Q; What’s the difference between tutoring and academic coaching?
A: Good question. We like to use the 80/20 rule to help explain the difference between the two. With tutoring, approximately 80% of the session is spent providing academic support in specific subject matter (math, science, etc.), whereas the remaining 20% is spent helping the student get organized, establish routines and systems that will lead to optimal success, demonstrating active versus passive study techniques, etc.
With academic coaching, the 80/20 rule also applies, however the bulk of the session is spent working with the student to create and manage organizational routines, modeling active versus passive studying, demonstrating time-management strategies, etc. The remaining time is spent helping the student with specific homework and assignments.
“Tutoring” is more geared for those who need support in one or two specific content areas.
“Academic Coaching” is for those who fare well with the coursework, but may need more support managing the course load.
Q; How often does the academic coach meet with our child?
A: As a rule of thumb, we strongly suggest the meetings occur once a week once a week on a set, designated day and time. Consistency and clear communication is the key to success.
It is very common, however, to have the academic coach meet with the student twice a week for the first couple of weeks to get a good sense of the student’s specific strengths and weaknesses. This will allow for clear cut goals to be set and a personalized game plan implemented to achieve success.
Q: What is my role (as the parent) in the process?
A: RTB is a huge supporter of the home/school connection. Our coaches communicate with the family at the end of every session to allow parents to be informed and included in academic coaching process. Parent involvement and support is vital to the overall success of this program. Our coaches are positive, experienced educators who can provide parents with clear, specific (and simple) ways to help support their child in between coaching sessions.
Q: How long does the academic coaching program last?
A: Our academic coaching program is a process therefore there is no set “end”. Our goal as coaches is to work with students over time to enable them to become autonomous in their academic endeavors. As educators, we know each new school year brings new, more difficult academic challenges for students to master (coursework gets more rigorous and long-term projects more the “norm”), therefore the need for academic coaching never really “ends”.
We have found, however, the need for academic coaching support is most common as students transition into each new school year starting in 5th grade until the end of 9th grade. We do work with older kids as well helping them work efficiently, providing more time in their day to have a “balanced life”.
Q: Are there any contracts or hidden fees involved when signing up for an academic coach or tutor?
A: Don’t you hate binding contracts and hidden fees? We do, too! At Raising the Bar, our families don’t sign contracts for our tutoring/academic coaching services. Although most of our families continue with our services until the end of the current school year (and beyond), families can choose to cancel at any time.
Regarding fees - We do charge a $25 processing fee for each tutoring placement made. This fee covers the time investment made on our end to carefully select RTB candidates that are a “just right fit” for your family.
Q: When is the best time for our family to register online for a tutor/academic coach?
A: We ask that families be ready to begin the tutoring/academic coaching sessions within 2 weeks of the date of registration. Once a family registers for our services, the placement process officially begins and information about available RTB candidates is soon sent to the family. In the event the family is not ready to begin within 2 weeks, an add’l $25 processing fee is assessed for a new search of available RTB tutors/academic coaches, as the availability of our staff after that time can no longer be guaranteed.