Dyslexia Advisory Council
During the 2016 Legislation Session, the general assembly passed the T.C.A. § 49-1-229 which requires school districts to screen for characteristics of dyslexia through their existing Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI²) procedures and to provide “dyslexia-specific tiered interventions” for students that demonstrate a need.
On January 21, 2021, the Tennessee General Assembly enacted the Tennessee Literacy Success Act (SB7003/HB7002), marking an important point in history for Tennessee students and families. The act outlines a bold policy framework that engages different stakeholders to improve literacy rates in Tennessee. Recognizing the important role that school districts and local boards of education play in education, the act outlines new expectations for how schools and districts will use universal reading screening to assess, monitor, and report on efforts to improve literacy to ensure all children have the reading supports necessary to be successful.
T.C.A. § 49-1-229 also requires the department to convene a multi-stakeholder dyslexia advisory council to guide the statewide dyslexia strategy and district suite of supports. The council will meet quarterly and will report on their work to increase dyslexia screening and identification. This report will be shared with districts, stakeholders and the general assembly.
Agenda and minutes from each meeting are posted below. If you are interested in providing public comment at the dyslexia advisory council, please contact Jessica.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do You Need More Information?
We know that some readers will have trouble learning to read. If you need more information about dyslexia or need to support with a situation involving dyslexia, please contact SayDyslexia.Questions@tn.gov .
If you want to be a part of the TN Dyslexia Association, please contact: https://tn.dyslexiaida.org/about-us/
Dyslexia Resource Guide
T.C.A. § 49-1-229 requires the department to develop guidance for identifying characteristics of dyslexia and to provide appropriate professional development resources for educators. The department sought feedback from the Dyslexia Advisory Council and external stakeholders to develop this resource document. The Dyslexia Resource Guide assists districts in their implementation of the requirements established by T.C.A. § 49-1-229. In particular, this guide:
· identifies and clarifies the bill requirements
· defines characteristics of dyslexia
· provides applicable resources
Foundational Literacy Skills Plan Toolkit added 3/31/21
Tennessee Universal Reading Screener Overview (added 7.23.21)
Tennessee Universal Reading Screener Assessment Suite (added 7/23/21)
Tennessee Universal Reading Screener FAQ (added 7/23/21)
Universal Reading Screener Guidance (added 8.6.21)
Universal Reading Screener Minimum Requirements Matrix (update 9.21.21)
Tennessee Universal Reading Screener Administration Guidelines (updated 9.21.21)
Comprehensive Universal Reading Screener Matrix (added 9.21.21)
|Penny Schwinn||Commissioner of Education, Tennessee Department of Education|
|Lisa Coons||Chief Academic Officer, Tennessee Department of Education|
|Jennifer Jordan||Assistant Commissioner of Special Education and Intervention Programming, Tennessee Department of Education|
|Allison McAvoy||Special Education teacher, Hamilton County|
Parent, Metro Nashville Public Schools
|Barbara Adams||Speech Language Pathologist, Williamson County|
||Advocate, Decoding Dyslexia TN|
|Melissa Johnson||High School Teacher, Clarksville-Montgomery Schools|
|Rita Flood||Middle School Teacher, Bradley County Schools|
|Nichi Hickerson||Elementary School Teacher, Bradford Special Schools|
|Erin Alexander||ex-officio member|
|Susan Porter||ex-officio member|
|Jennifer Fleming||ex-officio member|
The council is also supported by TDOE staff including Jessica Glasgow, Angela Weger, and Kate Martin.
RTI2 COVID-19 Considerations
School closures and the implementation of distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic have raised questions regarding how schools can address the needs of our students receiving critical tiered interventions once they return to school. The Response to Instruction and Intervention Reopening Guide is located here. The table here provides guidance related to RTI2 based on frequently asked questions. As always, please continue to communicate intervention decisions and plans with parents.
Districts should consult with their local board attorneys to ensure their processes comply with state and federal law. As we learn more about school reopening and best practices, further guidance will be issued.
For questions related to RTI2, please contact RTI.Questions@tn.gov.
Additional Information for Districts about the Public Chapter 1058