Create a task force to explore improvements in HPISD services to students with dyslexia

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HPISD is a leader in many areas and has earned a strong reputation for excellence and innovation. Parents of students with dyslexia hope that the district’s education of dyslexic students will soon earn an equal reputation. With pioneering leadership and support, HPISD could no doubt achieve state-wide recognition in this area as well. After all, what is more important than ensuring Highland Park students reach their learning potential!

Parents share the following concerns about HPISD dyslexia services and believe the underlying issues are worth exploring further via a task force and considering when creating HPISD’s budget in 2020-2021 and future years:

Reading Instruction

  • 23% of all HPISD 3rd-grade students failed to meet grade-level standards on STAAR 2019 reading assessment
  • Core reading instruction and first-line intervention for struggling readers that are not designed to benefit students with dyslexia

Identification Process

  • Leads to under-identification of students with dyslexia
  • Delays identification until mid-elementary school
  • Denies students with suspected disabilities access to Full and Individualized Evaluation (FIE)

Instructional Interventions

  • Not individualized to student instructional needs
  • Full dyslexia intervention not provided prior to 2nd grade
  • Access to a single dyslexia curriculum, Take Flight
  • Take Flight not implemented with fidelity
  • No exit criteria consistent with initial data used to identify dyslexia; student exits intervention solely based on completion of the program


  • Limited options for accommodations
  • Not implemented with fidelity according to documented Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and 504 plans


  • Limited staff trained to support dyslexic students via 504 and IEP both during and after Take Flight

Federal and State Compliance

  • Limited adherence to state/federal guidelines re: Child Find
  • Not aligned to Texas Dyslexia Handbook

A diverse task force of stakeholders including HPISD educators, Region 10 dyslexia staff, state-wide experts (in evaluation/reading/dyslexia/intervention), and HPISD parents of dyslexic students could work collaboratively to:

  • Review core instruction in reading and writing to ensure it aligns with the science of teaching reading and also benefits all students in the classroom
  • Explore how the current HPISD dyslexia process (identification, intervention, and accommodation) is aligned with state and federal guidelines. 
  • Evaluate the quality and effectiveness of current dyslexia interventions
  • Explore dyslexia intervention options for students who have needs beyond Take Flight
  • Explore why 26% of dyslexic students living in HPISD are attending private school…and what the district can change to bring them back.

Explore cost-effective options for reading/dyslexia curriculum and staff development in reading practices that benefit all students.

Executive Summary of the report: Students with dyslexia and their education in HPISD

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