What is Public Act 306?

On October 6, 2016, Michigan became the 37th state to adopt third grade reading legislation when Governor Rick Snyder signed Public Act 306 External Linkinto law. Public Act 306 of 2016 (now referred to as MCL 380.1280f) requires all third grade students who do not score proficient on the third grade state summative assessment be to retained. This legislation took effect immediately and 2016-17 kindergartners were the first cohort of students impacted by the retention aspects of the law in 2019-20.

PDF DocumentHuron Valley Schools & PA306 power point - for Parents 
PDF DocumentPA 306 Letter to Parents from Dr. Paul Salah, Superintendent

Reading at Home:

Here are some things you should know, to help your young reader grow! You are your child's first and most important teacher! Studies show that it's vitally important for children to have a good start in reading. What you do at home is what will help your child become a successful, confident reader!

PDF DocumentReading at Home Brochure

The Reading Rockets website is a helpful tool for parents to use. On that website you will find:  

  • Reading tips in English - Infant - 3rd Grade
  • Reading tips in 10 other languages - Infant - 3rd Grade
  • Reading tips for parents of children with disabilities

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/reading-tips-parents-11-languages#disabilities External Link

The 5 Essential Components of Reading are: 

  1. Phonemic Awareness
  2. Phonics
  3. Fluency
  4. Vocabulary
  5. Comprehension

Below you will find activities by components that you can do at home with your child:

Phonemic Awareness:

Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and distinguish sounds. This includes:

  • Recognizing sounds, alone in words
  • Adding sounds to words
  • Taking apart words and breaking them into their different sounds
  • Moving sounds

Activities to do with your child at home:

PDF DocumentKindergarten - 1st Grade - Phonemic Awareness Activities
PDF Document2nd - 3rd Grade - Phonemic Awareness Activities


Phonics is the ability to understand the relationship between letters and the sounds they represent. This includes:

  • Recognizing print patterns that represent sounds
  • Syllable patterns
  • Word parts (prefixes, suffixes, and root words)
Common Consonant Digraphs and Blends:

bl, br, ch, ck, cl, cr, dr, fl, fr, gh, gl, gr, ng, ph, pl, pr, qu, sc, sh, sk, sl, sm, sn, sp, st, sw, th, tr, tw, wh, wr

Common Consonant Trigraphs:

nth, sch, scr, shr, spl, spr, squ, str, thr

Common Vowel Digraphs:

ai, au, aw, ay, ea, ee, ei, eu, ew, ey, ie, oi, oo, ou, ow, oy

Activities to do with your child at home:
PDF DocumentKindergarten - 1st Grade - Phonic Activities
PDF Document2nd - 3rd Grade - Phonic Activities


Fluency is the ability to read with sufficient speed to support understanding. This includes:

  • Automatic word recognition
  • Accurate word recognition
  • Use of expression

Activities to do with your child at home:

PDF DocumentKindergarten - 1st Grade - Fluency Activities
PDF Document2nd - 3rd Grade - Fluency Activities


Vocabulary is the student's knowledge of and memory for word meanings. This includes:

  • Receptive Vocabulary
    • Words we understand when read or spoken to us
  • Expressive vocabulary
    • Words we know well enough to use in speaking and writing

Activities to do with your child at home:

PDF DocumentKindergarten - 1st Grade - Vocabulary Activities
PDF Document2nd - 3rd Grade - Vocabulary Activities


Comprehension is the ability to understand and draw meaning from text. This includes:

  • Paying attention to important information
  • Interpreting specific meanings in text
  • Identifying the main idea
  • Verbal responses to questions
  • Application of new information gained through reading

Activities to do with your child at home:

PDF DocumentKindergarten - 1st Grade - Comprehension Activities
PDF Document2nd - 3rd Grade - Comprehension Activities

Third Grade Retention and Promotion Process

Beginning in 2019-2020, MDE will provide CEPI (Center for Educational Performance and Information) state assessment data within fourteen days of finalized scores. CEPI will then notify parents and school districts of students who are subject to retention because they did not achieve a score of at least proficient in ELA on the third grade state assessment. Parents will be informed that their child may enroll in fourth grade if the child demonstrates third grade reading proficiency within a student portfolio or on an alternative standardized reading assessment. 

Additionally, parents of students at risk of retention may request a Good Cause Exemption within thirty days of CEPI's notification. Good Cause Exemptions may be granted for a variety of reasons, including: the student has an IEP or 504 plan, the student is an English Learner who has had less than three years of instruction in an EL program, the student was previously retained and has been receiving intense reading intervention for two or more years, the student has been enrolled in his/her current school for less than two years and did not receive an appropriate individual reading improvement plan at the previous school, and/or the parent requested a Good Cause Exemption within thirty days of the CEPI notification. 

