• Third-grade students receive extra attention in North Carolina because of the state’s Read to Achieve legislative initiative, a part of the Excellent Public Schools Act. Under this state law, third-grade students who are not reading at grade level by the end of third grade will receive special help, including summer reading camp and other interventions to make sure that they can read well enough to be able to do fourth-grade work. Eligible students are invited to attend the camp and register during the school year and are only able to attend if they have completed the final registration process.

    Decisions about a child’s classroom placements are made at the school level and are not based on camp attendance. Third grade students that have not shown reading proficiency are able to move to the fourth grade and receive fourth grade instruction, but they will also receive additional reading support and have a “reading retained” label while in the fourth grade until reading proficiency is demonstrated.

    Application for students to attend Read to Achieve Summer Reading Camp 

    Spanish application for students to attend Read to Achieve Summer Reading Camp

    *§ 115C-83.11. Continued support for students demonstrating reading proficiency and appropriate
    reading development.


    (a) Parents or guardians of a student demonstrating reading proficiency appropriate for a third grade student
    as provided under G.S. 115C-83.7 or a first or second grade student demonstrating appropriate developmental
    abilities in reading comprehension may choose to enroll the student in the reading camp as defined in
    G.S. 115C-83.3(4a) but may be charged an attendance fee. Local boards of education may establish a fee
    amount to be equal to the per student program cost of participating in the reading camp, not to exceed eight
    hundred twenty-five dollars ($825.00). *Bladen County Schools does not charge a fee.


    (b) Priority enrollment in the reading camp is for (i) third grade students not demonstrating reading
    proficiency as provided under G.S. 115C-83.8 and (ii) first and second grade students demonstrating reading
    comprehension below grade level under G.S. 115C-83.6. Local boards of education shall establish application
    procedures and enrollment priorities for reading camps for students demonstrating reading proficiency.
    (2014-5, s. 8; 2015-241, s. 8.48(d).)

    Article 8 Part 1A. North Carolina Read to Achieve Program
    (b) The State Board of Education shall adopt and implement standards for the certification of
    teachers of American Sign Language and shall set standards for teacher preparation programs that
    prepare students for certification as American Sign Language teachers. (2007-154, s. 1(a).)
    § 115C-81.4. Science safety requirements.
    (a) Prior to July 1, 2010, and annually thereafter, each local board of education shall certify to
    the State Board of Education that its high school and middle school science laboratories are
    equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment for students and teachers.
    (b) Each local board of education shall ensure that its high schools and middle schools comply
    with all State Board of Education policies related to science laboratory safety. (2009-59, s. 1.)
    § 115C-82: Repealed by Session Laws 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1086, s. 89(d).
    § 115C-83: Repealed by Session Laws 1997-18, s. 4.
    Part 1A. North Carolina Read to Achieve Program.
    § 115C-83.1. State goal.
    The goal of the State is to ensure that every student read at or above grade level by the end of
    third grade and continue to progress in reading proficiency so that he or she can read, comprehend,
    integrate, and apply complex texts needed for secondary education and career success. (2012-142,
    s. 7A.1(b).)
    § 115C-83.2. Purposes.
    (a) The purposes of this Part are to ensure that (i) difficulty with reading development is
    identified as early as possible; (ii) students receive appropriate instructional and support services to
    address difficulty with reading development and to remediate reading deficiencies; and (iii) each
    student and his or her parent or guardian be continuously informed of the student's academic needs
    and progress.
    (b) In addition to the purposes listed in subsection (a) of this section, the purpose of this Part is
    to determine that progression from one grade to another be based, in part, upon proficiency in
    reading. (2012-142, s. 7A.1(b).)
    § 115C-83.3. Definitions.
    The following definitions apply in this Part:
    (1) "Accelerated reading class" means a class where focused instructional supports and
    services are provided to increase a student's reading level at least two grades in one
    school year.
    (2) "Alternative assessment" means a valid and reliable standardized assessment of
    reading comprehension, approved by the State Board of Education, that is not the same
    test as the State-approved standardized test of reading comprehension administered to
    third grade students. The State Board of Education shall (i) provide several valid and
    reliable alternative assessments to local school administrative units upon request, (ii)
    approve valid and reliable alternative assessments submitted by local school
    administrative units, and (iii) establish achievement level ranges for each approved
    alternative assessment. The State Board of Education shall annually review all
    alternative assessments to ensure ongoing relevance, validity, and reliability.
