TOP-NOTCH READING: Area students shine in IREAD3

With I-READ3 results coming in electronically about a month ago, school superintendents in Whitley County were pleased with student performance on the test.“It’s a difficult high stakes test for a third grader to take,” said Steve Darnell, superintendent of Smith-Green Community Schools (SGCS). “Our teachers, parents and administration were pleased with the results.”The Indiana State Department of Education now requires third graders to take the Indiana Reading Evaluation And Determination (I-READ3) test.This is the first year Indiana third graders have been faced with I-READ3, and they are specifically required to pass it before proceeding to fourth grade reading instruction.For SGCS, Churubusco Elementary 89.7 percent passed I-READ3.For Whitko Community Schools (WCS), Pierceton Elementary School 87.3 percent passed and South Whitley Elementary School 92.6 percent passed.Superintendent of WCS, Steve Clason, said with this being the first year for I-READ3, he was also very pleased with the results from students.“None of the results were a surprise for us,” said Clason. “I think it’s working exceptionally well.”For Whitley County Consolidated Schools (WCCS), Coesse Elementary School 88 percent passed; Little Turtle Elementary School 94.4 percent passed; Northern Heights Elementary School 90.1 percent passed and Mary Raber Elementary School 93.3 percent passed.If a student fails I-READ3, a window of remediation opens, and students are given the opportunity to take it again over the summer. If a third-grader fails the test a second time, they cannot continue to fourth grade reading, but they can still move forward in other subjects.Superintendent of WCCS, Dr. Patricia O’Connor, said their most highly trained reading specialists are working with the students who did not pass to prepare them to take the test again. There is a window for third-graders to take the test in mid June.“The students all achieve at different rates, and they are all individuals,” said O’Connor. “We are very pleased with the results.”