Professional development is an integral part of the Right to Read Program.

The goal of this initiative is to increase the capacity of teachers to inform their classroom practice through the use of the Reading Readiness Screening Tool (RRST). Training focuses on assessment philosophy and best practices that complement current practice and explores: pre-reading skills, phonological skills, administration and interpretation of the RRST and offers teachers the tools, strategies and resources to deliver effective interventions.

Workshop 1

Catching Children Before They Fail: Introduction to the Reading Readiness Screening Tool (RRST). This workshop provides participants with:

  • An overview of the need for universal screen of phonological awareness and other reading readiness skills.
  • The background of the RRST
  • A review of the RRST subtests and administrative guidelines
  • Modelling and practicing the administration of the RRST
  • Launches into interventions

During the workshop participants receive the following Right to Read materials:

  • Teacher Manual
  • Student Stimulus Booklet
  • Recording Booklet
  • Class Summary Score Sheet
  • Activities for Teachers to Build Reading Readiness Skills, Part 1

Post training, participants are free to photocopy the recording booklets and are asked to test and record the results of as many students as possible prior to Workshop 2.

Workshop 2

Reading Readiness Screening Tool Follow-up: Assessment Informs Instruction. This workshop provides participants with an opportunity to:

  • Share screening experiences
  • Interpret screening results
  • Learn about programming options
  • Explore a variety of specific instructional strategies to address identified weaknesses

Following completion of the workshop, participants receive the following Right to Read materials:

  • Activities for Teachers to Build Reading Readiness Skills, Part 2
  • Suggestions for a one-hour Parent Workshop including photos
  • Activities for Parents to Build Reading Readiness Skills

Learn more about English K-1 workshops

Learn more about French Immersion workshops

Right to Read On-Line

The on-line workshop mirrors the in-person workshops, offering the material in two sections with an intermission after Workshop 1 for teachers to screen as many of their students as possible before continuing to Workshop 2. Participants have access to the on-line course for three months and work through the material at their own pace. The workshop is moderated by educators at Foothills Academy.

Participants are given access to the complete set of documents.

Learn more about online workshop

Supporting Struggling Readers: Grade 2-6

This program was not developed by the Right To Read Steering Committee but by Joanne Heckbert and is offered under the auspices of LDAA.

The Diagnostic Reading Tool

The Diagnostic Reading Tool (DRT) and Intervention workshops allow teachers the opportunity to understand how to:

  • Use the DRT to assess the five pillars of reading for struggling readers
  • Provide the necessary interventions to respond to these needs

The five full days of workshops help teachers to increase skills in assessing, planning for, and instructing struggling readers from grades 2-6. Teachers learn how to assess for strengths and weaknesses. Using the five pillars of reading, teachers explore ways to:

  • Adapt instruction for students who struggle
  • Make instruction more explicit
  • Provide systematic carefully sequenced instruction
  • Increase opportunities for practice
  • Apply skills and strategies in meaningful text

Teacher’s endorsement:

“I consider myself fortunate to have been able to benefit from the expertise of Joanne Heckbert. A consummate professional, Joanne is highly skilled in coaching teachers on how to use effective lessons, methods, techniques and resources that support struggling readers. I have been teaching for over 15 years but spending one week with Joanne revolutionized my program and made my lessons more intentional and far more effective. Her expertise will equip the seasoned teacher and the beginning teacher alike.”

Rhonda Van Lent, Kindergarten Teacher, EPSB

For information, contact joanne(at)

Learn more about Grade 2-6 workshop