Focus Forward: Learning, Coaching, Advocacy, is owned and operated by Heather Sommers, a certified Learning Specialist with a Masters in Special Education and over 20 years of professional experience. Recognized for collaborating with students, parents, and faculty to implement plans using evidence-based programs, including Orton-Gillingham, which improve learning outcomes and foster student confidence. We provide multi-sensory remediation for students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, individually and in small groups, in our private office in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. We meet the individual needs of students using hands-on tools to accommodate diverse learning styles. Tutoring sessions are offered both remotely and in person.
Focus Forward uses evidence-based programs and hands-on strategies to improve learning outcomes and foster students’ confidence. We collaborate with faculty from prestigious Chicago Independent schools, including Latin School of Chicago and Francis Parker, that allows for partnerships between student, family, school and community.
Heather’s professional experience includes being recruited to build and lead a learning support program at a Chicago private school for ten years, as well as teaching within the public school system in San Francisco, Montessori schools and consulting with parochial and private schools in Chicago. She is experienced in creating and implementing learning plans for learners who have been diagnosed with language based and processing deficits.
Professional certifications and training in a number of programs, including Wilson Reading System; Orton-Gillingham; Handwriting Without Tears; and Structured Word Inquiry, combined with movement based learning through yoga and Brain Gym, help us to deliver a well rounded intervention plan tailored to each child’s individual needs.