Up to five Dublin City School students could be held back this fall because of the third-grade reading guarantee.

Up to five Dublin City School students could be held back this fall because of the third-grade reading guarantee.

Four students took the state reading test again last week in an attempt to meet a new requirement to pass the test to continue to fourth grade.

"We had five signed up originally and did intervention programming to get all ready to go for the test," said Craig Heath, the Dublin City School District's director of data and assessment.

One student had to leave the country on the day of test, Heath said.

Students began testing to pass the state-mandated reading test in October. A second test was administered in the spring for those who didn't pass in the fall.

The 50-question Ohio Achievement Assessments reading test is a mix of multiple choice, short-answer and extended-answer questions.

According to the ODE, scores are scaled and have a possible range of 260 to 503. Students who failed to reach the passing score of 392 in the fall or spring are supposed to be held back. Eventually, any student who scores below 400, which is considered proficient, will be retained.

After the spring state testing, 1,118 students had taken the third-grade reading test and 1,056, or 94.5 percent, had passed with a 392 score or above.

The 62 third-graders who hadn't passed the test had a few options: take the state reading test again or another state-approved assessment.

"We did two of the possible alternative assessments," Heath said.

"We gave the MAP assessment which stands for Measure of Academic Progress," he said.

"We gave it to third-graders who hadn't achieved the 392 level this spring."

Other students who didn't pass the state reading test took the Iowa Reading Assessment.

Once the spring state testing and other assessments had been levied, the district was left with five students who did not meet the third-grade reading guarantee requirements.

The students tested last week should find out in August if they passed and if they'll stay in the third grade, pass on to the fourth grade or take the fourth grade with third-grade reading support, Heath said.

The district has been working on students with individualized reading plans since the results of the first state reading test came out.

"Obviously when we got the scores back in the fall the first thing we had to do was make sure we had a plan in place for individual students," Heath said, noting that individualized plans help reading intervention focus on a student's weakness.

"Teachers, parents, principals and Jill Reinhart (director of literacy and English language learning) worked closely with those teachers and families to put things in place and make sure they were getting additional support during the year," Heath said.

The 2013-14 school year was the first schools had to deal with the third-grade reading guarantee in full effect, but Heath said it should get easier in the future.

The district will use state assessments to track reading progress starting in kindergarten.

"We can identify students earlier and see if they are on track for the grade level or not on track and we can start intervention a little bit earlier now," Heath said.

"We're able to identify these kids we might want to keep on the radar screen earlier so when we get to this point in the third grade we'll make sure those students are prepared to take this. ... Hopefully it will be a little easier for us now."

The incoming third-graders will first take the third-grade reading test Oct. 7.