At The Schenck School, we believe in the transformative power of education, and our commitment to helping students with reading difficulties is unwavering. Our educational philosophy is deeply rooted in the Orton-Gillingham Approach to phonics instruction, which forms the cornerstone of our mission.

Our students come to us because they face challenges in reading and literacy. We understand that every child's learning journey is unique, and we are dedicated to addressing these challenges head-on, every day. Research consistently demonstrates that intensive instruction in phonics and phonemic awareness is the most effective intervention for dyslexia, and it is precisely this intervention that we provide on a daily basis through our use of the Orton-Gillingham Approach.

While reading and writing are fundamental components of our curriculum, The Schenck School offers a comprehensive educational program designed to nurture each student's intellectual growth. Our goal is not only to bolster their reading skills but also to prepare them for a successful transition back into mainstream schools when the time is right.

Sound & Word Level Reading and Spelling

Reading instruction at The Schenck School begins at the letter, and sound level in order to lay a foundation for the development of strong phonemic awareness. Students are  taught each of the individual letter sounds as well as letter combinations and sounds. Students then study the structure of sound patterns that make up syllables, the rules that govern how vowels sound within syllables, and how words are divided into  syllables. Building on that knowledge, students study prefixes, suffixes, and word roots. Direct instruction is coupled with repeated practice and new material is introduced systematically, building from simple to complex.
Spelling can be difficult for dyslexic learners. The School addresses this through daily instruction stressing mastery of sound and symbol. Every day, time is dedicated to the teaching and application of spelling rules, patterns, and generalizations of the English language.

Reading & Writing

Reading for understanding and written expression are vital parts of the School’s curriculum. In addition, students write everyday from letter formation to dictated words/phrases/sentences to expository and narrative writing at the sentence, paragraph, and essay/narrative levels.
Students learn and practice building sentences and basic paragraphs with increasing complexity while establishing a structured writing process. They practice the rules of grammar, correct usage, and mechanics - learning parts of speech, role of words within sentences, and proper use of punctuation.

smiling boy with pencil and paper


We provide explicit and intentional instruction in both manuscript and cursive handwriting, prioritizing proper letter formation through the Handwriting Without Tears series.


Vocabulary development and skilled reading are closely linked. Intentional vocabulary instruction is an essential component of our reading instruction. Morphology instruction - the study of Greek and Latin roots, prefixes, and suffixes - is an integral part of reading instruction here at Schenck.


Reading fluency is practiced daily through our structured online fluency training Read Live. Students read high-interest reading passages tailored to their individualized fluency needs; reading for expression and understanding are emphasized and reinforced.


Math content follows the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE) and Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and is tailored to the needs of the student. Number sense and conceptual understanding are emphasized as is the language of math. Class discussion is facilitated to support and develop students’ justifications of mathematical reasoning and strategies. Math is taught as a visual endeavor incorporating multi-sensory manipulatives at every opportunity as needed to continuously develop students’ conceptual understanding.

Science/Social Studies

Science and Social Studies content follows the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE) and Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Reading and writing are taught in the context of content area curricula. Science and Social Studies instructional time is another opportunity to build students’ background knowledge which research shows supports the development of reading comprehension.