HB 204: "An Act relating to early education programs provided by school districts; relating to funding for early education programs; relating to a department literacy program; relating to a comprehensive reading policy; relating to the duties of the state Board of Education and Early Development; and providing for an effective date."
00 HOUSE BILL NO. 204 01 "An Act relating to early education programs provided by school districts; relating to 02 funding for early education programs; relating to a department literacy program; 03 relating to a comprehensive reading policy; relating to the duties of the state Board of 04 Education and Early Development; and providing for an effective date." 05 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 06 * Section 1. AS 14.03.060(e) is amended to read: 07 (e) In addition to the grades enumerated in (a) of this section, an elementary 08 school includes an early education [CONSISTS OF A PRE-ELEMENTARY] 09 program approved or supervised by the department under AS 14.07.020(a)(8), which 10 includes [OPERATED BY THE DEPARTMENT AS] a head start program under 42 11 U.S.C. 9831 – 9852c (Head Start Act) [AS 14.38.010, OR LOCATED IN A 12 PUBLIC SCHOOL FOR FEDERAL FUNDING PURPOSES. EXCEPT FOR A 13 CHILD WITH A DISABILITY WHO IS RECEIVING SPECIAL EDUCATION OR 14 RELATED SERVICES UNDER AS 14.30.180 - 14.30.350, PRE-ELEMENTARY
01 STUDENTS MAY NOT BE COUNTED IN A SCHOOL'S AVERAGE DAILY 02 MEMBERSHIP UNDER AS 14.17]. 03 * Sec. 2. AS 14.03.072(a) is amended to read: 04 (a) Each school district shall annually provide to parents and guardians of 05 students enrolled in kindergarten through grade three in a public school in the state 06 current information on the importance of early literacy, including 07 (1) intervention strategies, including program services provided 08 under AS 14.30.760 and 14.30.770; 09 (2) home literacy plans; 10 (3) grade retention standards and policies for the elementary school 11 attended; and 12 (4) strategies and resources to help children learn to read. 13 * Sec. 3. AS 14.03.080 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 14 (g) A child who is at least four, but not more than five, years of age on or 15 before September 1 of the school year and who has not attended a public school 16 kindergarten may enter a public school early education program. 17 * Sec. 4. AS 14.03 is amended by adding a new section to read: 18 Sec. 14.03.135. Early education programs; grants. (a) The department shall 19 train and assist districts in the development of early education programs and shall 20 approve early education programs that meet the standards adopted by the board under 21 AS 14.07.165(a)(5). If the department determines that a district's early education 22 program complies with the standards, the department shall approve the early education 23 program. If the department determines that a district's early education program does 24 not comply with the standards, the department shall assist the district in improving the 25 early education program to meet the standards. 26 (b) The department may award a grant to an eligible district to fund a three- 27 year, district-wide early education program. At the end of the three-year grant period, 28 the department shall assess the district's early education program and determine 29 whether the program complies with the standards adopted under AS 14.07.165(a)(5). 30 (c) Before awarding a three-year grant under (b) of this section, in the fiscal 31 year beginning July 1, 2020, the department shall rank the performance of all districts
01 in the state in accordance with the accountability system and performance designations 02 required under AS 14.03.123. The following groups of districts are eligible for a three- 03 year grant in the identified fiscal years: 04 (1) for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020, the lowest performing 10 05 percent of districts; 06 (2) for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021, the second lowest 07 performing 15 percent of districts; 08 (3) for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2022, the third lowest 09 performing 15 percent of districts; 10 (4) for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2023, the third highest 11 performing 15 percent of districts; 12 (5) for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2024, the second highest 13 performing 20 percent of districts; 14 (6) for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2025, the highest performing 15 25 percent of districts. 16 (d) In each fiscal year, the department may award a three-year grant to a 17 district that applies in a format prescribed by the department and that is in a group of 18 districts that 19 (1) is eligible for a grant during that fiscal year under (c) of this 20 section; or 21 (2) was eligible for a grant in a previous fiscal year under (c) of this 22 section, but did not receive a grant under this section in a previous fiscal year. 23 (e) If the department does not approve a district's early education program at 24 the end of the three-year grant period, the department may provide a one-year 25 remediation grant to allow the district one additional fiscal year to meet the early 26 education program standards established by the board. If the district is unable to meet 27 the early education program standards at the end of the fiscal year, the department 28 may, in the discretion of the commissioner, provide an additional remediation grant to 29 allow the district not more than one additional fiscal year to meet the standards. 30 (f) A student in an early education program may not be counted in the district 31 ADM under AS 14.17.500 or 14.17.905 until after the department determines that the
