3rd Grade Retention Law
Welcome Letter for Families - August 2023
Dear Families of Third Grade Students,
We are excited to have your third grader at our school. Third grade is an essential year in your child’s educational experience. Third grade literacy is a culmination of the foundational reading skills acquired in grades K-2. By the end of the third grade, your child will be applying the foundational reading skills to standards-based tasks, such as, determining the main idea of the text and explaining how the details support the main idea.
You will receive detailed information outlining your child’s progress throughout the year, as described on the GMSD Assessment Calendar.
STAR Literacy Report (fall, winter, and spring) - assesses comprehension and provides a reading level
aimswebPLUS Universal Screener (fall, winter, and spring) –assesses reading skills. Families will receive a Home Literacy Report if your child scores at the 25th percentile or below.
Mastery View Predictive Assessments (formerly known as CASE) – standards-based benchmarks predictive of TCAP proficiency levels.
In addition, it is important for your child to practice reading at home. Daily home reading will reinforce your child’s interest in reading.
At the end of the school year, your child will take the statewide assessments called the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, or TCAP, in ELA, math and science. These are important measures of your child’s level of proficiency in the subject-area standards.
State law requires that your child scores above “Approaching” on the third-grade ELA TCAP to be promoted to 4th grade. For more information about this law, please see our 3rd Grade Retention Law (link to presentation) explanation.
We have numerous resources to support your child throughout the year, such as tiered intervention provided during the school day and the TN ALL Corps tutoring program for qualifying students.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s progress, please reach out to your child’s teacher or principal. If you have questions about the 3rd grade promotion law, please reach out via Let’s Talk on the gmsdk12.org website. This letter will also be shared via email with all 3rd grade parents on August 30, with active links to additional resources.
Helpful Links for Families
2022-23 3rd Grade Promotion Law Information
Updates for Families - May 17, 2023
3rd Grade Promotion Law - Parent Toolkit
The 3rd Grade Promotion Law Parent Toolkit was sent home with your 3rd grade student on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 (click the above link to access the toolkit).
This toolkit was shared with ALL GMSD third grade families, regardless of pending TCAP scores, so that parents will have it at home if needed.
Contingent upon GMSD receiving ELA TCAP scores by May 22nd, GMSD staff will contact you if your child receives an “approaching” or “below” score on the 3rd grade ELA TCAP to discuss the next steps described in this toolkit.
Updates for Families - March 2023
Dear Families of Third Grade Students,
Your child’s recent Individual Student Report from the third and final comprehensive Mastery View Predictive Assessment (MVPA, formerly known as CASE) was sent home the week of March 27. MVPA provides a projection of your child’s performance on TCAP. In mid-April, our students will take the ELA TCAP.
In accordance with the 3rd grade retention law, students who receive an “approaching” or “below” score on the 3rd grade ELA TCAP will be provided support to ensure they are ready for grade level ELA lessons in fourth grade. If a student’s family does not wish to take advantage of these supports, the student will be retained in third grade to ensure that the student receives an additional year of instruction and can participate fully during the fourth grade ELA classroom moving forward.
The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) has provided the following exemptions and pathways to support promotion for students who score “approaching” or “below” on TCAP.
If your child scores “approaching” or “below” on the third grade ELA TCAP, your child will NOT be retained if ANY of the following are true:
- My child has a disability that impacts reading
- My child is an English learner and has received less than two (2) years of English instruction
- My child has been retained previously
- My child has a suspected disability* that impacts literacy development
*Children who are suspected as having disabilities should be evaluated in accordance with the processes required for the identification of students with disabilities as outlined in the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and state laws regarding services to students with disabilities. Those conversations, evaluations, and decisions must be reviewed for each individual child, just like any other case where a child may have a disability.
GMSD Staff will identify and determine exemptions on a case-by-case basis considering the unique needs and circumstances of the individual student and based on documentation in the student’s file.
Additional Promotion Pathways
A student who is not determined to meet the exemptions listed above has the following options to support promotion.
A student who is not proficient in ELA , as determined by the student scoring “approaching” on the ELA portion of the student’s most recent TCAP may still be promoted, but only if:
(1) A parent submits an appeal to TDOE because:
(a) The student’s composite score on the spring aimswebPlus universal reading screener is above the 40th percentile. All 3rd grade parents will receive the aimswebPlus score report no later than May 19 -OR-
(b) A catastrophic situation (i.e., as defined by the TDOE but not limited to a death in the immediate family, loss of a family home, significant medical diagnosis) occurred in the days leading up the 3rd grade TCAP that impacted the student’s ability to perform on the TCAP -OR-
(2) The student completes a retest*, provided by the TDOE and administered by the district, and scores proficient in ELA -OR-
(3) The student attends Summer Success Camp with at least a 90% attendance rate and demonstrates adequate growth, as defined by the TDOE, on the camp post-test -OR-
(4) The student participates in the TN ALL Corps Tutoring Program for their entire 4th grade school year
A student who is not proficient in ELA , as determined by the student scoring “below” on the ELA portion of the student’s most recent TCAP, may still be promoted, but only if:
(1) The student completes a retest*, provided by the TDOE and administered by the district, and scores proficient in ELA -OR-
(2) The student attends Summer Success Camp with at least a 90% attendance rate, and the student participates in the TN ALL Corps Tutoring Program for their entire 4th grade school year
Parents or guardians of students who score “approaching” or “below” on the 3rd grade ELA TCAP will be notified by GMSD staff to discuss the available options once TCAP scores arrive. We expect to receive the 3rd grade ELA TCAP proficiency level scores from TDOE by May 26.
*For those who select the retest option: GMSD will administer the retake on May 31 at a location TBD. We will post the date, time, and location on this site and communicate with applicable families.
If you have any questions about the 3rd Grade Retention Law, please reach out via Let’s Talk on the gmsdk12.org website.
Summer Success Camp - Updated April 25, 2023
For families who want to plan for Summer Success Camp in case that is the option they choose for promotion, the dates are June 5-29, Mondays-Thursdays at Forest Hill Elementary School. Camp will be offered to current K-8th grade GMSD students. We prioritized spots for our students who met the State criteria and notified parents in early April.
The work of the Teaching, Learning & Assessment Department is directed by the district’s mission: “To prepare, inspire, and empower students to become life-long learners and socially responsible citizens.”
The TLA team provides district leadership that supports the development, implementation, and evaluation of rigorous, relevant academic programs.