Decoding Dyslexia VA

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PALS Screening in Virginia

ACTION ALERT: INPUT NEEDED!

In an attempt to understand our publicly funded Virginia Universal Screener and the impact it has on our children in the classroom, Decoding Dyslexia Virginia began requesting data that is required by our universal screening law to be collected on our children in grades K-3.  

To provide background:

  • We understand that our state has mandated that a universal screener be administered to every child ages kindergarten through third grade.  
  • We are aware that the PALS assessment is the screener that the state has made available through public funds to our districts and if a district chooses to use an alternate screener, there must be an approved waiver.  
  • At this time, every district with the exception of Fairfax County, has committed to using the PALS screener as their fulfillment of the universal screener mandate.

Decoding Dyslexia Virginia has a mission to raise awareness and connect families to information and resources.  In our work to understand the issue of dyslexia and how it is intrinsically connected to literacy in Virginia, we believe it is important to understand everything from initial literacy screenings to appropriate interventions delivered by qualified educators with access to assistive technology and accommodations.  

In an effort to increase transparency with our community, we would like to share information about our efforts to obtain the PALS data in the last few months. Please consider completing this informal community survey to enrich our understanding of screening in the state of Virginia.

If you’d like to help cover the cost for this FOIA request, please DONATE here.

Timeline for obtaining PALS data:

September 19, 2018 – A DDVA parent sent an email to the VDOE requesting information on how to access the data collected from our publicly funded state screener.   

September 19, 2018 – VDOE response was that the data was accessible to vetted researchers only through the VLDS (Virginia Longitudinal Data System).

September 19, 2019 – DDVA parents respond that they are not vetted researchers and unable to access PALS data.

September 20, 2018 – VDOE informs us that suppressed data is available to the public through a FOIA, Freedom of Information Act request.  Easy how-to-do-it-yourself instructions available here!

September 21, 2018 – DDVA parents submit a FOIA request asking for state data.  This request was for information over multiple school years, to include grades K-3 and both subtest and composite test scores.

September 26, 2018 – VDOE issues the following response and invoice:

“VDOE staff has determined that it will take approximately 68.5 hours for staff to search, review, and produce the requested information.  VDOE policy provides that a $19.98 per hour fee shall be assessed for staff time to respond to FOIA requests, and waives the first $20.00 of charges. Therefore, your total estimated cost to respond to this request would be $1348.63.“  Invoice available here

September 26 – October 4, 2018 –  DDVA founding members conducted discussions regarding next steps. Outreach to additional experts in the field for guidance on our efforts to collect PALS data that was not readily accessible with our initial parent request

October 11, 2018 – DDVA submitted the $674.32 deposit (link google doc of invoice) through mail to move forward with the data request.

October 18, 2018 – VDOE receipt of deposit begins the work on the DDVA FOIA request.

October 18, 2018 – VDOE files for an extension, new due date October 31, 2018

October 31, 2018DDVA receives answers to specific questions from VDOE.

 Raw data available here. 

Raw data version 2

November 1, 2018 – DDVA sends remaining balance of $674.32 to VDOE through the mail.

November 1, 2018 – Present  – DDVA begins analysis of data.

November 6, 2018 – DDVA developed an informal community survey to gather additional information.  
For a deep dive on Virginia literacy we provided some additional resources HERE.

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2018 Decoding Dyslexia Hill Days – July 11th – Washington DC

This Wednesday Decoding Dyslexia families from around the country will meet in DC to elevate dyslexia awareness. Information on the days events below.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1m8HYypNRJRWOaQdr6XmKu8t-eUzXq1bG/view?usp=drivesdk

Wilson Language Training Scholarship for Virginia Teachers

DDVA is pleased to announce one scholarship available for a Virginia teacher or tutor interested in the Wilson Reading System Introductory Workshop offered in Sandston, VA (near Richmond, VA) on September 25th, 26th and 27th.
Training details available here:
Scholarship applicants can apply once during the month of July 2018 by completing this form. Our Wilson Reading System Scholarship winner will be chosen in a random lottery during the first week of August and contacted immediately.
All applicants must be able to commit to all three days of training, as well as cover their own travel and accommodations costs

.

Apply here:

DDVA Dyslexia Advocacy Day 2018

 

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Register HERE

Date of Meeting: Tuesday, 1/30/2018

Time of Meeting: 9:00am – 3:00pm

Location: General Assembly Building Under Construction (new address to follow)

Join DDVA on January 30, 2018 for a day of dyslexia advocacy work. On our 5th annual organized advocacy day, we will bring the community together at the Richmond General Assembly Building to visit legislators in their offices to educate them on dyslexia by sharing our stories in order to direct their attention to the almost 1 in 5 Virginians that are affected.

Let us know if you have an appointment with your legislator here:

Advocacy Day Canvassing Efforts – Log your appointment here soon!

Join us on January 29th at the Legend Brewing at 5:30pm to introduce ourselves, see old friends and learn about the next day’s advocacy work!

