Virginia Chapter

ALTA VA’s mission is to engage practitioners and therapists in continuing education and collaboration to better meet the needs of their clients and to educate families and educators in the area of dyslexia and dyslexia remediation.

ALTA Calendar

Chapter Events

We are dedicated to providing continuing education opportunities that promote the professional growth of our members. Events are worth continuing education hours (CE) to use towards ALTA membership requirements. 

ALTA Directory


Find a Virginia Professional

Our members are made up of individuals with the CALP, CALT, ICALP, or CALT-QI distinction. Find an ALTA-certified professional in your area that represents the highest quality services to those individuals with dyslexia. 

Chapter Resources

  • New legislation started July 2021:

    2021 HB1865 requires reading intervention services for students in kindergarten through grade three who demonstrate deficiencies based on their individual performance on the SOL reading test or any reading diagnostic test that meets criteria established by the Department of Education to be evidence-based and grounded in the science of reading. Parental notification of intervention must be made in a timely manner.

  • Upcoming legislation:

    HB 1947 High school graduation requirements; certain substitutions.

    Introduced by: Glenn R. Davis


    Board of Education; high school graduation requirements; certain substitutions. Requires the Board of Education, in establishing high school graduation requirements, to provide for the substitution of computer coding course credit for any foreign language course credit required to graduate with a standard or advanced diploma for children with disabilities. Such requirement replaces a narrower provision in current law that requires the Board to permit a student who is pursuing an advanced diploma and whose individualized education program specifies a credit accommodation for world language to substitute two standard units of credit in computer science for two standard units of credit in a world language

  • Overall VA Legislation information:


ALTA-Virginia is made up of therapists and practitioners dedicated to providing rigorous evidence-based multisensory structured language education (MSLE) therapy to individuals with dyslexia. Meet the leadership team. 

Jennifer Appleton, CALT-QI

Jennifer Appleton, CALT-QI


Jennifer Appleton is the current Director of Education and Outreach for The Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center. She is a former classroom teacher and reading specialist with experience in both public and private settings. Jennifer currently trains interns toward their certification as a CALT through ASDEC. She holds certification as a CALT-QI, and continues to keep her licensure as a teacher in the state of Virginia.

Joan Bolka, CALT

Joan Bolka, CALT

Vice President

Joan Bolka is a Virtus-certified licensed teacher in Virginia, and she has taught for over 25 years in the Catholic Diocese of Arlington. She has served on numerous VCEA accreditation teams reviewing schools’ goals and how well the curriculum, student services, finances, and facilities allow for goal achievement. She is currently a Certified Academic Language Therapist, piloting the Sounds In Syllables program at St. Joseph’s Elementary School in Herndon, Virginia, serving students with dyslexia one-on-one during the school day. She also operates a private academic language therapy business working with dyslexic elementary and middle school students after-school.

Amy Summers, CALT

Amy Summers, CALT


Amy Summers has a private practice in Oakton, Virginia, working with children and adults with dyslexia and related challenges. After having a child with dyslexia of her own, Ms. Summers went on a quest to successfully remediate his dyslexia while simultaneously becoming certified in the Barton Reading and Spelling System. Ms. Summers has been teaching and helping children and adults with dyslexia for over a decade. She decided to further her knowledge base and treatment expertise by becoming certified as an Academic Language Therapist through ASDEC.


Pauline Novak, M.Ed., MAT, CALT

Pauline Novak, M.Ed., MAT, CALT

VP of Membership and Finance

Pauline Novak was extensively trained in techniques to improve the education of those individuals with learning differences while working at the Shelton School in Dallas from 2003-2017. She holds certificates as a Certified Academic Language Therapist since 2011, a Dyslexia Therapist, and a trainer for Montessori as Applied to Children at Risk for Learning Differences. Certified as an Early Childhood and Elementary I Montessori teacher, she has taught in the Montessori classroom for over 25 years while combining the SEE language therapy method. Pauline has previously served as the ALTA VA President and on the AMS Board.

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