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"The Rochester New Hampshire School District provides a personalized experience for all students to be, responsible, and contributing citizens, who can read, write, communicate, problem solve and calculate with clarity.  The learning environment includes present day instructional practices, innovative thinking, collaboration with families, lifelong learning for all and a meaningful relationship for all students."
How to Reach the 90% Reading Goal
Reasons for the goal
How to reach the 90% reading goal
Reasons for the Goal
1. The goal provides a vision for the district.
The district has a mission statement, but the 90% reading goal becomes a vision for the district. If 90% of our third grade students can read on grade level, then we should be able to increase the performance of students at all levels. We will spend less time on remediation and more time on higher level thinking and academic skills.
2. The goal offers immense rewards.
The study, The Bottom Line: Kids Count to New Hampshire Future, outlines the potential economic impacts of reducing child poverty, the investments in early childhood education and investments in public education. The cost to the state and community of children at risk is immense. The study shows the economic benefits of reducing child poverty and child risk. If we focus on educational attainment, we will reduce the number of at risk children, and a significant reduction in children's poverty. Please review Figure 19 from the study, to see how the reduction in child poverty has a positive economic and fiscal impact. The goal is what every parent, grandparent, and community member wants, students that can read at least at grade level. The students become an empowered learners and may be able to pursue higher educational goals.
3. The goal is clear.
Everyone can understand the goal: 90% of our students will read at or above grade level by the end of third grade. It is measurable and accountable.
4. The goal is compassionate.
Reading can change the life of an at-risk child. Reading can change the academic goals of a child and allow success in further educational endeavors.
5. The goal mobilizes a virtual army of educators.
A paradigm shifts occurs with the 90% reading goal. The educational community focuses on outcomes and results and a measurable goal. We need to move the normal curve to reflect the graph below.
6. The goal produces unintended but wonderful results.
A school community partnership must occur to be able to accomplish the goal. Parents, grandparents and community members must support the goal, and the positive attention reading brings to a child.

One of the wonderful results is the reduction in discipline issues. If a student can read on grade level they will have a much better overall school experience, including a reduction in discipline issues.
Office Refurals
The Face of Crime
One out of every 193 Americans is incarcerated.
49% of them read at or below a ninth grade level
The annual cost of arresting, trying, and imprisoning those whom we did not teach to read in the first, second, and third grades is approximately the same amount we annually spend nationwide educating our 36.7 million K-8 public school students.
7. The goal provides early and continual wins.
Even if the district does not attain the goal, hundreds of students will have improved their reading skills. The improvement of reading instruction and reading skills is of paramount importance, and the goal is the vision.

What we as educators never tell our public is that one in four children enters the fourth grade reading at a first or second grade level. Lynn Field, Kennewick School Board