By Drew Sarmiere - March 17, 2020
We Are In This Together
Dear Peak Families,
I hope this email finds everyone healthy and safe during these trying times. As you all know, the coronavirus outbreak has disrupted life across the world, including education and learning. Schools in the area are currently closed for the next 2-3 weeks with a significant chance that these closures will be extended, possibly for the rest of the school year. Should closures be extended, schools will almost certainly switch instruction to an online format. These disruptions do not mean, however, that learning and academic growth cannot occur while school is out or if daily instruction is ultimately provided online.
At Peak, we will continue to provide all of our services via online platforms. We have provided our services online for over a decade and are confident that our ability to support our students can continue unaffected. We are closely monitoring the situation and are prepared to provide effective academic support, test prep, and college admissions counseling as well as create bespoke services and programs as needed in order to address any unique needs that could arise.
Academic Coaching - for many of our coaching students there will be a diminished need for coaching support while school is not in session. This would be a good time, however, for coaching students to address specific skills like close reading, note-taking from textbooks and other materials, and memorization strategies. It would also be a good time to make up missed work or other assignments. If schools transition to an online learning environment, our coaching students will likely need significant additional support given such a dramatic shift in approach to school.
Test Prep - the SAT and ACT tests this spring have been postponed. As a result, test prep instruction will likely need to be modified to adjust to these new test dates. For those students who have already started test prep instruction, we recommend that test prep continue (perhaps at a reduced frequency for some students, for others it could buy some much needed instructional time). It would not be best practice to stop test prep until the test dates are closer as much of the growth and improvement that has already occurred up to this point could be lost. Since each student is unique, we will help develop and/or modify the learning plan on a per-student basis.
Content Tutoring - while school is out we have an excellent opportunity to review previous material that was not mastered. This is particularly true for maths and world languages in which understanding of previously covered information is integral to mastering new material. For younger students, we do not want to fall behind in reading and math, so some instructional time should be spent learning each day.
College Counseling - this break in instructional time is a great opportunity for students (especially juniors) to spend time considering their college options. Students can meet and plan with Peak counselors, begin to research schools, and develop their initial list of colleges of interest. Also, bear in mind that school counselors will likely be overwhelmed should students return to school, and should school remain closed with online instruction counselors may be very limited in how they can help students.
Other - some parents may be looking for additional educational opportunities for their students while school is not in session, especially for younger students. Other families may want additional support when/if schools transition to online instruction. Our students who will be taking AP exams at the end of the semester can use this time away from school to prep for these tests. Given the unusual circumstances in which we find ourselves, any number of unique academic needs may arise. At Peak, we are here to help in whatever way we can.
Please be safe and cautious these next weeks/months and don’t hesitate to reach out should any needs arise.
Andrew F. Sarmiere MA Ed. Psy
Peak Learning Solutions