Senate Bill 48
Per Senate Bill 48, beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, the State School Superintendent, Mr. Richard Woods, established a three-year pilot program to demonstrate and evaluate the effectiveness of early reading assistance programs for students with risk factors of dyslexia. Senate Bill 48 requires local school systems to begin screening all kindergarten students and certain students in grades 1-3 for characteristics of dyslexia starting 2024-2025 school year. Muscogee County School District is currently developing procedures and guidelines to assist staff with the identification of students with dyslexia characteristics and providing professional development opportunities to learn appropriate instructional strategies needed to improve reading achievement.
Screening Tools and Practices
Renaissance Star Early Literacy is a brief computer-based assessment of students’ foundational reading, language, vocabulary, and numeracy skills. Questions get harder or easier based on how a student responds. Star Early Literacy addresses children’s mastery of literacy and early numeracy concepts directly related to their future success as readers. Star Early Literacy assesses proficiency in Word knowledge and skills, Comprehension strategies and constructing meaning, and Numbers and operations. The following graphic includes examples of the skills assessed:
Renaissance Star Reading is a computer-based assessment of a student's understanding of various reading comprehension strategies, such as identifying main ideas and details, making inferences, understanding sequence, and understanding words and phrases in context.
Renaissance Star CBM Reading is administered one-on-one and brief measures of letter naming, letter sounds, passage oral reading, phoneme segmentation, receptive and expressive nonsense word reading, rapid automatic naming, and passage oral reading, all of which relate directly to the latest research in early literacy assessment of students.
Parents of students meeting specific criteria for screening with Renaissance Star CBM receive notification from the student’s teacher or other school staff to obtain consent to the additional screening. Schools provide additional resources and plans to support students’ literacy and reading growth.
What is Dyslexia?
The Georgia Department of the Education uses the definition of dyslexia adopted by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) which states: “Dyslexia is 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 the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”
Supporting Students with Characteristics of Dyslexia in MCSD
Muscogee County School District is currently developing a process to assess students’ level of reading proficiency, establish criteria and procedures to identify students with characteristics of dyslexia, notify and involve parents, and provide appropriate instruction and intervention to students who do not meet grade level reading expectations. This plan is a systematic approach to provide every student with evidence-based literacy instruction by determining instructional need through screening and providing professional learning to staff.
Our goal is to have every student able to read at or above grade level by the end of grade 3. This plan supports our district’s Mission and Vision and promotes a solid foundation of literacy skill development among all students to ensure they are college and career ready by graduation. Our district’s Superintendent, Dr. David F. Lewis, also developed Strategic Priorities that serve as a guide to ensure all students receive high quality instruction based on their individual needs, including those who have characteristics of dyslexia.
- How common are language-based learning disabilities?
- Can individuals who have dyslexia learn to read?
- How do people "get" dyslexia?
- Can dyslexia be cured?
- Do children with dyslexia see and write letters backwards?
- Can students with dyslexia perform well in school?
- Where can I go for help if I think my child has dyslexia?