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Noteworthy Education Conference Coming to Halifax – and our Founder is Presenting!

By Halifax Learning on Wed, Aug 24, 2022 @ 03:15 PM

researchED Twitter

A very exciting event is happening in Halifax on November 12th!  

ResearchEd bridges the gap between research and practice in education. At their events, researchers, teachers, and policymakers come together for a day of information-sharing and myth-busting. Their events are held globally, and the Canadian venue on November 12th is Saint Mary’s University in Halifax from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm ADT.

Our own Sarah Arnold, Halifax Learning’s founder and pioneer of the SpellRead Program, will be speaking at this momentous event. SpellRead was recommended by the Ontario Right to Read Inquiry as an effective, science-based, and driven literacy program. This will be a chance to align with ResearchEd’s mission to raise research literacy in the teaching profession and the education sector more generally.

The Symposium theme is “Shoring Up the Foundations – Student Behaviour and Learning to Read.”

This will be an informative day, with an opportunity to learn from some of the smartest and best voices in education discussing reading and behaviour. Pay rapt attention to the Keynote by Dr. Jamie Metsala, the Gail and Stephen Jarislowsky Chair in Learning Disabilities at Mount Saint Vincent University.  We certainly take a keen interest in her work. Dr. Metsala was one of the subject matter experts and advisors to the Right2Read executive summary inquiry (more information on the inquiry can be found at the link below) and is well known for her research on reading. We are sure you will enjoy listening to her speak.

We encourage your attendance.  With a nominal fee, you will come away with invaluable learnings.

Click for more information and to register

To learn more about Ontario’s Right to Read inquiry, check out our blog post 

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SpellRead, the Gold Standard in Reading Programs: Now Online!

By Halifax Learning on Wed, Aug 24, 2022 @ 03:15 PM

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Are you aware that SpellRead is available in both in-person and online formats?

Perhaps you are in a community where in-person programming is not available. Or your children are in many activities, and it’s hard to balance them all. Now you can have access to this valuable resource virtually.

We know that over the past few years people have had mixed experiences with online learning. While we can’t speak for every experience, at Halifax Learning, we strive to make you feel comfortable and at ease with our delivery. In that regard, we schedule shorter, more frequent classes for our students, which has proven very effective.

There are some other methods we use to promote online learning as a viable option. For example, our online teacher-student is the 1:3 ratio — quite different from other online teaching experiences. We have reviewed what works best for different age groups, so we are aware of when our students need to move or have a break, and we accommodate this. We also love the benefit to parents! They enjoy being able to see their child learn and are pleased to be more informed with regard to our teaching methods.

The SpellRead Online programming is based on two years of delivery — continuously studying best practices around online learning specific to certain age groups. So Halifax Learning is well-equipped to provide a great learning experience, in-person or virtually. An online SpellRead class is identical to our clinic delivery model.

You may wonder if you have the proper setup for online study. Well, it frankly isn’t the right fit for every student. You are required to have excellent internet at home, a quiet space and a parent within earshot. This creates a program as rich online as it is in person.

For many families, SpellRead online is a very rich and effective solution. It is also very convenient for parents with children in many activities.

The good news is that we can tell from our assessment if SpellRead online will be effective for your student. So why not get started with a free assessment today? Find out more and book your assessment here:

Book an Assessment with SpellRead

 

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COVID and the Impact on Childhood Learning and Development

By Halifax Learning on Tue, Jun 21, 2022 @ 12:50 PM

Young boy concentrating on his schoolwork sitting at his desk in the classroom with his head in his hands reading his class notes

Has COVID affected your child's education? It likely has. Not only have reading and numeracy levels been compromised, but communication, life experiences, and students' relationships with each other and those in the education system have also been affected.

Although provincial plans have been created, they don't seem to address some of the critical components involving losses experienced by students overall. Although well-intentioned, the detail required to rectify the learning slide that has taken place is missing.

CBC's investigation into these provincial education initiatives, found at https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/learning-curve-catch-up-recovery-plans-1.6472721, is telling. Many interviews shared the same message: provinces need to create more comprehensive, specific strategies to assess student learning levels and utilize additional funding set aside for education to have the maximum effect possible. 

In addition, racialized and marginalized populations have taken even more of a toll, and these students need policies in place to get them up to speed with the levels that are consistent with standardized levels.  

So much has been lost for students during the pandemic. As educators, we must embrace the emerging evidence that our children's needs are not being met.  

