ACT 1039 - Dyslexia Screening and Interventions

ACT 1039 - Dyslexia Screening and Interventions


In April 2015, Governor Asa Hutchison signed into law ACT 1268.  The Dyslexia Law, as it is commonly known, was a direct response to concerns that ACT 1294 (2013) was not being properly implemented by Arkansas public school systems.

ACT 1268 was designed to ensure that the needs of all Arkansas children with dyslexia are effectively being met.  It defines Dyslexia, describes required screening and intervention, and lists specific required actions by the state, educational cooperatives, and school districts.

In October 2016, the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) updated the rules governing the implementation of ACT 1268.  These upgraded rules provided further clarification, guidance, and instruction on how to meet the needs of students showing characteristics of Dyslexia.

In April 2017, the Arkansas Legislature passed ACT 1039 (SB 708) to amend and clarify code provisions regarding Dyslexia screening and intervention, and to add specific enforcement provisions ties to school accreditation.  ACT 1039 also added new public posting requirements.  The information on this page meets or exceeds all posting requirements.

Student Data

During the 2018-2019 school year , the Buffalo Island Central School  District consists of a total of 41 students showing the characteristics of Dyslexia.  These students were placed in an appropriate intervention program. Specific numbers by campus are:

Elementary- 32

Jr./Sr. High School- 9

Note:  These are composite totals for the year.  If students leave the district, these numbers may not exactly match final numbers on state reports.. 

Universal Screening

ACT 1039 requires universal screening in Kindergarten - 2nd grade for indicators of Dyslexia, as well as selective screening in grades 3rd-12th.

The Buffalo Island Central School District currently uses DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills), Word Journey’s, and AR-RAN (Arkansas Rapid Automatic Naming Screener) for such screenings.

Dyslexia Program

ACT 1039 requires all Arkansas schools to have a Dyslexia Program in place to further evaluate students identified as having characteristics of Dyslexia, and then to tutor those students who require intervention.  The Buffalo Island Central School District uses the following programs: Connections OG in 3D.  Connections follows the principles and content of a multi-sensory structured language approach.  Content of the program includes:

  • Phonology and Phonological Awareness

  • Sound-Symbol Association

  • Syllable Instruction

  • Morphology

  • Syntax

  • Semantics

The Barton Reading and Spelling System. The Barton Reading and Spelling System is a structured language approach that is multi-sensory, direct, explicit, structured, sequenced and designed for intense intervention. Content of the program includes:
  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Phoneme/Grapheme Correspondance
  • Syllable Instruction
  • Probabilities and Rules
  • Roots/Affixes/Morphology

Additional tools and assessments include: The APPLE Dyslexia Screener (Connections OG-3D), CTOPP-2 (Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing- 2nd edition), PAT-2 (Phonological Awareness Test- 2nd edition), KTEA-3 (Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement- 3rd edition), and the GORT-5 (Gray Oral Reading Test- 5th edition).

 Dyslexia Interventionists

ACT 1039 requires that school districts utilize trained Dyslexia Interventionists.  The Dyslexia Therapist for the Buffalo Island Central School District is Keri Thomas.  

In addition, several teachers and instructional assistants in the district are trained in Connections OG in 3D and/or The Barton Reading and Spelling System.