Avoid Retention By:

  1. Demonstrate proficiency on State Assessment
  2. Demonstrate proficiency on Alternative Assessment
  3. Demonstrate proficiency through Portfolio
  4. Qualifying for a Good Cause Exemption

Allowable Reasons for Good Cause Exemptions:

  1. The student has an individualized education program or Section 504 plan (based on federal law), whose team decides to exempt the student from specified retention requirements
  2. The student is a limited English proficient student who has had less than three years of instruction in an English language learner program
  3. The student has received intensive reading intervention for two or more years but still demonstrates a deficiency in reading and was previously retained in Kindergarten, Grade One, Grade Two, or Grade Three.
  4. The student has been continuously enrolled in the current school district for less than two years and there is evidence that the student was not provided with an appropriate Individual Reading Improvement Plan (iRIP) by the previous school.
  5. The student's parent or guardian has requested a Good Cause Exception within the required time period and the superintendent, chief administrator, or designee determines that the exemption is in the best interest of the student.
  6. Student is proficient in all subjects except reading.
  7. Satisfactory portfolio completion by student.
  8. The teacher requests with supporting documentation.

PDF DocumentGood Cause Exemption - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Did you know?

  • Children from professional families have heard 30 million more words by the time they are three years old than those from families in poverty.
  • Students who are not proficient readers by 3rd grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.
  • In 2015-16, less than 1/4 of MI 3rd Graders scored at or above proficiency on the 3rd Grade state ELA assessment.
  • For 85-90% of poor readers, intervention and support programs implemented before 3rd grade can increase reading skills to average grade levels.
  • Children spend 15% of their lives from age 5 to age 16 in school and 85% with families, parents and communities.

PDF DocumentBuild the Habit of Good Attendance Early - English
PDF DocumentBuild the Habit of Good Attendance Early - Spanish

Assessment Tools: An Ongoing Process to Inform Instruction

At the classroom level, teachers make use of assessment tools to gather evidence regarding the effectiveness of Tier 1 instruction and to inform decisions regarding additional supports for students. Within the MTSS framework, teachers use three main assessment tools: universal screeners, meant as the first step in identifying the students who are at risk for learning difficulties, diagnostic assessments, highly-targeted at a particular concept and meant to inform individual learning needs, and progress monitoring, formative assessment used to track individual student progress over time.

Initial Assessments (Universal Screeners) - Currently, many universal screeners are available which explore general grade level reading skills. The first step in choosing a screener is to articulate beliefs about teaching reading and valued aspects of the curriculum. A screening tool should reflect the literacy performances that are most valued.

Extensive Assessments (Diagnostic Tools) - These individual assessments provide an opportunity to gain knowledge about how a student processes reading and thinking about a text. Analyzing and interpreting the data from diagnostic assessments will help to guide instructional decisions and ensure that appropriate interventions are selected to meet
individual needs.

Progress Monitoring - Collecting data that reveals high-quality information for instructional purposes is the priority of monitoring progress and growth. Assessments rooted in real reading events leads to improved instruction. (Howard, 2009).

Process to Inform Instruction:
  • All students must be evaluated using an approved Screening Assessment three times per year, in grades K- 3.
  • Use Diagnostic Testing to determine specific areas of need for those students identified as reading below grade level.
  • Ongoing Progress Monitoring should occur to ensure identified students receive the instruction they need to become proficient learners.

What is an Individual Reading Plan (IRP)?

An Individual Reading Plan (IRP) is a specific blueprint for improving a child's ability to read that is based on data from a variety of assessments. The IRP must correlate with the school's Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) that outlines Tier 1 Core Instruction, Tier 2 Targeted Intervention, and Tier 3 Intensive Targeted Intervention that will be implemented with fidelity to correct the reading deficiencies. The resources provided in this document may be used when meeting with the Teacher Support Team for each student that did not respond to Tier II Interventions; Fourth Grade students requiring intensive intervention after Good Cause Exemption promotion; or, for intensive reading interventions for Special Education students (K-4) and English Learners (Els). (Ohio Department of Education, 2016).

The following steps are followed when implementing and monitoring the success of an IRP.

  1. Identify the student's specific diagnosed reading deficiencies.
  2. Determine goals and benchmarks for growth.
  3. Develop specific supplemental instruction services that target the student's identified
    reading deficiencies.
  4. Align Tier 1 core instruction to the Tier 2 targeted interventions and/or Tier 3 intensive
    targeted intervention.
  5. Provide multiple opportunities for the student's family to be involved in the process.
  6. Monitor student progress to continue, change, or adjust instruction.
  7. Actively monitor the implementation of instructional services for the child.
  8. In addition to interventions and support, ensure that the child maintains access to grade-level reading curriculum.