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Special Education & General Education Collaboration to Design a Coherent & Sustainable SLD/Dyslexia Identification Process
Notes pinned to board in classroom

A WHPS Dyslexia Steering Committee was created in January, 2016 to determine implications of the state of Connecticut’s newly established requirements for the identification of Dyslexia as a Specific Learning Disability. The Steering Committee established an interdisciplinary workgroup of professionals in March, 2016. The workgroup provides input and supports development of district protocols and professional learning modules for Dyslexia assessment and intervention. The mission of the workgroup is to develop a shared understanding of the SLD/Dyslexia identification process and 
establish district-wide identification protocols that can be implemented in grades K-12

The outcomes of Steering Committee strategic planning are articulated in a Multi-Year Professional Development Action Plan. In September, 2017, representation on both the Steering Committee and workgroup was expanded to include members from all schools and related disciplines.  These members consist of: speech-language pathologists, school psychologists, special education teachers, reading specialists and administrators across the district. 
The West Hartford Public Schools Dyslexia Workgroup has established a specific screening protocol to assist in determining if dyslexia risk indicators are present in a student’s learning profile. Students undergo a diagnostic screening to further examine their reading abilities to tailor interventions and determine the need for further evaluation. If a student’s profile indicates a risk for dyslexia, a referral is made to the Planning and Placement Team (PPT) in order to further evaluate if a disability in the area of reading exists. At the referral PPT, the team (parents, classroom teacher, intervention teachers, special educators, administrators, and related service providers), reviews response to intervention data, current progress relative to grade-level peers and screening results to determine if a comprehensive special education evaluation is needed to further understand how a student thinks and learns. After evaluations are completed the team reconvenes to determine eligibility for special education services using the Connecticut State Department of Education eligibility guidelines (Specific Learning Disability and Dyslexia Resources) to support decision making. If dyslexia is present, the team will determine if the child is best served by an IEP or a 504 Plan will be considered.

The WHPS Dyslexia Workgroup also engaged in professional learning around structured literacy programming. This process included examination of existing and new resources to support students identified with SLD/Dyslexia. Materials identified by the Dyslexia Workgroup, were then vetted by administrators. As a result, the district has procured new age-appropriate resources for use at the elementary and secondary levels.


Board of Ed Dyslexia Workgroup Presentation Video Link

Board of Ed Dyslexia Workgroup Report


Kerry Jones   |   |    (860) 561-6630


  • Assessment
  • Curriculum
  • Instruction
  • Professional Learning
  • Special Education