Board Approves District’s Reading Well Literacy Plan

Through a collaborative process involving representatives from across the district, Moorhead Area Public Schools has developed its Reading Well by 3rd Grade Plan, which follows the requirements provided by the Minnesota Department of Education. The School Board approved the K-3 plan on June 25, 2012.

The state has emphasized reading well by third grade because it is one of the developmental milestones in a child’s education. The state’s goal is to reduce the achievement gap by 50 percent over the next six years.

Moorhead Area Public Schools was required to adopt a local literacy plan to have every child reading at or above grade level no later than the end of grade 3. The plan needed to include a process to assess students’ level of reading proficiency, notify and involve parents, intervene with students who are not reading at or above grade level, and identify and meet staff development needs. Once approved, the literacy plan must be posted on the district website. The district’s plan is available at

During her presentation to the Moorhead School Board, Missy Eidsness, director of school improvement and accountability for the district, highlighted parts of the plan, including the emphasis on progress monitoring of students, interventions used, and assessments given to K-3 students. Additionally, the plan includes providing elementary parents with a literacy newsletter twice a year that promotes reading and writing, having a literacy consultant assist the district regarding the reading curriculum, and holding a reading institute for K-3 teachers.

Next year, the plan will be expanded to cover early childhood through grade 12, Eidsness said.

Moorhead Area Public Schools invites feedback from all stakeholders on the K-3 Literacy Plan. Input will be sought through building Parent Teacher Advisory Councils, the district’s Instruction and Curriculum Advisory Council, and via email to The district’s annual report will provide information about the plan and feedback process. The feedback from all stakeholders will be used to enhance the usefulness of the document and refine the effectiveness of the process.