Read To Succeed

Dear Parent/Guardian:

As you may be aware, the South Carolina Read to Succeed Act, which became law in 2014, aims to improve literacy and reading proficiency for all children in our state. The law includes some significant changes regarding promotion and retention of third grade students. Please note, these changes do not take effect until the 2017–18 school year. The 2016–17 school year’s second grade students will be the first group of third grade students to be impacted by this portion of the Read to Succeed legislation.

The law states, “Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, a student must be retained in the third grade if the student fails to demonstrate reading proficiency at the end of third grade as indicated by scoring at the lowest achievement level on the state’s summative reading assessment that equates to Not Met 1 on the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS)..” There are a number of exceptions to this requirement in the law. Your child’s principal will be able to discuss these exceptions with you.

Please be assured that our district’s goal is for all students to be proficient readers in third grade and for no student to be retained for failing to demonstrate reading proficiency. The district is putting supports in place to improve student success. These supports may include additional instructional time, small group and individualized instruction, and targeted interventions. Classroom teachers and school administrators are receiving specialized literacy training and support from school-based reading coaches and interventionists.

If you have concerns about your child's current reading proficiency and/or need additional information, please contact me or your child’s teacher. You can also find information about Read to Succeed and how to support your child in literacy on the district's ELA/Literacy web page ( ) and on the South Carolina Department of Education web page (


LaCarma Brown-McMillian

St. James Santee Elementary Middle School