New Albany News

Third-Grade Reading Guarantee

District: Only one third-grader at risk for retention after spring test

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The New Albany-Plain Local School District will provide reading-intervention services this summer for several students, including those who struggled to pass the state reading exam mandated by the Third-Grade Reading Guarantee.

About 93 percent of New Albany-Plain Local third-graders passed the Ohio Achievement Assessments test this past school year, according to the Ohio Department of Education. That figure does not include students who are exempt from the standards.

District officials said 392 students took the third-grade reading test in October.

Of those 392, 88 scored below the standard to be promoted to fourth grade but 16 were exempt because they have limited English proficiency or are special-need students on an individualized education plan, according to the district.

In the spring, 406 students took the exam. All but 28 passed, and 27 of those were exempt, according to the district.

"This is an approximate 15 percent improvement from the fall (test) administration," said Neil Gupta, the district's director of assessment and programming.

Only one third-grader appears in danger of being held back.

"We only have one student left who has not met the requirements to advance into the fourth grade," said district spokesman Patrick Gallaway. "Because there are two more opportunities over the course of summer to take the test again, we will work with that family and provide additional support to prepare that student for the test, which will be administered again later in July."

Gallaway said the district has expanded its summer reading intervention services for other students, as well.

Gupta said those services would be available to all students who need them.

"In addition to the intervention provided throughout the year, all identified students from the fall administration were invited, including the one student (who did not pass the spring test and was not exempt), to summer reading intervention support to continue growing in content and skills," Gupta said.

Gallaway credited the district's success on the recent tests "to the dedication of our classroom teachers, support staff, reading intervention specialists and parents who all helped to support our students to develop these necessary skills in reading."

"Helping all students achieve grade-level skills is a constant action of our staff," Gallaway said. "We are pleased to see so many students reaching the benchmark by the end of the year. It is a result of all the collective work throughout the year."

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.

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