ACT 1039 - Dyslexia
In April of 2015, Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law ACT 1268. The Dyslexia Law, as it is commonly known, was a direct response to concerns that ACT 1294 (2013) was not being properly implemented by Arkansas public school systems.
ACT 1268 was designed to ensure that the needs of all Arkansas children with dyslexia are effectively being met. It defines dyslexia, describes required screening and intervention, and lists specific required actions by the state, educational cooperatives, and school districts.
In October of 2016, the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) updated the rules governing the implementation of ACT 1268. These updated rules provided further clarification, guidance, and instruction on how to meet the needs of students showing characteristics of Dyslexia.
In April of 2017, the Arkansas Legislature passed ACT 1039 (SB 708) to amend and clarify code provisions regarding Dyslexia screening and intervention, and to add specific enforcement provisions tied to school accreditation. ACT 1039 also added new public posting requirements. The information on this page meets or exceeds all posting requirements.
During 2016-2017, the Deer/Mt. Judea School District identified a total of 20 students showing characteristics of Dyslexia. All of these students were placed in an approved intervention program.
ACT 1039 requires universal screening in Kindergarten through 2nd grade for indicators of Dyslexia, as well as selective screening in grades 3rd-12th.
The Deer/Mt. Judea School District currently uses a combination of DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills), DSA (Developmental Spelling Analysis), AR-RAN (Arkansas Rapid Automatized Naming Screener), SRI (Scholastic Reading Inventory) and PAST (Phonological Awareness Screening Test) for such screenings.
ACT 1039 requires all Arkansas schools to have a Dyslexia Program in place to further evaluate students identified as having characteristics of dyslexia, and then to tutor those students who require intervention. The Deer/Mt. Judea School District uses the Barton Reading and Spelling System, developed by the internationally-recognized expert, Susan Barton. An additional assessment tool used is the Woodcock-Johnson test.
ACT 1039 requires that school districts utilize trained Dyslexia Interventionists. Dyslexia Interventionists for the Deer/Mt. Judea School District are:
Deer campus – Miranda Gilmore
Mt. Judea campus – Jamie Williams
In addition, Pattie Wheeler at the Ozarks Unlimited Resource (OUR) Educational Cooperative serves as the regional dyslexia specialist.
DYSLEXIA RESOURCE GUIDE
In January of 2016, the Arkansas Department of Education created a Dyslexia Resource Guide to provide guidance for districts, schools, and teachers seeking to effectively meet Arkansas requirements for Dyslexia screening and intervention. In addition to Dyslexia specifics, it also outlines the relationship of Dyslexia Intervention to RTI, and how this combination meets IDEA (the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). The Jasper School District maintains full compliance with all provisions of this Guide.