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Third Grade Reading Law

In October 2016, The Michigan Legislature passed a critical law that will have tremendous implications upon current kindergarten students. Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, third-graders could be retained if they demonstrate reading proficiency levels that are more than one level behind.

This early literacy bill requires districts and schools to assess the reading skills of all K-3 students at least three times per year in an effort to identify struggling students. Students experiencing deficiencies would be required to have an individual reading plan created in partnership with their teacher, the principal, and their parents. Parents will be provided with a “read at home” plan that would extend learning and strengthen reading skills, in addition to the interventions provided by the teacher and/or school’s literacy team.

Wayne RESA recognizes the impact that this law could have on local districts and their communities. In an effort to provide guidance to local districts and schools around the new early literacy law, Wayne County RESA has created a Third Grade Reading Workgroup consisting of curriculum directors, literacy specialists, and educational leaders from local districts throughout Wayne County. The purpose of this workgroup is to collaborate and identify possible resources needed to comply with the legislative requirements.

The workgroup is in the process of creating templates and forms that districts can utilize in order to communicate and document intervention activities. Sample parent toolkits are being developed to provide clarity around the law and guidance for “Good Cause Exemptions”. Parent resources will also provide strategies and activities to bridge and strengthen home-to-school learning connections.

Wayne RESA is delighted to collaborate with literacy leaders throughout the county to provide this resource.