Adios August SAT? K-5 Pods. Uncle Sam to the Rescue?
Is this the end? K-5 help. Call your congressmen.
Bad news. Good news. Great news?
Good morning! I first want to apologize to anyone waiting to hear back from me from yesterday: with our uber-admin Eric away on vacation (and Helen still in training), Steve and I have been trying to keep up with inquiries coming in while fulfilling our teaching and college admissions duties for our clients. I have fewer college admissions client meetings today so this morning I should be able to catch up with some of you who contacted us yesterday. I think our students truly appreciate the in-person experience as a welcome tonic to the overall feeling of isolation and weirdness they are going through – so my sense of time is off, some calls don’t get returned fast, because I want to be there for people.
New K-5 “Lower School” option for Foley Prep
Good news first: I’ve gotten a great response from my network and have queued up several highly recommended teacher prospects. We are looking to double our staff of full-time Foley Prep Pros to 40 by September 15th. Yesterday I hired one of my sister’s colleagues who is an excellent, certified K-5 teacher in South Jersey. I later met with two sets of Haddonfield parents who are extremely interested in having her work with their pods for the whole school year. For K-5, I plan to assign one teacher to two homeschool pods.
For K-5, it seems to be a clear choice between
the frictions that come with having to engage with less-than-optimal in-person and online options in districts and
a teacher-led full-on homeschool pod that can make smoother progress in less time.
Without much more than talking to parents and teachers and using some good old fashioned reasoning, it seems like the smartest thing to do for K-5 folks is to go completely homeschool and have a qualified teacher move your pod along through the school’s curriculum (Haddonfield uses Everyday Math, for instance). It’s not much more money either. The ballpark fee I’m charging for 3.5 hours a day for 160 days comes to between $60-70 for 5 kids in a pod either at a Foley Prep location or at your home. That’s either homeschool or in-district supplemental learning. With a certified teacher. If you are in Haddonfield and interested, she’s ready to meet folks, scoop up the Everyday math curriculum, and get the party started!
Adios August SAT?
The bad news is that my prediction some time ago (see my July 28th eblast) that NJ schools would cancel the August 29th SAT is coming true. I may be behind the times (I’m in an all out efffort, 6am-8pm, 7 days a week these days), but yesterday I heard that Cherry Hill and Bridgewater-Raritan High Schools have canceled their tests.
This is a local decision by high school officials so the first place you’ll find out is not the College Board, but through the host high school’s announcements mechanism of choice (Twitter, the guidance landing page, etc.). I took a lot of heat from a superintendent this spring when I outed the plans of a school to cancel the March SAT and it appears as though my eblast back then animated some PTO moms to reverse the pending decision. I’m not suggesting parents have a say in this now, but it cannot hurt to inquire with anyone you know who may have a hand in the decision.
Many of you looked into my advice to rebook into a safer place like Podunk, PA or Jackson Hole, WY … please tell me if you did. And godspeed if you didn’t – the host site administrators have up until the very day of the test to cancel it. I’ve tried to go through the official channels at College Board and ACT to offer a huge space at the Bell.Works building, but I have yet to hear back. I’ll try again, but if you are one of the College Board folks on this newsletter list who has been a Foley Prep client, please hear this plea.
Possible GREAT news
Back in March I predicted this at a general staff meeting of Foley Prepsters: schools would go virtual in the coming year, and the Republicans would introduce legislation that would give money directly to families for tutoring, private and charter schools, and other expenses incurred for supplementing their children’s educations. Well, yesterday, Senator Rand Paul introduced the SCHOOL act as part of the behemoth relief package that Congress is slapping together last minute. See the snippet below or view the press release: paul.senate.gov. My guess is that it has a better than 1/3 chance of passing the House. We’re in NJ, a Democratic state, so it’ll be tough to get our legislators to budge, but you might want to try.
If this legislation passes, the tidal wave of interest Foley Prep is experiencing will go supernova. I’m worried that our booking system will break just like the ACT site did with the rush of folks looking to secure spots last week. Therefore, I may launch an early deposit system for those who want to know that their spot is secure; so be on the lookout. Otherwise, registration for our fall programming will open in a few days.
Fundamentally, this legislation arises out of the sense that the system is not working, and I understand that it may not be “great news” in that sense. It is great news for those who were planning to get supplemental help in any case, so I’ll join those who hope this legislation comes to pass.
Thanks for your help
Thanks again to all who have referred teacher friends to me and filled out the interest form on FoleyPrep.com/pods … if you have not visited that page, please do so. One of the questions I get asked a lot is “Is SAT/ACT prep a separate charge from what I’m seeing on that page?” The answer is no, the SAT/ACT prep will be included as an option within the schedule so students can get their academic subject training as well as SAT training out of the way within a 4 hour block.
On the college front, my department chair has asked me to switch one of my Statistics 2 classes to teach Linear Algebra, which I love. My Calculus 1 and 2 classes are filled up. So, if you know anyone with a Masters in math who is interested in adjunct teaching, please put them in touch – I may be able to help secure a part-time job at my college for him or her.
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