Frequently Asked Questions
… about tutoring
Do you follow the school term calendar?
Our Orton-Gillingham lessons are offered from September through June and group programs are offered in the summer and throughout the year. Our school term calendars for our Langley and North Vancouver locations are available here on our calendar page.
What are your hours?
School Term: Our center is open from approximately 10:00am until about 7:30pm Monday through Thursdays. We are open from approximately 10:00am until about 5:00pm on Fridays, and from 8:45am until about 3pm on Saturdays. We are closed on Sundays and statutory holidays.
Summer: Our centre is open weekly from Monday through Friday for morning programs and afternoon 1:1 sessions from about 8:30am until 3:30pm for five or six weeks in total during July and August. Our centres may also be open for training during some of the summer. We are closed on weekends during the summer. Our weekly schedule is available here on our calendar page.
The school support team is preparing an IEP for my child. I'm confused about this process. Can you help?
An Individualized Education Plan is an important tool for the school team of many of our students who struggle with learning. Parents may find the following website helpful as an overall guide when beginning the process: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/education/kindergarten-to-grade-12/teach/teaching-tools/inclusive/iepssn.pdf Our current families may request additional support from our directors. Please contact us for details.
Can you provide references from families you've helped in the past?
We are pleased to be able to provide testimonials from some of our past and current families. Please click here to go to our testimonials page.
How do I set up tutoring lessons?
If you have been referred to REACH or if you would like to register with REACH without a prior referral, call our centre to see if there are openings available. Once a tutoring time is available, an appointment is made to discuss the particular needs of your child and review any previous assessments that may have been conducted and ensure that REACH will be a good fit for your child.
What happens after I register for tutoring?
Once a child is registered for one-to-one OG tutoring, they will meet with one of our directors who will conduct one or more standardized tests to determine a baseline for your child’s reading and spelling abilities. The following lesson will be with their tutor, who will conduct an Orton-Gillingham diagnostic lesson to determine where your child is in the scope of sequence of language skills as taught by an OG practitioner. From these base lines, the tutor and the director will determine where to best begin with your child, developing a course of action to help your child with their literacy skills.
How much does it cost for one-to-one lessons?
Fees for tutoring sessions vary dependent on if the tutoring is in a small group or 1 on 1, and on a scale depending on how many days per week and which days the tutoring is scheduled. Fees are charged for school term tutoring for scheduled hours during the school year, then prorated and withdrawn monthly on pre-authorized debit from a chequing account making the school fees easier to budget. Please call our Langley centre (604-888-8831) or our North Vancouver centre (604-987-6760) for specific information based on our availability to support your child.
Are there grants available to help pay for lessons?
Some of our families have been successful in receiving generous grants from Variety, the Variety the Children's Charity or from CKNW Kid's Fund. Sometimes, families participating in homeschooling or distance learning have been supported by some funding through their homeschool or DL group. Students who receive funding through the Autism Funding unit are able to direct some of their AFU funds to REACH.
Is there GST on tutoring lessons?
No, we do not charge GST for lessons at REACH because tutoring services are exempt from GST under Schedule V, Part III, s. 9. REACH provides services of tutoring or instructing an individuals in a course that is either approved for credit by a 'school authority' or in a course that follows a curriculum designated by a 'school authority' which, in our students' cases, is in reading, writing, spelling (language arts) and/or maths.
Are there any tax credits for tutoring fees?
Please note that we are not tax advisors and you must consult a professional tax advisor for support in applying for the METC. If your child is diagnosed with a diagnosed learning disability by a qualified educational psychologist you can apply for the medical expense tax credit. There will be a DSM-V code on the psycho-educational assessment verifying if a learning disability was determined by the assessment. Families will need to submit a copy of the assessment, and may need to also ask your psychologist to fill out a T-2200 form, depending on the expenses claimed. Please consult with your tax professional to verify the required documents for your claim to CRA. The main expenses claimed by families with children with learning disabilities are: Tutoring services, Devices or software, Talking textbooks, Reading services, Note-taking services, Travel expense (to and from intervention lessons), and Certificates (Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate). Since all OG Practitioners at REACH and case managers at each centre are fully qualified OG Practitioners in Canada and can verify our specialist credentials the Canadian Academy of Therapeutic Tutors, Orton-Gillingham, these supported credentials can also be provided by REACH to verify the OG services as the professional services required for "tutoring". The link to the CRA info on the medical expense tax credit. https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/deductions-credits-expenses/lines-330-331-eligible-medical-expenses-you-claim-on-your-tax-return.html
Can I sit with my child while they're doing their lesson?
