Executive Function & Coaching FAQs

Are You A Tutoring Service?

No. Tutoring services focus on remediation and re-teaching content for specific courses and subjects. We are not “homework helpers” either. Many people who bill themselves as tutors are in fact merely sitting with students as they complete their homework, occasionally explaining something. We are academic coaches and strategists. We teach strategies and tools students need to be successful, plus build confidence and self-reliance, with a particular focus on executive function support.

What Is An Academic Coach/Strategist?

We find that most students are capable of understanding the content of the courses they are taught. The difference between success and underachievement, motivation and apathy, can be attributed not to a failure of the intellect, but to a weakness in, or the complete absence of executive function strategies. Some students seem to acquire executive function strategies on their own, but for those who don’t, executive function strategies such as organization, time management, note taking, expository writing, and test preparation are rarely taught by teachers, especially at the middle school and high school level. Most teachers are content driven, which means they expect students to come up with their own approaches for tackling schoolwork. As coaches, we build confidence, motivation, and self-reliance in our students through individualizing the teaching and implementation of study and executive function strategies to their particular needs and styles. Students then learn to work smarter, not harder.

What is the Typical Coaching Process Like?

Our coaches typically work in 50-minute sessions for a minimum of four sessions for summer coaching and six sessions for school year coaching. These are the minimum number sessions, in our experience, necessary for a student and coach to develop a positive connection so that the student benefits from the experience. Unlike franchised learning centers, there is no cookie-cutter routine for each student. We believe student success depends on students being treated as individuals. Working with the student, and with input from parents and caregivers, each SOS4Students coach determines the best approach. After the four or six sessions, next steps (if any) are determined by the parents/caregivers, the student, and the coach. Some students continue with us through the entire school year and find their skills and performance improve dramatically over time.

Should My Student Opt for In-Person or Online Coaching?

If you live locally, and are between the ages of 10-15, we highly recommend opting for in-person coaching, especially if your student is easily distracted or has trouble focusing on a screen for long. Online coaching is great for anyone living outside of the area of whose schedule does not accomodate in-person coaching. Most of our online coaching students are in grades 10 through college.

What Age Levels Do You See?

Our coaching clients range from age 10 all the way through college.

What If I Have A Younger Child?

We’ve found that for children between 6 and 9 years of age, it’s often the parents, caregivers, and educators who benefit most from an SOS4Students coaching consult. We read test data, interview relevant professionals, identify any issues, and help parents and teachers implement practical solutions at home and in the classroom. In addition, we can provide referrals to professionals who specialize in one-on-one work with children in the lower elementary grades.

Do You Assist Children With Major Learning Or Emotional Challenges?

Yes. Strategies can be of great benefit to all students, particularly those struggling with learning or emotional challenges. SOS4Students coaches collaborate with pediatricians, psychologists, resource teachers, and other professionals to ensure that a student’s educational needs are appropriately and effectively addressed.

Can You Assist With IEPs and/or Advocacy for My Student?

Yes. Many of our coaches have expertise in designing and implementing IEPs that work, and in helping families advocate for students. SOS4Students can provide a full range of advocacy services, including attendance at the IEP itself as the representative of the parents.

Do You Do Assessment Testing?

No. We work with a number of testing specialists and we are happy to provide referrals when testing is recommended. We review completed assessment testing as part of our intake process to help determine the coaching goals for each student.

How Do You Measure Success?

We measure coaching results based on a student’s growing feelings of success, motivation, and confidence which is often, but not always, reflected in improved grades and teacher comments. Parents who come to us expecting to turn failing students into excelling students overnight are likely to be disappointed. The same goes for parents who feel that straight “A”s are the only measure of success.

In our experience, there is no quick road to success. Long ingrained study and schoolwork habits (or the lack thereof), can take time to overcome. The speed with which students move forward often depends on their buy-in to the process. If they leave their sessions and implement/apply the new strategies, they will progress towards achievement much more quickly than if they do not use the strategies. Goals are set at the beginning of the work and progress is determined by the realization of those goals.

How Can I Get Started with Coaching?

To first step to arrange SOS4Students one-on-one academic coaching is to complete our Coaching Intake Form.

Once this is done, you’ll be able to schedule a short phone call with one of our senior academic coaches to assure proper placement for your student and to have any further questions about our services answered.

An initial consult with parents/caregivers, six coaching sessions, and a parent follow-up session are bundled in the initial fee caching fee. Cost of each session starts at $185, depending on the coach. All sessions are 50 minutes and typically occur weekly.

Student Workshop FAQs

Will My Student(s) Need to Bring Anything to the Workshop?

Laptops and other forms of technology are not required, but if your student benefits from using a laptop or tablet (not cellphone) for note taking, then we highly encourage your student to bring it.

To reduce shared objects between students, we ask that students bring the following materials: their preferred writing implements (pen or pencils), colored pencils or markers/highlighters, eraser, white out, scissors, and a ruler. A small quantity will be available for use and sanitized after use.

We will be providing paper, notecards, and post-it notes (our instructors will use hand sanitizer prior to distribution).

How Do You Keep Students Engaged During Workshops?

Our coaches have years of experience teaching students in workshop settings. Our workshops offer a diverse array of activities and learning modalities to keep students engaged and learning. We also align the length of daily sessions and ratio of instructor to students to be appropriate for the age of participants.

If My Student Has a Learning Difference, is an Workshop Going to be Effective?

Our coaches are experienced working with students with a wide range of learning profiles and executive function challenges. They keep all students engaged and continuously monitor progress. Ultimately, parents and caregivers know their children best, so we must rely on the judgement of parents and caregivers to decide how well students will be able to engage in a workshop setting, knowing that all proper supports and engagement tools will be implemented!

Given the Coronavirus Pandemic, Are In-Person Workshops Still Happening?
SOS4Students is holding its full slate of in-person summer, fall, and winter workshops. We work closely with the workshop venue, Lafayette Library Learning Center, and monitor updates from the Contra Health Services and the CDC. Should anything change, we will let parents, students, and other concerned parties know as soon as possible.

If your student or someone in your household is ill (including fever, sneezing, coughing, etc.), please keep the student home and contact SOS4Students for alternate accommodations for delivery of missed portions of the workshop.

What if SOS4Students Has to Cancel a Workshop?

If a workshop is cancelled, the SOS4Students office manager will contact you about alternative options if available.

Should your workshop be cancelled, you will have 14 days to respond to SOS4Students regarding a refund.

If a refund is not claimed within 14 days, you will have a credit on file with SOS4Students to use for future SOS4Students services (such as 1:1 coaching and other workshops and webinars).

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