Virginia

State Education Agency (SEA) Dyslexia Legislation

Has Legislation?Yes

Parent Opt-Out/Consent Procedures by Law?
No
SEA Recognizes IDA Definition?
Yes
SEA Recognizes State Definition?
Yes
SEA Has Dyslexia Specialist?
No


Virginia HB842, HB2395/1516, and HB1265.



HB 842 "Requires Board of Education regulations governing teacher licensure to require every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license to complete awareness training, provided by the Department of Education, on the indicators of dyslexia and the evidence-based interventions and accommodations for dyslexia. The bill requires the Department of Education to collaborate with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia to ensure that all teacher preparation programs offered at public institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth or otherwise available convey information on the identification of students at risk for learning disabilities, including dyslexia, other language-based learning disabilities, and attention deficit disorder. The bill has a delayed effective date of July 1, 2017." Meanwhile, HB2395/1516 requires “each local school board shall employ the following reading specialists in elementary schools, one full-time in each elementary school at the discretion of the local school board. One reading specialist employed by each local school board shall have training in the identification of and the appropriate interventions, accommodations, and teaching techniques for students with dyslexia or a related disorder and shall serve as an advisor on dyslexia and related disorders.”



Virginia’s dyslexia handbook recognizes IDA’s definition of dyslexia.


Screening

Required?Yes

Parents Must Be Notified of Results?
No
SEA Publishes List of Screeners?
No
Annual Reporting to the SEA?
No
Response to Intervention for Student Learning Disability Eligibility in 2010?
Permitted by law
Severe Discrepancy for Student Learning Disability Eligibility in 2010?
Permitted by law
Student Learning Disability Eligibility (Zirkel & Thomas 2010 Classification)?
RTI, SD, and Other permitted (ambiguity in guidelines noted)


A Virginia Department of Education document on dyslexia states, "In 1997, Virginia required early screening for reading difficulties and the Early Intervention Reading Initiative (EIRI) was established.  The purpose of this screening is to identify students at risk for reading difficulty and to reduce the number of children with reading problems through early screening and identification, and to accelerate their acquisition of early reading skills by the end of each grade level, kindergarten through third-grade through the provision of research based reading instruction.  The Phonological Awareness and Literacy Screening-Kindergarten (PALS-K) was developed as part of  this effort and is considered to be a reliable criterion-referenced screening, diagnostic and prescriptive tool to inform instruction. Screening instruments must address all components of reading including phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension.



State Recognized Screeners



PALS. See the state resource guide for further guidelines about screening.


Pre-service

Required?Yes


Virginia HB842 states, "Every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license shall complete awareness training, provided by the Department of Education, on the indicators of dyslexia, as that term is defined by the Board pursuant to regulations, and the evidence-based interventions and accommodations for dyslexia." Moreover, HB1265 requires “each education preparation program offered by a public institution of higher education or private institution of higher education that leads to a degree, concentration, or certificate for reading specialists to include a program of coursework or other training in the identification of and the appropriate interventions, accommodations, and teaching techniques for students with dyslexia or a related disorder. The bill requires such programs to (i) include coursework in the constructs and pedagogy underlying remediation of reading, spelling, and writing and (ii) require reading specialists to demonstrate mastery of an evidence-based, structured literacy instructional approach that includes explicit, systematic, sequential, and cumulative instruction.”


In-service

Required?Yes


Every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license shall complete awareness training, provided by the Department of Education, on the indicators of dyslexia, as that term is defined by the Board pursuant to regulations, and the evidence-based interventions and accommodations for dyslexia.


Intervention

Required?Yes

Multisensory?
Required
Evidence-Based?
Required
Explicit/Direct?
Required
MTSS/RTI?
Promoted


A Virginia Department of Education document on dyslexia states, "The Regulations Governing the Standards of  Quality requires local school divisions to provide reading intervention services to students in kindergarten through grade three who demonstrate deficiencies based on their individual performance on a reading diagnostic/prescriptive assessment as indicated in Code of  Virginia § 22.1-253.13:1 and 22.1-253.13:2. HB1516 also notes, “To provide reading intervention services required by § 22.1-253.13:1, school divisions may employ reading specialists to provide the required reading intervention services. School divisions using the Early Reading Intervention Initiative funds in this manner shall employ only instructional personnel licensed by the Board of Education.”



The state handbook states further that students who do not qualify for special education may be supported through RTI and “students with dyslexia will benefit from evidence-based instruction that targets the development of basic reading and spelling skills. Intervention for students with dyslexia must be intensive, explicit, systematic, structured, multi-sensory, and be accompanied by frequent progress monitoring.”


Literacy State-identified Measurable Result (SIMR) - Part B

Has Literacy SIMR?No


Resources


Virginia Department of Education Dyslexia Resources



Decoding Dyslexia Virginia



International Dyslexia Association Virginia


Citations

Zirkel, P. A., & Thomas, L. B. (2010). State laws for RTI: An updated snapshot. Teaching Exceptional Children, 42(3), 56-63.

Gearin, B., Turtura, J., Kame’enui, E. J., Nelson, N. J., & Fien, H. (2018). A Multiple Streams Analysis of Recent Changes to State-Level Dyslexia Education Law. Educational Policy, 0895904818807328.

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Last modified: 
11/06/2020 - 3:50pm