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Curriculum & Assessment

Balanced Assessment System

Trenton uses a balanced assessment system which includes assessments intended to guide instruction, measure the academic progress of students, and meet the federal and state mandates.

On a daily basis, formative assessment for learning is used to inform instruction within and between lessons for both student and teacher. Formative assessment provides feedback and adjustments to instruction to improve learning.  Summative assessments, of learning, are administered at the end of a unit, semester, or year to measure students' mastery of academic standards.  These include chapter or unit tests as well as district and state assessments.

Below are the major state and district assessments administered to students each year.

Online Assessments

i-Ready image

Trenton students in grades K-10 take the i-Ready online assessment in the fall, winter, and spring.  The assessment adapts to each student, providing easier or harder questions depending on students' answers to previous questions. The reading and mathematics information will help determine if students are on track and also help to identify and plan for students who may need targeted instructional support.


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The Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress, or M-STEP is a computer-based state assessment that measures students' achievement of State Standards.  It is administered online to all Michigan students in grades 3-8 each spring. English language arts and mathematics are assessed in grades 3-8, science in grades 4, 7, and 11, and social studies in grades 5, 8, and 11.

Read by Grade 3: Michigan Reading Retention Law

In 2016, the Michigan Legislature passed a law that requires schools to identify learners who are struggling with reading and writing and to provide additional help. The law is called Read by Grade Three (RBG3). The law aims to improve the state’s concern of low reading achievement in our state. There are five (5) major components of the RBG3 law including the importance of research and standards aligned core reading instruction, assessment, individual reading improvement plans (IRIPs), professional learning, and retention.  Additionally, the law requires schools and parents/guardians to partner and work together as a Read-at-Home plan is also created. Over the past several years, Michigan’s Read by Grade Three (RBG3) law (MCL 380.1280f) has provided guidance to local education agencies (LEAs), educators, and families. Recent changes to state statute are consistent with research that is unsupportive of the former retention component as a strategy to improve student academic success. The 2024 updated statute leaves in place components that require reading intervention plans and instructional supports for students and communication with families.

Trenton Public Schools is committed to supporting our students and are proud of our Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS). All students, K-5 have access to a high quality research and standards aligned curriculum. All students, K-5, are administered a universal screener. Afterward, a diagnostic test is administered in order to learn more about where a child may be struggling. If needed, Individual Reading Improvement Plans (IRIPs) are written to provide the child extra support in the area of need. This support may be provided as a push-in or pull-out support by the classroom teacher or reading interventionist.  We meet with parents and monitor plans regularly to ensure a child is making progress.

Every parent/guardian should know their rights when it comes to this law.  Below, you will find resources from the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) to help you better understand the Read by Grade Three Law. Michigan Department of Education’s (MDE) Family Resources

If your child qualifies for a reading support plan, you will be contacted by your school principal and current third grade teacher.

Should you have any questions about "Read by Grade 3" please reach out to Assistant Superintendent, Stephanie O'Connor at or 734-676-8600 or your building principal.

Assistant Superintendent
for Instruction, Technology,
State & Federal Programs

Stephanie O'Connor


(734) 676-8600

Neil E. Van Riper Building
2603 Charlton
Trenton, MI 48183


Additional ways you can support your child:

Michigan Department of Education’s (MDE) Family Resources:,4615,7-140-28753_74161-498394--,00.html

Overview video for parents (from MDE):

Parent Involvement Video (from MDE):

Facts for families (English): 
3rd Gr Reading Facts Families Final 629306 7.pdf

Facts for families (Spanish): 
Grade 3 Reading Facts Families Final Espanol 648493 7.pdf

What is a Good Cause Exemption? (English) 
Facts Families GCE FinalDraft 653732 7.pdf

What is a Good Cause Exemption? (Spanish) 
Facts Families GCE Spanish FinalDraft 653733 7.pdf


Michigan eLibrary Supportive Resources for Families 
Michigan eLibrary Resources Supporting Early Literacy 647735 7.pdf