NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Despite improvements in English Language Arts (ELA) test results, data from the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) shows nearly 60% of third-grade students could be at risk of being held back in the third grade.
If their child is at risk of not being promoted to the fourth grade, parents have a few options for their children, according to the TDOE. If the student scored “approaching expectations” on their ELA test during the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP), there are four options for promotion.
For Tennessee students who scored “Approaching”
First, students can take the ELA TCAP again during the retake window. According to the TDOE, that retake window is open now through June 5. Exactly when a student’s retake day would be depends on their school district, so parents should keep in contact with their child’s school for more information.
Regardless of when the retake administration is held, districts will receive the TCAP results within 48 hours, according to the department. If the student scores proficient on the ELA retake, they may be promoted.
Parents may also opt to send their child to summer camp in order to attend the fourth grade. If their child maintains at least a 90% attendance rate at the camp and demonstrates ELA improvement, the student may be promoted to the fourth grade. The camps offered vary by district and run for four weeks of the summer to cover literacy or math. Parents who wish to utilize the summer camp option should contact their child’s school to find out what camps are offered in their districts.
Another option for parents is to appeal the retention decision. According to rules from the State Board of Education, parents can submit an appeal to the TDOE within 14 calendar days of being notified that their child is at-risk for retention based on their child’s performance on the most recent TCAP test. This applies to students who scored “approaching expectations” on the ELA TCAP.
The appeals window will open May 30 and continue through June 30.
Parents will need to submit documented proof of student growth using an approved benchmark or the TN Universal Reading Screener as part of their appeal or they can submit proof of an event that impact’s a student’s ability to perform on the test as part of that appeal. Parents will need to contact their child’s school to learn more about the screener administered in their child’s district.
TN ALL Corps Tutoring
Students who scored “approaching expectations” may also be promoted to the fourth grade if they receive TN ALL Corps tutoring during the year, according to the DOE.
For Tennessee students who scored “Below”
For students who scored “below expectations,” the options are fewer.
First, students can retake their ELA TCAP and score “proficient” on it.
Second, the student could sign up for a four-week summer camp. If they opt for summer camp, the students must maintain at least a 90% attendance rate and receive TN ALL Corps tutoring during the fourth grade.