Third grade reading scores are improving for students in Noxubee County

Scores from the third grade reading assessment show that 74 % of the state's 31,000 third graders have passed the test

NOXUBEE, Miss. (WCBI)- Reading comes easy for some, but not for everybody. Scores from the third grade reading assessment show that 74 % of the state’s 31,000 third graders have passed the test.

Mississippi put the Literacy-Based Promotion Act (LBPA)  in place in 2013 to help improve reading skills for kids kindergarten through third grade.

The test requires students to pass the reading assessment before being promoted to the fourth grade. Noxubee County is among four other schools that didn’t see at least a 40% passing rate on the first go round of the test, but summer school is helping to bring those grades up.

Reading is fundamental and local educators do what they can to teach the younger generation. When scores for the third grade reading assessment for the 2021-2022 school year were released, the numbers weren’t great for a couple of schools in our area; including Noxubee County.

After the initial test, only 38% of the third graders passed.

Fortunately, students are allowed two chances to retest after the first one.

The percentage jumped to 65% after the first retest, but there’s still work to be done and it’s going on in summer school.

“We are working diligently with the students with the summer school program and we have them working on those skills that they were weak in so we can get them up to par to where they can do well on this last assessment,” said lead teacher Audrey Ivy.

Ivy and principal at Earl Nash Elementary, Lashanda Mickens, knew the COVID-19 pandemic had a large part to do with students initial performance.

“When they were out for COVID they didn’t master the skills that they really needed by being virtual learners so now we’re trying to get them back together, group them together so they can learn together in the classroom together in the classroom. It’s much better with them being together and being live rather than on a computer screen,” said Ivy.

“They hadn’t been in school since 1st grade so their second grade year was completely virtual so we had to hone in on those skills through interventions making sure we progress monitor those students,” said Mickens.

38 students have one more chance to pass the test on June 29, 2022. Teachers drill the students each day at summer school, but it doesn’t have to stop there.

“It starts at home so we’re trying to bridge that gap between school and home so we can form partnerships together so we can move forward from this year going forward,” said Mickens.

Teachers, parents, and administrators can only do so much though; sometimes it takes the help of a classmate to get the lesson learned.

“Peer teaching, that is number one sometimes is some classrooms where you have those students that take on that facilitator role and say I want to help my peer get to where they need to be so that is key in the class room and that ties into our social and emotional learning,” said Mickens.

Students that don’t pass the second retest can still be promoted to the 4th grade if they meet the state’s good cause exemption

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