The Northshore School District (NSD) Dyslexia Committee will begin meeting during the 2017-18 school year. The focus of the committee is to: 1) create a common understanding and definition of dyslexia through a comprehensive review of current research; 2) study, analyze, and recommend coordinated proactive systems for the identification, instruction, progress monitoring, and service delivery models for students who may be at-risk for dyslexia; 3) identify professional development needs of staff; and 4) monitor service implementation and review educational outcomes.
The committee’s recommendations will be submitted to the superintendent for consideration and action. Recommendations will be in alignment with the NSD Strategic Plan and the delivery of services consistent with the RTI (Response to Instruction) component of the MTSS framework. To this end, the following will comprise the charge to the group:
- Compilation of objective evidence of the why this work is essential.
- Comprehensive understanding of the MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Services) illustrating the interconnected components of RTI and PBIS as a comprehensive service delivery framework to address the needs of students at risk for learning to read.
- Creation of the district’s definition of dyslexia with recommendations for the application and use throughout district processes and systems.
- Review, understand and reach agreement of the required components of a comprehensive reading approach with essential supporting assessment structures for students at risk of learning to read.
- Review current district core (basic education) and supplemental (LAP, Title) reading services K-5 and supporting assessment structures (screening, diagnostic, formative, summative), with consideration of services for secondary students as future work of the committee.
- Propose short term ideas and suggestions for ways to address the "gap students" (those needing assistance now) - how to identify and serve until the work of the committee is completed.
- Submit recommendations for the implementation of a comprehensive tiered model of services for reading instruction and integrated assessment systems to proactively address needs of students learning to read.
- Submit recommendations for professional development to ensure the appropriate implementation of assessments, core instruction, and supplemental supports. Identify and recommend PD strategies and existing training opportunities that can be readily disseminated and accessed which will enable immediate implementation by staff.
- Submit recommendations for the inclusion of parents as partners in this effort.
- All recommendations will explicitly address equity, diversity, and inclusive practices.
At the end of the day, we expect the Dyslexia Committee to develop a model for proactively identifying, instructing, and assessing all students learning to read, which will reduce the number of students needing additional supports and structures not inclusive of general education. The model will clearly show the relation between general education and special education addressing how the provision of FAPE to entitled students is accessed. Implementation of this model will show that students with dyslexia can learn to read.
The committee is expected to deliver an interim report to the Superintendent by June 1, 2018, and a final report to the Superintendent by May 1, 2019, summarizing the work and recommendations. Becky Anderson, Assistant Superintendent of Special Services and Heather Miller, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education will co-chair this committee.