    29
    (3) "Difficulty with reading development" means not demonstrating appropriate
    developmental abilities in any of the major reading areas, including, but not limited to,
    oral language, phonological or phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, or
    comprehension, according to observation-based, diagnostic, or formative assessments.
    (4) "Instructional supports and services" mean intentional strategies used with a majority
    of students to facilitate reading development and remediate emerging difficulty with
    reading development. Instructional supports and services include, but are not limited
    to, small group instruction, reduced teacher-student ratios, frequent progress
    monitoring, and extended learning time.
    (4a) "Reading camp" means an additional educational program outside of the instructional
    calendar provided by the local school administrative unit to (i) any third grade student
    who does not demonstrate reading proficiency and (ii) any first or second grade
    student who demonstrates reading comprehension below grade level as identified
    through administration of formative and diagnostic assessments in accordance with
    G.S. 115C-83.6. Parents or guardians of the student not demonstrating reading
    proficiency or demonstrating reading comprehension below grade level shall make the
    final decision regarding the student's reading camp attendance. Reading camps shall (i)
    offer at least 72 hours of reading instruction to yield positive reading outcomes for
    participants; (ii) be taught by compensated, licensed teachers selected based on
    demonstrated student outcomes in reading proficiency or in improvement of
    difficulties with reading development; and (iii) allow volunteer mentors to read with
    students at times other than during the 72 hours of reading instruction. The 72 hours
    of reading instruction shall be provided over no less than three weeks for students in
    schools using calendars other than year-round calendars.
    (5) "Reading deficiency" means not reading at the third grade level by the end of the
    student's third grade year, demonstrated by the results of the State-approved
    standardized test of reading comprehension administered to third grade students.
    (6) "Reading interventions" mean evidence-based strategies frequently used to remediate
    reading deficiencies and include, but are not limited to, individual instruction, tutoring,
    or mentoring that target specific reading skills and abilities.
    (7) "Reading proficiency" means reading at or above the third grade level by the end of a
    student's third grade year, demonstrated by the results of the State-approved
    standardized test of reading comprehension administered to third grade students.
    (8) "Student reading portfolio" means a compilation of independently produced student
    work selected by the student's teacher, beginning during the first half of the school
    year, and signed by the teacher and principal, as an accurate picture of the student's
    reading ability. The student reading portfolio shall include an organized collection of
    evidence of the student's mastery of the State's reading standards that are assessed by
    30
    § 115C-83.4. Comprehensive plan for reading achievement.
    (a) The State Board of Education shall develop, implement, and continuously evaluate a
    comprehensive plan to improve reading achievement in the public schools. The plan shall be based
    on reading instructional practices with strong evidence of effectiveness in current empirical
    research in reading development. The plan shall be developed with the active involvement of
    teachers, college and university educators, parents and guardians of students, and other interested
    parties. The plan shall, when appropriate to reflect research, include revision of the standard course
    of study or other curricular standards, revision of teacher licensure and renewal standards, and
    revision of teacher education program standards.
    (b) The State Board of Education shall report biennially to the Joint Legislative Education
    Oversight Committee by October 15 of each even-numbered year on the implementation,
    evaluation, and revisions to the comprehensive plan for reading achievement and shall include
    recommendations for legislative changes to enable implementation of current empirical research in
    reading development. (2012-142, s. 7A.1(b); 2014-115, s. 80.)
    § 115C-83.4A: Recodified as G.S. 115C-174.26 in Part 5 of Article 10A of Chapter 115C,
    effective June 10, 2014.
    § 115C-83.5. Developmental screening and kindergarten entry assessment.
    (a) The State Board of Education shall ensure that every student entering kindergarten shall be
    administered a developmental screening of early language, literacy, and math skills within 30 days
    of enrollment.
    (b) The State Board of Education shall ensure that every student entering kindergarten shall
    complete a kindergarten entry assessment within 60 days of enrollment.
    (c) The developmental screening instrument may be composed of subsections of the
    kindergarten entry assessment. The kindergarten entry assessment shall (i) address the five
    essential domains of school readiness: language and literacy development, cognition and general
    knowledge, approaches toward learning, physical well-being and motor development, and social
    and emotional development and (ii) yield both qualitative and quantitative data in each of these
    domains. Data obtained through administration of the kindergarten entry assessment shall be used
    to populate relevant fields in a longitudinal data base. The language and literacy component as a
    formative and diagnostic reading assessment as provided in G.S. 115C-83.6.
