New Legislation That Benefits Us All

New Legislation That Benefits Us All
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog


As I walk through Carroll’s animated classrooms this fall, I am struck by how much they look and feel like places of refuge. Every day, our students and educators are privileged to be able to immerse themselves in the leading instructional methods that effectively address LBLDs/dyslexia. As a result, we open students up to a world of belonging and joyful learning unknown to them before they arrived.

But beyond our campuses, thousands of students across the state who face many of the same struggles—one in five, according to most educational experts—do not always receive the critical literacy support they need.

This changed last month, when Massachusetts passed a momentous and long-awaited piece of legislation requiring schools to screen young students for dyslexia and other learning differences at least twice a year. (I was proud to serve as a stakeholder in the development of the guidelines upon which the legislation was created.) Beginning on July 1, 2023, this right-to-read legislation will combat an entrenched wait-to-fail approach in the state’s public schools.

Why should this matter to the Carroll community?

(1) Because it elevates the conversation around LBLDs. And at Carroll, we are in a unique position to share our knowledge, shift the perspective around learning differences, and contribute to this growing dialogue state-wide about how to best serve our students. Now, school districts have to pay attention to what we, as educators, families, and students in a unique school community have always held true: learning differences are not learning deficits. When you uncover a student’s learning profile—when you view difference as an asset—their strengths are revealed.

(2) Because this legislation demonstrates that real progress is being made when it comes to accepting, understanding, and destigmatizing learning differences, and it opens the door for even more advances yet to come. This is progress that we all benefit from. Many of our families found their way to Carroll after a great deal of frustration and disappointment in their former schools. With this new legislation—which already exists in many neighboring states—dyslexia and other learning differences are on the table and out in the open in a way that there weren’t before, and an important step is being taken to support the multitude of students affected by them. Yes, the legislation calls only for screening; still to come are the development and implementation of specific interventions for kids identified as having or at-risk for a learning difference. But it should be celebrated nonetheless.

Bottom line: As the leader of a school focused on improving the educational outcome of students, I’m excited. I’m excited that many more schools will now be joining this important conversation, a conversation that Carroll has helped to lead ever since it opened its doors more than five decades ago. And I’m eager for our community to support other schools as they begin to explore more effective ways to help their own students reach their potential.

My hope is that the work we do at Carroll, and the refuge it provides, extends outwards to become a reality for all.

For more information on the legislation, take a peek at this recent WBUR article.



Recent Posts

The Power of Summer@Carroll
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

Summer@Carroll — our accredited summer school with afternoon enrichment opportunities — is no ordinary summer school. Since 1975, it has been integral to our very mission, and who we are as a community.

Renee Greenfield and Maryanne Wolf Discuss the Science of Reading
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

As I wrote last spring, new research exploring the neuroscience of reading has stirred the debate over how best to teach our children to read. At the forefront of the discussion is Dr. Maryanne Wolf, an internationally-known researcher, teacher, and advocate for children’s literacy, who I had the fortune of learning from as a graduate student. I recently sat down with Maryanne to get her reaction to the current dialogue around the science of reading.

The Impact of Teacher Disposition on Learning Outcomes
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

In that first year of teaching at Carroll, I thought a lot about what drove their relentless optimism and persistence, neither of which are necessarily taught in teacher education programs. What leads them to work so hard for these kids? Slowly, I began to realize. The ineffable factor—the thing that really ignites learning with students—was, and is, their mindset.

Restorative Circle Practices at Carroll School
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

Increasingly, restorative practices are being used in schools across the country as a powerful community-building tool. Not only do they offer an effective complement to traditional disciplinary measures, they help students to build important communication and relationship skills. At Carroll, we began exploring the use of restorative practices several years ago ... Dr. Renée shares how it's going and how it fits into Carroll's mission.

Carroll Students Speak: Jay and Stella Share about Belonging, Multis, and Wobbly Chairs
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

Recently, Stella Grossman, a sixth grader, and Jay Rubenstein, a fourth grader, sat down with Renée to share their thoughts on a range of Carroll topics. Not only do their insights affirm Carroll’s mission, they remind us of the very lives and families we have the privilege of touching—even transforming. 

A Conversation with Dr. Sharon Saline on Dyslexia, ADHD, and Executive Function
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

More than half of Carroll’s student population has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and/or executive function (EF) challenges, in addition to a language-based learning difference (LBLD). Often, it’s hard to tell which one is at play. How can parents and educators make sense of it all? Clinical psychologist Dr. Sharon Saline answers a few of Dr. Renée Greenfield's questions.

What Is My Role As a Carroll Parent?
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

What is my role as a Carroll parent? What can or should I do to support my child? I’m asked this question often, particularly among families new to our community. I’m happy to provide a concrete answer.

Parent-Teacher Conferences: Critical to Student Outcomes
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

At Carroll, our approach to parent-teacher conferences is purposeful and straightforward, and leads to some pretty impactful conferences and, in turn, student outcomes. Learn how conferences are designed to support students throughout the school year and beyond.