Your programs really promote independent learning. It's like the students have their very own tutor! It frees me up to do other things with the class. Our children use Essential Skills programs every day.

Connie Newton, Teacher
Donalda School, Donalda, Alberta

We love every part of your programs for many reasons. We often recommend Essential Skills Software to other teachers and schools.

Doug Scherlie, Teacher
Alexander Forbes School, Grand Prairie, Alberta

Your programs are incredible! Our students are benefiting greatly.

Andrea Roche, Teacher
John A McDougall Elementary, Edmonton, Alberta

We use Essential Skills programs daily in our computer lab. The students find them easy to use and they enjoy working independently on them. They are used for the regular stream and Special Ed. We also a have a number of the ESS Assessment Programs. The computer based assessments from Essential Skills are a real time saver. They allow us to do diagnostic testing with large groups of students all at once. We really like the programs.

Sherry Clarke, Grade 1 Teacher/Computer Technologist
High Prairie Elementary, High Prairie, Alberta

The children are using Essential Skills programs once to twice a week in the computer lab. The teachers like the way the programs keep track of each student's progress. I think the kids find them user-friendly and very motivating.

Michelle McWhirter, Librarian
Landing Trail School, Gibbons, Alberta

The children are using Essential Skills programs every week in our Balanced Literacy Program. We like the Reading Comprehension programs because they include interesting short stories with comprehensive questions. The kids also like the Vocabulary Builders. We have certainly seen improved academic achievement in our students using Essential Skills. It really compliments our language arts program.

Dave Tomaszewski, Grade 3/4 Teacher
Athlone Elementary, Edmonton, Alberta

I teach in a Hutterite school. The children speak German so the Essential Skills programs are helping with their English pronunciation. The students quite enjoy the programs. I make use of the custom spelling list on Spelling Stumpers. I really think they are good educational programs - not just games. The children are truly learning.

Montey Rasmussen, Grade K - 12 Teacher
Standoff Colony School, Cardston, Alberta

In the morning I have kids that come for specific skills training on ESS programs. Most of the kids really look forward to using them. We determine which skills the children are lacking then I put them into the appropriate programs.

Bob Larson, Special Education Teacher
Daysland School, Daysland, Alberta

We love this software for our special needs students who need structured programs. We use Reading Comprehension, Mastering Numeration and Spelling. I like the way it presents skills sequentially, keeps track of where the children are and gives them attainable goals.

Cheryl Heller, Special Needs TA
Ponderosa Colony School, BowIsland, Alberta

I teach the severely learning disabled and use Essential Skills programs everyday with my students. These programs play a big role in the development of their reading skills. I have noticed marked improvements. My students love the programs and are quite motivated by them. I like the fact that students can be plugged in at their own ability level.

Sue Nelson, Learning Assistance Teacher
Elm Street School, Medicine Hat, Alberta

Our Special Ed. students use Essential Skills programs every week. These programs offer good curriculum support and excellent reinforcement of skills. Both the children and the teachers like the programs and find them very user friendly.

Lynn Brandt, Computer Teacher
Eugene Coste School, Calgary, Alberta

Essential Skills programs are being used in the computer lab and in the classroom. Our students find them very motivating and rewarding. The programs are wonderful at addressing skill deficiencies. The Marks Manager is an excellent feature.

Sharon Turnbull, Grade 1 Teacher
Galbraith School, Lethbridge, Alberta

Essential Skills programs are used every day in our school when each teacher brings their class to the computer lab. We find the programs useful for all aspects of both Language Arts and Math. These are highly motivational programs that we would definitely recommend.

Lynn Cowie, Grade 3 Teacher & Technology Guide
A.B. Daley Community School, Livingstone Range, Alberta

Our school won the Garfield Weston Award for Academic Excellence for elementary public and independent schools in the province. We won first place this year and second place last year even though we also have a very high ratio of special needs students. Essential Skills is the main software tool that we use. The classroom teachers choose to use it year after year because the programs are so effective in teaching and reinforcing the basic skills. The children can work independently at their own ability level and they love the ongoing reward and reinforcement.

Kathy Ronda, Special Needs Coordinator and Teacher
Immanuel Christian Elementary School, Lethbridge, Alberta

British Columbia

I use Essential Skills Programs all the time especially with ESL students. I use Super Phonics extensively. Your reading series makes a difference especially for the grade 2 and 3 kids. I like Reading Comprehension - there are so many positives - I am definitely happy!

Doug Edwards, Special Education
Gordon Head Middle School, Victoria, British Columbia

We are keeping records of the students progress. Everyone is seeing growth. We love Essential Skills Programs. As the students go up each level they stay interested. The positive reinforcements are great! Others have realized the value of the programs and have ordered them

Susan Shelley, Teacher
Sunset Elementary, Port McNeil, British Columbia

Essential Skills Programs are on all of the lab and classroom computers. I use the programs regularly. If I am teaching a skill such as long vowels I will have the students go to long vowels on their Super Phonics program for reinforcement. I love the programs and use them a lot.

