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Membership Meeting and Panel Discussion: The Transition to Middle School

May 15, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm UTC-5

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DCIDA’s May Meeting features an expert panel discussion on adolescent literacy followed by the business meeting and election of directors.

Register Here.

For students with dyslexia, transitioning from elementary school to middle school presents a host of new and potentially daunting challenges. Many students are still not reading fluently, face increasing demands to read and write, and need to develop organization and self advocacy skills while cultivating healthy self-esteem. Parents need to advocate strategically for their children by knowing their legal rights and understanding what makes an evidence-aligned adolescent literacy intervention model effective.

DCIDA is pleased to host Dr. Jade Wexler, Jennifer Engel Fisher, and Kelly O’Keefe for a panel discussion on how to navigate the complexities of this important stage in a child’s development.

Jade Wexler, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education at the University of Maryland. Her current research focuses on designing reading interventions to support adolescents with reading difficulties and disabilities in the content-area and supplemental intensive intervention settings. She also designs and evaluates professional development and school-wide service delivery models to support the implementation of evidence-based literacy practices in middle schools. Dr. Wexler has over 40 publications focusing on adolescent literacy interventions. She is a former high school special education and reading teacher.

Jennifer Engel Fisher is the Assistant Director of Weinfeld Education Group. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and her master’s degree in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University. Jennifer taught for 6 years in Howard County, MD, working both as a special education inclusion teacher and self-contained teacher serving a variety of populations including persons with ADHD, learning disabilities, Asperger’s syndrome, and students with emotional disabilities. Jennifer worked for 2 years at a private school in Washington, DC, as a learning specialist consulting with teachers to support students with a wide variety of special needs. She serves as an advocate for students in elementary through high school. One of Jennifer’s specialties is organizational coaching for students, especially those with executive functioning difficulties. She also consults with schools, providing them with methods of meeting the needs of their student populations by providing them with training on effective instructional strategies and methodologies.

Jennifer is a contributing author to School Success for Kids With ADHD. She is the co-author of Take Control of Asperger’s Syndrome: The Official Strategy Guide for Teens With Asperger’s Syndrome and Nonverbal Learning Disorders and Take Control of Dyslexia and Other Reading Difficulties. All three books are with Prufrock Press. Jennifer lives with her husband and two children outside Washington, DC.

Kelly O’Keefe is the Montgomery County chapter co-leader of Decoding Dyslexia Maryland. She is an MCPS parent of a 10th and 7th grader – both of whom are dyslexic. Outside of literacy advocacy, Kelly works in the field of international public health and lives in Takoma Park.