School districts across the state are working on new policies to comply with the Nebraska Reading Improvement Act, which is meant to catch reading deficiencies early in a child’s school career.
Educators are required to administer an approved reading assessment three times every school year to students in kindergarten through third grade to identify students needing help.
Scottsbluff Schools Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Mike Mason says that’s the best age to focus on. “That’s definitely when you want to target a lot of intensive intervention, because as students get older, the gap just gets wider,” says Mason. “So targeting students at K-3 is essential, but we still do interventions for students above that.”
Students found with a deficiency will have a supplemental reading intervention program development to help bring them up to speed, and will have summer reading programs made available.
Mason says Scottsbluff Schools was already doing the testing to make the identifications, but the new part of their policy is the notification to parents required within 15 days of making such a determination.