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Reading tops curriculum plans for APS

Reading literacy tops curriculum plans for Alpena Public Schools. The school district has been working with students to meet the state’s third grade reading benchmark. Here’s what parents need to know about that benchmark and what it could mean for your student.

Every incoming third grader will be tested on their literacy skills. Kids who don’t meet the state’s reading level requirement could be forced to repeat the third grade. The rule is the latest addition to the third grade reading law taking effect this fall.

“Instead of being worried and scared, it’s being proactive,” said Meaghan Gauthier, director of k-12 curriculum, “and figuring out ways to support your child’s literacy.”

The school district have two vision boards that lays out their plan for each student from the first day as a junior kindergartner to their high school graduation. The lowest level of the plan are building blocks to develop early literacy foundations.

Tuesday’s curriculum and technology meeting centered on tackling plans to boost reading scores. Gauthier suggests students read 15 minutes a night.

“It’s so key that we have a partnership with families,” she said.

Gauthier said exemptions to the rule can be given under limited circumstances such as medical reasons or students who have been held back before. “The benefit of the law is that it’s bringing the importance of literacy to life.”

The director of k-12 curriculum is hopeful 80% of third graders will pass the state’s reading test.