    (d) The kindergarten entry assessment shall be (i) administered at the classroom level in all
    local school administrative units; (ii) aligned to North Carolina's early learning and development
    standards and to the standard course of study; and (iii) reliable, valid, and appropriate for use with
    all children, including those with disabilities and those who are English language learners.
    (e) The results of the developmental screening and the kindergarten entry assessment shall be
    used to inform the following:
    (1) The status of children's learning at kindergarten entry.
    (2) Instruction of each child.
    (3) Efforts to reduce the achievement gap at kindergarten entry.
    (4) Continuous improvement of the early childhood system. (2012-142, s. 7A.1(b);
    2014-5, s. 4.)
    § 115C-83.6. Facilitating early grade reading proficiency.
    (a) Kindergarten, first, second, and third grade students shall be assessed with valid, reliable,
    formative, and diagnostic reading assessments made available to local school administrative units
    by the State Board of Education pursuant to G.S. 115C-174.11(a). Difficulty with reading
    development identified through administration of formative and diagnostic assessments shall be
    addressed with instructional supports and services. Parents or guardians of first and second grade
    31
    students demonstrating reading comprehension below grade level as identified through
    assessments administered pursuant to this subsection shall be encouraged to enroll their student in
    a reading camp provided by the local school administrative unit. Parents or guardians of a student
    identified as demonstrating reading comprehension below grade level as identified through
    assessments administered pursuant to this subsection shall be encouraged to enroll their student in
    a reading camp provided by the local school administrative unit. Parents or guardians of a student
    identified as demonstrating reading comprehension below grade level shall make the final decision
    regarding a student's reading camp attendance.
    (a1) To the greatest extent possible, kindergarten through third grade reading assessments shall
    yield data that can be used with the Education Value-Added Assessment System (EVAAS), or a
    compatible and comparable system approved by the State Board of Education, to analyze student
    data to identify root causes for difficulty with reading development and to determine actions to
    address them.
    (b) Formative and diagnostic assessments and resultant instructional supports and services
    shall address oral language, phonological and phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency,
    and comprehension using developmentally appropriate practices.
    (c) Local school administrative units are encouraged to partner with community organizations,
    businesses, and other groups to provide volunteers, mentors, or tutors to assist with the provision
    of instructional supports and services that enhance reading development and proficiency. (2012-
    142, s. 7A.1(b); 2015-241, s. 8.48(b).)
    § 115C-83.7. Elimination of social promotion.
    (a) The State Board of Education shall require that a student be retained in the third grade if
    the student fails to demonstrate reading proficiency appropriate for a third grade student, as
    demonstrated on a State-approved standardized test of reading comprehension administered to
    third grade students. The test may be readministered once prior to the end of the school year.
    (b) Students may be exempt from mandatory retention in third grade for good cause, but shall
    continue to be eligible to participate in reading camps, receive instructional supports and
    services and reading interventions appropriate for their age and reading level. Good cause
    exemptions shall be limited to the following:
    (1) Limited English Proficient students with less than two school years of instruction in an
    English as a Second Language program.
    (2) Students with disabilities, as defined in G.S. 115C-106.3(1), and whose individualized
    education program indicates (i) the use of the NCEXTEND1 alternate assessment, (ii)
    at least a two school year delay in educational performance, or (iii) receipt of intensive
    reading interventions for at least two school years.
    (3) Students who demonstrate reading proficiency appropriate for third grade students on
    an alternative assessment approved by the State Board of Education.
    (4) Students who demonstrate, through a student reading portfolio, reading proficiency
    appropriate for third grade students. Student reading portfolio and review processes
    used by local school administrative units shall be approved by the State Board of
    Education.
    (5) Students who have (i) received reading intervention and (ii) previously been retained
    more than once in kindergarten, first, second, or third grades.
    (c) The superintendent shall determine whether a student may be exempt from mandatory
    retention on the basis of a good cause exemption. The following steps shall be taken in making the
    determination:
    (1) The teacher of a student eligible for a good cause exemption shall submit
    documentation of the relevant exemption and evidence that promotion of the student is
    appropriate based on the student's academic record to the principal. Such evidence
    32
    shall be limited to the student's individual education program, if applicable, alternative
    assessment, or student reading portfolio.
    (2) The principal shall review the documentation and make an initial determination whether
    the student should be promoted. If the principal determines the student should be
    promoted, the principal shall make a written recommendation of promotion to the
    superintendent for final determination. The superintendent's acceptance or rejection of
    the recommendation shall be in writing. (2012-142, s. 7A.1(b); 2014-5, s. 5; 2015-46, s.
    2.)
    § 115C-83.8. Successful reading development for retained students.