01 early education program complies with the standards adopted by the board under 02 AS 14.07.165(a)(5) and approves the program. The department may not approve an 03 early education program developed with a grant awarded under (b) of this section until 04 the end of the three-year grant period under (b) of this section or the additional 05 remediation period under (e) of this section. The department may approve a district's 06 early education program that does not receive a grant under this section at any time if 07 the early education program complies with the standards adopted by the board under 08 AS 14.07.165(a)(5). 09 (g) A grant under this section is subject to appropriation, may not supplant 10 other early education funding available to districts, and does not prevent a district 11 from using other funding to develop or operate an early education program. 12 (h) In this section, 13 (1) "ADM" has the meaning given in AS 14.17.990; 14 (2) "district" has the meaning given in AS 14.17.990; 15 (3) "early education program" means a program for children who are 16 four or five years of age before September 1 of the school year and who have not 17 attended a public school kindergarten if the program's primary function is educational. 18 * Sec. 5. AS 14.07.020(a) is amended to read: 19 (a) The department shall 20 (1) exercise general supervision over the public schools of the state 21 except the University of Alaska; 22 (2) study the conditions and needs of the public schools of the state, 23 adopt or recommend plans, administer and evaluate grants to improve school 24 performance awarded under AS 14.03.125, and adopt regulations for the improvement 25 of the public schools; the department may consult with the University of Alaska to 26 develop secondary education requirements to improve student achievement in college 27 preparatory courses; 28 (3) provide advisory and consultative services to all public school 29 governing bodies and personnel; 30 (4) prescribe by regulation a minimum course of study for the public 31 schools; the regulations must provide that, if a course in American Sign Language is
01 given, the course shall be given credit as a course in a foreign language; 02 (5) establish, in coordination with the Department of Health and Social 03 Services, a program for the continuing education of children who are held in detention 04 facilities in the state during the period of detention; 05 (6) accredit those public schools that meet accreditation standards 06 prescribed by regulation by the department; these regulations shall be adopted by the 07 department and presented to the legislature during the first 10 days of any regular 08 session, and become effective 45 days after presentation or at the end of the session, 09 whichever is earlier, unless disapproved by a resolution concurred in by a majority of 10 the members of each house; 11 (7) prescribe by regulation, after consultation with the state fire 12 marshal and the state sanitarian, standards that will ensure healthful and safe 13 conditions in the public and private schools of the state, including a requirement of 14 physical examinations and immunizations in pre-elementary schools; the standards for 15 private schools may not be more stringent than those for public schools; 16 (8) exercise general supervision over early education programs 17 [PRE-ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS] that receive direct state or federal funding and 18 approve early education programs under AS 14.03.135 that meet the standards 19 adopted by the board under AS 14.07.165(a)(5); 20 (9) exercise general supervision over elementary and secondary 21 correspondence study programs offered by municipal school districts or regional 22 educational attendance areas; the department may also offer and make available to any 23 Alaskan through a centralized office a correspondence study program; 24 (10) accredit private schools that request accreditation and that meet 25 accreditation standards prescribed by regulation by the department; nothing in this 26 paragraph authorizes the department to require religious or other private schools to be 27 licensed; 28 (11) review plans for construction of new public elementary and 29 secondary schools and for additions to and major rehabilitation of existing public 30 elementary and secondary schools and, in accordance with regulations adopted by the 31 department, determine and approve the extent of eligibility for state aid of a school
