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What is the Alabama Literacy Act and How Does It Affect Your Child?

The Alabama Literacy Act...

  • is a law.

  • It became a law on June 10, 2019.

  • was established to implement steps to improve the reading proficiency of public-school kindergarten to 3rd grade students and ensure that those students are proficient in reading.

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)

What happens if my child is not on grade level?

If your child is reading below grade level reading standards or is struggling with reading:

  • His/her teacher will inform you of the reading difficulty that has been identified.
  • Our school will provide additional reading instruction and support.
  • You will be given strategies and activities to help your child at home.

How is Alabama Literacy 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. 

  • Research based universal screeners and assessments are administered to indicate if a student needs multi-tiered instruction.

  • Students requiring additional support are given extra support in the indicated deficient area(s).

Reading Assessments and Screeners

The process is:

  • Universal assessments/screeners are administered to our Kindergarten to fifth grade students 3 times a year: Beginning of the year, Middle of the year, and End of the year.
  • These assessments/screeners are used as indicators for determining reading deficiencies.
  • The Universal assessments/screeners and/or teacher and/or parent input will determine if an extra layer of support is needed by the Response to Instruction/Invervention RtI Team.

Reading Assessments/Screeners

The assessments tell us if a student needs more help in one or more of the following areas:

  • Phonemic Awareness (letter sounds, rhymes, etc.)
  • Alphabet Knowledge (letter naming fluency, Letter sound fluency, Alphabet Skills, etc.)
  • Spelling Skills (Sound/Symbol Relationship)
  • Decoding Skills (Nonsense word fluency, Oral Reading Fluency/Accuracy)
  • Sight Word Recognition
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension

Alabama Literacy Act Includes Students with Dyslexic Tendencies

  • Any child who fails to meet appropriate criteria in 3 or more areas of the screening assessment is determined to have dyslexic tendencies.

  • Students who show dyslexic tendencies are required to receive all instructional layers and support through RtI.

  • Research-Based Multi-Sensory Instruction will be used to best meet the students' needs.

  • Progress monitoring and parent communication will be monthly or more if needed.

Student Reading Improvement Plans (SRIP)

  • A SRIP is developed for students that meet the criteria as determined by our district.

  • SRIPs are developed for students using reading data from assessments and screeners, input from teachers and parents.

  • Parents are informed in writing that their child has a SRIP.

  • SRIPs include a multitude of information. Some of the Information included is students' assessment scores, grades, attendance; student goals benchmarks for growth, progress monitoring and quarterly reviews; Instructional programs used, Interventions used, and Parent ReadatHome Plan.

Progress Monitoring

  • All students with or without a SRIP are progress monitored at Whitesburg Elementary.

  • Tools used for progress monitoring are:

    • K-5 students progress monitor using Star Reading or Early Literacy

    • K-5 students progress monitor using Lexia Core 5

    • K-3 stidemnts progress monitor using DIBELS

The law states:

  • "Commencing with the 2021-2022 school year, third grade students shall demonstrate sufficient reading skills for promotion to fourth grade."

  • There are "good cause" exemptions. * However, our goals is for all of our students to become proficient readers.

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 with parents in multiple 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.

Key Takeaways...

  • As a parent, you will always be your child's first teacher.

  • Always maintain open communication with your child's teacher(s).

  • Ask questions, become involved, and attend school functions when possible.