Norwalk City School District News Article

The Third Grade Guarantee

What the Third Grade Reading Guarantee means to you and your child…

Mrs. V. Janice Smith, Principal, Pleasant Elementary

Ohio's Third Grade Reading Guarantee is a program to identify students from kindergarten through third grade who are behind in reading. The Guarantee ensures that every struggling reader gets the support he or she needs to be able to learn and achieve.  Schools provide help and support to ensure students are on-track for reading success by the end of third grade. The Ohio Department of Education provides policy guidance, instructional tools, and resources regarding the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.

A reading diagnostic test is given by September 30th of each year to find out your child’s reading level.  This will determine if your child is on-track. If your child is not on-track, we immediately start a reading improvement plan.  You will receive information in areas that your child needs to improve.  This explanation is in the form of a RIMP.  A RIMP is a Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plan that addresses each student’s unique reading challenges. It will also tell you the interventions that will be provided and supports available to your family.  

Our district recently took the fall ELA (English Language Arts) test.  Scores from the fall ELA test will be sent to schools in late December.  If your child did not achieve a score of 683 or higher on the fall test, he/she will not be promoted to fourth grade unless:

=         a score of 46 or higher is achieved on the reading sub-score, or  

=         a score of 683 or higher on the grade 3 English Language Arts spring test is achieved, or

=         your child achieves a passing score on an alternate test given by the district, or

=         he/she meets any exemption criteria outlined in law

Ohio’s third graders are expected to achieve a certain reading mastery before being promoted to fourth grade. The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) sets these requirements each year based on the Ohio State English Language Arts test that every student must take beginning in the fall of their third grade year. For the 2019-2020 school year, the Third Grade Reading Guarantee promotion score is 683. A student who scores 700 or higher on the English Language Arts scaled score is performing proficiently.

What can you do to get your child ready?

The Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center provides the following simple, recommended activities that parents can do with their child:

Ø Read everything: point out words on signs, read instructions and captions out loud; encourage your child to help you cook or bake and read the instructions together.

Ø Play word games like I Spy: as you talk with your child point out the names, colors and shapes of things. “I spy with my little eye, something that is a square and has lots of pages.” It’s a book. This helps your child build vocabulary, which is key to sounding out unknown words while reading (it’s much easier to sound out a word if you know that the word exists in the first place).

Ø Go to the library to read books with your child. Then connect what you read with what happens in life (read about animals and take a trip to the zoo).

Ø Have your child use a finger to trace a letter while saying the letter’s sound. Do this on paper, in sand, or on a plate of sugar.

Ø Sing songs, read rhyming books, and say silly tongue twisters. These help kids become sensitive to the sounds in words.

The Children’s Reading Foundation recommends reading together 20 minutes every day teaches most school readiness skills (e.g., vocabulary, counting, colors, social skills, etc.). The simple act of reading with a child every day has significant additional benefits including:

Ø Increases the number of children acquiring the essential early literacy skills required for entering kindergarten prepared and eager for school.

Ø Develops socially and emotionally confident children who have strong bonds and are at pace with their peers.

Ø Reduces the school achievement gap and lowers remediation expenses for K-12 students by helping children start and stay at grade level.

Ø Empowers parents and caregivers to become their child’s first and most influential teachers.  

For more information about the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, you can visit and type in TGRG in the search box.  Thank you for continuing to partner with us to encourage creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration in preparing our students for the future. 

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