Summer is right around the corner! Warmer weather signals that the season of rest and outdoor recreation is (hopefully!) almost here.
In our Green Ivy office, we know this school year has been challenging, especially as schools shifted toward remote learning and as we’ve been sheltering in place for the past few months. Now more than ever, it is important for students to feel a sense of autonomy and competence in the content they need to learn.
Students have long benefited from using summer as a time to reinforce concepts, and this summer, that is more important than ever. For many students, remote learning in the spring, coupled with the grief and uncertainty around school changes, means that it has been difficult to fully comprehend key concepts. These summer months are a great time to reflect, set goals, learn new skills, and plan for the upcoming school year in a proactive way that decreases stress and maximizes wellness. At Green Ivy, our diverse summer offerings — all offered in virtual formats to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions — benefit students of all ages and academic interests, and sign-ups are starting now.
As a reminder, our summer schedule runs June 5 – August 14, 2020. Regardless of when shelter in place restrictions are lifted in the early summer, we’ve decided to continue to offer all sessions and workshops virtually as well as in office.
Effective written communication is a vital skill that is often lost in our always-online digital world of texts and abbreviated messages. We customize our writing workshops based on students’ writing questionnaires and samples, and can also use summer reading assignments or books on topics of interest to make the work more engaging. Our writing coaching program allows students to work one-on-one with an educational consultant on narrative, persuasive writing, literary analysis, and/or any other preferred modes.
Executive Functioning and Subject Tutoring
We’re known worldwide for our work on executive functioning (check out Green Ivy founder Ana Homayoun’s three books!), and executive functioning skills are all the more important given remote learning. During summer sessions, we help students develop skills around weekly planning, organization, goal-setting, as well as the management of any summer schedules or projects. We also focus on learning new information and solidifying understanding of review concepts.
This summer, students can use sessions to focus on writing, reading comprehension, math, and science, and learn content while also boosting executive functioning skills.
College Admissions Counseling Services
For nearly two decades, a large part of our summer months has been spent helping rising high school seniors prepare for the college application process. More about our overall college application service can be found here.
This admissions cycle is particularly unique, as many colleges and universities have become test-optional (meaning students don’t have to submit ACT/SAT scores) and many high schools have announced credit/no credit spring semesters. As a result, personalized college admissions counseling services are all the more important in helping students effectively through the process of college research, setting priorities, creating action plans for college applications, developing and editing personal statements, and managing the process in a way that reduces stress.
Every summer, we offer multiple small group college application bootcamps (see all the details and sign up here). For years students have said the four-day, sixteen-hour bootcamp made the entire process less stressful. We’ve done this bootcamp for over a decade. We cover the common application, coalition application, student activity resumes, personal statement drafts and supplemental questions, and much more.
In addition to our four-day bootcamps, we offer ongoing support through our basic and intensive college counseling packages. For our basic and intensive college counseling work with students, we begin with a college counseling consult: a one-hour meeting where we review transcripts, senior year classes, test scores, activities, summer plans, and answers to our college counseling questionnaire. From there, we help students finalize an initial list of schools. All students doing the basic or intensive college counseling process are welcome to participate in our four-day intensive (and fun!) bootcamp as an included part of their programs.
Small Group Subject-Based Workshops – NEW!
According to a recent NYTimes opinion piece, “…students who lack steady instruction during the coronavirus school shutdown might retain only 70 percent of their annual reading gains as compared to a normal year. Projections for the so-called Covid slide in math look even bleaker.”
To prevent learning loss and keep students engaged and motivated, our staff has created content-specific, small group workshops for groups of two or three students. These sessions are a great opportunity to grab a friend or two, learn or re-learn concepts in a pressure-free space, and shake the rust off before school starts back up again!
We encourage students to register with one to two friends, and we schedule group meetings as if they were classes!
Options for the group workshops include: Middle School Math, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Biology, Chemistry, and Writing.
Even though many colleges and universities are now test-optional (meaning students don’t have to submit SAT or ACT scores), students who score well on those exams may choose to submit scores as part of their application process. For those students, concentrating on test prep during the summer and taking the SAT or ACT during a fall test date can be ideal. Younger students taking placement tests for middle school and high school entrance can similarly benefit by doing the bulk of test prep in the summer, and refreshing right before fall test dates.
For ACT/SAT test prep, students take a standardized diagnostic exam to determine which test (the SAT or ACT) seems better suited to the student’s strengths. The exam comes with a nine-page follow-up report highlighting strengths and opportunities for improvement, and we customize each student’s test prep plan based on their individualized needs. The result? Our students have made monumental gains in test scores.
Looking for help with the ISEE/SSAT/HSPT exams? We also have customized programs for our younger students, and use the summer months to focus on developing the underlying reading and math skills that are critical for improving test success and reducing test anxiety.
Thank you, as always, for the opportunity to work with your children. We continue to be grateful for the students who have found working with us to be incredibly stress-relieving, and to the parents who have called our assistance in the transition to remote learning “a godsend.”
Given the recent challenges of the global pandemic, our focus continues to be on providing support and resources to students and families. Our summer programs are beginning to fill up, so to learn more or sign up, please contact us.