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Third Grade Literacy

SCSS Literacy Vision


All students will consistently experience evidence-based, high-quality literacy instruction to become confident readers, writers, and thinkers.



What Do I Need to Know About the Literacy Law?


  • The 3rd Grade Retention Law
  • Pathways to Promotion
  • Assessment Details
  • Student Supports



  • The Tennessee General Assembly updated the state's third grade retention law, TCA 49-6-3115, to ensure students receive additional supports before promotion to fourth grade.  The legislation requires third grade students to demonstrate proficiency on TCAP in English Language Arts.  The Tennessee Learning  Loss Remediation and Student Acceleration Act requires districts to identify K-3 learners not meeting expectations on benchmarks and the TCAP assessment.  These students must be provided specific supports, parental notification, and considered for retention in 3rd grade.


    TCAP Assessment: Spring

    At the end of the third grade school year, your child will take the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, or TCAP. If your child scores "approaching expectations" or "below expectations" you will receive notification from your child's teacher to plan for the pathways to promotion.


    TCAP Reporting Categories:

    • Exceeded Expectations
    • Meeting Expectations
    • Approaching Expectations
    • Below Expectations


    Additional information related to 3rd and 4th grade Learning Acceleration may be found on the Tennessee Department of Education website.


    School Suports:

    • Summer Camps: Summer Bridge Camps provide students additional time and small learning groups to address learning gaps. 
    • TN ALL Corp Tutoring: Select students have the opportunity to participate in high-leverage, low-ratio tutoring throughout the school year. 
    • Response to Intervention (RTI2): Academically at-risk students receive daily instruction aligned to their specific needs through RTI2.


    At-Home Supports:

    • Read with your child for 20 minutes daily
    • Ensure your child attends school every day
    • Communicate with your child's teacher regularly
    • Pay close attention to communications sent home regarding your child's progress 
    • Register to receive decodable readers for at-home reading (K-2)
    • Sign up for Ready4K - Free weekly text messages with tips to support literacy.



  • 3rd Grade Assessments

    • Mastery Connect
      • ELA (Fall and Winter)
      • Standards-based benchmark
      • TCAP-style questions
    • aimswebPlus
      • Fall, Winter, and Spring
      • Assesses foundational literacy skills
    • TCAP

    *Student reports/scores will be sent home following each assessment.


    K-2 Assessment

    • aimswebPlus
      • Fall, Winter, and Spring
      • Assesses foundational literacy skills
  • Tennessee's Pathways to 4th Grade Diagram

    The following students are exempt from the retention law: 


    • Special Education (specific reading disability)
    • Previously retained students 
    • ELL students receiving less than 2 years of ELA instruction
    • Approved appeals to the TN Department of Education (Approaching Expectations category only)
    • Students scoring Meeting or Exceeding Expectations on 3rd grade ELA TCAP retest




    • Grade Card: Each 6 weeks your child's grade card will provide detailed information regarding classroom performance and progress.
    • Benchmark Assessments: After each assessment, you will receive benchmark (Mastery Connect and/or aimswebPlus) results. 
    • Parent/Teacher Conferences: Parent/Teacher Conferences are held throughout the school year and provide information regarding your child's progress and performance. 
    • February: Each academically at-risk 3rd grade student will receive a letter from their child's teacher regarding the pathways to promotion. 
    • End of School Year: Each 3rd grade parent will receive information about their child's promotion/retention.




For additional questions related to the Third Grade Retention Law, please contact your child's teacher or send an email to:


Please include your child's name, school and teacher in the subject line.