Kayla Hahn

Every Fall, Winter, and Spring, all students in Alternative Kindergarten through 6th grade are given a statewide test that assesses their reading fluency. The testing at each grade level looks a little different depending on the skills that the students will be receiving instruction on that school year. Each student’s score is placed on a percentile ranking compared to peers in their class, the school, the district, and the nation. Their raw score is also analyzed in relation to how close it is to the recommended score for students in their grade during each specific testing period. If a student’s score is considered to put them “At-Risk” for falling behind the recommended grade level score, or if they have been “Persistently At-Risk” of falling behind the recommended grade level score, the student then has a team of teachers take a closer look at how to help support their specific reading needs.

This team includes the student’s classroom teacher, reading interventionists, instructional coaches, and building administrators. Further brief testing is done to help pinpoint where a student’s instruction should start in order to close the gap that has been noticed. Instruction for each student, or group of students, may look somewhat different. Some skills that may be included are letter names, letter sounds, blending sounds together to read whole words, sight words, reading fluency strategies, writing, and many more. As instruction takes place, the teacher team meets every 4-6 weeks to monitor the progress that is being made. During these meetings, decisions on whether instructional changes need to be made are based on a student's rate of growth. This specialized reading instruction and close watch on progress being made throughout instruction is helping close the gap in our district. Overall, the district improved by 3% (26 students) when looking at the number of students who met the recommended score from the Fall of 2020 to the Fall of 2021. With the continuation of this process, students will be able to continue to feel the success that comes along with being a great reader.