Confusion stemming from the reporting system used for IREAD-3 results that were released last week by the Plymouth Schools, lead to a mistake in the final figures for Webster Elementary. All Indiana public and non-public students who take the ISTEP+ tests each year must pass the IREAD-3 test before being promoted to fourth grade, unless there are circumstances that factor into exemptions.
Schools are allowed to have a non-passing student go on to fourth grade, but they must provide third grade reading instruction. The Department of Education registers those not passing as third graders no matter what classroom they are enrolled in a particular school.
There were five Webster third grade students who did not pass the IREAD-3 test and were referred to summer school remediation. According to Webster Principal, Carrie McGuire, of the five, only one student passed after taking the test again.
McGuire said, “I will be meeting with classroom teachers, intervention teachers and parents before making final decisions whether to pass the students on to fourth grade.” She added, “We need to look at social, emotional and academic considerations before making a decision.”
She indicated that a final plan to have reading instruction has not been mapped out yet. She said, “Parents and students need to know that they may have to miss part of a specials class such as music, PE or art and perhaps even part of a recess to get their reading time in.” The school does offer after school tutoring. McGuire said, “We may have to have a plan that includes an agreement to have students stay for tutoring.
McGuire said they had met with the parents of one of the students prior to the summer school classes and had made a decision to retain the child in third grade. Another student did not attend summer classes and did not then have an opportunity to retake the test.
“We will not be in a rush to make a decision to retain or promote the other two students,” McGuire said. “Both were very close to passing the test in the spring and in the summer.” she said.
McGuire said none of the five students not passing had started in kindergarten or first grade at Webster. She said one student just came to the school in February from out of the country and did not know English, one came to Webster in second grade from outside of the corporation district, two others were new to the school and also came from schools outside of the corporation, and one had preferenced from another Plymouth elementary school.
Carol Anders Correspondent