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From Desk of Avery Supt. David Burleson: Reading Scores, 2015 Homecoming Court

Supt. Burleson
Supt. Burleson

To the Editor,

The 2014-2015 school year was the second year for the North Carolina Read to Achieve program. At the end of summer school, seventy-nine percent (or 91,919 students) of North Carolina public school third grade students met the reading proficiency standards under the Read to Achieve program according to the Improve K-3 Literacy Accountability Measures Comprehensive Plan for Reading Achievement report. The percentage of Avery County third graders meeting the reading proficiency was over 95 percent.

These third graders demonstrated reading proficiency through one of the following options:

  • passing the Beginning-of-Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading assessment;
  • passing the End-of-Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading assessment;
  • passing the retest of the End-of-Grade 3 English Language Arts/Reading assessment;
  • passing the Read to Achieve Alternative Test;
  • passing an alternative assessment for reading; or
  • successfully completing the reading portfolio.

In grade three, students will build important reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. They will think, talk, and write about what they read in a variety of articles, books, and other texts. In their writing, students will pay more attention to organizing information, developing ideas, and supporting these ideas with facts, details, and reasons. Activities in these areas will include:

  • Reading a wide range of stories and describing how a story teaches a lesson
  • Describing characters in a story and how their actions contributed to events
  • Reading texts about history, social studies, or science and answering questions about what they learned
  • Referring to information from illustrations such as maps or pictures as well as the words in a text to support their answers
  • Learning the rules of spoken and written English
  • Learning and using new words, including words related to specific subjects (such as science words)
  • Participating in class discussions by listening, asking questions, sharing ideas, and building on the ideas of others
  • Giving a class presentation on a topic or telling a story using relevant facts and details and speaking clearly
  • Writing stories with dialogue and descriptions of character’s actions, thoughts, and feelings
  • Gathering information from books, articles, and online sources to build understanding of a topic
  • Writing research or opinion papers over extended periods of time

As a parent, don’t be afraid to reach out to your child’s teacher—you are an important part of your child’s education. Ask to see a sample of your child’s work or bring a sample with you. Ask the teacher questions like:

  • Is my child at the level where he/she should be at this point of the school year?
  • What do you think is giving my child the most trouble? How can I help my child improve in this area?
  • Where is my child excelling? How can I support this success?

Parents can support their child learning to read if they will:

  • Provide time and space for your child to read independently. This time should be free from distractions such as television.
  • Ask your child what topics, events, or activities he or she likes. Then look for books, magazines, or other materials about those topics that would motivate your child to read.
  • It is also helpful when your child sees other people reading at home. You could share what you have read.
  • Start a family book club. Let different members of the family pick the book. This could be a good way to enjoy quality family time while experiencing the joy of reading together!
  • Be sure your child has a library card. Children should select books they are interested in to develop a passion for reading. Many libraries have book clubs and family activities that make reading fun for the entire family.
  • Use technology to help build your child’s interest in reading. There are several websites where students can read books or articles online. The computer will help with words the student cannot read independently. Libraries also have computers students can use to access those sites. Feel free to ask a librarian or teacher for suggestions.   (Parent Roadmap: Supporting Your Child In Reading, 2015)

The North Carolina Read to Achieve Program is a component of the Excellent Public Schools Act passed by the North Carolina General Assembly during its 2012 session. The goal of the program is to ensure that every third grade student is reading at or above grade level by the end of the school year. Students who are not reading at grade level by the end of third grade receive extra support, including reading camps, guaranteed uninterrupted blocks of reading time, and intensive reading interventions so that they will be more prepared to do fourth grade work.

Students who are retained may be placed in a third grade accelerated class, in a third/fourth grade transition class with a retained reading label, or in a fourth-grade accelerated class with a retained reading label. If these students retake the reading test by Nov. 1, complete a reading portfolio, or pass a local alternative test and demonstrate proficiency, they are promoted to the fourth grade and the retained reading label is removed. These students continue to have the opportunity to show proficiency by local alternative or completed portfolio throughout the rest of the fourth-grade year to have the retained reading label removed.

In Avery County we are very appreciative of the work of our faculty and staff, especially our third grade teachers, in assisting our students in reaching this standard. We are also thankful for the work of our summer school staff.

We want to thank our entire community for their support of our school system and all the students we serve.


ACS Supt. David Burleson

P.S. Below is the Homecoming Court for 2015:

Homecoming court 2015

2014 Emily Singleton and Jacob Sheets

-Both Attending at AppState


boy: Eddie Staton

girl: Lani Rogers

boy: Tyler Smith

girl: Shyla Washington

boy: Spencer Dearmin – King

girl: Kelly Magner

boy:Rick Daniels

girl: Savannah Moody – QUEEN


Boy: Jackson Presnell

Girl: Marley Berry

boy: David Goobie

girl: Bridgette Smith

boy: Lucas Powell

girl: Zoe Daniels


boy: River Willis

girl: Emma Buchanan

boy: Garrett Dellinger

girl: Jaelyn Johnson


boy: Hayden Nance

girl: Rylie Daniels