2023 Dyslexia Training

Mountain West Associates K-12 Teacher Professional Development 

Dates: July 18th & 19th, 2023  

1 credit

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Course Description

Dyslexia Training for Payette School District is offered through a hybrid model. Teachers will complete 12 hours of face-to-face training and 3 hours of independent study.  The materials used to develop the course include:


In addition to completion of 12 hours of instruction, participants will be required to do three hours of independent study. The independent study shall include the reading, analysis, and reflection of three articles related to remediation of dyslexia and social/emotional impact of dyslexia.

Teachers of Grades K-3 Articles

Teachers of Grades 4 and 5 Articles

Course Modules

The facilitated instruction (either virtually or in person) is broken into eight, 1.5 hour modules.

Module 1 – Characteristics of Dyslexia

This session provides an overview of the characteristics of dyslexia, debunks myths related to the disorder, and emphasizes developmental dyslexia as one area of difficulty amongst a sea of strengths (Shaywtiz, 2020).

Module 2 – Science of Reading, Structured Literacy, and Multisensory Instruction

Session 2 provides educators with an overview of the skills associated with the Science of Reading (phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension), the pedagogy behind Structured Literacy (explicit, systematic) and dyslexics students’ need for a multisensory approach (auditory, visual, and kinesthetic).

Module 3 – Phonological Awareness

The core deficit of dyslexia is an unexpected weakness in phonological awareness.  Module 3 introduces neuroimaging demonstrating the differences between dyslexics and non-dyslexics neural systems as well as the continuum of skills related to phonological awareness.  Educators will have an opportunity to learn strategies to teach of the underlying skills of phonological awareness.

Module 4 – Phonics/Decoding

Module 4 provides explicit strategy instruction for educators to establish the alphabetic principle (sound/symbol correspondence).  It also introduces the six types of syllables (open, closed, vowel-consonant-e, vowel-r, vowel pair, and final stable syllable).  Through a mixture of explicit teaching, modeling, and application, educators will learn how to teach decoding kindergarten-grade 5.

Module 5 – Orthographic Mapping/Encoding

Students with dyslexia often have trouble with automaticity and require a great deal of practice to be able to recognize (decoding) and retrieve (encoding/spelling) words.  Teachers will be introduced to techniques that build orthographic mapping.  Orthographic mapping is a way of teaching spelling that involves phonological awareness, metacognition, and pattern recognition.  In addition, teachers will learn to analyze spelling errors to identify areas of weakness in phonological processing, orthographic memory, or morphological understanding.

Module 6 – Morphology

While we can’t cure dyslexia, we can provide students with enough information to decode and get meaning from multisyllabic words.   Once students switch from “learning to read” to reading to learn” content area vocabulary, and the students’ inability to decode longer words can impede comprehension. With an understanding of common prefixes, suffixes, and roots, students will have the building blocks of disciplinary literacy they need to be successful in all content areas.   

Module 7 - Identifying Dyslexia

This session will build on the characteristics of dyslexia and use Idaho’s assessment system, specifically the IRI.  For example, the key indicators for risk of dyslexia in kindergarten are letter recognition, and phonological awareness.   In first grade is continued difficulty with phonological awareness, letter recognition, and additionally, alphabetic decoding.  In second and above, the word analysis (spelling section of the IRI) is an adequate tier one screener. Using the district’s assessment system. We will develop a plan for assessing weaknesses in phonological awareness, decoding/encoding and fluency in grades two and above.   Mountain West Associates will help Parma create a decision-making matrix for identifying students with characteristics of dyslexia. 

Module 8 – Accommodations and Modifications for students with Dyslexia

In her book Overcoming Dyslexia, Dr. Sally Shaywitz refers repeatedly to the unexpected underachievement of dyslexic students.  Students with dyslexia have average or above average intelligence however their weak phonological processing impacts the ability to read and write.    With the right accommodations (extended time, audible material, speech to print devices, multisensory instruction) students with dyslexics will both learn to read and be successful in all content areas.  This session will provide specific strategies for teachers to incorporate in all content areas.   


Kimberly Barnes, M.Ed.

Kimberly has more than 25 years of experience in public education as a teacher, instructional coach, and educational leader. She has passion and expertise consulting with school districts to support all learners by building deeper instructional leadership and clarity around literacy implementation. She brings deep expertise and experience in the science of reading and dyslexia including developing the Alaska Science of Reading Leadership Academy for administrators, serving as the director of Region 17 Comprehensive Center, associate director of the Center for School Improvement and Policy Studies at Boise State University, and serving as a turnaround leadership/school improvement coordinator for the Idaho State Department of Education. Kimberly received a master’s in educational leadership from Boise State University, administrative and Danielson Teachscape Focus Observation/Evaluation licenses from the Idaho State Department of Education, and a bachelor’s in education and communications from Western Washington University.

Marybeth Flachbart Ed.D., CALT

Dr. Flachbart provides technical assistance to schools, districts, and states to build capacity for literacy and school improvement. Most recently she was the lead author of the Alaska Reading Playbook and worked closely with the staff of the Region 16 Comprehensive Center and the Department of Education & Early Development. In the past year she provided more than a dozen training sessions for Alaskan educators and paraprofessionals. Prior to joining our team, she was the Director of the Region 17 Comprehensive Center serving the State Departments of Education for both Idaho and Montana from 2015 until 2020. Dr. Flachbart served as president and CEO of the Neuhaus Education Center in Houston, Texas; a nonprofit think tank for literacy solutions that specializes in supporting individuals with dyslexia through applied literacy and language research and professional learning for educators from 2011 until 2015. Marybeth has also served as Deputy Superintendent of Student Achievement and School Improvement at the Idaho State Department of Education, taught at Boise State University, established, and directed Idaho’s Reading First Program. Dr. Flachbart consulted and created professional development for the network of National Reading First Technical Assistance Centers. Her classroom experience includes 10 years of both general and special education. Marybeth holds an Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction from Boise State University and an M.S. in special education from Fairfield University. She is a Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT) and a dyslexia specialist.

Contact Information

Marybeth Flachbart    marybeth.mountainwest@gmail.com                       (208) 863-0112

Kimberly Barnes           Kimberly.mountainwest@gmail.com                        (208) 598-6811