As literacy coaches, we knew before the pandemic that many children were being disenfranchised by inadequate literacy instruction. We find that teachers are incredible and sincere in what they are teaching. However, their impact is reduced due to the oversight in their B.Ed. courses of the basics of teaching with a focus on the science of reading. This disparity is becoming even more significant given the development lost due to the pandemic. 

Our enrollment coordinators note that many parents have contacted us over the last two years due to concerns about a COVID slide. However, many others realized just how far behind their child's literacy skills were after watching them participate in online learning at home. 

Of course, at Halifax Learning, we consider each child's needs, ensuring they get the best possible care delivered with understanding and patience. However, the parent conversations have taken a turn. Navigating this pandemic has been an experience for everyone. Not only has the anxiety and stress that this has put on our children and educators been dramatic, but it is frustrating for parents trying to juggle their children's social, emotional, and academic needs. In addition, the emerging issue of life affordability, although not new, is also taking a toll.

The goal is for our delivery of the SpellRead program to live in teachers' classrooms. We've made some inroads in training public teachers in Ontario and with the African Canadian Services Branch in the Nova Scotia Department of Education. We have effectively trained teachers to deliver the program to youth in schools. However, this only targets a small number of students, and the issue is widespread and complex.  

If parents are wondering about their child's literacy skills, we offer a free learning assessment for students. In less than one hour, you will learn more about how you or a member of your family processes language and comprehends text. Our assessment provides a clear understanding of strengths and weaknesses and gives us a picture of how the student reads. The evaluation looks at students' phonological and phonetic skills, reading fluency, word recognition, comprehension, and writing and spelling skills. The results are discussed with you, and suggestions for steps moving forward are made.   

We also have a bursary program. All families can apply, and an amount is determined based on affordability. 

Ultimately, teachers should have access to structured literacy training in teachers' colleges. We recommend that college educators take heed of the alarming pattern emerging and ensure that teachers are learning the basics of teaching with an evidence-based, science of reading focus in their B.Ed. courses. If you are a teacher looking for more information, please visit our website dedicated to teacher training: www.resultsyoucanread.ca 

We are here to help. Reach out and book your free assessment now: 

Book a Free Assessment

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Recommended Books for your Reading List

By Halifax Learning on Mon, May 16, 2022 @ 09:08 AM

Looking for reading for your children for the Summer?  We have a special download for you at the end of this post!


Halifax Learning hired our first co-op student, Basel!  This was through a program with Saint Mary’s University.

We hired Basel Elkhalifa to help with our social media content creation.  Aside from helping create relevant content that we could use to explain and elevate our program, we also decided to use this co-op opportunity to do something we've been wanting to do for a long time – research and create a children’s booklist to celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Basel did an excellent job of this by breaking the content up into months, and researching children's literature specific to different cultures.  Basel has included books and authors from across the country, with a primary focus on keeping it local to Nova Scotia. 

We are pleased to offer this curated selection of 39 books that will be educational and informative for young and old alike.  The recommended reading includes:

 
    • Black History Month
    • Asian Heritage Month
    • Jewish Heritage Month
    • National Indigenous Month
    • Pride Month
    • Women’s History Month
    • Mi’kmaq History Month
    • Universal Human Rights Month
 

Along with a special mention of a book entitled “Hassan and Aneesa Love Ramadan”.

Click below to see the list and get started on your Summer reading!:

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For more information on the St. Mary’s University Co-op Education Program, 

Contact the Co-operative Education, Career & Experiential Learning department at  

902-410-4626 or visit their website at  www.smu.ca/coop

 

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Meet our Community Engagement Director:  Shakisha Downey

By Halifax Learning on Thu, Mar 24, 2022 @ 10:01 AM

Staff Images-ROUND_Shakisha Downey

Shakisha Downey's role has evolved at Halifax Learning. Shakisha has been an integral part of our team since 2017 and now takes on the role of Community Engagement Director. Let's get to know Shakisha (she/her).

Graduating from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Social Anthropology, she is now studying for her Bachelor of Social Work with the goal of completing her Masters in Social Work. Shakisha's pursuit of education in this field of social work was spurred on by her personal experience as a former child in care. This educational opportunity has been a professional and personal development experience for her.


