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St. James-Assiniboia School Division
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New Committee to Help Support Dyslexic Students

August 29, 2023

Dyslexia_graphic_v1_Instagram.jpg​SJASD has struck a new committee structure to help support students with dyslexia.

While the executive committee will be staffed by school, divisional and clinical staff members, students with dyslexic and their caregivers will serve on various working committees looking at such issues as enhancing screening and early diagnosis, improving access to adaptive technology and applications, identifying and applying for grant funding, and surveying families of dyslexic children to understand and improve their experiences in school.

The executive committee will meet twice a school year to set goals, plan and celebrate successes. They'll also report back to the School Board on their work.

Potoula Locken is the Director of Inclusion Support Services and Accessibility. “Our goal is to help the bright struggling reader succeed academically," she says.

According to Dyslexia Canda, dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. Children with dyslexia have difficulty reading. They may also struggle with reading comprehension, spelling and writing. The condition exists on a continuum from mild to severe. It's believed that somewhere between 15 to 20 per cent of the population has a language-based learning disability, with dyslexia being the most common cause of reading, writing and spelling difficulties. With intervention, dyslexic students do learn to read successfully and share their unique gifts and perspectives with the world.

The Division is committed to rolling out specialized assessments for students that may have dyslexia to facilitate and inform intervention and advocacy.  

“We know we need to do a better job of supporting educators in identifying students with learning disabilities earlier on, as well as being able to provide appropriate adaptations at the classroom level," says Potoula. "This committee will play a critical role in responding to the needs of students with dyslexia and we are grateful for the volunteer students and caregivers that stepped forward to serve on the working committees."

Before the end of 2024, the Manitoba Human Rights Commission is expected to release a report and recommendations on human rights issues affecting students with reading disabilities in Manitoba's education system. The Special Project follows a similar report from the Ontario Human Rights Commission in 2022.

For more information on dyslexia, visit Dyslexia Canada or Dyslexia Champions of Manitoba.

Please note all volunteer positions on working committees have been filled.

Attend Learning Disability Workshop

This fall, Educational Support Services is hosting a free, virtual workshop for caregivers that know or suspect their child has dyslexia. All SJASD caregivers with concerns in this area are encouraged to sign up. Registration for Staying Well is now open.

Staying Well Virtual Workshop: Supporting Students with Dyslexia
Tuesday, November 28, 2023, 6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Does your smart child struggle with reading, writing, or mathematics? If so, we can help you help your child or teen. Children and adolescents with a Specific Learning Disability such as Dyslexia may also struggle with low self-esteem, self-regulation, and school anxiety. In this free, interactive session for caregivers that know or suspect their child has Dyslexia, we will be providing information on assessment, strategies and interventions that set your child up for academic success at school and beyond. ​


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