K-3 Literacy Plans
Effective May 12, 2016, HB2653 made significant changes to A.R.S. § 15-211 which provides that school districts and charter schools which serve any K-3 grades to annually submit, by October 1, a reading plan to the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) rather than the State Board of Education. The law further requires school districts and charter schools which either received C/D/F letter grades or had more than 10% of their 3rd grade students labeled as “Falls Far Below” (FFB) on the statewide reading assessment to have their reading plans reviewed and recommended for approval by ADE and approved by the Board before the ADE School Finance Division releases Reading Base Support allowed under ARS §15-943. School districts and charter schools with grades A/B shall submit their reading plans on odd-numbered years only beginning in FY2017. Beginning in 2012, the legislature appropriated approximately $40 million to the K-3 reading program annually. For more information, visit ADE’s website at: http://www.azed.gov/mowr/.
Move on When Reading
A.R.S. § 15-701 prohibits a student from being promoted from the third grade if the student obtains a score on the reading portion of the statewide assessment that demonstrates the student's reading falls far below (FFB) the third grade level.
The law requires school districts and charter schools to offer 3rd grade students who score FFB on the statewide assessment at least one of the intervention and remediation strategies listed in statute which are as follows:
1) The student is assigned to a different teacher for reading instruction;
2) The student participates in summer school reading instruction;
3) The student participates in intensive reading instruction before, during, or after the regular school day; or,
4) The student participates in online reading instruction.
A student in grade 3 who does not meet or exceed the reading standards as measured by the statewide reading assessment pursuant to A.R.S. § 15-741 shall be provided intensive reading instruction until the student meets these standards.
There are three ways for a student to be exempted from the retention requirement. They are as follows:
1) The student is an English Language Learner (ELL) who has received less than two years of English instruction;
2) The student has a disability and their IEP team agrees promotion is appropriate or are in the process of a being evaluated for an Individual Education Plan (IEP); or,
3) The student has been diagnosed with a significant reading impairment (including dyslexia).
Promotion to 3rd Grade with Successful Interventions
The law specifies that a student may be promoted from 3rd grade if data on the statewide reading assessment is not available by the beginning of the school year. This exemption applied to 3rd grade students in 2014-15, as new statewide assessment results were not available until after the start of the 2015-16 school year. School year 2015-2016 marked the first year of implementation of the Move on When Reading law and third grade students were retained for the first time beginning with school year 2016-2017. After the April 25, 2016 Board meeting, HB2190 passed which created a legislative change to A.R.S. § 15-701(2)(b)(iii) This change provides that a pupil who receives intervention and remedial services during the summer or subsequent school year and demonstrates sufficient progress may be promoted from the third grade.