Concord hosts program on dyslexia

DUNLAP — The first-ever “Exploring Dyslexia” event at Concord Community Schools is set for Wednesday.

The school corporation will host a free community information night for local residents who are interested in learning more about what dyslexia is, how students are screened for dyslexia and what steps can be taken to support student learning, organizers said.

The event is scheduled for 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and will be held at the MOVE UP Academy, located in the lower level of Concord Intermediate School. Visitors can enter through Door 16.

Studies estimate that 20 percent of students in Indiana have dyslexia, according to Mickey Wagner, director of elementary education at CCS. To help those struggling with the condition, public schools across the state are rolling out screening protocols to comply with requirements of Senate Enrolled Act 217, more commonly known as Indiana’s Dyslexia Law, which went into effect in July.

Dyslexia is a general term for disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters and other symbols, but that do not affect general intelligence.

While dyslexia may make reading more difficult, Concord schools’ staff are equipped with the knowledge and resources to help all students succeed, Wagner said.

“We provide all K-2 students with systematic and sequential research-based phonics instruction to ensure all students have a solid foundation for reading,” he said.

Wagner added that the district also screens all of its K-2 students in six different areas of reading to identify students who may be at risk for dyslexia.

“Once these students are identified they will be placed in a research-based intervention program with trained staff to remediate the areas that students struggle with,” Wagner said.

The new law requires that school districts report the number of kindergarten, first- and second-grade students who receive dyslexia interventions who are found to be “at-risk” during screenings, Wagner said.

After the screenings are complete, Wagner said the data will be available on the district’s website before July 15.

Although community information is primarily designed to answer parent questions about students who have dyslexia, any residents are welcome and encouraged to attend, organizers said. Translation services will be provided for Spanish-speaking families

“We hope to provide our families and the greater community access to resources and information that can help children who have dyslexia achieve success in school and beyond,” Wagner said.

More information is available at www.concord.k12.in.us/dyslexia.

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