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Parent Information about the Alabama Literacy Act

What is it?

  • In June of 2019, the state of Alabama established a law to implement steps to improve the reading proficiency of public-school kindergarten to 3rd grade students and ensure that those students can read at or above grade level by the end of the 3rd grade.
  • Retention is a possibility for students who are not on grade level by third grade.
  • The first group of students who falls under this act are the second graders of the 2020-2021 school year. 
  • The law has “good cause” exemptions, but our goal is to have all students read well.

What is magical about third grade?

  • Research shows that “90% of children with reading difficulties will achieve grade level in reading if they receive help in the 1st grade. Seventy percent of children whose help is delayed to age 9 or later continue to struggle throughout their school career.” 

(Vellutino, Scantron, Sipay, Small, Pratt, Chen and Denckla, 1996)

How is the act addressed at our school?

  • All students receive Research based Core instruction. 
  • A reading research-based curriculum is used in all grade levels and in all tiered instruction. 
  • Students requiring additional support are given extra support in the indicated deficient area(s).

What is required of students?

  • Students who qualify for the multi-tiered reading services will be required to attend Science of Reading (SOR) reading lessons designed for their reading deficiency.

What is required from the teacher? 

  • Teachers are to offer reading intervention to all students who qualify for reading services.
  • Teachers design their lessons according to Science of Reading.

What progress monitoring methods are being used?

  • For grades K – 5, students are progress monitored through Star reading. This is the state of Alabama’s universal screener.
  • For grades K – 3, students are given a benchmark assessment 3 times a year through Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS). We use this assessment to plan our SOR intervention. Progress monitoring for DIBELS is completed through our Lexia Core 5 program. 

Communication is key

  • Starting in the 2020-2021 school year, a parent or legal guardian of any K-3 student who exhibits a consistent deficiency in reading or characteristics of dyslexia at any time during the school year shall be notified in writing. 
  • In addition to the written notification we at Whitesburg Elementary promote communicating to parents in a multiple of ways. 
  • One of the best ways to support your child is through two-way communication.   
  • It develops positive speaking and listening skills.  
  • It informs you of what your child is learning at school. 
  • It provides insight on how your child thinks and feels about school.