Literacy and Dyslexia Screening and Instructional Supports
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.
Scroll down to learn about:
- What are the Washington state requirements for K-2 early literacy screening?
- What literacy tests are BSD educators administering to K-2 students?
- What if my student’s screening results show indicators of dyslexia?
- What is dyslexia?
- What approaches help students with dyslexia learn to read?
- What literacy tests are BSD educators administering to 3-5 students?
- What are BSD’s universal instructional resources to support instruction and intervention K-5?
- More information about Dyslexia & Resources for Families
- RCW 28A.320.260 Dyslexia interventions
What are the Washington state requirements for K-2 early literacy screening?
In 2018 the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction selected the members of the Dyslexia Advisory Council. The council identified tools and resources to help screen for dyslexia or indicators of dyslexia and developed recommendations for implementing the screening in school districts. All Washington school districts are required to begin full implementation of early literacy screening in the 2021- 2022 school year.
What literacy tests are BSD educators administering to K-2 students?
Our K-2 BSD timeline and process follows the guidance of OSPI’s Recommended Grade Band and Literacy skills Screening Tools Timeline Matrix and (Phonemic Awareness, Phonological Awareness, Letter Sound Knowledge, and Rapid Automatized Naming) fulfills state requirements for K-2 literacy screening.
Kindergarten – 2nd BSD Timeline & Process
- Fall, September 8 – October 13: All students are administered the mCLASS DIBELS Assessment.
- Between Fall & Winter: Educator provides smCLASS Instruction, Heggerty lessons & Lexia Core 5 Lessons as needed for intervention.
- Winter, January 9 – February 10: All students are administered the mCLASS DIBELS Assessment with RAN.
- Between Winter & Spring: Educator provides mCLASS Instruction, Heggerty lessons & Lexia Core 5 Lessons as needed for intervention.
- Spring, May 15 – June 9: All students are administered the mCLASS DIBELS Assessment.
All multilingual/English learners are included in early literacy screening except students who have been enrolled less than four months in U.S. schools, per OSPI guidance. Some multilingual learners may be screened for the first time during the spring assessment window to meet the enrollment requirement of four months of US schooling. Students with reading difficulties should be identified as early as possible, but it is important to not confuse language development with a reading disability. Multilingual learners may:
- Exhibit reading behaviors and characteristics that look like native English speakers who have reading disabilities (but do not have learning disabilities).
- Struggle with both language and reading, and students of any language can have dyslexia regardless of their linguistic background.
What if my student’s screening results show possible indicators of dyslexia?
If a student’s scores show warning indicators, the classroom teacher will collaborate with the school support team to determine next steps for instruction. This will include:
- interventions with mCLASS and/or Heggerty lessons
- progress monitoring with mCLASS for specific literacy skill(s)
- plan for on-going parent/guardian communication and further partnership
The literacy screening tools are assessing the following skills:
- phonemic awareness: ability to identify and manipulate individual sounds in spoken words.
- phonological awareness: ability to recognize and manipulate the spoken parts of sentences and words.
- letter sound knowledge: knowledge of the letters or groups of letters which represent the individual speech sounds in language.
- rapid automatized naming: ability to rapidly recall familiar knowledge (when paired with items above, it may show weaknesses associated with dyslexia.
If a student does not have warning indicators of dyslexia or supplemental literacy needs, students will continue to have adaptive literacy practice within grade level specific resources such as Lexia, RazKids, NewsELA, book clubs and literacy station rotations.
What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia* is a specific learning disorder that is neurological in origin and that is characterized by unexpected difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities that are not consistent with the person’s intelligence, motivation, and sensory capabilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological components of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
*This definition of dyslexia is adopted by the 65th WA State Legislature, 2018 Regular Session. To view legislative document: E2SSB 6162 (PDF)
In short, Dyslexia is:
- neurological processing that impacts all things related to the sounds of spoken language (speech processing and production).
- It is NOT a visual problem or due to a lack of motivation, interest or exposure to literature
- It impacts each individual differently, with a spectrum of severity.
- It can impact a student’s ability in reading, spelling, writing, applying vocabulary and/or speech production.
- It is NOT a sign or lack of intelligence.
What approaches help students with dyslexia learn to read?
