23 Apr

New Research on Reading Recovery

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25 Jan

Is your child struggling to read?

Listen to the assessments and interventions the school district has put into place.

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31 Dec

Is Your Child Struggling to Read?

If so, please attend the joint presentation with
Upper Arlington Academic Leadership and UA-KID

JANUARY 19, 2022 7:00 P.M.

UA Academic Leadership will Discuss

  • Why chlidren struggle to read
  • STAR – a parent’s guide
  • CTOPP Process – how does it work
  • Elementary Explorations and Multi Tiered
    Systems of Support (MTSS)
  • Flowchart of what families can expect if
    children are struggling to read or dyslexic

UA-KID will Discuss

  • Mission and Vision
  • How we educate and support UA
  • Quarterly meetings and
    educational presentations
  • We welcome new members

Presenters Include:
Andy Hatton, Associate Superintendent of Learning and Leadership
Keith Pomeroy, Chief Academic Ocer
Michelle Banks, Director of Curriculum and Instructiond
Brett Tingley, President of UA-KID

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 497 635 6722
Password: 721742

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21 Sep

UA-KID/Open UA School Board Candidate Forum

Listen to the UA School Board Candidates talk about their vision for education in the Upper Arlington School District.

Forum Recording

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12 Nov

Low-Pressure Ways to Learn Outside the Classroom

By: Laura Pearson

Children with disabilities are no strangers to becoming discouraged in the classroom. Dyslexia can turn some of the most basic classroom activities into a major challenge. Even with great resources such as those provided by Upper Arlington Kids Identified with Dyslexia (UA-KID), the extra effort to make classroom work click can take a big emotional toll.

Fortunately, there are plenty of fun, low-pressure ways to learn outside of the classroom. These educational activities are excellent ways to supplement your little one’s in-class experience. They give your child a chance to practice investigation, discovery, experimentation, and exploration. A child’s love of learning can get a little bruised in the classroom, but you can nurture it back to health with these extracurricular ideas:

Narrative Games and Comic Books

Some children develop an aversion to reading due to undiagnosed dyslexia. Although early screening can help prevent this, narrative video games can be a great way to re-introduce reading for fun. There are more and more video games out there that are, in effect, interactive books. Although all dyslexic children are different, narrated story-telling video games could be the bridge toward reading appreciation for many. If you’re new to gaming, you may want to check your connection speed — a slow WiFi network can make some games less enjoyable.

Comic books and graphic novels are other great options for children with dyslexia. Their benefits ultimately boil down to the same features — short, consumable bursts of dialogue surrounded by visual cues that enhance and round out the storytelling. There are comic books and graphic novels out there for every reading and age level. They can easily be a dyslexic child’s path toward a love of reading.

Explore Astronomy

Some kids learn things best when they can see it for themselves. Astronomy is a great subject for further scientific research and exploration for kids of any age. After all, kids of any age can look up at the sky. With a telescope (and an adult on hand to keep equipment and kiddos safe) even very young children can get a closer look at the celestial bodies above us.

Space also has the power to capture our imagination. Practice storytelling with your child by mapping out your own constellations. Name them, and come up with family legends for how your constellations came to be. Try to memorize their locations, or make it a family tradition to come up with a new one every time you catch a good view of the sky.

You can give this kind of outing extra oomph by heading to your nearest dark sky spot. These are areas far from light pollution that often have ideal weather conditions for seeing the stars. Make it into a family camping trip, and you can also take the chance to get up close with nature.

Arts, Crafts, and Other Forms of Expression

Although text might be a challenge for dyslexic children, other forms of creative expression can help your child blossom. Many people with dyslexia report a stronger draw toward creative pursuits than their neurotypical peers. This is due, in part, to the simple fact that they offer an accessible way to communicate and express oneself.

You can get kids involved in some form of artistic expression, no matter what age they are. If you’re not sure where to start, do some digging to see if you have a local arts center. These are often excellent resources for age-appropriate projects, and sometimes even provide low-cost crafting kits for families. They also often offer affordable art classes, so families at any budget can invest in their little one’s passions.

Learning disabilities don’t have to ruin a child’s love of learning, but they often make it difficult to find joy in the classroom. We hope these ideas inspire you to find the activity that reminds your little one how fun it is to learn.