01 construction or major maintenance project; for the purposes of this paragraph, "plans" 02 include educational specifications, schematic designs, projected energy consumption 03 and costs, and final contract documents; 04 (12) provide educational opportunities in the areas of vocational 05 education and training, and basic education to individuals over 16 years of age who 06 are no longer attending school; the department may consult with businesses and labor 07 unions to develop a program to prepare students for apprenticeships or internships that 08 will lead to employment opportunities; 09 (13) administer the grants awarded under AS 14.11; 10 (14) establish, in coordination with the Department of Public Safety, a 11 school bus driver training course; 12 (15) require the reporting of information relating to school disciplinary 13 and safety programs under AS 14.33.120 and of incidents of disruptive or violent 14 behavior; 15 (16) establish by regulation criteria, based on low student performance, 16 under which the department may intervene in a school district to improve instructional 17 practices, as described in AS 14.07.030(a)(14) or (15); the regulations must include 18 (A) a notice provision that alerts the district to the deficiencies 19 and the instructional practice changes proposed by the department; 20 (B) an end date for departmental intervention, as described in 21 AS 14.07.030(a)(14)(A) and (B) and (15), after the district demonstrates three 22 consecutive years of improvement consisting of not less than two percent 23 increases in student proficiency on standards-based assessments in language 24 arts and mathematics, as provided in AS 14.03.123(f)(1)(A); and 25 (C) a process for districts to petition the department for 26 continuing or discontinuing the department's intervention; 27 (17) notify the legislative committees having jurisdiction over 28 education before intervening in a school district under AS 14.07.030(a)(14) or 29 redirecting public school funding under AS 14.07.030(a)(15). 30 * Sec. 6. AS 14.07.020(c) is amended to read: 31 (c) In this section, "early education program" ["PRE-ELEMENTARY
01 SCHOOL"] means a program [SCHOOL] for children ages three through five years if 02 the program's [SCHOOL'S] primary function is educational. 03 * Sec. 7. AS 14.07.050 is amended to read: 04 Sec. 14.07.050. Selection of textbooks. Textbooks for use in the public 05 schools of the state, including a district offered statewide correspondence study 06 program, shall be selected by district boards for district schools. Nothing in this 07 section precludes a correspondence study student, or the parent or guardian of a 08 correspondence study student, from privately obtaining or using textbooks or 09 curriculum material not provided by the school district. Nothing in this section 10 precludes the department from selecting and purchasing supplementary reading 11 textbooks and materials for school districts in connection with reading 12 intervention services provided under AS 14.07.065. 13 * Sec. 8. AS 14.07 is amended by adding a new section to read: 14 Sec. 14.07.065. Literacy program. (a) A literacy program is established in the 15 department, starting in the school year that begins in 2020, to provide direct support 16 and intervention by the department in literacy programs of participating schools. In 17 conducting the program, the department 18 (1) shall use the accountability system established in AS 14.03.123 to 19 identify low-performing schools; 20 (2) shall establish an application process for school districts to apply to 21 participate in the program; 22 (3) shall select up to 10 low-performing schools from those that apply 23 to participate in the program using the criteria established in (1) of this subsection; 24 (4) shall employ and assign a department reading specialist for each 25 selected school to direct the implementation of the reading intervention services 26 established in AS 14.30.760 and 14.30.770 by 27 (A) modeling effective instructional strategies for teachers by 28 working regularly with students as a class, in small groups, or individually; 29 (B) coaching and mentoring teachers and staff in reading 30 instruction, while prioritizing time in a way that has the greatest positive 31 impact on student achievement;
01 (C) training teachers in data analysis and using data to 02 differentiate instruction; 03 (D) leading and supporting reading leadership teams; 04 (E) reporting on school and student performance to the 05 department; 06 (5) may employ and assign a supporting department reading specialist 07 for each selected school to, as necessary, either 08 (A) support the department reading specialist assigned under 09 (a)(4) of this section; or 10 (B) serve as a reading specialist for a school's early education 11 program; 12 (6) shall establish a reporting process for each reading specialist and 13 supporting reading specialist to submit updates to the department on program 14 implementation; 15 (7) shall work with the reading specialist to create specific 16 improvement goals for each selected school, including measures of interim progress; 17 (8) shall select and purchase additional reading material for each 18 selected school to supplement the reading intervention services; 19 (9) shall pay travel costs and associated costs for a department reading 20 specialist to attend relevant trainings identified by or hosted by the department; and 21 (10) shall periodically review staff development programs for their 22 effectiveness in developing reading skills and, after consultation with school districts 23 and experts, recommend to the state Board of Education and Early Development for 24 approval staff development programs that 25 (A) have been proven to assess and accelerate student progress 26 toward reaching reading competency; 27 (B) provide explicit and systematic skill development in the 28 areas of phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and 29 comprehension; 30 (C) are scientifically based and reliable; 31 (D) provide initial and ongoing analysis of student progress
