The state mandated third-grade reading guarantee will start in Dublin City Schools this fall, but for most it will be business as usual for the district.

The state mandated third-grade reading guarantee will start in Dublin City Schools this fall, but for most it will be business as usual for the district.

The new state mandate that works to make sure all students in Ohio can read by the end of the third grade includes many strategies the district has already been using, Director of Literacy and ELL Jill Reinhart told Dublin Board of Education members at an April 23 meeting.

"We have always put in resources to reading intervention," Reinhart said. "This is not new to us."

The district has used a universal diagnostic for reading since 2000 and it will be used on students in grades K-3 to tell the district whether or not students are on track to be reading by the end of third grade.

The diagnostic will be used to identify students for reading intervention, Reinhart said, and assist in creating learning plans for each student.

The district has been using individualized learning plans for students already, but has made a few changes for the guarantee.

As for changes the third-grade reading guarantee will bring, training has been provided to teachers and intervention staff on new efforts.

Communication with parents will also change as it increases regarding reading progress.

"We've now developed a parent notification system," Reinhart said, adding parents must sign off on reading plans for their children.

The third-grade reading guarantee also requires new teacher credentials, Reinhart said.

According to information from the Ohio Department of Education, teachers who work with students to get back on track with reading must have a reading endorsement on their teacher's license, a master's degree with a major in reading, a rating of "above value-added" on the state report card for the past two years or a credential from an ODE-approved reading program.

The district has reviewed its certification of elementary staff and identified teachers who hold the new credentials.

"Our pool will continue to grow," Reinhart said. "We feel confident we have fabulous teachers and they will have the credentials they need."

One contentious piece of the new legislation has been retention that will hold back students if they cannot read by the end of third grade.

Reinhart said students might be held back in only reading while moving to fourth grade in other subjects.

The school is also allowed two exemptions: special education students and students who have been in U.S. schools for less than two years.

"We're really trying to make sure we do everything we can to minimize this piece of legislation on our children," Reinhart said.