In 2015, Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law ACT 1268. ACT 1268 is designed to ensure that the needs of all Arkansas children with dyslexia are effectively being met. Dyslexia is defined as “a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitve abilities.” This new law 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 updated the rules governing the implementation of ACT 1268. The updated rules can be found here.
ACT 1268 requires universal screening in Kindergarten through 2nd grade for indicators of dyslexia. Selective screening is administered in grades 3rd-12th grade. The Cotter School District uses a combination of DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills), DSA (Developmental Spelling Analysis, and the AR-RAN (Arkansas Rapid Automatized Naming Screener).
Parent/Teacher Checklist for Signs of Dyslexia can be downloaded here.
School Districts must have trained “Dyslexia Interventionists” as another component of the law. Cotter School District has two interventionists.
Amanda Gist Elementary School- Tina Morrow
Cotter Jr./High School- Karlee Taylor
Additionally, Pattie Wheeler at the Ozarks Unlimited Resource Educational Cooperative serves as the regional specialist for our district.
Dyslexia Resource Guide
Arkansas Department of Education has created a Dyslexia Resource Guide to provide guidance for districts, schools, and teachers in order to effectively meet the requirements of ACT 1268. This resource guide can be accessed here.
Cotter School District uses the Barton Reading and Spelling System, developed by renowned Dyslexia specialist, Susan Barton. Students that are not ready for the Susan Barton program are in the LiPS: The Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program from Lindamood-Bell.
Another great resource for parents is the Susan Barton website….http://www.dys-add.com There are several video and parent resources.