321 West 7th Street, Richmond, VA 23224

 

How can you help?

Reach out to your representatives TODAY to schedule a visit in your district office in the coming month or for a sit down in their office in Richmond on January 30th as the date grows closer. Our lobbying consultants have shared that a legislator with prior knowledge of dyslexia will be much more likely to vote for a proposed bill!  This means we need to make our introductions now so that our time in Richmond will be used for further education and (hopefully) an introduction to the proposed legislation we would like to get passed.

What is ‘The Ask”?

Call your legislators and ask them to CO-SPONSOR our dyslexia bills.  Specific bill number and patrons coming soon.

And ask them if they would like to write a draft bill to support our efforts. If not this year, then next year! DDVA will be happy to share some suggestions on areas to focus if the interest is there. If not, ask them to support the proposed bill(s) we hope to have during the 2018 legislative session.

DDVA Dyslexia Advocacy Day 2018

Contact DDVA with questions at decodingdyslexiava@gmail.com

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Symbol of the Dyslexic Journey

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Before I head into the lazy days of summer, I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all of the people who have taken the time to reach out about the pqbd symbol. What started as an emblem to provide strength in IEP meetings has blossomed into a deeper symbol of the dyslexic journey. Once again I am humbled by the ways that art can lift and carry us to places that words are unable to achieve. Some of you have told me about your pqbd tattoo, the pqbd jewelry you wear or give, the conversations that were started, but most of all how this dyslexia symbol relates to you. I have received the most inspiring letters and phone calls about how the pqbd symbol has been meaningful on this personal journey. Hearing these stories keeps providing me encouragement for positive change. I thought I would share some simple excerpts. I am collecting these stories and always find them powerful!
Please share yours at www.pqbd.org

Rebecca Warner
pqbd.org

“Love your work and so glad that you have created something to start the
conversation of dyslexia. My 8 year old was diagnosed 2 years ago. I see it
as a gift, but I also know that it truly is a fight to get the help they need. ”
Mary

“All of my life I have dealt with dyslexia and I wanted to put your symbol on my wrist… A sign of being a dyslexic and embracing it. ”
Dylan

“I really want this for my daughter’s teacher who fought to get her identified. We got an
IEP today!”
Julya

“Nothing makes me feel more connected to the power of the common voice for awareness and change (and to my own son’s tiny voice hugging my heart), then when I feel the smooth weight of this shiny symbol against my skin.”
Debby

“My son was so excited to explain the symbolism of the pqbd to his teachers. It was the first time I had told him he might have dyslexia.”
Wendy

advocate smaller

DDVA Dyslexia Advocacy Day

SAVE THE DATE!

RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ddva-dyslexia-advocacy-day-tickets-20463850929

February 2, 2016

Join DDVA on February 2, 2016 for a day of dyslexia advocacy work. On our third annual organized advocacy day, we will bring the community together at the Richmond General Assembly Building to visit legislators in their offices to educate them on dyslexia by sharing our stories in order to direct their attention toward the almost 1 in 5 Virginians that are affected.

How can you help?

Reach out to your representatives TODAY to schedule a visit in your district office in the coming months. Our lobbying consultants have shared that a legislator with prior knowledge of dyslexia will be much more likely to vote for a proposed bill! This means we need to make our introductions now so that our time in Richmond will be used for further education and (hopefully) an introduction to the proposed legislation we would like to get passed.

What is ‘The Ask”?

Ask them if they would like to write a draft bill to support our efforts. DDVA will be happy to share some suggestions on areas to focus if the interest is there. If not, ask them to support the proposed bill(s) we hope to have during the 2016 legislative session.

T-SHIRTS ARE HERE!

ORDER YOUR TSHIRT BY 1/19/16 FOR GUARANTEED DELIVERY BEFORE FEB 2!

http://wallstarprints.com/g200-ddva-navy-tee/

Use these links to support your lobbying efforts:

DDVA Advocacy Packet

https://decodingdyslexiava.wordpress.com/ddva-advocacy-packets/

Talking Points

https://decodingdyslexiava.wordpress.com/talking-points/

Find Your Legislator

https://decodingdyslexiava.wordpress.com/find-your-legislator/

Contact DDVA with questions at decodingdyslexiava@gmail.com

New Dyslexia Resolution Fresh off the Presses!

New dyslexia resolution from Senator Cassidy’s office  was just released Senate Resolution 275!

oct 2015 res from cassidy page 1 oct 2015 res from cassidy page 2

What can VA do??? Reach out to our Virginia State Senator’s:  Senator Mark Warner and Senator Tim Kaine

Let them know Dyslexia is an important issue to your family and urge the office to sign on as a cosponsor of Senate Resolution 275, the Cassidy/Mikulski resolution.

http://www.saydyslexia.org/blog/action-alert-ask-your-us-senators-to-co-sponsor-bi-partisan-dyslexia-resolution-today

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