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Third Grade Guarantee Information

Third Grade Reading Guarantee

The Ohio Legislature passed legislation to strengthen the Third Grade Reading Guarantee to give greater emphasis to reading instruction and intervention in the early grades.  

Photograph of group of students reading a book
School districts must:

  • Diagnose reading deficiencies in students at grades kindergarten through three,
  • Create individualized reading improvement and monitoring plans (RIMPs) for students not on grade-level, 
  • Provide intense reading interventions to students on a RIMP.

ODE developed diagnostic assessments will be used to identify students as on-track or not on-track.  

On-track means any student who is reading at grade level based on previous end-of-year standards' expectations by September 30th.

Not on-track means any student who is not reading at grade level based on previous end-of-year standards' expectations by September 30th. 


Retention in the Third Grade

All students scoring below the designated level on the third grade ELA Assessment must be retainedexcept for the following students (ORC 3313.608(A)(2)):

Image of a stack of books

  • Limited English proficient students who have been enrolled in U.S. school for less than two full school years and less than two years of instruction in English,
  • Special education students whose IEPs specifically exempt them from retention under the third grade guarantee (significant cognitive impairments),
  • Students who demonstrate reading competency on a Reading OAA Alternative approved by ODE,
  • Any student who has received intensive remediation for two years and was previously retained in kindergarten through grade three.

If a student does not take the Grade 3 ELA Assessment during the administration or makeup window, the student's score will be considered a zero for the purposes of the Third Grade Guarantee and the student will be retained unless the student qualifies for an exception. 

Third Grade Reading Guarantee Video Link