Working together through continuous learning to improve the quality of life for all in DeKalb County, Indiana
An education initiative of the Community Foundation of DeKalb County

3rd Grade Literacy: What We’re Doing and What We’ve Accomplished April 2015


percentage of 3rd grade students reading at grade level


Our vision

DeKalb County students attain outstanding performance as measured by academic, vocational, and civic achievement.

What we’ll accomplish
  • Increase the percentage of 3rd grade students reading at a 3rd grade reading level.
  • Increase the civic achievement of youth in grades K-12.
Data we’re using to measure progress
  • Percentage of 3rd grade students reading at grade level as measured by the I-READ 3. Prior to September 2012, Fountas & Pinnell benchmark reading levels were used.
  • Effective January 2014, collecting NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) data as a second data point.

Baseline Spring 2012: 85% (I-READ 3)

Year Goal Actual
2012 80% 85% (I-READ 3)
2013 86% 94% (I-READ 3)
2014 97.1% (I-READ 3, public schools)
97.4% (I-READ 3, public and private schools)

Source: Indiana Department of Education, 2014.

Current status
  • 97.1% of DeKalb County 3rd grade students passed the state’s 3rd grade reading assessment, the I-READ 3, in 2014, compared to 90.5% in the 10-county northeast Indiana region and 90.6% in the state.
  • While I-READ 3 scores have increased, there’s concern that relying on this single measure may not be giving the community the most accurate picture. Thus, team began collecting NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) data as a second data point.
  • Countywide, there was a slight increase in winter 2015 NWEA scores, for grades 2 and 3 (based on language arts).

student nwea scores at 50th percentile or higher

What we’re doing to achieve our goals
  • Along with discussing strategies around using data and ensuring children have access to quality preschool opportunities, the team has decided to focus on parent and community engagement.
  • Promoting Follow the Reader, a simple and interactive online tutorial for parents, mentors and educators helping young children become early readers. Go to The Big Goal Collaborative made this possible for northeast Indiana.

April 2015 K-12 Education and 3rd Grade Literacy Overview (PDF)