167.645. 1. For purposes of this section, the following terms mean:
(1) "Reading assessment", a recognized method of judging a student's reading ability, with results expressed as reading at a particular grade level. The term reading assessment shall include, but is not limited to, standard checklists designed for use as a student reads out loud, paper-and-pencil tests promulgated by nationally recognized organizations and other recognized methods of determining a student's reading accuracy, expression, fluency and comprehension in order to make a determination of the student's grade-level reading ability. Assessments which do not give a grade-level result may be used in combination with other assessments to reach a grade-level determination. Districts are encouraged but not required to select assessment methods identified pursuant to section 167.346. Districts are also encouraged to use multiple methods of assessment;
(2) "Summer school", for reading instruction purposes, a minimum of forty hours of reading instruction and practice. A school district may arrange the hours and days of instruction to coordinate with its regular program of summer school.
2. For purposes of this section, methods of reading assessment shall be determined by each school district. Unless a student has been determined in the current school year to be reading at grade level or above, each school district shall administer a reading assessment or set of assessments to each student within forty-five days of the end of the third-grade year, except that the provisions of this subsection shall not apply to students receiving special education services under an individualized education plan pursuant to sections 162.670 to 162.999, to students receiving services pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 whose services plan includes an element addressing reading or to students determined to have limited English proficiency or to students who have been determined, prior to the beginning of any school year, to have a cognitive ability insufficient to meet the reading requirement set out in this section, provided that districts shall provide reading improvement plans for students determined to have such insufficient cognitive ability. The assessment required by this subsection shall also be required for students who enter a school district in grades four, five or six unless such student has been determined in the current school year to be reading at grade level or above.
3. Beginning with school year 2002-03, for each student whose third-grade reading assessment determines that such student is reading below second-grade level, the school district shall design a reading improvement plan for the student's fourth-grade year. Such reading improvement plan shall include, at a minimum, thirty hours of additional reading instruction or practice outside the regular school day during the fourth-grade year. The school district shall determine the method of reading instruction necessary to enforce this subsection. The school district may also require the student to attend summer school for reading instruction as a condition of promotion to fourth grade. The department of elementary and secondary education may, from funds appropriated for the purpose, reimburse school districts for additional instructional personnel costs incurred in the implementation and execution of the thirty hours of additional reading instruction minus the revenue generated by the school district through the foundation formula for the additional reading instruction average daily attendance.
4. Each student for whom a reading improvement plan has been designed pursuant to subsection 3 of this section shall be given another reading assessment, to be administered within forty-five days of the end of such student's fourth-grade year. If such student is determined to be reading below third-grade level, the student shall be required to attend summer school to receive reading instruction. At the end of such summer school instruction, such student shall be given another reading assessment. If such student is determined to be reading below third-grade level, the district shall notify the student's parents or guardians, and the student shall not be promoted to fifth grade. No student shall be denied promotion more than once solely for inability to meet the reading standards set out in this section.
5. The process described in subsections 3 and 4 of this section shall be repeated as necessary through the end of the sixth grade, with the target grade level rising accordingly. Mandatory retention in grade shall not apply to grades subsequent to fourth grade.
6. The mandatory process of additional reading instruction pursuant to this section shall cease at the end of the sixth grade. The permanent record of students who are determined to be reading below the fifth-grade level at the end of sixth grade shall carry a notation advising that such student has not met minimal reading standards. The notation shall stay on the student's record until such time as the district determines that a student has met minimal reading standards.
7. Each school district shall be required to offer summer school reading instruction to any student with a reading improvement plan. Districts may fulfill the requirement of this section through cooperative arrangements with neighboring districts; provided that such districts shall timely make all payments provided pursuant to such cooperative agreements.
8. A school district may adopt a policy that requires retention in grade of any student who has been determined to require summer school instruction in reading and who does not fulfill the summer school attendance requirement.
9. Nothing in this section shall preclude a school district from retaining any student in grade when a determination is made in accordance with district policy that retention is in the best interests of the student.
10. The state board of education shall not incorporate information about the number of students receiving additional instruction pursuant to this section into any element of any standard of the Missouri school improvement program or its successor accreditation program; provided, however, each district shall make available, upon the request of any parent, patron, or media outlet within the district, the number and percentage of students receiving remediation pursuant to this section. The information shall be presented in a way that does not permit personal identification of any student or educational personnel.
11. Each school district shall make a systematic effort to inform parents of the methods and materials used to teach reading in kindergarten through fourth grade, in terms understandable to a layperson and shall similarly inform parents of students for whom a reading improvement plan is required pursuant to this section.
(L. 1999 H.B. 889 § 9, A.L. 2001 S.B. 319)
Missouri General Assembly