Beginning in the school year 2013-2014, Arizona will implement an innovative new policy that will create multiple opportunities for 3rd grade students to master reading at the grade level. Students who score Falls Far Below on the AIMS reading test may be retained in the 3rd grade to meet the rigorous reading standards set forth in the Arizona English Language Arts Standards. The law does provide for exemptions under certain circumstances. Those include students who have disabilities and did not take the AIMS test; those who are English Language Learners or Limited English Proficient and have received less than two years of English instruction; and cases in which a district or charter governing board approves a parent’s request. The law will provide for extended time, intervention and remedial strategies for students who are not promoted. Those include providing summer school reading instruction; requiring the student to be assigned to a different teacher for reading instruction; online reading instruction; and intensive reading instruction during the following academic year either before, during or after the regular school day.
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