Third-Grade Reading Guarantee Information

Legislative requirements:

  • An English language arts (ELA) diagnostic assessment must be given by September 30 of each year for students in kindergarten through Grade 3.
  • District boards of education must adopt board policies and procedures for annually assessing the reading skills of each student in grades K-3. These policies must specify that the diagnostic assessments for the Third-Grade Reading Guarantee be given by September 30 each year.
  • If the diagnostic assessment shows that the student is not on-track to be reading at grade level by the end of the year, schools must provide the parents, in writing:
    •  Notice that the school has identified a reading deficiency with their child;
    •  A description of current services provided to the student;
    •  A description of proposed supplemental instruction services;
    • Notice that the Ohio Achievement Assessment for third-grade reading is not the only measure of reading competency; and
    • Notice that unless the student attains the appropriate level of reading competency by the end of Grade 3, the student will be retained.
  • For each student shown to be not on-track, schools must:
    • Begin reading intervention immediately using research-based reading strategies targeted at the student’s identified reading deficiencies;
    • Develop a reading improvement and monitoring plan within 60 days of learning of the reading deficiency; and
    • For third grade students, provide a teacher who meets qualifications defined by the Ohio Department of Education.
  • For the 2013-2014 school year, third grade students who do not score at least 392 on the Third Grade Ohio Achievement Assessment will be retained in reading unless they meet criteria for exemption.

How will the Third-Grade Guarantee impact Olentangy students?

Olentangy students will not experience a significant change under the new law.  As part of the district’s mission to facilitate maximum learning for every student, Olentangy already gives assessments to students in kindergarten through third grade and provides intervention and assistance to students identified as being in need of extra support.  The district is modifying existing procedures to meet the timing and language specified in the new law.

If a student is identified as being not on-track, the child’s teacher or principal will reach out to the family and begin the process of developing a plan to meet that student’s needs.

More about Third Grade Guarantee’s Retention Requirements (Updated 12/13/13)

Ohio law requires that students who do not achieve a score of 392 on the fall or spring Ohio Achievement Assessment will be retained.

  • Students who did not achieve a score of 392 on the fall Ohio Achievement Assessment (OAA) in reading will have other opportunities to demonstrate reading proficiency in third grade.  In addition to the spring OAA, Ohio Department of Education (ODE) is expected to release a list of OAA alternatives in February 2014.  Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate proficiency on one of these assessments during the third grade school year.
  • Students who do not demonstrate proficiency on the alternate reading assessment or the spring OAA will receive intensive reading remediation services during the summer.  At the end of the summer, students will have another opportunity to demonstrate proficiency, both on an approved OAA alternative and/or a assessment provided by ODE.  Any student who has not demonstrated reading proficiency by the end of the summer will reenter third grade.
  • State law requires that students who reenter third grade are instructed at the fourth grade level, where appropriate, in other content areas.  Additionally, midyear promotion opportunities will be provided to students who reenter third grade.  OLSD is currently in the process of establishing policies to determine fourth grade instruction and midyear promotion.

OLSD recognizes that there are many other questions about Ohio’s Third Grade Guarantee at this time.  As OLSD makes decisions and receives guidance from ODE we will continue to update parents and community members through our Third Grade Guarantee page on the district Web site.  Additionally, questions related to Third Grade Guarantee can be submitted to the Get the Facts Blog ( by sending an email to

For specific information from ODE on Student Retention, visit this page.  Alternately, you may visit the  Ohio Department of Education for general information about the Third Grade Guarantee.