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Support is delivered in many ways in regular
classes, but we also offer pull-out, small-group
academic programs at an additional cost.

Support Programs

In Lower School, when a student requires more intensive intervention, enrichment or remediation, they have the opportunity to participate in our Additional Support Program.

These programs include Orton-Gillingham and Remediation Plus Reading programs; Direct Instruction: Reasoning and Writing, Reading Comprehension; Locally developed support programs for Expressive Writing, Math, Homework, Text, Organizational Skills, and Assistive Technology. These are organized and delivered by Stacey Michaels and Jamie Bearg-Pustil, who have worked as a team for nearly 20 years.


WillowWood teachers and staff care are invested in the mental health and social development of our students, and no is left to fall through the cracks.

Orton-Gillingham and Remediation Plus are two multisensory, systematic phonics programs that are designed to help students who are experiencing difficulty learning to spell and read accurately, or who have dyslexia and/or language learning disabilities.


The programs are divided into detailed, comprehensive lessons that focus on specific phonic sounds. Students are taught phonological awareness, phoneme-grapheme correspondence, syllable instruction and morphology through systematic and cumulative instruction.


In the Direct Instruction: Reasoning and Writing Program, students are fully involved in the writing process and develop consistent procedures for writing, editing, and revising their work. They learn to express their thoughts in a clear and consistent manner. From lesson to lesson, students work on skills that are integrated with writing. Students learn that spelling, punctuation, and grammar are essential components of effective communication.

In the Direct Instruction: Comprehension Program, skill development progresses systematically from understanding oral language to understanding written material. Instruction takes place in a highly structured and directed learning environment. Students learn how to independently apply the skills to complex written materials. The program is designed to develop informative and reasoning skills as well as
vocabulary expansion.

Written Expression is a program designed to assist students in gaining proficiency in gathering, planning and organizing their ideas through the use of specific strategies e.g. effective use of graphic organizers, assistive technology, diagrams etc.

The Math Support Program is designed to address the needs of those students who need support to grasp, retain and recall various aspects related to the Mathematics Curriculum. Each student is assessed, after which an individualized program is designed to meet their specific needs and to reinforce new concepts, review previously learned concepts and/or fill in “gaps”.

The Homework/Text Support Program offers support for what is happening in the classroom. This can include anything from projects to homework, to math support and organizational skills. Students will review learned concepts taught in class and learn how to highlight and chunk important information. It also includes the teaching of software strategies to learn to become more proficient in transferring, planning and organizing their thoughts and ideas into writing. Also taught are assistive technologies such as ReadPlease and Read and Write which serves to help students who experience difficulty in decoding complicated texts by reading any text aloud. It empowers students to become more independent workers and writers.


High School students can enrol in TOSS (Teaching Organization and Study Skills), an extra-fee small-group class focused on helping students manage and develop their executive functioning skills, time management, assistive technology and self-advocacy abilities. TOSS can be a credit course or a non-credit course, and its administrators will work with you to fit it into your student’s schedule. 


High School students can always get extra help in Homework Hubs, tutorials and workshops before school, at lunchtime, and after school. We also offer a tutoring program for students requiring that.  


Social and Emotional Support 

WillowWood teachers and staff care are invested in the mental health and social development of our students, and no is left to fall through the cracks. Overseeing these efforts is our on-staff Psychotherapist – Dena Tenenhouse – who advises staff, counsels students and helps families in myriad ways. Dena also oversees the TOSS program and WillowWood’s Responsible Actions Program. 


The Lower School benefits greatly from having an Art Therapist on staff - Shirley Eknovitz, who has been with WillowWood for over 20 years – who counsels students, provides opportunities for group problem-solving, and helps students develop their interpersonal skills and social awareness.  


Our High School Guidance Counselor Sari Kafka helps High School students and families navigate all of the Academic aspects of school and life – volunteer hours, applications to post-secondary, credit management and more.

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