Many of Florida's third-graders are not reading at their grade level. This year's FSA exams show only 30% are considered proficient,
At High Point Elementary in Clearwater students are spending part of the summer in school making sure they don’t fall behind, and that includes reading.
“It doesn’t have to be their favorite thing. They don’t have to want to read a book a week. But it’s letting them know the importance of it and us as adults showing them that skill," said Brooker Creek Elementary Assistant Principal Abby Cannata.
To be considered proficient, students must score on Level 4 or 5, according to the Florida Department of Education. This year 22% of students scored on Level 4, while 8% scored on Level 5.
The latest FSA results show that 40% of third-graders scored a 1 or 2, meaning they are not reading at their grade level. The results also show that 28% of third-graders scored a 3 meaning their results are satisfactory but they may need additional support for the next year.
High Point Elementary has actually seen an 18% gain in reading exam scores.
Students who don’t score at least level 2 are not promoted to 4th grade, although there are some exemptions.
Locally, Hillsborough County had 25% of students who only achieved level 1.
Pasco, Hernando, and Pinellas Counties were 7-8 percentage points better.
Educators say it’s especially important for kids to continue reading over the summer while they are out of school, so they don’t fall further behind.
“For students I think reading is another way of traveling for them, imagining all these places that they can. And also creating that path or vision of where they can take themselves to in the future," said High Point Elementary Principal Melody Mendoza-Auslander.
Sarasota County was near the top of the list with 42% of 3rd graders scoring Level 4 and 5 scores on those reading exams.
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