Dayton, Ohio – Every school district in Ohio will be required to test its youngest students for dyslexia beginning with the 2022-2023 school year.
Students from kindergarten through third grade will be required to take a Tier 1 dyslexia screening exam for the first time in the fall of their first year. Fourth through sixth graders will undergo the Tier 1 dyslexia screener if they are asked to do so by a parent or a teacher who has obtained permission from the parent.
In the upcoming years after that, only students in kindergarten will be obligated to take the dyslexia screener, but any first through sixth graders who are asked to do so by their parents or teachers will be able to do so.
The Ohio Dyslexia Guidebook will be finalized on Tuesday by an 11-member group appointed by the Ohio Department of Education. School districts may use it to get advice on the best practices for screening kids who may be at risk for dyslexia and for offering intervention and remediation to students who have been diagnosed as dyslexic.
It has taken the committee six months to prepare this handbook, and on Tuesday, they will spend the day reading through over 400 public comments to evaluate whether or not the guidebook should be modified.
Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 436, known as Ohio’s Dyslexia Law, in January 2021. The law requires dyslexia tests to ensure people who are affected may get the treatments they need, according to LM Clinton, ODE’s program administrator for literacy policy.
“Research suggests that when children at risk for reading difficulties receive early and intensive intervention, they have a much stronger chance of achieving grade level reading ability,” Clinton told Ideastream Public Media.
HB 436 not only requires dyslexia testing and the establishment of a handbook by the Ohio Dyslexia Committee, but it also requires districts to conduct associated professional development and create a multi-sensory instruction certification procedure.
According to Clinton, the measure is consistent with the state’s overall efforts to improve literacy achievement in Ohio.
“These laws are in alignment with a larger portfolio of policies at the state level designed to increase reading achievement, to promote evidence-based practices and to promote instruction and intervention grounded in the science of reading,” said Clinton.