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 October 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 percentage of students scoring at the 50th percentile or higher on the mid-winter NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) assessment.
Data we’re using to measure progress
  • Percentage of 3rd grade students reading at grade level as measured by the I-READ 3.
  • Effective January 2014, collecting mid-winter NWEA 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)
2015 97% Pending

Source: Indiana Department of Education.

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. Summer 2015 pass rates are pending.
  • There’s concern that relying only on I-READ3 may not be giving the community the most accurate picture. Thus, the 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.

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, particularly at the 2nd grade level.
  • Researching the status of DeKalb HOPE, a school-based volunteer mentoring program, and promoting Follow the Reader, a tutorial for parents, available at no cost at

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