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Reading Supports

The following information is intended to serve as a resource for parents regarding reading supports in LSR7.

If I suspect my child is dyslexic or having other reading difficulties, what should be my next step? Who should I contact with my questions? 
As a parent, if you suspect your child exhibits characteristics of dyslexia/reading difficulties, you will want to contact your child’s classroom teacher. The classroom teacher will be able to answer questions specific to your child’s daily academic performance within the general education setting. Additionally, your child’s classroom teacher has access to the building’s Reading Specialist(s) as a resource should you have a question better suited to be answered by a Reading Specialist.

What is the name of the struggling reader screener used by LSR7 and what does it measure? When is it given to my child?
LSR-7 administers the NWEA MAP Reading Fluency: Foundational Skills with Dyslexia Screener as the universal screener to all students in kindergarten through third grade. NWEA MAP Reading Fluency: Foundational Skills with Dyslexia Screener is an adaptive screener that measures phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, language comprehension, and rapid automatized naming.

  • Kindergarten students take this screener two times per school year, during Winter and Spring testing windows. 
  • First, second, and third-grade students take this screener three times per school year, during Fall, Winter, and Spring testing windows.

LSR-7 administers NWEA MAP Reading Growth 2-5 as the universal screener to all students in third, fourth, and fifth grades.  NWEA MAP Reading Growth 2-5 is an adaptive screener that measures reading comprehension, literary text, informational text, and vocabulary.

  • Third, fourth, and fifth grade students take this screener three times per school year, during Fall, Winter, and Spring testing windows.

LSR-7 administers NWEA MAP Reading Fluency: Adaptive Oral Reading - Passages Only to all second and third grade students.  NWEA MAP Reading Fluency: Adaptive Oral Reading - Passages Only is an adaptive screener that measures oral reading rate (fluency), decoding accuracy, and passage comprehension. 

  • Second and third grade students take this screener three times per school year, during Fall, Winter, and Spring testing windows. 
  • Fourth and fifth grade students take this screener only if their Fall, Winter, and/or Spring NWEA MAP Reading Growth 2-5 achievement score is at/below the 40th percentile.

I received communication that my student was flagged by the struggling reader screener, what exactly does that mean? Where can I find more information? Who can I contact with my questions? What should I do next? 
When a kindergarten, first, second, or third grade student flags on the NWEA MAP Reading Fluency: Foundational Skills with Dyslexia Screener, the flag indicates that the student’s performance suggests possible risk factors for dyslexia or other reading difficulties.  A flag does NOT indicate a diagnosis of dyslexia or reading disability.  The “At-Risk” threshold that initiates a student receiving a flag is the 20th percentile.  

LSR7 looks beyond the flag and administers additional screeners to any K-5 student scoring at/below the 40th percentile on any of the universal screeners (NWEA MAP Reading Fluency: Foundational Skills with Dyslexia Screener, NWEA MAP Reading Fluency: Adaptive Oral Reading - Passages Only, NWEA MAP Reading Growth 2-5).

Your child’s classroom teacher should be your first point of contact with questions and next steps.

What are the next steps that my student’s teacher will take, once my student has been flagged by the struggling reader screener?
If your child scores below the 40th percentile on any of the domains assessed, your child’s classroom teacher and/or the building Reading Specialist(s) will administer an additional screener.  The additional screener is administered one-on-one with the child and helps to either confirm the child requires MTSS support, or not.

What is the MTSS process?
MTSS stands for Multi-Tiered System of Supports.  It’s an educational framework designed to provide targeted interventions to students based on their individual needs.  The process involves three tiers:

  • Tier 1 - Universal Support: This level includes strategies and interventions that are provided to all students within the general education classroom.  It focuses on implementing evidence-based practices to support the individual needs of all students.
  • Tier 2 - Targeted/Additional Support: Students who require additional support beyond the universal level are provided with more targeted interventions.  These interventions are typically delivered in small groups and may include additional instruction, practice, and/or support services to help students succeed.
  • Tier 3 - Intensive Support: At this level, students receive highly individualized and intensive interventions tailored to their specific needs.  These interventions are often delivered in a small group or one-on-one setting and may involve specialized instruction and/or other support services.

The MTSS process involves ongoing assessment, data collection, and collaboration among educators, administrators, and support staff to ensure that all students receive the support they need to be successful.

What is the name of the intervention(s) that LSR7 uses to remediate struggling readers? 
There are a number of resources the elementary teachers and Reading Specialists use for interventions with struggling readers.  Intervention resource use is dependent upon the individual reading needs of each student. Those resources include, but are not limited to:

  • Heggerty-Phonemic Awareness
  • Kilpatrick-Phonemic Awareness
  • UFLI Foundations-Phonics
  • Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words (SIPPS):
    • Beginning Level
    • Extension Level
    • Challenge Level
    • Plus Level
  • Wilson Reading System

What is the name of the curriculum used in LSR7 to teach kindergarteners and primary students how to read?
The LSR7 curriculum consists of Essential Standards and Learning Targets that articulate what students should know and be able to do in each grade level. The curriculum is aligned with Missouri Learning Standards. The district provides curricular materials to teachers to support the delivery of instruction. The district-provided ELA resources include: 

  • Collaborative Literacy
    • Being A Reader
    • Making Meaning 
    • Being A Writer
  • Heggerty - Phonemic Awareness 
  • UFLI Foundations  

Are students taught phonics/word decoding in LSR7?
Yes. Phonics and word decoding are taught through our district-provided Tier 1 materials.

