Partnership Cultivated with Parents of Dyslexic Students

John Marschhausen

In the Hilliard City School District we are true to our values. We’ve spent considerable time and effort identifying the core values, the expected behaviors, and the desired outcomes that make this a special place for students to learn, grow, and develop. For us, our mission and culture aren’t posters on our walls; our culture is in our DNA. The fabric of our district is woven by the way we do business – by the way we live our lives. This starts with the district leadership. We model our values. We Stand Up and Own It, embrace the Power of the Team, and live with a Passion for Growth.

To this end, when a group of parents approached us with concerns about the reading services of a specific group of students, we live our values. We Stand Up and Own the fact that we can, and we must, do better. We engage the Power of the Team to bring together the right people, to collaborate with our parents, and to enlist experts to partner with us in the process. We embrace our Passion for Growth, our journey to Elite, to create the system that best utilizes available resources to ensure that every student is truly Ready for Tomorrow.

Over the past several weeks our team has outlined the resources we are currently using to serve students as they learn to read. This isn’t simply a communications strategy for parents with a dyslexic student; this is about reading for all students. Parent resources and information can be found in our latest Ready for Tomorrow blog.

The Hilliard City School District has formed a Dyslexia Advisory Committee. This group, under the leadership of Mrs. Vicky Clark, Director of Elementary Curriculum, will engage with parents and parent organizations interested in Hilliard’s reading programs. Board of Education President, Mr. Andy Teater, has appointed Board Vice President, Ms. Lisa Whiting, as the Board Representative to this committee. Ms. Whiting will serve as the Board liaison and provide updates to the full Board of Education during the Committee Reports portion of Board Business Meetings.

Hilliard has been well served by proactively collaborating with parents and key constituents. The Power of Team extends beyond the district walls; it includes families and the community. Our Dyslexia Advisory Committee will collaboratively identify specific areas of focus, key short and long-term goals, and desired outcomes from our work together. As with every process, we must be open together, breakdown any barriers, and build trust. This process works when we as a team, work toward a common goal. If anyone starts with an “us versus them” mentality, failure is likely.

Our mission is to ensure that every student is Ready for Tomorrow. Reading is the foundation for academic success. The Hilliard City School District is committed to excellence and passionate about our service to a diverse educational community. We are eager to live our passion for growth and continue to improve opportunities for students each and every day.