NORTH CHESTERFIELD, Va. –– Riverside School, Virginia’s most trusted school for students with dyslexia in kindergarten through eighth grade, has announced the hiring of Sara Leland and Shelby Solodar as Language Fundamentals instructors for the 2019-20 academic year.
Sara (pictured right) is no stranger to the school, having completed Riverside’s course in the Orton-Gillingham Approach to Teaching, Reading, Spelling and Writing in the summer of 2018; the Orton-Gillingham Approach is the cornerstone of Riverside’s teaching philosophy. During the session’s Associate Level training, Sara was part of an intensive and interactive learning environment on a number of levels as required by the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE). She used her knowledge in applied practice tutoring under the supervision of Riverside LF instructor and AOGPE Fellow-in-Training Leda Spencer.
Outside of Riverside, Sara has been a volunteer teacher at Bright Spots, a volunteer-operated, preschool-like program for English as a Second Language (ESOL) children in the Bon Air Elementary School District.
Sara has a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Olaf (Minn.) College, as well as a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Penn State.
Shelby owns nine years of teaching experience in second and third grades, enveloping mixed-ability, public school classrooms. She taught for three years at Tuckahoe Elementary School in Henrico, Va., and, prior to coming to the commonwealth, spent six years in the classroom at Wyngate Elementary School in Bethesda, Md. Her specialties include learning about and implementing differentiated instruction. As a teacher, Shelby actively engaged in assessing students and adapting her presentations of curriculum to address their academic, behavioral and emotional needs on a case-by-case basis. She also participated in the Orton-Gillingham Approach to Teaching, Reading, Spelling and Writing summer course at Riverside in 2018, including Associate Level coursework training.
Shelby earned a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from American University and a Master of Science in education from Johns Hopkins University.
Both Sara and Shelby have completed the rigorous 60-hour coursework and applied practice sessions required for AOGPE Associate Level certification. Coursework (45 hours) includes lectures, daily reading, homework, discussions, demonstrations, videos and hands-on practice of multisensory procedures and strategies. There is also 15 hours of Applied Practice time when the instructors put what they have learned into practice with a student, with a mentor teacher providing daily observation and feedback.
Riverside’s Language Fundamentals (LF) department and its instructors facilitate the progress of the school’s students in overcoming dyslexia. Their roles keep with the school’s mission to provide remediation of language skills for students with dyslexia and similar language-based learning differences in grades K-8, so that students can return to mainstream education fully prepared to realize their highest potential.
Riverside’s 2018-19 school year begins on Aug. 26.
ABOUT RIVERSIDE SCHOOL
An independent day school based in Richmond, Va., Riverside School’s mission is to provide remediation of language skills for students with dyslexia and similar language-based learning differences in grades K-8, so that they can return to mainstream education fully prepared to realize their highest potential. Riverside provides a tailored curriculum and utilizes the Orton-Gillingham Approach to support the needs of students. With this in mind, Riverside’s teaching approach is dedicated to providing small classes, individualized curriculum, one-on-one instruction, and a nurturing environment to enhance the learning experiences of children with dyslexia.