Orton-Gillingham Literacy Training at TQS

Dear TQS Families: 

“In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.” — Eric Hoffer

This week, 15 TQS faculty members are beginning their training in the Orton-Gillingham (O-G) method of literacy instruction. By the end of the year, all 15 will be certified O-G Classroom Educators. Last year, two TQS teachers completed their O-G Classroom Educator certification, and those two will work this year to become Associate Level B certified. 

You are probably wondering what all of this means. 

Orton-Gillingham is a research-based method of literacy instruction. It teaches decoding (sounding out words), reading comprehension, vocabulary development, grammar, spelling, and the enjoyment of the spoken and written word. 

O-G is different from scripted literacy programs because it is an approach, a philosophy, and a set of methods and skills. O-G is rigorously evidenced-based, yet at the same time it gives teachers flexibility in how its methods apply to each student. In contrast, commercial reading programs determine what the teacher says during instruction and the pace of the lessons, without making any adjustments for student needs. Which sounds better to you? 

The O-G approach is language-based, multisensory, structured, sequential, cumulative, cognitive, and flexible. Students understand the reasons behind what they are learning and the learning strategies they are employing.

I am very excited about what having 17 O-G certified teachers in our school will mean for TQS students. 

The certification process is a strenuous one. TQS teachers will be certified by the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, the highest standard for O-G certification, and coursework and practicum must be delivered by an Academy Fellow. Natalie Felix, graciously on loan from The Swift School School in Roswell, Georgia, is serving as TQS’s Fellow. 

This group of inspiring professionals will complete 30 hours of coursework and 50 hours of supervised practicum for O-G Classroom Educator certification, and 20 more hours of training and 100 hours of practicum for Associate Level B training, the highest of standards. 

Adopting O-G as the school’s bedrock literacy program will give teachers the greatest opportunity to deliver flexible, evidence-based literacy instruction. 

(Not to fear: if your student is thriving in Wilson, TQS still has plenty of Level 1 and 2 Wilson Certified teachers and will continue to offer the program for the near future.) 

Many thanks to these dedicated teachers who are spending literally hundreds of hours improving their craft. They are true testament to TQS’ commitment to continual learning and growth. 

Shine on,

Alex