Literacy and reading are absolutely fundamental to children’s ability to reach important milestones throughout their educational journey. All Blue Valley students will engage in high-quality literacy instruction in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and digital literacy ensuring they are equipped for life.
To assist with this priority, the district has expanded universal screening in literacy for primary students (K-5) to include secondary students (6-12). Beginning this year, Blue Valley will look closely at the reading development of each student, kindergarten through 12th grade utilizing a universal screening process. Universal screening provides educators data on students’ growth in important components of reading to help determine if they are on track for reaching grade-level benchmarks. This real-time data supports timely intervention, if needed, and helps teachers as they design learning aligned to the needs of each student.
Blue Valley understands the importance of high-quality, personalized reading instruction for all students. In addition to the policies resulting from the State’s Dyslexia Taskforce, our families and educators contributed input shaping recent professional learning for teachers. Some examples below illustrate how Blue Valley has met the new policies and in many cases exceeded them.
- Spring 2021: All educators from Early Childhood through high school participated in professional learning around the science of reading, dyslexia and structured literacy.
- Summer 2021: The district held six different sessions for professional learning on structured literacy and the new phonics resources for elementary students. These resources support teaching phonological awareness, phonics and other components of structured literacy utilizing an explicit, sequential, systematic and multisensory approach to instruction.
- August 2021: All staff participated in additional professional learning on the science of reading, dyslexia and structured literacy prior to the start of school.
- Fall 2021: ELA teachers in grades 6-12 participated in professional learning on reading universal screenings.
- Ongoing: Blue Valley provides additional professional learning for groups of educators in specific literacy resources as well as instructional approaches rooted in the science of reading.
The district website provides more information about literacy and dyslexia, including details about how and where the district is working to meet or exceed state guidelines for supporting students with or suspected of having dyslexia.