On October 25th, Pleasanton Unified School District held a board meeting which included a discussion regarding how to better support students with dyslexia. This meeting was a follow up, or second reading, to a discussion regarding the same which took place on October 10th. On October 25th, the Board of Trustees voted to approve new curriculum for students with dyslexia and other reading difficulties.
The District and Board Members engaged in very specific discussions regarding assessments, curriculum, implementation, and staff training. Parents from the community spoke at meeting and raised some concerns.
I am providing my notes from viewing the meetings on-line. If this issue is of interest to you it is worth the time to watch the portions of the October 10th and 25th meetings as they relate to dyslexia: http://www.tri-valleytv.org/streaming/PSB/PSB-10-10-16.html and http://www.tri-valleytv.org/streaming/PSB/PSB-10-25-16.html. Even if you do not live in the Pleasanton USD you can observe some of the discussions that are involved in making changes within your own district.
The District gave an update on their tiers of support. Tier 1 describes a universal support system used in a general education classroom. Tier 2 describes a targeted instruction used for students who have been identified as needing some additional supports. Tier 3 describes intensive instruction and is used by students with IEPs and 504 Plans. Students with 504s are generally education students who may qualify for intensive instruction in Tier 3.
The District plans to roll out their supplemental instructional resources and materials for phonological process (dyslexia) and other reading challenges in two phases.
Phase 1 would provide Wilson Tiers 1 (“Fundations”) and 2 instructional resources (“Just Words”) to students in Tiers 1 and 2. The District would provide Wilson Tier 3 intensive instructional resources (“Wilson Reading System”) and materials to students receiving special education and 504 Plans based upon assessment results and progress in intervention. Students in Tier 3, who don’t meet the criteria for the Wilson Reading System, may be eligible for support through Fundations or Just Words.
Phase 1 will also consist of teacher and instructional staff training, instructional coaching, student screenings, and progress monitoring.
Phase 2 will include further review of research-based intervention programs and additional supplemental curriculum proposals brought to the board.
From here the District will purchase the Wilson materials and begin training. Training for teachers in Fundations and Just Words will begin within a month of receiving the curriculum. Two teachers will be trained in the Wilson Reading System which is a year long program. Additional teachers may be added at a later date.
Parents who appeared at the meeting were given a brief chance to speak. Some concerns were raised regarding the assessment process and implementation of the Wilson materials. I would like to encourage parents who have a child with a diagnosis of dyslexia or believe their child may have dyslexia to follow this issue and get involved in the discussion.
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