Third grade reading scores released

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 14, 2016

EAGER READERS: Third grade students in Missy Johnson’s class at Pearl River Central Upper Elementary read Chocolate Fever during Friday’s class.  Photo by Cassandra Favre

EAGER READERS: Third grade students in Missy Johnson’s class at Pearl River Central Upper Elementary read Chocolate Fever during Friday’s class.
Photo by Cassandra Favre

Thursday, the Mississippi Department of Education released the results of the Third Grade Reading Summative Assessment.
The Pearl River County School District placed in the top ten, but Poplarville and Picayune School Districts weren’t far behind.
According to a release from the MDE, 87 percent of third graders achieved a passing score. Students are required to score at least 926. The assessment was administered in March and April.
Officials with local school districts will determine which of the students who did not pass but still qualify for the good cause exemptions for promotion to fourth grade, the release states.
The remaining students will be retested before a decision is made about their promotion or retention, the release states. According to the release, the first retest will be held on May 16 through 22, the second retest will take place between June 27 and August 5.
Mississippi’s Literacy-Based Promotion Act requires a student scoring at the lowest achievement level on the Third Grade Reading Summative Assessment be retained in the third grade, unless he or she meets the good cause exemptions, the release states. This act was amended in 2016 and will require students starting in the 2018-2019 school year to score above the lowest two achievement levels in order to be promoted to the fourth grade, the release states.
During the 2015-2016 school year, students who have an individualized education program, or a 504 plan, who have received either intensive remediation for more than two years, or were previously retained for one year, can now qualify for a good cause exemption, the release states.
Pearl River County School District Superintendent Alan Lumpkin said this achievement is outstanding for the district’s students, teachers and parents.
There were 242 third graders at Pearl River Central Upper Elementary and about five percent failed the assessment. More than 95 percent of their students passed.
Pearl River Central Upper Elementary Principal Darlene Hall said she is proud of her faculty and students for their hard work.
Each morning, third graders at the Upper Elementary participated in “Target Time,” a 30-minute explicit systematic reading plan, Hall said.
“At the beginning of the year, we assess each student and come up with a plan,” she said. “We also monitor and adjust as the year progresses. There is an individualized plan for each student and they receive tutoring based on their level.”
Students in Missy Johnson’s third grade class credited their teacher, confidence and hard work for their performance on the assessment.
“The credit goes to them,” Lumpkin said. “Our teachers inspire our students to be good readers. Our students have a passion for reading. Nothing replaces time and hard work when it comes to reading. I would like to thank our parents for taking the time to read to their children. I encourage all parents to read with their child each and every night. It makes a difference. This combination of teachers and parents is why we are seeing the success we are having in Pearl River County.”
In the Poplarville School District, 152 students took this year’s assessment and 95 percent of them also passed.
Poplarville School District’s Assistant Superintendent and Curriculums Director Konya Miller said their passing numbers have been consistent for the past two years.
“We try to predict which students need further information,” Miller said. “We’re pleased and have plans to help remediate those who need help. Our ultimate goal is to make sure they are ready to go to the fourth grade.”
Poplarville School District Superintendent Carl Merritt said he is pleased with the district’s scores.
In Picayune, there are four elementary schools. In these schools, 280 third graders took the assessment this year. The overall passage percentage for the Picayune School District was 86.4 percent. Nicholson Elementary’s passage percentage was 76, Roseland Park’s was 89, South Side Elementary’s was 87 and West Side Elementary’s passage percentage was 91 percent.
Picayune School District’s Curriculum and Testing Director Mary Williams said the preliminary results indicate an improvement compared to the results of the 2014-2015 school year.
“The administration, teachers and staff of the Picayune School District are dedicated to ensuring that every child has access to the best available resources in order to reach the goals and objectives that have been outlined by the State of Mississippi’s Literacy-Based Promotion Act.”

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