YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – For third graders in Youngstown City Schools, the district is giving those in danger of not moving on to fourth grade new options to help them succeed.
At the end of the school year, third graders in Ohio are given their very first reading assessment mandated by the state, called the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. This assessment determines if the children are reading at their expected level.
For those who did not meet the required score this year, they’re getting another chance to pass the test over the summer in order to advance on to fourth grade. Two summer school reading sessions have been offered.
The first session already happened, and the second started yesterday and runs through August 10. Students get one chance to retake the test over the summer at the end of either session but can attend both sessions for extra learning opportunities.
About 65 third graders in the district were invited to attend the summer school sessions.
Youngstown’s deputy chief of transformation, Amanda McGinnis, says third grade is a turning point in a child’s educational career, especially because they are being assessed for the first time.
“Third grade is when they really start to comprehend and get to know the reading materials. In the primaries, K-2, they’re still working on building to read,” she said.
That includes sounding out words and pronouncing names. McGinnis says third grade is when students begin to embrace and understand exactly what they’re reading.
Starting this school year, the district will begin a new intervention system to help get students where they need to be in the classroom.
All buildings in the district will schedule in an intervention block in addition to general courses.
“While they’re in those intervention blocks, the teachers and also the students will be able to hone in on what activities and what academics they need to focus on,” McGinnis said.
It will be a tiered system that personalizes each student’s specific needs and goals to get to their grade’s reading level.
McGinnis says this new intervention program is exciting for the district, and the overall goal is to support and help them and make sure they all succeed.