Great news! ODN learned yesterday that Olentangy has applied to for funding to administer the CTOPP in the early grades to students.
Why does this matter? The CTOPP is a quick test that can identify reading difficulties. If administered early, it can identify dyslexic kids like ours and get them the services they need sooner. It’s a big deal. Especially since the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) says that 1 in 5 have symptoms of dyslexia. Factor in the Third Grade Reading Guarantee and the need is even more real.
Below is a recap of an email sent by Julie Wagner Feasel, one of Olentangy’s School Board members, on the topic. Ms. Feasel has been very supportive of ODN and has attended many meetings. As some back story, it was our September meeting with Marburn Headmaster Earl Oremus where she heard about the CTOPP. After that meeting, Ms. Feasel went to the superintendent and had a meeting about administering the CTOPP to all students.
Below is what Julie Wagner Feasel emailed to ODN on Oct. 28. This email is shared with her permission:
“Thanks to the information you have provided me, I strongly feel that Olentangy must start this screening for our kindergarten students and those first grade students who enter our district after kindergarten. When Gov. Kasich announced that the new budget would have a Straight A Fund which would award school districts grants for new programs, I thought the CTOPP screening would be the perfect candidate for such a grant proposal. I talked to Dr. Lucas about it and today, the state released a list of all of the grants that will be considered and the CTOPP screening for our young learners is one of them.
The full list is on the Dispatch’s website at http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/10/28/Schools-apply-for-millions-from-state.html then to the left of the article click on the link for the listing of districts that have applied and what the money would be used for. We should know in December if we are awarded the grant.”
Straight A grants are supposed to be sustainable. In other words, they give you the seed money in Year One but the subsequent years the district should continue to offer the services by cutting costs elsewhere. So, in the end, any program for the grant should be expenditure neutral.
ODN is hopeful but it is too early to celebrate. In fact, a recent news article stated that there is a huge demand for these grant funds so we have lots of competition.
Regardless, it is a step in the right direction and we are happy that our cause is gaining support. Stay tuned!