Policy and Procedures » Academics » Screening for Dyslexia

Screening for Dyslexia

5339 Screening for Dyslexia
 

In accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 18A:40-5.1 et seq., the Board of

Education shall ensure each student enrolled in the school district who has

exhibited one or more potential indicators of dyslexia or other reading disabilities

is screened for dyslexia and other reading disabilities using a screening instrument

selected pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 18A:40-5.2. This screening shall

be administered no later than the student’s completion of the first semester of the

second grade.

 

In the event a student enrolls in the district in Kindergarten through grade six and

has no record of being previously screened for dyslexia or other reading

disabilities, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:40-5.2, the Board shall ensure the newlyenrolled

student is screened for dyslexia and other reading disabilities using a

screening instrument selected pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:40-5.2. This screening

shall be administered at the same time other students enrolled in the student's

grade are screened for dyslexia and other reading disabilities or, if other students

enrolled in the student's grade have previously been screened, within ninety

calendar days of the date the student is enrolled in the district. The screenings

shall be administered by a teacher or other teaching staff member properly trained

in the screening process for dyslexia and other reading disabilities.

 

For the purposes of this Policy, “dyslexia” means 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 growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.

For the purposes of this Policy, “potential indicators of dyslexia or other reading

disabilities” means indicators that include, but shall not be limited to, difficulty in

acquiring language skills; inability to comprehend oral or written language;

difficulty in rhyming words; difficulty in naming letters, recognizing letters,

matching letters to sounds, and blending sounds when speaking and reading 

words; difficulty recognizing and remembering sight words; consistent

transposition of number sequences, letter reversals, inversions, and substitutions;

and trouble in replication of content.

 

In accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 18A:40-5.2(a), the Commissioner

of Education shall distribute to each Board of Education information on screening

instruments available to identify students who possess one or more potential

indicators of dyslexia or other reading disabilities. The Commissioner shall

provide information on the screening instruments appropriate for Kindergarten

through grade two students and on screening instruments that may be suitably

used for older students. The Board shall select and implement age-appropriate

screening instruments for the early diagnosis of dyslexia and other reading

disabilities.

 

In accordance with provisions of N.J.S.A. 18A:40-5.2(b), the Commissioner shall

also develop and distribute to each Board of Education guidance on appropriate

intervention strategies for students diagnosed with dyslexia or other reading

disabilities.

 

In the event a student is determined, through the screening conducted in

accordance with N.J.S.A. 18A:40-5.3, to possess one or more potential indicators

of dyslexia or other reading disabilities pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A

18A:40-5.1 et seq., the Board shall ensure the student receives a comprehensive

assessment for the learning disorder. In the event a diagnosis of dyslexia or other

reading disability is confirmed by the comprehensive assessment, the Board shall

provide appropriate evidence-based intervention strategies to the student,

including intense instruction on phonemic awareness, phonics and fluency,

vocabulary, and reading comprehension.

 

In accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 18A:6-131, general education

teachers in grades Kindergarten through three, special education teachers, basic

skills teachers, English as a second language teachers, reading specialists,

learning disabilities teacher consultants, and speech-language specialists are

required to complete at least two hours of professional development each year on 

the screening, intervention, accommodation, and use of technology for students

with reading disabilities, including dyslexia. The Board may make these

professional development opportunities available to other instructional or support

staff members as the Board deems appropriate. This requirement for professional

development in reading disabilities may be part of the twenty hours of annual

professional development required by N.J.A.C. 6A:9C et seq. Documentation of

teachers’ fulfillment of this professional development requirement shall be

maintained in the district.

 

 

N.J.S.A. 18A:40-5.1; 18A:40-5.2; 18A:40-5.3; 18A:40-5.4;

               18A:6-131

 

Adopted: 23 October 2014

Revised: 27 August 2015

Revised: 28 July 2016