Our student services program was born from our time spent with parents from the Parent Organization Network (PON). We joined PON seeking opportunities to train parent organizations how to leverage advanced school data and policy analyses and multi-media to strengthen their advocacy. However, their urgency and concern regarding their children’s learning needs and their mistrust of their schools’ services was so overwhelming that we decided to create a student services program to complement our parent services. Any child of a parent-member of PON qualifies to receive our services for free.
If you are not a PON member, please contact Carlos Lemus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Basic Student Services
Each student receives a customized academic learning plan. We gather data from three sources to complete the plan. They are the:
- Parent Interview
- The parent’s account on the district learning management system.
- Observations from the first two one-on-one tutoring sessions with the student
Early findings from gathering these data
The need most students have is for a mentor/coach to stay on their case to get their work done, on time, and to encourage them to engage the teacher when the student is really stuck. Ideally, the person to do this would be the parent. That is why this student services program ultimately circles back to training the parent. The details of what the parents must learn and do is written in the academic learning plan.
About the Mentor-Coaches
Our mentor-coaches build a relationship with the parents and students to ensure goodwill and trust is established. We mentor the way we taught – with high expectations and offering direct – no nonsense feedback. There’s no time to lose for some of our students, and we don’t believe we do any good by sugarcoating the truth of what needs to be improved and why it is urgent that they improve NOW.
Sample feedback provided to the student after not demonstrating sufficient effort on an assignment
How we work with students
Once the learning plan is reviewed with parent and student, we schedule periodic 15–30-minute check-ins to monitor its implementation. Early on, the check-ins are frequent. They diminish in frequency as we progress. To help students when they are truly stuck, after they have exhausted the resources and knowledge at their disposal, they are asked to submit a support request where they describe the problem they are having, explain what they have attempted, and send links or images for any reference information they can provide.
Our student services goal is to develop self-sufficient and self-directed learners
To meet our goal for students we aim to teach young people how to learn, how to think, and how to do on their own. That is our aim regardless of the service we deliver to students. We do this using the tried and tested methods of:
- Enabling think time
- Using common sense
- Asking leading questions
- Keeping the learning experience fun
- Training students to find or discover answers
- Treating intellectual risk-taking as a necessity for success
- Treating failure, born from action, as a stepping stone to success
- Making learning relevant to a student’s personal experience and vision of his/her future
- Using multi-media and multiple modalities to communicate and define ideas and concepts
Student services we provide
Below is a list of the student services we provide. These services were carefully selected and crafted by a team of individuals who demand the best from themselves at all times, and who get their greatest delight from seeing the look on people’s faces when they accomplish something they never imagined they could.
- College Planning
- Skills Assessment
- Time Management
- Study Skills Development
- Work Quality Management
- Organization Skills Development
Samples of Work Products
Sample 1: This is the work we are doing with a young man who has been diagnosed as having highly functional autism. It is a true delight. He has the ability to learn very quickly and do things very well, but had not been given a chance. I took the time to learn what he likes. He likes are. So we started learning about artist careers. That lead to discussing salaries and training for artist careers. Along the way, we have built a glossary of new terms the student is learning. Now I have the student transfering my and his notes onto PowerPoint.
How we work with parents
On-going communication with the parents is essential, and we treat these as the core of the parents’ training. Parents are invited to join or observe each session with the student. At the end of any student session there is a mentor-parent debrief or a summary of service is sent to the parent soon after the session is done. Sometimes both are necessary.
Most of the technology training we see out there for kids centers around gaming, robotics, and coding. These are great, buuuut.
We have all had that moment in life where we say or have heard someone say, “I went to school for all these years to learn about wars, polynomials, valence electrons, Shakespeare, etc…, but no one ever taught me about money, credit, investments, how to stay out of debt, how to get a job, write a resume, the right courses to take, etc… We have heard these remarks from parents and students. There is clearly a need for someone to teach these topics, and you will most likely not learn them from a class on robotics.
We first developed this course for parents who needed a way to transition into a more technologically facilitated way of life. What we have come to find is that most students we talk to are not practicing the use of technology for everyday life, despite each having dozens of mobile apps at their fingertips, on their phones, for free. We are talking about mobile apps, such as Google Apps, LinkedIn, CRM apps, apps to conduct statistical analysis, and mobile banking apps – just to name a few. Most students (and adults) are gaming or communicating via social media. That is it! But, there is so, so, so much more one can do.
No one seems to be teaching any of these topics or about these resources in schools. That is why we have decided to open this course to any student with the maturity and capacity to complete it. Preferably, they have a project or business they wish to launch versus us assigning one, or they have a problem they want to solve. That gives the course and the technology purpose and ensures student engagement. Either way, we enjoy the wonder of discovery and are good at transferring that wonder to the youth we work with.
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- We are former teachers who now work with parents.
- We still work with kids, because it is hard to train parents who are worried about their kids.
- We’ll work with your kids until you are ready to, but please do not call us a tutoring service.
More Work Samples and References Provided Upon Request
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