01 toward reaching reading competency; and 02 (E) include texts on core academic content to assist students in 03 maintaining or meeting grade-appropriate proficiency in academic subjects in 04 addition to reading. 05 (b) A school selected to participate in the literacy program shall 06 (1) ensure that the reading specialist is not required to perform 07 functions that divert from the duties assigned to the reading specialist by the 08 department; 09 (2) coordinate with the reading specialist to redesign the school's daily 10 schedule to provide time dedicated to literacy program activities, including reading 11 intervention services identified in a written agreement between the school and 12 department; 13 (3) hold a public meeting that includes a presentation on the literacy 14 program established in this section and the reading intervention services established in 15 AS 14.30.760 and 14.30.770; notice of the meeting must be provided to the parent or 16 guardian of each student at least seven days before the meeting date and the 17 presentation must include 18 (A) the data that the department used to identify the school as 19 eligible for the literacy program; 20 (B) a detailed overview of the literacy program and reading 21 intervention services; 22 (C) a timeline for implementing the reading intervention 23 services and meeting literacy improvement goals; and 24 (D) the implication of the program for students, families, and 25 educators; 26 (4) present an annual update on the literacy program, reading 27 intervention services, and implementation at the school at a noticed public meeting; 28 (5) create partnerships between the school, families, and the 29 community that focus on promoting literacy and increasing time spent reading. 30 (c) The department shall publish on the department's Internet website and 31 make available to the public
01 (1) a completed application from each school selected to participate; 02 (2) the literacy program and reading intervention plan implemented by 03 each school selected to participate; and 04 (3) a data analysis of the success of the literacy program and reading 05 intervention services conducted by an independent contractor. 06 (e) In this section, "reading specialist" means a teacher certified under 07 AS 14.20 who is employed and funded by the department and who meets the 08 requirements established by the state Board of Education and Early Development in 09 regulation. 10 * Sec. 9. AS 14.07.165(a) is amended to read: 11 (a) The board shall adopt 12 (1) statewide goals and require each governing body to adopt written 13 goals that are consistent with local needs; 14 (2) regulations regarding the application for and award of grants under 15 AS 14.03.125; 16 (3) regulations implementing provisions of AS 14.11.014(b); 17 (4) regulations requiring approval by the board before any [A 18 CHARTER SCHOOL, STATE BOARDING SCHOOL, OR A] public school may 19 provide domiciliary services; 20 (5) regulations establishing standards for an early education 21 program provided by a school district for children who are four and five years of 22 age; the regulations must include 23 (A) standards for a 24 (i) half-day program consisting of not less than two 25 and one-half hours; 26 (ii) full-day program consisting of six hours; and 27 (iii) program that is less than half a day and that is 28 locally designed and evidence-based; 29 (B) a requirement that the lead teacher of a program hold a 30 valid teacher certificate issued under AS 14.20 and have 31 (i) satisfactorily completed a minimum of six credit
01 hours in early childhood education or completes the minimum 02 credit hours not later than one year after the date that the teacher's 03 employment with the early education program begins; or 04 (ii) five or more years of experience teaching 05 kindergarten or other early education program; 06 (C) developmentally appropriate objectives for children 07 four and five years of age rather than academic standards appropriate for 08 older children; the objectives must allow school districts to adapt the 09 content of an early education program to be culturally appropriate to 10 local communities; and 11 (D) accommodations for the needs of all children of early 12 education and their families regardless of socioeconomic circumstances 13 [REPEALED]. 14 * Sec. 10. AS 14.17.500 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 15 (d) Except as provided in AS 14.17.905(d), a student in an early education 16 program approved under AS 14.03.135 is counted as one-half of a full-time equivalent 17 student. 18 * Sec. 11. AS 14.17.905(a) is amended to read: 19 (a) For purposes of this chapter, the determination of the number of schools in 20 a district is subject to the following: 21 (1) a community with an ADM of at least 10, but not more than 100, 22 shall be counted as one school; 23 (2) a community with an ADM of at least 101, but not more than 425, 24 shall be counted as 25 (A) one elementary school, which includes those students in 26 grades kindergarten through six, and, except as provided in (d) of this 27 section, those students in an early education program provided by a school 28 district and approved by the department under AS 14.03.135; and 29 (B) one secondary school, which includes students in grades 30 seven through 12; 31 (3) in a community with an ADM of greater than 425, each facility that
