By administering an approved assessment to Kindergarten and Grade 1 students, are schools in violation of Rule 10 115.01B which states, “Whole grade norm-referenced assessment using a national assessment instrument begins no earlier than grade two…”?
No. In accordance with the Nebraska Reading Improvement Act, districts are required to administer an assessment 3x annually to all students in Grades K-3 from the approved list, some of which are norm-referenced. When there is a conflict between statute and rule, statute supersedes rule, thus no violation of Rule 10 would be issued. Districts will be informed as rules are revised and updated to reflect current legislative requirements.
Who is exempt from taking the approved reading assessment?
To recognize the needs of some students, some are exempt from taking the approved reading assessments. These include:
- any student with limited English proficiency who has received less than two years of English instruction
- any student receiving special education services for whom such assessment would conflict with their individualized education plan
- any student receiving services under a plan pursuant to the requirements of section 504 of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act for whom such assessment would conflict with such section 504 or Title II Plan
Do English Learners (EL’s) need an individualized Reading Improvement Plan?
If a student has been receiving specialized English instruction for less than two years, that student is exempt from participating in the approved reading assessment. Nebraska Rule 15, Regulations and Procedures for English Learner Programs in Nebraska Public Schools, outlines services provided to EL’s in K-12 education. While some districts may provide English language support in Pre-Kindergarten programs, some do not. Therefore, the Nebraska Reading Improvement Act considers specialized English instruction to begin once a student is enrolled in Kindergarten or higher. Because the student would be exempt from participating in the approved assessment, a plan would not be created. Rather, the school team would enact supports such as are described by Rule 15, as well as other local policies and procedures, and that are appropriate to the unique needs of individual students.
Does the school need to share a copy of the IRIP with parents?
The Nebraska Reading Improvement Act requires that parents or guardians be notified of a reading deficiency within 15 working days of the identification, “…and that an individual reading improvement plan will be established and shared with the parents or guardians.”
For more information about IRIPs, please visit https://www.education.ne.gov/nebraskareads/irip-guidance-document/.
How do the requirements for students identified as having characteristics of dyslexia (LB 1052) relate to effective reading instruction and intervention?
LB 1052, now Nebraska Revised Statute 79-11,156, outlines requirements for the identification and support for students who exhibit characteristics of dyslexia, complements the Nebraska Reading Improvement Act. Both laws underscore the role of effective reading instruction and intervention for students who struggle with reading proficiency. The NDE has developed a
technical assistance guide for dyslexia.
The purpose of the guide for dyslexia is to provide information, resources, guidance and support to schools, families and caregivers in understanding the specific learning disability of dyslexia. This technical assistance document is a starting point and includes additional resources for educators to access when they suspect a student may have dyslexia. In addition, 79-11,158 requires teacher education programs to include instruction in dyslexia.
How will student progress be monitored?
An approved reading assessment will assess all students, kindergarten through grade 3 three times during the school year to 1) screen students within the first 30 days of school to identify students that may have a reading deficiency, 2) measure progress towards grade level reading and 3) to inform instruction targeted to students’ needs. Supplemental reading intervention programs may include ongoing diagnostic assessments and do not require NDE approval.
Are parents required to be involved in creating the IRIP?
The Nebraska Reading Improvement Act states: The reading improvement plan may be created by the teacher, the principal, other pertinent school personnel, and the parents or guardians of the student and shall describe the reading intervention services the student will receive…
While the law does not explicitly require parental involvement, efforts should be made to collaborate with parents or guardians in creating a plan. The reading improvement plan should be shared with the parents or guardians. It is beneficial to keep parents or guardians informed of ongoing progress.
What must be included on an Individualized Reading Improvement Plan?
A guidance document and Reading Improvement Plan templates can be found on the NebraskaREADS website to guide you in the process of creating the plan.