We believe in open communication. Therefore, families will find that our centres are designed so that families can see or hear lessons from the waiting area as they are occurring. That said, we find that our students benefit most from their tutoring hour with the least amount of distraction. Since having a parent or other family member sit nearby may cause some performance anxiety, we encourage parents to listen to lessons from our open parent waiting area. If you would like a closer observation on a particular day, please connect with your centre director prior to that lesson so that we can arrange a good observation point for you.
What happens if my child is sick on their lesson day?
If your child is ill, they should not come to tutoring as they will not be able to fully absorb the content of their lesson, while risking both their own health along with the health of their tutor. We are happy to provide three make up days each year that you may take advantage of. To take advantage of these make up lessons, simply call our centre. Please see our current school year calendar for our upcoming make up days.
What is Orton-Gillingham?
The term “Orton-Gillingham”, or “O-G”, refers to an approach to teaching, rather than a set program. The Orton-Gillingham approach grew out of the work of Dr. Samuel Torrey Orton (1879-1948) and Anna Gillingham (1878-1963). Dr. Orton, a professor of neuropsychiatry and neuropathology at the Neurological Institute of Columbia University, was a pioneer in focusing attention on language differences by bringing together neuropsychiatric information and principles of remediation. As early as 1925, he had identified the syndrome of developmental reading disability, separated it from mental defect and brain damage, and offered a physiological explanation with a favorable prognosis. Anna Gillingham was a gifted educator and psychologist who worked with Dr. Orton. Ms. Gillingham trained teachers in this remedial approach to teaching students with dyslexia and compiled and published instructional materials with Bessie W. Stillman. The Orton-Gillingham approach, first introduced in the 1920’s, is still widely in use today across Canada, USA and other countries. Specifically, letters which represent the single sounds of familiar speech are presented to the student, then immediately synthesized into words that carry meaning. By introducing the letters simultaneously through hearing, seeing, and feeling, the student's weaknesses are lessened by integrating all of his learning pathways. This multisensory approach helps to ensure automatic memory which is so difficult for those who lack natural facility in language learning. Progress is made by going from the simple to the more complex tasks, building in much reinforcement, and proceeding as fast as possible but as slowly as necessary to master the basic elements. Careful pacing, structured but not programmed procedures, and a sequential presentation combining reading, writing, and spelling will help the student succeed. The structure of the approach often helps to organize the student's general way of learning and working. Its logic helps him where his memory fails and when he encounters unknown words. Its step-by-step progression leads to a sense of mastery and competence.
Are Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) learning disabilities?
ADD and ADHD are behavioral disorders. Many students with attention difficulties also struggle with learning due to "missing" the information when it was taught to them. An individual can have more than one learning or behavioral disability. In various studies as many as 50% of those diagnosed with a learning or reading difference have also been diagnosed with ADHD. Although disabilities may co-occur, one is not the cause of the other.
How common are language-based learning disabilities?
15-20% of the population are affected by a language-based learning disability.
Of the students with specific learning disabilities receiving special education services, 70-80% have deficits in reading.
Dyslexia is the most common cause of reading, writing and spelling difficulties.
Dyslexia affects males and females nearly equally, and people from different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds as well.
Will REACH diagnose my child for dyslexia?
We are privileged to be affiliated with Dr. Gavin Reid, who is a world-renowned expert in dyslexia and learning styles. When Dr. Reid is in the country, he is willing to conduct a limited number of assessments. If Dr. Reid is not available or if you wish to consult with other psychologists in your area, we may be able to help you with contacts. Please [contact our office] for details.
Why can't any teacher read about OG and tutor/teach my child?
The Orton-Gillingham approach to teaching and remediation of a learning disability is scientifically sound, research-based and involves intensive training and practice. It is firmly supported that prescriptive, multisensory, research-based remedial teaching can not be "picked up" by simply reading a book or two on the subject. Our specialists have all undergone intensive training from a recognized Orton-Gillingham training academy in Canada or the USA. In addition to their other university work, our Practitioners are certified Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and also benefit from ongoing support from our founder, who is a respected international Orton-Gillingham/MSL expert. Our centre was the first fully accredited Orton-Gillingham centre in Canada.
Families come to REACH by referral from a psychologist or teacher, or when it is important to them to provide the most knowledgeable and experienced individuals to help with their child's learning difficulty.
