Dyslexia Services

  • Mission Statement

    The mission of Burleson Independent School District Dyslexia Department is to provide all eligible students with dyslexia with the multi-sensory and phonological awareness skills necessary to compensate for deficiencies in the areas of reading, writing, and spelling, in order to nurture a strong self-esteem and to provide opportunities for them to develop their talents.

    Program Goals 

    Burleson Independent School strives to have an exemplary dyslexia program for students enrolled in grades K – 12.  Through a responsiveness to intervention process, Burleson ISD monitors students on a regular basis utilizing formal and informal observations, student data and other assessments including but not limited to DRA, ISIP, and/or curriculum based measures.

    Pursuant to the TEA’s The Dyslexia Handbook, 2024 Update, students being referred for consideration of dyslexia should have demonstrated age appropriate developmental progress and have received appropriate instruction in reading, including but not limited to accelerated reading programs as required by the state.  Schools must recommend evaluation for dyslexia if the student demonstrates poor performance in one or more areas of reading and spelling that is unexpected for the student’s age/grade and if the student exhibits the characteristics and risk factors of dyslexia as outlined in Ch. 2 of The Dyslexia Handbook, 2021 Update.  In 2017, the 85th Texas Legislature passed House Bill (HB) 1886, amending Texas Education Code (TEC) §38.003, Screening and Treatment for Dyslexia,1 to require that all kindergarten and first-grade public school students be screened for dyslexia and related disorders. Additionally, the law requires that all students beyond first grade be screened or tested as appropriate. In response to the screening requirements of HB 1886, the SBOE amended its rule in 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §74.28, Students with Dyslexia and Related Disorders. While this rule speaks primarily to evaluation and identification of a student with dyslexia or related disorders, it also requires that evaluations only be conducted by appropriately trained and qualified individuals. 

    Progression through RTI is not required in order to begin the identification of dyslexia.  Parents/guardians always have the right to request a referral for a dyslexia evaluation at any time.

    Burleson ISD is committed to the development and implementation of a dyslexia program that addresses both the Texas Education Code at §38.003 and the Texas Administrative Code at §74.28.

     Addressing Burleson ISD’s commitment, the following reflects the goals of the district dyslexia program:

    •     Identify, refer, and evaluate students in K-12 who may be demonstrating characteristics of dyslexia and related disorders;
    •     Provide instructional treatment options for students identified with dyslexia and related disorders;
    •     Provide staff development that includes:
      • Understanding the characteristics of dyslexia;
      • Evaluation process for the identification of dyslexia;
      • Instruction of students with dyslexia; and
      • Intervention strategies and accommodations.
    •     Provide a parent education program pursuant to 19 TAC §74.28(k) that includes:
      • Awareness and characteristics of dyslexia and related disorders;
      • Information on testing and educational diagnosis of dyslexia and related disorders;
      • Information on effective strategies for teaching students with dyslexia and related disorders;
      • Information on qualifications of those delivering services to students with dyslexia and related disorders;
      • Awareness of information on accommodations and modifications, including those allowed for standardized testing;
      • Information on eligibility, evaluation requests, and services available under IDEA, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, and information on the RTI process;
      • Contact information for the relevant regional and/or school district specialist.
    •     Provide parents with additional information on the following:
      • Copy of or a link to The Dyslexia Handbook, 2024 Update;
      • Information on effective strategies and options for parents to use at home to effectively communicate and help their child with dyslexia and related disorders; and
      • Information on accommodations allowed for post-secondary testing (PSAT/ACT/SAT).


    All campuses, through an individualized referral process, will identify students with dyslexia and related disorders and provide appropriate, individualized services based on the results of a comprehensive evaluation conducted according to the guidelines outlined in TEA’s The Dyslexia Handbook, 2024 Update, and according to state and federal laws implementing Section 504 and/or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

    What is Dyslexia? 

    Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.

    These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.

    What is Dyslexia?  


    Those students who are identified are provided with an appropriate instructional program. The BISD Dyslexia Program includes the components of phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, reading fluency, and reading comprehension strategies. The instructional strategies utilize research-based, explicit, multisensory phonetic methods and a variety of writing and spelling components to meet the specific learning needs of each individual student.

    Reading By Design

    Burleson ISD uses Reading by Design for our elementary and secondary standard protocol dyslexia instruction. Reading by Design is based on the Orton-Gillingham model, which is the best practice standard for dyslexia intervention. The Reading by Design Program is a systematic, multisensory set of instructional routines that include content and pedagogically appropriate practices. This intervention follows an intensive, explicit, and cumulative design for the remediation of reading and writing skills at all grade levels. Reading by Design includes all the components of instruction and instructional approaches supported through research as cited in The Dyslexia Handbook -2018 Update: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders (pp.40-41 ).

    Reading By Design Lesson Components

    Phonological Practice


    Review Decks

    New Learning

    Reading Practice

    Handwriting Practice

    Spelling Practice

    Extended Reading Practice

    Components of Language

    Reading By Design  


    Talking Book

    The Talking Book Program (TBP) provides free library services for Texans of any age who are blind or have a visual, physical, or reading disability. Registered TBP patrons may borrow books and magazines in digital audio, Braille, and large print.

    Materials and playback machines are mailed to your door, completely free of charge—you do not have to pay for postage when you return them. Eligible Texas residents who cannot read standard print material in the usual manner can complete an application and return it by mail. TBP will call you to set up an account after the application is approved. Contact us for any questions or comments you may have.

    Talking Book Program Details

    National Library Service  

     Additional Resources

    The Dyslexia Handbook

    The Dyslexia Handbook - Spanish

    Dyslexia Handbook Appendix A

    Dyslexia Handbook Appendix A - Spanish

    BISD Parent's Guide to Dyslexia  

    Learning Ally    

    International Dyslexia Association  



    Contact Us 

    Kristy McKnight

    Kerr Middle School 

    Game Design & Development School


    Mendy Busby

    Burleson High School 

    Hajek Elementary School


    Kacee Clark

    Dyslexia Team Lead

    Hajek Elementary School


    Amanda Trammell

    Stribling Elementary School


    Megan Trimmer

    Mound Elementary


    Sarah Hughes

    Burleson Collegiate High School 

    Crossroads High School 

    Hughes Middle School


    Mallory De La Garza

    Bransom Elementary School

    Brock Elementary School


    Valerie Raper

    Frazier Elementary School


    Lori Rutherford

    Bransom Elementary School


    Shaula Shaffer, M.Ed.

    Norwood Elementary School


    Melissa Schulter, M.Ed., LDT, CALT

    Centennial High School

    STEAM Middle School


    Lauren Gilmore

    Clinkscale Elementary School


    Liz Louden-Wittwer, M.Ed.

    Academy at Nola Dunn


    Kirby Reidel

    Clinkscale Elementary School

    Frazier Elementary School


    Sara Thurman

    Taylor Elementary School


    Amanda Dissinger

    Special Education Coordinator