What is CCC?
Collaborative Classroom (formerly known as The Center for the Collaborative Classroom) is a nonprofit organization that provides literacy resources to schools nationwide. Currently, LSR7 uses the Collaborative Literacy suite of resources to support Tier 1 literacy instruction at the elementary level. This suite includes Being A Reader, Making Meaning, and Being A Writer. In addition, LSR7 uses SIPPS (Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics and Sight Words) from Collaborative Classroom as a reading intervention.  

Does LSR7 use structured literacy to teach students how to read?
Yes. The district provided Tier 1 resources provide instruction founded in structured literacy practices.  

Does LSR7 use balanced literacy, whole language or the queuing method to teach students how to read? 
No. The district-provided Tier 1 resources provide explicit and systematic instruction of literacy skills. 

What is the Science of Reading?
The science of reading is a vast, interdisciplinary body of scientifically-based research about reading and issues related to reading and writing. It encompasses research from various disciplines, including psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, and education. It has culminated in a preponderance of evidence to inform how proficient reading and writing develop and why some students have difficulty. By applying evidence-based practices informed by the science of reading, teachers can optimize their teaching methods to foster literacy development and empower students to become proficient readers.

What is LETRS training? Are LSR7 Teachers, LETRS trained?
LETRS is a professional development program designed to enhance educators’ understanding of teaching literacy skills. LETRS provides teachers with research-based knowledge, instructional strategies, and practical techniques to effectively support students’ literacy development. All K-2 teachers in LSR7 are required to complete LETRS Volume 1 training.

What resources/services are available for secondary students (grades 6-12) that struggle with reading or have recently been diagnosed as a Dyslexic learner?
The secondary schools work with struggling readers through reading strategies and Reading Lab courses. 

What is an RTI group and what will my child learn in an RTI group? 
RTI specifically addresses academic interventions within the broader MTSS framework.  RTI stands for Response to Intervention.  An RTI group is a small group of students who receive targeted interventions and support within the Response to Intervention framework.  These groups are typically formed to provide additional academic support to students who are struggling in specific areas such as reading and math.  What your child learns in an RTI group will depend on their individual needs and the focus of the intervention. 

How is special education different from MTSS? How do the school and parents know which is best for my child? 
Special education and MTSS both aim to support student learning and success, but they each serve different purposes and populations.  All students can receive interventions through MTSS while students must be eligible and identified as having a qualifying disability in order to receive special education.

MTSS is a comprehensive framework for supporting the needs of all students.  MTSS provides a tiered system of support that offers increasingly intensive interventions based on student needs, with the goal of preventing academic difficulties and promoting success for all students.

Special education focuses on providing individualized support to students with educational disabilities. Students must meet state eligibility criteria to qualify for special education services. An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed for eligible students to provide specially designed instruction and any other necessary services to make progress. 

What is the difference between a 504 plan and an IEP plan? How do I know which is best for my child?
Both 504 plans and Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) require an evaluation process with a multi-disciplinary team, including the parent, to meet eligibility requirements.

A 504 Plan is developed when a student is evaluated and determined to have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. If a student meets these criteria, then a plan may be developed to address any necessary accommodations the student may need to level the playing field.

An IEP is developed for students who are evaluated for and meet state eligibility criteria to 
qualify for special education services. An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed for eligible students to provide specially designed instruction and any other necessary services to make progress. 

Is there a 504 coordinator I can speak with regarding my child’s Dyslexia diagnosis? 
There are multiple 504 Coordinators serving student needs in LSR7.  Beginning in the Fall of 2024, one of the district 504 Coordinators will manage all 504 plans for students with dyslexia.  If your child has a 504 Plan, you will work their 504 Coordinator’s contact information as part of the procedural 504 processes.  If you suspect your child may qualify for a 504 Plan, the first step is to contact your child’s principal and request a 504 evaluation.

What accommodations can my struggling reader/Dyslexic learner receive through a 504 plan?  
Student accommodations are designed by a 504 team, inclusive of parents/guardians, and are selected based on the individual needs of each student.

What assistive technology does my struggling reader have access to? 
All students have read-aloud and voice-to-text options available on their Chromebooks.  The district has additional adaptive supports available for students based on individual student needs.  If your child is in need of adaptive technology, please contact your child’s teacher or principal to discuss the needs of your child.

What resources are available to me regarding my struggling reader?   
Depending on the reading skill(s) your child is struggling with, your child’s classroom teacher is a great resource to ask.  In addition to the classroom teacher, each building has a Reading Specialist that the classroom teacher can request additional parent resources for your use at home. Below are links to activities for parents to incorporate at home to help your struggling reader:

Who can I contact with my questions regarding my struggling reader in LSR7?
The classroom teacher will be able to answer questions specific to your child’s daily academic performance within the general education setting. Additionally, your child’s classroom teacher has access to the building’s Reading Specialist(s) as a resource should you have a question better suited to be answered by a Reading Specialist.

About the FAQs

The FAQs on this webpage have been provided by the
Parents of Struggling Readers & Dyslexic Learners Steering Committee.