Senate Enrolled Act 217 requires that Indiana’s public and charter schools work proactively to identify and support struggling readers who show risk factors of dyslexia.
To ensure both compliance with this mandate and maximum support for students, all kindergarten through second grade students will be participating in a universal screener developed to assess six different reading skill areas. These areas are:
- Phonological and phonemic awareness (ability to separate and change sounds in words)
- Alphabet knowledge (identify and name letters)
- Sound symbol relationship (phonics)
- Decoding (reading words)
- Rapid naming (quickly name common objects), and
- Encoding (spelling)
Schools will inform families if their child scores above or below the benchmark. Students who fall below benchmark on the universal screener may be “at risk” or “at some risk” for the characteristics of dyslexia and need extra help to learn these skills. Families will receive the child’s scores, information about the characteristics of dyslexia, more specific information on the student’s skills, and plans for appropriate intervention.
Intervention lessons use multiple approaches for learning the skills needed to be a successful reader. Schools may use one or all of the following interventions - Orton-Gillingham, Seeing Stars, Visualizing/Verbalizing, or Leveled Literacy Instruction. Throughout the year, schools will inform and update parents on student progress. During the 2020-2021 school year, proactive interventions were provided to 545 struggling readers.
Please note: Reading interventions are not special education support. Reading interventions are strategic and multi-sensory approaches to build the specific skills needed to be a competent reader. Parents who are concerned can request a full special education evaluation at any point in the intervention process to see if their child may qualify for special education services.