This year the Iowa Legislature appropriated $7.8 million for public school districts to implement Early Literacy Progression (Iowa Code Section 279.68) during the 2017-18 school year. The application is now available on the IowaGrants website. School districts are encouraged to complete this application as soon as possible but no later than Oct. 31. Grant funds can be used to implement anything required by Iowa Code 279.68. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Obtaining assessments for universal screening and/or progress monitoring
  • Professional development around assessments, reading instruction, summer school etc.

To access these funds, districts must submit a brief application at For guidance on how you might use your funds, please see the additional information provided by the Iowa Department of Education at

The general requirements of for Iowa Code 279.68 are:

  • universal screening in reading for all students in kindergarten through third grade;
  • progress monitoring for students persistently at risk and at risk in reading;
  • intensive instruction – including 90 minutes daily of scientific, research-based reading instruction – for students who are persistently at risk in reading;
  • annual notice to parents/guardians of students persistently at risk in reading that includes services currently provided to the student, proposed supplemental instructional services and supports the district will provide to the student, and strategies the parents/guardians can use at home to help the child succeed;
  • notice to parents/guardians of such a student’s subsequent progress; provision of an evidence-based summer reading program for students persistently at risk in reading
  • consideration of retention of any student who is persistently at risk in reading by the end of the third grade and is not proficient in reading, did not attend the summer reading program, and does not qualify for a good cause exemption from the retention requirement.

Some of these requirements were in effect August 1, 2014. Others, such as the requirements for retention and the summer reading program, do not go into effect until May 1, 2018. To review the complete Guidance document, please click here:

Early Literacy Screening & Funding

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