In 2013, the State of Mississippi enacted a law requiring local school districts to implement State Board of Education-approved screening for dyslexia. The law (Mississippi Code § 37-173-15) specified that kindergarten and first grade students in Mississippi would be tested for phonological awareness and phonemic awareness; sound symbol recognition; alphabet knowledge; decoding skills; encoding skills; and rapid naming. The law also specified what steps would be taken if a child failed the test and who would be qualified to administer follow-up testing and evaluation.
At that time, there was no readily available comprehensive test that would cover all of the required skills. Since Lexercise had already introduced a free dyslexia screener for parents, the Lexercise team realized it could apply that knowledge and experience to build a screener to comply specifically with the new Mississippi legislation. Based on research-backed, open source content, the resulting screener is automated for easy administration, scoring, and reporting.
Since 2013, the Lexercise Mississippi Dyslexia Screener has been used by thousands of teachers in Mississippi and other states where laws require screening of kindergarten and first grade students. While it is designed to meet Mississippi code requirements, the screener can be used by any teacher or literacy professional. It is free, easy to use, and can be used for testing an unlimited number of students.
The Mississippi Dyslexia Screener has built-in instructions, but here is a brief overview:
Over the last six years, the Lexercise Mississippi Dyslexia Screener has proven to be a fast, easy way for teachers to identify students at risk for dyslexia or other literacy struggles. It has also given the Lexercise team a great opportunity to engage with teachers and literacy professionals, get feedback, and start refining the screening process so that it is faster and even more efficient.
In the coming months we anticipate piloting an even more effective and efficient approach to support teachers in screening students for literacy challenges. To learn more about this, join our school-focused mailing list.
Meanwhile, we invite teachers to try the free Lexercise Mississippi Dyslexia Screener for yourselves and let us know what you think. (If you are a parent, the right tool for you to screen your child is here.)