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Resources for Students with Dyslexia

Resources for Students with Dyslexia

“Dyslexia is a learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component and or auditory processing of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Additional consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced experience that can impede the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge” (Minn. Stat. §125A.01, subd. 2). Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disabilities. Research from the National Center on Learning Disabilities suggests that one in five individuals is affected by dyslexia (NCLD, 2015).

Students with dyslexia may struggle with:

  • Learning to speak
  • Learning letters and their sounds
  • Organizing written and spoken language
  • Memorizing number facts
  • Word reading
  • Reading quickly enough to comprehend
  • Persisting with and comprehending longer reading assignments
  • Spelling
  • Learning a foreign language
  • Correctly doing math operations

Through the State Statute regarding Dyslexia, Minn. Stat. § 120B.12, MPS is required to screen students for characteristics of dyslexia and administer further diagnostic assessments based on the screening data.

The State Statute includes:

      Subdivision 1:  Literacy Goal
      Subdivision 2:  Identification and Reporting
      Subdivision 3:  Intervention
      Subdivision 4:  Staff Development

Literacy Goals

MPS has idenitified three goals for PK-8 reading:

  • We will have a 5 percent annual increase in the number of students proficient in reading on the MCA
  • We will have a 8 percent annual increase of students meetinng or exceeding standards in reading for our lowest performing students on the MCA
  • 80% of kindergarten students will demonstrate reading proficiency on the FAST earlyReading assessment

Secondary literacy (grades 6-12) standards include students development of reading and writing in all content areas. The ELA instructional vision includes a balance of all of the following:

  • Reading (diversity, quality, and complexity)
  • Writing (authentic writing experiences, supporting student thinking and learning)
  • Listening & Speaking
  • Cultural Relevance and Responsiveness

Identification and Reporting Process using FAST (Formative Assessment System for Teachers)

Grades 2-8 FAST aReading

aReading is a computer-based, adaptive assessment that provides one overall score that is a measure of students’ broad reading ability. The following aspects of reading are measured within that one score (varies slightly by grade level): concepts of print, phonological awareness, phonics, orthography and morphology, vocabulary, and comprehension.


MPS Guidelines for Sharing Reading Assessment Data with Families

If a student is reading below grade level, MPS requires teachers to share that information with the student's caretaker at least once a year.  Caregivers are notified if their student is reading below grade level on the student's report card.  Additionally, teachers can share information during conferences, or during other times the teacher meets with the caretaker.

When: During conferences, phone call, parent meeting

Who: Classroom teachers


  1. FAST screening parent report
  2. Report card indicators (e.g., “Reads grade level text accurately and fluently”) 
  3. What supports the child is receiving at school
  4. What supports/activities parents can provide at home

School districts do not diagnose dyslexia, as it is a medical diagnosis. If your child does have a medical diagnosis of dyslexia, please make sure you have notified your child’s teacher.

Does a dyslexia diagnosis mean that a student qualifies for special education services?

No. Students who have a dyslexia diagnosis must meet the state and federal special education eligibility criteria in order to qualify for special education services.


School teams gather together to discuss the implications of screener data and ways to respond to it.  These meetings focus on:  The analysis of scores relative to grade-level benchmarks, plan for the administration of diagnostic assessments for students in need of intervention, and devising a plan to monitor student growth towards the mastery of standards in literacy.

Professional Development

All MPS staff receive on-going literacy professional development and training.

All MPS K-8 sites have Differentiation Specialists who support and coach teachers to differentiate their instruction to respond to students' instructional needs.