ECISD receives grant to provide training for Dyslexia

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 11:45 AM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) -Ector County ISD has been awarded a two-year grant for $462,802 from the Texas Education Agency to provide training for Dyslexia and related disorders.

The grant, entitled “Do You See What I See?” is an effort to develop expertise in Dyslexia for educators across the district. According to Texas education law, dyslexia is defined as a “disorder of constitutional origin manifested by a difficulty in learning to read, write, or spell, despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and sociocultural opportunity.” “Related disorders” include disorders similar to or related to dyslexia, such as developmental auditory imperception, dysphasia, specific developmental dyslexia, developmental dysgraphia, and developmental spelling disability. ECISD currently employs a force of 32 Dyslexia Specialists across the district.

However, a need for more widespread expertise in Dyslexia for educators in ECISD was identified by Leslie Wilson, Executive Director of Special Services and Heidi Helferich, Dyslexia Supervisor. The grant will assist the district in providing 320 teachers a survey of research-based teaching strategies for students with dyslexia. In-depth “Reading by Design” training and related materials will be provided for 48 special education teachers. Training in oversight of Dyslexia programs and leading Professional Learning Community (PLC) forums on topics related to Dyslexia will be offered to 86 principals and assistant principals. The Region 18 Education Service Center and district coaches will provide the training and follow-up activities for participating educators.

In addition, the grant will pay for eight teachers to obtain a credential in “Take Flight,” an Academic Language Therapy program offered by the Texas Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital. The credential is a two-year program for preparing dyslexia specialists that uses multisensory, structured intervention techniques to ensure that students with dyslexia develop independent reading abilities. Once they are credentialed, these educators will join the current force of dyslexia specialists in providing in-depth instruction across the district. Helferich stated,

“The ECISD Dyslexia Department is elated that the Texas Education Agency has approved our dyslexia grant.”

Developing educator expertise across the district is critical to addressing the needs of students with Dyslexia. It is hoped that the educator preparation efforts afforded by the Dyslexia training grant will offer improved academic outcomes and opportunities for students with Dyslexia.

As Wilson said, “We are excited to have received the Dyslexia Grant and want to thank the Texas Education Agency for the opportunity to increase ECISD’s capacity and knowledge in dyslexia. This grant will allow us to train teachers, intervention staff, and district employees to better serve students with dyslexia and related disorders in ECISD.”

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