teacher, parents and 2 students on parent night

RTI, Dyslexia, BE/ESL, 504, At Risk



Our process is organic - a natural flow from first, checking for effective classroom instruction, second, if needed, the implementation of research based intervention, third, progress monitoring and data collection over a “reasonable” period to determine individualized student needs, perform informal screenings, and possible referral for formal assessment.  

The goal is to generate research based interventions, behavior charts/goals, classroom accommodations and recommendations to support the teacher and advance the students learning.



What Is Dyslexia?   Dyslexia is 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 cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. Studies show that individuals with dyslexia process information in a different area of the brain than do non-dyslexics. Many people who are dyslexic are of average to above average intelligence.

Adopted by the IDA Board of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002. This Definition is also used by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).


NABE - Bilingual Education

Bilingual education has been practiced in many forms, in many countries, for thousands of years. Defined broadly, it can mean any use of two languages in school – by teachers or students or both – for a variety of social and pedagogical purposes. In today’s context, a period of demographic transformation in the United States, bilingual education means something more specific. It refers to approaches in the classroom that use the native languages of English language learners (ELs) for instruction. Goals include:

• teaching English,

• fostering academic achievement,

• acculturating immigrants to a new society,

• preserving a minority group’s linguistic and cultural heritage,

• enabling English speakers to learn a second language,

• developing national language resources, or

• any combination of the above.

Burnham-Massey, L., & Pina, M. (1990). Effects of bilingual instruction on English academic achievement of LEP students. Reading Improvement, 27(2), 129-132.

Cummins, J. (1989). Empowering minority students. Sacramento, CA: California Association for Bilingual Education.


The Many Faces of English - Learners (ELs) 

Myth: Many ELs have disabilities, which is why they are often overrepresented in special education.

Reality: While it is true that a disproportionate number of ELs are represented in special education, placement rates vary with the size of the EL population in each state and access to EL programs. 

Studies find that current assessments that do not differentiate between disabilities and linguistic differences can lead to misdiagnosis of ELs. Unfortunately, inappropriate placements in special education can limit the growth of ELs without disabilities. 

Research suggests that ELs with disabilities can learn, and early intervention can prevent academic failure. Inclusive environments that provide challenging rather than remedial instruction will be most effective. 


ELs appear to be the fastest growing segment of the student population. The highest growth occurs in grades 7–12, where ELs increased by approximately 70 percent between 1992 and 2002. ELs now comprise 10.5 percent of the nation’s K–12 enrollment, up from 5 percent in 1990.

ELs typically do not fit easily into simple categories; they comprise a diverse group. Recent research shows that 57 percent of adolescent ELs were born in the U.S., while 43 percent were born elsewhere.

ELs may have varied levels of language proficiency, socio-economic standing, expectations of schooling, content knowledge, and immigration status. 

Key Terms

EL (English Learner): an active learner of the English language who may benefit from various types of language support programs. This term is used mainly in the U.S. to describe K–12 students.

ESL (English as a Second Language): formerly used to designate ELL students; this term increasingly refers to a program of instruction designed to support the ELL. It is still used to refer to multilingual students in higher education. 

LEP (Limited English Proficiency): employed by the U.S. Department of Education to refer to ELLs who lack sufficient mastery of English to meet state standards and excel in an English-language classroom. Increasingly, English Language Learner (ELL) is used to describe this population, because it highlights learning, rather than suggesting that non-native English-speaking students are deficient. 

EFL (English as a Foreign Language) Students: nonnative-English-speaking students who are learning English in a country where English is not the primary language. 1.5 Generation Students: graduates of U.S. High schools who enter college while still learning English; may include refugees and permanent residents as well as naturalized and native-born citizens of the U.S. 

©2008 by the National Council of Teachers of English, 1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, Illinois 61801-1096. All rights reserved 


Reviewed annually. Determinations include assessment considerations such as TELPAS areas to address and STAAR L, accommodation in the classroom, push in services for intervention if needed, Parent concerns and exit criteria. State reporting required. 


Section 504 - Civil Rights Law, Protection from... - Wrights Law

What is Section 504? Section 504 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination based upon disability. Section 504 is an anti-discrimination, civil rights statute that requires the needs of students with disabilities to be met as adequately as the needs of the non-disabled are met.

Section 504 states that: “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 706(8) of this title, shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance...” [29 U.S.C. §794(a), 34 C.F.R. §104.4(a)].

Who is covered under Section 504? To be covered under Section 504, a student must be “qualified ” (which roughly equates to being between 3 and 22 years of age, depending on the program, as well as state and federal law, and must have a disability) [34 C.F.R. §104.3(k)(2)].

Who is an “individual with a disability”? As defined by federal law: “An individual with a disability means any person who: (i) has a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity; (ii) has a record of such an impairment; or (iii) is regarded as having such an impairment” [34 C.F.R. §104.3(j)(1)].

What is an “impairment” as used under the Section 504 definition? An impairment as used in Section 504 may include any disability, long-term illness, or various disorders that “substantially” reduces or lessens a student’s ability to access learning in the educational setting because of a learning-, behavior- or health-related condition. [“It should be emphasized that a physical or mental impairment does not constitute a disability for purposes of Section 504 unless its severity is such that it results in a substantial limitation of one or more major life activities” (Appendix A to Part 104, #3)].


The term at-risk is often used to describe students or groups of students who are considered to have a higher probability of failing academically or dropping out of school. The term may be applied to students who face circumstances that could jeopardize their ability to complete school, such as homelessness, incarceration, teenage pregnancy, serious health issues, domestic violence, transiency (as in the case of migrant-worker families), or other conditions, or it may refer to learning disabilities, low test scores, disciplinary problems, grade retentions, or other learning-related factors that could adversely affect the educational performance and attainment of some students.