Hudson -- According to a June 17 Ohio Department of Education report, the Hudson City School district is well above the statewide average for the number of third-graders prepared for the next grade.
The figures, based on preliminary reading scores from the Ohio Achievement Assessment exam, showed that 96.5 percent of Hudson third-graders, or 332 of 344 students, have met the state's third-grade standards. The new state law requires third-graders who are not reading at grade level, or earning a test score of 392, to be held back.
The district ranked third in Summit County behind Revere's 98.4 and Green's 97.5 percent.
Overall, 88 percent of Ohio's third-graders meet the requirements, according to the ODE. The statewide average is up from 63 percent who passed in the fall.
Third-grade students are assessed twice a year in reading, according to Hudson Assistant Superintendent Doreen Osmun.
"For the Ohio Reading Achievement Tests, students are tested in October and then in the spring," Osmun said.
The schedule is set by the ODE, with districts allowed some choices within the prescribed testing window, Osmun added. All other state achievement assessments are done in the spring for third- through eighth-graders, she added.
Students who do not pass the initial test are given two more opportunities to achieve the promotion score, according to the ODE. Some districts have implemented special reading programs, in part from $13 million in grant money which was available for districts in financial need.
While Hudson was not eligible for the grant, the district has implemented programs to help any struggling student.
"One of the most important things we do is to start with great early literacy education in preschool," Osmun said. "Our teachers, classroom, reading teachers, intervention specialists are very dedicated to teaching literacy, reading, writing, vocabulary, etc."
The district also works to provide "a very strong foundation" for students while reviewing student data and working with students in small individual groups, Osmun said.
"Working in small groups and individually with students on their reading level provides us with a great opportunity to help them grow and learn," Osmun said. "Another important factor is creating and fostering a school and community environment where children can thrive. They can take risks with their learning because they know their teacher, peers and parents will support and celebrate each small or large success."
Osmun also credited parents with bringing "key people in preparing students for any grade" and students for being ready to learn.
"I feel like a broken record about this, but we have such great students," Osmun said. "They come to school ready to learn. It excites us, as teachers, administrators, staff and parents to see our students thrive."
According to Osmun, while some students may not have passed the test, students are still learning and growing.
"It takes more than one test to measure success, no matter if we are talking about academics or how a student leads and interacts within their community," Osmun added. "I am so very thankful and honored to be part of the Hudson City School Community."
If a student remains in the third grade, the school must provide a high-performing reading teacher and 90 minutes of reading instruction each school day, according to the ODE. A student can still take fourth-grade classes in all other subjects, if the student is ready. Schools can move students to the fourth grade in the middle of the year if the student's reading improves.
A total of 105,681 public school students out of 119,393 total statewide and 5,878 charter students out of 8,234 met the new third grade reading guarantee, a total of 88.5 percent and 71.4 percent, according to figures from the ODE.
To see district-by-district results of students' scores visit http://1.usa.gov/UV0SrT.