Bill would fine-tune requirements for dyslexia screenings
Friday, May 5, 2017
Senate Bill 1003, which had a public hearing Wednesday before the House Education Committee, was drafted to ensure a smooth implementation of dyslexia screening in Oregon school districts.
The 2015 Legislature passed a bill requiring every student first enrolled at a school or public charter school for kindergarten or first grade to be screened for dyslexia risk factors and a notification to be sent to parents.
The original bill required school districts to ensure that at least one teacher in kindergarten through grade five at each school receive training related to dyslexia screening, with training to be funded from the Network for Quality Teaching and Learning.
Three areas needed some technical adjustments before the scheduled launch for the 2018-19 school year, starting with the actual student screening:
No specific screening tool can definitively diagnose a student for dyslexia. Current testing being administered can flag a student who may show signs of dyslexia or reading difficulty. SB 1003 clarifies that universal screening for risk factors is to be administered to all kindergartners and any first-graders not previously screened. A family history survey, aimed at discovering other family members with difficulties learning to read, would be taken by every student flagged for risks.
The Oregon Department of Education would be charged with providing recommended best practices for interventions for students whose screening showed risk factors. ODE would report to the Legislature on next steps and best practices for expanding screening and student-level interventions by September 2018.
The timeline for teacher training would be extended to July 1, 2018, to allow for greater success in implementing dyslexia screening. An education service district would be able to provide the K-5 teacher training to districts with insufficient resources to implement the law.
OSBA helped with the technical adjustments and supports dyslexia screening with the extended time frame and extra resources for teacher training.