CANTON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
Schools across the state are reminding third graders--if at first you don't succeed, try again.
Statewide, the pass rate for the third grade reading test went from 85-91% after the first retake.
"This is their last shot," noted teacher LaCourtney Landfair. "So they have it in their brains, this is my last time that I'm going to get to take the test. So, they are really amped about it and excited."
Canton Public Schools is one of many districts doing extra work to pull up those third grade reading scores to the pass score of 926. They've improved from a 69-80% pass rate.
Four days a week, the students go through drills with phonics, comprehension and other reading basics. The district has designed a way to fill in the gaps.
"We looked at each child's individual score and identified exactly what the need was," explained Assistant Superintendent for College and Career Readiness Brendsha Roby. "And then we structured purposeful interventions. Each child has an intervention that we're working through during the summer."
Kids are grouped with others who need the same help. Ms. Landfair said there was a common thread they noticed as a weak point.
"A lot of them didn't identify the basic sight words," explained Landfair.
Sight words are common words that come up frequently, like: went, then, can, come.
Canton is using creative ways to keep the kids engaged that combine learning and playing. The test window for the final test will be June 29 to August 7th.
If students fail on the third try, they will have to repeat third grade.