She came on board with us to work with families on financing and delivering science-based programming in our in-person and online clinics and in Halifax Regional Centre for Education schools and community centres. She was attracted to Halifax Learning because of their understanding of illiteracy as a social justice issue. Growing up, education was her anchor in a life of many uncertainties, something she could always be proud to be a part of. Shakisha strongly believes literacy can change the path taken by anyone in life, especially for those who have been marginalized or denied access to opportunities. For her, literacy and knowledge are power, and she wanted to be a part of empowering younger generations.

As the Community Engagement Director for Halifax Learning, she works on creating, organizing, and maintaining community-based literacy programs, workshops, and opportunities in Halifax Regional Municipality with the overall theme of Affirmative Action and advancing social justice for marginalized individuals and communities.

Shakisha finds her work with Halifax Learning to be rewarding for the opportunity she has to be a part of creating and maintaining transformative learning journeys for children and youth who have experienced trauma and/or marginalization.

Her favourite reading material includes books that tell real-life stories about additions, abuse, and other personal struggles. It all started for her with "Go ask Alice, Anonymous" and a number of books by Ellen Hopkins she read in Junior High.

What does she do for fun? She loves to take long drives along the coast to admire the adored ocean views of Nova Scotia. Some of her favourite places to visit are the Cape Breton Highlands and Scots Bay. She also loves to take her  Lab-Mastiff out for a good long walk and swim. In fact, what she loves about living in Atlantic Canada is the ocean! In her words, "I'm a sucker for saltwater and rocky or sandy beaches".  

As a favourite 'pump up' song, what will you hear her listening to? Well, anything Justin Bieber and her current song of the moment is "Attention" by Omah.  But this could change any minute!

Make sure to reach out to Shakisha for assistance with funding, scholarships, for working with HLC and much more!

HubSpot Video

 

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Right to Read Inquiry Uncovers Inequities, Recommendations

By Halifax Learning on Thu, Mar 03, 2022 @ 05:30 PM

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has released their report from the Right to Read Inquiry. At issue was whether learning-disabled and marginalized students were subject to human rights violations during their instruction in Ontario public schools.

The Commission’s findings were released February 28th 2022.

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How data was collected

Both numerical and qualitative (narrative, descriptive means of data collection) were collected and analyzed. Several key findings emerged:

Learning outcomes for learning-disabled, Black, Indigenous, low-income, students from racialized groups and other marginalized subsets were concerning to the Commission. For example, Indigenous students were less likely to reach provincial reading benchmarks than their white counterparts. Their five-year graduation rates were lower than their white counterparts.

The demand for early intervention programs (Kindergarten through Grade 2) outstripped the supply, and many students’ needs were continuing to go unmet under the current eligibility guidelines.

The main source of the numerical data was EQAO standardized test scores.

Report uncovers limited access, widespread inequity

The Commission found Ontario public schools failed to provide evidence-based instruction to struggling students. Schools are taking a “wait and see” approach for struggling students instead of creating access to reading support and evidence-based intervention. Students must also have a formal diagnosis and a psycho-educational assessment to be eligible for interventions.

These factors disproportionately affect marginalized and lower-income students who historically lack access to diagnostic and evaluation services.

Increasing access, removing barriers

Recommendations from the Commission to remedy this portion of the findings included the implementation of evidence-based, systemic, phonics, and word-reading programs for students who needed them. The Commission also recommended removing inappropriate barriers, such as required psycho-educational assessments, which were costly when privately obtained, and out of reach to limited-income families.

Additionally, the lack of province-wide consistency means uneven access for students, especially those most in need of reading intervention programs. School boards used 16 different programs, only five of which were evidence-based. The board-developed programs were not rigorously evaluated or vetted before implementation.

Additionally, the Commission proposed developing standardized, evidence-based eligibility criteria for students.

The Commission also recommended making evidence-based reading interventions widely available at each grade level.

SpellRead earns high marks for a science-based approach

However, once the evidence-based program, SpellRead, received high praise for its science-backed, age-appropriate, and comprehensive approach to reading instruction. Aimed at students with or without a diagnosis, studies in Newfoundland, Novia Scotia and the U.S. have demonstrated the program’s positive effect on students’ decoding skills, word reading, fluency, and comprehension.

SpellRead has been regarded as the Gold Standard of evidence-based reading programs, and its implementation throughout Canada would benefit struggling students and even the learning playing field.

The implementation of SpellRead fall in line with the Commission’s recommendation to implement standardized, evidence-based reading programs for struggling readers.

