The Mississippi Literacy-Based Promotion Act helps ensure that every student meets grade-level reading standards by the end of 3rd grade. The act is part of a statewide effort called Strong Readers = Strong Leaders to improve literacy among all school children.
Why focus on literacy?
In 3rd grade, students begin to make the transition from learning to read to reading to learn. If they are unsuccessful, they will have difficulty understanding grade-level reading material. As a result, students begin to fall further behind each year. Students also need strong reading skills in order to learn other school subjects, such as science, social studies, writing and even math.
How will parents be informed about their child’s progress?
Each student in Kindergarten through 3rd grade will have his/her reading assessed at the beginning and end of the school year. Parents should receive the results of the first assessment within the first 30 days of school. These assessments will identify students who need intensive reading instruction and intervention. These assessments also provide useful information to the teacher to help him/her tailor instruction to meet individual student needs. Students in grades 1-3 will be assessed again in the middle of the school year. Parents should receive these results by February. Student progress will also be documented in quarterly report cards.
Starting in the 2018-19 school year, 3rd grade students must score at level 3 or higher on the reading portion of the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) English Language Arts test to qualify for promotion to 4th grade – a higher benchmark than in previous years.
What happens if my child is not reading on grade level?
If your child is reading below grade-level reading standards or is struggling with reading, his/her teacher will immediately inform you of the reading difficulty that has been identified. The school will provide your child with additional reading instruction and support. You will also be given strategies to help your child at home. If your child is reading below grade-level expectations at the end of 3rd grade, you will be informed that your child will not be promoted to 4th grade unless a “good cause exemption” is granted. All of this information will be communicated to you in writing.