Sample Letter to Parents About Mississippi Literacy

Sample Letter to Parents About Mississippi Literacy-Based Promotion Act
This letter was prepared as a tool for school leaders to communicate with parents and families in
their communities. School leaders are welcome to use the content of the letter in full or in part and
may edit as needed.
Dear Parent:
Being a good reader is critical if a student is going to be successful in school. In 2013, the Mississippi
Legislature passed the Literacy-Based Promotion Act to ensure that students exit 3rd grade reading
at or above grade level. In accordance with this law, and as a means of better informing classroom
instruction, a set of K-3 assessments known as the Mississippi K-3 Assessment Support System
(MKAS2) will be given to students across the state. These assessments will identify students who
need intensive reading instruction and intervention and will also provide useful information to help
teachers tailor instruction to meet individual student needs.
A kindergarten readiness assessment will be used with all public school kindergarten and prekindergarten students. This test will measure foundational skills related to reading, language, and
mathematics. This test will also provide parents, teachers, and early childhood providers with an
understanding of what children know and are able to do upon entering kindergarten.
K-3 students will be assessed at the beginning and end of the school year. Parents should receive
the results of the first test within the first 30 days of school. Students in grades 1-3 will be assessed
again in the middle of the school year. Parents should receive these results by February. Student
progress will also be documented in quarterly report cards.
The law also requires districts to provide early and regular written communication with parents of
K-3 students with substantial reading difficulties. This quarterly communication will include
information about current services being provided, additional reading supports planned for your
child, and strategies for you to help your child at home (a Read-At-Home Plan).
All 3rd grade students will take a test at the end of the year to determine promotion to 4th grade. If
your child is reading below grade level at the end of 3rd grade, you will be informed in writing that
your child will not be promoted to 4th grade unless he/she qualifies for an exemption.
Reading instruction must be a major focus in grades K-3, as 3rd grade is the year that students
transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Students need strong reading skills in order to
learn in all other school subjects, such as science, history, writing and even math. Much work is
being done to ensure success of our K-3 students. Family involvement and understanding is an
important part of this effort.
For more information, please contact <<INSERT LOCAL CONTACT INFORMATION>>.