OCTOBER IS DYSLEXIA AWARENESS MONTH
Again this year, Minnesota's Governor has proclaimed October as Dyslexia Awareness Month. There are many ways for you to join in spreading awareness and educating others about dyslexia.
Share the Dyslexia Proclamation on your social media page and/or print off and give it to your school. Here is a PDF version for printing.
October 10-13 - Runaway Learning Machine - a play put on by Children's Performing Arts about a story of growing up in the 1950s and '60s with undiagnosed dyslexia and struggling through a "try harder" educational system. Decoding Dyslexia Minnesota will host a panel after the Thursday night's show and have an information table after each show to answer questions about dyslexia.
- For other dyslexia awareness events this month, go to The Reading Center, International Dyslexia Association, and Groves websites.
RECORDED EVENTS IN THE COMMUNITY
(recorded and slides) - Higher Education Literacy Partnership (HELP) hosted a Webinar called “How Minnesota's New and Amended Education Statutes Apply to You" which featured the Minnesota Department of Education Dyslexia Specialist, Dr. Amy Schulting. Decoding Dyslexia Minnesota is a partner with the Higher Education Literacy Partnership.
(recorded) - Facebook Live: New Dyslexia Laws Panel. The Reading Center hosted a Facebook Live event to hear more about the historic legislation that was passed this year to help students with dyslexia and other struggling readers in Minnesota. The panel will include members of the Dyslexia Coalition (Decoding Dyslexia MN, The Reading Center, IDA and Groves Acadamy).
Groves Academy is currently searching for a new President. Find the position profile here.
MDE has updated their website with a page dedicated to dyslexia. It is packed with information including resources that can help with back to school.
DYSLEXIA ADVOCACY WORKSHOP
In January 2019, Decoding Dyslexia Minnesota hosted a Dyslexia Advocacy Workshop for parents and teachers. We have three videos from the workshop:
- The DDMN Board Member Panel discussed how to advocate for your child in the school system;
- Senator Roger Chamberlain discussed what people can do at the legislative level; and
- A Parent District Leader went over a detailed plan on how to organize a group in one's own school district to bring about meaningful change for students with dyslexia.
2019 LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME
Dyslexia screening and mandatory dyslexia instruction in teacher preparation programs have passed and both effective July 1, 2020. Also, the term "balanced" was deleted from the teacher preparation reading instruction requirement and replaced with "structured". See the Legislative page for more details.
Ongoing Dyslexia Awareness
The Reading Center offers an online 5 hour Dyslexia 101 informational course for educators designed to provide an increased understanding of dyslexia, what it looks like in the classroom, accommodations and more. It is a self-paced course with no start or end date. 5 CEUs
Free Dyslexia Tutoring in Superior, WI
The Dyslexia Centers for Children of Upper Wisconsin recently opened a campus location in Superior, Wisconsin. These campuses provide one-to-one structured language instruction to children who struggle to read, write, and spell. Services are provided at no cost to families, and are open to anyone committed to consistent and regular attendance, regardless of their state of residency. Accredited tutor training for adults is also provided at the Dyslexia Center campuses, at no cost to trainees. Dyslexia Centers for Children of Upper Wisconsin is currently accepting applications for new tutors and students. Apply today at www.wicdc.org
Parents Advocacy For Struggling Readers - What Does MN Statute have to say?
"My school doesn’t say dyslexia."
In 2015, the definition of dyslexia was passed into MN Statute 125A.01, Subd 2. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) also says dyslexia.
"Our school doesn’t have any resources on dyslexia."
A comprehensive guide was developed by MDE and Decoding Dyslexia MN called “Navigating the School System when a Child is Struggling with Reading or Dyslexia”. and can be found under Parent Resources.
In 2017, funds were appropriated for MDE to hire a Dyslexia Specialist to provide technical assistance for dyslexia, to serve as the primary source of information, to support schools in addressing the needs of students with dyslexia, and to increase professional awareness and instructional competencies to meet the needs of these students (MN Statute 120B.122).
"How are schools identifying and serving students that have characteristics of dyslexia?"
MN Statute 120B.12, Subd 2, states that each school district must report to MDE their “efforts to screen and identify students with dyslexia to the commissioner by July 1st of each year.” A student identified must be provided with alternative instruction under MN Statute 125A.56 Subd 1, that is multisensory, systematic, sequential, cumulative, and explicit.
In 2017, MN Statute 120B.12, Subd 3b, was changed to state that a “school district is strongly encouraged to provide a Personal Learning Plan for a student who is unable to demonstrate grade-level proficiency, and should be developed in consultation with the student’s parent or guardian. The personal learning plan must address knowledge gaps and skill deficiencies”.
"My school wants to stop reading intervention since my child is past 3rd grade."
In 2017, an amendment was added to MN Statute 120B.12, Subd 3, stating that the district must continue to provide reading intervention past 3rd grade until the child is reading at grade level.
"How do I know what assessments our elementary school provides to track reading progress?"
Each school district is required to have a Local Literacy Plan posted on its website per MN Statute 120B.12, Subd 4a, that explains the school’s “plan to have every child reading at or above grade level no later than the end of grade 3”. If you can’t find it on your district’s website, ask for it.
For a printable version of the above statements, click here.
For a longer version including the statute language, click here.
DDMN Teacher Survey Results 2018
DDMN conducted a teacher survey to find out more about the learning opportunities for dyslexia in teacher preparation programs and professional development. Click here to see the results.
MDE's Dyslexia Screening Guide for school districts
MDE has put together a Dyslexia Screening Guide for MN School districts to help them be compliant with the new dyslexia screening law. The following question would be a great question to ask your school district, "What was the reporting results that our district provided to MDE last July about our districts efforts to screen and identify students with dyslexia per MN Statute 120B.12, Subd 2?"
Find the Dyslexia Screening Guide on the MDE website called Revising Local Literacy Plans to Include “Efforts to Identify Students with Dyslexia - 8/16/17" This guidance is provided to address district response to students with dyslexia under Minnesota's reading intervention law. Another document called Assessment Plan References was also created by MDE providing assessments that are used by districts across the state.
You can contact Decoding Dyslexia Minnesota at firstname.lastname@example.org