Michael Cummo/Wyoming Tribune Eagle
A note from WY Lit's founders
Dyslexia is the most common cause of reading, writing, and spelling difficulties. It is estimated that about 20% of the population is impacted by Dyslexia to varying degrees. For this reason, educator awareness of how to identify Dyslexia and support Dyslexic children is extremely important for the academic success of our children and will ultimately reduce the cost of Special Education in Wyoming.
Neuroscience research shows that the earlier that reading difficulties are identified, the more effectively they can be remediated. In 2012, Wyoming passed legislation requiring districts to screen for signs of Dyslexia in Kindergarten through 3rd grade. For a variety of complex reasons, this legislation was not effectively implemented. Both of our Dyslexic children fell through the cracks as a result of this legislation not being well-implemented so we decided to take action.
In early 2019, we partnered with the Wyoming Department of Education and other state and local educational stakeholders to strengthen this legislation. The result of our work was the passage of House Bill 297, K-3 Reading Assessment and Intervention. The amended bill requires that specific foundational reading skills are screened for all students, K-3. It requires that districts use evidence-based core reading and intervention programs and that every educator who teachers or supports reading is trained trained in the these programs.
We were subsequently contracted to partner with the Wyoming Department of Education to write implementation guidelines for the bill and to create the Individual Reading Plan required for struggling readers. We are now working with districts to support them in implementing this legislation.
We hope to strengthen this legislation in the future by requiring annual Dyslexia training for all K-12 teachers about Dyslexia and how to differentiate it from other reading difficulties. We also hope to require training for all administrators educators about effective design and implementation of the RTI/MTSS and IEP/504 processes. Our future plans include addressing the reading screening and intervention needs of secondary students.
Wyoming House Bill 297
W.S. § 21-3-401
July 1, 2019
AN ACT relating to education; amending the reading assessment and intervention program required for students in grades kindergarten through grade three; and providing for an effective date. Each school district shall select and implement a reading assessment and intervention program that uses an instrument that screens for signs of dyslexia and other reading difficulties as early as possible in kindergarten through grade three (3) and that implements with fidelity an evidence-based intervention program.
Wyoming House Bill 297
Wyoming Department of Education
Early identification and remediation of potential reading difficulties is the key to preventing reading failure and ensuring that all students are proficient readers by the end of 3rd grade. Universal Screening of students for signs of dyslexia and other reading difficulties beginning in Kindergarten is one of the first steps in this prevention process. Tier 1 core reading curricula, Tier 2 supports, and Tier 3 interventions also need to be reviewed to ensure that they are (a) evidence-based (b) being administered as intended (c) being administered with fidelity.
This 2019 K-3 Early Literacy Guidance Manual provides information and resources related to early literacy practices and provides districts guidance on implementing the requirements of 2019 House Bill 297, now codified in W.S. § 21-3-401.