The Science of Reading: Practical Tips for School Psychologists


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Reading difficulty will likely be one of the most frequent referral concerns a school psychologist is faced with. Being a fluent reader is an extremely important skill that allows our students to more fully access their education and not learning to read has a profound functional impact on a person’s daily life. Despite this, many school psychologists do not themselves understand the basic components of reading and what good reading instruction should look like. This presentation provides a basic overview of the science behind learning to read, describes a practitioner’s journey to gain more information on assessment and intervention, and provides functional tips for expanding your practice to best help students and support your district in evidence based practices. Presented by Rachael Donnelly, MA, AC, NCSP in April of 2020. This individual webinar can be purchased for $25 (scroll down to purchase). The content in this webinar is intertwined with Domains 1, 2, 3, and 5 of the NASP Practice Model.’s recorded webinars are non-refundable. Attendees who complete this 1.5-hour webinar will receive 1.5 NASP-Approved CPD credit.

Speaker Bio:

Rachael Donelly, MA, AC, NCSP is a practicing school psychologist in Anne Arundel County, MD, having earned her undergraduate degree at Binghamton University and completed her graduate training through University at Buffalo. Rachael has worked in districts across four different states and loves to compare/contrast different practices/perspectives. She is founder and co-host of the successful School Psyched Podcast and manages its associated Resources Drive. Rachael is involved in supporting the field of school psychology through her work on the NASP Communications Committee as well as supervising university students. She is passionate about professional development, psychological measurement, reading instruction, and skill-based supports. Rachael works to ensure that all students’ needs are addressed through accurate assessment and evidence-based interventions.

Participants will learn:

1. To express a basic understanding of the essential components of reading 2. to identify practical methods for identifying a student’s strengths/weaknesses to inform instruction and intervention. 3. To identify methods of moving schools towards improved practices in reading

Reviews Based on Attendee Evaluation Feedback:

Alayna’s Overall Rating: 5/5 (Excellent)

“I learned several practical skills that I plan to apply to practice right away.” -Alexis

“I thought this presentation was excellent.” -Amanda

Amy’s Overall Rating: 5/5 (Excellent)

“Very applicable strategies! Loved this presentation!” -Angela

Ann’s Overall Rating: 5/5 (Excellent)

“I learned so much about assessment of SLD! Amazing presentation.” -Ashley

Ashton’s Overall Rating: 5/5 (Excellent)

“The presentation was informative and relevant. I will definitely be looking more into the recommended resources and continuing education the speaker discussed.” -Bridget

“This was a great presentation! A lot of helpful and practical information was delivered. I also appreciate the additional resources on where to go to explore concepts further.” -Carrie

Jennifer’s Overall Rating: 5/5 (Excellent)

“Covered many key take away ideas and up to date with current information and how to tackle real world psych concerns.” -Joan

“I liked how there were two areas for the presentation to use visual modalities – the speaker and the notes. I also liked the practical places to search for more information. Lastly, I appreciated the information about the cognitive assessments.” -Kate

“The presentation really gave information that was practical to my daily work as a school psychologist. I feel it has given me a better understanding of the research behind reading instruction and has prepared me to better assess students’ reading skills, as well as help teachers and parents.” -Kelsey

Leticia’s Overall Rating: 5/5 (Excellent)

“Clearly presented, research backed information.” -Lindsay

Lynne’s Overall Rating: 5/5 (Excellent)

“The presentation provided a really great overview of teaching reading skills, strategies and intervention tools.” -Lynsey

“Great webinar. I really appreciated the strategies provided for each of the Big 5 areas of reading. I also appreciated all of the resources provided with links listed in the handouts.” -Margaret

“The presenter did an excellent job explaining the evolution of the science of reading. She was also an engaging presenter.” -Marla

“This was very practical for school psychologists. More practitioners and stakeholders need to see this type of information.” -Megan

“The presenter is clearly very informed on the subject and conveyed the information well.” -Peggy

“The presentation provided a perfect amount of information on the topics and was realistic on a School Psych’s role within the school district on supporting and educating staff on good instructional reading practicies and how to overcome through “answering the referral question” possible breakdowns in Tier 1 curriculum. I am grateful for the additional links and information to expand my knowledge on specific topics.” -Rebecca

Renae’s Overall Rating: 5/5 (Excellent)

Samantha’s Overall Rating: 5/5 (Excellent)

“I look forward to delving deeper into each of these strategies and reading through the bulk of resources and videos that you continue to share. Thank you for this!” -Shari

“I appreciated all the practical things I can use in my assessment practice and in consultation with teachers and families.” -Stacy

” Very practical information. Presenter is very informed and was able to relay that information during this webinar. The webinar gave me pause to consider what I am doing in my own practice of school psychology.” -Ted


Course Information

Course Instructor Author

Recorded Webinar

SALE $25 $15
1 year of access to this webinar.
sale ends August 31, 2020

The 40% off sale is our way of supporting school psychologists during the COVID-19 pandemic. The sale will continue through August 31st. Thank you for all you do. Keep calm and school psych on! 

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