KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The 3rd-grade retention law that took effect in Tennessee during the current school year is changing how Knox County Schools operates.

The law does not allow third graders to continue on to fourth grade unless they score proficiently in English Language Arts on the TCAP.

“That marker indicates typically whether students will reach a level of success in further advanced years of their learning,” said Dr. Erin Phillips, executive director of learning and literacy for Knox County Schools.

Knox County Schools has planned accordingly throughout this school year with the new law in effect.

“We have taken in consideration the academic supports that our students might need as implications of the law become relevant to them,” Phillips said. “We are working to increase the student capacity that we have for our summer learning more by prioritizing that rising fourth-grade group.”

There are two important dates coming up for students and parents, the first phase being on May 19.

“That first phase will just indicate students who reach the proficiency cut score or students who didn’t reach proficiency cut score,” Phillips said.

Then on May 26, the Tennessee Department of Education releases the second round of data which will show the category of testing scoring.

“We will know with certainty the students who are required to attend summer learning camp and tutoring for the 2023-2024 academic year and we will know the students that will have options,” Phillips said. “Those students scoring ‘approaching’ have the option to select to attend summer school or participate in year-long tutoring.”

Phillips encourages parents not to stress out about upcoming dates.