Lorraine Adams, Learning Assistance Teacher
Alexander Elementary, Duncan, British Columbia

Essential Skills Programs are being used school-wide particularly Reading Comprehension and Sight Words. We are using Mastering Numeration in Grade 2 and Sight Words Level 1 with special needs students. I have recommended Essential Skills programs to other schools and also to parents. They are very reasonably priced. We are pleased as punch!

Diane Dawson, Integration Support/Learning Assistance
John Muir Elementary, Sooke, British Columbia

The programs from Essential Skills are very well-designed. They have a repetitive consistency that the children need.

Barb Clark, Special Needs
Springwood Middle School, Parksville, British Columbia

Our primary students are using Essential Skills Programs on a regular basis. There have been gains in their performance. We especially like and utilize the custom spelling lists for Grades 1, 2 & 3. The programs are very kid friendly and easier than other software for the teachers to use.

Heather Stannard, Grade Six Teacher
Knowhemun Elementary, Duncan, British Columbia

Your Spelling programs incorporate a lot of the senses and utilize good spelling strategies. We have seen an excellent transfer of skills into daily written work of the children.

Dianne Bishop, Teacher
Raft River Elementary, Clearwater, British Columbia

We are very pleased with how easy the Essential Skills Programs are for both students and teachers to use.

M. Ronmark, Teacher
Erikson Elementary, Erikson, British Columbia

Our Special Education Teacher uses Essential Skills programs for 30 minutes daily with her students. The students had significant performance gains as a result of using the software. The programs enhanced our school-wide Guided Reading Program.

Claudia Roland, Program Coordinator
Cowichan Tribe Ya Thuy Thut, Duncan, British Columbia

I've been very pleased with the programs we have ordered. We use them daily. The children ask every day to use the software. The programs are used to supplement classroom instruction. The older students in grades 4 and 5 who are working at a grade one or two level do not find the programs to be childish. The concepts are presented in a friendly, positive, sequential manner. The children love it.

Lori Palahicky, Learning Resource
Courtenay Elementary, Courtenay, British Columbia

I use this software specifically with the students in my resource room. I appreciate how easy it is for the students to use, and they are always eager to use the programs. I have had the software for at least five years and still use it every day. I really like the simplicity of the programs. They are not cluttered, and I like the reinforcement and repetition they provide. It is easy for the students to see how they are doing, and the Marks Manager is great for producing reports that I can share with parents.

Sue Prochnau, Learning Assistant
Zion Lutheran School, Surrey, British Columbia

I discovered Essential Skills' Sight Words program while looking for something to provide my students with focused practice of sight words. I now use it as my main sight word recognition program. The kids love the activities, and the program allows them to work at their own pace. I like how easy it is to create reports for accountability and reporting to parents.

Linda Croft, Kindergarten Teacher
Henry Bose Elementary, Surrey, British Columbia

Our Special Education Teacher uses Essential Skills programs for 30 minutes daily with her students. The students had significant performance gains as a result of using the software. The programs enhanced our school-wide guided reading program.

Claudia Roland, Program Coordinator
Cowichan Tribe, Ya Thuy Thut, Duncan, British Columbia


In my work with adult students, I am often caught between material that either starts at an inappropriately high academic level, or that is obviously designed for first graders, and therefore of no interest to adults. I have never found any resource as good as the programs from Essential Skills. They have created a range of products that are high interest and easy to access, regardless of age or skill level. Thanks for creating a terrific set of resources.

Jim Parry-Hill, Teacher
Gretna, Manitoba

We are an ESL school. The students use Essential Skills programs everyday. Sight Words and Phonemic Awareness are very important in our classroom. I really like the pronunciation of the words in the programs. We have 11 lab licenses.

Elaine Owen, K-9 Teacher
Rosebank Colony School, Miami, Manitoba

By far the most widely used programs in the school. We are big supporters of Essential Skills.

Dan Brown, Principal
Principal, Principal, Manitoba

This is our 5th year with Essential Skills programs. We use them daily. I have children who have brought up their skills from non-reading to reading. We are totally satisfied. I believe they are most beneficial as children can only learn to read if there is the visual and auditory component simultaneously - that helps them the most. That is the biggest bonus with your programs!

Helene Fraser, Resource Teacher
Lundar Collegiate, Lundar, Manitoba

We use Essential Skills programs daily for drill & practice. We started students on Phonemic Awareness and Super Phonics and found real success with K-1 students so we purchased more programs for the grade 2 and 3 students. The kids like the programs and are motivated by the star system. The Marks Manager is used as a resource for the teachers to show a child's progress.

