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Austin Public Schools

401 3rd Ave NW
Austin, MN  55912

District Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
7:30AM - 4:30PM

The READ Act

What is the READ Act?

According to the Minnesota Department of Education, "[the] Minnesota Reading to Ensure Academic Development Act, known as the READ Act, was passed and signed into law by Governor Tim Walz on May 24, 2023. The goal of this legislation is to have every Minnesota child reading at or above grade level every year, beginning in kindergarten, and to support multilingual learner and students receiving special education services in achieving their individualized reading goals. The READ Act replaces Read Well by Third Grade (RWBTG) and is in effect as of July, 1, 2023."

Ten months have passed since Governor Tim Walz signed the READ Act and APS has been working to implement the new statute.  Below provides an update on our steps taken to meet the requirement of the law:

  1. With the input of the newly formed District Literacy Team, Director of Information Services Corey Haugen has created an updated assessment plan to meet the need to screen all K-3 students with MDE approval and is currently working on a plan for all 4-12 students that are not reading proficiently as requirements become available, starting in the 2024-2025 school year. NOTE: MDE continues to determine the criteria to identify students in grades 4-12 who must be screened and give recommendations on how to implement these new practices.
  2. Teaching and Learning staff have been working to plan the required Professional Development (PD)for PK-6 grade staff, which will begin next August. The district has chosen the highly respected Online Language and Literacy Academy for staff to gain the required PD. Six APS Instructional Coaches are completing the trainer program and will lead the staff through this training, using our PD days during the 2024-2025 school year.
  3. Sheila Berger, READ Act Coordinator, will submit our first Local Literacy Plan in June. This plan will replace the Read Well by Third Grade plan and require the submission of specific data such as percent proficiency on reading screeners and the number of staff trained and certified in Reading.

Frequently Asked Questions

APS District Literacy Team

Katie Baskin
Executive Director of Academics and Administrative Services

Derik Gustafson
Elementary Principal

Angie Schuster

Cassie Leathers

Robyn Snow
1st Grade

Kristen Bambrick
1st Grade

Tammy Nelson
2nd  Grade

Devin Hines
2nd Grade

Traci Braaten
3rd Grade

Jen Gosha
3rd Grade

Jen Smith
Language Arts Ellis

Sheila Berger
K-4 Curriculum Coordinator/K-12 EL Coordinator 

Kelly Peterson
4th Grade

Kathy Owens
4th Grade

Michelle Swank
Language Arts IJ

Hannah Gwin

Lyndsey Raffelson
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Teacher

Joelle Mayers

Emma Walsh

Jes Carlson
Special Education Case Facilitator

Gretchen Erickson
Community Member

Lise Mittag
Language Arts Ellis

Andrea Malo
5-12 Curriculum Coordinator, Talent Development, Teacher Mentoring

Lexi Stallkamp
Language Arts IJ

Andrea Hollerud
Reading Intervention

Angie Jannsen
Reading Intervention

Stephanie Fehn
Reading Intervention

Nicole Edwards
Instructional Coach

Tracy Garry
Instructional Coach

Christy Halsey
Instructional Coach

Katie Keller
Instructional Coach

Alexa Dolan
Instructional Coach