Literacy Instruction & Supports

How do Urbandale Community Schools support students with learning to read ?

Urbandale School uses a tiered system of support to address students who are learning to read,  our staff uses reading screening assessments,  district assessments and in classroom assessments to monitor reading progress. UCSD  works to analyze the areas in which the students are not experiencing success, and then connect them with appropriate instruction and interventions. Urbandale uses a structured multi-sensory approach in grades kindergarten through third grade to explicitly teach phonics and essential foundational skills to learn to read.

Teams should consider all relevant information when matching interventions to student learning needs, including a diagnosis of dyslexia should one exist. This may necessitate the collection of additional diagnostic information gathered as part of the problem solving process. Interventions are aligned to need based on data. The initial intervention(s) selected should be of an appropriate intensity and duration needed to close the learning gap(s) that exist for a student. The study team should clearly define expectations for progress monitoring (at least weekly) and review of progress (at least every six weeks) based on student need. A process for supporting and monitoring the fidelity of intervention implementation and appropriate corrective action (if necessary) will be defined.

If initial interventions are not successful, further diagnostic work will be conducted, and interventions will be altered and/or intensified to better match student need. These changes could include, but are not limited to, changes in instructional focus, amount of time, and instructional methodology. Intensification of diagnostic assessment and intervention will continue until the student experiences success. In some cases this process may lead to the suspicion of a disability, in which case permission for evaluation for special education services will be requested.

Beginning Fall of 2023, all PreK-5 classroom and support teachers receive dyslexia overview training. 

Research on Dyslexia has shown that effective strategies for students with Dyslexia include explicit systematic instruction, a multi-sensory approach, and a structured language approach. The expertise and materials to support students who need these are available at UCSD, and will be utilized when student data shows they are appropriate.

High-Quality Instructional Materials

Urbandale Community Schools is committed to providing our students high-quality standards-aligned instructional materials. The central approach to teaching foundational reading skills and concepts is multi-sensory and based on the science of reading using the following materials:

K-3rd Grade: Really Great Reading

K-2nd Grade: Flyleaf Decodable Readers

4th-5th Grade: Word Connections

Intervention: Orton-Gillingham

Learn more about Dyslexia Support in Iowa Schools