School-Year Tutoring Program: Learn how to learn in any settingClick here for the Spring 2021 flier with program options while schools are closed.
Click here for the enrollment form.
We offer one free tryout session for new students. Call or email to schedule.
Please email or drop off your enrollment forms and we will contact you to confirm within 24 hours.
Our COVID-19 health policies are on the last page of the flier.
Once you review the schedule, you can check on our Calendar tab above to see if there is still space available to enroll in your desired sessions.
Here's what our program looks like, including new features designed to support students during distance learning:
- Format: Small-group class for 4th-12th graders with a great vibe that feels safe and friendly for all learning styles and levels
- Includes semi-private tutoring in all subjects: math, reading, writing, science, history and Spanish through the honors or AP level
- Most students use their time for a hybrid of schoolwork and instruction that we design to help them meet their goals. They have some time to work on homework or studying, and some time to work with tutors or in study groups with other kids in the same subjects. This allows us to give everyone personal attention while also observing students' work habits so we can advise them about how to better handle their independent work.
- We use project-based learning and mini-lessons to extend, enrich or remediate their skills as needed.
Learning in and out of school goes beyond subject-area knowledge. All students also receive:
- Metacognitive skills for "learning how to learn" (especially for distance learning!)
- Testing, study and class participation strategies
- Executive functioning: Organization & time management skills, breaking down tasks, using a calendar (especially to keep track of your day and when show up for Zoom classes at your school!), how to take a productive break
- Leadership coaching: How to communicate with teachers, set goals, make wise decisions, serve others and plan your vision of your future
- Academic advising: navigating your school's systems, how to choose classes, how to find experiences to develop your passions in and out of school
How can you really help each student in a group setting? Aren't private lessons always better?
- Students meet in one-on-one conferences with tutors during every group session.
- Instruction is differentiated; every student works on his or her own program and receives customized support from tutors that fits the student's learning style.
- Student: tutor ratio 4:1
- Tutors are credentialed teachers who know the local schools and standards/curriculum
- Tutors commit for at least a year and a summer, so students can work with a consistent group of teachers and develop strong relationships.
- For pre-teens and teens, the social aspect of learning is critical. They tend to stay engaged longer, become more motivated and show less resistance to coaching when they are in a group with others facing the same dilemmas.
- Even for academic content, we learn by hearing, reading, writing, doing, listening, touching, feeling. The more we can engage all five senses, or conduct simulations of concepts, or provide interactive learning modes, the better we learn. A group environment is more conducive to this.
- Schools can feel bureaucratic and institutional. We want students to have at least one place that feels personally nurturing and intellectually inspiring. Our center offers a sense of community where students can feel they belong, instead of a series of appointments between individuals.
What kind of student is this right for?
- A student who is capable but underperforming due to issues with focus, organization or motivation
- Achievement-oriented students who want to do their best and be academically competitive
- A student who wants to learn but feels a disengaged at school
- A student who is not getting enough experience with certain skills
- A student who thrives in a structured, energetic environment
- A student within one year below to three years above grade level
- Kids with 504 plans and IEPs welcome. We have experience with modifying instruction for most learning differences. Students should be capable of working independently for at least 30 minutes.
Logistics and how to enroll
- School-year tutoring sessions are two hours each.
- In-person or remote platform (we use the Groupworld platform) available concurrently for all sessions. We are limiting our in-person classes to 5-8 students (half our capacity) so we can social distance all kids.
- Most students attend once or twice a week, but we have opened up new time slots to accommodate students who may want to attend more often while the schools are closed.
- We require enrollment for a month at a time to have the best chance to influence students' study habits.
- We do not have a drop-in program; you need to reserve your sessions before the month starts.
- If you are already enrolled and you need to occasionally add an extra session, we do allow that, as long as there is space available in the time slot.
- We do have a generous and flexible makeup policy, when you need to miss a scheduled session!
What does a session look like?
First 15 minutes:
Students come in, bringing their backpacks with all their school materials. They split up into age-appropriate groups, and each group holds a planning conference with a tutor. During the planning conference, the students empty out their backpacks, file papers, flip through notebooks and review and record assignments in their school planners. They may go online and check grades or homework lists. Guided by their tutor, they prepare a plan for that day's Bridge class, discussing how to prioritize and estimate time needed for assigned work. They reflect on the past week and actions they took to move toward their planning, scholarship and leadership goals.
Students and tutors rotate in three 30-minute blocks, alternating between direct instruction and guided independent work. We encourage students not to just use this as a "homework club" to "finish" work. It is most valuable if they can tackle easier homework on their own time, and focus their time on homework with which they need assistance, questions they have from school classes that week, and studying for better comprehension or to prepare for upcoming tests. Computers with Internet access and printing are available at this time.
Last 5-10 minutes:
Students gather again in their planning conference groups and make reminder and schedule notes in their school planners or phones for the rest of the week.
After class, tutors document what was covered in the Session Notes of our Next Gen web app. Parents receive a unique link to the Session Notes portal, so that they can review the student's progress toward goals and session notes at their convenience.