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Services

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Boarding School

There are nearly 300 boarding schools in the US and abroad offering a surprisingly varied menu of academic, social and extra-curricular options. As a community of students and teachers living, learning and recreating together, boarding schools provide a unique sense of community and high levels of bonding and interaction rarely achieved in day programs, public or private. As a consequence of caring for the individual and varied needs of its student body, a boarding school builds natural structure into the day and week which, in turn, promotes personal growth, involvement in new experiences and rare opportunities for leadership and responsibility. The sense of community and its ordered rhythms innately support and encourage each student’s personal development in academics, the arts, athletics and their social development. There are traditional college preparatory boarding schools built on the English public school model, those which work exclusively with the younger student, those which primarily support students with learning differences, or those organized around a particular ethos or theme (e.g. military, single-sex, experiential, Quaker, international or post-graduate only).

Special Needs

All of our clients are unique and special people. “Special needs” is a term sometimes used by educators and professionals to characterize a person requiring a more specialized intervention, clinical approach or understanding. A student with special needs is often a student with a learning issue, an emotional issue, a developmental disability, a pervasive behavioral issue or some combination thereof which does not lend itself easily to a typical school setting. However, a special need could respond to any of a number of educational or therapeutic settings depending on the unique nature of the given situation, and one size does not fit all. Within every service area, therefore (e.g. day school, boarding school, college, gap year), and not just therapeutic schools and programs, there are possibilities which may best address a given special need at a certain developmental juncture. To determine this kind of match requires great skill and experience and is one of our firm’s specialties.

College Guidance

Our college counseling services are highly individualized and cater to the needs of each student and family. Some families seek initial guidance as early as 8th or 9th grade, though more typically in 10th or 11th (and we are more than happy to work with your last-minute senior!), to learn about topics such as course selection and grades, extracurricular activities, summer plans, financing a college education, standardized testing, writing the college essay, and the myths and realities of a selective college admissions. There is tremendous anxiety and misinformation about the college selection process and our view is that accurate information and thoughtful discussion helps relieve, rather than increase, anxiety and allows each student the opportunity to grow and achieve in healthy ways without the added pressure of worrying about whether or not they will get into a “good” college.

Understandably, our clients reflect the full gamut of college aspirants, from those families approaching a college search for the very first time to younger siblings of seasoned parents! We enjoy working with the precocious and motivated student as much as we treasure the timid, late-blooming or complicated learner. The college process represents an exciting and unique opportunity for each student to learn more about themselves while managing perhaps their first major life decision. This is an exciting moment of separation and growth and, if managed well, is a great opportunity for families as well.

Our counselors coach each student to become knowledgeable about the process and to become self-reliant. We continue to support parents as an integral part of the process while we expect more and more responsibility from the student her/himself.

We are skilled and prepared to help you with any aspect of the search, including selection of appropriate colleges and universities, application/interview preparation, test prep recommendations—and even post-graduate alternatives for students who may benefit from an additional year before college. For years, we have successfully placed numerous students throughout the U.S. and even abroad, broadening and refreshing our knowledge of schools from first-hand experiences, contact with admissions professionals and visits.

Day School

Whether you are new to the area or contemplating a change of schools, a consultation with an experienced and knowledgeable counselor could save you both time and wasted energy by focusing your search upon the right schools for the right reasons. Having placed hundreds of students in local day schools for decades, we have developed not only an understanding of school programs and the kinds of students they can support best, but also an understanding of important distinctions when comparing school cultures, styles and philosophies. Our role is to assist parents in assessing, planning and applying—to help make sense of numerous choices in an efficient manner guided by common sense, experience and understanding.

Mentoring Teens and Young Adults

We work collaboratively and closely with our clients. Sometimes, as a consequence of the relationships that have formed in our natural work with young people, parents have requested an on-going partnership, sensing value in the counsel we have provided their child and/or themselves during a process of transition. At times, rather than offering an initial placement process, we have engaged with students or young adults in a mentoring role, assisting the client in goal setting, life management, prioritizing, intentional living. Sometimes we will combine our placement services with mentoring, finding the natural structure of planning and advising to lend itself to meaningful conversations and interactions which develop skills and meta-cognition.

Referrals

to local professionals for testing, tutoring, counseling, or school advocacy