Request for a Comprehensive Reading Evaluation

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Request for a Comprehensive Reading Evaluation – Click here for Word document


Amy R. Smith

55 Witten Drive    Stamfire, CT  06906

Home: 203-123-4567    cell: 203-891-2345


January 17, 2008
Nelly Koch, Special Education Teacher
Happy Elementary School
345 Main Street
Stamfire, CT  06906


Re:  Request for reading evaluation for Jimmy Smith
Faxed and also send via first class mail


Dear Nelly,

My son Jimmy Smith is a 10 year old boy in the 5th grade, yet he reads on a kindergarten level and has made minimal progress during his 7 years at Happy Elementary School. Despite his significant challenges, he has never had a formal reading evaluation nor has he had services from a reading specialist in Stamfire Public Schools. 

What is the plan to bring Jimmy’s reading ability to grade level?

I am requesting a comprehensive reading evaluation by a qualified reading specialist to determine what peer-reviewed, evidence-based reading program Jimmy needs to become a proficient reader.  In order to avoid any misunderstanding as to what exactly I am asking for, I have attached a list of reading definitions from No Child Left Behind. Given the enormous reading gap between Jimmy and his same-age peers, I am asking that this request be attended to without any delay.  


Thank you.


Amy R. Smith


Copy to: Molly Arbet, Principal of Happy Elementary School
Sally Simpson, 5th grade teacher, Happy Elementary School


Enclosure: 4 Definitions About Reading in No Child Left Behind



4 Definitions About Reading in No Child Left Behind

1. Legal definition of reading The term ‘reading’ means a complex system of deriving meaning from print that requires all of the following:

(A) The skills and knowledge to understand how phonemes, or speech sounds, are connected to print.
(B) The ability to decode unfamiliar words.
(C) The ability to read fluently.
(D) Sufficient background information and vocabulary to foster reading comprehension.
(E) The development of appropriate active strategies to construct meaning from print.
(F) The development and maintenance of a motivation to read.


2. Legal definition of the essential components of reading instruction
The term ‘essential components of reading instruction’ means explicit and systematic instruction in-

(A) phonemic awareness;
(B) phonics;
(C) vocabulary development;
(D) reading fluency, including oral reading skills; and
(E) reading comprehension strategies.


3. Legal definition of scientifically based reading research
The term ‘scientifically based reading research’ means research that-

(A) applies rigorous, systematic, and objective procedures to obtain valid knowledge relevant to reading development, reading instruction, and reading difficulties; and
(B) includes research that-
(i) employs systematic, empirical methods that draw on observation or experiment;
(ii) involves rigorous data analyses that are adequate to test the stated hypotheses and justify the general conclusions drawn;
(iii) relies on measurements or observational methods that provide valid data across evaluators and observers and across multiple measurements and
observations; and
(iv) has been accepted by a peer-reviewed journal or approved by a panel of independent experts through a comparably rigorous, objective, and scientific review.


4. Legal definition of a diagnostic reading assessment The term ‘diagnostic reading assessment’ means an assessment that is-

(i) valid, reliable, and based on scientifically based reading research; and
(ii) used for the purpose of-
(I) identifying a child’s specific areas of strengths and weaknesses so that the child has learned to read by the end of grade 3;
(II) determining any difficulties that a child may have in learning to read and the potential cause of such difficulties; and
(III) helping to determine possible reading intervention strategies and related special needs.