Author Archives: Janice O'Connor

Sustainable Syracuse

In 2008, the Syracuse City School District (SCSD) in central New York entered into the world of Wilson® with great hopes and expectations as well as a solid plan for consistent, in-district training that would allow educators to provide expert instruction and improve student outcomes. Since then, the district of 21,700 students and 1,750 teachers has maintained high-quality Wilson professional learning that is ongoing, job embedded, and focused on strengthening teacher practice and student learning, shares Francine Grannell, the districts Director of Professional Development. We [...]

Spring/Summer 2018 Decoder

Catch up on Wilson news in the Spring/Summer issue of The Decoder, Wilsons educational newsletter highlighting school and district-wide literacy initiatives, student and educator success stories, professional learning opportunities, and much more. We hope you enjoy this issue, which includes reflections on our 30-year history in the field of dyslexia and information about the Wilson Reading System® 4th Edition. The Decoder provides an opportunity to recognize the meaningful work taking place in Wilson classrooms throughout the country, as well as the achievements of once-struggling [...]

Shared Success

In 2015, New Jersey teacher Renee Klein and 11 colleagues accepted their school districts offer to become certified in the Wilson Reading System®. A special education teacher for two decades, Renee has seen the toll that reading disabilities take not only on students education, but on their confidence and demeanor as well. She jumped at the professional learning opportunity. Meanwhile, Saniah, a middle school student classified with a specific learning disability, had been recommended to participate in WRS instruction. Together, Renee and Saniah helped each other achieve their goals. [...]

Teacher Appreciation Month

During Teacher Appreciation Month, we asked educators to share what it means to be part of the Wilson community. We are so very grateful to have received over 1,600 poignant, thoughtful, heartwarming, and enthusiastic responses from teachers across the country! Read on for a sampling of what they had to say. My classroom is part of the Wilson community because ... Wilson fosters confidence. When a student struggles with reading it affects their entire day. Not only do they have difficulty in language-based subjects, but also math, music, physical education, and art. In addition, outsid [...]

Virtual Mentoring

Live, interactive mentoring in Fundations® and Just Words® is coming to a screen near you! Following a yearlong pilot program with public school educators in Connecticut and Massachusetts, Wilson Language Training® (WLT) will begin this fall offering virtual mentoring in these two multisensory structured language programs. Delivered over the course of a school year by a Wilson® Literacy Specialist, virtual mentoring is designed for educators who are new to either program, or are seeking to deepen their understanding of efficient program delivery from the comfort and convenience of their o [...]

Celebrating Teachers & Mothers

Wilson® Dyslexia Practitioner (W.D.P.) Holly Keple, a first-grade Fundations® teacher at a public elementary school in New Jersey, shares how the love of teaching spans generations in her family. In Holly's words: I have always wanted to become a teacher ever since I was a little girl. My great-grandmother Gertie was the first to influence me, as she lived with us in our home and shared many of her lessons and handmade books with me. She was a special education assistant who not only passed down the love of teaching to my mother, but also instilled the passion in me. I lived in a home [...]

National Siblings Day

Celebrated for the past two decades on April 10, National Siblings Day provides an opportunity to show appreciation for the ones weve laughed with, fought with, protected, and pranked. Along with memories, siblings share unique characteristics, whether its curly hair, a crooked grin, or a hereditary trait such as dyslexia. Often, the reading challenges an older sibling experiences in school ultimately benefits younger siblings identified with dyslexia or other learning disabilities. That was the case for Massachusetts residents Jocelyn and Chris C., whose sons Quinn and Ryan were both [...]

Welcome 2018!

As this new year begins, were continuing the momentum of 2017! We are preparing to launch the 4th Edition of the Wilson Reading System® (WRS) and commemorating our 30th anniversary in the field of dyslexia education, multisensory structured language instruction, and professional learning. Individually and collectively, our mutual efforts and achievements are positively impacting teaching and learning throughout the country. At no other time in history has such attention been paid to the issue of providing effective teaching and learning solutions for individuals with dyslexia. We are prou [...]

NYC Middle School Quality Initiative

Now in its seventh academic year, the Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI) in New York City continues to make strides toward advancing the district-wide goal of improving adolescent literacy.The initiative was launched by the citys Department of Education in collaboration with the New York City Council Middle School Taskforce in fall 2011. Due to its success, it continues to grow and in the upcoming school year, even more schools will participate in MSQI, which aims to expand targeted and research-based teaching and learning practices to improve student literacy in high-need middle scho [...]

Texas District Enters Second Decade of Defying Dyslexia

Eleven years ago, when the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) in El Paso, TX, implemented the Wilson Reading System® (WRS) as its Tier 3 intervention program for students with dyslexia, it also created a new department in anticipation of the classroom and professional learning that would follow.Aptly named the Dyslexia Department, this team identifies, instructs, and serves more than 700 students each year, providing a high-quality education that includes effective, research-based instruction and best practices that meet the students academic and social needs. Wilson is proud to be [...]