To do this, the Commission also recommended the Ministry of Education allocate additional funding to hire and train additional teachers to facilitate the recommended reading programs. Doing so would eliminate the current “wait and see” approach and would increase access for students who would otherwise struggle without intervention.

Furthermore, the Commission encouraged increased accountability and transparent communication at the school board level. Parents and students should be able to receive clear, timely communication regarding the availability of reading intervention programs.

Although the report uncovered inequities within Ontario’s public school system for students from marginalized groups, it did identify concrete solutions to closing the achievement gap that currently exists.

The ability to read fluently is a right all students should have access to, regardless of their socioeconomic standing or group identity. By implementing science-based, standardized reading intervention programs and removing access barriers, more students will be able to succeed not only at reading but life outside of school.

 

Topics: Right to Read
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What You Need to Know About Ontario's Right to Read Inquiry

By Halifax Learning on Fri, Feb 25, 2022 @ 09:53 AM

Reading is an essential skill that will serve students well in school and later on in life. For students with reading-related learning disabilities, reading poses additional challenges that impact the rest of their school performance.

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In October of 2019, the Ontario Human Rights Human Rights Commission (OHRC) began an inquiry to determine whether or not learning-challenged students were facing human rights violations in the course of their education in public schools since learning to read is a fundamental right for all students.

Are Ontario schools adequately meeting the needs of at-risk readers?

In essence, the Commission is working to determine if Ontario public schools are meeting the reading instructional needs of learning-disabled students.

The findings, due to be released February 2022, could also benefit low-income, First Nations, English language learners, new arrivals, and other marginalized student groups, as well as students at risk of developing learning disabilities.

The commission’s inquiry is focused on accounts from educators, students, and parents across Ontario. Additionally, the commission is reviewing teacher training, school reading curricula, and consulting with experts. They are also reviewing school board policies and procedures as they relate to students with reading-related learning disabilities.

The OHRC is interested in hearing about the concerns and challenges faced by students in Ontario’s public school system.

The OHRC is focusing on the following benchmarks in their inquiry:

  • Universal design for learning
  • Reading intervention programs
  • Mandatory early screenings
  • Effective accommodations
  • Psycho-educational assessments (if needed)

COVID19's impact on student learning outcomes

The commission also learned of the impact of the COVID19 pandemic on learning-challenged students. School closures and distance learning posed extra challenges, and created a negative impact on student learning, compounding the students’ ongoing difficulties.

Both the OHRC and disability rights groups raised concerns in the following areas:

  • Technology
  • Professional services
  • Personal contact
  • Specialized programming
  • Screening
  • Instruction
  • Summer learning programs
  • Shared legal responsibility
  • Identification, Placement, and Review Committees (IPRCs) and Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and the duty to accommodate

As of October 2021, the commission began the process of finalizing the Right to Read Inquiry report. The report will contain detailed recommendations and findings for school boards, government, education faculties, curriculum/instruction, reading interventions, learning accommodations, professional assessments, early screenings, and systemic issues faced by learning-challenged students.

The final report is expected to be released in February 2022.

Reading is a fundamental skill that needs to be accessible to all students, regardless of their learning status or achievement level. The Right to Read Inquiry will determine if the needs of Ontario’s learning-challenged students are being met, and whether or not these and other at-risk students are experiencing human rights violations in the course of their education.

We are grateful to the many professionals who generously gave their time and guidance throughout the public inquiry, including Dr. Siegle from UBC and Dr. Jamie Metsala from MSVU, a well-known name in our local community and a Literacy Researcher & Advocate for Effective Early Reading Instruction & Reading Interventions.

The results of the inquiry could help to shape educational public policy in the years to come, and to remedy inequalities present in Ontario public schools. We also anticipate that the policy may have an impact on other areas of Canada and we hope to see its influence here in Nova Scotia.  

Learn more and follow report details here

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Are Learning-challenged Children More Likely To Be Bullied?

By Halifax Learning on Tue, Feb 15, 2022 @ 06:39 PM

Students who are perceived as “different” by their peers are more prone to bullying. Bullying can include physical aggression, name-calling, exclusionary behaviours, and cyber-bullying through social media or text messages. 

Which children are vulnerable to bullying? Kids with physical disabilities, social difficulties, socioeconomic gaps between them and classmates, and kids with learning differences are among the students who are frequently targeted. 

Children who with conditions such as ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, and other learning differences are especially vulnerable, as are those on the Autism spectrum. 