Duncan McRae, Resource & Computer Teacher
Elm Creek School, Elm Creek, Manitoba

My kids use Essential Skills programs everyday - Sight Words in the morning and Mastering Numeration in the afternoon. Once they know how to do one program they can do the others. I love the programs - they are very much a drill and not cluttered with a lot of animation the way programs tend to be. The kids have definitely made performance gains - the more they use the programs the better they get!

Teena DeJaegher, Grade 1 Teacher
Gladstone Elementary, Gladstone, Manitoba

This is a Hutterite Colony school. My students use Essential Skills every day. They really enjoy it and I have noticed gains. Phonemic Awareness and Super Phonics are very good. We also like Sight Words. We bought the two Spelling Stumper programs this year. The kids like the programs - it's an extra activity for them with instant feedback. The screens are clean, not too cluttered. They are not like a game - they look like work but they are fun. I love the programs.

Noel Rogowsky, K - 8 Teacher
Marble Ridge Colony School, Poplarfield, Manitoba

We have 18 Essential Skills programs and we love them. Our students use the Essential Skills programs on a daily basis starting in grade one and they work through them until the end of grade three. The children always look forward to using the programs and they all work at their own level and pace. The Essential Skills programs are organized in a way that motivates children and allows them to progress step by step through their core reading and math skills.

Frances Friesen, Educational Assistant
Elm Creek School, Elm Creek, Manitoba

We are using our 9 Essential Skills programs as a remediation tool for 15 - 20 minutes every day. The younger children like Super Phonics, Reading Comprehension and Numeration. The older children are using the Vocabulary Builder programs. I have seen improvement in the children's' performance by utilizing the programs. They are very motivated by seeing their scores. I have recommended the programs to other schools.

Faye Guibonche, Resource Teacher
Philomene Cahrtrand School, Camperville, Manitoba

I was looking for high interest, lower vocabulary materials when I came across a series from Essential Skills. The stories are interesting for older kids and have colorful illustrations on each page.

Linda Fraser, Resource Teacher
Victoria School, Portage La Prairie, Manitoba

Since I purchased this software, I have heard of many other schools in our district that are also using it. I have not heard one negative comment, only enthusiasm. It's awesome stuff! The programs are very student friendly, and the graphics are engaging and colorful. It is used in our literacy centers and the children just love it! The students are able to work independently and at their own pace, leaving the teacher to work with small groups. This works well, as the programs reinforce the skills taught in the small group work.

Sharon Shafto, Special Education Resource Teacher
Shaughnessy Park School, Winnipeg, Manitoba

These are excellent programs! They are easy to use and very beneficial for the students. The programs are also a great alternative means of assessment. I like that they provide an individualized, independent and motivating learning experience for the students. We have used the programs weekly for about three years with our K to 4 students. They are easy to use, and the skills are very much aligned with our classroom curriculum.

Jocelyn Bender, K-2 Teacher
Benito School, Benito, Manitoba

Our students are using Essential Skills programs in the classroom when they finish their work or need to develop more skills. ESS programs are also used in resource. The children spend 35 minutes, two to three times a week, with the programs. The reading, spelling and math programs are their favorites.

Judy Wastesicoot, Principal
York Factory Cree Nation, George Saunders School, York Landing, Manitoba

We have at least 15 programs from Essential Skills. These programs motivate the children's' learning and reinforce what they learn in the classroom. They provide excellent value and are used on a daily basis. These are the best programs we've had so far.

Gerald Rafreniere, Principal
Donald Ahmo School, Crane River, Manitoba

New Brunswick

Students love using the programs, I recommend that others consider Essential Skills the next time they are making a software purchase.

Cindy Butterbaugh, Teacher
Campobello Island Consolidated, Wilson’s Beach, New Brunswick

I use Essential Skills daily with the children, especially with the visual learners. I love Sight Words levels 1 and 2! I think they are phenomenal programs for getting the beginning readers to build up their sight vocabulary. The children love these programs! I think these programs are perfect to supplement and reinforce the teaching that is going on in the classroom.

Sue Calhoun, Methods and Resource Teacher
Westfield Elem. School, St.John, New Brunswick

We have been using Essential Skills programs on a daily basis for several years. These programs allow me to target specific skill areas for each student. The children really enjoy the programs because they can work independently at their own level and pace. I think the children are definitely learning their reading skills by regular exposure to this software. It is very helpful as a supportive tool because it teaches and reinforces the skills being taught and it tracks the progress of the students.

Jill Donovan, Resource Teacher
Claude D. Taylor School, Riverview, New Brunswick

My students and I love the Super Phonics programs. They are great for both visual and auditory learners. These programs are a wonderful resource for targeting and training the specific skills that students need.

Christine Stevens, Methods and Resource Teacher
Grand Bay Primary, Grand Bay, New Brunswick

I have used the Essential Skills programs daily for several years. They are student friendly, they monitor student progress and require the students to master skills before they move on. The reward and reinforcement system is excellent and very motivating for the children. The children love the programs and never seem to tire of using them. For students who are experiencing difficulty these programs provide the specific training, skills and practice needed to overcome their skill deficits.

