Junior/Senior Year Support
Junior and senior year of high school can be a challenging time. Junior year grades are particularly important, there is the SAT or ACT to prep for, college applications need to be filled out, and so on. Christa has guided many students through these rough waters. She can help with course work, test prep, and preparing college essays. Perhaps the greatest advantage of working with one person through this time period is that she can help students plan and prioritize throughout the entire process. Please also look at the SAT/ACT prep section as well as the academic support section of this site for further details.
Questions and Answers
Q: What does this type of support generally look like?
A: There is a lot to be accomplished during this time period, so Christa generally sees students twice a week. Below is the general timeline:

Fall of junior year- Focus on coursework. Students often take challenging courses, such as chemistry, in their junior year. By establishing a strong foundation at the beginning of the year, students can avoid the work snowballing when things get crazy in the spring. It is also important during this time to get systems in place. Christa works with families to set up a general timeline, taking into account student activities such as sports, theater commitments, and so forth. Christa also does some basic PSAT prep work. She gives students the basic strategies that they will need to come away from the PSAT with a confident outlook about the testing process.

Winter of junior year- During this time, test preparation intensifies. Depending on a student’s spring schedule, it often makes sense for him or her to take the SAT or ACT in January or February for the first time. Planning for the spring also occurs, particularly if the student will be required to produce a junior thesis or is playing an intensive spring sport.

Spring of junior year- Test preparation continues, but the push to the end of the year with coursework can also be intense. Christa often has students take the SAT or ACT in March or April so that she can then focus with students on coursework and subject tests, which are generally taken in May or June. Planning is particularly important during this time. At this point, students can see how the work that they did earlier in the year is paying off, so they remain motivated through what can be a stressful time.

Summer before senior year- Students take July off! A little rest and relaxation is called for. In August, it is time to start on college essays and preparing for the final SAT or ACT, which will be taken in the fall. Ideally, students will have their main college essay and most of the supplementary ones done before school starts. They should also start planning for recommendations at this point. This is a great time for more intensive test preparation, since students generally have more time and attention for practice tests during this period.

Fall of senior year- This time period is important for wrapping up standardized testing and completing college applications. When this is done, Christa tells students to enjoy time with friends and family. All of the planning has paid off and time is left to spend with the people who matter most. Along the way, the student has developed the skills to handle a stressful time in which there is a lot to be accomplished.

Q: How do I know where my student stands in the process?
A: After every session, Christa sends out a session report within 24 hours. This session report includes details such as what was accomplished, what is still on the to-do list, and when the next session will be held. These reports keep parents informed while still allowing students to remain independent. If a student is also working with a college consultant, Christa can communicate with this person about the student’s progress.

Q: Is Christa an educational consultant?
A: No, but she often works in tandem with educational consultants. When she works with students, she gets to know them very well. This allows her to provide insight to the educational consultant about a student’s personality as well as academic strengths and weaknesses. Educational consultants spend thousands of hours visiting various schools and truly become experts on each individual school, an area that is not of expertise for Christa. Where Christa can help is with the college essays because she does get to know students so well. She can often help students come up with unique angles that really showcase for the admissions committee who a student is and what he or she would bring to a college. When a student is also working with an educational consultant, then Christa helps more with the nuts and bolts of getting the essays written and the consultant can provide feedback on what specific schools are looking for.

Q: How do we get started?
A: By filling out a contact form on this website. Christa will then contact you to see if your family’s needs match up with her areas of expertise. Since this support is more intensive, Christa can take on only a limited number of students in this capacity. She recommends contacting her early in the process so as to reserve a spot.