What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia causes difficulty in the skills needed for learning to read, spell and write, but it is much more than that. Studies have found that as many as one in five children in the United States demonstrate symptoms of dyslexia. While dyslexia may make reading more difficult, Concord Community Schools staff are equipped with the knowledge and resources to help all students succeed.

During the 2018-2019 school year Concord Community Schools adopted Wilson Fundations, a research-based program that we use for all students in grades kindergarten through second for early literacy instruction. This, coupled with strong assessment tools for identifying struggling readers and evidence-based intervention approaches have contributed to our steady student achievement growth over the past several years as we have improved 33 percentile points when compared to other districts across the state.

CONCORD’S PLAN

The Concord School Board approved the district’s Dyslexia Plan and Protocols in September 2019.

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INFORMATION NIGHT

Concord Community Schools will host a Dyslexia Information Night from 5:30-6:30 p.m. October 16.

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PARENT FACT SHEET

A quick reference guide for parents about dyslexia screenings, plans, and protocols.

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Why am I hearing about dyslexia screening now for the first time?

In July 2018 the Indiana General Assembly passed and Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law, Senate Enrolled Act 217, more commonly known as Indiana’s Dyslexia Law. Concord has been proactive in identifying struggling readers starting in kindergarten and providing research-based interventions, however with the new law we wanted to take the opportunity to provide information to parents and the community may be interested in learning more about dyslexia.

What reading skill areas will Concord use to screen my child?

Students will be screened in the following areas: Phonological and phonemic awareness, alphabet knowledge, sound symbol recognition, decoding skills, rapid naming skills, and encoding skills. These screening areas are required under SEA 217 but also represent the best understanding of effective screening procedures for dyslexia.

What interventions exist if my child is not found at risk for dyslexia, but is still having trouble with reading?

Concord Community Schools utilize many research-based interventions including Mindplay Virtual Reading Coach, Wilson Fundations, Orton-Gillingham, DIBELs Burst, and many others. Students identified as having reading difficulties are placed in intervention that best matches their need by a multidisciplinary team of professionals within the school. Their progress is monitored on a regular basis and adjustments are made based on their progress.

My child is older than the students being screened, but struggles with reading. What should I do?

Contact your child’s teacher. Under Indiana law, you have the right to request a special education evaluation at any time. Please note that just because your child is struggling with reading does not necessarily mean that they are eligible for special education or that an evaluation would be the best course of action at this time. In addition, talk to your child’s teacher or building principal regarding the supports that are already in place to help them grow as a reader.

How will I know if my child is found at risk for dyslexia?

After Concord staff are finished analyzing all the data from the screeners, parents of students found to be “at risk” or “at some risk” of having characteristics of dyslexia will be notified in writing of the results of the screeners.

What are the next steps if my child is found at risk for dyslexia?

If the school determines that additional testing is needed, the school will seek the parent’s permission. If the school proceeds with intervention the parent will be notified.

What is the timeline for testing for dyslexia?

For the 2019-2020 school year, second grade students will be assessed in October and Kindergarten and first grade students will be assessed at the end of January and into early February.

What resources are available for me to learn more about dyslexia?

There are many resources on the internet. The International Dyslexia Association would be a good place to start in order to learn more about dyslexia. If you prefer to read books consider picking up ``Overcoming Dyslexia`` by Dr. Sally Schaywitz or ``The Proust and the Squid`` by Dr. Maryanne Wolf.

I have questions/concerns about my child’s reading ability. Who should I contact?

Please contact your child's teacher or building principal. A staff directory containing the names of all Concord Community Schools staff can be found online at www.concord.k12.in.us under the ``DEPARTMENTS`` tab. Staff directories for individuals buildings can be found on the individual school websites under the ``PARENTS`` tab.

I have a question about Concord’s strategies involving dyslexia. Who should I contact?

Director of Elementary Education Mickey Wagner can be reached at 574-875-5161.

DYSLEXIA REPORTING

In accordance with IC 20-35.5-5-2, Concord Community Schools shall publicly report on its website the following information related to dyslexia:

The following information pertains to the 2018-2019 school year.  However, since the new dyslexia statute did not become fully enacted until the 2019-2020 school year, this information simply complies with the law and should not be used to make a determination of the district’s policies or practices.

2018-2019 DATA
  • The dyslexia interventions that were used – DIBELs Burst, Fundations, LLI
  • The number of students who received dyslexia interventions – Zero
  • The total number of students identified as being at risk for dyslexia during the previous school year – Zero

The International Dyslexia Association: Indiana Branch defines dyslexia as “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.”