We believe that every child deserves an excellent education. Each and every child has the potential to learn and grow to high standards. To help students learn and thrive, we use data from assessments along with teacher observations and conversations with families and then, in partnership, develop intervention supports to help students, including those who exhibit signs of dyslexia.

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a difference in the way the brain processes information. Students with dyslexia often display many strengths including creativity, the ability to see the bigger picture, and spatial knowledge. These very strengths can be leveraged to help them learn because students with dyslexic tendencies can have a more challenging time learning to read, write, and spell.

What approaches help students with dyslexia learn to read?

With a multisensory approach to learning, kids with dyslexia don’t just learn to read, write, and spell–but thrive at it. A multisensory approach includes visual, auditory, and kinesthetic/tactile modalities, and connects reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Instructional support for students includes explicit and systematic instruction of phonics and skills during universal reading instruction.

What assessments and literacy screeners are used?

Our current K-2 English reading assessment, DIBELS, includes literacy measures for the following areas:

  • Phonemic Awareness: the ability to hear, identify, move or change the smallest units of sound in spoken words.
  • Phonological Awareness: encompasses speech sounds, such as rhyming, alliteration, the number of words in a sentence, and the syllables within words.
  • Letter-Sound Knowledge: the sounds represented by letters of the alphabet and combinations of letters that make speech sounds.

New assessments will be added that will continue to assess K-2 readers in those areas, plus the addition of an assessment for:

  • Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN): the ability to quickly name aloud a series of familiar items, including letters, numbers, colors, and objects found in a classroom.

How will these assessments fulfill the Washington State requirements for K-2 literacy screening tools?

Incorporating assessments in all four areas (Phonemic Awareness, Phonological Awareness, Letter Sound Knowledge, and Rapid Automatized Naming) will fulfill state requirements for K-2 literacy screening tools and provide valuable information for supporting students. The timeline for full implementation of the K-2 literacy screening tools is the 2021-22 school year.

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