring reports to ensure that they are making the progress we expect them to make. Reports from these assessments will be available to you in future grade cards and progress reports.
It is our hope that the interventions and progress monitoring plan will help each child achieve reading success at or above that of his or her typical peers. We pride ourselves in providing excellent educational opportunities specifically targeted at each child’s individual needs. We have seen success with interventions and progress monitoring in the past and expect that success to continue. We believe that with the steps we are taking to help our students, we will not be forced to retain third grade students. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.