New state assessment could keep students in third grade if not prepared to move forward

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HOUSTON CO, Ala. (WDHN) — After multiple changes to the academic year due to the pandemic, school systems are trying to return to a normal learning schedule.

But efforts may need to be put into high gear as a new piece of legislation could create a reading assessment for third graders that would begin in just two years.

“We are getting state money right now to provide after school tutorial for students that have deficiencies,” Houston County Elementary Curriculum Supervisor Greg Yance said. “We’ll be offering a summer camp for those same type of students. So the more time that we have to get that type of instruction and get it individualized to the specific deficiencies that they have then I think it will be a plus for us. I think the students somewhat deserve it because we have had a tumultuous last two years in school.”

Despite many students falling behind due to the pandemic, Yance explained that teachers have supplies and are ready to help students catch up.

Teachers will be conducting initial tests in the beginning of the fall to learn where students are in their reading skills. Lessons will then based off the results from those exams.

“Some of these programs identify their specific weaknesses so we can through the computer provide individualized instruction to help them in their weaknesses,” Yance said. “And of course the teachers in their classrooms are going to address those too so they’re going to work hard to insure that we get the students where they need to be.”

For now, educators will meet students where they are in the new school year and hope to be ready by the time the new assessment begins.

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