Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) come in all sizes and subject matter. We have listed a few below that we commonly hear, but it's always best to directly contact Shellie Burrow, SAIL Academy's Director, with any specific questions that you may have (435-709-8509 or Shellie@SensaLearn.org). She is a wealth of information and will always take the time to address all of your questions and concerns.
Please take the time to scan through the following FAQs, as they may well be able to answer some of the questions you may have regarding dyslexia, admission procedures and requirements, and the wonderful SensaSummer program.
- What is dyslexia?
Simply stated, dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. Dr. Sally Shaywitz, Professor of Pediatrics at the School of Medicine at Yale University, defines dyslexia as an unexpected difficulty in learning to read. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities that are often unexpected and related to other cognitive abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficient in the phonetic component of language.
- What is the cause of dylexia?
Whereas the exact causes of dyslexia are not completely clear, brain imaging shows differences in the way the brain of a dyslexic person develops and functions. These brain imaging studies demonstrate an inefficient functioning of the neurological systems for reading in dyslexic readers. Dyslexia is not due to either a lack of intelligence or a desire to learn, but with evidence-based teaching methods, students with dyslexia can be successful at learning.
- How common is dyslexia?
Epidemiologic data reported in the Connecticut Longitudinal Study of Learning indicate a prevalence rate of 17.5% to 21.5% in children and adults. 20%, or one in five people, is the number we frequently hear. For a local school population, this would translate into something like this: in an elementary school with 650 students, approximately 130 students are dyslexic! It affects all races and all socioeconomic groups.
- How is dyslexia diagnosed?
Dyslexia is a clinical diagnosis. The psychologist will gather family and medical histories, including language development history. Assessments are then administered (dyslexia is not diagnosed with a single test) and the evaluations of those assessments and the other information is compiled and a diagnosis can then be made. Please contact Shellie Burrow, SAIL Academy's Director, who can provide you with detailed information and suggestion on how to move forward with the testing and evaluation of your child.
- What type of students are accepted at SAIL Academy?
The short answer is that we accept many students who are struggling in traditional classrooms because their reading, writing, computing, and organizational skills are not as expected in relation to their cognitive potential. Typically, we accept students who have one or more of the following:
- dyslexia and related reading disabilities,
- written and expressive language disorders, and
- executive function weaknesses.
We are NOT an appropriate school for students with:
- primary disabilities other than those listed above,
- nonverbal learning disabilities, or
- primary social / emotional / behavioral disorders.
SAIL Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or homelessness.
- What are the admissions requirements and cost to attend SAIL Academy?
This is another "too long to answer in the FAQs section" question, but the general process generally consists of the following:
- Parent Tour and Classroom Visit
Please call to schedule a Parent Tour and a day for a classroom visit by both you and your prospective student. Times for school visits are Monday throughThursday mornings and for student shadowing are Monday through Thursday for the full day. These visits are by appointment only.
- Application Forms
The admissions process officially begins with the submission of an admissions application and a nominal norefundable application fee. Additional documents that must be submitted include: 1) a birth certificate; 2) current immunization records; 3) previous school records for students in grades 1 through 8 (including IEPs or 504s); and 4) all previous assessments including psychoeducational evaluations, speech and language evaluations, behavioral reports, any similar documentation.
- Screening and Placement Assessment
A screening and placement assessment is mandatory for admissions. Once all of the application materials are completed and all supporting documents are submitted and reviewed, you will be scheduled for the screening and placement assessment. This screening will include the following:
- Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing-2 (CTOPP-2),
- Test of Word Reading Efficiency-2 (TOWRE-2),
- Test of Written Spelling-5 (TWS-5),
- Academic and Curriculum Based Performance Tasks, and
- A parent/guardian consultation.
If the evaluation and testing indicated that the student demonstrates characteristics of dyslexia, the student can be admitted. The cost of tuition is based on the level of schooling and individualized student attention required. Please contact Shellie Burrow, SAIL Academy's Director, who can provide you with more detailed information on all of these requirements and provide you with an outline of potential tuition costs. Please contact Shellie Burrow, SAIL Academy's Director, for additional information.
- What is SensaSummer?
SAIL Academy also offers summer-time weekly learning sessions that run from from 7:30 to 1:30 Monday through Thursday. Highly trained teachers will provide evidence-based instruction driven by each student's strengths and needs. Classes consist of small tutoring groups of two to three students for explicit and intensive instruction which creates a thriving environment for social interaction as students learn, teach, and reach decisions collaboratively. Availability is limited, so consider securing your spots early! Please contact Shellie Burrow, SAIL Academy's Director, for additional information on SensaSummer.