University Park Elementary
|Nancy S. Johnson
Campus Specialist, Dyslexia Coordinator
MIS / HPMS
Overview of the Program
Highland Park Independent School District supports the educational concept that reading, writing, and spelling skills provide the foundation for overall academic success. Opportunities are provided for students who are experiencing difficulty in acquiring basic language arts skills to maximize their academic development in a general education setting. This service is typically provided by a campus reading specialist, using intensive small group activities. The intervention is a phonetic approach to reading, writing, and spelling and incorporates strategies appropriate for struggling readers as well as students identified with dyslexia. The intervention is based on the Orton-Gillingham instructional approach. Using this approach, students are able to develop skills at a much faster rate and are ready to move into higher levels of application.
Structured intervention is designed for a period of time appropriate for each individual student in kindergarten through grade twelve. Beginning at seventh grade, reading instruction is offered as an elective to students whose test results show that they could benefit from a multisensory and phonetically based approach to reading, writing, and spelling. Many connections are made to support classroom instruction in the core classes.
The HPISD Dyslexia Program follows all TEA guidelines as per the TEA Dyslexia Handbook 2007, updated 2010.
You may also view "HPISD’s Parent Handbook on Dyslexia” by clicking here: /Portals/0/docs/specialprograms/dyslexia/Handbook for Parents.pdf
Campus dyslexia specialists have been trained in multi-sensory methods for teaching reading, writing, and spelling. All dyslexia specialists hold Master’s Degrees and have many years of experience working with students with reading disabilities. These teachers stay current in the area of dyslexia by attending local, state and national conferences and workshops each year.
In addition to the reading instruction provided in their general education classroom, students in grades K-4 who are identified as requiring specialized reading instruction may be recommended by the Student Support Team to receive this instruction from the Jump Start teacher (dyslexia/reading specialist) on their home campus. Students typically attend this pull-out program for small group instruction for thirty minutes per day. Instruction is delivered using a multi-sensory, sequential, systematic approach to reading, writing, and spelling as outlined in the TEA Dyslexia Handbook.
Identified students at McCulloch Intermediate School (MIS) may receive additional reading/dyslexia instruction from the STARS teacher (Strategies and Techniques for Advanced Reading and Spelling). Students attend this pull-out program for small group instruction for typically thirty minutes, four times per week. This program is a continuation of the elementary Jump Start program and follows all of the indicators as outlined in the TEA Dyslexia Handbook.
Students at Highland Park Middle School (HPMS) who are identified as needing additional reading instruction, attend the STARS reading/dyslexia class as one of the two electives in their schedule. These small classes meet for 50 minutes daily. Reading, writing, and spelling are taught with a multi-sensory, sequential, and systematic approach. Study skills and strategies are emphasized as outlined in the TEA Dyslexia Handbook.
Students at Highland Park High School (HPHS) who are identified as needing additional reading instruction, may select as an elective the high school multisensory reading class. Students receive local elective credit for this class. Students receive sequential and systematic instruction in reading, writing, spelling and study skills. Additionally, strategies that are essential for success in high school are taught as outlined in the TEA Dyslexia Handbook.
Teachers and parents may refer a student that might be in need of additional reading instruction to the Student Support Team (SST). If the student is already receiving Special Education services, the ARD Committee may consider a referral for dyslexia services. Decisions regarding the admission, continuation or termination of services in the reading/dyslexia program will be made by members of the SST or ARD Committee. Admission, continuation, or termination of services in the reading/dyslexia program may be recommended based on tests of phonological awareness, word recognition, decoding, comprehension, spelling, reading fluency, written expression, and letter-sound correspondence. These tests are administered by the campus reading/dyslexia specialist or by other school assessment personnel at each campus.
Kindergarten through second grade students are often identified as needing additional reading instruction as a result of their scores on the Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI) that is administered by the classroom teacher.
When students complete 4th grade, all student records of both active and former students that accessed Jump Start are sent to the reading/dyslexia specialist at McCulloch Intermediate School. These records then follow the student through McCulloch Intermediate School, Highland Park Middle School, and Highland Park High School. In the event that additional reading/dyslexia services are needed, the campus reading/dyslexia specialist will have the past record of reading intervention for the student.
The Park Cities Learning Disabilities Association (PCLDA) sponsors parent programs throughout the school year.