The hallmark of the approach at Eagle Hill is our ability to understand each student’s learning profile and to completely customize each student’s program. We believe in finding our students’ strengths and teaching to them. Students entering Eagle Hill decode and comprehend with varying degrees of proficiency, and our reading department will build a student’s schedule with a full understanding of these skills.
For example, a student working on decoding skills will be placed in an intensive reading tutorial class, whereas a student whose primary need is to strengthen comprehension will be placed in classes that teach comprehension for fiction and for reading academic text, as well. While all courses in the reading department include reading comprehension and vocabulary development, some focus on specific reading skills such as academic reading, word attack skills, spelling, and fluency. The beauty of our nine-term schedule
is that it allows students to take multiple reading and literature classes concurrently.
At Eagle Hill, we also know that the teacher-student relationship is fundamental to a student’s success. Being placed not only in the proper class but also with the correct teacher is another key consideration. Our reading teachers are professionally trained and allow us to offer an array of approaches, which include the following:
- Orton-Gillingham (Wilson, Spire, and Barton)
- Lindamood Bell (LIPs, Visualizing and Verbalizing, Seeing Stars)
- Structured Word Inquiry
- Notice and Note
- Project Read
When we design a student’s schedule at Eagle Hill, we consider the student’s profile, the reading approach and the cohort we are creating in the classroom. It is important for a student to be learning with classmates who share similar goals.
There are three pillars that form the underlying supports in all of our reading classes:
Independent Reading: Our classes provide the time, space, and framework for independent reading.
Assistive Technology: We believe strongly in the use of assistive technology in aiding our students to better understand what they are reading and to better express themselves in writing.
Structured Word Inquiry: SWI provides a framework for Orton Gillingham that helps students to better understand the writing system which directly affects their reading ability.
It is also important to note that taking courses in the reading department is not a requirement at Eagle Hill. Beyond instruction at this level, Eagle Hill offers a full range of courses for literary study, including traditional survey courses and special topics, such as Biography, Jewish and Arab Literatures, and Literature and Psychology. Each student also engages in the study of written composition and the English Department administers a program of courses that target academic writing and also allows for exploration in creative and expressive writing.