Jill McMullin, Resource Teacher
Black’s Harbour School, Black’s Harbour, New Brunswick


I find these programs to be excellent. They have a highly structured layout and provide skill repetition and feedback. My high school students love the idea of learning their skills independently at their own level and pace without fear of criticism or putdown. They do not find the programs babyish at all. These programs have been very helpful in addressing the skill deficits in my students. I have recommended Essential Skills programs to several of my teacher friends.

Sherri Keefe, Resource Teacher
Ascension Bay Collegiate, BayRoberts, Newfoundland

I have children using the programs all the time. They are very student friendly. These programs are great to supplement core classroom curriculum. Even the younger developmental children are able to work independently. I recommend your programs to all new teachers who come into my class. If you are going to order anything, begin with these because they are the most useful.

Barb Morgan, Special Education
Holy Cross School, St.John’s, Newfoundland

I use the Super Phonics programs every other day. I am in a middle school and work with older students who are functioning at a low level. These programs are very user friendly for the children and they enjoy being able to work independently at their own level and pace. I do see that these programs are definitely helping my students.

Dominic Ricketts, Special Education
King Academy, Harbour Breton, Newfoundland

We use the Essential Skills Software programs on a daily basis. They are really suited to special needs children who are not achieving at grade level. These programs address basic skills in a systematic way and allow children to work independently while building their confidence and motivation. We have five special services teachers at our school and we all use this software with our students on a consistent basis.

Debbie Linehen, Teacher
Sacred Heart Academy, Marystown, Newfoundland

My students really enjoy the Sight Words and Phonemic Awareness programs. They work on them every chance they get. I use these programs with my regular classroom students and my special education students. I have noticed a big improvement in their skill level this year.

Maureen Kearley, Grade 1-2 Teacher
St. Georges School, English Harbour East, Newfoundland

Northwest Territories

Essential Skills programs are excellent! I use the Readiness program with individual students to build up their readiness skills and I use the High-Low Reader programs as a catch up tool for the older students in who are not reading at grade level. Our classroom teachers also use the programs to reinforce and supplement their curriculum. The students love these programs because they can work independently at their own level.

Anita Reardon, PST
Helen Kalvak School, Inuvik, Northwest Territories

We are big supporters of your programs and use them extensively.

Barry Church, Program Consultant
Deh Cho Education Council, FortSimpson, Northwest Territories

We are big supporters of your programs and use them extensively.

Barry Church, Program Consultant
Deh Cho Education Council, Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories

Nova Scotia

We find that these programs offer excellent reinforcement for students. The programs are easy to use and the students can work on them independently. The programs return the students to where they left off and provide immediate feedback and a summary of their daily results. For children with weaker motor skills these programs allow them to do much more practice in a session than they would with pencil and paper tasks.

Linda Patrick, Principal
Principal, Principal, Nova Scotia

Your programs are user friendly and cost effective and on top of that the teachers and students love them. The students can work independently and the programs chart their progress. These are excellent programs!

Barbara Cochrane, Consultant-Program
South Shore School Board, Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Your programs are excellent and the students really enjoy them. Keep up the good work!

Kevin Haines, Teacher
Smokey Drive Elementary, Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia

Essential Skills programs are used widely in our school. I work with special needs kids and I feel that they are actually learning from using these programs. Many of our classrooms in the school use the software daily because average students can work more independently, and are able to keep track of their own progress. We like the structured and sequential nature of these programs.

Jane Glenen, Resource Teacher
Champlain Elementary, Granville Ferry, Nova Scotia

I really like the programs from Essential Skills. The kids love learning their skills using technology and they think these programs are fantastic! The students feel good about themselves because they can set a learning pace that they are comfortable with and build the confidence within themselves to learn the more challenging skills. The programs are excellent in terms of building and reinforcing skills. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Essential Skills to other teachers.

Isabel Obeid, Grade 4 Teacher
John MacNeil School, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

I use the math and spelling programs on an ongoing basis with my grade three students. It is very user friendly and readily allows for independent learning. Each program has a wide variety of activities and the spelling program allows you to put in your own custom word lists. I also like the fact that it stores the results so that I can see exactly how my students are doing.

Kathleen MacKinnon, Grade 3 Teacher
Whycocomagh Education Center, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

The Essential Skills programs are very user friendly and great for students of low average ability. They find them entertaining yet educational. The programs gradually build student confidence so that they are not afraid to work on and learn more unfamiliar concepts. The programs are visually pleasing. My students are mainly grade 7, 8 and 9.

Elaine Campbell, Resource Teacher
Whitney Pier Memorial, Sydney, Nova Scotia

We use Essential Skills programs every single day. I love them. I think this software is wonderful. The students love the software and they always want to go on the programs. The instructions are clear and the children can work independently. They like the feedback at the end of each session telling them how well they did. The older students can come and work at their own level and pace without being noticed or singled out by their peers. I highly recommend these programs.

