Fundations Conference

Fundations® Presenters, Fundations® Certified Facilitators, and teachers with experience using Fundations are invited to join us for our inaugural Fundations Conference. 

This virtual conference is designed for educators who have experience using Fundations and want to deepen their early literacy knowledge. This year’s theme is:

Success Begins with Foundational Skills for All Students

In this real-time event, you will learn from featured speakers and Wilson expert presenters and have the opportunity to ask questions. Recordings also will be available to conference participants through October 31, 2021.

Your school’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds can be used for conference tuition, since it supports the development of student literacy and addresses learning loss. You don’t want to miss out on this learning opportunity!

Schedule: Tuesday, July 13 from 1​:00 p.m. – 4​:15 p.m. ET* 

Wednesday, July 14 from 10​:00 a.m. – 4​:15 p.m. ET

Tuition: $319



As a bonus, Fundations Conference participants will receive a $100 online store discount code, good toward a Wilson materials order!

*Tuesday afternoon Featured Speaker Sessions will also be shared with participants in the Wilson® Trainer Meeting and WRS Certified Teacher Conference.

By attending only the Fundations Conference (1.5 days), Wilson Reading System® Certified Educators can earn 9 Wilson® Professional Learning Credits (WPLC) in the Wilson category toward their credential renewal.


Learn from our Featured Speakers

Examine foundational reading skills and explore research-based insights and implications for instructional needs.

Susan Brady,    Ph.D. Nadine Gaab,    Ph.D. Eric Tridas, M.D., FAAP Barbara A. Wilson, M.Ed.

Phonological Awareness: Focus on What Matters”  – Susan Brady, Ph.D.

The importance of phoneme awareness for acquiring the alphabetic principle and for learning to read has been documented since the 1970s, gaining broad recognition when the National Reading Panel Report was published in 2000. In turn, instruction to foster phonological awareness has become routinely recommended for the early grades. The widespread practice in kindergarten and first grade curricula is to target awareness of larger phonological structures such as words, rhymes, syllables, and onset-rimes before focusing on phonemes. Once at the phoneme level (continuing into second grade or later), phoneme manipulation tasks often are given to build ‘advanced phoneme awareness.’  In this talk, Dr. Brady will discuss research that raises questions regarding whether fostering this broad continuum is necessary and/or beneficial for students, along with other implications for instruction such as the importance of linking awareness of phonemes with letters and providing instruction that follows the developmental sequence for phoneme awareness per se.


“Screening for Early Literacy Milestones, Dyslexia, and Reading Disabilities: The Why, When, Who, How, and Where” – Nadine Gaab, Ph.D.

This session will address early identification and screening for literacy milestones and reading disabilities, including developmental dyslexia in early grades (pre-K-1st). It will provide the WHY behind the screening movement with a strong focus on the neurobiology of reading development and reading disabilities. It will introduce the ‘Dyslexia Paradox’ and will further outline the important constructs to screen for with a developmental lens and discuss practical steps for implementing a screening protocol in various educational settings. The session will conclude with an overview of different screening instruments and criteria for picking the best screener as well as a discussion about the educational and clinical implications of screening young children.


Students with Dyslexia and Related Disorders”  – Eric Tridas, M.D., FAAP

Dyslexia is the most common learning disorder. Students with dyslexia often have coexisting conditions that impact their learning. During this presentation Dr. Tridas will define dyslexia and explain its neurological basis. He will provide a simple description of reading and how it guides the assessment and management of reading challenges in poor readers, including students with dyslexia. Furthermore, this session will explore the relationship between dyslexia, ADHD, anxiety, and executive functions. Participants will learn how these conditions impact reading. Factors such as attention, inhibition, flexibility, planning, and working memory can have a dramatic effect on a student’s academic performance and self-regulation. Dr. Tridas will also describe some of the strategies used to address dyslexia and related disorders in the classroom, beginning with educational remediation and accommodations. In addition, descriptions of general behavioral and cognitive behavioral classroom strategies will be provided along with various approaches to address executive functions and medical management of ADHD and anxiety disorders.


The Importance of Orthographic Mapping for Reading and Writing Success – Barbara A. Wilson, M.Ed.

Foundational skills form the critical base for reading and writing proficiency. In this session, Barbara Wilson will describe phonemic awareness, phonology, and total word structure as essential components of Fundations instruction to develop a student’s orthographic memory for words. She will explain how these interrelate to help students develop orthographic mapping, which sets the foundation for reading and writing success.


Enhance your Fundations Practice

Gain insights at sessions presented by Wilson® Fidelity Team members and special guests:


“Leveling the Literacy Playing Field: How to Accelerate Learning for Struggling Students”

Learning loss may have had the most profound impact on our youngest learners. What are those critical skills they will need to have in place in order to experience success as they move into the next grade level? This session will help you to identify and target those critical skills!


“Planning for Growth: Designing Fundations Lessons for Optimal Student Mastery”

This session provides time to analyze and reflect on Fundations lesson planning. Learn what is needed to ensure that deliberate, thoughtful, and diagnostic lessons will result in student mastery. Get your students moving from accuracy to automaticity and fluency Unit by Unit.


“Fundations Implementation: Voices from the Field”

Join a dynamic panel of school leaders as they share the inside scoop on implementing Fundations with success. Celebrate the diverse journeys they have traveled to ensure literacy for all their students.