We are all awaiting the news from our dear friends at the NYC Board of Education. Hearts will be broken and families disrupted as the burden of Real Estate over development has pushed everyone into this chase. Many brand new buildings in my neighborhood of Battery Park and Tribeca have new families in shock that their children are going to be bused when the local school is downstairs. Friendships are being ruined over this highly emotional issue.
In all this turmoil there are even new businesses springing up to copy my business providing the service to parents for G&T test preparation for their children. Many parents have been calling me and emailing me with outrage at what they see as a negative strategy for one new company to get the word out at my expense in a local chat room. I tell these parents that competition is good. It forces you to reflect and improve on the quality of your service. Sure they have a pretty website, but this is not an internet business – it is a people business. When they try to hire away your teachers you find out who the loyal ones are. It turns out that the ones with the weakest qualifications are the ones they (the new company) want to hire. Oh well. This coming summer and fall our clients will get the best materials we have ever produced, incorporating new research into our methods.
What sets us apart? We are part of the gifted and talented community and have been for 8 years. That is how long we have really been in this game. Our competition is just starting. We constantly strive to be the best and I know from research of my competitors that no one has my experience in this type of testing. They do not have children in the programs like we do nor do they have the network of teachers at the G&T schools. I saw these tests 8 years ago and immediately started gathering materials to mimic it and help familiarize children with it. Through interviewing the people who give these tests for jobs I get constantly updated on the parts that children are having difficulty with.
When you use a tutoring/educational coaching program you are not hiring a website, you are hiring the people and should know three things about them, that they have done the research to be up to date on the best strategies, that they have qualified people to administer the curriculum and that they have a history of success. I work very hard to meet those criteria and know we have the results to prove it. The most recent statistic I offer: we had over 40 out of 60 kids make it to round 2 for the Hunter admission in January 2009 – pretty impressive when you know that only 6% of the kids that took the test for Hunter made that second round.
In our program, we do two things –
1. we work on developing their cognitive thinking skills, which will stay with them through out their entire educational life, and
2. we expose them to the type of questions on the tests. teaching them how to look at the question, analyze it and take their time to come up with the best answer. Many children, even bright ones answer a little too quickly.
When concentrating on the specific OLSAT test prep, we do work with games that develop listening skills because this test specifically gauges the child’s ability to listen and follow directions in the classroom. For the Bracken part (letters, numbers, colors, shapes) of the G&T testing we work on the elements that children miss to insure they know them.
In a word, a very comprehensive program that will boost your child’s success in school no matter the result of an OLSAT, ERB or Stanford-Binet score. An edge that will last a lifetime.
Good luck to all,