    (a) Parents or guardians of students not demonstrating reading proficiency shall be encouraged
    to enroll their student in a reading camp provided by the local school administrative unit. Parents
    or guardians of a student not demonstrating reading proficiency shall make the final decision
    regarding a student's reading camp attendance. Local school administrative units shall provide at
    least one opportunity for students not participating in a reading camp to demonstrate reading
    proficiency appropriate for third grade students on an alternative assessment or through a student
    reading portfolio process approved by the State Board of Education prior to retaining the student.
    (b) Students retained under G.S. 115C-83.7(a) shall be provided with a teacher selected based
    on demonstrated student outcomes in reading proficiency and placed in an accelerated reading
    class or a transitional third and fourth grade class combination, as appropriate. Classroom
    instruction shall include at least 90 minutes of daily, uninterrupted, evidence-based reading
    instruction, not to include independent reading time, and other appropriate instructional supports
    and services and reading interventions.
    (c) The State Board of Education shall establish a midyear promotion policy for any student
    retained under G.S. 115C-83.7(a) who, by November 1, demonstrates reading proficiency through
    administration of the alternative assessment of reading comprehension or student reading portfolio
    review. Principals shall use the provisions under G.S. 115C-288(a) to grade and classify students
    demonstrating reading proficiency after the November 1 midyear promotion deadline.
    (d) Repealed by Session Laws 2013-360, s. 8.30, effective July 1, 2013.
    (e) Parents or guardians of students who have been retained twice under the provisions of
    115C-83.7(a) shall be offered supplemental tutoring for the retained student in evidence-based
    reading services outside the instructional day. (2012-142, s. 7A.1(b); 2013-360, s. 8.30; 2014-5, s. 6.)
    § 115C-83.9. Notification requirements to parents and guardians.
    (a) Parents or guardians shall be notified in writing, and in a timely manner, that the student
    shall be retained, unless he or she is exempt from mandatory retention for good cause, if the
    student is not demonstrating reading proficiency by the end of third grade. Parents or guardians
    shall receive this notice when a kindergarten, first, second, or third grade student (i) is
    demonstrating difficulty with reading development; or (ii) is not reading at grade level.
    (b) Parents or guardians of any student who is to be retained under the provisions of G.S.
    115C-83.7(a) shall be notified in writing of the reason the student is not eligible for a good cause
    exemption as provided in G.S. 115C-83.7(b). Written notification shall also include a description
    of proposed reading interventions that will be provided to the student to remediate identified areas
    of reading deficiency.
    (c) Parents or guardians of students retained under G.S. 115C-83.7(a) shall receive at least
    monthly written reports on student progress toward reading proficiency. The evaluation of the
    student's progress shall be based upon the student's classroom work, observations, tests,
    assessments, and other relevant information.
    33
    (d) Teachers and principals shall provide opportunities, including, but not limited to,
    information sessions, to discuss with parents and guardians the notifications listed in this section.
    (2012-142, s. 7A.1(b); 2014-5, s. 7; 2015-46, s. 3.)
    CLARIFY REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR READ TO ACHIEVE DATA
    SECTION 7.24.(a) G.S. 115C 83.10 reads as rewritten:
    "§ 115C 83.10. Accountability measures.
    (a) Each local board of education shall publish annually on a Web site maintained by that local
    school administrative unit and report in writing to the State Board of Education by September 1 of
    each year the following information on the prior school year:
    (1) The number and percentage of third grade students demonstrating and not
    demonstrating reading proficiency on the State-approved standardized test of reading
    comprehension administered to third grade students.
    (2) The number and percentage of third grade students who take and pass the an
    alternative assessment of reading comprehension.comprehension and the name of each
    alternative assessment used for this purpose with the number of students who passed
    it.
    (3) The number and percentage of third grade students retained for not demonstrating
    reading proficiency.
    (4) The number and percentage of third grade students exempt from mandatory third
    grade retention by category of exemption as listed in G.S. 115C-83.7(b).
    (5) The number and percentage of first grade students demonstrating and not
    demonstrating reading comprehension at grade level.
    (6) The number and percentage of second grade students demonstrating and not
    demonstrating reading comprehension at grade level.
    (7) For each grade level, the number and percentage of students eligible for priority
    enrollment in reading camp under G.S. 115C-83.11(b) and, for each grade level, the
    number and percentage of those students who attend reading camp.
    (b) Each local board of education shall report annually in writing to the State Board of
    Education by September 1 of each year the following information on the prior school year:
    (1) a A description of all reading interventions provided to students who have been
    retained under G.S. 115C-83.7(a).