Colleen Glascow, Program Support Teacher
North River Elementary, Truro, Nova Scotia

I like the simplicity of the format, the structure and the sequencing of the skills. I like that we can pinpoint specific skills areas within the software and match these skills to student needs. I have given this software to many teachers and they say this is exactly what they needed for phonics, spelling and grammar. I feel that these programs are perfect!

Liz Mahoney, Asst. Technology Consultant
Cape Breton Victoria Reg.S.B., Nova Scotia

Essential Skills offers many programs to address important learning outcomes. We use the software on a daily basis from Kindergarten to Grade 3. These programs are excellent for children that are working on building independent skills.

Charlotte Richards, Program Support Teacher
Junction Road Elementary, Springhill, Nova Scotia

Essential Skills software is very user friendly and students of all ages enjoy it. I particularly appreciate the fact that the screen is uncluttered. The variety of activities at each level keeps interest high. Another great feature of your programs is the various levels of reward as more questions are answered correctly. That is very motivating to the children.

Becky Bain, Teacher
Atlantic Memorial Terence Bay Elementary School, ShadBay, Nova Scotia


I work with adults with severe learning difficulties and they are experiencing great satisfaction and success with the programs from Essential Skills. These adults often have little or no computer experience but they are quickly able to use the programs easily and independently. This software definitely fosters their self confidence and motivation to learn. I test progress on an ongoing basis and my students make steady progress.

Bev Wright, Teacher
Warkworth Correctional Institution, Campbellford, Ontario

Your programs are very effective for helping students get a better grasp of their alphabet, phonics, sight words, spelling and vocabulary. All our preschool children enjoy using the programs daily. Our ESL students use the programs to help them with their vocabulary and our primary teachers use them to reinforce their classroom curriculum. These programs have made a real difference for the students.

Janet Norris, EA
Lighthouse School, London, Ontario

We think the programs from Essential Skills are great! I bought a couple last year and have expanded to more than ten programs this year. Our SERTs use the programs daily. The students love using the programs. We have noticed a definite improvement in student skill levels. The Math programs align perfectly with the math strands and teach the concepts in a way that is accessible to all students regardless of their ability. Our ESL students are making excellent progress using the ESL program. This software offers tremendous value and is very user friendly.

Susan Palmer, Lead SERT
Cornell Village PS, Markham, Ontario

Being able to individualize these programs to suit the ability level of each student makes a big difference. If we could put every student in the school on these programs for 15-20 minutes per day we would significantly improve reading comprehension scores throughout our school.

Gerlando Sdao, IT instructor and ESL Teacher
Derrydown PS, Toronto, Ontario

Our students' benchmark reading levels have improved dramatically since we started using the Early Literacy Programs from Essential Skills. Our kids are enjoying these programs thoroughly and are developing confidence in their ability to read and understand what they are reading.

Anna Alexander, Principal
Principal, Principal, Ontario

As the principal of an elementary school with a limited curriculum budget you can't find better value than the programs from Essential Skills to help students develop their basic reading and math skills.

Stephen Elliott, Principal
Principal, Principal, Ontario

The programs are easy to use and the children love them. There is lots of enthusiasm from the students. I have recommended these programs to other teachers in my school and district. I think they are wonderful.

Katherine McLeod, Teacher
Harold F Loughin Public School, Brampton, Ontario

The students are lining up at the door to use the Essential Skills Programs. It's a very different way of teaching, and the children love it!

Carol Birnie, Teacher
Moosonee Public School, Moosonee, Ontario

Reading levels improved for all students. The PM Benchmark assessment from Nelson Publications indicated increases from 3 levels to 10 levels which translates to a one and a half grade level increase.

Dorothy Lapierre, Grade One Teacher
Westminster Public School, Brockville, Ontario

I have been working with children with special needs and I love watching them work with these programs. I really would like to tell you that it is revolutionary in aiding children with exceptionalities- well done!

Terry Wall, Teacher
Renfrew, Ontario

Students love the programs! They are easy to use, and highly motivational.

Dan Brumm, Teacher
Calabogie Public School, Calibogie, Ontario

The kids really love these programs. We have been using them with great success for years. Our teachers particularly love the marks manager reporting system.

Wendy Ness-Jack, Early Literacy Teacher
D.M. Sutherland P.S., Woodstock, Ontario

We love your products.

Nell Vanurennout, Teacher
Trinity Christian School, Burlington, Ontario

These programs are clearly designed by teachers who understand how to maximize student learning. We are very pleased with the results.

Alf Platts, Special Education Teacher
New Dublin Public School, New Dublin, Ontario

Your programs are phenomenal. My students can work independently and they see their success immediately.

