Home State Required Information ACT 1039- Dyslexia Screening and Intervention

ACT 1039- Dyslexia Screening and Intervention

BACKGROUND

In 2013, the Arkansas Legislature passed ACT 1294 to ensure that children with the characteristics of dyslexia would have their needs met by the state’s public school system.

In 2015, ACT 1268 expanded this initiative by modifying the requirements concerning dyslexia screenings, and clarifying actions required by the state, educational cooperatives, and school districts.

In October of 2016, the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) updated the rules governing the implementation of ACT 1268. These updated rules provided further clarification, guidance, and instruction on how to meet the needs of students showing characteristics of dyslexia. 

In April of 2017, the Arkansas Legislature passed ACT 1039 to further amend and clarify code provisions regarding dyslexia screenings and intervention, and to add specific enforcement provisions tied to school accreditation. It also added new public posting requirements. The information on this page meets or exceeds all public posting requirements.

INTERVENTION PROGRAM

All Arkansas public schools must have an Intervention Program in place to assist any students identified as having characteristics of dyslexia. The Hector School District primarily uses the Phonics First rlac.com/phonics-first as an early intervention as well as Barton Reading and Spelling System, developed by internationally-recognized expert, Susan Barton. For students not yet ready for the Barton program, we use the LiPS® phoneme sequencing program from Lindamood-Bell. 

STUDENT DATA

During the 2017-2018 school year, the Hector School District identified a total of 38 students* showing characteristics of dyslexia. All of these students were placed in the Hector School District’s approved intervention program. Specific numbers by campus were:

Hector Elementary School:     52

Hector High School:    10

*Note: These are composite totals for the 2017-2018 school year. Due to student transfers in and out of the district, these numbers may be slightly different from the final numbers on the state report. 

DYSLEXIA INTERVENTIONISTS

All Arkansas public schools must have trained Dyslexia Interventionists on staff. The Dyslexia Interventionists for the Hector School District are:

Hector Elementary School: Juanita Sigler, Lisa MacBrayer

Hector High School: Keri Mathis, Renae Dixson

Note: All K-4 teachers are trained in Phonics First. This is the first step in determining early signs of dyslexia. Phonics First® is RLAC’s nationally accredited Orton-Gillingham course used to teach literacy. Phonics First® employs the Orton-Gillingham principles of instruction to reading, is language-based, multisensory, structured, sequential, cumulative, cognitive, and flexible. 

RLAC’s Phonics First® curriculum adheres to new Common Core State Standards and meets Learning Forward’s (formerly National Staff & Professional Development Council) standards for professional development. Our Phonics First® programs are accredited through both the IDA (International Dyslexia Association) under their Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading and through IMSLEC (International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council) at the Teaching Level and Instructor of Teaching Levels.

*In addition, Tawnya Newton (the dyslexia specialist at Arch Ford Educational Cooperative) serves as our regional dyslexia specialist.

SCREENINGS

All Arkansas public schools are required to conduct initial screening in Kindergarten through 2nd grade for indicators of Dyslexia. In addition, all schools are required to screen any student in the 3rd – 12th grade who appears to be experiencing difficulty (as noted by a classroom teacher). 

Screening tools used by the Hector School District may include DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills), DSA (Developmental Spelling Analysis), AR-RAN (Arkansas Rapid Automatized Naming Screener), CTOPP2 (Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing), and WJ IV (Woodcock-Johnson tests) as needed. 

DYSLEXIA RESOURCE GUIDE

The Arkansas Department of Education has created a Dyslexia Resource Guide to provide guidance for districts, schools, and teachers as they seek to effectively meet Arkansas code provisions regarding Dyslexia screening and intervention. In addition to Dyslexia specifics, it also outlines the relationship of Dyslexia Intervention to RTI, and how this combination meets IDEA (the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). The Hector School District is in full compliance with all provisions of this Guide.