Michigan’s Read By Third Grade Law-Public Act 306

January 28, 2020

The Michigan Department of Education continues to provide information for parents, school districts and community members through the Early Literacy link on the MDE website. Click here to access the website.

Recently, the Department issued guidance for districts on communicating with parents of all students, particularly parents of third grade students, regarding various aspects of Public Act 306. The department advised districts to update parents of third grade students regarding the implementation of the law this school year. Click here or below for a copy of the letter that Dearborn mailed to the parents of every third grade students this past week.

As the law requires, students scoring 1252 or lower on the reading part of the state assessment, the MSTEP, will fall under the mandatory retention requirement of the law, which includes parents or another adult filing a good cause exemption if retention is not in the best interests of the child. Good cause exemptions may be filed for many reasons cited in the law.

Dearborn Public Schools staff has worked for several years to implement all provisions of Public Act 306, including:

– providing teachers and administrators training in reading instruction (Dearborn Teacher Reading Academy since 2012/before Public Act 306 was passed),

-providing students with daily reading instruction including classroom based reading interventions if they need additional support;

-providing additional support for students following a pyramid of interventions by teachers and reading specialists for students who are furthest behind, including regular progress monitoring;

-providing parent education to ensure parents support students at home;

-providing Individual Reading Improvement Plans for students that are below grade level that specify student performance levels and the supports that are needed for the student;

-assessments-diagnostic assessments for student that identify what gaps students may have;

-additional instruction in the form of extended day and extended year programs for students who are furthest behind.

-Students in third grade who are below grade level will have a portfolio of their work assembled to demonstrate current performance levels by the end of the year.

The district is prepared to support parents, guardians and other advocates for third grade students in the good cause exemption process.

Please talk with your child’s teacher or principal if you have specific questions about your child’s performance levels and the supports that are needed to help them become successful.

At the direction of the superintendent, there was a district task force established in 2018 that included parents, teachers, administrators and community members. Click here for a summary of their recommendations. The implementation of these recommendations is based at every elementary school with the support of school and central office staff.

As a district of dedicated parents, educators and support staff, every adult is dedicated to ensuring that every child is successful. Our goal is to continue to align instructional services and social and emotional supports to meet the needs of each student.

Please contact your child’s school or the district office (313) 827-3026 with all questions.

Fall 2019

Michigan Department of Education issued a Read By Third Grade guide.  Click here to view and access.

Parents, please continue to:

 Read with your children at home and discuss their understanding of their reading,  

Have your child “retell” a story in their own words.

Volunteer in school whenever you can,

Attend school events,

Participate in parent conferences,

Write a summary of their reading and draw a picture,

Talk about the meaning of words and how they are used.

Check with your child’s teacher for suggestions on specific supports to ensure all children read at grad level by the end of third grade.

Based on 2019 MSTEP scores, Dearborn third grade students are within the guidelines provided by MDE for progression to fourth grade. While there is no mandatory retention in effect for 2019 students, students performed highly enough to have no students mandated for retention if the law were in effect for 2018-2019.  Great work students, teachers, administrators and parents.

MDE provides updates on Public Act 306 as well as articles and tips. A variety of videos (in Arabic) and other programming here.

MDE Memo on Law and Retention

Dr. Nell Duke: How Policymakers Can Foster Early Literacy

EPIC Read By Third Grade Evaluation

See the Michigan Department of Education Early Literacy website for parent and school resources.

The Read By Third Grade Task Force completed their recommendations on 3/26/19.  The Task Force workgroup recommendations will be available here very soon. Additional information on the Task Force is below.
Click here for an overview of Dearborn’s Literacy Initiatives and support structure for elementary students.
See Superintendent Maleyko’s Read By Third Grade “Happenings Show” here
See Michigan Department of Education’s Parent Toolkit here.  
There are videos, fact pages, book marks, a poster and other resources available.
Read By Third Grade Guide published by MDE

District Task Force: Read By Third Grade

All staff and parents are invited to participate in a Read By Third Grade Task Force.  The first meeting was at ASC on January 10th, 2019 from 4-5:15 in the Board room #4.  The goal was to ensure communication of the existing legislation and to examine teaching and learning at school and home to ensure that parents and teachers are partners in helping every student gain proficiency.

Shared is the slide show from this session. Click here to access. The workgroups that were formed below were based on topics from the legislation:

Reading Instruction, Reading intervention, Reading Professional Learning, Assessment, Good Cause Exemptions, Parent Education, Early Learning and Student Portfolios.

Next meeting is January 29th from 4-6 pm.

Public Law 306

Under the law, to be promoted to fourth grade, a third grade student has to meet at least one of the following:

–          Be less than a year behind in reading on the ELA portion on the state MSTEP

–          Perform at third grade or better reading level on an alternate standardized test, yet to be designated by the state

–          Have a portfolio with multiple work samples showing student application of third-grade reading and writing standards

–          Be proficient on the state math assessment and have a portfolio showcasing science and social studies work

–          Be from a non-English speaking home and have received English language assistance for less than three years

–          Have been in the district less than two years and did not have an individualized reading plan at the previous school

–          Was previously retained a grade

–          Has a disability identified in a 504 plan

–          Has been identified with a disability and has an Individualized Education Plan.

See WRESA Legislative unpack here.

See WRESA 3rd Grade Reading Workgroup document here.

Public Act 306

In 2016, the Michigan Legislature passed a law that
requires schools to identify learners who are struggling with
reading and writing and to provide additional help. The
law states that third graders may repeat third grade if they
are more than one grade level behind beginning with the
2019-2020 school year. These Facts for Families help families
understand the Read by Grade Three Law so they can support
their child.


Introduction to the Read by Grade 3 Guide
The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has compiled resources and responses to
frequently asked questions answers regarding MCL 380.1280f, referred to as the “Read by
Grade Three” law. The purpose of this guide is to support district implementation of the
legislation by providing current information.
As new information and resources become available, this guide will be updated. Please send any
questions regarding this guide to MDE-EarlyLiteracy@michigan.gov.

Click here for an informational video.