Sharon Grey, Teacher
Edward Street Public School, St.Thomas, Ontario

I have recommended your programs to many teachers. My students love them! The repetition and immediate rewards along with the familiar formats benefit all my students from the young children to the older adults I work with. These programs offer a great variety of activities that utilize both visual and auditory learning channels. Thank you!

Frances Butcher, Literacy Instructor/Retired Teacher
Simco, Ontario

These programs are an essential, daily part of my Special Education resource program. They develop phonetic awareness and word recognition skills in my students, leading to improved reading and comprehension skills. My students find the software very enjoyable and never tire of it. This software is very user friendly and the student progress tracking device is great for conferencing with teachers and reporting to parents.

Mr. Brian Herman, Teacher
Humewood Community School, TDSB Toronto, Ontario

Over the past four years I have purchased thirty programs from Essential Skills and use them on a daily basis with students experiencing literacy difficulties. I love the way these programs motivate my students and cover the basic skills in such a thorough and logical manner. The instructions for each program are clear and easy to follow. This software is extremely effective in the development and retention of basic reading and math skills for students. I highly recommend these programs!

Katharine Leverette, SST
Perth Road PS., Limestone SB, Ontario

Some programs are not easy for students to understand, yet the Essential Skills series is designed for independent student use - even the Special Education students who sometimes require additional support. The varied games made the student feel as if he was not doing work in spelling, but simply playing the games! They really enjoyed the review at the end of each session. Looking at their success rate and percentages was rewarding for them, and they would compare levels achieved!

Carol Craigen, Special Education Resource Teacher
Elgin Public School, Elgin, Ontario

The data I collected was gathered by doing a simple pre-test and post-test. To add to this I had each student do a decoding test (San Diego Quick Assessment) in September and again in June. This assessment tells me at what grade level a student can decode. As you can see the most remarkable results are from a student who has been using the Super Phonics program for two years. He went from a Grade 1 level to a Grade 5 level!

Judy MacDonald, Grade Teacher
Durham District Community School, Ontario

I just wanted to let you know how well the Essential Skills computer programs work. I have been using the Super Phonics and Sight Words programs with my students. The grade one's, who are very needy, have been using Super Phonics. This program has been able to provide the children with the repetition that is required for these students. Most of these children have attention problems, but with this program they continue to work without distraction. In the Sight Words program the children are trying to remember how to spell. It is great to listen to them making up their own way to remember how to spell the words! They would not do this on their own if you gave them a list of words to study. The grade three's reading fluency has improved since they do not struggle over the sight words. This has also improved their self-confidence when reading.

C. Fox, Primary Special Education Teacher
Westminster Public School, Brockville, Ontario

Algonquin School is very happy with the Essential Skills Programs we've been using since February. The students I see for resource assistance are always so keen to join me in the computer lab to work on the Sight Words lists. They yell out to me with enthusiasm when all of their stars are complete and yellow.

Margot Snow, Special Education Resource Teacher

Your programs are AWESOME! They are helping our students tremendously.

William Young, Teacher
Kern Avenue School, Ontario

The reading comprehension programs are excellent! The stories are very well written and the auditory cues guarantee success for early readers.

Gordon Muir, Grade 4 Teacher
Harrowsmith Elementary, Ontario

As a grade three teacher and a member of our district computer advisory committee, I have used Super Phonics extensively. It is an interesting, well designed program that I would recommend as a teaching or remedial tool.

Roy Evans,
Upper Canada District School Board, Ontario

We love the evaluation component of Essential Skills programs and use it for conferencing. The Assessment programs are a great way to do a controlled, authentic, whole class assessment. I am very fond of the Super Phonics and Reading Comprehension programs for early literacy learning. I get terrific feedback from my teachers and the kids never get bored with the wide variety of activities within the programs.

Jim Holstrom, Teacher/Network Manager
Burnt Elementary, Brampton, Ontario

Essential Skills software is a vital part of our programming for a wide range of student needs at varying ability levels. We use about eight programs every day. We have been using some of the older programs for almost 10 years. It is a great tool to use, even with the autistic kids. It allows for individualized and independent skills development. The older students who are working at a younger level can work at these programs without rejecting them as being babyish.

Debbie Moss, Special Education Teacher
Marshall Park PS, North Bay, Ontario

We use a variety of programs from Essential Skills. The students really enjoy them. The programs are bright, colorful, very appealing and make learning fun. They develop the students comprehension and word analysis skills and the students are applying their learning and transferring the skills back into the classroom.

Colleen Le Brun, Core Resource Teacher
Blessed John XXIII School, Markham, Ontario

I have been using Essential Skills three times a week for at least five years with my students. I love the programs because they are focused, with no nonsense, and cover the curriculum skills so thoroughly. The children love the variety of visual, auditory and tactile activities that the programs offer. They also enjoy being able to see their results at the end of each session. These programs are a great value and I recommend them to other teachers.

