English/Language Arts

Reading and Writing

Published: 6/28/2024 9:35 AM

​​​The links on this page provide resources that support educators, students and families.

Kentucky Academic Standards for Reading and Writing

​​Preparation of Kentucky’s students for the demands of the 21st Century requires districts and schools to prepare every student for successful transition to post-secondary education, work and the community. The Kentucky Academic Standards (KAS) for Reading and Writing help ensure all students throughout Kentucky are provided with common content and have opportunities to learn at high levels. Students need vast literacy abilities and ever-changing technological competencies. This broadened definition of literacy means English/language arts education must address many different types and uses of language. The instructional programs for Kentucky’s public schools emphasize the development of students’ abilities to acquire, apply and integrate knowledge, skills and understandings in real life contexts and to problem-solve, make decisions and think critically and creatively. They assist students in connecting learning to the world beyond the classroom by exploring and investigating real issues and problems of communities, states, the nation and the world. Well-designed Reading and Writing standards, curriculum and instruction recognizes the diversity of students and how children learn, construct knowledge and acquire skills and concepts of the disciplines.​

Balance of Building Knowledge and Applying Skills and Strategies 

The standards place equal emphasis on the sophistication of what students read and the skill with which they read. For example, Reading Literature and Reading Informational Text Standard 10 defines a grade-by-grade “staircase” of increasing text complexity that rises from beginning reading and incorporates the reading strategies as the foundation to comprehension. Current research and best practice suggest that students comprehend texts best when they are able to activate schema, make meaning and recognize vocabulary. Exposing students to multiple texts and interdisciplinary content provides opportunities to build knowledge in meaningful ways. Thus, students should be encouraged to read about their interests and curiosities and to see the transference and application of knowledge between English/language arts and other content areas, such as science, social studies and math. They also should further that knowledge by writing about what they are reading and their existing understanding of terms, concepts and processes. ​

Early Literacy 

To reinforce the importance of Early Literacy, the K-5 Kentucky Academic Standards for Reading and Writing include expectations for reading literary and informational texts, composition, language and foundational skills applicable across disciplines. The K-5 standards align with and build upon the early childhood standards, providing a developmentally appropriate progression as students transition from preschool to kindergarten. When understanding how the brain learns to read, educators implement Structured Literacy practices to ensure that all students are supported in becoming skilled readers. The standards articulate rigorous grade-level expectations essential to developing a strong infrastructure of essential early literacy skills. These expectations  equip students with the skills and knowledge critical to be successful in later years and, ultimately, transition ready. The standards address the need to teach comprehension strategies beginning in kindergarten and continuing through grade 12 because of their importance in aiding comprehension. ​Intentional opportunities for students’ critical thinking skills to begin developing promotes the activation of those skills as students learn to process the meaning of texts through comprehension and analysis in early primary.​

The Read to Succeed Act (SB 9, 2022)

A child’s ability to read is a critical predictor of both educational and lifelong success. Students must have every opportunity to gain and strengthen this skill, and teachers must be equipped and empowered in the teaching of reading to best support their students. The goal of Kentucky’s Senate Bill (SB) 9 (2022), the Read to Succeed Act, is to ensure "all children learn to read well before exiting grade three (3) and that all middle and high school students have the skills necessary to read complex materials in specific core subjects and comprehend and constructively apply the information,​" (KRS 158.791(1)). 

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is required to support “local school districts in the identification of professional development activities, including teaching strategies to help teachers in each subject area to: 1. Implement evidence-based reading, intervention, and instructional strategies that emphasize phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and connections between reading and writing acquisition, and motivation to read to address the diverse needs of students,” (KRS 158.791(2)(c)). 

The KDE’s Kentucky Reading Academies brings the LETRS, Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling, professional learning opportunity to educators across the commonwealth. Through LETRS, teachers gain essential knowledge to master the fundamentals of literacy instruction required to transform student learning and create a more vibrant experience for each and every young reader.​

Standards Review

​​The implementation of the current KAS for Reading and Writing began in the 2019-2020 school year.  KRS 158.6453 calls for the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) to implement a process for reviewing all academic standards and aligned assessments. The Kentucky Academic Standards Review Process​ will begin in the 2024-2025 school year for the KAS for Reading and Writing.

Minimum Graduation Requirements

​Please email the ELA team with any questions.

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