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Elissa Elwert
Beaver Dam Community Librarian Elissa Ewert straightens the display for the summer reading program at the library. The children’s reading program that can help motivate children to read. The program kickoff is on Monday at the library from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Beaver Dam Superintendent Steve Vessey is urging children to continue reading throughout the summer months.

The Beaver Dam Unified School District is already working on ways to improve student reading scores after Beaver Dam High School and Middle School were named on a list released Tuesday for failing to meet the federal No Child Left Behind law.

"We've identified the kids, and we are working on contacting their parents to get them into summer school," Superintendent Steve Vessey said. "We also will be doubling their reading instruction in September."

Vessey said there were several "subgroups" of students who contributed to the poor reading skills scores. Those groups face several challenges including needing special education, being English language learners and being economically disadvantaged, Vessey said.

"The reading achievement for students who are not in a subgroup - 80 percent - is exceptional," Vessey said. "Our students are 87 to 100 percent proficient in reading across grade levels. However we are struggling with some 10th grade students and students in a subgroup."

The students who failed the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts exam will be measured on their progress every eight weeks.

Vessey said the district also will bring forward a graduation requirement to the school board later this summer that all students must demonstrate proficiency in reading and math on the state assessment or they will be required to complete a reinforcement course in the identified area of need.

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"This will give the district yet another data point to demonstrate to parents, students and public that no student will leave the Beaver Dam Unified School District without showing they are proficient in reading and math," Vessey said.

State funding for the district will not be effected because of the scores.

Parents and family members can help by encouraging children to read and write over the summer months, he said.

"A student who does not read during the summer will lose two to three reading levels," Vessey said.

The Beaver Dam Community Library has a children's reading program that can help motivate children. The program kickoff is on Monday at the library from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Area emergency services vehicles will be on hand for children to look at. Students who complete the seven week program can win prizes and a $5 gift certificate to use at the End of Summer Scholastic Book Fair.

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