The impact of bullying

Bullying has far-reaching consequences, ranging from physical pain, anxiety, school avoidance, depression, and poorer learning outcomes. The bullied child may act out or withdraw, straining already fragile peer relationships, and setting the stage for more bullying. 

According to data presented in Public Safety Canada, long-term effects of bullying include depression, loss of self-esteem, aggression, and in some cases, suicide. 

Children with learning differences are especially vulnerable. In an increasingly competitive academic environment, children who fall behind academically could end up being the target of bullies. 

While academic competitions and honor rolls may be good for high-achieving students, a learning-disabled student may struggle emotionally with their results and grade reports. No child wants to feel “different” or left out. 

Identifying the root of the problem

For students with suspected learning differences, a psycho-educational learning assessment is an excellent first step. The assessment will help identify the root cause of a student’s learning and behavioural challenges. 

Next, a customized learning plan is created, giving the student specialized assistance in addressing areas of concern and providing a level academic playing field. A customized learning plan will also help the student address social challenges that can come in tandem with learning differences. 

Over time, a shy or school-averse student may gain confidence as they learn to master subjects and concepts that were previously difficult for them. This newfound confidence and sense of “I can do it!” will carry over to peer relationships and making them less of a target of bullies. 

Students with learning differences are often quite intelligent, and a well-structured learning program will help the student harness their innate intelligence while gaining mastery over previously difficult subjects. 

Students learn to work with their learning differences, not against them. 

Next steps

Programs such as Halifax Learning’s online learning, school readiness, and SpellRead activities can help a struggling reader through a customized program suited to their needs and makes an excellent supplement to their school-based learning program. 

Students who struggle with speech patterns and issues can benefit from our speech programs. They will gain confidence and be more likely to interact with peers, making them feel less “different” over time. 

Children with learning differences often end up the target of bullies. By addressing their unique needs and strengths, learning-challenged students can experience greater confidence and self-esteem as they master topics previously difficult for them. 

Contact us today to find out how our programs can help your student reach their full potential--inside and outside of school. 

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Waiting for a Psycho-educational Assessment?

By Halifax Learning on Wed, Nov 24, 2021 @ 06:47 PM

Students with learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, social or emotional difficulties, or any other learning challenge can significantly benefit from having a psychoeducational assessment performed. They offer valuable direction for a child's future development and needed support. In fact, an assessment can be an excellent investment even when you don't suspect a learning disability, as it can evaluate a child's difficulty comprehending assignments or completing work accurately or on time.

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Unfortunately, the wait time for a psychoeducational assessment inside the Canadian school system can be long, sometimes two years or more. Sadly wait times have increased due to Covid-19 school closures.  Assessments are also available through private sources but often cost thousands of dollars, which makes them a nonviable option for many.

The good news is that Halifax Learning’s free reading assessment, while not a replacement for a full psychoeducational assessment, can expertly and accurately highlight where students need support now. That makes it a good option while you wait for a more comprehensive evaluation. 

What Is a Psychoeducational Assessment?

For students who need to access additional or customized learning support, a psychoeducational assessment is a must. It identifies learning challenges in students of all ages, from young children to adults, and provides a deeper understanding of their educational abilities. It also helps diagnose the root cause of a student’s academic or behavioural challenges, signs of which can include:

  • Low report card grades
  • Difficulty focusing during class
  • Disruptive behaviour in the classroom
  • Feeling anxious or overwhelmed during tests
  • Not performing at full potential academically

The assessment process involves interviews, document reviews, formal testing, and completion of rating scales and questionnaires. The resulting report provides recommendations for special services and resources in both the home and school environments. 

Sometimes parents are worried an assessment will find something is “wrong” with their child. But people with reading and other learning challenges are often quite intelligent. They just don’t process learning the same way other students do. Identifying a child’s unique style and determining their cognitive strengths and weaknesses is an important first step in getting them the necessary support to improve their academic performance; it can even increase their enjoyment of school! 

How Halifax Learning assesses a student’s needs

Halifax Learning’s free, one-hour online and in-person assessments measure a student’s phonological and phonetic skills, reading fluency, word recognition, comprehension, and writing and spelling skills. They provide a clear and comprehensive understanding of a student’s strengths and weaknesses and give us a picture of the way the student is reading. 

Halifax Learning believes  all children can learn to read and read well. Our fully integrated approach uses language-based reading and writing activities to help students, particularly those who struggle with reading, improve their reading skills. 

