The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Forrest Hershberger
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

School Board Approves Reading Program


December 14, 2018

The Sidney School Board approved a new policy recently designed to “facilitate reading instruction and intervention services to address student reading needs.”

The policy was unveiled during the Dec. 10 meeting of Cheyenne County School Board District No. 1.

“The way we want to improve is more systematic reading,” said Sheri Ehlers.

The policy states that it is the district’s goal that each student will be able to read at or above grade level by third grade. The policy further says the District’s intent is to hire teachers for kindergarten through third grade who are effective reading teachers. A teacher’s effectiveness will be determined by classroom observations and student improvement on reading assessment, and specialized training on reading improvement.

The policy begins in the 2019-2020 school year when the District will administer a reading assessment test approved by the Nebraska Department of Education. The test will be administered three times during the school year. Exceptions to the assessments include any student receiving specialized instruction for limited English proficiency who has been receiving English instruction for less than two years, any student receiving special education services for whom the tests would conflict with the individualized education plan (IEP) and any student receiving services under a plan related to the requirements of Section 504 of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The first test is to occur within the first 30 days of the school year.

Students in grades kindergarten through third grade performing below the targeted level as defined by the Nebraska Department of Education will be identified as having a reading deficiency regarding the Nebraska Reading Improvement Act. The student will remain identified as having a reading deficiency until the student performs at or above the defined bench mark. The policy does not stop the District from identifying any other student as having a reading deficiency.


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