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MSCS Foundational Literacy Skills Plan

THE LITERACY COMMITMENT is a collaborative effort between schools, parents, and the community to ensure the success and reading readiness of our students. Memphis-Shelby County Schools strives to build a strong academic foundation, knowing that a key component to education is literacy!

On March 5, 2024, the Tennessee State Board of Education voted to update the language in the Tennessee Learning Loss Remediation and Student Acceleration Act. The main changes are listed below:

OLD NEW
For students who score “approaching” and are eligible to file an appeal: The only person who can appeal a student’s TCAP score is the student's parent or guardian. For students who score “approaching” and are eligible to file an appeal: Authorized school personnel (principal, guidance counselor, teacher, or other administrator) may file an appeal on behalf of a parent/legal guardian if written consent is received on a form provided by the TDOE.
For 2023-24 school year, the student scores at or above the 40th percentile on state-approved universal screener (i-Ready). For 2024-25 school year and thereafter, if the student scores at or above the 50th percentile on the state-provided universal screener (aimswebPlus), the student (i.e. parent/legal guardian or authorized school personnel) is eligible to file an appeal.
Existing pathways outlined in previous documents. New Promotional Pathway Added: Students who score at or above the 50th percentile on the state-provided universal screener (aimswebPlus) AND agree to attend year-long tutoring will be promoted to 4th grade. (90% attendance required).
Families can file an appeal stating that the student experienced a catastrophic event during TCAP testing. When an appeal is filed on the basis of a catastrophic event, the applicant must provide proof that the catastrophic event occurred either on the 3rd grade ELA TCAP test date or within 60 calendar days leading up to it (and any make up opportunities) that negatively affected the student's ability to demonstrate their knowledge.
No additional notice required (although MSCS provides regular updates) Per state law, parents must be notified about the benefits of attending a learning loss/bridge camp.
SY23-24 MSCS uses i-Ready as a state-approved universal screener In compliance with state rule, MSCS will move to the state-provided universal screener (aimswebPlus) beginning with SY24-25.

Click here to see what the state says about Learning Acceleration and the Pathways to Promotion.

Click here to read the Tennessee State Board of Education (SBE) Promotion & Retention Policy.

Click here to access Family Resources from TN Best for All Central.

Click here to access the Third and Fourth Grade Promotion Timeline from the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE).

Here are some other things to keep in mind:

  • Impacted 4th graders (students who were required to participate in additional interventions for promotion) must show adequate growth on the TCAP's ELA section, or they will be retained, per TCA 49-6-3115.
  • From the Tennessee State Board of Education (SBE) Promotion & Retention Policy, Adequate growth is defined as a student improving scores between a baseline assessment and the post-test by at least five (5) percentage points. The baseline assessment is the ELA portion of the 3rd grade spring TCAP (excluding writing), unless a student moves into the “approaching” performance level as a result of the 3rd grade TCAP retest, in which case the baseline assessment for that student is the 3rd grade TCAP retest score. The post-test will be the Department of Education-developed, standards-aligned assessment administered at the conclusion of summer camps.
    • 4th graders who previously scored “below expectations” on their last TCAP ELA assessment must participate in year-long tutoring.
    • 4th grade students who previously scored “approaching expectations” on their last TCAP ELA assessment and attended SLA but did not make the 90% attendance or adequate growth must participate in year-long tutoring.
    • Students who scored “approaching expectations” and were not exempt and did not attend SLA, must participate in year-long tutoring.
  • A student who is retained in any of the grades kindergarten through three (K-3) must be assigned a tutor to provide the student with tutoring services for the entirety of the school year.

There are two main components to the Literacy Commitment:

Primary Grades (GRADES K-2)

Students' early reading skills are monitored by teachers and administrators using a variety of methods, and reading readiness updates are shared in school meetings, parent-teacher conferences, report cards, and Academic Support Plan letters.

Upper Elementary (GRADES 3-5)

Third grade is the year that students are no longer “learning to read” but begin “reading to learn.” If students are not reading on grade level by the time they reach the third grade, half of the curriculum they will be taught for the remainder of their school years will be beyond their understanding.

Through the Tennessee Learning Loss Remediation and Student Acceleration Act, all school districts in Tennessee must offer learning loss remediation summer programs for students in grades K-8. Additionally, students who are striving to achieve are encouraged or required to participate in tutoring during their 4th grade year.

MSCS offers the Summer Learning Academy, a 4-week program that supports students who do not make a score of “met expectations” or “exceeded expectations” on the ELA portion of the state’s standardized test (TCAP).

Retention Guidelines

The Tennessee Learning Loss Remediation and Student Acceleration Act has outlined student support regarding promotion and retention guidelines for the ELA portion of the TCAP test for third and fourth-grade students.

Memphis-Shelby County Schools identifies student achievement as its highest priority. The Literacy Commitment is a collaborative effort between schools, parents, and the community to ensure the success and reading readiness of our students.

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