Franklin Lakes School District

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Dyslexia Screening » Dyslexia Screening

Dyslexia Screening

In January 2015, law P.L.2013, c.210 required all New Jersey school districts to screen children for dyslexia and other possible reading difficulties by second grade to determine whether reading interventions are necessary. In further support of the town's excellence in education and intervention, we are screening students earlier than required, in first grade, to identify and remediate reading deficits when they are smaller.
  • First-grade students in the Franklin Lakes Public Schools are screened for dyslexia and other possible reading difficulties using a universal reading benchmark assessment.
  • First-grade student scores are then sorted by percentile rank.
  • If a first-grade student scores above the 20th percentile rank in their grade-level cohort, they continue with their evidence-based ELA instruction.
  • If a first-grade student scores at or below the 20th percentile rank in their grade-level cohort, the District will send home an opt-out form. (Depending on your child's age, the additional assessment will be the DST-J or DEST-2.)
  • If no opt-out form is returned, students at or below the 20th percentile rank will receive an additional, comprehensive assessment to determine the need for evidence-based intervention strategies, including intense instruction on phonemic awareness, phonics and fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension per 18A:40-5.4.
    • Balance deficits are found in children from families with greater risks of dyslexia and may share underlying genetic mechanisms (Fawcett, 2011).  As such, your child's screening may involve assessing their postural stability by having them close their eyes or be blindfolded while a staff member tests their balance.  This is part of the evidence-based testing from Pearson.  
Any questions regarding the dyslexia screening process should be addressed with the Director of Special Services.
1) Is it a one-time screening, or are there multiple sessions, and how long does it take?
Typically the screening is completed in one approximate 30-minute session.
2) When is the screening done?
The screening is done during the school day, and we do our best to meet with a child during a time that is least disruptive as possible.
3) What activities are done during the screening?
Please refer to the DEST-2 (ages 4.6 - 6.5) and DST-J (ages 6.6 to 11.5) links for descriptions of each subtest administered.
4) Who does the screening?
School psychologists, LDT-Cs, and reading specialists.

5) Are we allowed to opt out of services that may be recommended after the screening?
Yes.  It would be recommended to see how your child performs on the screening.  If services are recommended that you are not in agreement with, you can opt out of those services.
6) Do we get the results?
Yes.  All families will receive an email with the results, which includes how your child did on each subtest and an overall risk score.
Fawcett, Angela (2011). Balance and reading are separate symptoms of dyslexia. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 53(4), 294–295.