01 is administered as a separate school shall be counted as one school, except that each 02 alternative school with an ADM of less than 175 shall be counted as a part of the 03 school in the district with the highest ADM. 04 * Sec. 12. AS 14.17.905 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 05 (d) A school district may not include in the average daily membership of a 06 school students who are four or five years of age if the students are enrolled in an early 07 education program that receives state or federal funding, other than funding under this 08 chapter. 09 * Sec. 13. AS 14.30 is amended by adding new sections to read: 10 Article 15. Alaska Reads Act 11 Sec. 14.30.760. Alaska Reads Act. (a) It is the intent of the legislature that 12 (1) district school board policies facilitate reading instruction and 13 intervention services to address student reading needs; 14 (2) teachers receive tools and support to help students read at or above 15 grade level; 16 (3) each student's progression from one grade to another be 17 determined, in part, upon proficiency in reading; 18 (4) each student and student's parent be informed of the student's 19 reading progress; and 20 (5) each student read at or above grade level by completion of grade 21 three. 22 (b) The department shall establish a system of support for teachers of 23 kindergarten through grade three in the state that incorporates the requirements of this 24 section and additional components as determined by the department in regulation. 25 (c) Not later than July 1, 2020, the department shall adopt a statewide 26 screening or assessment tool to identify students in kindergarten through grade three 27 who may have a reading deficiency, including students with characteristics of 28 dyslexia. The statewide screening or assessment tool must determine 29 (1) phonemic awareness, letter naming fluency, letter sound fluency, 30 and letter word sound fluency of students in kindergarten; 31 (2) letter word sound fluency and oral reading fluency of students in
01 grade one; and 02 (3) vocabulary and oral reading fluency of students in grades two and 03 three. 04 (d) In adopting a statewide screening or assessment tool, the department shall 05 consider the following: 06 (1) the time required to conduct the screening or assessment, with the 07 intention of minimizing the impact on instructional time; 08 (2) the time required to report assessment results to teachers, 09 administrators, and parents; and 10 (3) the integration of the screening or assessment with student 11 instruction and department support. 12 (e) The department shall provide support to teachers of kindergarten through 13 grade three by 14 (1) administering the adopted screening or assessment tool three times 15 each school year once in the fall, once in the winter, and once in the spring, starting in 16 the school year beginning in 2020, unless the student achieves an acceptable 17 percentage above the grade level standard for reading proficiency on the first test of 18 the school year; 19 (2) providing a method of monitoring student progress; 20 (3) providing targeted instruction based on student needs as 21 determined by the statewide screening or assessment tool; and 22 (4) providing further support as determined by the department. 23 (f) The department shall train district staff members on using the results of the 24 statewide screening or assessment tool. The department shall also train staff on the 25 science of reading, including explicit and systemic instruction in phonological 26 awareness, alphabetic principle, decoding, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and 27 building content knowledge. 28 Sec. 14.30.770. Comprehensive reading policy for school districts. (a) Each 29 district shall offer reading intervention services to each student in kindergarten 30 through grade three who exhibits a reading deficiency to assist each student with 31 reading at or above grade level by the end of grade three. The district shall provide the
01 reading intervention services in addition to the core reading instruction that is 02 provided to all students in the general education classroom. The reading intervention 03 services must 04 (1) be provided by a district reading teacher to all students in 05 kindergarten through grade three identified with a reading deficiency, as determined 06 by the statewide screening or assessment adopted under AS 14.30.760(c); 07 (2) include explicit and systematic instruction in phonological 08 awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension, as applicable; 09 (3) use reading instruction and intervention methods that are based on 10 scientific research and have proven results in accelerating student reading achievement 11 within a single school year; 12 (4) include instruction with detailed explanations, extensive 13 opportunities for guided practice, and opportunities for error correction and feedback; 14 (5) incorporate daily targeted small group reading instruction based on 15 student needs, either in person or online; 16 (6) monitor the reading progress of each student's reading skills 17 throughout the school year and adjust instruction according to student needs; 18 (7) be implemented during regular school hours through any available 19 method, including in-person or through online delivery by teachers or specialty 20 reading coaches; and 21 (8) be reviewed based on department-approved response to 22 intervention or multi-tiered system support models, addressing additional support and 23 services needed to remedy identified needs. 