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.

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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.

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)

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 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 are the early literacy screening tools and screening process for Bellevue School District?

Incorporating assessments in 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. Our current K-2 English reading assessment, DIBELS, includes literacy measures for three of the four required 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.

In addition, Bellevue School District will follow OSPI guidelines in the selection of one additional assessment tool for Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN).

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

To view the recommended skill screening timeline by grade, please select the desired grade level.

*Current as of December 1, 2020 per OSPI website

What if my student’s screening results show possible indicators of dyslexia?

The literacy screening tools are assessing the following skills: phonemic awareness, phonological awareness, letter sound knowledge, and rapid automatized naming and may show weaknesses associated with dyslexia. Therefore, the certificated classroom teacher of record, should work with their school’s support team to determine:

  • if further assessments are needed
  • if specific interventions are needed
  • plan for parent/guardian communication and further partnership.

For more information:

Teaching & Learning
The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.