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Why does my child need support during transitions?

Schools expect big changes of students as they move from elementary to middle school, and again from middle to high school. There are also increasing expectations as students progress through the grades within middle and high school. In middle school, children must develop systems to track themselves and their work as they move from room to room and interact with several teachers, all of whom have different expectations.

In high school, most teachers expect that their students are already accustomed to note taking and tracking assignments, but those skills are rarely explicitly taught. The amount of homework and expected independence increases significantly during this period in a student’s life. Any time children add new commitments and responsibilities to their lives, they experience new strains on their time management, planning, organizational, and motivational abilities – all of which are skills that neurological development only begins to allow for  at the start of adolescence.

How do I know if my child needs Academic Transitions support?

Generally, we recommend the program for students who face achievement hurdles, not because of challenges with content or comprehension, but instead due to issues with motivation, reflection, and execution. If your child needs Executive Functioning support, we also recommend that they take part in this program. Read here more information on deciding when students need Academic Transitions support.

What makes Private Prep’s Transitions Program stand out?

Private Prep believes in working as a team. Our College Transitions team shares resources and best practices so that you benefit from our collective experience. Our team also includes school learning specialists who can offer professional strategies based on your child’s IEP or most recent evaluations, if relevant. When you work with us, you get the insights and skills from a collective team of experts.

How does the process work?

We believe in a data driven and collaborative process. We start our transitions coaching with the BRIEF2*: a norms-referenced set of surveys that help us better understand your child’s strengths and weaknesses based on feedback from parents and students, as well as either a teacher or additional provider, if you choose to put us in touch with them. After our first session we provide a write-up with summaries of the survey results and a clear plan to support your child.

*BRIEF 2 not applicable to college transitions.

What does a Transitions Coach do?

Transitions Coaches work with students to establish habits that will make them more successful in all areas of their life. These skills are commonly referred to as executive functioning skills and include include note taking, study strategies, physical organization, time management, emotional management, resilience, and problem solving.

At the start of the program, our Transitions Coaches will meet a few times a week with students to establish new habits. This will either take place in-home or remotely, allowing for flexibility in scheduling and timing. After the first few weeks, our Coaches will evaluate the student’s progress and make a recommendation on check-in frequency. They will collaborate with you and your student to establish a schedule that matches your needs.

How long will my child work with a Transitions Coach?

This depends on each student’s goals.  Most students meet frequently with their coach for several months to establish executive functioning skills and systems. Once students are comfortable in their new systems, they tend to meet less frequently with coaches, as long as they continue to meet their goals. These students often find that some support at the start of each school year is helpful as they adjust to a new school year and to new teachers.

Students with specific goals, as well as students who need guidance in finding goals or areas of significant challenge, may be on a different timeline. Whatever the scenario, our goal is to help students establish skills that enable them to make future academic transitions independently.

When is the best time to work with a Transitions Coach?

Generally,  the best time to start transitions work is at the beginning of the school year, when students can review their current systems, as well as the expectations and requirements of their new teachers. Of course, any time you notice that your child needs help is the right time to reach out.

Adolescence, around  age 11 or 12, is an ideal age to begin the program. During this period, the human brain experiences a growth spurt largely centered in the area that supports these skills. Later in life our brains begin to shed the neurological connections that aren’t being used, which makes it important to develop good habits in adolescence. If habits are established during this time, students can utilize them into and beyond adulthood.

What is the cost of working with a Transitions Coach?

Transitions Coaches at Private Prep are billed at varying rates per hour. Additionally, each family will receive complimentary evaluation and proposed plan, which includes a goal write up and execution plan, at no cost. Contact us for specific pricing.

How do we get started with a Transitions Coach?

If you’re new to Private Prep, email us  and we will connect you to your local Director.  If you’re currently working with Private Prep you can each out directly to our Director of Academic Transitions with any questions.



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Academic Transitions FAQs

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