– Contributed by Amanda Smith, Owner and Center Director The Tutoring Center – Southgate
As of this writing, the Michigan Read by Grade Three law is in effect for the 2020-2021 school year. Families were given a reprieve last year due to Covid-19 but currently the plan is to move forward with the law. So, what does that mean for our current third graders?
For the current school year, all components are in full effect which includes but is not limited to the retention of students reading significantly below grade level. Which means, grade three students reading more than a grade level below the benchmark by the end of third grade are at risk for the mandatory retention rule.
A quick re-cap of the RBG3 law. The law requires Districts to have at least one initial and one extensive assessment from the MDE approved list. The purpose is to identify students in grades K-3 who need an Individual Reading Improvement Plan or IRIP. The first, initial, screening must be given within the first 30 academic days, under Return to Learn it must be given within the first nine weeks of school. Under that Return to Learn, a student exhibiting a reading deficiency and requiring an IRIP requires Districts notify parents or legal guardians no later than 30 days of the assessment.
At this point in the school year, these students should have already received a notification from the school and the have had implementation of a Read at Home plan in coordination with additional support during the school day in place.
Families of students identified for retention will be notified by June 1st however there are Good Cause Exemptions that can be requested to prevent the mandatory retention. Parents who aren’t in agreement with retention should request a meeting with their child’s school to file for the Exemption within 30 days of receiving a notice regarding the potential retention.
To support your child’s reading and writing at home, have books throughout the home and in a special place. Have fun with reading and writing – write letters to friends and family, especially those we’ve been unable to see in person due to Covid-19, and let your child see you reading! Provide a place to write, a table or a desk. Talk about why writing is important as you do things, like making a grocery list. Take the time to read aloud together and try many different types of materials, story books, magazines, newspapers or online. Identify and focus on new words whenever possible. Based on the context clues, the words around the new word, what do they think it means? Most importantly, remember to be patient. For children, sounding out words can be a lengthy and often frustrating process, give them the time to do so. You can help by identifying or pointing out “chunks” they may know or helping them by breaking the word into smaller pieces, especially chunks they know. Lastly, make connections to the reading. If the children in the story did this, what do you think you could do? Find what your child is interested in and provide books about those topics.
The Tutoring Center is located at 15305 Dix Toledo Rd., Southgate. For further info visit tutoringcenter.com or call 734-785-8430. For more information on the Read by Grade Three Law visit Michigan.gov/MDE and search Read by Grade Three.