24 (b) In addition to participating in the reading intervention program under (a) of 25 this section, a student in kindergarten through grade three who exhibits a reading 26 deficiency based on a local or statewide screening or assessment, shall receive an 27 individual reading improvement plan. The reading improvement plan shall 28 (1) be implemented not later than 30 days after the identification of the 29 reading deficiency; 30 (2) be created by the reading teacher, in consultation with the school 31 principal, parent or guardian, and other pertinent educational personnel;
01 (3) describe the research-based reading intervention services the 02 student will receive to remedy the reading deficiency; and 03 (4) include a process for monitoring progress and adjusting the plan 04 based on student needs. 05 (c) The reading intervention services and a student's individual reading 06 improvement plan must be implemented both during and outside the school term to a 07 student scoring at the lowest achievement level on the district screening or statewide 08 reading assessment. Intensive reading programs outside of the school term must be 09 staffed with reading teachers. Reading intervention services and individual reading 10 improvement plans implemented outside of the school term must include, at a 11 minimum, 70 hours of instructional time. 12 (d) If a student in kindergarten through grade three exhibits a reading 13 deficiency at any time during the school year, the district or school shall notify the 14 parent or legal guardian. The initial notification must be in writing and distributed not 15 later than 15 days after the identification of the reading deficiency. The district or 16 school shall provide the parent or guardian with updates on the student's progress 17 every other week after the initial written notification. The initial written notification 18 must 19 (1) state that the district identified the student as having a reading 20 deficiency and that a reading improvement plan will be developed as identified in (b) 21 of this section; 22 (2) describe current services that are provided to the student; 23 (3) describe the proposed research-based reading interventions and 24 supplemental instructional services and supports that will be provided to the student 25 that are designed to remedy the identified area of reading deficiency; 26 (4) explain that the parent or guardian will be informed in writing of 27 the student's progress towards grade level reading at least every two weeks; 28 (5) identify strategies for the parent or guardian to use at home to help 29 the student succeed in reading; and 30 (6) explain that there are serious implications to a student entering 31 fourth grade with a significant reading deficiency and, that the parent or guardian, the
01 student's teacher, and other personnel of the district are required to meet and consider 02 delayed grade-level progression as an intervention strategy and determine whether the 03 student, despite having a significant reading deficiency, is able to maintain adequate 04 academic progress at the next grade level. 05 (e) Nothing in this section prevents a school district from retaining a student 06 in grade two or below under district standards and policies. 07 (f) Starting with the school year that begins in 2020, a student in grade three 08 should demonstrate sufficient reading skills to progress to grade four. A student may 09 demonstrate sufficient reading skills for progression by 10 (1) scoring above the lowest achievement level on the statewide 11 reading screening or assessment; 12 (2) earning an acceptable score on an alternative standardized reading 13 assessment as determined and approved by the state board of education; or 14 (3) demonstrating mastery of reading standards through a student 15 reading portfolio, with criteria set by the department. 16 (g) A school board may exempt a student from delayed grade level 17 progression for good cause. A good cause exemption is limited to 18 (1) a student with disabilities whose individualized education plan 19 under AS 14.30.278 exempts the student from participation in the statewide 20 assessment program; 21 (2) a student with disabilities who participates in the statewide reading 22 assessment and has an individualized education plan under AS 14.30.278 or a plan 23 under 29 U.S.C. 794, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, that reflects that the 24 student has received intensive reading intervention for more than two years but still 25 demonstrates a deficiency in reading and was previously retained in kindergarten, 26 grade one, grade two, or grade three; 27 (3) a student who has received intensive reading intervention for two 28 or more years but still demonstrates a deficiency in reading and who was previously 29 retained in kindergarten, grade one, two, or three; or 30 (4) a student learning English as a second language who has had less 31 than two years of instruction in an English as a second language program.
