The Centre for Literacy is specifically designed for students (of all ages) who unexpectedly underachieve at school or can only succeed with a great deal of effort and support. Most of the students who receive support at the Centre have some type of learning challenge, difference or learning disability.
The Centre is not a tutoring service designed to help students catch up on missed work or improve test scores. There are many fine organizations available to provide this type of support.
Staff at the Centre use well researched interventions to help students who have learning disabilities, differences or challenges to overcome the barriers they have to learning in order to be more successful. Interventions that are used and the pace of support are tailor made based on the learning profile of each student.
If you simply want to help your child get better marks, you might be best to seek help elsewhere. If you want support which will help your child overcome their challenges and is based on their unique learning needs, the Centre may be a good option for your child and your family.
Learning disabilities? But my child is smart!
People with learning disabilities, like the general public, have a range of talents and abilities. Some people with learning disabilities may be very smart or even gifted. Individuals with learning disabilities perceive, store and retrieve verbal and non-verbal information differently. Learning disabilities are often called information processing disorders. There is some excellent web-based information on learning disabilities. We highly recommend four short videos produced by the Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta as a great introduction to learning disabilities. They can be accessed here.
What do I need to do to get my child support at the Centre? Do we need to be referred?
There is no special referral process. If a parent is concerned their child is struggling to succeed at school, they can contact the Centre directly. Many families are referred to the Centre by a registered psychologist or a reading specialist who has done testing to see why a student is struggling. Teachers, school principals and consultants are also frequent sources of referrals to the Centre. We also receive referrals from doctors, Speech Language Professionals and other health providers.
What information does the Centre need to create a good learning plan for our child?
A representative of the Centre will meet with you before your child begins instruction to specifically speak about your child’s learning needs. Before this meeting, try to pull together as much information as possible about your son or daughter. Items that are particularly valuable include:
- Reports from testing completed by a psychologist or reading specialist.
- Reports written by school district consultants that were completed to try to gain insight into why your son or daughter is struggling at school, often called academic assessments or testing.
- If your child has been coded in Alberta, Individualized Program Plans (IPPs) or Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) from other provinces or countries.
- Recent progress (report cards).
- Reports from Speech Pathologists.
- Other documents you believe will provide the Centre staff with insight about your child.
If you have no reports or your child has not been tested, we will work with you to gain a better understanding of your child’s unique needs. Some type of testing will be needed to develop a learning plan for your child. For a description and more information about testing, you may wish to review the section on Assessments on our website at Centre4Literacy.com. Staff at the Centre are able to do a variety of tests to help gain an understanding of your child’s learning needs. We also work with registered psychologists who can complete more comprehensive evaluations. There will be a separate charge for testing completed by Centre staff.
What will happen during the first few sessions at the Centre?
During the first few appointments, the teacher who has been assigned to provide support to your son or daughter will do their best to get to know your child better and make him or her feel at ease. Often students who have struggled at school lack self-esteem and define themselves as poor learners. Our teachers are kind and the environment at the Centre is nurturing. If your child has already had extensive testing, the teacher will do a “mini-assessment” in the first few lessons. He or she will begin the process of creating and implementing an individualized learning plan based on your child’s needs.
How often will my child need to come for appointments at the Centre? What time are the appointments?
We will work with you to set up a regular schedule for your child. We recommend that a child come to the Centre a minimum of once per week for a one hour session. Some children benefit from twice weekly sessions or more intense daily support. The latter is often provided for a period of time in the summer or during school breaks. Sessions are offered at all times of the day from Monday to Friday beginning at 7:00 am with the last appointment beginning at 7:00 pm. The Centre also offers Saturday sessions from 8 am to 4 pm.
Many families elect to pull their children from school to receive support. Some families prefer early morning sessions where their child comes to the Centre for an appointment at 7:00, 8:00 or 9:00 am and then proceed to school afterwards. Mid-morning appointments are highly valued by families who home school their children.
Will you work with our child’s school?
We will do our best to work with you, your child’s classroom teacher(s) and the school administration. We will also work with learning coaches, special education coordinators and others, and as needed, attend meetings with school personnel that focus on planning for your child’s needs. Our intent is to help your child succeed. A large part of that success is to collaborate with others.
What about my child’s privacy?
We keep all information confidential unless you ask us specifically to share information with others. Before we share information, we will ask you to sign a release giving us permission to share that information.
How much does the Centre charge?
- Sessions: $63 per hour
- Meetings with School Officials: $63 per hour
- Comprehensive Reading Assessment including Report and Parent/Caregiver Debriefing: $300
- Comprehensive Math Assessment including Report and Parent/Caregiver Debriefing: $300
- Reading and Math Assessment conducted at same time with combined report: $500
- Preparation of written report on the outcome of the FAR and progress monitoring tests for circulation to schools, health providers and others, at the request of a parent: $100
All services are subject to GST.
Payment may be made via cheques, Visa, MasterCard.
Many of these services can be claimed as allowable expenses on income tax returns for students with Disability Tax Credit Certificate issued by the Government of Canada.
Many health spending accounts also provide full or partial benefits for support of this nature. It is best to check with your plan.