115C-83.3. Definitions.

The following definitions apply in this Part:

(1) "Accelerated reading class" means a class where focused instructional supports and services are provided to increase a student's reading level at least two grades in one school year.

(2) "Alternative assessment" means a valid and reliable standardized assessment of reading comprehension, approved by the State Board of Education, that is not the same test as the State-approved standardized test of reading comprehension administered to third grade students. The State Board of Education shall (i) provide several valid and reliable alternative assessments to local school administrative units upon request, (ii) approve valid and reliable alternative assessments submitted by local school administrative units, and (iii) establish achievement level ranges for each approved alternative assessment. The State Board of Education shall annually review all alternative assessments to ensure ongoing relevance, validity, and reliability.

(3) "Difficulty with reading development" means not demonstrating appropriate developmental abilities in any of the major reading areas, including, but not limited to, oral language, phonological or phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, or comprehension, according to observation-based, diagnostic, or formative assessments.

(4) "Instructional supports and services" mean intentional strategies used with a majority of students to facilitate reading development and remediate emerging difficulty with reading development. Instructional supports and services include, but are not limited to, small group instruction, reduced teacher-student ratios, frequent progress monitoring, and extended learning time.

(4a) "Reading camp" means an additional educational program outside of the instructional calendar provided by the local school administrative unit to (i) any third grade student who does not demonstrate reading proficiency and (ii) any first or second grade student who demonstrates reading comprehension below grade level as identified through administration of formative and diagnostic assessments in accordance with G.S. 115C-83.6. Parents or guardians of the student not demonstrating reading proficiency or demonstrating reading comprehension below grade level shall make the final decision regarding the student's reading camp attendance. Reading camps shall (i) offer at least 72 hours of reading instruction to yield positive reading outcomes for participants; (ii) be taught by compensated, licensed teachers selected based on demonstrated student outcomes in reading proficiency or in improvement of difficulties with reading development; and (iii) allow volunteer mentors to read with students at times other than during the 72 hours of reading instruction. The 72 hours of reading instruction shall be provided over no less than three weeks for students in schools using calendars other than year-round calendars.

(5) "Reading deficiency" means not reading at the third grade level by the end of the student's third grade year, demonstrated by the results of the State-approved standardized test of reading comprehension administered to third grade students.

(6) "Reading interventions" mean evidence-based strategies frequently used to remediate reading deficiencies and include, but are not limited to, individual instruction, tutoring, or mentoring that target specific reading skills and abilities.

(7) "Reading proficiency" means reading at or above the third grade level by the end of a student's third grade year, demonstrated by the results of the State-approved standardized test of reading comprehension administered to third grade students.

(8) "Student reading portfolio" means a compilation of independently produced student work selected by the student's teacher, beginning during the first half of the school year, and signed by the teacher and principal, as an accurate picture of the student's reading ability. The student reading portfolio shall include an organized collection of evidence of the student's mastery of the State's reading standards that are assessed by the State-approved standardized test of reading comprehension administered to third grade students. A single piece of evidence may show mastery of up to two standards. For each benchmark, there shall be three examples of student work demonstrating mastery by a grade of seventy percent (70%) or above.

(9) Recodified as subdivision (4a).

(10) "Transitional third and fourth class combination" means a classroom specifically designed to produce learning gains sufficient to meet fourth grade performance standards while continuing to remediate areas of reading deficiency. (2012-142, s. 7A.1(b); 2014-5, ss. 1-3; 2015-241, s. 8.48(a).)