Third Grade Reading Guarantee

Ohio's Third Grade Reading Guarantee is a program to identify students from kindergarten through grade 3 that are behind in reading. Schools will provide help and support to make sure students are on track for reading success by the end of third grade. The department provides policy guidance, instructional tools, and resources on the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.

The Ohio Department of Education created a guidance manual to help school districts, community schools, and chartered nonpublic schools understand the requirements of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.

Our district will use the AimsWeb assessment to both evaluate and monitor reading ability. The new state law applies to all Ohio public school students in kindergarten through third grade. Every K-3 student must receive a reading assessment by September 30th.

Diagnostic Assessments

Ohio’s diagnostic assessments are aligned to Ohio’s Learning Standards. The primary purpose of the diagnostic assessments is to provide a tool to check the progress of students toward meeting the standards. The diagnostic assessments were developed in two formats:

Screener: measures beginning year skills

Full Measure: measures end-of-year skills

Based on the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, districts/schools must administer a reading diagnostic assessment to all students in kindergarten through grade three. Districts must administer a reading diagnostic assessment to students in grades 1 through grade 3 by September 30 and to students in kindergarten by Nov. 1 of each school year to meet the requirements of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. Districts have the option of using the state-developed diagnostics or a vendor assessment on the department’s approved list of diagnostic assessments. For kindergarten, districts may also choose to use the Language and Literacy portion of the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment to meet the reading diagnostic requirement. Districts who use the state-developed diagnostics must print the assessments locally.

All results must be reported into EMIS. Student results will be reported as on-track and not on-track. (Note: On the Student Score Sheet, students who score in the category of "further assessment may be needed" is considered "on track". However, it is strongly encouraged to provide interventions to these students.)

Note: Per changes in ORC 3301.079(D)(3), beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, school districts will not be required to administer the mathematics or writing diagnostics in grades one and two or the writing diagnostic in grade three, but may do so at the discretion of the district board.


Pearson Clinical Assessment: AIMSWEB

NOTE: The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) created a list of approved reading diagnostic assessments comparable to the ODE reading diagnostic assessment for assessing K-3 reading proficiency. Instead of using the state diagnostic assessments, districts may choose to use an assessment on the ODE approved list of diagnostic assessments as an option to determine if a student is on-track for reading.

Ohio Diagnostic Assessments


The law requires that schools provide student-specific reading support and instruction to identified students within 60 days after identifying the student as not on track. Reading support includes intensive, individualized, and regular instruction using research-based strategies.

The district must develop a reading improvement and monitoring plan for each student identified as reading below grade level. The plan must do the following:

  1. Identify the student’s specific reading skill level

  2. Describe the additional instructional services and support

  3. Include opportunities for parental involvement

  4. Specify a process for monitoring the student’s receipt of the services and support

  5. Provide a reading curriculum that assesses his or her reading progress using vetted assessments and research-based strategies

  6. State that the student may be retained in third grade for failure to pass the third grade reading assessment.

If a student is retained in third-grade because of the reading guarantee, he/she will be provided with student-specific instruction that aligns with their achievement levels to bring them up to grade level.

Both of our elementary schools are school-wide Title I schools. As a part of this program every parent receives a parent compact. The purpose of the School-Parent Compact is to build and foster the development of a school-parent partnership to help all children achieve the State’s high standards. It establishes the responsibility for improved student achievement as one shared by parents, the child, and teachers.

The compact is for every student, parent and classroom teacher but will be particularly important for parents of students identified as not on track in reading in grades K-3. Parents of students not on track in reading will receive a letter notifying them of their child’s status and inviting them to join with their child’s classroom teacher and as appropriate Title I or Intervention teacher in creating a reading improvement and monitoring plan that is consistent with the law. The Title I compact describes how parents can support their child’s reading development at home and become involved at school.

Third Grade Reading Guarantee Teacher Resources - Click Here -includes licensure guidance and other support


click here: Third Grade Reading Guarantee Parent Roadmaps

Resources for Parents to Use at Home


Created for grades K-8 high school English language arts/literacy and mathematics the guides provide clear, consistent expectations for what students should be learning at each grade in order to be prepared for college and career.

Parent Guides

Reading First Ohio

Family involvement strengthens student learning and improves academic achievement. Students with active family support have better attendance, pass more classes and earn more credits resulting in higher grade point averages and higher test scores. As a result, they are more likely to continue their education beyond high school and learn social and behavioral skills that help them at home, at school and throughout life.


INFOhio, a virtual K-12 library, transforms teaching and learning by connecting educational resources with the power of information technology. INFOhio's Core Collection of Electronic Resources, 16 tools selected for K-12 research, provides state-funded resources free to all Ohio K-12 students and and educators for the 2011-2012 school year. A username and password are required for home access; see your school library media specialist, technology coordinator or classroom teacher.

Bembo's Zoo

Watch how the letters of the alphabet re-form into animals. Preschool - K

Sesame Street Games, Videos, Instruction

Free Reading

An open source free reading intervention program for grades K-6

PBS Parents

PBS Parents is a trusted resource that’s filled with information on child development and early learning. It also serves as a parent's window to the world of PBS KIDS, offering access to educational games and activities inspired by PBS KIDS programs.

International Children's Digital Library

The ICDL is a rich resource which can be used in a wonderfully wide range of situations by children, parents, teachers, librarians and others from all walks of life. Children can expand upon the stories to create games; parents can extract themes to help explain important lessons; teachers can utilize the multicultural nature of the collection to teach languages; librarians can enrich community outreach programs with tales from around the world and; of course, anyone can just open a book to read for pleasure.

National PTA - Literacy

Reading is Fundamental

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is the largest children’s literacy nonprofit in the United States. We prepare and motivate children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most. We inspire children to be lifelong readers through the power of choice. RIF provides new, free books for children to choose from and make their own.

RIF - Reading Planet