… about training
Are your OG training courses accredited?
OG training courses offered through REACH have been subject to peer review and have been recognized and accredited by both the Canadian and American OG professional academies. This accreditation is important as graduates who have completed coursework may want to work professionally as OG Practitioners or OG Classroom Educators and would need to be licensed or accredited to do so. While our OG Trainers can provide trainees information about seeking membership with professional academies, one can also connect with the Canadian Academy of Therapeutic Tutors, Orton-Gillingham (CATT OG) for Canadian professional membership, or the American Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE) for professional membership in the United States.
How do I become an Orton-Gillingham Practitioner?
The process for becoming an accredited Orton-Gillingham Practitioner aims to provide a strong foundation of understanding of current research and historical influences, as well as deep study of the mechanics of language followed by thorough practice in the OG MSL procedures and clinical practice.
After ensuring that one is eligible to take OG training, an OGP applicant would complete: Foundations of MSLE, OG Practitioner training, followed by OGPractitioner Practicum. After successful completion of the practicum, the trainee would be eligible to apply to the Canadian OG Academy (CATT, OG) for certification as an OG Practitioner-Interim and begin working in the field.
The new OG Practitioner-Interim must, over the next 1 - 2 years, complete at least 100 hours of clinical lessons in a one on one situation. This would be followed by successful completion of Intermediate-level OG Practitioner course. After completion of 100 hours and an intermediate-level course, the OG Practitioner-Interim would be eligible to apply for certification as an OG Practitioner Associate. The academy would then arrange for a field observation of the OG Practitioner with a student, including review of their lessons. After a successful field observation, the CATT supervisor would nominate the OG Practitioner for Associate status.
Educational steps for becoming an OG Practitioner:
- Foundations of MSL by certified trainers)
- Orton-Gillingham Practitioner Basic coursework (may be offered in levels)
- Supervised Practicum
(Satisfactory completion of these courses and practicum satisfies coursework requirements for becoming a member of the Canadian academy at the Practitioner-Associate-Interim level. Practitioner-Associate-Interims may apply for OG Practitioner positions in schools or clinics.)
- OG Intermediate coursework (completed within two years of finishing a Practicum)
- Field observation by a representative of the Canadian academy
(Satisfactory completion of these next pieces will entitle the trainee to be recognized as an Orton-Gillingham Practitioner Associate)
Can I start working with OG Tutoring after taking the Foundations of MSLE training course?
No. A trainee must successfully complete Foundations-level and Basic level courses and a supervised practicum before they are ready to begin practice as an Orton-Gillingham Practitioner.
Are there grants available for OG training?
Certified OG training may be eligible for grants or subsidies through your school, union office, or employer. Additionally, the Canadian OG professional academy (CATT, OG) offers a $500 grant to classroom and learning resource teachers in British Columbia, awarded once yearly. Please check with CATT for details.
What is the equivalent to BA or B.Ed. and who decides?
If you are not sure if your education meets the requirements necessary for OG training, contact our office and request a meeting to discuss your particular background and application.
The following are some guidelines to consider:
- Applicants for OG training must demonstrate a strong command of both spoken and written English.
- Post-secondary education demonstrates a commitment to ongoing higher education, and completion of coursework requiring writing at a university level. Strong writing skills are also required, since an OG Practitioner will be required to write reports for parents and for the professionals who also support their students (teachers, speech pathologists, psychologists).
- Other post-secondary coursework that emphasizes pedagogy, speech and language, psychology and special education is often also accepted as good preparation for the rigors of OG training.
- The goal is to ensure that those beginning OG Practitioner training have a reasonable opportunity for success.
How would I complete an online practicum?
REACH provides a practicum either on-site (live observation) or remotely. A remote practicum may be completed via sharing of digital files online and with access to blogs and websites we've developed to support the process. Initial contact between the trainee and their Supervising Mentor is usually conducted through a telephone or Skype meeting. Lessons conducted by the trainee will need to be digitally recorded and sent to their Trainer or Supervising Mentor immediately after the lessons are conducted, so use of a laptop with camera, high speed internet, a printer and scanner are necessary. As assignments and lessons are completed, the trainee will email or otherwise digitally send files to their Trainer or assigned Supervising Mentor, who will then provide timely written feedback. The REACH practicum process is designed to support community-based intervention for the trainee in their home community and for their personal educational benefit.
