PDE Expanding the Pilot Program! 

PDE is adding 15 new school districts to the pilot program.  Applications are due October 31,2019 and can be found here.  Please encourage your district to apply!

The Dyslexia Screening and Early Literacy Intervention Pilot Program (Act 69, 2014) was conducted for 3 years in 8 school districts across Pennslyvania.  This site is devoted to telling the story of the pilot implementation and sucess. 

In June 2013 Rep. Ed Neilson(D) from Phildaelphia introduced HB 198 the 

Dyslexia Screening and Early Literacy Intervention Pilot Program.  With the support of parents and educators, the pilot was signed into law in June of 2014.   The Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education oversaw the implentation of the pilot.  An additional five school disticts were added for a total of eight districts.  The Advisory Committee was formed and began meeting in July of 2014.  Below are the highlights of the bill and its implementation. 

Highlights of the Pilot


As required by legislation (PA Act 69, 2014):


- The program will operate in at least 3 school districts for 3 full school
  years. Participating districts must provide full-day kindergarten.

- All Kindergarten students in participating districts will be screened for
  risk factors associated with future reading difficulties.

- The program will provide a tiered support system, using
  evidence-based intervention services for students with risk factors for
  early reading difficulties and dyslexia, such as low phonemic awareness,
  low letter and symbol naming and inability to remember sequences.

- Teachers and other support personnel will be trained to use multi sensory
  structured language programs as part of regular classroom instruction for
  students scoring below the benchmark and will provide timely targeted
  instruction and strategic re-teaching and intensive intervention in
  identified areas.

- Following implementation and evaluation, the state Secretary of Education
  will submit an evaluation of the pilot program to the General Assembly,
  with recommendations to continue, expand or make changes to the program.

- The Pennsylvanian Department of Education would also determine whether
  programs of this type have the potential to reduce future special
  education costs in the state.


As implemented (2015-2018):


- The program operated in 8 school districts for three full school years
  (2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18), all of which provided full-day
  kindergarten. In combination, these districts served more than 1500
  kindergarten students each year.
- In each year of the program, incoming kindergarten students were screened
  for risk of reading difficulties using a standard assessment tool.
- The program provided a tiered support system for all students, using
  evidence based multi-sensory instructional programs targeting phonemic
  awareness and systematic synthetic phonics in grades K through 2.  
- Teachers and other support personnel were trained to use multi sensory
  structured language programs as part of regular classroom instruction, in
  combination with additional small-group instruction for students
  identified as being at risk of reading difficulties.

- After each year of the project, AIR (https://air.org) provided an annual
  report of the project's progress. The year 2 annual report can be
  downloaded here: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED582923 . The final report, of
  the project has not yet been made available to the public (as of April,