Hamilton Institute at Wheeler

Research. Expertise. Understanding.
Three words which describe the resources you will find at The Hamilton Institute

Within its 30-year history, The Hamilton School at Wheeler has affected the lives of more than 400 students — students who may not have found success in traditional classrooms. Through structured literacy instruction, and under the care of specially-trained faculty, children at The Hamilton School improve as readers and writers. Beyond academic successes though, Hamilton fosters in its students, confidence, curiosity, and a joy of learning.

It is believed that 20% of children experience reading-related problems in school. Hamilton’s approach to teaching students with language-based learning differences, specifically dyslexia, works. However, to maintain low student: teacher ratios, a Hamilton education is available to a limited number of children. In addition to the small class sizes, the high cost of tuition makes a Hamilton education out of reach to many in need.  The Hamilton Institute, with its outreach and advocacy programs, training workshops and conferences, and parent education resources, developed from the proven expertise of the Hamilton School.

Save the date for the 5th Annual Learning Differences Conference, presented by the Hamilton Institute on Saturday, February 11, 2023, 1-3pm EST.

Our Mission

The Hamilton Institute was founded to widen the reach of The Hamilton School’s impact across the broader Rhode Island and New England communities. The Hamilton Institute has a three-fold mission:

  • To serve children with undiagnosed learning differences by offering free reading screenings. Specially trained faculty conduct an hour-long screening. Results are reviewed with the family. This report can then be shared with the child’s school in an effort to better reach the learner. Contact us at HamiltonInstitute@wheelerschool.org for details. Signups for the free service can be made here.  See box below for information on screenings during this time.
  • To further educate families and classroom teachers about dyslexia and other language-based learning differences. Professional development is offered to both educators and parents of children who struggle to read and write. The focus of the annual conference is on the Orton-Gillingham Approach, a structured, explicit, and direct way to teach reading, writing, and spelling. Additional topics include multi-sensory instruction across content areas.
  • To spread awareness and expertise about language-based learning differences and teaching children who are diagnosed with them. Locally, administrators from The Hamilton Institute and faculty from The Hamilton School collaborate with schools interested in expanding services for students with language-based learning differences.

See videos and more resources here

Read Profiles of Hamilton School Alumni

Download the Free Ed Tech Handout for Distance Learners

Download the Hamilton Institute’s Free “Roadmap to help struggling readers”

The Hamilton Institute Newsletter

Appleseeds, Spring 2022

Programs and resources led by the Hamilton Institute at Wheeler are supported, in part, by external grants and the personal philanthropy of Hamilton School families.

Make A Gift To Support Our Work

Presented by The Hamilton Institute

Reading Screenings For Grades K-6

Members of our faculty have worked to establish an efficient and accurate structure for administering reading assessments. We feel confident that we can observe how your child learns, how they process information, and how they generate content. We will be able to measure their skills with trusted assessments and make observations through our interactions with them. 

As always, our observations and assessments are not a diagnosis. Still, we can provide you with suggested next steps, resources for support, and a window into how your child’s brain is tackling reading and writing.

Please contact us at hamiltoninstitute@wheelerschool.org for more information or sign up here.

Hamilton Reading Screenings

Students in Wheeler’s Video Broadcasting Course created a short video to explain and promote reading screenings offered by the Hamilton Institute for Outreach and Advocacy.  Through their Upper School course, students used the Digital Production Studio to storyboard, shoot, edit and collaborate with each other and on-campus faculty and Aerie professionals.  Among the students on the project were: Stephan Bejer, Riley Harrison, Adam Miller, Adam Remondi, Grayson Sparr and Eliot Wemple. The latter three are all graduates of the Hamilton School at Wheeler and now in Wheeler Upper School. We thank the class for its efforts on behalf of Hamilton.

Institute Expertise

Reading Screenings
Zach Edson, M.A.T.
Wendy Harsfield, M.S.Ed.
Jenifer Harrison, M.Ed.
Margot Miller, M.A.T.
Beau Poppen-Ajaijian, M.A.T.
Carrie Sorensen, M.A.T.

Past Conference Leaders and Presenters
Alison Anderson, MS CCC-SLP
Linda Atamian, Orton-Gillingham Fellow
Lise Faulise, BS OTR/L, BCP
Rosaline Granoff, SLP
Sally Shaywitz, MD
Dr. Rick Solomon, PHD
Sarah Ward, CCC-SLP

Past Hamilton Faculty Presenters
Katie Belida, Bobbie Berking-Dalzell, Zach Edson, Jeanette Epstein, Jon Green, Liz Hallock, Maura Healey, Megan O’Hara, Will Rennie, Carrie Sorensen


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