Why has the structure of OG training different than OG courses that were offered in the past?
Our professional community strives to stay current with best practice and research for language instruction. Therefore, refinements in training requirements are always being implemented. The changes in the structure of the training courses were made to incorporate current standards as detailed in the International Dyslexia Association document: Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading.
The new structure also provides increased flexibility for Trainers and participants. Although the training courses must be completed in an order, they do not necessarily need to be completed in one single extended course, as was formerly the case.
Who certifies OG Practitioners?
The field of Orton-Gillingham / Multisensory Structured Language Education (OG/MSLE) has grown since its inception in the early 1920s. There are several professional bodies around the world who certify practitioners or training programs, although many of them are US based organizations. In Canada, the Canadian Academy of Therapeutic Tutors, Orton-Gillingham (CATT, OG) certifies OG Practitioners, Supervisors, Trainers and training programs and is the primary group to do so. In the United States, AOGPE, IMSLEC and ALTA are the largest organizations to certify Practitioners and programs. Other groups, such as the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) in the UK and the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) in the US, are recently adding to their mandates of disseminating research-based information about dyslexia and entering into the realm of also certifying Practitioners and programs for training educators. All groups have members in many countries. In short, there is no "one certifying body" that certifies all evidence-based instructional approaches such as the OG approach.
Will REACH hire OG Basic training graduates?
REACH prides itself on the high quality of Practitioners who teach within our centres. We accept applications from OG Practitioners who have graduated from only fully accredited Orton-Gillingham training programs, certified by our Canadian accrediting body, including our own training courses. We do not hire OG Practitioner applicants who have taken abbreviated coursework or workshops, done only OG readings, or have taken training from a non-recognized program. To find out if another training course is accredited by CATT, OG, contact them via: www.ogtutors.com
I have been teaching in a classroom for many years and have a strong background in teaching phonics. Can I skip the Foundations of MSLE course and go directly into the Classroom Educator course?
Since the Foundations course provides an overview of OG and MSLE education, reading and writing development, testing and progress monitoring for reading fluency, as well as teaching procedures for conducting phonological awareness lessons in an OG environment, Foundations is a requirement for all applicants wishing to go on to either Practitioner or Classroom Educator coursework and may not be skipped.
If I took OG training with a practicum under the old system, do I still need to take the Foundations or Intermediate courses, or can I skip them?
While the Foundations coursework is not required for current or grand-mothered/grandfathered OG Practitioners, it is the position of REACH, the Canadian OG Academy and the feedback of graduates, that OG Practitioners who trained prior to the introduction of Principles-level training will benefit from the increased knowledge, current research and procedures studied in that level of training.
I am a classroom teacher but am not sure if I should take training under the Classroom Educator stream or Practitioner stream. What do you suggest?
The Classroom Educator course is designed to provide teachers with the procedures and resources to offer OG instruction to a classroom or group in a tier 1 or tier 2 setting (classroom or learning resource group). An OG Classroom Educator is not required to complete a supervised practicum and the resources shared are designed to support group instruction. An OG Classroom Educator is not certified to provide 1:1 instruction in a tutorial or clinical environment. If your goal is to enhance your teaching practice in the classroom or learning assistance centre of your school, the CE course may be right for you. If your hope is to also be able to provide 1:1 tutorials in a private after-school or clinical environment, you may want to consider Practitioner training. Keep in mind that the procedures learned in OG Practitioner training are different than those provided in the CE course and may be time consuming and confusing to adapt to a group environment.
What is your cancellation policy for courses and workshops?
Withdrawals will be accepted with more than and up to two weeks prior to the scheduled course start date with a 20% withdrawal fee. Withdrawals requests received less than two weeks prior to the scheduled course start date will be accepted less a 30% withdrawal fee. No withdrawals or refunds will be issued on or after the first day of a course.
A registrant may substitute another person in their seat any time before the first day of a class with no penalty. In extenuating circumstances of withdrawal, a registrant may change their registration to the next course occurring within the same academic year (September until August). If a course is canceled or rescheduled due to low enrollment, REACH will fully refund the applicant or transfer their registration to another event.
Basic Facts about Dyslexia: What Every Layperson Ought to Know - Copyright 1993, 2nd ed. 1998. The International Dyslexia Association, Baltimore, MD.
Learning Disabilities: Information, Strategies, Resources - Copyright 2000. Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities, a collaboration of the leading U.S. non-profit learning disabilities organization. Used with permission.
Research studies sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.