If you have a child who has been diagnosed with dyslexia, check out the UA-KID resources page for more ways to empower your little one.

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12 Mar

How to Start Making a Family Financial Plan Today

By Sara Bailey
We all go into parenthood expecting to lose some sleep and change lots of diapers. On top of all this, your parent to-do list starts adding up with tasks you never even thought about before. One of those tasks that is easy to overlook, but absolutely essential, is basic financial planning. Your financial responsibilities shift in this stage of life, and if one person is a stay-at-home parent, your income may have changed, too. To make sure your financial plan matches your family’s situation, ask yourself these critical questions to see which areas could use some work.

Have you done a financial checkup recently?

We should all get checkups at the doctor to make sure we’re healthy. It doesn’t require a doctor (although an accountant could certainly help), but your finances need a checkup, too. Can you check off these essentials for your financial health?

  • Does your family have a budget? Are you living within your means?
  • If you have debt, do you have a plan for paying it down? Keep in mind that there is a difference between credit card debt (which you don’t want) and debt that can be positive (like buying a home – as long as your mortgage payment isn’t too high). There may be some types of debt you can’t avoid, such as student loans, but you still need a strategy for paying it off.
  • Do you have emergency savings? How about retirement accounts or college savings?

All of these questions factor into what your overall financial situation looks like, and the answers can help you set some family financial goals.

Have you looked at your insurance policies recently?

Insurance isn’t the most fun topic, but it’s a necessity every family has, regardless of your income and other financial goals. Any family with children should take a look at each of these types of insurance to make sure they’re fully covered:

  • Life insurance: You may not have thought much about life insurance before having children, but once you have little ones to support, life insurance becomes a necessity for most families. If you already have a policy, now is a good time to make sure your coverage matches where you are in life. If you don’t, it’s a good idea to look into options for term life insurance, which will provide a payout to your family if you were to pass away during the policy’s term. Every family’s financial situation is different, so it’s important to get an estimated rate that’s tailored to you. To do this, use an online calculator and input your combined debt, income, current health, age, and location. This tool will ensure that the cost and coverage you get fit your family’s needs.
  • Disability insurance: Another circumstance you may not want to think about is the possibility of one parent becoming injured and unable to work. According to US News, not every family needs disability insurance, but if you have little savings or one partner works in a job that has a higher likelihood of injury, it’s something you may want to consider.
  • Health insurance: Health insurance is complicated and highly dependent on your employment, income, and a number of other factors. The most important thing is to know what your coverage includes and whether different options may be better for your family. For example, Mayo Clinic explains the facts of Healthcare savings accounts (HSA) and situations in which families can benefit from having one.

Along with these major parts of your financial plan, a smaller but important consideration is whether you’re leaving money on the table. Many families don’t even realize how easily they could cut hidden expenses, such as fees, energy costs, and cell phone bills. These smaller ways of saving, combined with the big picture issues, should all be part of a smart family financial plan. We can’t promise parenthood won’t throw you some curveballs, but we do know that getting your finances in order will make you prepared for whatever comes your way.

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06 Mar

Grassroots efforts strengthened dyslexia awareness, education

By Mary Mogan Edwards – The Columbus Dispatch
Posted Feb 29, 2020

In 2010, my literacy journey began with my children. The more I learned about dyslexia, the more determined I became to help change the trajectory of as many lives as possible.

My work started within a grassroots organization in Upper Arlington forced to file a complaint against our school district because it failed to follow federal law and identify children with dyslexia and provide appropriate instruction. UA changed its ways, embraced the science of reading and has transformed into a district nationally renowned for its early literacy instruction.

UA screens each child entering kindergarten for dyslexia, provides phonics 30 minutes a day to every K-3 student, provides certified remediation for children with dyslexia and no longer utilizes Reading Recovery.

Parents formed OH-KID (@OHKID) to benefit Ohio’s children with dyslexia. OH-KID has parent groups from 20-plus school districts representing more than 180,000 Ohio students.

Poverty has many powerful forces, illiteracy being one of the strongest. The personal costs of helping a child with dyslexia can be staggering. Learning to read is a civil-rights issue.

Parent advocacy and equal access to services are part of the solution. Another is bringing science into teacher education. Many universities are decades behind in understanding dyslexia and the science of reading.

