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.glasgow@tn.gov.

For questions related to the "Say Dyslexia" legislation, please contact the Tennessee Department of Education at SayDyslexia.Questions@tn.gov.

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

Date: October 14, 2021

Time: 2:00 p.m - 4:00 p.m CT

Place: WebEx

Meeting Number: 2309 597 2962

Password: DyslexiaAC

Date: February 9th, 2022

Time: 8:30 a.m - 11:30 a.m CT

Place: WebEx

Meeting Number: 2305 794 0523

Password: DAC2022

Date: April 14, 2022

Time: 8:30 a.m - 11:30 a.m CT

Place: WebEx

Meeting Number: 2319 514 7786

Password: TDOEDAC


Date: June 20, 2022

Time: 8:30 a.m - 3:00 p.m CT

Location: Andrew Johnson Tower and Virtual

Virtual Meeting

Date: November 1, 2022

Time: 8:30 a.m - 11:30 a.m CT

Andrew Johnson Tower (710 James Robertson Pkwy, Nashville TN) & Virtually

Virtual Meeting

Name Position
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
Anna Thorsen

Parent, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Barbara Adams Speech Language Pathologist, Williamson County
Eileen Miller
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.


5 Questions Parents and Educators Can Ask to Start Conversations

Additional Information for Districts about the Public Chapter 1058

Dyslexia Overview for Parents

Dyslexia Overview for Parents (Spanish)

Dyslexia Resource Guide

Response to Instruction and Intervention Framework

"Say Dyslexia" Bill (Public Chapter 1058 of the Acts of 2016) 

Say Dyslexia FAQ

"Say Dyslexia" Law Overview for Districts

"Say Dyslexia" Reporting Requirements Flowchart 

"Say Dyslexia" Student Coding Video

"Say Dyslexia" Student Coding Handout

Understanding Dyslexia