A new statewide program called the Third Grade Reading Guarantee will require kids to pass a reading test before they can be promoted to fourth grade.
The program will actually start this school year, but the mandatory retention won't take effect till the 2013-2014 school year.
It could mean a number of third-graders will be held back next year.
Based on last year's data for reading proficiency, Assistant Superintendent Cameron Ryba said 5 to 6 percent of third graders would have to repeat the third grade, or an estimated 15 to 20 students.
But the district will try to prevent that by intervening with special tutoring. Kids will be given an assessment in September to see if their are "on track" with their reading, and if not, they will be monitored throughout the year.
This year, if a third-grader tests below the "cut" score, it will be up to the district to decide if he or she should advance to the fourth grade.
Next year, "they must be retained and stay in the third grade," Ryba said.
Superintendent John Krupinski called the bill, which was signed into law in June by Gov. John Kasich, "another unfunded mandate" from the state.