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.
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 literacy tests are BSD educators administering to 3-5 students?
While the law is a K-2 requirement, BSD recognizes that students in grades 3-5 may have additional literacy instructional needs. Below is the timeline and process for identifying needs and supporting with instruction.
3rd-5th BSD Timeline & Process
- Fall, September 9 – 16 (STAR) and September 8 – October 13 (DIBELS): All students complete STAR Reading Assessment. For students performing below STAR Reading grade level benchmark, classroom educators administer mCLASS DIBELS assessments to inform instructional supports.
- Between Fall & Winter: Provide mCLASS Instruction, Heggerty lessons & Lexia Core 5 Lessons as needed for intervention.
- Winter, January 4 – 27 (STAR) and January 9 – February 10 (DIBELS): All students complete STAR Reading Assessment. For students performing below STAR Reading grade level benchmark, classroom educators administer mCLASS DIBELS assessments to inform instructional supports.
- Between Winter & Spring: Provide mCLASS Instruction, Heggerty lessons & Lexia Core 5 Lessons as needed for intervention.
Spring, May 22 – June 6 (STAR): All students complete STAR Reading Assessment. Classroom educators will continue instructional supports and revise based on student data gathered during progress monitoring.
What are BSD’s universal instructional resources to support instruction and intervention K-5?
- mCLASS provides targeted and specific lessons for educators to provide for students based on student performance as measured during benchmarking assessments. The mCLASS lessons continue to refine and adapt as educators progress monitor student response to intervention in mCLASS.
- Grade level OneNotes provide instructional planning guidance AND lesson resources to address phonemic & phonological awareness and phonics.
- Lexia Core 5 is research-based and provides real-time actionable data to inform instruction using Adaptive blended learning program (students working in online environment paired with educator instructed lessons as needed).
New in Winter of 2022! Heggerty Curriculum: This is a research-based, systematic, structured and multi-sensory resource that provides classroom educators with daily phonemic and phonological awareness lessons.
More information about Dyslexia & Resources for Families
The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) provides the following resources for schools and families:
- Video: What is dyslexia? from TED-Ed (YouTube)
- Video: Dyslexic Strengths (YouTube) from Made By Dyslexia
RCW 28A.320.260 Dyslexia interventions
(1) Beginning in the 2021-22 school year, and as provided in this section, each school district must use multitiered systems of support to provide interventions to students in kindergarten through second grade who display indications of, or areas of weakness associated with, dyslexia. In order to provide school districts with the opportunity to intervene before a student’s performance falls significantly below grade level, school districts must screen students in kindergarten through second grade for indications of, or areas associated with, dyslexia as provided in this section.
(2)(a) School districts must use screening tools and resources that exemplify best practices, as described under RCW 28A.300.700.
(b) School districts may use the screening tools and resources identified by the superintendent of public instruction in accordance with RCW 28A.300.700.
(3)(a) If a student shows indications of below grade level literacy development or indications of, or areas of weakness associated with, dyslexia, the school district must provide interventions using evidence-based multitiered systems of support, consistent with the recommendations of the dyslexia advisory council under RCW 28A.300.710 and as required under this subsection (3).
(b) The interventions must be evidence-based multisensory structured literacy interventions and must be provided by an educator trained in instructional methods specifically targeting students’ areas of weakness.
(c) Whenever possible, a school district must begin by providing student supports in the general education classroom. If screening tools and resources indicate that, after receiving the initial tier of student support, a student requires interventions, the school district may provide the interventions in either the general education classroom or a learning assistance program setting. If after receiving interventions, further screening tools and resources indicate that a student continues to have indications of, or areas of weakness associated with, dyslexia, the school district must recommend to the student’s parents and family that the student be evaluated for dyslexia or a specific learning disability.
(4) For a student who shows indications of, or areas of weakness associated with, dyslexia, each school district must notify the student’s parents and family of the identified indicators and areas of weakness, as well as the plan for using multitiered systems of support to provide supports and interventions. The initial notice must also include information relating to dyslexia and resources for parental support developed by the superintendent of public instruction. The school district must regularly update the student’s parents and family of the student’s progress.
(5) School districts may use state funds provided under chapter 28A.165 RCW to meet the requirements of this section.
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