01 (h) A parent or guardian may request that a student receive a good cause 02 exemption under (g) of this section. To receive an exemption, the student's parent or 03 guardian must submit documentation to the school's principal showing that an 04 exemption is appropriate. If the principal determines that the student meets one of the 05 exemptions in (g) of this section, the principal shall make the recommendation in 06 writing to the school board. The school board must accept or reject the 07 recommendation in writing and provide notice of this decision to the parent or 08 guardian and the principal. 09 (i) Not later than 120 days before the end of a school year, a district or school 10 must provide written notification to the parent or guardian of a grade three student if 11 the student is a candidate for non-progression. 12 (j) Not later than 30 school days before the end of a school year, a district or 13 school must provide written notification to the parent or guardian of a grade three 14 student who does not demonstrate sufficient reading skills for progression to grade 15 four. The notification must 16 (1) state that the student did not meet the requirements for grade 17 progression; 18 (2) explain the implementation or identified intervention or 19 progression strategies; 20 (3) describe the current services that are provided to the student; and 21 (4) if the parent or guardian made a request for a good cause 22 exemption under (g) of this section and that request was rejected, include a statement 23 that the request for a good cause exemption was rejected and a copy of the written 24 notification from the school board. 25 (k) Starting with the school year that begins in 2020, a student retained under 26 (d) of this section or a student who progresses to grade four with a good cause 27 exemption must receive intensive reading intervention services to remedy the student's 28 specific reading deficiency. Reading intervention services must include effective 29 instructional strategies to accelerate student progress. A district shall conduct a review 30 of the reading improvement plan for each student who is retained or who progresses to 31 grade four with a good cause exemption. The review must address services and
01 support, in addition to the reading intervention program and the individual 02 improvement plan, needed to remedy the identified area of reading deficiency. 03 Additional services and support may include 04 (1) a transitional instructional setting that is specifically designed to 05 produce learning gains; 06 (2) supplemental tutoring by a person with specialized reading 07 training; 08 (3) more dedicated time than the previous school year in reading 09 instruction and intervention methods as described in (a)(3) - (5) of this section, 10 including more extensive opportunities for guided practice and more opportunities for 11 error correction and feedback; and 12 (4) a plan for at-home reading outlined in a parental contract, including 13 participation in parent training workshops and regular parent-guided home reading 14 activities. 15 (l) A district shall establish at each school, where applicable, an intensive 16 acceleration class for each student retained in grade three who was previously retained 17 in kindergarten, grade one, or grade two. The class shall include criteria established 18 under this section and 19 (1) have a reduced teacher-student ratio; and 20 (2) provide reading instruction and intervention for the majority of 21 student contact time each day. 22 (m) Each public school shall include the following information when reporting 23 on school and student performance under AS 14.03.120(d): 24 (1) the number and percentage of all students 25 (A) in kindergarten through grade three performing below 26 grade level on the statewide reading screening or assessment, by grade; 27 (B) retained in kindergarten through grade three; 28 (C) in grade three who demonstrated sufficient reading skills 29 for grade progression on the student reading portfolio; 30 (D) in grade three who demonstrated sufficient reading skills 31 for grade progression on the statewide reading screening or assessment;
01 (E) in grade three who progressed for good cause, by category 02 as specified in (f) of this section; 03 (2) for students beyond grade three, the performance of those with 04 delayed progression and those who progressed with good cause exemptions on the 05 statewide reading screening or assessment. 06 (n) Upon receipt of a written notification under (d)(6) of this section, the 07 personnel of the student's school will work with the parent to schedule a date, time, 08 and place for a meeting, not later than 45 days before the end of the school year, to 09 determine the student's possible nonprogression. If the student's parent or guardian 10 does not attend the meeting, the teacher and other personnel of the school will 11 determine grade-level progression based on the standards of this section, including the 12 exemptions listed in (g) of this section. 13 (o) In this section, 14 (1) "district" has the meaning given in AS 14.17.990; 15 (2) "reading teacher" means a certified teacher who has demonstrated 16 an effectiveness at instructing students to read at or above grade level through student 17 reading performance data and teacher performance evaluations and who meets the 18 requirements established by the state Board of Education in regulation. 19 * Sec. 14. AS 47.17.290(12) is amended to read: 20 (12) "organization" means a group or entity that provides care and 21 supervision for compensation to a child not related to the caregiver, and includes a 22 child care facility, pre-elementary school, early education program, head start 23 center, child foster home, residential child care facility, recreation program, children's 24 camp, and children's club; 25 * Sec. 15. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 26 read: 27 REPORT BY COMMISSIONER. Not later than 30 days after the effective date of 28 sections 1 - 14 of this Act, the commissioner of education and early development shall submit 29 a report to the state Board of Education identifying the progress made to implement secs. 1 - 30 14 of this Act. 31 * Sec. 16. AS 14.03.135 is repealed June 30, 2031.