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Successfully helping struggling students, online and within the Ottawa area, with specialized tutoring and assessments.


Successfully helping struggling students, online and within the Ottawa area, with specialized tutoring and assessments.


Unlocking the door to confident reading and spelling.

So many students slip through the cracks because they are not taught according to how they learn. Many students need a very different approach to learning.

In-Person Tutoring

We offer tutoring for all ages in the Ottawa area. Both children and adults can benefit from our reading intervention programs.  If you are in another location, please see our Online Tutoring Section.

We provide appropriate reading and spelling remediation in a caring and supportive environment. We tailor our lessons to meet the student’s own pace, and continually assess for mastery of the material to ensure the continued success of the student.

A screener and one of our qualified tutors come to your house to meet you and your child and to conduct a short free screening with the student. This allows us to determine the best path forward for the student.

We use a variety of programs depending on the student’s needs.  The primary program we use is the Orton-Gillingham-based program called The Barton Reading & Spelling System.  These programs have been proven effective by independent scientific research*, and are recommended by leading experts as well as the International Dyslexia Association.

The tutor works with the student at least two times per week. This can be done at a variety of locations, including your home.

*It is important to ensure that any reading program you consider is proven effective by scientific, independent, replicated reading research.

Live Online Tutoring

We offer the same great programming online too. This means that you or your child can receive help from our amazing team of tutors, regardless of your location!
✔ Orton-Gillingham based reading and spelling program for children or adults

✔ Professional, live, online tutoring in your home

✔ Help from qualified tutors, regardless of your location

Online Small-Group Writing Workshops

This programming is for students who are able to read and spell with at least moderate proficiency, and has been proven effective for students of all ages and levels of ability, including those with learning differences.

Our writing workshop is based on The Institute for Excellence in Writing’s program called “Teaching Writing: Structure and Style.”

The Institute for Excellence in Writing is an organization that helps student to become confident and competent communicators and thinkers. It uses the four language arts—listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

All students will focus on reading comprehension, learning paragraph structure, building vocabulary, and engaging in critical thinking. Students will also learn stylistic techniques to make their writing more interesting including various parts of speech.


What will be different compared to our in-person workshops?
We will still have once-a-week live instruction and group practice component of the workshops, except that we will be doing this via the same format that we use for our online tutoring. 

The biggest difference is that when it comes time for independent practice, the students will complete the remainder of their writing assignment as homework over the course of the upcoming week (don’t worry, we’ll be sure to email you the task so that you know what they are working on that week!).

We’ll be available via email to answer any questions that may come up in between sessions. We will also email you any pages that you would want to be able to access throughout the course.


Beginner (first-time attendees)

✔ Unit 1: Creating an Outline
✔ Unit 2: Writing from Notes
✔ Unit 3: Retelling a Narrative Story

Beginner-Intermediate (second-time attendees)

✔ Unit 4: Summarizing a Reference
✔ Unit 5: Writing from Pictures

Intermediate-Advanced (third-time attendees)

✔ Unit 6: Summarizing Multiple References
✔ Unit7: Inventive Writing


If your child has completed Units 1 through 7 with us, please contact us for advanced options.

For our past or present Open Door students who are working on reading and spelling, this is for students who have reached about halfway into Level 4 of the Barton Reading & Spelling System (or beyond).  This is because this program does not focus on the basics of reading and spelling, but rather takes things a step further and focuses on writing. It is very accommodating for those with learning disabilities and will be adapted for those of various ages and writing abilities.

Next Online Session:

Spring 2022 Registration Closed

April 2, 2022 to May 28, 2022
(NB: no session April 16, 2022)

NOTE: Sessions are now 70 minutes.

Group 1
° 9:50 am – 11 am
Group 2
° 11:15 am – 12: 25 pm




Fall 2022 Dates
Registration dates released in early summer 2022.

Dyslexia Screening

Experts agree that no one test can properly assess for dyslexia.  Not only does educational history and prior testing need to be part of the assessment, but a series of different tests must be used to assess a variety of areas.

How Do Our Assessments Work?

1.  We have an initial phone interview to review you or your child’s full history (from pre-natal to the present).

2.  We review all prior testing reports, educational records, and writing samples.

3. The screening appointments are scheduled.

4. The results are tallied and analyzed, and a full report is written. This report includes the testing results, explanations, and an action plan including accommodations and remediation.

5.  The results meeting is scheduled and we go through your report with you, answering any questions you have.

All these areas must be assessed when screening for dyslexia:
✔ Phonological Awareness

✔ Phonological or Language-Based Memory

✔ Rapid Automatic Naming

✔ Phonics Skills

✔ Decoding (real and nonsense words)

✔ Oral Reading Fluency (single words and paragraphs)

✔ Spelling

We use a variety of assessments to test all of these areas.


Are you interested in having just one or two particular areas assessed? We have a variety of assessments available which target specific skills.

Gray Oral Reading Test
This test is to asses oral reading skills and tests the areas of:

  • reading fluency
  • reading rate
  • reading accuracy
Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing
This test focuses on 3 reading-related phonological processing abilities:

  • phonological awareness
  • phonological memory
  • rapid naming
Word Identification and Spelling Test
This test focuses on:

  • spelling
  • decoding
  • word identification
  • sound-symbol knowledge

Teachers and Educators

The Open Door Educational Services offers a variety of services for educators including teachers, tutors, principals, and home school groups.

  • Dyslexia screening
  • Phonological awareness
  • Reading rate, accuracy, and fluency
  • Word identification, decoding, and spelling

  • Customized learning plans
  • IEP application solutions

One-on-One Student Remediation
Our qualified tutors can work one-on-one with your students at your school or online.

Early Intervention Screening
Find students at risk of reading failure early enough to prevent it.

Early Intervention Program
Strategies, implementation, staff/volunteer training, and optional overseeing of early intervention program.

Information Presentations
Information presentation on dyslexia related topics.

The Open Door
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