Jane Andree, Resource Teacher
Dunnville Christian School, Dunnville, Ontario

Your programs are excellent. I have used them consistently for many years. They keep track of student progress and provide immediate reward and feedback. The programs use a wide variety of multi sensory approaches and are excellent for students with learning difficulties. They provide excellent reinforcement to the skills taught in the classroom.

Rita Petrocco, Resource Teacher
Holy Cross School (Lighthouse School), Kemptville, Ontario

Your programs are very effective for helping students get a better grasp of their alphabet, phonics, sight words, spelling and vocabulary. All our preschool children enjoy using the programs daily. Our ESL students use the programs to help them with their vocabulary and our primary teachers use them to reinforce their classroom curriculum. These programs have made a real difference for the students.

Janet Norris, EA
Arthur Ford School (Lighthouse School), London, Ontario

The Reading Comprehension programs from Essential Skills allow the children to work independently at their own level and pace. These programs are very much suited to children of all ability levels. They are great for building and reinforcing new vocabulary. They also build self esteem, and academic self confidence, especially in the reluctant readers.

Rosemary Smith, Grade 3 Teacher
St. Andrew’s School (Lighthouse School), Oakville, Ontario

We love the programs from Essential Skills. They are very good at addressing our literacy concerns. We use them in the literacy centre, in the computer lab and in our after school intervention program. These programs are absolutely making a difference with our kids. They are a wonderful intervention piece, helping us sustain our role as a lighthouse school.

Yolanda Esposito, Vice-Principal
St. Andrew’s School (Lighthouse School), Oakville, Ontario

The kids really like the Essential Skills programs and are using them twice a week. They are very involved with them when they are on the computer. The teachers feel the programs are making a real difference.

Kenny Moccasin, Computer Lab
Saulteaux First Nation, Saulteaux Heritage School, Cochin, Ontario

Some of our primary and junior students are using Essential Skills programs every day. Our special education students are using the programs quite often. We use the programs as part of our literacy campaign. The Marks Manager is very easy to use. We would like to upgrade our licenses to labs or sites.

John Metcalf, Teacher
Eabametoong Authority, J C Yesno Ed. Centre, Eabamet Lake, Ontario

We are using Essential Skills programs regularly. We really enjoy the programs. The kids are getting a lot out of them. Phonemic Awareness is a favorite of both mine and the children.

Delaware Nation, Moravian Day School, Thamesville, Ontario
Angela Johnson, Kindergarten Teacher

We are using Essential Skills programs two to three times a week with our special needs kids. The programs are user friendly and motivating. I have seen real improvements with their short vowels and long vowels. We really like the reading programs - Leveled Readers Primer, Reading Comprehension, Readiness Skills and Super Phonics. I really appreciate having the Marks Manager.

Sally Rowat, Teacher
Waabshki Penasi School, Dryden, Ontario


My special needs students use the programs from Essential Skills on a daily basis. Even my autistic students are able to do the activities and move on their own from level to level. The programs are user friendly, and the curriculum is well paced and presented in a colorful, appealing way that makes learning fun for students with learning difficulties. These programs are perfect for individualized, independent instruction.

Lori Koroluk, Special Education Teacher
Chelsea Elementary, Chateauguay, Québec

We purchased Sight Words and Super Phonics seven years ago when I was a grade one teacher. We have used these programs to reinforce the teaching of word recognition and phonics skills ever since. We use them often with students in the regular classroom as well as students with learning disabilities. These are terrific programs and a great supplement to our classroom instruction. They totally reinforce what is being taught in the classroom.

Sandy Ross, Grade 3 Teacher
Sutton School, Sutton, Québec

I love the programs from Essential Skills and have used them for remediation purposes every single day for the past six years. The kids love them and feel successful when using the programs. They learn and practice in a fun way but the students do retain the skills they have learned and transfer them back to the regular classroom. These programs are ideal for individualizing the program to the needs of each child.

Gloria Lamothe, Special Education Teacher
Greendale Elementary, Pierrefonds, Québec

Our special needs classes have used programs from Essential Skills for on a daily basis for six years. We currently have 15 programs. These programs are totally user friendly and ideal for independent learning. My students have made substantial gains in their skill development and benefit greatly from the Essential Skills curriculum. The students always look forward to using this software and see using it as a reward.

Tara Fisher, Special Education Teacher
St. Willibrord School, Gatineau, Québec

We have been buying programs from Essential Skills for the past six years and my students still use the programs every day. They keep the attention of the students and teach the skills in an orderly manner. Time is essential and software has to be an effective teaching tool. I work with the children who are really struggling academically and this software is very motivational to them. The students have shown excellent progress in their reading and writing skills from using these programs. I also like the Marks Manager and how it tracks and reports on student progress. I highly recommend Essential Skills programs to other teachers.

