2019 Structured Literacy Series

Sign up for Summer Structured Literacy Training aligned with CA Dyslexia Guidelines best practices and the International Dyslexia Association’s Knowledge and Practice Standards. Course content was developed by international literacy expert, Dr. Margie Gillis, founder of Literacy How and research affiliate at Haskins Laboratories. This training is co-sponsored by San Mateo County Office of Education and Decoding Dyslexia CA and it will sell out!

In this five-day (30 hour) course by Literacy How, teachers will learn how to explicitly and systematically teach word recognition skills to students with SLD/Dyslexia. Training includes breakfast, lunch, and all materials. The series will demonstrate how to combine word recognition instruction that teaches foundational skills (i.e., phonemic awareness, decoding, and encoding) with methodology in reading comprehension, vocabulary development, and written expression.

This course will empower teachers with knowledge to enhance their tiered intervention or special education specialized instruction. The instructional strategies and techniques that teachers will learn may be used with an existing program or as part of a Structured Literacy approach.

 Participants completing the training series will be able to:

  • Describe the warning signs of Dyslexia and list several assessments that can be used both for identification and monitoring students’ progress

  • Summarize the six elements of structured literacy, including phonology, sound-symbol association, syllables, morphology, syntax, and semantics and describe several ways that these elements can be integrated into lessons using a Structure Literacy approach.

  • Practice developing and delivering lessons that incorporate these six elements and the principles of instruction that are associated with Structured Literacy – that is, systematic, explicit, cumulative to mastery, diagnostic, and prescriptive.

  • Deliver lessons using strategies and techniques learned throughout the course and with frequent practice, should see improvement in students’ word recognition skills.

Margaret Balboni, Co-Presenter

Margaret R. Balboni is a Literacy How consultant and certified Reading and Language Consultant (K-12). Ms. Balboni was a former Internal Literacy Specialist as part of the Haskins Early Literacy Initiative with the esteemed Haskins Laboratories. Ms. Balboni is the co-author of the Connecticut State Department of Education module on Explicit Code Instruction, the Literacy How Professional Development Series, and the Literacy How series on Structured Literacy.

Elke Blanchard, Co-Presenter

Elke Blanchard is a Literacy How Mentor and a Certified Academic Language Therapist Ms. Blanchard holds a B.S. from Syracuse University, Special Education certification from Central Connecticut State University, and remedial reading certification from Teachers College, Columbia University. Ms. Blanchard is the co-author of the Connecticut State Department of Education module on Explicit Code Instruction and the Literacy How series on Structured Literacy.

More Information about Literacy How

Since 2000, Literacy How has advanced teaching and learning by helping over 1,500 educators in over 150 schools use research-based knowledge and effective practices to succeed but the amazing work Literacy How does doesn’t stop there. Literacy How donates 100% of its proceeds to funding teacher training so that teachers can obtain training and professional certification in the science of learning to read, specifically designed to help improve literacy rates for underachieving students in Connecticut.

Dr. Margie Gillis, Founder and President of Literacy How, has a Doctorate in Special Education from the University of Louisville. She is also a Certified Academic Language Therapist. Dr. Gillis is a research affiliate at Haskins Laboratories. Haskins Laboratories has long-standing, formal affiliations with the University of Connecticut and Yale University and it produces groundbreaking research that enhances our understanding of—and reveals ways to improve or remediate—speech perception and production, reading and reading disabilities, and human communication.

What is Structured Literacy?

Structured Literacy instruction is the umbrella term used by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) to unify and encompass evidence-based programs and approaches that are aligned to their Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading ( and are effective for students identified with SLD/Dyslexia.

This event is co-sponsored by:  Decoding Dyslexia CA (DDCA)

Decoding Dyslexia CA is a grassroots movement driven by California families, educators and professionals concerned with the limited access to educational interventions for dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities within our public schools.  We aim to raise dyslexia awareness, empower families to support their children, and inform policymakers on best practices to identify, remediate, and support students with dyslexia in CA public schools.


Will Certificates be provided?

Certificates will only be provided to participants who attend all five full days.

How many seats are available?

There are 27 tickets available for San Mateo County districts staff and 28 tickets available for Outside San Mateo County SELPA staff.

Is my registration fee or ticket transferrable?

We encourage participants to check their calendars before registering for this training to ensure availability. If you are unable to attend, please consider sending a substitute from your department. All substitutions will be honored, including the day of the event.