The Woodward News

Local News

February 9, 2014

Third graders preparing for reading test

(Continued)

Woodward, Okla. —

The basic spirit of the law requires third grade students to take a reading test called the Oklahoma Core Curriculum Test (OCCT) every year, beginning in April this year. Based on how they perform on that exam, they will either be promoted or retained, Reynolds said.

Also, as a part of the new law, students in kindergarten, first and second grade will now undergo assessments throughout the school year to make sure in each grade level, students are hitting the mark, Reynolds said. This way they are better prepared to read at the third grade level when testing time comes, Reynolds said.

But Reynolds said some parents are a little panicked that something as significant as holding a child back a grade is being determined by one single day and one single test.

 He understands the concern of the parents but wants to sooth some of their fears.

“It’s not that cut and dry,” Reynolds said.

For instance, already, at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year the reading skills of Woodward third-graders have been being assessed using a host of assessment tools that allow teachers and parents to know if their child is reading at grade level, Reynolds said.

“By now parents should know where their student is on his or her reading ability,” Reynolds said. “We have finished the first semester and have had one set of parent-teacher meetings already.”

These assessments are giving the teacher, administrators and parents the information they need to provide intensive and reading focused tutoring throughout the year, he said. This assistance has been aimed at helping them reach the level of reading that will allow them to pass the RSA test in April.

If a child does not pass the test, there are still some goal focused solutions offered by the school, such as more tutoring and a summer reading academy that can help students reach the goal over the summer and be promoted.

“Retaining a student is the last resort,” Reynolds said.

According to the law, students who do not pass the exam could possibly be exempt from being retained for “good cause” reasons such as; Students who are still learning English and have less than two years of English language training, some students with disabilities and several other exemptions regarding students who have had two years of approved remediation, but still are deficient in reading.

To achieve the new standard set out by the law, it now falls upon the school districts to hire tutors, schedule and provide remediation and provide teachers with continuing education on better strategies to teach reading, Reynolds said.

The district has about $32,000 of RSA funding that they can use to that end, Reynolds said.

That said, the most fiscally effective method and one that works better than all the tutors in the world are parents who get with their children and read with them every night, he said.

Parents hold the real power to opening the world of adventure through books, he said.  

“It is well known that parents who read early to their children have children who learn to love to read,” Reynolds said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Enrollment dates set for schools

    With school quickly approaching, it is time to get your enrollment information in and Woodward Public Schools have set their enrollment and other key dates.

    July 30, 2014

  • Marijuana petition attracting signatures

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Medical marijuana may be the state’s newest gateway drug — to voting.

    July 30, 2014

  • Glow run scheduled in Alva

    ALVA--A popular new trend in running is coming to Woods County.

    July 30, 2014

  • Boy, 7, drowns in weekend accident

    A seven-year-old boy died over the weekend when he fell into a swimming pool at a private residence in the Wheatridge addition, according to Woodward police reports.

    July 29, 2014

  • Commission OKs grader financing

    Monday morning in their weekly meeting, Woodward County Commissioners approved the financing on a new John Deere motor grader and discussed in detail the upcoming County Officers and Deputies Association meeting the county will host this October.

    July 29, 2014

  • Deal reached to improve veterans' health care

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan deal announced Monday would authorize about $17 billion to help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat veterans and make it easier to fire executives at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    July 29, 2014

  • Western Plains sets school supplies drive

     As the beginning of the school year approaches, so does the need for new school supplies.

    July 29, 2014

  • Area woman recovering from West Nile

    It wasn’t too many years ago when West Nile Virus was a scary word everyone hoped never happened to them and most of the time, that was true.

    July 27, 2014

  • Dedication set for art pieces

    Woodward’s collection of public art pieces will grow by two this week.

    July 27, 2014

  • ‘Support YOUR Cause Tour’ making stop in Woodward

    A musician is looking to raise $5,000 at an upcoming local concert.
    But Scott Helmer isn't raising the money for himself.  He is hoping to collect money to help support the Woodward Arts Theatre.

    July 26, 2014