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Third Grade Guarantee

Frequently Asked Questions: 3rd Grade Reading Guarantee in River Valley Schools

The following are just a few of the many questions that come up in regards to the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. For any unanswered questions, please feel free to follow the link below to the Ohio Department of Education's website for more information.

  • Why are we testing?
    • In June of 2012, the State of Ohio passed into legislation the 3rd Grade Reading Guarantee. ALL districts must follow and abide by the requirements and regulations that are outlined in this law. The state requires that ALL students kindergarten-3rd are given a reading test to identify students who are struggling with reading concepts. These tests must be completed and results must be communicated to parents by September 30.
  • What test was given?
    • The test given to students was called a diagnostic test. This test is approved and developed by the Ohio Department of Education. Each grade level was given a specific test in relation to the requirements of their grade level. Students were given the test throughout the first several weeks of school.
  • My child was identified as “Not On-Track”, what does this mean?
    • The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) identifies students with specific scores on the diagnostic tests as “Not On-Track”, “Watch”, and “On-Track”. Students that were identified as “Not On-Track” will receive reading interventions in relation to their specific area of weakness and will have an intervention plan developed in November.


  • Why are we waiting until November to develop an intervention plan?
    • The state allows school districts 60 days by law to develop a parent and teacher plan of intervention from the time parents are notified. However, we recognize the importance of starting those interventions immediately. Students who were identified as “Not On-Track” have already started working on their specific skills. Some students will receive a variety of interventions, while others may only need one. The formal plan will be created and discussed at your child’s Parent-Teacher Conference in November. However, please be reassured that we are implementing interventions currently.
  • When will I be notified if my child is identified as "Not On-Track"?
    • ODE has required that school districts notify parents that their child is “Not On-Track” by September 30. Our schools work very diligently to make sure that all of the testing information gathered from students is valid. In doing this, we will make sure to notify all parents by September 30, but probably not prior to this date.
  • Why have I been told that my child is meeting grade level expectations and I am now receiving a letter that he/she is “Not On-Track”?
    • Our teachers work very hard to make sure that students are developing the foundational skills in the primary grades in order to prepare them for the next grade level. Teachers are also continuing to work hard at developing students to be strong, reflective readers. The diagnostic test that was administered and recommended by ODE was an end of the year test for that grade level. The test given was as a way to identify their beginning strategies and the same test will be re-administered at the end of the year to see the areas of growth that were made. So a child working at grade level in the classroom, could have struggled on an end of the year test.


  • When will my child be retested?
    • All students will be given the same test to prove growth in the spring. The State of Ohio has also released an alternative test that can be given to the students in order to show reading proficiency. Please speak with your child's teacher in regards to this.
  • Will my child be retained?
    • The State of Ohio is constantly changing the details of the consequences to students that are labeled "Not on Track" at the end of the third grade year. However, at this time, if a student does not receive a score of at least 392 on the Reading OAA or pass the alternative assessment, he/she will be retained in the 3rd grade. This is a state law and we cannot change it. 
  • What can I do to help at home?
    • Read, read, and read some more! The best thing to do to help your child in his/her reading development is to practice reading and discuss what the things that he/she reads. It is important that students talk about what they read so they gain a better understanding and knowledge in regards to the book.