NEWS RELEASE: FCPS Prepares Structured Literacy Specialists
Teachers Train to Address Dyslexia
June 7, 2019 Frederick County Public Schools is a state leader in preparing reading teachers to deliver structured literacy intervention to struggling readers in every school. In the rigorous 10-month training-and-supervision practicum, the first group of 41 teachers is one exam away from national recognition as dually certified academic language and dyslexia practitioners.
Board of Education President Brad W. Young, Vice President Joy Schaefer, and member Karen Yoho attended the recent FCPS Language Foundations Celebration to recognize the teachers’ work and acknowledge those involved in the structured literacy specialist preparation. The FCPS initiative aims to train more than 120 teachers in the Orton-Gillingham based reading-intervention methods.
Just one year into the program, teachers are reporting significant gains in their students’ reading performance: “One day we were doing a reading benchmark assessment, and one of the students crushed it! The other students in the group started cheering, and we had such a celebration! The student then looked at me and said, ‘Thank you for teaching my brain how to read. Maybe I am
smart.’ That student is reading every night at home. He is the biggest cheerleader for peers, willing to do whatever it takes to reach his reading goals.”
A parent shared her child’s success story: “For the first time in his school career he is asking to go pick out books at the library. Every night he comes home from school and goes straight to his room to read. He has never done that before. Thank you so much for believing in my child!”
FCPS has upgraded and expanded reading-intervention offerings, incorporated a new evidence-based reading screener, and hired dyslexia therapists to provide the most intensive support available for students struggling to read. The school system continues to evaluate and improve the elementary language arts program.
Staff from the Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center are helping deliver the accredited professional development and to supervise preparation of teachers for national certification. FCPS staff instrumental in program planning and delivery are Dr. Jamie Aliveto, Jennifer Bingman and Margaret Hawk.
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For more information, please contact
FCPS Director of System Accountability and School Improvement
Dr. Jamie Aliveto
Center Maryland's Morning Rundown on June 20, 2019 included the following synopsis:
3 Ways Educators Nationwide are Working to Disrupt Dyslexia
"A number of states and districts are embracing more research- and science-based approaches to literacy instruction amid growing awareness of the reading disability. Arkansas is working to provide support for students with dyslexia through efforts to retrain teachers and change the way reading instruction is delivered, with a focus on methods based on the science of how students learn to read. That shift to change how reading instruction is served isn't happening in every state, however, despite dyslexia affecting one in 10 people worldwide, according to a 2014 report from Dyslexia International. In some cases, parents say they can’t even use the word when speaking with their child’s school, Nancy Duggan, executive director of Decoding Dyslexia Massachusetts, told Education Dive. (EducationDive)"
St. Mary's County, MD
is highlighted in the full story by author Lauren Barack. Read the article
to learn about the innovative approach in St. Mary's County Public Schools.
On June 25, 2019 Here and Now
(WBUR) aired, Maryland Law Aims To Identify Reading Disorders Early. Does It Go Far Enough?,
by Jenny Abamu. The segment featured Montgomery County, MD. Listen
and join the discussion. You can find DDMD's coverage of the original WAMU story in our June newsletter