IREAD-3 Parent Guidance

As the parent of a South Madison student, the following information is designed to outline for you what Indiana law states about reading requirements for third graders. Reading is the core of the school day for young students. If you visit our elementary classroom, you will find children learning to read. They may be talking about the sounds letters make, listening to the teacher read a story, reading aloud together, working on a computer reading activity, talking/writing about what they have read, reading individually or in small groups, and other activities to support reading and reading comprehension.


The purpose of IREAD-3 assessment is to measure foundational reading standards through grade three. Based on the Indiana Academic Standards, IREAD-3 is a summative assessment that was developed in accordance with PL 109 which "requires the evaluation of reading skills for students who are in grade three beginning in the Spring of 2012 to ensure that all students can read proficiently before moving on to grade four."

Public Law 109 requires the evaluation of reading skills for students who are in grade three beginning in the Spring of 2012. This legislation was created to ensure that all students can read proficiently before moving on to grade four.

In 2010, educators from across the state worked with the Indiana Department of Education to develop a test blueprint and to review items that have now become the Indiana Reading Evaluation And Determination (IREAD) Assessment. Based on the Indiana Academic Standards, IREAD-3 (designated for grade three students) is a summative assessment that measures foundational reading standards through grade three.

At South Madison, we regularly assess reading abilities within the classroom. Beyond the assessment tools used within the classroom, the district has established systematic assessments for all elementary grades.

Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) 

Beginning late fall, we will use Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) for all first through sixth grade students. This tool provides us with a Lexile score to help guide our instruction with each student. A Lexile measure is a piece of information about an individual's reading ability or a measure of the difficulty of a text, like a book or magazine. The Lexile measure is shown as a number with an "L" after it - 250L is a Lexile of 250. A Lexile measure can range from below 200L for beginning readers to above 1700: for advanced readers. Readers who score at or below 0L receive a BR for Beginning Reader. A book gets a Lexile text measure based on the text complexity - word frequency and sentence length. These measures are two strong predictors of how difficult a text is to comprehend. Lexile measures can assist students in finding books at an appropriate level of difficulty and determine how well that reader will likely comprehend the text. In addition, Lexile measures help monitor reader's growth in reading ability over time. (For more information on Lexile measures, watch the video at )

IREAD-3 Information from IDOE:

What is IREAD-3? IREAD-3 will be administered to students enrolled in grade 3. Achieving proficiency on this assessment fulfills the requirements of Public Law 109 (H.B. 1637), designed to ensure that students can read before accessing fourth grade curriculum. This assessment was piloted in Spring 2011. Following a standard setting process in the Summer of 2011 to set proficiency levels, the assessment will be operationalized in Spring 2012.


When is IREAD-3 administered? IREAD-3 will be administered following the ISTEP+ Applied Skills assessment window in mid-March. 

What is assessed on IREAD-3? Based on the Indiana Academic Standards, IREAD-3 specifically assesses foundational reading standards through grade three.

What is the structure of IREAD-3? IREAD-3 includes three test sessions, which are comprised of multiple-choice questions only.

What results should I expect to receive? Since this assessment is administered as a pilot during Spring 2011, data was not be released formally for detailed instructional analysis. Cut scores were established from the pilot data. More detailed reports will be available once the assessment is operationalized in Spring 2012. Results from the pilot administration in Spring 2011 will not impact the promotion of current grade three students to grade four.

Is there another opportunty to take IREAD-3? Students who do not pass IREAD-3 in teh spring have an opportunity to retest in the summer. Students who do not pass the spring or summer administrations of IREAD-3 will continue to receive instruction in Grade 3 Reading, will be officially reported as a third grader, and will fully participate in the Grade 3 ISTEP+ assessment. Retention requires schools to provide students who do not pass IREAD-3 with Grade 3 reading/literacy instruction. Literacy instruction may also include other content areas, such as science and social studies. The methods of organizing students for differentiated instruction are determined locally. The administration and teachers of South Madison are working on instructional options and seeking guidance from the Indiana Department of Education on approved methods of differentiating. More information will be shared with parents as discussions continue.