To learn more about our story and how we can help support your child’s learning needs, reach out to us or book an in-person or online reading assessment today.

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Helpful tips for Parent Teacher Meetings

By Halifax Learning on Fri, Nov 12, 2021 @ 07:15 AM

Parent-teacher conferences are put in place for communication, accountability, to celebrate success, and to overcome challenges. They are an opportunity for teachers to relay insight about a child's interactions with their peers, their approach and attitude towards challenging material, and their reactions to new emotions and ideas.  Everyone should take advantage of this time, albeit limited, to increase opportunities for the success of the student. 

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Halifax Learning has educators with years of experience as public school teachers and also clinicians working as reading specialists. The tips below are a collection of experiences we’ve found most useful when communicating with parents. At Halifax Learning we have the privilege of frequent parent-teacher consultations.  We also have a systematized assessment procedure that also ensures a discussion at the mid point of a SpellRead student's programming and upon completion of the program. 

Here are 5 ways to maximize your parent-teacher conference.

1. Don't Wait!

Don't wait for Parent-Teacher Conferences to open lines of communication. Remember, you are a team and communication is critical. We all know our public school teachers are overwhelmed with demands, but offering support, relevant information and ensuring you're supporting your child's needs at home will only reduce the demands on our classroom teachers.

You can help support your child's classroom teacher by asking for advice on ways you can support your child at home. Ask for recommendations for:

  • an online course, reading material or an upcoming conference that puts a spotlight on your child's learning challenges. 
  • an incentive program that can be carried out both at home and in the classroom. 
  • additional practice, activities and/or apps.
  • professional services and support in your community. 

2. Ask for Honesty

Give your child's teacher permission to be honest. Let them know you are prepared for the good, the bad and the ugly in order to move forward. In order for your child to thrive, the adults overseeing their education need to work together, even if it hurts. 

Teachers want to tell all parents that their child is exceeding expectations and your child's teacher is likely agonizing over focusing on the positive. As hard as it is to receive difficult news, it's also hard to share it, but when we sugar coat reality, we are providing a disservice to our students.  At Halifax Learning, ss providers of a structured literacy program, too often we are asked why no one spoke up sooner. When parents ask for honesty and open communication, parents and teachers can more quickly develop solutions for the child's learning needs.

3. Share Information

The golden rule for teaching success is "get to know your students" and no one knows your child better than you do. Relationships are paramount and parents can help fast track this process by sharing as much information as possible. Share with your child's teacher:

  • the challenges and successes that have defined your child.
  • what motivates your child.
  • what causes your child anxiety.
  • what programs and services they have received up to this point.
  • the strengths and challenges you face as a parent in reinforcing the goals set out by your child's teacher.

4. Include the Student

Your child is the subject of your meeting and one of your best sources of information.  Students should have an opportunity to assess and provide feedback about their teacher, classmates, and learning environment. Yes, a child's perspective can be skewed, but regardless, what they perceive to be true impacts their learning outcomes.

How they feel matters and can help inform their educational journey. Have multiple, meaningful and intentional conversations with your child about their experiences at school and record their comments in a journal at a later time. Ask your child specific questions and allow them to express their feelings completely. After several conversations about school, reflect on your notes and look for patterns that resulted in success or presented barriers for your child's learning. Take this information to your child's teacher with the intention of finding a resolution, not to point fingers. 

5. Advocate, Advocate, Advocate

Advocating for your child doesn't mean being a bully and making unreasonable demands. Asking informed questions with the expectation of an informed response is well within your rights. When it comes to your child's reading, you should ask: 

  • When were you last able to read with my child one on one? 
  • What are they reading in comparison to their peers? 
  • What do you notice about my child's reading? Are they using compensatory strategies such as memorization, context or pictures to guess or are they using the sound-letter relationship of the alphabet code to attack unknown words?
  • Are you teaching the five core components of essential reading skills? How? 

… 

If your child is struggling to read, remember:

✓ Reading skills do not develop in a short time.

✓ 95% of the developing readers benefit from explicit, systematic instruction to decipher the alphabetic code.

✓ Developing readers need multiple, repetitive opportunities to master skills.

✓ Reading programs must incorporate all five of the core components to ensure skilled, confident, reading.

✓ Halifax Learning uses evidence-based programming that offers effective, sustainable results, delivered by exceptional, experienced, experts. 

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