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Dyslexia Awareness Month

What is Dyslexia?

As outlined in RCW RCW 28A.320.250, "dyslexia" means a specific learning disorder that is neurological in origin and that is characterized by unexpected difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities that are not consistent with the person's intelligence, motivation, and sensory capabilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological components of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities. In addition, the difficulties are not typically a result of ineffective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge." RCW 28A.320.250: Dyslexia definition. (

What Is Required for School Districts?

This spring, the Kent School District Dyslexia Advisory Group presented to the School Board and made recommendations to support the implementation of the Dyslexia Law, ESSB 6162. Beginning in the 2021-22 school year, each school district in Washington state will screen students in Grades K-2 for weaknesses in the following areas:

  • Phonological Awareness
  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Letter / Sound Knowledge
  • Rapid Automized Naming (K-1)

RCWs that outline the requirements: 

  • 320.260 Dyslexia interventions.  
  • 320.270 Dyslexia reporting requirements. 
  • 300.700 Dyslexia screening tools. 
  • 300.710 Dyslexia advisory council. 
  • 300.720 Dyslexia recommendations. 
  • 300.730 Dyslexia rules. 

How We Are Implementing the New Law

As we work together to start the school year and implement the expectations of the Dyslexia Legislation Law for our K-2 students, here are a few important points to know:

  • Kindergarten Teachers will administer WaKIDs this Fall.
  • 12 schools will pilot DIBELS as the K-2 screener. All first and second-grade students should be screened with DIBELS and data entered in the Amplify mClass platform.
  • 14 schools will assess our first and second-grade students with i-Ready.
  • This process will not provide a diagnosis of dyslexia.

For more information on the DIBELS assessment, please click here.

What happens with the data after assessments?

Data Analysis Cycles will be scheduled to support principals with the MTSS-A process and identify students with reading difficulties and/or possible indicators of dyslexia.  Tools, resources and professional learning will be available for our K-2 teachers and administrators.

Multilingual Education  

Students will be assessed using WIDA this year. Please see the current guidance from OSPI regarding best practices for supporting our MLE students. Further guidance and support are expected to be forthcoming from OSPI. 

Supporting Multilingual English Learners (

How can families and caregivers support?

Through conferences and getting to know students and families, we are also learning more about each family's history of difficulty with reading and language acquisition.

For more information on this process, please see the following informational document developed by OSPI. 

We want to extend our gratitude for your flexibility as we begin our work piloting a new assessment and implementing new requirements around the dyslexia law.