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Originally published: 2014-01-29 10:12:35
Last modified: 2014-01-29 10:13:21

Watauga schools still on track with reading plan

by Allison Haver

Although Watauga County Schools have more than doubled the amount of missed school days this month in comparison to last January, third-grade students are still on track with the state's Read to Achieve program according to school system officials.

The Read to Achieve program, passed into state law as championed by state Sen. Phil Berger, calls for students to reach proficiency in reading by the end of third grade. With the program, which started this school year, third-grade students who do not pass the state reading exam risk being sent to summer reading camps or having to repeat third grade.

"The good news is that the programs is based on day 174 of the school year", Watauga County Schools' elementary education director Tamara Stamey said. "Because we have moved the school calendar forward we have the same window of time."

On day 174, before the End of Grade testing, teachers will stop administering portfolio passages and document the names of students who have a completed portfolio according the North Carolina Read to Achieve Guidebook sent out by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

"The state recognizes that some counties are experiencing some difficulties (with the weather) and given flexibility to teachers to give more than the required three passages a week," Stamey said. "I don't know what the weather is going to do, we may have to revamp if we continue to miss school."