Third graders to face potential new hurdles with new state law

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Change this caption before publishing(WILX)
Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 9:10 PM CDT
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FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WSMV) - A new law in the state of Tennessee went into effect at the beginning of the school year that will impact all third-grade students and determine if a student will move on to fourth grade or need to attend summer school to move on to fourth grade, or must repeat third grade.

Williamson County School District officials said that based on Tennessee law, T.C.A. 49-6-3115, third-grade students who do not show proficiency in the English Language Arts section of the Tennessee Comprehensive Program would have new restrictions put in place before moving onto fourth grade. Restrictions can include being held back, sent to summer school, or enrolled in a tutoring service.

For current WCS, third-grade students who score Below Expectations of Approaching Expectations on TCAP during the 2022-2023 school year may be required to participate in summer school to move on to the next grade.

“Our goal is to see all third-grade students achieve proficiency in ELA and move on to fourth grade without attending summer school,” said Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Schools Dr. Juli Oyer. “However, this law takes the decision out of our hands.”

Oyer added that numerous provisions accompany the law, and parents can expect ongoing communication from school leaders as new information becomes available. In addition, WCS plans to hold a third-grade meeting for families in the future to educate parents on the new law.

“Parents need to know that summer school will take place in June and July of 2023,” said Oyer. “And students attending summer school must have a 90 percent attendance rate at summer school according to the new law.”

Although WCS was recognized as the top performing district in Tennessee in grades three through eight on the 2021-22 TCAP, 34 percent of WCS third grade students would have been impacted last year if this law had been in place.