The Windward School to Participate in a New York State Forum on Dyslexia

Dr. John J. Russell, Executive Director of The Windward Institute, will join a high-profile panel of experts to discuss the urgent need to improve the diagnosis and education of dyslexic students in New York

White Plains, NY—October 8, 2019—The Windward School today announced that Dr. John J. Russell, Executive Director of The Windward Institute, will participate in a high-profile forum on dyslexia diagnosis and education in New York State. The forum, organized by the Rockefeller Institute of Government, is entitled “The Early Interventions for Academic Improvement: Detecting Dyslexia,” and will take place on Wednesday, October 16, from Noon - 2:30 p.m. at 411 State Street in Albany, N.Y.

Featuring discussions between policymakers, practitioners, and researchers, the forum will address pressing topics such as methods of screening for dyslexia, rationales for early detection, school models, and instructional approaches. It follows the recent introduction of Senate Bill S4341 in New York, which calls on school districts to conduct mandatory early screening for dyslexia for all children starting in prekindergarten or kindergarten through second grade.

As part of the forum, Dr. Russell will give a talk about research-based best practices for the instruction of dyslexic students. His remarks will emphasize that effective instruction is explicit, systematic, and multisensory, emphasizing the structure of language, including phonology, orthography, morphology, semantics, and organization of spoken and written language. Other speakers at the Forum will include Drs. Sally and Bennett Shaywitz from the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity, New York State Assemblyman Robert Carroll, Jim Malatras, President of SUNY Empire State College; Tim Castanza, Founder and Executive Director of Bridge Prep Charter School; and Amanda McCaleb, Literacy Specialist from Springfield Public School District in Missouri.

“Early identification of dyslexia followed by effective classroom instruction, especially in the early grades, can significantly limit or even eliminate the severity of reading and writing problems,” said Dr. Russell. “I am honored to be part of the Rockefeller Institute’s forum and hope that these critical issues will at long last be addressed in New York State.”

After 13 years as Head of The Windward School in White Plains, N.Y. and Manhattan, N.Y., Dr. Russell recently was appointed Executive Director of The Windward Institute. The Institute is dedicated to increasing the recognition, understanding, and remediation of dyslexia and language-based learning disabilities in the broader education community by sharing The Windward School’s expertise in current, scientifically-validated research in child development, learning theory, and pedagogy. The Institute offers a comprehensive professional development program based on evidence-based instructional practices through courses, workshops, and lectures that address a broad range of topics appropriate for both mainstream and remedial educational settings.