Instruction and Learning Experiences

Third Grade Reading

Goal: Students Will Read at Grade Level by the end of Third Grade

Why third grade? This is a critical benchmark for students. The end of third grade is when students make the leap from learning to read to reading to learn. If this milestone isn’t met, students can quickly fall behind in other subjects. This priority goal focuses on making sure all students are reading at grade level by the end of third grade, with a specific focus on supporting students furthest from educational justice.

What does that look like? Kindergarten readiness, access to culturally relevant books, family engagement focused on reading at home and working with our community partners to spark joy in reading for all students.

child reading book

Third Grade Reading Initiatives

Engaging Families and Community Partners

We know students are most successful when they have support at school, community, and home. We want to improve our engagement practices with families and strengthen our work with community-based organizations to best support students’ love of reading and access to books.  

Supporting educators 

Teachers need collaboration time, data, support, tools, and professional development to make sure they can help every student learn to read by the end of third grade.

Using data to collaborate and inform instruction

Our educators need data to inform instruction, and we are committed to strengthening the quality of student data available for teachers to use in collaboration and improvement cycles with their colleagues. 

Providing access to Preschool

Preparing students to be successful readers by the end of third grade starts in preschool. We are developing plans to expand access to high-quality and equitable preschool opportunities within Seattle Public Schools.

How We Measure Progress

  • Student assessments
  • Increased access to books through the Seattle Super Readers program
  • Increased access to high-quality preschool programs
  • Data, support and professional development for elementary school teachers

Progress Toward Our Goal

To help meet our goal of all third graders being strong readers, Seattle Public Schools is focusing efforts on reaching students furthest away from educational justice, beginning with African-American boys.

We are working in partnership with literacy community-based groups, such as Seattle Public Library and Team Read, to help us meet our goal.

Seattle Super Readers is a reading campaign to help lay the groundwork to meet this goal. Research shows that daily reading — just 20 minutes per day — helps prepare students for success. 

Students at book fair