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Columbus City Schools Kicks Off Summer Third Grade Reading Blitz

Columbus City Schools officials say they’re launching a summer Third Grade Reading Blitz. The school system wants third graders who have so far failed the Ohio Achievement Assessment to attend summer classes or receive some other type of assistance. Last fall more than half of Columbus City Schools third graders failed the state-mandated test. The school system, under the leadership of Superintendent Dan Good, got busy. There were “reading buddiesâ€? at public library branches, volunteer tutors and instructional TV programs. In addition, Good says, all primary teachers were retooled with new skills. “We made a very conscious effort to retool all of our primary teachers,â€? Good says. “This has been a full offensive!â€? The efforts paid off. By the end of the school year three-quarters had passed the test. But almost a thousand have not. Now school personnel and volunteers are going door-to-door urging parents to enroll their children in summer classes. Good says these students will get finely tuned instruction. “When a child gets their Ohio Achievement Assessment it shows areas where there are deficits in their cognitions so we actually tailor the interventions, just like going to the doctor’s, so we know what treatment is necessary to address that miscue they have in their literacy developments,â€? Good says. Students may attend the closest summer school possible and will also receive breakfast and lunch. Meanwhile, Good says, parents will receive phone calls asking questions like: “Did your child get to school today? What did they learn? Ask them to read a page from that book; I heard it’s a really good book. Are you reading to them before they go to bed? Have you been to the library? So just giving them another set of hands, another set of awareness of what’s available in the community,â€? Good says. Third graders have two more chances this summer to take and pass the test. Those who fail it will probably repeat the third grade.