Until parents demand their children be taught to read, nothing will change.

We have produced a documentary, “Our Dyslexic Children,” that will premiere in Gateway’s Documentary Film Festival on March 28.

Every child deserves to learn to read.

Brett Tingley, Upper Arlington

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06 Mar

Ohio Legislator Pushing for Dyslexia Screening

An Ohio legislator with a family connection to dyslexia wants to make sure that all public and charter school students are screened for the common learning disorder. Read More

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06 Mar

Parents praise Upper Arlington turnaround to help dyslexic students

By Shannon Gilchrist, The Columbus Dispatch
Originally published Oct 10, 2016

Every child can learn to read, Upper Arlington schools officials now say, and spotting reading trouble early pays huge dividends over time.

That’s a sea change from 2010, say local parents of dyslexic students. They felt ignored as their children languished in remedial reading classes that weren’t helping them, so they filed a complaint with the state. The Ohio Department of Education ruled in 2011 that Upper Arlington was breaking federal law, refusing for years to identify students with reading disabilities and not giving them services that made a difference.

“I can’t imagine being allowed anywhere near a microphone with this crowd six years ago,” Brett Tingley, Upper Arlington mother and president of the advocacy group UA-KID, told an audience at Upper Arlington High School on Tuesday night.

The high school auditorium was the site of a celebration of the district’s progress during the annual meeting of the Central Ohio Branch of the International Dyslexia Association, or COBIDA. Families with children who had learning disabilities once fled the district, Tingley said, but now they are purposely moving into Upper Arlington.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, an estimated 8 to 10 percent of school-age children in the United States have some type of learning disability, which includes dyslexia, difficulty processing language.

Six years ago, the group of parents, frustrated with being dismissed and told everything was fine, set out to become experts in federal law and about the latest reading research. They crafted a mission statement and appointed officers, becoming UA-KID. Finally, 19 parents signed onto the complaint to the state on Aug. 30, 2010.

The state education department investigated and reported back on Aug. 29, 2011, finding Upper Arlington guilty of all the allegations: It routinely refused to test children and it made parents believe children were evaluated when they weren’t.

Leadership of the district has turned over since 2011, with a new superintendent and associate superintendent. Several people gave credit to the new director of student services, Kevin Gorman, for the turnaround.

Gorman and other district reading experts took the mic on Tuesday night to explain that Upper Arlington now diagnoses word “decoding” problems in kindergartners in all five elementary schools, using a test called the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing, or CTOPP. Struggling readers get immediate help using a phonics-based method called Orton-Gillingham.

Reach children early enough, the specialists said, and you rewire their brains to the point where they don’t qualify for special education anymore.

Now, the district is turning more attention to the middle-schoolers and high-schoolers with dyslexia who slipped through the cracks, giving them intensive tutoring and technology such as software that reads text aloud to help in other subjects while they catch up in reading.

“Personally, I have to pinch myself when I go into meetings (about my child),” Tingley said. “It was surreal to have the director of student services actually suggest things that would help my child.”

What happened to them, she said, is a warning to other school districts that view dealing with children with reading disabilities in the same way Upper Arlington used to.

Several parents from other districts, some fighting tears, asked panel members for advice about how to seek help for their own children.

“This is extraordinary, what Upper Arlington has done,” said Sara Hallermann of Dublin. “It should be a national model.”

Hallermann told the crowd during the Q&A session that she’s had similar issues finding dyslexia help within Dublin schools but ultimately gave up and sent her daughter to Marburn Academy, a local private school that works with children who learn differently.

Tingley advised parents: “If (school officials) do not listen, you must take action…You cannot get those years or their self-confidence back.

“When taking up the cause of our children, we do not mumble, we do not equivocate and we do not stop.”

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06 Mar

District Changes

How one school successfully did it.
Hear the story of a school district that changed the lives of students & families by teaching all students how to read in the way their brain learns.  The results are fantastic.  School district personnel detail their new identification methods, early literacy strategies and astounding results achieved with all K-3 students. It is a story of collaboration between the school district and the parents who had filed a complaint with ODE for not identifying and serving children with dyslexia.
Click here to learn more and watch a video about the Upper Arlington School District.

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