For more than 100 years, Garland ISD has focused on providing innovative programs and opportunities to prepare all learners for success. Keeping with tradition, the district is leading the way by expanding its dyslexia services for students and families. From hiring dozens of certified therapists to introducing new events, GISD is setting the framework for an esteemed and dynamic dyslexia program.
“We are continuously building a program that is all encompassing to ensure each student with dyslexia is identified and served in order to afford them an opportunity to be academically, socially and emotionally successful in the classroom and beyond,” said Assistant Director of Dyslexia Marcy Eisinger.
GISD offers several research-based programs such as Take Flight and Esperanza, which provide multisensory instruction and intervention using a differentiated approach. Incorporating a variety of instructional strategies is essential to the program.
“We understand every student is unique,” Eisinger stated. “We are taking every measure to ensure that we meet the individual needs of students at all grade levels.”
A strong focus on early literacy programs and secondary support was established to address all ages. Administering a kindergarten through first-grade universal screener helps with early identification and intervention, while accommodations and self-advocacy support secondary students. In addition, the district welcomed nearly 40 teachers who are or will soon become Certified Academic Language Therapists. These experts have the highest level of training and must pass a national exam to receive their certification.
“Not only do they understand how to provide a curriculum, they understand the needs our students have and the obstacles they face. They are able to give all students what they need,” Eisinger said. “They will also help classroom teachers with knowledge of accommodations, the use of technology and resources that will serve students with dyslexia.”
GISD’s enhanced services also reinforce the creation of powerful family-district partnerships through a parent resource group and special ongoing public events.
“We created a bilingual simulation to further encourage involvement and understanding within our community,” Eisinger expressed. “These new programs and procedures will support our goal for continuous improvement in literacy that translates into success with the core curriculum and life outside of the classroom.”
As with all other GISD initiatives, preparing students for a successful future is the ultimate objective.
“Our goal is to rewrite the story for individuals who once were hidden in their disability and are now thriving in their abilities. We strive to leave a legacy and set a precedence for other districts to emulate the process and procedures that protect, encourage and develop the academic independence and emotional security for students with dyslexia.”