Parent/Guardian Dyslexia Newsletter

DSISD Special Services Department, Fall 2021

About the Newsletter

Welcome to the bi-annual newsletter for parents and guardians of children with dyslexia or related disorders in Dripping Springs ISD. In this newsletter, we share who we are, how we can help including sharing resources, and celebrate the accomplishments of our children. You may want to bookmark this newsletter in order to refer back to the wealth of information. Enjoy!
Big picture

Who We Are

A number of staff support students with Dyslexia and Related Disorders in Dripping Springs ISD. Below are some of the district and campus staff providing this support. If your child receives services through Special Education Services, some of their support may be provided by additional staff members not listed. Each of our campuses has a teacher(s) trained in a multi-sensory structured literacy program. Standard protocol dyslexia instruction is provided in DSISD using either Basic Language Skills from Neuhaus (elementary) or Reading By Design from the Education Service Center, Region 4 (secondary). Staff pictured, from top left to right: Michelle McCoy, Kari Hibdon, Jena Walker, Kallie McIver, Eri Contreras, Emily Austin, Krissy May, Anabel Walters, Sandy Barron, Maribel Lujan, Debbie Ackman, Kim Cook, Norma Vasquez, and Hillary Armstrong.

Contact information and roles for each can be found on the district website or by clicking this LINK.

Big picture

Celebrate, Engage, Empower

The team of professionals supporting students with dyslexia at each campus work hard to ensure students are empowered and embrace their learning differences though a variety of campus activities. Many of these activities highlight student strengths and recent accomplishments, showcase successful people who have dyslexia, and share with campus staff about facts and myths surrounding dyslexia.

The pictures below showcase how one teacher supports student learning and reading growth at her campus. Kim Cook, Dyslexia Specialist at Cypress Springs Elementary, helps students understand how reading affects the brain through a hands on activity, displays student strengths, and provides literacy instructional development for teachers.

Accessibility Tools

Our children with dyslexia are afforded access to accessible books through the use of Bookshare, Learning Ally, and Talking Book Program. The programs provide audio books for kids who have a demonstrated learning disability, visual impairment, or physical disability that makes it difficult to take in a story using traditional print. The links below provide more information regarding each of these programs including helpful informational guides. If you would like your child to have access to one or all, please reach out to your child's campus dyslexia teacher for more information.
Bookshare and Learning Ally can be accessed through your child's ClassLink. Using the Screencastify link below, Kellie Martini, Assistive Technology Coordinator for the district, demonstrates how to add the Learning Ally app to ClassLink and how to access books using this tool.

Learning Tools

Children in Dripping Springs ISD have access to Snap&Read and Co-Writer (links below). Snap&Read provides Text-to-Speech, Screenshot Reader, Simplify, Translate, Outline Tool, and PDF Support. Co-Writer provides children with Word Prediction, Flexible Spelling, Speech-to-Text, Topic Dictionaries, and Text-to-Speech. Additionally, there's a link below for the Learning Academy. It's a great place for you and your child to get started using Snap&Read and Co-Writer.
In this video, Kellie Martini, Assistive Technology Coordinator for the district, provides an overview of Snap&Read. She demonstrates how to access Snap&Read on a Chromebook along with some of the tools and features. Kellie briefly shows you the Learning Academy for additional learning.
In this video, Kellie Martini provides an overview of Co-Writer. Similar to the video above, she explains how to access this learning tool and highlights some of the features.

Parent Resources

The resources below provide both foundational knowledge and opportunities to extend learning about dyslexia and how services look in Texas. Parents and guardians new to dyslexia or wanting to learn more are encouraged to access the links below.

DSISD's Annual Dyslexia Parent Information Night

Wednesday, Oct. 27th, 5:30-7pm

This is an online event.

We are excited to be hosting our annual Dyslexia Parent Information Night. The event will be virtual from 5:30 to 7:00. This year we are focusing on how parents can support their children at home including supporting assistive technology needs. Participants can attend using this Zoom webinar link:

We hope you have an opportunity to join us! No registration is required, and a recording for anyone who is unable to make it will be made available on the district website.

If you didn't have an opportunity to participate in the Parent Night last October, the link below will take you to a recording of the evening with supporting resources. The focus was Dyslexia and Social Emotional Learning at home and at school. The district's teachers and staff who support our children with dyslexia share their own personal stories and experiences and how they support students.

Student Learning Resources

Online Resources

Here are a few of our favorite resources that can be accessed online. You may need to create an account in order to use them. Be sure to reach out to your child's teacher for tips on use or for additional resources to support student learning at home.


Dance Mat Typing:

Greek & Latin

It's Greek to Me:

Spelling & Vocabulary

Vocabulary Spelling City:

PBS Kids


Read Works: https//


There's an App for That

Apps are fun and motivating for kids! Below are a few of our favorites that are compatible with iPad and iPhone operating systems. Again, be sure to reach out to your child's teacher for tips on use or for additional resources.

Fall Reflection

Big picture