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Early Literacy Implementation


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Legal Requirements

Iowa Code section 279.68 and 281--Iowa Administrative Code 62 promote effective evidence-based programming, instruction and assessment practices across schools to support all students to become proficient readers by the end of the third grade. General requirements of Iowa Code section 279.68 and 281--Iowa Administrative Code 62 are listed below. All requirements go into effect immediately and are expected to be implemented no later than August 1, 2014 unless otherwise indicated.

  • Provision of universal screening in reading for students in kindergarten through third grade
  • Progress monitoring for students who exhibit a substantial deficiency in reading
  • Provision of intensive instruction – including 90 minutes daily of scientific, research-based reading instruction - for students who exhibit a substantial deficiency in reading
  • Notice to parents that a student exhibits a substantial deficiency in reading, including strategies the parents can use at home to help the child succeed
  • Notice to parents of such a student’s subsequent progress
  • Provision of an evidence-based summer reading program for students who exhibit a substantial deficiency in reading (Effective May 1, 2017)
  • Retention of any student who is not proficient in reading by the end of the third grade, did not attend the summer reading program, and does not qualify for a good cause exemption from the retention requirement (Effective May 1, 2017)



The purpose of the guidance documents are to aid Iowa’s public school districts in (1) interpreting and implementing Iowa Code section 279.68, and (2) determining how best to use the funds provided by this code.

  1. Early Literacy Guidance provides the specific requirements and permitted actions by public school districts, frequently asked questions, and definition of terms.
  2. Early Literacy Implementation - Budget Guidance provides districts with a brief guide regarding how best to use funds.
  3. Early Literacy Implementation - IowaGrants Access Instructions provide brief instructions on how to submit for funds. For questions regarding this process, contact Meredith MacQuigg at


Technical Assistance Sessions

The Department is sponsored one face-to-face meeting and two webinars during which representatives from the Department reviewed Iowa Code section 279.68 and 281--Iowa Administrative Code 62. A recordings of the webinar is posted on this page under Supporting Documents.

We will be holding a series of webinars on different areas related to 279.68 throughout the remainder of the 2013-2014 year.  These webinars, the content, day and time will be announced on this webpage as needed.


Supporting Documents

Throughout 2014, the Iowa Department of Education will post supporting documents, information and updates.

Early Literacy Guidance Webinar Recording

Universal Screening and Progress Monitoring Assessments

Approved Literacy Assessments - A list of approved universal screening and progress monitoring assessments.

  1. Technology Requirements for Iowa TIER, FAST and IGDIs - Lists specific technology requirements to access Iowa TIER, FAST and IGDIs. The following documents provide directions to begin setting up staff access (as described in the technology requirements document).
  2. Iowa TIER is the state's database through which districts may access FAST and IGDIs.
  3. Formative Assessment System for Teachers or FAST is the state’s universal screening assessment and progress monitoring assessment for Kindergarten through Sixth grade students.
  4. Individual Growth and Development Indicators or IGDIs is the state’s universal screening assessment for preschool four-year old children.
  5. Benchmarks for FAST and IGDIs - the target scores (also called benchmarks or cut scores) shown in this document represent the lowest score that is in the passing or acceptable range of performance. Any scores lower than these are considered at risk or not passing the screening.


Iowa Core Literacy

The Iowa Core Literacy Standards were adopted by the Iowa State Board of Education and integrate the work of the Common Core State Standards Initiative with an additional seven standards that apply exclusively to Iowa schools.

Questions regarding the Iowa Core Literacy Standards, programming and support, contact Deb Hindman at

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on April 17, 2014 at 3:42am.