Ready to Read Act 2019
The Ready to Read Act 2019 - Maryland Senate Bill 734 sets forth guidelines for school systems regarding screenings, interventions, and supports for students with reading difficulties. Following are key points that summarize the bill:
- Beginning in the 2020-2021 school year, each Local School System shall ensure that a student is screened to identify if the student is at risk for reading difficulties.
- Each system must choose and identify a screening instrument that is based on foundational reading skills that include phonological and phonemic awareness skills.
- Students that are required to be screened include all kindergarten students, those in first grade who were not screened in kindergarten or demonstrated difficulty mastering grade level reading in kindergarten, students who have transferred into a public elementary school unless the county board determines the students does not demonstrate difficulty mastering grade level reading. Students who have an IFSP or IEP may not have to be screened as they have already completed diagnostic evaluation and may have supplemental instruction in place.
- The screener should be conducted by the classroom teacher, school psychologist, special education teachers, speech language pathologist, reading interventionist, reading specialist, or any other educator trained in screening instruments and protocols.
- If the screening results indicate that the student is at risk of reading difficulties, the county board shall provide supplemental reading instruction in identified areas of need. Supplemental reading instruction means evidence-based, sequential, systematic, explicit and cumulative instruction or intervention to mastery of foundational reading skills including: phonological or phonemic awareness and processing, phonics and vocabulary to support development of decoding, spelling, fluency, and reading comprehension skills to meet grade level curriculum.
- Parents/Guardians shall be notified if their child is determined to be at risk for reading difficulties. Screening results will be shared and a description of the supplemental reading instruction / intervention will be provided.
- Local School Systems must report screening data to the MSDE annually.
The Allegany County Public School System conducts the DIBELS 8 screener with all kindergarten and grade one students. Additional grade level students are screened with DIBELS 8 if they demonstrate difficulty with grade level reading skills. If needed, secondary screeners are also used to better identify specific areas of need for supplemental instruction. Each school is staffed with a reading interventionist. The supplemental instruction and intervention programs may be provided by the interventionist or other school staff who have been trained in the reading programs. By conducting collaborative meetings, the staff is able to determine the best course of action for individual students, monitor student growth, document progress, and make program changes when necessary.
You are encouraged to read the attached document, Improving Literacy Brief - Understanding Screening, to gain more insight into screening and assessment.