Click link below:

Item sampler for IREAD-3


IREAD-3 Cut Score and Performance Level Descriptions 

Are there exemptions for students who do not pass the IREAD-3 assessment?   Good Cause Exemptions that allow for flexibility in determining access to grade four curriculum include:
1. Students who have previously been retained two times prior to 4th grade.
2. Students with disabilities whose Case Conference Committee has determined that promotion is appropriate.
3. English Learner students whose Individual Learning Plan (ILP) Committee has determined that promotion is appropriate.

About the Assessment: IREAD-3 Test Specifics
IREAD-3 is comprised of three test sessions, all of which are administered in one day.

The number of items per test session and the approximate time of each session are indicated below:

Session  # Items Working Time
 1  13  15
 2  14  25
 3  13  22
 Total  40 62 min.



About the law:

Why 3rd grade from a Legislative view point ? Fourth Grade scores good predictors of the future

The Law: I.C. 20-32-8.5  or Indiana Generaly Assembly Database

Key components of the law (Indiana Code) regarding IREAD-3 assessment are posted below. The full code is posted at the link above.

  Indiana Code from 


511 IAC 6.2-3.1-1 Definitions
Authority: IC 20-19-2-8; IC 20-32-8.5-4
Affected: IC 20-31; IC 20-32-8.5

Sec. 2. (a) This rule applies to:
(1) elementary schools, including charter schools as set forth under IC 20-24-8-5(18);
(2) elementary schools organized by an interlocal agreement under IC 36-1-7;
(3) special education cooperative organized under IC 20-35-5; and
(4) accredited nonpublic school under IC 20-26-15 or 511 IAC 6.1-1-1.
 (b) A school is an elementary school under this rule if any students in the school attend kindergarten, first, second, or third grade.

Sec. 3. The reading plan

(6) Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, retention of a student in grade 3 if the student does not achieve a passing score on the IREAD-3 assessment during the previous school year or during a subsequent attempt at passing IREAD-3.

The student shall not be retained if one of the following applies to the student:
  (A) The student has been retained two (2) times prior to promotion to grade 4.

  (B) The student has a disability and a case conference committee has determined that promotion is appropriate.

  (C) The student is an English learner and a committee...determines that promotion is appropriate based on the implementation of researched-based instructional practices outlined in the student's individual learning plan.

(7) Promotion of students retained under subdivision (6) when the student achieves grade-level reading proficiency as demonstrated by passing IREAD-3.


Sec. 1. The following definitions apply throughout this rule:
(4) "English learner" means a student whose native language is not English and who is classified as a Level 1-4 limited English proficient or Level 5 fluent English proficient based on the LAS Links English proficiency assessment.
(5) "Individual learning plan" means the record keeping document developed for each English learner, outlining the student's level of English proficiency and instructional and assessment adaptations.
(6) "IREAD-3" is the reading test approved by the board to test reading proficiency.
(8) "Parent-guided home reading program" means a guidebook on how to promote reading at home.
(9) "Principles of response to instruction" means the systemic process of meeting the educational needs of all students through the following:
(A) Professional accountability to ensure delivery of scientific research-based core curriculum and instruction.
(B) Ongoing monitoring of student data to assess instruction effectiveness.
(C) Determination and delivery of targeted and intensive individualized student supports.

(10) "Reading deficiency" means reading at a level not equivalent to grade-level reading proficiency.



The Big 5 Ideas in Beginning Reading  
Posted by John Wolf in Learning Connection, IDOE

Phonemic Awareness: The ability to hear and manipulate sounds in spoken words


Alphabetic Principle: The ability to associate sounds with letters and use these sounds to form words


Fluency with Text: The effortless, automatic ability to read words in connected text


Vocabulary: The ability to understand (receptive) and use (expressive) words to acquire and convey meaning


Comprehension: The complex cognitive process involving the intentional interaction between reader and text to convey meaning

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