Susan OÕKeefe, Resource Teacher
Laurentia School, St.Jerome, Québec

We are very pleased with the math Numeration programs and with the Sight Words programs from Essential Skills. The children love them and benefit from them. These programs don't replace good teaching, but they do supplement it. They promote and reinforce the correct practice of academic skills. I like the reinforcement that the programs give to students and the reporting features are excellent! The variety of auditory, visual and kin-esthetic activities makes success possible for most students.

Ruth Hicks, Special Education Teacher
Pierre E. Trudeau School, Gatineau, Québec

We use Essential Skills programs everyday in Special Education. They are user friendly for kids with dyslexia and fine motor control problems. The kids really take to the computer approach. The Marks Manager is very helpful to see how they are advancing. It is also a good tool to help with diagnostics. We love Sight Words and High Low Readers!

Tom Yetman, Special Education Teacher
Waapihtiiwewan School, Ouje Bougoumou, Québec


The Essential Skills Science programs are used in our alternate education program for 14-18 year old's. These programs boost their self esteem and help them grasp essential Science concepts. It gives them a real sense of accomplishment. The students don't feel the programs are babyish and they can work independently at their own level with success. The marks management system makes it easy to document progress. Essential Skills programs are great for teaching the basic skills that all students need to learn. I have really, really enjoyed the programs and feel that they have made a big difference for my students.

Cheryl Lenz-Fabian, Learning Assistance Teacher
Bethlehem Catholic High, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Central Collegiate is a high school and we use Essential Skills with our ESL students. You never know what skills they will have when they come in. We have five Essential Skills language arts programs. We had one boy who used them for the whole morning everyday last year. We think your programs are very effective.

Michelle Smith, ESL Teacher
Central Collegiate, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

Our teachers think the Spelling Stumpers program from Essential Skills is fantastic. The teachers at each grade level can create customized spelling list for their students in addition to the words provided in the program. The kids love the program because it allows them to learn at their own pace. The upper end spellers like the program because it keeps challenging them with more difficult words. There is a nice variety of good spelling activities for each word list. Grades 2 through 5 are using this program in our school.

Jon Yellowlees, Vice Principal
Vice Principal, Vice Principal, Saskatchewan

Some Essential Skills programs are used every week. Spelling Stumpers is used more than once a week. The very best feature is the custom spelling list. We can enter what we teach in the classroom. It's awesome! The grade 9-10 teacher is even using it for her French class because the auditory is there. The grade 1 & 2s are using both levels of Super Phonics. Grammar and Writing Fundamentals are used with the older grades as each skill is taught in the classroom. Reading Comprehension and the Read to Succeed series are also used extensively in the resource room.

Mariette Baker-McDermid, Principal
Principal, Principal, Saskatchewan

We have 10 Essential Skills site licenses in our computer lab. The students are using the programs 2-3 times each 6 day cycle. They are very good programs. If we try to get them on something else they want to use the Essential Skills programs.

Mark Forsythe, Principal
Principal, Principal, Saskatchewan

Basically all the classes are using Essential Skills in the computer lab for a half hour to an hour a week. I use Mastering Numeration with my students for 40 minutes a week. Our teachers really like Reading Comprehension and Sight Words. We particularly like the Marks Manager and use it to print reports for parents. The students find the programs motivating. We would highly recommend your programs.

Perry Mamer. Principal, Principal
Principal, Principal, Saskatchewan

We are using Essential Skills with our resource students and the regular classroom. Super Phonics is excellent. I also like the Reading Comprehension programs - we have all 3 levels. The kids like the programs. When we finish a section I print their progress from the Marks Manager for them to take home. I would like to buy more in the Spring when we get our funding.

Lorraine Oleksyn, Resource Teacher
Resource Teacher, Melville, Saskatchewan

We use Essential Skills programs daily and they motivate the children. We pre-test and post-test and have seen definite performance gains. I think they play a role in the development of their reading skills.

Darcy Moore, Resource Teacher
Pierceland School, Pierceland, Saskatchewan

Our students are using Essential Skills programs 2 to 3 times a week. They love going to computer to work on them. I use them with Grade 1 students who are on an alternate reading program. I also use them with mentally challenged students who love working on them. Overall, what we like most about ESS is that you can use them with regular stream kids, alternate reading students and special needs children.

Marge Warrington, Resource Teacher
Westcliffe School, Marengo, Saskatchewan

We love the Essential Skills programs. We are using them school-wide and in small groups for a half hour to an hour each day. We find they are very motivating and help develop and reinforce the skills. Mastering Numeration is great for kids who are struggling with number facts.

Susan Striga, Teacher Librarian
Lakeview Elementary, Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan

I love Essential Skills programs - they're great - they're awesome! The kids love the programs. They fit in well with the curriculum. We use them in the classroom and it is a nice change for the kids as an alternative to pen and paper tasks. The programs are challenging for them and they are able to have success.

Joan Stock, Grade Three Teacher
Humboldt Public School, Humboldt, Saskatchewan