    (2) The local board of education shall also include in the report theThe number of first and
    second grade students attending a reading camp offered by the local board.
    (3) The license area or areas, years of licensed teaching experience, grade level
    assignment, and any other specific subject-area assignments of each teacher providing
    instruction at a reading camp.
    (4) The number and percentage of teachers providing instruction at a reading camp who
    were paid a reading performance bonus during the school year immediately preceding
    the reading camp and the grade level on which the bonus was based.
    (b1) Each local board of education shall report annually in writing to the State Board of
    Education by November 15 of each year, for the prior school year, (i) the number and percentage
    of third grade students who did not demonstrate proficiency upon entering reading camp and who
    became proficient after completing reading camp and (ii) for each grade level, the number and
    percentage of first and second grade students who demonstrated reading comprehension below
    grade level upon entering camp and who demonstrated reading comprehension at or above grade
    level after completing reading camp.
    (c) The State Board of Education shall establish a uniform format for local boards of education
    to report the required information listed in subsections (a) and (b) of this section and shall provide
    34
    the format to local boards of education no later than 90 days prior to the annual due date. The State
    Board of Education shall compile annually this information and submit a State level summary to
    the Governor, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of
    Representatives, and the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by December 15, 2016,
    and annually thereafter. The State level summary shall include, for each local school
    administrative unit, every component listed in subsections (a), (b), and (b1) of this section.
    (d) The State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction shall provide
    technical assistance as needed to aid local school administrative units to implement all provisions
    of this Part.
    (e) Local boards of education shall fully complete all information required by this section in
    the uniform format provided by the State Board."
    SECTION 7.24.(b) G.S. 115C-83.6 reads as rewritten:
    "§ 115C-83.6. Facilitating early grade reading proficiency
    (a1) Kindergarten through third grade reading assessments shall yield data that can be used
    with the Education Value-Added Assessment System (EVAAS) to analyze student data to identify
    root causes for difficulty with reading development and to determine actions to address them.
    (a2) The Department of Public Instruction shall provide for EVAAS analysis all formative and
    diagnostic assessment data collected pursuant to this section or G.S. 115C-174.11 for kindergarten
    through third grade.
    …."
    SECTION 7.24.(c) G.S. 115C-218.85(b)(4) reads as rewritten:
    "(4) The charter school shall annually publish on the charter school's Web site and report in
    writing to the State Board of Education by September 1 of each year the following
    information on the prior school year:
    a. The number and percentage of third grade students demonstrating and not
    demonstrating reading proficiency on the State-approved standardized test of
    reading comprehension administered to third grade students.
    b. The number and percentage of third grade students not demonstrating reading
    proficiency and who do not return to the charter school for the following school
    year.
    c. The number and percentage of third grade students who take and pass the an
    alternative assessment of reading comprehension.comprehension and the name of
    each alternative assessment used for this purpose with the number of students who
    passed it.
    d. The number and percentage of third grade students retained for not demonstrating
    reading proficiency.
    e. The number and percentage of third grade students exempt from mandatory third
    grade retention by category of exemption as listed in subdivision (2) of this
    subsection."
    SECTION 7.24.(d) This section applies beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, and shall
    include the reporting of required data from the 2017-2018 school year.
    § 115C-83.11. Continued support for students demonstrating reading proficiency and
    appropriate reading development.
    (a) Parents or guardians of a student demonstrating reading proficiency appropriate for a thirdgrade student as provided under G.S. 115C-83.7 or a first or second grade student demonstrating
    35
    appropriate developmental abilities in reading comprehension may choose to enroll the student in
    the reading camp as defined in G.S. 115C-83.3(4a) but may be charged an attendance fee. Local
    boards of education may establish a fee amount to be equal to the per student program cost of
    participating in the reading camp, not to exceed eight hundred twenty-five dollars ($825.00).
    (b) Priority enrollment in the reading camp is for (i) third grade students not demonstrating
    reading proficiency as provided under G.S. 115C-83.8 and (ii) first and second grade students
    demonstrating reading comprehension below grade level under G.S. 115C-83.6. Local boards of
    education shall establish application procedures and enrollment priorities for reading camps for
    students demonstrating reading proficiency. (2014-5, s. 8; 2015-241, s. 8.48(d).)
    § 115C-83.12: Reserved for future codification purposes.
    § 115C-83.13: Reserved for future codification purposes.
    § 115C-83.14: Reserved for future codification purposes.