Fairfield University Partners with Norwalk Public Schools to Launch Summer Dyslexia Intervention Clinic


Fairfield University Media Contact:  Susan Cipollaro, scipollaro@fairfield.edu, 203-254-4000 ext. 2726

Norwalk Public School Media Contact: Brenda Williams, williams@norwalkps.org, 203-854-4003

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (July 13, 2017)—Through a generous gift by The Noble Trust, Fairfield University’s Reading and Language Development Program is partnering with Norwalk Public Schools (NPS) to launch the Norwalk Center for Specialized Learning in Literacy, a comprehensive dyslexia training and intervention program.

As one of only two educator preparation programs in Connecticut accredited by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA), Fairfield is working closely with the IDA to design innovative pre-service and in-service educator preparation models to ensure that educators are prepared to earn national certification with the IDA as Dyslexia Practitioners.

Norwalk Public School educators are receiving training led by a recognized Fellow from the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators. Orton-Gillingham is an instructional approach for treatment of dyslexia and difficulty with reading, spelling and writing.

Fifteen NPS special education staff including teachers, speech and language specialists, and instructional assistants with a bachelor’s degree or higher, will have the opportunity to earn their Classroom Educator Certification through the Academy and their Dyslexia Practitioner Certification through IDA’s affiliate, the Center for Effective Reading Instruction (CERI). 

 

The initiative will roll out in three phases:

Phase one provides six special education teachers, and speech and language specialists with 24 hours of Orton-Gillingham training from Literacy How prior to beginning student instruction. Twelve students who have been identified with dyslexia will receive two hours of daily systematic, intensive instruction four days a week, for six weeks starting June 26 to August 3. Training and instruction is currently taking place at Brookside Elementary School.

Phase two of the plan consists of unveiling the newly renovated literary center, located in the former health and records facility, 350 Main Ave. Students will receive four to six hours per week of individualized reading intervention, which will take place at the student’s home school. Staff training will occur in the literacy center.

During phase three, the Norwalk Summer Dyslexia Clinic model is being expanded across the district. The Center is scheduled to be open to students starting summer 2018 and will be staffed with certified Orton-Gillingham classroom educators and certified dyslexia practitioners who will provide systematic, intensive instruction and intervention services before, during, and after school. NPS will provide transportation to the facility for students.

As part of the grant, Fairfield is also working to ensure that the district has adequately prepared school psychologists to identify students with dyslexia and will fund the training of five school psychologists in the Spring 2018.

Vol. 50, # 2

Fairfield University is a Jesuit University, rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 36 states, 47 foreign countries, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are enrolled in the University’s five schools. In the spirit of rigorous and sympathetic inquiry into all dimensions of human experience, Fairfield welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to share ideas and engage in open conversations. The University is located in the heart of a region where the future takes shape, on a stunning campus on the Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.

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Posted on July 17, 2017

Vol. 50, No. 2

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