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Structured Literacy

teacher teaching structured literacy with letter cards


Chartwell teachers use an Orton-Gillingham based approach that incorporates systematic phonics and applied linguistics. Students learn the alphabetic principle including initial decoding and encoding stages of reading and writing and more advanced stages, including syllable types, morphemes, syntax, semantics, and grammatical structures of language and our writing system. 

Our structured literacy classes provide remediation for students whose learning profiles indicate poor phonological and/or orthographic processing development and/or working memory and processing speed deficits which have led to poor decoding and encoding (word reading and spelling) skills.

Lower School Structured Literacy

Diagnostic assessments inform instruction of reading skills and areas of strength and weakness. Through direct instruction in small, homogeneously grouped classes of no more than six students, teachers pace instruction based on student mastery. Instructors follow a highly structured approach that teaches concepts following a scope and sequence. Instructors use daily progress monitoring and move at the pace determined by the class.  Students develop automaticity and mastery at the independent level.

Our structured literacy approach includes direct, explicit, sequential multi-sensory instruction for teaching literacy skills. It is multi-sensory in that it involves integrating reading, spelling, and handwriting in every lesson which increases linguistic competence. 

Students are assessed for decoding ability and automaticity at each level. Starting steps are determined based on this assessment. Additionally, this assessment can be used diagnostically throughout the school year to move students along the scope and sequence of the program. 

Students first master the foundational skills of decoding and spelling and then continue to develop skills and strategies that improve word knowledge, expand background knowledge, and develop comprehension strategies necessary to succeed in mainstream schools.

Our structured literacy curriculum is based on the latest research as validated by the National Reading Panel, the largest and most comprehensive research study to date on reading.

All Structured Literacy classes maintain a maximum 6:1 student to teacher ratio.