Switching Schools, Entrance Exams, & Everything In-Between
A large part of my job is helping students and families figure out their next step, whether that’s which tutor is the right fit, which middle school to attend, or finding a fulfilling career path after graduating from college. With many schools continuing to hold classes virtually or opting for a hybrid model, I have been getting a lot of inquiries from parents about the right school for their child. In this virtual atmosphere, parents are wondering, Should I pull my child out of public school and put them in private school? Should I forego the fees of private school and embrace virtual learning? What’s the best option for my college aged student next year?
I embrace school consultations because they are another facet of Wright Academics that makes our services so valuable to families. I have relationships with nearly all the schools in the area, and because of my professional field, I have knowledge surrounding their programs and learning philosophy. I have been on campus and tutored many students from each different school; often I know the learning specialists and many of the teachers at local public and private schools. Taking all of this into account, I enjoy school consultations because I feel I have a solid understanding of each school’s atmosphere and culture.
Just as not every tutor is right for every student, not every school is right for every student, either. When pairing a student with a tutor, I take into account the student’s interests, report cards, teacher feedback, testing, work samples, and more. When helping a student and family select a school that is right for them, I go through much the same process. In short, we care about the whole person at Wright Academics, so that is where I start when working to pair a student with a tutor or school. Where will they feel most connected? Where will they thrive based on their learning style? I want to make sure a school is not just a good fit for the student but a good fit for their family as well in terms of finances, travel, and logistics. If public school is the best fit for a family, then I work with them to figure out how to make that school the best experience possible for their student.
If the best fit for a student and their family is private school, then students are faced with entrance exams in order to gain admission. In Maryland, some of these tests include the ISEE and the HSPT for middle and high school. Older students most frequently take the ACT and SAT for both private and public colleges. Each of these entrance exams have their own strategy and flavor. We see many students come through our offices who need support to prepare for these exams, so this is where we are able to continue the process of assisting the student and family through tutoring.
Test Prep – Our Approach
We approach test preparation in 3 main parts: strategy, content, and practice. The strategy portion addresses how to take the test and how to triage the questions. Some tests penalize students for guessing while others reward it, so understanding these distinctions can make an impact in a student’s overall score. The content portion gives students exposure to the test and teaches them how to take it. The more exposure, the better. This way, students do not feel like a deer in the headlights. We help students understand content by working through problems with them in our sessions, so students feel supported in real-time. We then give students practice to complete outside of their 1-on-1 sessions with their tutor. This is where the real magic happens! The students who are most successful at taking these tests practice throughout the week and then review and learn in their 1-on-1 sessions. Our tutors also reach out to students regularly to see how they are doing and offer some accountability. What’s important to emphasize with test taking is you need all 3 components to test well; students need strategy, content, and practice, not just 1 of the 3. While we don’t guarantee explicit results, we do guarantee whoever a student works with will deliver the best service they possibly can.
The process of switching schools or applying to colleges can feel stressful and overwhelming. My job is to gather as much information as I can to advise students and families about their options. Then, once we decide on a good fit, I help students and families get to where they want to go. It’s one thing to set a destination, and it’s another to help someone get there. At Wright Academics, we enjoy doing both, because everything we do, whether big or small, is based on connection and empathy.
Looking for academic support? To learn about the services we offer, click HERE.
About Evelyn Wright
Evelyn Wright is the Director of Wright Academics, a tutoring business created to target kids’ specific needs. Her passion is helping students and families succeed so that they achieve their maximum potential in and out of the classroom.
With over 25 years of experience working with children and their families in public and private schools, as well as in private practice, Evelyn’s focus is understanding the individual’s learning profile, guiding families of children with learning differences and matching students to the tutor or coach that best fits the student. She believes in not only matching educational needs to the right tutor’s skills, but matching a student to the tutor with the right personality.