About Us

Reading a Book

Why we started

     We have a reading crisis in our country and it's not due to the pandemic.  The National Institute of Health estimates that only 5% of the population lacks the cognitive ability needed for reading. That means 95% of our population should be able to read proficiently with quality instruction.

     At The Virtual Classroom, our mission is to help change the disturbing statistics below. 

Over half of U.S. adults can't read proficiently

According to the U.S. Department of Education in 2020, 54% of U.S. adults (an estimated 130 million people) ages 16-74-year-olds are reading BELOW a sixth-grade level.

Only 35% of 4th graders are proficient in reading

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), only 35% of fourth-graders were proficient in reading in 2019. This number has been decreasing over the years

There is a connection between crime and reading proficiency

2/3 of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare. Over 70% of America’s inmates cannot read above a 4th-grade level.

Schools are setting students up to fail

Balanced literacy is the most common approach for reading instruction across the U.S. However, this approach does not work for the majority of the population.

What makes us different?

     At The Virtual Classroom, instruction is driven by evidence-proven research in literacy and individualized student data.

     The science of reading research drives what we assess, what we teach, and how we teach it.

     Individual student data drives our instructional focus. All students begin with a thorough diagnostic assessment that pinpoints instructional gaps and student needs. Parents receive a comprehensive data report before instruction begins and they can follow their child's growth with frequent progress monitoring data and teacher lesson reports.

     In addition, all teachers are certified reading specialists or special education teachers trained in the science of reading and the structured literacy approach. Lesson plans follow the Orton-Gillingham framework. 

Who We Are

Woman-Owned Small Business 

     For over twelve years, Mrs. Burchell has worked with a diverse population of students in K-5 Title I schools including exceptional learners, English language learners, students with specific learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and down syndrome. For over five years, Mrs. Burchell worked as an instructional coach creating and delivering professional development for elementary educators in reading, writing, and math. Her passion has always been using data to drive instruction and growing professionally. She is a member of several reading networks and enjoys learning new research around education.

 

     In addition to teaching at The Virtual Classroom, Mrs. Burchell works with a university as a practicum supervisor for student-teachers in the college of education. She also teaches at a non-profit Orton Gillingham Institute.  Her aim is to be part of a bigger movement in increasing reading proficiency in our world by training more teachers in the science of reading, educating parents, and providing structured literacy instruction to struggling readers. 

Alicia Burchell, M.Ed.

Founder/CEO

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TEACHING CERTIFICATIONS:

  • STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA Instructional Level II

  • Elementary Education K-6

  • Reading Specialist PK-12

  • Instructional Coaching: Literacy Emphasis Endorsement