Summerlin educator’s new focus: Helping learning-disabled

No doubt you’ve heard a lot about overcrowded classrooms. It’s not just a Las Vegas problem — nor is it just a Nevada problem. It’s a universal problem. Indeed, it can become a horrific problem when a teacher is forced to deal with a classroom of 40 to 45 students.

Even more disconcerting is that due to those conditions, “there are kids who just get passed on from grade level to grade level. And that means kids who have learning disabilities are falling through the cracks,” stated Shelley Kalb, a certified learning specialist who lives in Summerlin.

And most disturbing of all is the bottom line. Kalb asserted that “today, one in five people in the United States has a learning disability.”

She explained that two years ago she left the classroom, the principal’s office and school administration after 25 years of serving in those capacities, “to go back to work in behalf of individual kids. It was a time for me to step back and decide what I could do in the best interest of children.

“Not all kids,” she emphasized. “Just those who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities. And there are many children here in Las Vegas who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities.

“I work with them on a one-on-one basis. That’s what a learning specialist does. But first I design a custom program for each child, individually, based on their problem and the need. No two learning problems are alike, just as no two kids are alike,” Kalb said. “Some have been diagnosed with dyslexia, some with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).”

She mentioned other learning disorders that are due to sensory processing issues and language-based disabilities.

“There are kids who can function well but whose needs may be on the autistic spectrum,” she said.

Kalb, who receives referrals from educators and psychologists, works with a maximum of 15 students, ranging from kindergarten to eighth grade levels, each on an individual hourly basis. She explained that she concentrates on the use of specialized programs that she designs for each child, “based on their own needs and challenges.”

She said that her areas of child-learning expertise are in math, writing, grammar, vocabulary, study skills, reading and comprehension.

“Most importantly, I communicate the program that I design for a child with that child’s teacher. I want to be a partner in helping the child, together with their teacher and parents,” Kalb emphasized.

“As a learning specialist I’m different from a tutor, who often does not get to the full depth of the child’s problem,” she said. “Basically, these are kids with learning differences. In fact, the majority have above-average IQs. They just are not learners in the traditional sense.”

Kalb, who can be reached by calling Geared To Learn at 702-715-3030, received her master’s degree in literacy education from Loyola University of Baltimore in 2004 after spending more than a dozen years as a classroom teacher. She said her training includes the principles of a nationally accredited program known as the Orton-Gillingham Approach.

“When studying for my master’s, Orton-Gillingham was part of the program. After I received my degree I did an additional 60 hours of training in the program,” she added.

Orton-Gillingham was devised more than 70 years ago by a neuro-psychiatrist and an educator-psychologist.

According to the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, the system is “an instructional approach intended primarily for use with individuals who have difficulty with reading, spelling and writing of the sort associated with dyslexia.” It adds that the approach is “most often associated with a one-on-one teacher-student instructional model.”

Herb Jaffe was an op-ed columnist and investigative reporter for most of his 39 years at the Star-Ledger of Newark, New Jersey. Contact him at

Lady Rebels School Day Game
Children from local elementary schools gather for the Lady Rebel School Day Game at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal
All-Pro curling team eyes 2022 Winter Olympics
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tourists enjoy rain in downtown Las Vegas
Tourists break out the umbrellas. But Brian Herting of Lincoln, Nebraska, dons shorts and a T-shirt, as he makes his way through downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Thick fog blanketed Las Vegas Valley on Tuesday
Thick fog blanketed Las Vegas Valley on Tuesday. The National Weather Service.forecast called for a 50 percent chance of rain. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Time lapse video of fog covering the Strip
The Las Vegas Strip is shrouded in fog Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Tony Spilotro's Las Vegas home for sale — VIDEO
The former Las Vegas home of Chicago mob enforcer, Tony Spilotro, is now for sale. Spilotro, who was portrayed by Joe Pesci in the film Casino, is the original owner of the home at 4675 Balfour Drive, built in 1974. (Samia DeCubas/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Buffalo Drive And Mountains Edge Parkway Fatal
Las Vegas police and the Nevada Highway Patrol are investigating a fatal crash in the southwest valley on Saturday afternoon. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV's Joel Ntambwe on his play
UNLV forward Joel Ntambwe talks about his play at this point in the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Sam Schmidt chats about hectic off-season
IndyCar team owner Sam Schmidt and lead driver James Hinchcliffe chat about the hectic off-season at the SpeedVegas high-performance driving facility outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
R-J's Mark Anderson on UNLV's victory
Review-Journal sports reporter Mark Anderson recaps UNLV's victory at New Mexico. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
UNLV's Noah Robotham on the win at New Mexico
UNLV guard Noah Robotham talks about winning at New Mexico on Jan. 8, 2019. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV's Kris Clyburn on big 3 vs. New Mexico
UNLV guard Kris Clyburn talks about his key 3-pointer against New Mexico. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marvin Menzies on beating New Mexico
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about UNLV's win at New Mexico on January 8, 2019. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New HOV Ramp Scheduled to Open in March
New HOV ramp scheduled to open in March of 2019.
American Preparatory Academy part of charter school growth in Las Vegas
American Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas has a waiting list of students who want to attend. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Wheelchair tournament at UNLV
Cesar Robledo talks about wheelchair basketball and what it means for players to compete during the Wheelchair Basketball Division I-II Tournament at UNLV in Las Vegas, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Marvin Menzies on UNLV's trip to Hawaii
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about the upcoming trip to Hawaii. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
Pinecrest Academy Horizon principal wins Milken Educator Award
Tony Sanchez on UNLV's recruiting class
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez talks about his early signing class. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village's Magical Forest added 1 million lights and a synchronized music show visible from all over the forest this year. The holiday attraction, which began in 1991, has a train, rides, food and entertainment along with the light displays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Siegel Cares delivers bagels to families in need
Since Thanksgiving, Mark Lenoir of Siegel Cares, has been delivering leftover Bagelmania bagels to families staying at the Siegel Suites.
Dan Barnson steps down
Arbor View football coach Dan Barnson stepped down Friday after 12 seasons at the helm. Under Barnson, the Aggies won 104 games and became one of the top programs in Las Vegas. The Aggies went 12-2 in 2018 and won a region championship for the first time in program history. Barnson loves Friday nights, but said the 12-month commitment was getting exhausting.
NFR 2018 Highlights
NFR 2018 highlights from every round of this years rodeo.
NFR 2018 Round 10 Highlights
NFR 2018 Round 10 Highlights of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from the Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas, Nevada. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
NFR- Joe Frost
NFR Bull Rider Joe Frost talks about the difference in bulls and his family legacy with Cassie Soto before the last round of the National Finals Rodeo.
Herm Edwards on LV Bowl loss
Arizona State coach Herm Edwards talks about the loss in the Las Vegas Bowl. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fresno State linebacker George Helmuth after LV Bowl
Linebacker George Helmuth talks about Fresno State's turnaround. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Tony Sanchez wraps up the UNLV season
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez wraps up the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Herb Jaffe Video
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like