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Dyslexia Screening and Supports for Students with Dyslexia

"Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge." 

- Adopted by the IDA Board of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002. This definition is also used by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). 

A Strong Foundation in Literacy for All

The Beaverton School District believes that learning to read and write is an essential right for all students to ensure equity, access to academic rigor and college and career readiness.  Because of this belief, BSD has prioritized support for all students by:

  • providing quality and extensive staff development for all classroom teachers in supporting, coaching and differentiating literacy instruction for all students.

  • staffing each of our elementary schools with a highly qualified reading intervention teacher who supports both students struggling to read as well as teachers who work with struggling students.

  • adopting literacy curriculum that provides access for all reading levels, strengths and needs.

  • employing responsive and differentiated strategies and resources for explicitly teaching foundational (phonics/phonemic awareness) knowledge.

  • assessing all students with a diagnostic formative assessment and coaching tool.

  • utilizing research based and validated reading intervention practices, strategies and resources.

  • providing classroom libraries that not only include texts at varying levels of complexity, but also ensure that cultural and linguistic diversity supports all students’ learning.

Background Information

In 2017, Senate Bill 1003 was passed by the Oregon Legislature. SB 612 requires the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to:

  • designate a state-wide dyslexia specialist to provide school districts with support and resources to assist students with dyslexia and their families. 

  • design a plan to ensure that every student who is first enrolled at a public school in the state for kindergarten or first grade receives a screening for risk factors related to reading difficulties.

  • develop guidance for districts regarding instructional support for students who demonstrate risk of reading difficulties, including dyslexia.

SB 612 requires each school district to:

  • ensure that at least one certified teacher in each K-5 school receives ODE-approved training related to dyslexia. 

  • ensure that every child screened for potential reading difficulties in Kindergarten and students in first grade who are new to the district.

(MenuSite Navigation  Dyslexia. (n.d.). Retrieved March 09, 2018, from http://www.oregon.gov/ode/students-and-family/SpecialEducation/RegPrograms_BestPractice/Pages/Dyslexia.aspx)

Where is Beaverton in this work?

While the priorities listed above support all learners, readers who struggle also benefit from instruction that is systematic, explicit, cumulative and diagnostic. BSD has been an early adopter of Senate Bill 1003 to ensure that we are including researched based strategies specific to students with dyslexia by:

  • Screening all Kindergarten students (and any first grade students that are new to the district) for potential reading difficulties before November 7th using the  EasyCBM assessment.

  • Providing all 34 Reading Intervention Teachers with 40 hours of research based, dyslexia specific professional development.

  • Integrating learning strategies to address the needs of students in intervention work, including strategies to meet the needs of students with dyslexia as needed

  • Supporting classroom teachers with strategies, as needed, to support students who have reading difficulties, including Dyslexia.

What this looks like in our schools

  • Students will be screened for potential reading difficulties in grade K as well as students new to BSD in first grade. 

  • Students who show signs of reading difficulties will be provided with support for their specific needs within the classroom under the guidance of  a qualified Reading Intervention Teacher with dyslexia training.

  • Students who are more than a full year below reading expectations will be provided reading support under the guidance of a Reading Intervention Teacher with dyslexia training.

Clarifications on Dyslexia Support and BSD Policy

  • BSD does not provide dyslexia testing or diagnosis.

  • If a student falls within the BSD guidelines for reading intervention and has been diagnosed with dyslexia by an outsider evaluator, they will be provided additional reading support under the guidance of a highly qualified Reading Intervention teacher with training in dyslexia.

  • If a child has been diagnosed with dyslexia by an outside evaluator, this student will not be tutored by an outside dyslexia expert (someone not employed by BSD) within the school day on school grounds.  

  • Students will not be pulled out of core reading instruction to attend tutoring from an expert outside (not a BSD employee) during the school day on school grounds.

  • While our teachers may collaborate with outside tutors on the strategies and goals set for students, teachers are not required to utilize specific methodologies recommended by these professionals.