A new year provides a perfect opportunity to prepare for the months ahead while also reflecting on the progress and activities of the previous year. While 2016 has come to a close, the gains made by school districts, educators, and students using Wilson® throughout the country will continue to grow as the seasons unfold in 2017.
As new dyslexia legislation continues to pass in more states, we have aligned our Wilson Reading System® (WRS) Certification programs with nationally recognized credentialing terminology commonly used in the field.
WRS Level I Certified individuals are now eligible for the Wilson® Dyslexia Practitioner (W.D.P.) credential and WRS Level II Certified individuals are now eligible for the Wilson® Dyslexia Therapist (W.D.T.) credential, renewable every five years. If you are certified at either level and have not yet claimed your credential, you may do so by accessing your Wilson Academy® account. In the upcoming months, we will be sharing details about this exciting program, including the benefits of this recognition.
Teacher, District & Parent Support
This past year, we worked with a record number of school districts throughout the country to develop over 270 implementation plans at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. We also conducted 127 public workshops for more than 3,600 educators in 15 states. We welcomed 11 new trainers and 36 new Fundations® and Just Words® presenters, and continued to grow our Accredited Partner program.
We also rolled out our Fundations Pre-K Activity Set in response to teachers’ eagerness to bring our multisensory teaching to the preschool classroom.
During Dyslexia Awareness Month in October, we hosted our third annual Parent Night at our Oxford, MA, campus. The three-hour event, “Empowering Parents with Knowledge to Support Students with Dyslexia,” provided participants with an opportunity to engage in a frank and informative dialogue with Wilson co-founders Barbara and Ed Wilson and a panel of experts that included Dr. Lorna Kaufman, author of Smart Kid, Can’t Read: 5 Steps Any Parent Can Take to Get Help; Nancy Duggan, founding member of Decoding Dyslexia-Massachusetts; and Deanna Fogarty, Program Director, Intensive Intervention Literacy Initiatives at Wilson.
In May, Barbara returned to Fitchburg State University, where she earned her undergraduate degree in special education, to deliver the commencement address. Fitchburg State recently joined a growing number of higher education institutions partnering with Wilson Language Training® to provide graduate programs specializing in dyslexia training.
Most recently, Concordia College of Bronxville, NY, launched an online program that includes WRS Level I Certification as part of its master’s degree program. Additional higher education partners include Gordon College in Wenham, MA; St. Joseph’s University and Drexel University, both located in Philadelphia, PA; and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.
On the national front, we were delighted to see the READ Act signed into law in 2016. Barbara was among the proponents invited to speak before a Congressional committee in support of the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia Act, which supports important research to further understand dyslexia, including better methods for early detection and teacher training.
In July, more than 350 educators attended Wilson’s 2016 conference for Certified Teachers, Trainers, and Leaders in Boston’s Seaport District to connect with peers and learn from educational experts. Featured speakers included Pete Hall, Dr. Nicole Patton Terry, Dr. Elfrieda Hiebert, and Dr. Lena Kim. Another highlight of the conference was Barbara’s presentation, “Guiding Students from Foundational Skills to Independent Reading Comprehension.”
Among the educators recognized during the conference, Joseph A. Greget, Director of Special Education and Pupil Services for the Medford Area Public School District in Medford, WI, received the Mary Ann Bonneau Administrator Award, and Nelda Reyes, a dyslexia/interventionist specialist at De Zavala Elementary School in San Marcos, TX, was awarded the Sharon Parks Memorial Scholarship for WRS Level II.
In 2016, Barbara also shared her expertise and knowledge with audiences at a variety of other venues, including the IDA Florida Branch Spring Conference; the Guy Fenter Education Service Cooperative in Arkansas as educators there work toward compliance of the state’s new dyslexia legislation; and most recently, Learning Ally’s Spotlight on Dyslexia Online Conference for educators and parents. Barbara’s topics included “Critical Components of Literacy Instruction for Prevention and Early Intervention,” “How Cognitive Profiles of Reading Can Inform Instruction,” and “The Science of Implementation: What is it, and Why is it the Key to Success?”
We look forward to all the new year has in store, including our 2017 annual trainer meeting July 17–19 in Portsmouth, NH, where we recently opened a new office. Stay tuned for more details!
Pictured: Barbara and Ed Wilson join Wilson Fidelity Team members Paula Mariani and Deanna Fogarty in congratulating the graduating Class of 2016 Wilson Trainers during the 2016 conference.