Reading & Literacy

What Do Students With Dyslexia Need From Schools? Two Experts Weigh In

By Elizabeth Heubeck — May 09, 2023 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

As many as 15 to 20 percent of students show some symptoms of dyslexia, such as inaccurate reading, poor spelling, poor writing, or mixing up similar words, according to the International Dyslexia Association.

But the number of symptoms and the degree of their severity vary widely among affected students. So too does the knowledge, training, and resources that schools have at their disposal to address it. But awareness around dyslexia is increasing among educators, who are looking for deeper understanding about this complicated neurological-based disorder.

In a webinar earlier this month, Education Week featured two seasoned educators who have dedicated their careers to creating pathways to literacy for students with dyslexia. Maria Paluselli is chief executive officer of Provident Charter School in Pittsburgh, which serves students in grades 2 through 8 with dyslexia and other language-based learning differences. Doug Rich is a math and reading interventionist at McKinley Elementary School in San Francisco, and the parent of two sons with dyslexia. (View 20 minutes of the webinar in the video embedded at the top of this page.)

In a fascinating conversation with these experts, Paluselli and Rich shared insights they’ve gleaned through their decades of work in this field—from the frustrations experienced by students with dyslexia and their families when the disorder goes undiagnosed, to the demanding and intensive interventions that enable students with dyslexia to crack the reading code.

During the webinar, Rich shared his own educational journey toward understanding dyslexia as both a parent and a reading interventionist in an elementary school. “I kept discovering layers. This is not a three-hour or a day-long or even a week-long training,” he said. “There is so much to learn about our writing system.”

The complexity of dyslexia underscores why, as Paluselli aptly observed, “these really bright people don’t understand why school is so dang hard for them.”

Hear from these two educators as they discuss how to recognize early warning signs of dyslexia; the key components of effective intervention; what schools designed for students with the disorder include, and what they purposefully omit; and more.


Student Well-Being Webinar After-School Learning Top Priority: Academics or Fun?
Join our expert panel to discuss how after-school programs and schools can work together to help students recover from pandemic-related learning loss.
Budget & Finance Webinar Leverage New Funding Sources with Data-Informed Practices
Address the whole child using data-informed practices, gain valuable insights, and learn strategies that can benefit your district.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
ChatGPT & Education: 8 Ways AI Improves Student Outcomes
Revolutionize student success! Don't miss our expert-led webinar demonstrating practical ways AI tools will elevate learning experiences.
Content provided by Inzata

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Reading & Literacy State Laws Are Behind Many Book Bans, Even Indirectly, Report Finds
School districts are reacting to state laws that dictate the kinds of books school libraries can have, leading to book bans, report finds.
7 min read
Protesters read in the middle of the Texas Capitol rotunda as The Texas Freedom Network holds a "read-in" to protest HB 900 Wednesday, April 19, 2023. The bill would ban sexually explicit materials from library books in schools.
Protesters read in the middle of the Texas Capitol rotunda as The Texas Freedom Network holds a "read-in" to protest HB 900 Wednesday, April 19, 2023. The bill would ban sexually explicit materials from library books in schools. Mass book bans in a handful of districts are influenced by state legislation, PEN America found.
Mikala Compton/Austin American-Statesman via AP
Reading & Literacy Reports Recent Book Ban Controversies: A National Survey of School Library Personnel
The EdWeek Research Center surveyed librarians and other staff members to gauge the impact of controversies about books in school libraries.
Reading & Literacy Opinion Use Knowledge-Building Curriculum to Boost Literacy
By pursuing in-depth knowledge building about specific topics, students are able to show what they can do, not just what they can't.
7 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."