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Teachers Earn Certification In Specialized Reading Instruction

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Verona’s newest Orton-Gillingham specialists: Diane Conboy, Pamela Banta, Kelly Connallon, Emma Franks, Julia Albretsen and Dara Abate.

Six more Verona elementary school teachers recently completed their Orton-Gillingham certification, a program that takes a multi-sensory approach to helping students who have difficulty reading, including those with dyslexia.

The educators include Diane Conboy, the speech-language specialist at Laning; Pamela Banta, a second grade teacher at Laning; Dara Abate, a fourth grade teacher at Laning; Julia Albretsen, a fourth grade teacher at Brookdale; Emma Franks, who teaches at both Brookdale and Forest; and Kelly Connallon, who teaches at F.N. Brown.

The training was done through Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Center for Dyslexia Studies, with the classes after school by an FDU instructor. “It is an incredible amount of work to go through the program,” Superintendent Dr. Rui Dionisio said at the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday night. “These teachers have done a tremendous job for our students.”

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The six teachers are the second cohort to go through the FDU program, bringing the total number of Verona educators who have been trained to 14. Dr. Dionisio said that the district is now talking to its curriculum supervisors and teachers, as well as FDU to determine how to leverage the training that the teachers have received. Orton-Gillingham methods are used in both one-on-one instruction and small groups.

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