We believe that every student is capable of succeeding in school. SOS has found that many student academic problems are simply a lack of skills or techniques to use when approaching schoolwork. Once a student is equipped with effective organization and study strategies, classes and assignments that were overwhelming become manageable. Students become more motivated, relaxed and self-confident and can enjoy the rewards of academic success.
What Is Your Process?
Our work with clients always begins with a one hour initial consultation with parents, which is accompanied by a review of any assessments that have been done. During this consultation, parents and coach review the history of the student's academic issues, examine routines at home and set goals and objectives for our work with the student. The consult is followed by six one-on-one student coaching sessions which last for 50-minutes at a time, once or twice a week.
Are Six Sessions Enough?
At the completion of six coaching sessions, parents and coach then meet again for a follow-up to determine next steps, review progress and chart the coaching for the next phase of sessions as needed. It is important to note that it takes at least six sessions for the coach and the student to make a connection and for the coach to have a deeper understanding of the student's needs. More often than not, students continue with their sessions as they are just starting to build skills and momentum. Each student has a unique set of needs and the process and duration of services is customized accordingly. Long standing habits of work and organization are not changed overnight and new approaches and skills require consistent practice and feedback before they are mastered over time.
What Do The Coach And Student Do During a Typical Session?
While long-term goals are kept in mind, each coaching session is driven by the immediate needs of the student – what will make the most impact today? Perhaps it will be attacking a large history project, sorting through a disheveled backpack, or preparing for a biology test.
Typically, the coach will ask questions to determine where the student is having difficulty and lead him or her to solutions. Does the student know exactly what is to be done and when? Does the student know how to do it? What strategies have been used in the past? Would a different approach work more successfully? Are there other obstacles beyond the student's control? Through this approach, the student, in partnership with the coach, begins making choices for his or her own success. Study strategies that are introduced in the context of real and immediate problems help build skills that the student can apply in context. Reviewing, practicing and developing these skills over time is the best way to reinforce positive habits, create long-term mastery and instill confidence.
What Can I Follow Through With At Home And What My Role Is As The Parent?
You and your teen will receive an emailed summary after each session with key areas of focus and tasks to follow up on or routines to implement. The coach is always happy to clarify either by email or a short call during the week after the session.
Will My Student's Coach Need To Be In Touch With School Personnel?
The coach is also an advocate for the student and, with your written permission, it is often beneficial for the coach to work with teachers, counselors, administrators and other professionals involved with your teen. Coaches can also attend 504 and IEP meetings – their input based on one-on-one work with the student is invaluable.
The initial coaching package includes a parent consult, six coaching sessions and a parent follow-up meeting. Package fees are bundled and are payable prior to starting sessions with SOS. Fees vary by coach. SOS 50-minute sessions are $140 to $190 each with an initial commitment to six coaching sessions and two parent meetings. All of this information is included in a contract that is sent by email prior to the first session. After the initial package is completed, continuing students will revert to a monthly payment schedule.
Types of Students
SOS provides coaching services to students ages 10 to 21. Adults who are returning to school may also benefit from SOS coaching. Students come from private, public, home-school and special needs schools.
Many of SOS students struggle with challenges known as "executive dysfunction." These students often fail to turn in work on time or don't know what is due or when. Planning, prioritizing, goal setting and follow through, organizing and test preparation are just some of the areas in which students can find the support they need in coaching. Others manage to maintain better-than-average grades but spend lengthy, inefficient hours at home slogging through assignments with great frustration. Some wrestle with excessive use of the internet and social media, full after school schedules (including sports) and demanding course loads.
Finally, SOS students may also have atypical learning profiles, such as those with ADHD or learning disabilities, that make academic success difficult to achieve without outside assistance.
SOS has helped turn many underachieving, even failing, teenagers into confident, productive students. SOS teaches students how to get on top of work before it gets on top of them. (See Testimonials)
Does Summer Coaching Automatically Ensure My Child a Slot for the Fall?
Placement in our summer coaching program in no way guarantees students a spot on that coach’s schedule for fall or that of any other coach. Students must be on our fall waiting list to secure a slot for the school year. Summer coaching is a separate program entirely. Sessions during the summer do not count as “credit” towards our initial school year coaching package, which is paid for separately.
Please tell us a little about yourself and your student through the SOS Request form and we'll contact you to get started.