State Senators Visit Randolph Elementary

        Nebraska state senators Patty Pansing Brooks and Lou Ann Linehan toured Randolph Elementary in Lincoln Wednesday morning. Their visit was part of a statewide project to look at dyslexia and reading literacy in classrooms.

        It’s part of study that was proposed by senator Pansing Brooks. While touring the school they looked for a few key items.

        "There’s training going on of teachers and that’s part of what we’ve been looking at is training of teachers and any intervention that might be necessary for any kids that are truly struggling with reading and dyslexia," Pansing Brooks said.

        Nebraska is one of eleven states that do not have legislation requiring screening for dyslexia and reading literacy, both senators hope to change that.

        For senator Linehan Lincoln public schools stood out, "Every school is not at the same place. LPS I would say is ahead of the curve. They’ve got phonics interspersed in all their reading programs."

        Phonics is a reading program where students learn letters and sounds and how to recognize and pronounce them along with how different letters go together to make different sounds.

        LPS focuses a lot on first through third graders as it’s a critical time for reading development.

        Jane Stavem, the superintendent for instruction in the district, says they make sure all schools teach the same material, "Part of our goal is to reduce variability, so we have what’s called a guaranteed and viable curriculum meaning every student has a quality experience in our classrooms."

        Both senators were glad to see LPS has such strong reading and diagnostic programs and hope other districts across the state follow suit.

        "The goal for all of us is to have great readers in our Nebraska children," Pansing Brooks said.

        Senator Pansing Brooks will compile a report of her findings from across the state and hopes to eventually get legislation in place.