Family Partnership Council Meeting 3.9.23

The Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE) Family Partnership Council discussed new guidance for the “Read at Home” plans the department has started rolling out for schools and districts during its meeting on March 9.

“Read at Home” guidance came about as part of Senate Bill 9 (2022), which requires KDE to provide supports around “Read at Home” plans, among several other reforms to help with reading proficiency.

Representatives with KDE’s Office of Teaching and Learning updated the council on the guidance and answered questions regarding the new law.

Beginning with the 2023-2024 school year, if a student’s rate of progress toward proficiency in reading needs accelerated interventions (as demonstrated by the results of an approved universal screener and reading diagnostic assessment), the local school district shall provide the families of such identified kindergarten through grade 3 students with a “Read at Home” plan (KRS 158.305).

To help districts effectively implement “Read at Home” plans in collaboration with families, KDE has partnered with the Kentucky Collaborative for Families and Schools to develop the guidance for ensuring high-impact, research-based family engagement best practices for relationship-building and two-way communications. The guidance can be found in the Read At Home Plan Guidance document.

“We wanted to give district and school leaders rich best practices that they could put within their schools to try and build those strong relationships with our parents and caregivers because they are vital to the success of our students,” said KDE Director of Early Literacy Christie Biggerstaff.

“We need feedback on how to get family resources in the hands of people who can communicate their existence, their value and their purpose so that more parents and families will have access to these supports for the benefit of their child and their success in school with reading,” said KDE Chief Academic Officer Micki Ray.

Members of the council expressed thoughts about getting guidance to families before their kids reach school, like through family resource centers and libraries, so intervention can start early.

Another concern council members brought was the availability of books, because some parents don’t have the resources to get them. Ray said KDE is working on getting partners to help provide free decodable books to parents – books that are connected to sound and spelling patterns that have already been taught – to help with their children’s literacy.

Ray also said KDE is also working to make the family guidance available in different languages.

More information about Kentucky academic resources and standards can be found on KDE’S KY Standards webpage.

The next Family Partnership Council meeting will be June 8.